D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 16 Recap

We arrive in Xantharl’s Keep to investigate Zhentarim activity in the area, and discover their hideout.

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NOTE: Makeup this was a makeup Wednesday session, with no session on Friday!

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

Halfred’s bow sang out, and the Zhentarim thug gave a startled gasp as an arrow sunk into his shoulder. He glanced around wildly, perhaps noticing for the first time he was the last one in his group alive.

My mind probed into his, grasping and shaping his fear like a piece of clay. “Throw your weapons down if you don’t want to be cut down like your friends,” I intoned menacingly. “The information you provide could spare your life.”

The young man blanched, eyes wide. He spared a fearful glance toward the cave entrance, then met my gaze. He threw down his weapons.

“Don’t kill me, don’t kill me! Just let me go,” he whimpered.

“Smart man.”

We spent a bit of time shopping in Mirabar, one of the largest cities we’ve seen in this adventure. There were some solid magic items to be had, namely some Mithral Armor (half plate) and a Sentinel Shield.

Since I plan on multi-classing into paladin next level, I was all over that armor. I sold as much loot as I could, and still had to borrow a few coins from Bryseis, who just won the damn lottery from selling the pearls from Drufi’s helmet.

It took literally all my money but I secured much better medium armor than I thought I’d be able to acquire any time soon. I can only glance at it wistfully for now, but next level, oh boy!

T.I.M. bought the shield to make him even more super observant, and we took off on our long road trip once again, this time traveling south down the Long Road.

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We made it straight to Xantharl’s Keep without any encounters. The converted old fortress was not the Zhentarim lair I was expecting, though maybe a bit less welcoming than most places.

At the inn we met Millie, the Harper agent that Thwip had told us about. We showed her the Clockwork Dragonling he had given us, and she agreed to give us some information about local Zhentarim activity when she went on break.

Meanwhile we’d spotted a group of obvious Zhent agents there at the inn. Korinn suggested pulling the Invisibility trick again, and with a 3rd level spell slot she can make two people invisible. Bryseis signed up to join her, and the two women disappeared into the bathroom, reemerging unseen to follow the men.

While I gathered basic information and asked questions from Millie, Korinn and Bryseis got shit done by following the men all the way to their hideout, a cave entrance about 15 minutes outside of town. They marked the trees so they could lead us back there.

After Millie I used my at-will Disguise Self invocation to appear as a local and strike up a conversation with the town guard. I learned a bit more information, including the arrival of an orc spellcaster and a “posh gentleman” who were keen on dealing with the giant threat. I also learned that Captain Zellan himself lead this particular outpost.

We regrouped in the inn. With the intel and location confirmed, we agreed on a plan to stakeout the cave entrance during the day. We waited for the usual round of Zhentarim to get their day-long leave in town.

We deliberated on whether to jump the foursome outside the cave and press for information, or let them go to town and simply go in, knowing the lair was a bit lighter.

The more aggressive option won out, and with a hefty surprise attack we beat the crap out of those thugs with a hail fire of elemental spells and arrows, making sure to leave the last one alive for interrogation.

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He was more than willing to give us everything we needed, including a detailed description of the layout, traps, and foes inside. True to our word we let him go…after lots of hilarious slap-filled intimidation checks by Bryseis.

Knowing a pair of orogs (beefier orcs) guarded the entrance, I used Disguise Self to change into the man we’d just questioned and lured them outside.

We defeated them just as quickly, though one got in a nasty critical hit taking out more than half of T.I.M.’s HP. T.I.M. getting heavily wounded in every encounter is par for the course.

With a sizable portion of the dungeon already defeated and the general layout explained, we’re more than prepared for our first real dungeon crawl since session six. But it will have to wait until next week!

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Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

2 thoughts on “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 16 Recap”

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