D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 11 Recap

We defend the town of Bryn Shander and receive several shiny new quests.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The front gate finally exploded, throwing shards of wood and metal fragments into the entrance of the town. The frost giant pulled his greataxe back and barreled inside. We were like annoying flies buzzing around him as he ignored our combined assaults.

That would prove to be a fatal mistake.

As the heavily injured giant charged forward I readied my psi-glaive in a hamstring maneuver to slow his assault. Sir Baric was quicker, bellowing a war cry as he brought his maul down on the giant’s foot, causing the mighty frost giant warlord to careen into the wall. He lurched forward and smashed his face into the ground.

I could only stare as I saw T.I.M., having charged the giants outside the gates earlier in the fight, suddenly tumbling off the giant’s back.

From behind me I heard another giant begin to shout, “Drufi is dead! Drufi is dead!” Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 11 Recap”

Roll20 Review: Curse of Strahd

Welcome to the first Roll20 Review! This is a new series in which I review the paid modules available for sale in Roll20. First up – Curse of Strahd.

Roll20 has been my group’s go-to resource and website for online role-playing for the last two years. We’ve been enjoying Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition for most of that time, finding it a wonderful system of intuitive mechanics and flexible role-playing. Roll20’s built-in Fifth Edition character sheets help make rolling and stat-tracking a breeze.

Roll20 is free to use (with optional paid subscription for added goodies) with the caveat that it can be a lot of work to put together virtual maps and tactical battlefields.

When I ran both Lost Mine of Phandelver and Princes of the Apocalypse, I purchased the battle maps from the artists, then converted them into Roll20. I created tokens and placed them throughout each map, and built every monster and character sheet from scratch. Roll20 is amazing at giving you the canvas and tools, but you still have to put in the work.

About a year ago Roll20 began releasing the official D&D 5E campaigns as paid modules, beginning with The Lost Mine of Phandelver, followed shortly by Storm King’s Thunder. Since then Roll20 has released paid content for the Monster Manual, and additional published modules in Tales of the Yawning Portal, and, most recently, Curse of Strahd. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Curse of Strahd”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 10 Recap

We finally find our Harper Agent only to be interrupted by an army of Frost Giants laying siege to the city.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

“There you all are!” We turned and found Sheriff Southwell staring us down in the back alley. Beldora looked startled, and the Sheriff had a desperate look on his face. I began hearing the wider noises around the city: screams, shouts, and several loud booms and crashes.

“We’re going to need your services – now!” Chaos began erupting in the marketplace as the Sheriff motioned for us to follow, allowing for no argument. “We have giants at the gate.” I turned back to Beldora but she simply shrugged, equally confused and shocked.

We ran through the screaming crowds. People were fleeing toward the town hall as if the end of the world had arrived. We made it to the wall at the Southwestern gate to behold a terrible sight – an army of pale-skinned Frost Giants stood outside the city, wearing leathers adorned with bone and wielding axes bigger than a man.

The giant in the middle was flanked by a pair of ten-foot wolves, their breath crystallizing in front of them as they exhaled. The leader shouted with a great, booming voice. “I am Drufi, leader of these frost giant armies. I demand you sent out Artus Cimber and he will give us the Ring of Winter!”

We all turned to each other with the same bewildered and fearful expression. At some point Sir Baric and his friend Sirac had showed up on the wall with us (watching us again no doubt). Sirac began groaning. “Oh no, that’s my dad. He was an adventurer, but I haven’t seen him in ten years.”

The giants were in no mood to talk. “By blade and by boulder we will destroy your city!” The army of giants began advancing. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 10 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 9 Recap

We survive the Yetis and make it to Bryn Shander, a city that’s not as safe as we thought.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to two people being out of town, there will be no D&D session this week (6/16). Session 10 should resume on 6/23

We kept going. We trudged North. Yetis be damned, we had to make it to Bryn Shander soon. We were not going to survive out here. 

The damn beasts were hunting us. Their fear of fire kept them distant, Bryseis made sure of that. Halfred was a hunter of monstrosities and could track them easily. It was more unnerving getting constant updates on their whereabouts. They circled around us, flanked us, herded us.

We came up to a pair of small ridges on either side of the road we were following. One of the creatures lay waiting. Bryseis fired up her Dancing Lights as a protective barrier, and we moved as a scared, huddled group, knowing full well the power these things wielded. We were in their territory, at their mercy.

The Yeti leapt down when we tried to pass and roared defiantly. We heard its mate answer the roar some distance behind us.

The scars from my near death experience itched savagely under my robes and leathers. I could succumb to fear, or let the rage building inside me take over. I couldn’t feel the calming serenity I had been so carefully taught. Only fear and hatred. It was dangerous to give in, but it could also be a weapon.

I threw down my torch at the creature. It glowed softly in the snow. The Yeti jerked back for only an instant, then crouched down on all fours to let loose a chilling scream.

I was already numb to the constant cold around me. I let myself feel numb to the fear as well. I focused my mind and reached into my chest, withdrawing the psi-glaive that manifests from my psychic energy.

