Monday, March 11, 2019

Blossom Fall, Episode 8

Colonial Caerdia: Blossom Fall is a story being told through a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign I'm running at a local hobby shop called the Devil's Bench. If you aren't already familiar with this series, you can find the beginning over here.

You can find the previous episode here.

9th-11th of Waxing Spring, 0 AL

Having rested for the night after the tragic loss of John's cousin Will, our intrepid band of adventurers have decided to explore the flooded cellar of the ruined building they found - only to find, through I'Un entering the water, that it is filled with flesh-eating fish. His screams draw the attention of the morose John, as well as someone else - a high-elf who was travelling up the riverbank, who now creeps closer and hides in the forest's foliage to observe what is causing the ruckus.

Having been healed by Jojen, I'Un is ready to make another foray. He's determined to get the chest they can see down there. To draw off the fish in the water, they decide to throw in the carcass of one of the finned crocodile-like creatures they'd killed yesterday. While they are moving it, the high elf comes closer to get a better look and gets spotted. There's a tense moment at first, but eventually she introduces herself as Leshanna and a semblance of almost-trust is formed, largely due to her willingness to help move the creature over to the water.

They make their way over to the water and toss the creature in, with I'Un following close behind. The corpse distracts some of the fish as I'Un makes his way to the chest, picks it up, and carries it back to the cellar door. He wouldn't have made it that far without Jojen casting a quick healing spell on him. The monk holds the chest above his head, trusting in his group to pull him out - which they do. He scrambles onto dry land, bleeding freely and barely clinging to consciousness. Jojen has no spells left to cast, so John does his best to bandage I'Un's wounds.

They open the chest, finding inside some ruined books, some weathered clothes, a nice cloak that I'Un immediately claims, a pouch of coins none of them recognize - with a dragonborn head on one side and an anvil on the other - and, in the bottom, a smaller metal chest wrapped in black velvet. Vala promptly pulls out her lockpicks and opens this chest. Inside are small pieces of ruined papers, a crude stone statue of a sickle-wielding farmer with a wolf at his side, and five silver sickle amulets.

I'Un informs Vala that while he was in the cellar, he felt something odd in the silt beneath his feet by the chest and the five skeletons, something that didn't feel like rocks. Vala wants to go in for the rest of the treasure, but she's convinced to wait for Jojen to rest up enough to be able to cast more spells. However, another argument is sparked - between those who want to explore more, and those who think it's more important to report back to camp and let people know that there have been other people here before. They eventually decide that they'll return to camp together after one more delve into the cellar.

They rest the day away, and in the late afternoon they prepare for the next venture. This time it's Vala going in, and she's tied her chain around her waist so she can be pulled out. As an additional part of the plan, they've tied some wood to a crocodile-creature corpse so it will float, in the hopes of having more control over where the fish congregate. Jojen lights up the fish with a magical, non-burning fire called faerie fire, Vala is lowered into the water, and the creature thrown in after her. Getting nibbled, Vala makes her way over to the skeletons, then begins scrabbling around in the dirt and silt for whatever she may find there, stuffing what she finds into her pockets.

The rest of the group notice a flaw in their plan as the floating fish bait is in their way of seeing what's happening in the water, so John pushes it to the side. While Vala proves better at avoiding fish teeth than I'Un, the water begins to redden, and Leshanna decides not to wait for Vala's signal to reel her in. Once she starts hauling on the chain, the others join in, except for Jojen, who gets ready to heal Vala should the situation turn dire.

After scrabbling for a few more items, Vala joins in the efforts for her departure, blacking out for a moment until Jojen heals her. Finally, the halfling is dragged back onto dry land and they slam shut the cellar door. She empties her pockets, revealing a handful of copper coins, two silver anvil amulets, a couple of rocks, a piece of bone, and a small key. Vala tests the key on the metal chest and is delighted to find it fits.

Packing up their findings, the group get their boat into the water and begin the journey back downriver to the camp, arriving late on the 11th of Waxing Spring. John immediately heads off to find Opal, with Leshanna following, to tell the captain about what they found. Opal listens with moderate interest to what they tell her, and though the coins are unfamiliar to her, she is able to identify the anvil as the symbol of the goddess Mirinrie, goddess of crafting and tradition, and the sickle as the symbol of Oa, god of summer, agriculture, loyalty, and dedication. John and Leshanna then spend the rest of the day helping Opal unravel ropes and making fishing nets.

I'Un goes off to rest, while Vala goes straight to Lord Krandig, who she shares their discoveries with. Krandig is also able to identify the religious symbology, and believes the statue to be a representation of Oa. He's very interested in this new information, and tosses Vala a handful of gold coins to keep him informed, and is quite eager to have her discover some more civilized lands in this wilderness. Vala also asks about what's been happening in camp, and Krandig informs her that there hasn't been much going on aside from people constructing houses. He, himself, is trying to put together a council of nobles - inspired by I'Un - but some of the other nobles want to set up a more traditional monarchy, and a number of peasants believe that Glavel, the young priest of the Four, should be in charge.

The group reconvene at their camp that night, sharing what information they've learned. I'Un expresses his skepticism about Kranding continuing to provide money, or being someone worthwhile to keep contact with, but the others don't seem to share his concerns. The talk of the evening turns to the proof they've found of other people living here, and that they worshiped the same gods as their own people. Eventually, they head off to sleep.

And that's where this game session comes to a close. Find out what happens next week in Episode 9.

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