Monday, 23 June 2008

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 01 - Small beginnings part 1 of 3

Yesterday we had a first session in campaign. Unfortunately, Terentz was unable to show up due to family issues. We wish him best luck and hope, he will be present next time. Especially for him we'll move term to Saturdays, about 8PM.

Adventure began with a journey. Group, consisting of Ren, Connal, and Andala set off to find a wizard, camping nearby Ice Crystal Lake. As the road wormed through fields of wheat, was dry and sandy, they decided to change course a little and cross small woods, called Hieronim's Groove*. Forest was familiar to them, as they visited it in childhood, searching for mushrooms, wild berries and herbs. Before sundown young trio found a clearing in wood, which suited their camping needs. Unusual feature of glade was small source of always fresh and cold water and two meter high rock sitting above it. While Connal was searching for wood to light the fire, Andala was looking for herbs and Ren was preparing bedrolls. Trio spent whole evening eating, drinking hot tea, talking small talk and enjoying calm, warm summer night.

First watch (Ren's) went relatively peaceful. On the second one (Connal's) he began hearing strange noises coming out of woods. Intrigued he tried to examine them, but fall painfully, stumbling on roots. Whole group awakened and began searching source of noise. As it turned out, squawking and bleating was coming not from river's banks but from small ravine, shielded by old, thick trees. Trio entered it and found a strange, horned creature hiding inside it. Ren was sure it's trap, so he stayed back, hidden and on guard. Connal and Andala crept forward, only to find out small stag, trapped in snares. Poor animal had been terrified and almost bled to death, but with Moradin's healing magic was cured. After short struggle, Ren and Connal managed to open snare's jaws and free animal. Freed of trap and fed with carrots, it followed them to camp, where Connal cleared stag's wounds and fed it with more vegetables.

Soon after party moved on. Small stag left them at forest's border and trio set back on road. Soon the approached Ulsen's Rock**. Before the reached, they found a horse, grazing beside the road. Quick inspection provided some interesting informations: animal apparently belonged to courier of Donal's Arrow messaging company, in it's travelling bags were hidden three sealed letters. Charging Andala with task of guarding horse, Connal and Ren went to look for missing courier. On fields beside the Rock they saw pack of lambs. Wounding it's way through rock, the were shouting for courier. To their surprise, it was not a human that responded, but three metres tall brute, shouting: "Thieves! Sheep-stealers!", charging upon them and swinging heavy club. Fight that erupted was quick and brutal. It outcome was beaten ogre, lying senseless on ground and few bruises on Ren's and Connal's bodies. The main problem was a grim discovery in in ogre's lair. In surprisingly well maintained camp the found chopped and half cooked courier's body...

Faced with such problem and unwilling to deal swift justice by own hands, Connal and Ren decided, than the latter one will travel to nearby village, to alert local authorities. Ren jumped on horse and sped to Steeplefall. At first he was greeted with suspicions (after all he was riding horse, that belonged to courier, last seen two days ago). After quick explanations, there was a large group assembled that set off to Ulsen's Rocks, to bring an ogre to town. Meanwhile Connal found hidden cache with ogre's armour, little amount of cash (7gp, 23 sp and 68 cp).

Back in town, with ogre thrown to cellar under a storage, whole company took rest in tavern. Next day began from constructing gallows's pole. As the whole town prepared for The Night of Straw Men holiday, execution was seen as a additional attraction. When ogre had been finally pulled out of jail, he was cowering, crying and begging for mercy. Apparently poor creature knew what fate it was facing... It's fear and despair must moved not only Connal and Ren, but also Mayor Olbred and Chauntea's priest Leiru and sowed a seed of doubt in their hearts. After quick interrogation, they learned ogre was attacked by courier and defended it's stock of sheep. Taught to eat human meat by the Zhentarim, with whom he served as a mercenary, he prepared meal but otherwise meant no harm to humans. All ogre wanted, was to live peacefully and tending his sheep. Taking those facts under consideration, mayor and priest decided to spare creature's life. He was ordered to serve as a grinder operator in nearby watermill. He'd work there and generate income, so would be able to buy out sheep he stole and than set free, when the time is right.
With this matter settled, session ended.

PC solved two Encounter Level 1 quests and one Encounter Level 4 quest, were additionally rewarded for creative and good role playing, so accumulated enough xp to advance 2nd level.

* Hieronim's Grove - was called after the name of druid, that protected small wood. He was an old man in times of PC's parents youth, so is believed to be dead. Some say he never existed. Truth is far from that.

** Ulsen's Rock was called after a band of brigands and highwaymen that made home inside it's cavern's. They were put to sword long ago.

Next session is planned on July 5th.

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