Friday, September 13, 2013

Dyvers Session 004: A New Chapter

If you're new to the Dyvers Campaign you can start from the beginning by reading the article The Dyvers Campaign Begins. You can also catch up on all the related campaign notes, session write-ups, house rules, and campaign fluff by reading the Dyvers Campaign Page.  

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He questioned their guides about the "Devil-men" and soon recalled a story told only in passing of a chaotic force bound to the destruction of the universe. A legend he had thought it, but perhaps not.
After traveling for several weeks through torrential downpours and wading through swamp muck the group of brave adventurers had finally gotten a clue as to where the threat hinted at by Tomas might come. They had found themselves in the company of the Lake Geneva Wahoos, a friendly tribe that had welcomed them with open arms, and began to hear tales of a vile group of devil-men who had been raiding local tribes.

Paige the Gully Dwarf was delighted to hear that the village needed help - so delighted in fact that she struck a hard bargain for the groups' aid: two quivers of arrows and a ceremonial dagger that was so rusted that not even Yonkal Hillstrider, the artificer, believed she might fix it. All the same the deal was made and the group traveled east with their guides Moe, Larry, and Curly. As they traveled along listening to their trio of brave guides their newest party member, Gwaine the Cleric of the Red Knight, seemed to be ill at ease with these "Devil-men." He questioned their guides about the "Devil-men" and soon recalled a story told only in passing of a chaotic force bound to the destruction of the universe. A legend he had thought it, but perhaps not.

At last the guides had brought the party to the great totem pole which protected the tribe from the Devil-men. Here the guides announced that they would go no further and ran from the spot. Jar'Kell, the scarred Paladin of Heironeous, attempted to goad them into staying but without any success.

Slowly, the group began to move forward up the sloping path toward the top of the mountain. The path they traveled had clearly seen lots of traffic as they could plainly see numerous tracks leading up and coming back from the mountain top. Ruts in the path made the going somewhat difficult but the group of brave adventurers were able to navigate the way without incident. 

Night was fast approaching when Paige the Gully Dwarf noticed a hidden cave entrance off to the west. She announced her discovery to the group and made her way over to the entrance where she boldly hid in the bushes as Gwaine inspected it for ambush or traps. Finding neither, Jar'Kell led the way into the cave where he quickly found a very deep pit. There was a discussion over how deep the pit was and how best to discern its depth when Paige grew tired of their blathering and dropped her Sunrod down the pit.

Gwaine sputtered over the loss of such a valuable item while Silaqui the Elven Sorceress counted the seconds of its descent. Forty seconds did the sunrod fall and so she reasoned that the pit was some 200 ft deep. A great discussion was then had as the group debated how to traverse the pit. Eventually a decision was met and everyone successfully made it across - only to find that Jar'Kell could not spend the night in the cave. 
"When that fucker returns he's stripping naked, and if I find a goddamned silver coin in his back I'm slitting his fucking throat!"
It was agreed that the group would spend the night at the cavern's mouth and take watches throughout the night without a fire as the full moon would give them plenty of light to see any approach. Throughout Yonkal's watch Jar'Kell seemed to be coming down with some ailment that only got worse as the night wore on. He claimed that his skin seemed to be on fire and his belly burned. He vomited blood and soon found himself running as fast and as far away from the cave as his legs could carry him. Yonkal watched him go without a word spoken and woke up Paige the Gully Dwarf to cover his shift. 

Paige sat up watching the night pass while everyone else slept. What thoughts crossed her mind as she watched the path up to the Devil-men's village and listened to the howls of a growing number of wolves I cannot say. But as the wolves came closer she woke the others - only to find herself too late as a werewolf broke through the undergrowth and attacked!

The battle was fierce but in the end the group won the day. Yonkal was badly injured and Silaqui now voiced her belief that Jar'Kell had been the werewolf. Stating flatly that, "When that fucker returns he's stripping naked, and if I find a goddamned silver coin in his back I'm slitting his fucking throat!"

What I've Learned

After last week's disaster of a session what a relief tonight was. Things went well and everyone seemed to have a much better time of things. I changed up from my normal grid-less style of play to providing the players with some visuals. Normally we don't even use miniatures but tonight I wanted to try that out and see if it improved the overall play experience. So far the verdict is in the positive.

New Boy was better behaved on this occasion and seemed to enjoy the game quite a bit more than last time. He has apparently not learned that when you provide a Dungeon Master with a hook into your character that a good one will yank on it. His scarring was done at night by an animal that he never got a look at, so he didn't know what happened. 

I love when players say things like that.

During combat I intentionally moved New Boy out of the scenario so that I could let him run the monster. This way he would get to see how combat in my games works when you're not directly involved in the conflict and it would alert him to the idea that he can't really let himself be an inactive participant in the game when his character isn't there.

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