D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 58 Recap

The Hunt for Hekaton begins as we follow-up with clues pointing to The K Society, and return to The Grand Dame.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The Grand Dame looked exactly as we remembered, complete with surly captain outside demanding we turn over our weapons. We were in no mood for subtlety this time around.

I reached out with my mind, attempting to convince him that we were on official business, and needed to be escorted immediately to the captain’s quarters.

Whether through exhaustion at being teleported hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes or through sheer overconfidence, the man sneered at me in response. “You ain’t on no business.” He drew his weapon and the guard next to him did the same.

I switched tactics, spreading out my arms as a sign of complacency. “Hey friend, have you heard of the Graham Cracker Crew?” 

The man sneered even further, the corners of his mouth threatening to leap off in opposite directions. “I heard of the Graham Cracker Crew. I don’t give two shits if that’s who you are. No weapons on this ship.”

I stumbled my way through a bullshit response, as Halfred crept up next to him. The Captain took a single step forward and Halfred launched himself, planting his head directly in the man’s gut. His eyes bulged, knees buckled, and his whole form seemed to fold in on itself as he teetered for a moment, then toppled over into the water below.

He cried out a yelp as he fell, and the other guard screamed and drew his weapon. We were getting in there, one way or another.

I originally named last week’s session “Into the Maelstrom p1,” but I cannot in good conscience name this week’s session part 2. Thanks to our dumb luck we skipped through the huge Storm Giant dungeon and were able to secure a private audience with their leader, Reagent Serissa, without so much as bumping into any other giants, and from there have already received our next quest – to find King Hekaton and restore the Ordning. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 58 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 21 Recap

We wade into the hostile sewers beneath Yartar to confront an evil threat.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next week’s session has been moved to Sunday, September 24. Same start time.

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We carefully descended down the ladder deeper into the sewers, my head still ringing from the thunderous blast that erupted from the grate. 

A deep pool of foreboding water lie before us. Across the large room a monstrous merfolk stood rigid, its eye glazed over. Before we could utter a remark, an inhuman voice invaded our minds.

“Welcome, guests. Welcome to my home. I’m glad you were able to join us this evening.”

Everyone looked startled, and I saw a few eyes glance my way. “That… wasn’t me,” I replied telepathically, fear plain in my thoughts.

“Your party has come a long way to find me,” the voice continued. “Atalia* called me ‘Oosith,’ but that was simply a construct.” Even with its mind-speak its voice felt harsh and clipped, causing us to creep backwards from the pool.

My anger overrode my fear. “It was you who went to the monastery after I left. You enslaved them!”

The creature’s mind never wavered. It mentioned that it was doing the bidding of its own master – as Atalia did. I used that against it. “So, you’re another slave?”

“I am no slave!” For a moment we felt the creature’s calm demeanor slip, then it was right back. It beckoned us forward into the murky waters. 

I had no intention of jumping in. We kept it talking and learned about its plans: to turn the nobles of Yartar into its master’s servants.

Bryseis conjured a dancing light, and sent it down into the water. A writhing mass of tentacles curled around it. “You spit in the face of my generosity? Perhaps I should just enslave you as well.”

An ancient creature of the deep rose up out of the water, unfurling three large tentacles. Its white slimy body locked onto us with rows of eyes and a gaping maw. 

*I verified the correct spelling of names with the DM this time! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 21 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 20 Recap

Our investigation of Yartar’s kidnappings leads to a riverboat gambling den, and a figure from Kazin’s past.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next week’s session has been moved to Wednesday, September 13. Same start time.

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

“STOP!” My thoughts rang out in alarm, focusing squarely on the woman in front of me. The woman I’d loved, once.

She turned around. Even by the sickly dim light of the sewers she was still beautiful.

“Who…?” she began, startled. “Your mind is familiar…”

I pulled my hood back and ended the magical disguise that made me appear more human. I focused Ellaria with my most intense stare, hoping me emotions wouldn’t betray me.

“Kazin, it’s so good to see you!” she rushed forward as if to embrace an old friend. For an instant I wanted to take her in my arms. But the slumped man in the corner made me take a step backwards.

“What are you doing?” 

