July 17th game session
Gresh has been asked by the leadership of his church to investigate rumors of a cult of death worshipers operating near the town of Winterhaven. They can’t offer any monetary reward, but they suggest also getting in touch with Parle Cranewing. The rest of the characters have been contacted by Parle and asked to get a complete rendering of the old keep near Winterhaven. Everyone is asked to meet each other at an inn in Fallcrest and wait a messenger who will have a general map with directions to Winterhaven and the keep. Gresh and Loudarin meet and start drinking ale right away – Cenedra jumps right in. A dragonborn warlock sits in a corner – from their rarity in town, it is obvious he is the fourth member of the party. After some introductions, the time arrives to meet the me ssenger. Everyone but the dragonborn warlock head outside when they see the messenger coming down the road – however, the messenger is intercepted by a small group of guards led by a large sergeant and a slighter guard.
The slight guard attacks and kills the messenger before anyone can stop him, and then the rest of the guards attack Gresh and Cenedra (while bellowing ‘Bandits!’). Gresh and others notice that the “guards” armor doesn’t really fit well, so they wade right in. Gresh and the sergeant go toe-to-toe, while the others spread out. The party manages to take out all of the guards, but not before Gresh is first knocked down and then taken out! Luckily, Gresh recovers almost instantly. (Very lucky critical success on a saving throw!)
Just as the party takes out the sergeant, a whole phalanx of guards come charging towards the just-finished melee. Being surrounded by bodies of supposed guards, the party decides that discretion is the better part of valor and runs down an alleyway – but not before Loudarin searches the messenger to find the map and Cenedra recovers everything she threw. Gresh’s luck continues, and he leads everyone out of the city (with some assistance from others).
The party travels cross-country to confuse anyone following, and ends up in the Cloak Wood in a clearing. Just as they are setting up camp, a young white dragon flies down. Everyone besides Gresh scatters to the sides of the clearing, so the youngster hesitates (he doesn’t want to attack a half-dragon in armor, with unknown allies in the woods!) Gresh and the dragonborn warlock are exceptionally intimidating, especially after Cenedra and Loudarin notice he is being rather cautious.
Out of game notes
This was the first game I have run in many years, and only the second time I’ve played 4th edition. So, there are several learning points for me:
1. I forgot that everyone has the choice, when taking down an opponent, to declare their attack either kills or just knocks them out. 2. It was very interesting throwing together what I remembered from the demo D&D adventure I was in before as an 'impromptu' introduction. 3. The skill challenges are definitely interesting to throw into adventures. 4. If the party stays in it's current configuration, dragonbreath may need to be depended upon and extra healing procured. (The first combat was a level 1 encounter - which should have been moderately easy for the party. If Gresh hadn't been very lucky on his recovery roll, he may have easily died.) 5. When the party gets better at it's tactics, I will need to as well. For example, the grunts in the first combat should have swarmed Gresh, instead of doing smaller attacks against whomever was close.