The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 13: Renlia’s Plight

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
Campaign Analysis D&D Drinking Game
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I had every intention of approaching our heroes before their next adventure, but alas, they seem to create tales of heroism faster than I can record them. I spotted the party skipping town as I was putting the finishing touches on the previous chapter, but their group was a bit larger than usual.

I noticed that Renlia was traveling with the party, but unlike the last time she joined their ranks, Josh of the City Watch was nowhere in sight. Sensing this was not the time to announce my presence, I instead sought out Josh to see if he was privy to their plans.

Josh was much more welcoming this time around. We exchanged pleasantries, and after some small talk I asked about our heroes. Josh revealed that Renlia had approached him earlier, and that she had finally procured a Scroll of Resurrection. Before she could bring her husband back, she’d need to retrieve her husband’s body from The Blackheart Family Crypts.

Since this Halfling doesn’t do particularly well around dead bodies, I asked Josh if he could introduce me to Renlia upon her return. After an initial hesitation, he agreed to arrange a meeting. Confident Josh would keep his word, I bid him farewell and returned to The Blackmule.

The following day around sunset, the tavern doors opened and a pair of familiar faces joined me at my table. Renlia’s face showed a mix of anxiety and relief; something had happened at Blackheart Manor that still weighed on her mind.

Josh introduced me as an intrepid writer with a knack for framing events in a positive light. I offered my assistance in telling her tale, but warned her I would need every last detail to propagate the right story.

She accepted my offer.

Always There For A Friend

Campaign Log Day 6 – Part 1
19th day of Kythorn – Morning
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Commercial District – Blackheart Agriculture Warehouse

A few days after the party made their exchange with The Flock, Renlia sold off a number of her assets, amassing enough coin to purchase a Scroll of Resurrection. With scroll in hand, she proceeded directly to Blackheart Manor hoping to acquire the body of her late husband.

When she arrived at Blackheart Manor, she noticed the sky darkening ominously even though it was only the late afternoon. She knew the Blackhearts had dabbled in the darker range of the magical spectrum, but this type of magic seemed beyond their abilities. Furthermore, as she approached the manor, she noticed the ground becoming progressively more decrepit.

Sensing something awry, Renlia chose caution over urgency and turned back towards Endgar. She immediately looked for our heroes, but was unable to locate them, so instead sought assistance from Josh. Josh said he’d be unable to help directly, but offered to help find the party and send them her way. Eventually his message was relayed, and the day after clearing the Dig Site, they met Renlia at the Blackheart Agriculture warehouse.

DM Note: Transition from Session 7 to 8

Session 7 ended after the party finished clearing the Dig Site. Lilyth and Kiddo were not able to make session 8, so their characters participated in some between-session activities in Endgar while the rest of the party moved forward.

Having grown somewhat affectionate towards Renlia, the party listened to her plight and offered to help her retrieve her husband Sturgis’s body. After tying off a couple loose ends in town, Renlia met the party outside of the Endgar city gates and led them to the Manor.

Ajenar’s Hut

Blackheart Manor was located about a day’s trek to the west of Endgar. Their route took them along the southern outskirts near the edge of The Wyldwood. The first half of the trip was rather unremarkable, marked only by some smaller homes and villages. Approaching the more remote regions near the forest proved more interesting.

The party heard a ruckus at the top of a nearby hill and decided to investigate. They quietly crested the top of the hill and noticed a group of Ogres reaching into a hut. Confident the Ogres were up to no good, they skipped questions and unleashed a brutal salvo on the brutes.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Kroul(Clr-4), Lilyth(Drd-4), Meesh(Rgr-3), Ungoldor(Rog-4), Renlia(Brd-4)
Enemies: 3x Ogre
Base Difficulty Rating: Hard
Modified Difficulty Rating: Easy – Party can ambush at range, Ogres are melee-only.
Expected Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Loot: 8 PP, 13 GP, 26 SP

Tactical Considerations: The Ogres, unaware of the party, would cede the opportunity to strike first. As long as the party doesn’t get overly aggressive, they should be able to bring a few Ogres down before engaging in melee range.

How It Went Down: The party unleashed a very powerful ranged salvo on the first round. The whole party rolling with advantage combined with a critical hit from Ungoldor reduced an Ogre to single-digit HP during the surprise round. The Ogres immediately began dashing towards the party and closed most of the distance in the first round. Meesh sent Joey to intercept the Ogres, he drew their attention, and was quickly knocked out cold.

Behind The Screen: This was not intended to be a particularly difficult encounter. I actually generated this encounter on the fly to add some combat into what was a fairly role-play heavy session. If I could do it over I would have added a 4th Ogre to the encounter. With the surprise round, the party burned through the Ogres very quickly, resulting in a fairly low risk fight.

The dimwitted Ogres, caught off guard, suffered through a second ranged salvo before reaching the party. It wasn’t long before a neat victory was secured, and if not for Joey’s short-lived heroics (he was promptly knocked unconscious), it might have even been won without injury. Once the dust had settled, half of the party searched through the Ogres’ belongings while the rest tried to contain the fire now burning on the hut after being subjected to a stray Firebolt from Bellamy.

At first there seemed to be nothing but some loose coins, but Ungoldor’s thorough investigation revealed an amulet with magical properties.

Treasure Horde

Item: Homebrew – Burglar’s Pendant
Item Type: Necklace
Description: Grants the wearer +1 to Sleight of Hand checks and the ability to cast the Mending cantrip once per day.
Recipient: Ungoldor

After realizing the fire was beyond their control, our heroes turned their attention to evacuating any survivors. One of these fortunate individuals was a belligerent man who required some coaxing to leave his burning home; once outside, it was immediately clear he was extremely intoxicated. The party tried to speak with him, but before they could make any progress, he fell into an alcohol-induced slumber.

Since Joey needed to be nursed back to health, the party opted to take a short rest near the now-smoldering ruins of the hut. They fished through the old man’s belongings and found a coin purse and a journal. The latter named the drunken man Ajenar, and detailed his belief that Torin Highwind is a devil. Not every diary can be helpful, I suppose. Once Joey was back on his feet, the party took 30 silver pieces from Ajenar’s coin purse as payment for his rescue and continued on their journey.

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