Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dark Legacy of Evard, Session 4: Zombies, Shadows, and Ghouls... Oh my!

At Total Escape Games in Broomfield, CO we once again were able to run two full tables of players for D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard. This season of Encounters (a 13 session mini-campaign featuring a town that has passed into the Shadowfell) really seems to have captured the interest of local D&D players. We have had new players showing up every week. In fact, this past Wednesday night we could’ve easily run three tables. Several guys showed up a bit late and decided just to pass on playing when they saw that both tables already had six players sitting around them. So take note, dear readers: It’s best to show up early if you want to play DLoE at our FLGS, Total Escape Games!

The six guys at my table played Arturo (human warpriest), Brandis (human paladin), Eldan (elf necromancer), Enzio III (human assassin), Nadarr (dragonborn paladin), and Silas (drow vampire).

Chapel of Peace

Soon after our heroes’ battle against the pack of dusk beasts that had been terrorizing the residents of Duponde, a pair of town guards found them and said that Brother Zelan at the Chapel of Peace was asking for them. The guards led them to the western end of town and then to a small temple that had a crumbling bell tower. The shrine was serving as a makeshift stronghold. A number of townspeople huddled inside, and six nervous militia members guarded the doors and watched the street.

The characters found that Brother Zelan was a stubborn, aggressive old man who said that he’d be out hunting monsters with a mace and holy symbol himself if he didn’t have to look after the people seeking shelter in the chapel. He asked the PCs about what they’d seen and done so far that night, interrupting with remarks such as “Serves them right!” or “That foul creature had it coming!”

When he’d heard their tales derring-do, Brother Zelan provided the party with some news of his own.

“All this trouble started in the graveyard just down the hill. Just before the shadows came, I heard voices chanting in the distance. I went out on the steps to look around, and I could see ghost lights dancing in the trees and dark figures skulking about the tombs. I think I saw that wizard fellow who has been staying at the Old Owl.

I started toward the scoundrels, but before I could confront them, I heard a terrible cry. A wave of dark power swept out from the cemetery and changed the night to… to this.

But enough talk. I have a gift to aid you heroes. When I was a young acolyte here, some fifty years past, the wizard Vontarin came to the chapel and put this in our keeping just before his duel with Evard. He said that this was a potent talisman against the power of shadow, and that if shadows ever threatened Duponde, it could be of service. Maybe you can go to the graveyard and put it to use?”

Brother Zelan gave the characters a golden holy symbol containing a red gem. Then he urged them to hurry to the graveyard and investigate what happened there.

Pillaged Tomb

Duponde’s cemetery was filled with mossy old tombstones leaning at odd angles. Crooked cobbled paths littered with cracked stones and wiry tufts of grass led between gnarled, leafless trees. The unnatural gloom hanging over the town was especially dense there— palpable fear lingered in the air. Ahead of the adventurers was a stone mausoleum, its roof decorated with small, leering gargoyles. But between our heroes and the tomb, several clumsy figures dressed in dirt-stained garb shambled through the shadows. They looked freshly slain. It was time to roll for initiative.

The 3 grasping zombies (three laborers who helped Nathaire open the mausoleum) attacked the party, using Slam and Zombie Grasp. Once the zombies attacked, a couple of leeching shadows emerged from the bushes and hedges and flowed toward the PCs. At the same time, a ghoul flesh seeker also rushed out of hiding and used the cool sounding Prepare for Sacrifice against Nadarr. But it missed. In fact, it and the other ghoul flesh seeker never hit with Prepare for Sacrifice, which really depressed me because I was so wanting to get to use their uber-cool sounding Render unto Orcus attack.

Nadarr did get hit by a leeching shadow’s Shadow Meld attack, though, so that really lifted my spirits. I think the dragonborn has been hit with that attack every session the leeching shadows have appeared, so it’s becoming a bit of a tradition at our table. As has the fact that Eldan (which this past week I was informed is pronounced “El-don”) continually gets himself in precarious predicaments. Like the deal with the war cart. This week he climbed up on one of the benches in the cemetery and found himself surrounded by a leeching shadow, a grasping zombie, and a ghoul flesh seeker. He eventually escaped and hid behind a tombstone.

Anyway, there was combat, the shadow monsters and undead were vanquished, and then the party got down to the business of searching the mausoleum. Discarded on the path, they found several crowbars that someone had used to open the tomb. Inside, the tomb contained a large sarcophagus, which had also been forced open. Inside was a black-boned skeleton clad in tattered robes. The characters had been told by the townspeople that those bones were the mortal remains of Evard. The bones were well preserved, despite being blackened. They looked undisturbed, as though whoever opened the sarcophagus stopped as soon as the seal was broken. With a successful Arcana check, the party could tell that some kind of magic trap had recently been triggered there.

Our heroes also found Nathaire’s journal inside the mausoleum, near the base of the sarcophagus. The journal, a book bound in black leather, was written in a code that looked as if it would take some time to decipher. Perhaps the same amount of time needed to take an extended rest. Yes, the party finally got to take an extended rest at the end of this session, so next Wednesday night they should have full hit points and healing surges, as well as 1 action point and access to all his/her daily powers. The players who have been here for all four sessions can also level up their characters (to 2nd level).

1 comment:

  1. Cool to see the Encounters all posted... now perhaps I can catch up on the backstory and not slow everyone down. Will be curious to find out what happens to a Dragonborn if they become a werewolf!