D&D Encounters: The B Team

It Begins!

So we’re set to start tomorrow night at 6:30 and I for one, am very excited to get this next chapter rolling.

This season is set following some previously publish material that we may not have all run, but I don’t think that should make any difference. All just backdrop that will come together regardless.

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... or does it?

A wave of necrotic plague has ravaged Shawn’s mortal body, leaving him horribly disfigured. In his deep and crippling shame, he was unable to lead us to Daggerford last night, and as such, postponed the first of this groups great conquests.

May luck go out to the plastic surgeon tasked with the reconstruction of his hideous face. What a mess.

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Yes it does!
Missive from the one true GM

Hello gents! Game’s on for this Wednesday night at 6:30. Location’s changed, this’ll be our spot for the foreseeable future. We’re going to be in Keirstead Hall in one of the labs. As you drive up from the bottom of the hill, turn right onto Dineen drive and head most of the way up towards STU. There’s a driveway on the left that belongs to Keirstead Hall, park there (I’ll meet you at the door to make sure you find the place). Here’s a map, in case you’re not familiar with UNB campus:

Behold, Mappiness!

And if you’re familiar with the campus, ignore all of that. You already know where you’re going.

Cheers guys, see you tomorrow night!

Shawn


Please note, this post was edited from the original for content and accuracy.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 1

I don’t know why I left Baldur’s Gate.

As an Officer, I shouldn’t let Darryl’s piety or zeal affect my decisions, but damned if things weren’t quiet for the first time since the mountain came down and I was bored.

We took to the road at first light, and the rabble that were hired to see the caravan to Daggerford were puffing up their chests and boasting of their conquests all morning. None of them have so much as seen a skirmish, mind you, but each, by his tale had killed at least a half dozen goblins with his own hand. AT LEAST! Gods forbid they see real combat.

The day was mild and bright, but I couldn’t help but think of Milda. She’s been a good woman to me, mending my clothes and keeping me fed when I need it, which is no simple task. Sometimes I think the soldier’s life makes a man need a woman more than any other, in the kitchen and in the bed, but I’ve promised myself I will keep true to her on this foray. She deserves that at least, I think. Especially with a husband like that oaf, Nils.

We could see the work of the creatures miles outside of our destination. Burned out farms, spoiled crops, rotting corpses. By the time we made camp for the night, Darryl and I decided it was time to see if we could figure out which way the beast were coming from. That much could help us in the days to come. The farm we stopped at was like the others, fences broken, house invaded, nothing left but the foot of a wolf that those filthy gnolls use. We spent some time looking for tracks and found a number of them heading off to the north. Night had begun to fall and I thought to set out the next morning, but Darryl had a bee up his arse to follow them immediately. Something about protecting innocents. If I’m ever to make an officer out of him I’ll have to let him make his own mistakes, I thought, so into the ink black night we marched.

The hours passed and he was convinced we were drawing closer to the animals. I just hoped the soreness from marching all night through rough terrain and the tiredness would teach him some patience, but, gods damn him, weren’t there a pile of gnolls playing around a campfire.

Poor Darryl couldn’t see his glowing sword in front of his face with those weak human eyes of his, so I took to dividing the gnolls into their various guts. Not wanting to be left out, Darryl threw himself at the mongrels, keeping them occupied while I put them down. Turns out these were the ones who had been raiding the surrounding lands and they had collected a fair stockpile and a wagon. They had a good fire burning, so I took first watch and we stayed the night. As I slept and Darryl watched, a wolf pack must have caught the disgusting scent of the leftovers of the gnolls, because I was awoken to Darryl trying his best to hold his own against a handful of the ravenous beasts. I dispatched them for him.

At some point he drew some kind of symbol in the dirt and said his god would like it.

We dragged the wagon out of the woods at daybreak and hauled it all the way to Daggerford, having missed the caravan. By the time we got there a crowd of the downtrodden had gathered around the city wall and the guard seemed to be having trouble keeping them at bay. I spoke briefly with the commanding officer, letting her know we were tired and had come to help, and that we would give over the supplies we’d confiscated for the guard to give to the refugees. Officers often just seem to understand each other sometimes. She let me in while Darryl stayed outside to tend to the unfortunates as well as he could.

I write this from the barracks before taking my much deserved, gods be damned, sleep!

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Prologue: The Meeting of Thu'Gog and Darryl Shieldheart

This story begins, as so many do, with orcs and humans trying to kill one another. Perhaps there was a Blizzard.

Thu’gog, a half-orc, was much disrespected and looked down upon by his fellow orcs for his human blood. To them, he appeared fey and intellectual even while he was kicking their faces in for mocking him. Despairing of ever belonging while simultaneously wishing he could leave his people, Thu’gog found some solace (as well as the respect of his people) by joining the ranks of the Warlord’s Fist, rising to a middle rank where his intelligence and (relatively) quick wits served him well.

A raiding force of the Warlord’s Fist, Thu’gog among them, ventured forth from the Stonelands with the lofty goal of taking Dragonspear Castle. Thu’gog’s objections to the attack fell upon deaf ears. As it happened, a group of warriors and paladins dedicated to Ilmater, The Crying God, had ventured forth from Baldur’s Gate with the mission of repairing a nearby temple of Ilmater that had fallen into ruin after the evil that issued forth from Dragonspear. The two forces clashed on an open field on a cold spring morning, the battle roar of orcs silencing the birdsong of the temple’s previous inhabitants.