Before the others could react, I screamed back, both in my mind and out loud, and charged at the beast. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 9 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 8 Recap

We talk down a dwarven assault on the flying tower, survive an explosion by a mysterious new foe, and cling to life versus a pair of deadly Yetis in the snowfields below.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We’d been in the tower for a week, and fended off two separate attacks. I was pleased to see Zephyros again but unnerved at the global event that painted him a target. I would be glad to set down near Bryn Shander and resume our quest.

That night I felt a chill in the air. I slept uneasily, with visions of what Korinn had told us about her own ominous vision dancing through my mind. We awoke to the sound of a growing thunderstorm all around us. Zephyros floated down, a worried expression on his face.

“Little ones! Gather quickly!” he implored. I’d never seen him like this before. “Something terrible has happened. You all need to get out of here right now.” His words were punctuated by a startling roar that echoed throughout the tower, as a thudding sound indicated that something large had landed directly on the tower.

“I’m not going to leave you, Zephyros,” I yelled, the howling winds making it difficult to speak. I’d only just found my friend again. After all we’d been through protecting this tower, I wasn’t about to abandon it. We could face whatever new threat together.

“Zephyros,” an eerily calm, deep voice echoed down the tower. “You have for so long stared into the void,” it taunted. “Now it is your lucky night. The void has come calling.”

“Zephyros,” I yelled, “What did you see?”

“The cloud, dear boy. Whatever I could not see. It is here. You have to go.” Zephyros waved his hands and I felt our bodies become lighter than air. I glanced at Korinn, who was clutching her stomach as if struck by a wave of nausea.

“Don’t do this Zephyros!” I felt my voice crack. Zephyros was the closest figure I had to a father and mentor in my life. Without him, I’d never reached the Mind-Zei monastery, never untapped my potential, never survived the nightmares.

d&dZephyros’ eyes crinkled with sadness. “I’m sorry my boy. It is the only way. I will deal with this. You must continue our work. The Ordning – fix it if you can. I will find you. I promise.”

The tower shuddered as pieces began falling around us. I was dumbstruck as the giant ushered us toward the front door and outside into the swirling winds, our hair standing on end from the lightning surging around us.

Zephyros stepped back inside the tower and drew himself up. The kindly old man became a beacon of strength and defiance. “Whatever you are,” he shouted up into the tower, “You will not have me or my castle!”

“Come Zephyros,” the voice teased. “Claim the answers you seek.” A huge chunk of the tower was ripped away, crashing to the bottom nearby.

“Zephryos!” I screamed and ran back toward him. The cloud giant turned, a look of resolution etched upon his face. He reached out a hand and a blast of telekinetic force slammed into me. I hurtled backwards along with the others. A second later we were tumbling down the air, the Feather Fall spell keeping us from plunging to our deaths.

I reached out with my mind, briefly touching his. ::We’ll find you again:: I sent. The connection was severed as the tower receded into the distant sky. A giant bolt of lighting coursed through the cloud, slamming into the tower and exploding chunks of rock. I screamed again, and again.

Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 8 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 7 Recap

We hit level 4 and leave Nightstone for another journey – on a cloud giant tower.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We took one last look at Nightstone as we trotted away on the horses they had given us. The town was in shambles, the drawbridge destroyed, the keep ruined. But we’d saved dozens of people from an even worse fate. Maybe there was a reason our group had come together on our journey.

Morack had provided us with our next clue: the coded tome we had found belonged to a Harper agent who was reporting on Giant activity. The Harper agent had died in the Cloud Giant attack. But she had a daughter, another Harper agent, who could decode the book.

The daughter lived hundreds of miles to the North, and we were all grumbling about the journey. I’m pretty sure the wooden construct had never even ventured outside of Ardeep Forest. We discussed taking a caravan, or even a boat out of Waterdeep once we reached the city.

The wind suddenly picked up as we crested a hill leading out to the main road. Everyone gasped as a giant cloud descended to the ground, a gigantic tower in the shape of a wizard’s pointed hat resting on top. Stairs formed in the clouds leading to the ground. 

The others looked at each other in bewilderment. I grinned, “Zephyros!” Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 7 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 6 Recap

We confront the boss of the goblin horde as we explore the rest of the Dripping Caves.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

A bolt of flame came singing out of the darkened tunnel. I heard the goblin behind me let out a startled yelp. The sound of smoked flesh filled my nostrils. I smiled. Bryseis had my back.

I kept my attention on the large, armored goblin in front of me, Hark. He wielded a mace of human bone and his eyes spoke of a depraved evil that made his underlings look like innocent puppies.

I clutched my robes and focused my mind, expanding my presence outward. Several grotesquely giant rats scurried near my feet, lunging at me again and again, ripping apart the duplicates I had confused them with.

As T.I.M.’s frighteningly giant, floating leech lashed out at them I reached into Hark’s mind, causing him to feel the pain and despair of those he had harmed. His eyes grew wide and blood dripped from his eyes and nose. He took one look at me, turned, and ran.

I saw the opening and took it. My psi-blade flashed out as an extension of my body and my mind, and caught the goblin boss straight in the back. He didn’t make a sound as he crumpled to the floor, but I couldn’t help myself. “This is for the people of Nightstone,” I whispered.

Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 6 Recap”