Urg, Stick to the Plan!

Our monthly D&D session last week had another fun bit of chaos I thought I would use this week’s blog post to share with you all.

Setting the Scene

Our group of intrepid explorers was waiting for information from their contacts in Skullport, so they decided to spend the time exploring the other side of the river. Deciding to brave the gondola guided by the tiefling skeleton, the group stumbled across a dark cave where a young boy and a goblin were imprisoned.

After some investigation, they discovered the boy had been washed down into Undermountain. His friend escaped the sea’s pull, while he was swept away and captured by some hags. They sent the goblin on his way and freed the boy. He lingered in the back as the group prepared to engage the hags, poking around in murky pools. One slimy hand emerged, then another, and a hideous hag dragged herself from the water.

Fully prepared for a fight, her polite inquiries caught the group off guard, and they stutteringly shifted to conversation mode. After providing some brief information, she ushered the group on their way, out toward the river and away from the yet-unexplored cave in the back.

The Plan

Their boat was back at the other beach downriver. They were left with two options: swim or try to go back through the hag’s territory. It was unlikely the entire group could sneak through the cave, but their rogue, Ashe, might be able to make it. Taking their signal whistle in case he ran into problems, Ashe made it through the main cavern and back to the caves further in, intending to bring the boat upriver to the group.

He there faced a choice. To the right was the way back to the boat. To the left was the unexplored section of the cave. Being the aspiring legendary thief, he naturally went left and ended up at a large cavern filled with shipwrecks piled high on one side. A ship’s figurehead looked on from across the room, and a well-preserved Crowsnest towered high over the pile.

Curious as to what might be contained within, Ashe began to climb the pile toward the platform above. About ten feet from his goal, the figurehead behind him, a banshee, began to wail. The piercing sound echoed through the chamber and down the halls. Ashe dropped back down and ran.

Disagreement

While Ashe sprinted down the unfamiliar corridors, his party argued.

“That’s our cue,” Urg stated, spoiling for the previously averted fight.

“He said he would use the whistle,” countered Anakis. “That is not the whistle.”

“Yeah,” Rose agreed. “He’s fast, like me. He can get to the boat, and we should be here when he returns so he doesn’t get lost looking for us.”

Urg shook his head. “We can’t just leave him. I’m going.” So saying, he took off running toward the source of the wailing.

Ashe ran toward the boat. Urg ran toward the sound. The party stood on the shore muttering about bad decisions.

As Urg approached the source of the cacophony, it suddenly cut off. “Ashe?!” he called out.

The only response was the clicking and scraping of chitinous legs on stone.

“Uh oh,” he thought and turned to run again, this time toward where they had left the boat.

The End

Not really, but that is all the time I have for blogging today, so tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion to this comedy of errors!

Happy weekend all!

Control of Skullport

We had another entertaining session of D&D this week. This one felt especially well-rounded from the perspective of character role diversity. The rogue snuck around, spying out the landscape while the battle master scouted the enemies for strategic knowledge. In one fight, there was an epic mage duel, and the halfling monk got to run through the effects of a Cloud Kill spell to end the threat.

Overall, the session had great party dynamics with creative use of individual skills and abilities. They also did a great job of leveraging their contacts and connections to minimize their risk of exposure while still taking action to gather the needed intelligence. I next need to figure out what that intelligence will be, but this approach also gives me more time to make the information more dynamic. This part of the role-playing of D&D is fun for me, and I’m enjoying how the players are interacting with the world.

The latest decision on their plate is “Who should control Skullport?” None of their options are good. It is Undermountain, after all. Xanathar’s Guild, their current nemesis, holds sway over the underground town. A Drow house from the Underdark is making a play for it, but they are limited to river access, with a long-established group of hobgoblins controlling the other primary access points from level three of Undermountain.

Those hobgoblins have asked the players for help recovering something stolen. The recent theft has placed them at a distinct disadvantage, and the group finds themselves caught between the Drow threat and continuing pressure from Xanathar’s Guild – who the players find out have already been infiltrating the hobgoblins via strategic placement of intellect devourers. Azrok, the hobgoblin leader, is already hosting an unwanted guest from Xanather that he cannot afford to refuse.

The hobgoblins are likely the ideal group of the three to help give control of Skullport, but they might already be too far gone to help. Xanathar’s Guild wants them dead on sight, with a bounty on their heads for the “theft” of massive wealth up in Waterdeep. Then again, are Drow who attack intruders on sight likely to be good and gentle stewards who will allow them free passage if they gain control? Can any of them be trusted?

Probably not, but it makes for interesting gameplay. Skullport is likely to be a recurring visit as the group continues, so I’m excited to see the long-play on this and how the situation evolves over timeā€¦as long as they don’t TPK before then.

Mwahahahahah!