D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 14 Recap

We follow up with Thwip in Hundelstone, then deal with a Zhentarim ambush on our journey East.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

T.I.M. made an alarming noise that I recognized as ‘danger.’ We looked up and saw three men repelling down the nearby cliff, their actions muffled by the raging river beside us.

Before I could shout a warning I heard a crackle of energy behind me. A white light exploded from all around us as a powerful blast of lightning surged from Bryseis’ fingers and slammed into the middle figure. He dangled helplessly on his rope, and I swear I saw the inside of his skeletal structure while electricity arced through his body.

T.I.M.’s eyes lit up and he raised a steady hand. Another of the attackers suddenly seized up, and also dangled precariously. Korinn laughed devilishly as I saw a translucent hand gently untie the knots holding the figure up. He plummeted a dozen feet to the ground – right into the waiting opening of Korinn’s Bag of Holding.

“I-I think Korinn just swallowed that man!”

We finally left the Ten Town regions and arrived in Hundelstone to the South. We actually had a quest here – talk to Thwip Ironbottom about the coded ledger.

This was our longest quest chain since discovering the coded ledger in a destroyed house in Nightstone. The ledger had lead us to Beldora in Bryn Shander, where we were promptly distracted by the Frost Giant attack and various problems in Ten Towns.

d&dThwip was a helpful NPC, a friendly if eccentric gnome tinkerer. Most importantly he was a Harper and privy to some important information.

The decoded ledger provide a map of Fearun with giant activities noted in specific regions. It wasn’t quite the info-bomb we were looking for, but it’s interesting to see where the giants are located and what they’re doing.

The quest chain evolved into seeking the Harper’s help (or possible membership) from their base of operations in Everlund. Thwip provided a nifty clockwork dragon pet that we can use to convince the Harpers to work with us.

Unfortunately Everlund is crazy far from where we are. The DM had warned us that there’s a lot of overland travel in “Storm King’s Thunder,” but I still wasn’t quite prepared.

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With a 20+ Persuasion roll we learned that seeking and helping the Harpers would reward us with an invaluable fast-travel option through some sort of teleportation network.

That would be a huge boon in what looks like a campaign that requires a shit-ton of travel. I guess that’s our next destination!

We haggled and bought a few knick-knacks from Thwip, spent the night in the inn, and continued on our long road trip to the East. The safest route to Everlund would also take us through Xantharl’s Keep via Luskan and Mirabar. At the Keep we had a quest to deal with a Zhentarim leader named the Weevil.

As if to remind us of the Zhentarim threat, a half dozen Zhent mercenaries ambushed us near a bridge between Hundelstone and Luskan. We were trapped between a mountain and a cliff leading down to the river. Half of them came repelling down the cliff while the other half climbed up from the river.

Then we proceeded to completely kick their ass.

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Bryseis went first, critically hitting with her signature Chaos Bolt at 3rd level, doing 40 damage after using her Empower metamagic. With our Massive Damage rules, she downed one of the mercenaries in a single blow, and he dangled from his rope.

Next was a fun one-two punch from T.I.M. and Korinn. Our warforged cleric used Hold Person to paralyze one of the Zhentarim, while Kroinn used Mage Hand to undo the ropes he was using to repel down. He fell about 15 feet, and Korinn scooped him up inside her Bag of Holding.

Brilliant! We basically just played Pokémon with that guy.

Two down, and the enemy hadn’t even acted yet. The 3rd repeller made it down to start attacking Korinn. Our poor DM experienced a string of critical failures, with his only hit being deflected by a Shield spell.

I turned my attention to the three coming up from the river, using my Eldrtich Blast to send one of them tumbling back down into the water.

Though I’ve been focusing on melee attacks with my Pact of the Blade, the 10-ft knockback from my Repelling Blast Invocation has proven amazingly useful in nearly every combat situation we’ve been in. In this case, knocking one them into the river proved more useful than doing any real damage.

Halfred began sinking arrows into the others while Bryseis switched to Magic Missiles. Korinn stood her ground in melee combat, using a combination of her dagger and Shocking Grasp, while T.I.M. attempted to flank by scaling the cliff himself and throwing out his healing leaches (Inflict Wounds).

Ahh, gotta love these once per day encounters. Unleash everything!

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I didn’t actually end up using any of my spell slots. Instead I leapt off my horse, pulled out my Psi-Glaive and plunged it into the nearest Zhentarim mercenary, cutting him down. That earned me my first Inspiration all campaign, huzzah!

The merc I thought I knocked into the river slowly made his way back up after some DEX checks. After being shot several times by Halfred, he made his way up to us only to collapse and surrender.

The battle was won and we’d barely sustained any damage – the one attacker to get a hit off made the mistake of shooting Bryseis, and she had snapped her fingers and engulfed him in flame via her Tiefling Hellish Rebuke.

I’m all for tactically challenging fights but occasionally it does feel great to just kick all kinds of ass.

Several of the Zhentarim were actually left alive – the zapped unconscious one from Massive Damage, the paralyzed one in the Bag of Holding, and the wounded, water-soaked merc who surrendered.

We looted and questioned them but they didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already knew, other than they were based out of Neverwinter. They’d gotten the kill orders from Captain Zellan, who has a personal vendetta against us from his failed attack at Nightstone.

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We entertained the idea of traveling to Neverwinter ourselves and confronting their boss, but it would be quite the detour and I’m still inclined to believe that our real prize – Captain Zellan and possibly the Weevil, will be found in Xantharl’s Keep. The merc confirmed that, though none of us really trusted him.

Bryseis has a reputation of…treating Zhentarim rather poorly. There’s definitely something personal there. After the interrogation she kicked the bound man down into the river, then used mage hand to untie the unconscious man and watch him fall to his death.

We released the last Zhentarim ambusher from the bag, and I immediately used Kazin’s Awakened Mind to send the fear of the void into him – mostly to save him from another execution. The man’s eyes went wide and he took off running.

The Zhentarim were defeated, and we were growing agitated at their ability to find us. Hopefully we can find some answers (and more Zhents to kill) when we eventually make it to Xantharl’s keep, though it’s still about a week’s travel away.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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