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Mannix, level 3 Human Inquisitive Rogue
Khaless, level 3 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 3 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 3 Tortle Battle Master Fighter
Therin, level 3 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
It had been several sessions and many harrowing encounters since the party last Long Rested. Our campaign rules state that resting overnight in the jungle confers only a Short Rest, turning the entire jungle into one big hex-grid dungeon crawl.
My players were feeling the strain, and hoped to find shelter wherever the Order of the Gauntlet had retreated to from Camp Righteous. They found it upriver in Camp Vengeance, a wooden fortress with 12-ft high walls, sharpened spikes, and a 20-ft deep pit encircling it all. But Camp Vengeance was anything but safe.
Undril Silvertusk, their companion since the very beginning, got them inside. Her mission all along has been to find the Order’s outpost and help reinforce them.
The party was received, with some trepidation. They are a motley crew with a triton, tortle, half-drow, and a friendly talking construct named VORN. They were welcomed by Captain Salhanna, who took them inside to see Commander Breakbone.
The inside of the Camp was a bit of an Apocalypse Now situation, as Commander Breakbone was not exactly a level-headed leader. The fort was in bad shape, with most of its fighting force holed up in the field hospital tents. Recently the Commander had sent out the last of their able-bodied soldiers, lead by a Corporal Rygor, to root out the undead in the jungle, leaving them with little more than a skeleton crew.
Breakbone was paranoid, eccentric, distrustful, and passionate about destroying the undead. His paranoia regarding the PCs’ arrival was overtaken by his desire to use them as weapons against the undead. The PCs (and Salhanna) gently suggested that they be allowed to rest first, as well as get treatment for their ailments.
Gillian was suffering from temporary blindness while Khaless had been obsessively cleaning her blades ever since the entire party received personalized nightmarish visions the night before arriving, courtesy of the strange, mystical old women who plagued them. The nightmares seemed to exploit their fears, desires, and obsessions as they felt their very essence drained during the ideal. For what purpose, they’re not sure.
After the contentious meeting with Breakbone, Mannix pulled Salhanna aside to see where her loyalties lie. She was respectful toward her commanding officer, but knew that a dangerous passion had overtaken him ever since Camp Righteous, and that the camp itself was being neglected in favor of sending out more of their forces. She didn’t seem prepared for all out insurrection, but she was sympathetic to the PCs.
The party headed toward the tents where they hoped to get their first decent Long Rest in nearly a week. Nearby they found a makeshift prison holding three native Chultans. Mannix bribed the guard with some Dancing Monkey Fruit while Khaless picked the lock, though she first destroyed her own lock pick (double 1’s after Inspiration!) and had to use Mannix’s.
The leader of the Chultans was named Lorsa, and she was a guide out of Port Nyanzaru. She was hired by the Order to lead them into the jungle, and she had warned them away from the House of Man and Crocodile Shrine, which ultimately became Camp Righteous. When it was overrun by undead and the Order was forced to retreat, many blamed her, and Breakbone threw her in prison when Camp Vengeance was established.
The PCs immediately warmed up to her, particularly as a potential guide in the jungle (poor tabaxi siblings get no respect). At the moment she’s remaining in the unlocked prison to avoid suspicion and alarm. It’ll be interesting to see how the PCs plan on getting her out of there.
Finally they headed to some tents for the evening – but wait, there’s more! Before they could Long Rest alarm bells rang throughout the camp. Undead came pouring in from the south.
Khaless jumped on VORN and headed outside while several guards followed. Others took to the walls and watchtowers, while Therin wild shaped into a Giant Spider to climb over.
A dozen zombies came shambling out of the jungle, making a beeline for the camp. They heedlessly fell into the 20-ft empty moat and continued their charge, while the defenders rained down arrows and crossbow bolts. Khaless was satisfied to discover that while VORN’s programming states he cannot harm a living creature – zombies aren’t technically alive! VORN smash!
A new player entered the field, a wight riding an undead dinosuar brought a small force of skeletons armed with bows. The wight shouted out its revenge against the camp, screaming that Breakbone had sent them all to die. The defenders realized that this was Rygor and his forces, now undead and hellbent on revenge.
The fort’s defenders took some damage but Rygor was unprepared for the Camp’s new reinforcements. Giant spiders, smashing constructs, leaping tortles, oh my! Even after Rygor blew his trumpet to summon a wall-destroying Ogre Zombie, he began to see the tide turn in the fort’s favor. He retreated, leaving his small forces to die, but promised to return and not to underestimate their defenses again.
The battlefield lie still and the fort cheered, attributing their good fortune to the PCs’ arrival. While everyone contemplates Rygor’s return, the PCs finally bed down for a Long Rest, and a well-deserved level-up.
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