Raygun Encounters: Legacy of the Crystal Shard

Gant and the Council

Week 3
Dan as Incendius, Human Wizard
Neil as Bud, Ranger
William as Fib, Warlock
Sina as Alvenor, Human Paladin
Steven as Etain, Drow Cleric
Fred as Hogar, Half-Orc Slayer
Jacob as Kintama, Hengeyokai Thief
Josh as DM

Previously: a wererat named Slim killed a guy, and his minions then burned down a warehouse to get rid of a case of silver weapons which they (inaccurately!) believed was stored there. We were unhappy about this and decided to kill them all. We talked to a friendly cleric, who sent us to talk to a friendly ranger, who led us through the wilderness to a cave with some of Slim’s wererat minions in it. We killed the minions and found a sinister note, written to Slim, saying that somebody evil was going to try to get a position on the council. We stayed at the cave hoping that more minions would show up so we could kill them too.

This session: Kintama came up with a plan: he would set a fire trap in the cave, then set it off when the next wave of minions arrived. Then we’d capture them and interrogate their leader. We waited outside in the bushes for a few hours, which was probably quite unpleasant, but it all paid off when the next wave of minions arrived and were successfully ambushed.

The battle was marked by a giant wall of fire separating us from Slim’s minions. The wolves charged through the fire to attack us and were killed horribly after being locked down by Alvenor. We launched ranged attacks at the minions while Kintama wall-jumped over the wall of flames, then opened a gap in the fire for Hogar and Alvenor to charge through. There was disagreement over whether to capture or kill the enemy — “Guys! Keep Marek alive!” (Hogar: stab stab stab “I told you I was going to kill him”) “…Okay, keep this other guy alive, then!”

We interrogated the surviving minion and learned that Slim seldom comes to the cave, but he does have a drop-box in town which he uses to pass messages. We returned to town and checked the drop-box; it said he was staying at (mysterious arcane symbol). Mysterious.

We talked to our cleric friend, who sent us to an old wizard who turned out to be friendly, who told us there’s a new guy named Gant who might be associated with a rune like this. Kintama and the spellcasters investigated Gant’s office while the “muscle” (Bud, Alvenor and Hogar), and Fib did find a rune, but we found no other evidence of foul play. We went and talked to Duvessa, Speaker of Bryn Shander, and she was not receptive to the original “good cop/bad cop” routine and claims of wererats and hobgoblins, until Hogar pulled out a hobgoblin head (“I can’t believe you kept that!”) and we gave them the letter we found in the cave. The letter turned out to be in Gant’s handwriting, so she gave us permission to go arrest Gant and bring him to the town Marshall.

We went to Gant’s house and found another arcane sigil on the door. Kintama heard people inside and called everyone forward just as INCENDIUS tried to disarm it, but failed, and some people were injured. The session ended just before the battle with Gant.

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Slim's Gang
or "We don't need no stinking sleep!"

Week 2
Dan as Incendius, Human Wizard
Steven as Etain, Drow Cleric
Mike as Ryltar, Drow Mercenary
Pat as Hesken, Dragonborn Paladin
Paul as Badger, Pixie Slayer
Josh as DM

As everyone draws their weapons, Ryltar charges in, dropping his cloud of darkness to confuse the thugs so that he can make his way unscathed to the apparent leader in the back. The rest of the party begin trading blows (and magic missiles) with the muscle as Etain hangs back and keeps everyone alive and Badger flits around creating a distraction. Incendius is able to confuse one of their foes into moving out of position and striking his ally, creating an opening that the heroes use to press their advantage. Hesken yells out asking if Slim is there, and the leader begrudgingly acknowledges that he is Slim and ask what the adventurers are after.

After trading a few blows with Ryltar and watching the tide of battle shift against him, Slim suddenly shifts into a rat and scurries under the bed. Ryltar is unable to move it, but Hesken dives for the bed and unleashes his dragon’s breath. He is rewarded with a surprised squeak, but upon flipping the bed finds only a hole in the wall which Slim has apparently retreated into. He shouts for the others to keep the last one alive for questioning. After being surrounded and intimidated, he admits that the dead man is Aarun and that the gang has a hideout to the north on the slope of Kelvin’s Cairn. Searching Aarun’s body, they find some gold and a message from someone named Mithann. They bring the remaining thug to the sheriff, who locks him up and points them to the Shrine of Amaunator, where Mithann is the resident cleric.