The raiding party of orcs was caught by surprise to find no mere craftsmen and labourers, but armed and armoured warriors of the Companions of the Noble Heart supported by the Order of the Golden Cup. With spell and sword the humans threw back the orc advance, but surprise and the might of orcish numbers began to turn the tide in favour of Thu’gog’s forces.

A human paladin of the Order of the Golden Cup named Darryl Shieldheart caught sight of the half-orc war leader, and vowed to bring him down. Sword and shield met orcish halberd on the battlefield as the two fought, men and orcs dying around them. No one knows whose strength would have carried the day; men and orcs weren’t the only ones at war that day.

Unbeknownst to either group, the Red Wizards of Thay were at work deep in the bowels of Dragonspear Castle. In its deepest levels there lay, undisturbed for centuries, a ruined temple to the Princes of Elemental Evil that the Red Wizards hoped to revive, reopening its summoning portal and allowing the devils of Hell to cross over into the world once more. Even as Thu’gog’s warriors and Darryl’s holy brothers faced off in the great castle’s shadow, a band of adventurers fought valiantly to prevent the Red Wizards from bringing their fiendish plan to fruition.

The Red Wizards opened the summoning portal, allowing Hell’s minions to pour forth. An act of extraordinary heroism and sacrifice closed it, but not before a barbed devil, a horrifying hamatula, escaped the castle to wreak devastation upon the countryside. Thu’gog and Darryl’s pitched battle seemed an excellent place to start.

With surprise on its side, the barbed devil waded through the humans and orcs; fear spells and fire cut a swath through both sides. Spying Thu’gog and Darryl locked in mortal combat, the devil saw an opportunity to slay a devotee of hated Ilmater, and its claws ignited with hellish flames as it took aim to strike Darryl down.

With a roar, Thu’gog shoved the paladin aside and raised his halberd to deflect the devil’s strike, cleaving its hands from its body, the beast roaring in pain. Darryl recovered his feet quickly, and with a prayer for Ilmater’s guidance his sword struck true in the devil’s breast. The two foes set to work on the denizen of Hell, their battle forgotten. When it finally lay dead, an awful silence descended on the two broken only by their laboured breathing. They locked eyes, but neither lifted their weapons.

Darryl defused the tension by sheathing his sword in the ground before him and offering his hand, outstretched. After a bare second of hesitation, Thu’gog took it and shook it firmly, calling for his raiders to disengage and retreat back to the Stonelands. The battle with the devil had opened his eyes to what real war, real conquest was; he would never see home again.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 2

Daggerford is just another provincial cauldron filled with small men, old men and fools.

After a tour of the town by a halfling who made up for his height in sheer wordliness, we spend an evening at the local watering hole, a bar named after the goddess of Luck. Everyone had their problems that they expected the halfling to solve, but Darryl and I decided that our best interests were served trying to find Sir Istaval, the man who’s call we’d answered to begin with. It became clear that he was not in the town, and assumed lost in the north eastern hills, near a dwarven stronghold called Firehammer hold. Along the same roads an elven manor also stands which has been troubled by orcs, and I felt that was our best path. Solving the orc issue would only make the town safer by association, and it would bring us closer to the man who’d summoned us.

We decided to leave before first light so we might travel with a group of dwarves also looking to aid Istaval, or discover his fate.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 3

Of course we’d have trouble. A town this small had to have an idiot at the helm, and an idiot at the helm means idiots throughout the command structure.

Leaving before the sun came up was a big deal for Sir Dungforbrains. Duke Stonehead had decided that no one, especially those trying to keep the peace and help the town, should be able to leave before sunrise. That could only lead to anarchy. We were forced to stand and wait, because gods forbid we got to the Manor in a timely fashion.

Once the man in charge had let enough folks he deemed fit into the town we were let out and headed down the road.

Now, I can’t say what it is about the Paladin that attracts wildlife, but he’s like a magnet for creatures of all sorts, and before we’d covered half the distance to our destination he’d found some frogs. Not little peeping buggers, no. Frogs the size of small ponies. And they tried to stuff me in their mouths. I was not impressed and after finding a hidden trove of treasure nearby, I decided we should camp for the night.

Gods know what we’ll be ambushed by tonight.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 4

Gnolls. You know, I think I’m growing to hate Gnolls more and more. Looks like they are in league with some kind of skeletal nonsense, so the manor was unapproachable. We sent some Gnolls to whatever gods they have though, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Now to see if the idiots at the gate will let us in.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 5

Back to town, looks like no one is overly concerned about the Estate, so Darryl and I decided to liquidate some of the treasure we found and decide what to do next.

Turns out the lad who almost shot Darryl has hung himself, a great shock to everyone. Seems he thought he was hearing voices. Very strange.

I spoke with the priestess of Shantia. I was told she would be the authority on magic in town, but she wasn’t able to offer much in the way of help. She did agree to bless my weapon, however. Darryl and I decided that our best plan would be to investigate the problems in town and the clear presence of someone magically influencing people. The priestess agreed to help, but needed a relic from Jolkun, so we will set out tomorrow.

As long as we avoid gnolls and frogs I will be happy.

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Thu'Gog's Log - Day 6-8

Rivers are boring.

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