“I’m doing what I must. I’ve been forced to do terrible things. But you can help me escape them!” Her eyes were big, her face pleading.

Words poured out of her mouth. A man named Useth had come to the Mind-Zei monastery, promising more psychic power. Those he couldn’t recruit he enslaved. She was a victim.

I’d been burned by her flames of passion before. I felt an iron sheath close over my heart. I reached out with my mind and focused on hers, willing her thoughts to speak to me. Her mind met mine with outrage that soon turned to fear.

Her thoughts were laid bare. She was concentrating too much on keeping up the deception. She’d gone with Useth willingly. She hungered for more power.

“This isn’t safe, you shouldn’t be in here. He won’t allow you to be in here!” I realized her mind was speaking to mine even as I probed it. I saw her handing over the victims of Yartar to monstrous fish-folk. 

“Don’t do this!” She was speaking directly to me now, her face a mask of terror. “You don’t understand the power they promised us, Kazin. Our minds can be opened!”

That’s when I felt it. The same unnerving energy from the frightening creature in the Zhentarim outpost. A powerful psychic link. A chill dread shot up my spine.

My mind followed the trail, across mountains, forests. Into the ocean. Plunging under the depths. Deeper, deeper. “Stop it!” her voice screamed. But I was close, I could almost see-

A blast of psychic energy rocked me backwards as the link was severed. I blinked and looked up. A trickle of blood dripped out of Ellaria’s nose, and she crumbled to the ground.

I was shocked last week when we made it through an entire session without any combat. Make that two sessions now! This week we had some fun in Yartar infiltrating a riverboat gambling establishment to investigate a rash of disappearances around the town. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 20 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 19 Recap

We reach level 6 and journey south along the Long Road to find Triboar devastated from a recent Giant attack.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We were tired, hungry, and in T.I.M.’s case, severely wounded when we emerged from the caves of the Zhentarim outpost.

We had cleared the entire outpost. The final attack from a venomous giant spider had humbled our elated mood. T.I.M. showed no pain, despite his nasty limp from the spider’s venom.

We were in no mood when we found the gates of Xantharl’s Keep closed. Bryseis knocked on the door and a voice rang out, “Go away interlopers, we know what you did!”

“Damn it,” I muttered. 

“I told you we shouldn’t have let some go,” Bryseis glared at us, her demonic eyes burning with annoyance. “We should’ve killed them all.”

She turned her attention to the gruff voice beyond the gate. “What is it you think we did?” she snarled.

“Alicia told us – you killed all the Zhentarim. They were our lifeblood, you’ve doomed us! Go away!”

“We freed you from the Zhentarim,” I replied, wearily.

“You think you’re heroes, but a lot of those folks lived here. They had families! You’re not welcome here.”

“To hell with this town,” I sighed. But I thought of Millie, the undercover Harper agent who had helped give us some information.

Bryseis brazenly called out to the guard that we needed to speak to the barmaid. It felt horribly suspicious to me, but money greased the palms of the guard and he went to fetch her.

Millie emerged several moments later and we told her everything, about Xelan’s death, the ledger that revealed all their payments and book keeping, and the letter that revealed the Weevil’s next stop – Neverwinter. She was grateful for the assistance, agreeing to ride north to try and uncover more of the Neverwinter hideout.

We had other plans. The Giant attacks weren’t about to stop so we could follow the damn Weevil all over the country. We saddled the horses and turned south, riding a few miserable miles before collapsing into our tents for some much needed rest. A long road lay ahead of us.
Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 19 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 42 Recap

We travel to Yartar to recover an elemental orb from the Black Market; Talus’ past catches up to him.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

We dive into another official side trek this week, and one of my favorites from the “Princes of the Apocalypse” campaign book. Dark Dealings in Yartar features some fun role-playing opportunities in an urban setting that we rarely get to explore, culminating in a big brawl in a graveyard.

Of course I also used the opportunity to add an additional NPC from one of my PCs’ past. Given the smaller, more contained story-telling in the side treks it’s much easier to mold them into my players’ backstories.

This week, Talus’ shady past as a former Red Wizard puts them all in an extra bit of danger. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 42 Recap”