Despite the already late hour, they beat on the door of the Shrine and arouse Mithann, who confirms that she was supposed to meet Aarun but is genuinely confused about the note. She reveals that they feared the new gang in town were wererats, and Aarun was helping her acquire a set of silvered weapons so the townsfolk could better defend themselves (this was the likely contents of the crate delivered by Mika earlier that day). She also points the adventurers to a hunter named Algonell who lives outside of town and had been robbed by thugs matching the description of those setting up the protection racket in Bryn Shander. She urges the acquire the weapons and try to help subdue the thugs before they do more damage to the town.

As the team is walking back towards the inn, arguing about whether to break into the warehouse to get the weapons that night or wait until morning, they smell smoke and rush to the scene of a raging fire – Dunavan’s warehouse! They rush inside, looking for the weapons, but are unable to find them (or much else of interest) in the inferno. Hearing shouts outside and loud cracks from the roof, they make it back out just as the roof collapses. As they catch their breath, Dunavan appears from the crowd – “What the hell were you doing?” “Looking for Aarun’s crate” “Oh.. it’s in my other warehouse.”

After the heroes explain the situation and Aarun’s tragic fate, Dunavan happily hands over the crate and they open it to find silvered weapons, which happen to be appropriate for each of them. So armed, they head out looking for Algonell as the darkness and snow grow deeper…

They find Algonell in his shack a couple miles outside of town and identify themselves as friends of Mithann, offering to help combat Slim’s gang. He confirms that the situation is dire, but says he knows of the cave where the hideout is and can take them there in the morning. After some discussion, the heroes realize that the gang may be scattered or not returned from town, and if they hurry they may catch them unprepared. Algonell agrees and they set out after midnight north, eventually reaching a hill where the two drow can faintly see Kelvin’s Cairn rising into the darkness beyond them, and the mouth of a cave entrance nearby. Algonell refuses to help fight, but agrees to wait until they have made contact.

Ryltar sneaks up to the cave entrance under cover of darkness, and overhears two guards just inside who are discussing how the job may be going in town. One mentions that someone named Marek is supposed to be returning with some of the crew just before dawn. Ryltar has an idea and returns to the group, proposing an ambush. Badger suggests tactical positioning outside the cave entrance and nearby, and Ryltar shouts “It’s Marek, he’s hurt! We need your help right away!” The two guards rush out and are completely surprised and almost immediately overpowered by the combined force of silvered steel, arrows and fire.

Sneaking further in, they see a light and hear a few more voices. With a few whispers and hand gestures, they set up the same ambush again, and Ryltar springs the trap. Three more thugs rush up the tunnel, shouting “Intruders!” as a few more of their friends wake up and also join the fray, with two transforming into hybrid wererats and attempting to bite the party.

They are little match for the adventurers though, who have the combined elements of surprise, superior positioning, an excellent healer and their potent weaponry and skills. Hesken and Badger take quite the beating but are able to stand strong and repel the attackers successfully. One wererat is able to bite Ryltar after he is knocked to the ground, and he feels ill but Etain and and Heskar are able to subdue the disease before it can gain a footing in his injured body.

Searching the premises, Incendius and Badger find evidence of even more thugs (at least a dozen) who have been there, as well as some alchemical fire which they suspect may have been part of the stash that took out the warehouse. They also find a chest which Etain is able to unlock with additional gold and a note to Slim. The note suggests that someone else is controlling Slim, someone who seeks to usurp the current Speaker of Bryn Shander, someone named Duvessa, in an upcoming public audience. It is signed with a strange symbol which Incendius swears he has seen (or at least something similar) but can’t quite put his finger on it.

With dawn only a couple hours away, and with it the return of more thugs and the mysterious “Marek”, the weary but adrenaline-pumped adventurers consider their options…

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The Attack On Bryn Shander
Yetis! Naked Barbarians! Flame on, Bro!

Week 1
Fred as Hogar, Half-Orc Slayer
Max as Mika, Dwarf Paladin
Pat as Hesken, Dragonborn Paladin
Dan as Incendius, Human Wizard
Steven as “Art”, Tiefling Warlock
Josh as DM

The adventure opens on the afternoon of Eleint 25 in the year 1485 DR, at the end of an 11 day trek from Luskan to Bryn Shander, the central trading hub of the Ten-Towns, the collection of civilized (or at least “civilized”) human villages and towns in central Icewind Dale. Mika, Hesk, and the Flame Bros (Incendius and “Art”) have been guarding the last caravan north before the harsh Icewind Dale winter sets in. It’s a good thing they came, too, because in addition to the awful snow storms slowing down the expedition, there were several unusual attacks by wild animals on the journey which has everyone spooked, and very excited for walls and warm beds on reaching Bryn Shander.

