Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dark Legacy of Evard, Session 6: Look Out! Tieflings!

Session 6: Vontarin’s House of D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard started off with the PCs following Mother Grivelda’s advice and heading for Vontarin’s long-abandoned home about a mile southwest of Duponde. They need to find Vontarin’s restless ghost (now possessing the young wizard, Nathaire) and put it to rest again. Valkan, Mother Grivelda’s grandson, was happy to lead the party directly to Vontarin’s old manor house, but the Vistani boy was unwilling to venture into the manor grounds. Valkan’s caution was prudent since the PCs would find that Vontarin’s home had been taken over by a murderous gang of tiefling cutthroats who were using it as their secret hideout. The tieflings have been preying on barge traffic on the nearby White River, waylaying the occasional traveler on the road to Duponde, and pilfering from the town’s warehouses and stores. Townsfolk knew that the bandits were lurking nearby but had no idea who they were or where they were hiding.

We had two full tables again at Total Escape Games in Broomfield, CO for Wednesday night’s session. Erik W was a real trouper for showing up to DM the second table even though he’d just had his wisdom teeth removed the day before. The six players at my table ran Arturo (human warpriest), Brandis (human paladin), Dude the Barbarian, Jarren (human wizard), Silas (drow vampire), and Torrin (dragonborn fighter). Jarren and Torrin were run by new players at their first Dark Legacy of Evard session.

Valkan, following an old cart track, led our heroes into the countryside outside of Duponde. After a mile or so, he turned onto a long, tree-lined lane that wound through the thickets on a small hill and finally ended in a cobblestone court before a ruined mansion. It was at that point that Valkan wished our heroes good luck and then returned to his grandmother’s house.

The party stood in the courtyard near a large fountain whose waters were black and slimy. Studying the mansion from that spot, they could see that the old building’s upper story showed signs of fire damage, and most of the roof had collapsed at some time in the past. Small gargoyles and elegant cornices leaned at crooked angles. Thick ivy covered the walls and grew over what was left of the roof. Heavy shutters covered the ground floor windows. A large front door faced the fountain and courtyard, and a smaller door to the right led into the side of the ruined mansion. Succeeding on a Perception check, Silas caught a faint whiff of wood smoke in the air. He then noticed that a very thin stream of smoke was coming out of the chimney around the side of the house. He also saw that the path leading up to the mansion was well trodden, by both humanoids and beasts.

After sizing up the outside of the place, the party split almost immediately. After helping Brandis and Silas break down the side door, Arturo went back out to the front door and joined Jarren and Torrin there. Dude the Barbarian went through the side door with the paladin and vampire.

Torrin blazed the way for the front door crew, barreling through the doorway only to be brought up short when two crested felldrakes charged and attacked him. Two tiefling Fell Court ruffians had also taken up defensive positions inside the manor’s grand foyer. After Torrin charged through the front door, the dragonborn took a lot of damage throughout the course of the encounter—mostly because no one else followed him into the house. Torrin’s player (a new player) was heard to say “I don’t want to die!” a few times. Luckily for Torrin, Arturo could stand outside the doorway and shoot healing in to him. It’s always nice to have a cleric in the party.

Over at the side door, Silas, Brandis, and Dude the Barbarian were battling in the kitchen with a hissing felldrake, the tiefling Fell Court underboss, and two tiefling ruffians. (The encounter set up only called for three ruffians, but since this was a strong party with six characters, I added another ruffian to the monster mix.) Brandis got pretty beat up as the monsters all seemed to take quite a shine to him.

In the end, though, despite splitting the party, our heroes prevailed and defeated the tieflings and drakes. After the fight was over, the PCs searched the old mansion. In the back of the house, they found a large room that must have been a grand dining room back in its day. An old table and chairs stood near a large heap of provisions in sacks, barrels, crates, and other containers. Those goods were new and bore the markings of various trading posts and provisioning companies from the area. And then, close to the large heap of stolen goods, the PCs discovered a trapdoor in the floor! Pulling up the trapdoor, they found that it revealed a staircase leading down to the old mansions’ cellars. The party was chomping at the bit to head down the staircase, but I told them that would have to wait for next week’s session.

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