Hogar has lived around Bryn Shander for some time after abandoning a lesser barbarian tribe a few years earlier (as a half-orc he has never really fit in anywhere). He has been anxiously waiting for the caravan’s arrival, as a package for him from a distant relative in Luskan is supposed to be coming with it.

As the gates open for the approaching caravan, the guards hear a wild shriek to the north, and no sooner do they look but a pack of yetis is bearing down on them. After a few seconds to collect themselves and find their battle buddies, the yetis have charged in and the fight is begun! Other town guards cover the walls, while the caravan guards find themselves facing four of the beasts. Hesken and Mika bravely step in their path and cut them off from reaching the caravan, while the Flame Bros single out and take down the yetis one by one.

Another yeti, bigger and smarter looking than the rest, heads straight for the gate and starts wailing on Hogar who is standing nearby. It takes him a moment to come to his senses and draw his weapon, but then he lops off the beast’s left arm in one mighty swing, badly injuring it! The beast howls, knocking him back (his fall broken by a nearby apothecary’s shop) and heads towards the caravan and the Flame Bros. Fortunately Mika is there to intercept after her initial opponents are defeated.

Hesken is almost knocked senseless by his opponents, but is able to rally himself with some encouragement from Incendius and together they defeat his opponents. The whole group rallies to kill the final yeti at the gates, and as they take a moment to rest they notice that the town guards have driven the remaining yetis off. The guards walk back, complaining about “that barbarian” who they think led the yetis to town. Two adventurers cut open one of the yetis and find their diet to appear healthy and lacking in humanoids – this appears to be their first attack.

The apothecary walks out of his shop, hysterical about the damage from the fight and complaining that the money he paid Slim for protection has been wasted. Incendius, Hogar and “Art” talk to the shopkeeper and find out that Slim, a newcomer in town, seems to have started up a protection racket, and the shopkeeper offers half of what he paid if the adventurers can get the money back from Slim for his repairs. Slim is usually seen around the Northlook inn in town at night, and the adventurers agree to meet him there.

Meanwhile Mika and Hesken talk to the guards and find out that a barbarian came to town the prior day and has been locked up in the market square to die of exposure after being found guilty of theft from a fabric merchant (“But what does a barbarian want with fabric?”). As they are all leaving to go find the barbarian, a dwarf merchant from the caravan named Helda Silverstream offers them money to accompany her north to Kelvin’s Cairn, where her uncle resides with a dwarf settlement. She agrees to wait a few days for the adventurer’s to be ready.

After seeing Hogar’s prowess, the caravan guards are able to recruit him into the party promising a fair share of the gold. Bored with the town of late, Hogar agrees happily.

In the market square, the team finds Hengar Aesnvaard, a barbarian of the Tribe of the Elk, near-naked and tied up. They provide fire to warm him and ask why he came to town. He tells them that his people have been under attack by an Ice Witch, possible an avatar of the evil winter goddess Auril, and he came to Ten-Towns to seek an alliance before the Ice Witch destroyed them all. His people have encountered attacks similar to what the caravan saw on the way there. He says he did not commit the accused crime and is unsure why he was sentenced. Our heroes agree to get to the bottom of it.

They interrogate the fabric merchant, Brinna Alcott, who switches her story a few times and they realize something is fishy. After Mika and Hesken apply a little Good Cop/Bad Cop, she caves and admits that, although her lockbox was stolen, she has made up the evidence that it was Hengar as she doesn’t trust barbarians. She also mentions that she did not pay any protection money to Slim. The adventurers take her to the town sheriff to confess, and he sets Hengar free but refuses any of his men to help the Tribes, as they need to protect the town.

Hengar (predictably) asks if the adventurers will accompany him north. Finding out that Kelvin’s Cairn is on the way to the tribal meeting grounds, they happily agree but ask that Hengar wait for them to finish some business. As everyone else rests and shops, Mika tracks down the merchant Dunavan about a shipment that he was sent specifically to guard for someone named Aarun. Dunavan confirms he has the shipment in his warehouse, but Aarun is likely to come the next day and get it. Mika is not comfortable leaving it, but it is a large crate too heavy to lug around, so he resigns to stop by the next day and ensure the handoff happens correctly.

That evening, all five meet at the Northlook for dinner and to wait for the apothecary or Slim. After a dramatic lull, they hear a sudden scream from upstairs!! Everyone charges up, and hearing movement to their left, Hogar charges and knocks down the door, with the rest spilling behind him.

The sight isn’t pretty – one man is dragging a freshly deceased (still bleeding) corpse towards the window, while another looks on and three more are cleaning up the mess. Our heroes have found the source of the scream, and perhaps Slim. Everyone draws their weapons as the scene comes to a close…

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