Campaign: Dominion of Adventure 24/03/22

Game Master:
Dungeons & Dragons 5e Homebrew Campaign
24th March 2022
Characters:Fayd – Half Orc Barbarian
Gunnar Orcsson – Half Orc Barbarian
Jaraziah Grimm – Human Cleric
Iivan – Drow Rogue
Balasar Aurumingis – Dragonborn Sorcerer
Luther – Half Elf Bard
Navarro – Half Elf Paladin
Tad Hemlock – Halfling Bard (Retired)
Tianzi – Half Elf Sorlock (Retired)

After a fitful night replete with disturbing dreams of betrayal and pursuit Gunnar woke with the imagined echoes of harsh goblin laughter ringing in his ears….and the all too real smell of goblin piss still lingering on the young Half Orc slowly shrugging off his own nightmares a few feet away. Fayd seemed calmer, less feral in the morning light and his strange tattoo had faded back to its usual dull reddish hue. Aside from Tianzi and the two brutish half orcs the rest of the party had wisely remained in Shepherd’s Rest the previous night and hadn’t witnessed the strange combat between Fayd and…Gunner wasn’t entirely sure he knew even now, but from what Fayd had said the strange apparition was one aspect of the local Orc’s God. He shrugged to himself, whatever it was he’d agreed to help the younger orc face it and overcome it, he was content to leave religious musings to the likes of Grimm and Navarro and rely on cold steel – it usually worked.

As the party began to break camp Grimm spotted a Half Elf watching Navarro donning his gear and accosted the interloper. Worried this dapper Elf might be working with Kagey and Peggz Gunnar hefted the axe Fayd had gifted him and strode after the Cleric, Fayd loping after them, and surrepticiously trying to wipe his foot clean of the reek of piss. To Gunnar’s relief the newcomer appeared to be a bard of some repute, at least according to Grimm. The Half Elf introduced himself as Luther and he and Grimm quickly struck up a rapport of some kind, with the idealistic cleric proudly showing the two orcs a scrap of parchment on which Luther had scrawled “Sook Yoremum”. As far as Gunnar could make out the collection of these strange incantations was used in the worship of a Bardic god named Celebrity, humans are strange creatures. While Iivan, Balasar and Tianzi remained with the cart Luther questioned the Paladin about his order, and in turn the prideful warrior demanded his own answers to help further his own search for his mentor Don Camilo di Fiore. However, Gunnar was distracted from this exchange by Fayd’s questioning on the nature of Bards, thankfully Grimm was able to answer most of the young Orc’s questions without calling on Gunnar…who was beginning to realise that their former companion Tad was not representative of either Halflings or Bards. Eventually it was decided that Luther would travel with the party to Yukan so he could continue his search for his brother, a former member of Navarro’s order who had been kidnapped by assailants displaying the heraldry of the Everwatch Knights. It took a little more explanation from Grimm before Fayd realised that Luther was not to be viewed as self propelled trail rations, but the party wasn’t short of food so the Bard was probably safe enough for now.

After breaking their fast and helping Fayd clean himself off the party set out from Shepherd’s Rest, they made good progress despite Thunder’s plodding pace – Luthers acerbic complaints at the prevailing smell of shit shrouding their cart providing the group with some welcome distraction from the road. Gunnar and Grimm spent some time discussing Gunnar’s mysterious map, the knowledgable cleric identifying the strange symbols as belonging to the long passed Nearith Empire. The road carried more traders than on their previous travels, and there was a much stronger Legion presence patrolling the road. Still brooding over his encounter with his old crewmates and the risk their escape represented, Gunnar asked among the Legionairres if they’d spotted two goblins on the road. Drawing the attention of an officer it slowly began to dawn on Gunnar that it might have been best to avoid unnecessary entanglements with the local law enforcers while carrying a severed head and torn goblin ear in your bagagge. So rather than report the attempted theft and draw further unwelcome questions, he claimed to be trying to return something of value to them and to direct them to Yukan should the Legion encounter them, reasoning they were already on his trail already a meeting near potential allies like Tad or Hammerbeard might be safer than running into the Redcrow in the wilds.

After an otherwise uneventful days travel across the great plains Navarro scouted out a good place to camp. Fayd immediately loped off to hunt for more rabbits while Tianzi dug himself his customary hole and drew up his golden blanket, his snores quickly joining Balasar’s while Iivan faded into the shadows and sequestered himself somewhere away from the main group. As the night passed and the watches changed there was no immediate threats, though Grimm Gunnar and Luther all heard the distant howling of wolves out in the long grass but nothing approached the camp and Fayd failed to return with or without any rabbits. By morning Fayd had still not returned, while by now his inept hunting forays were nothing new to the group, he usually managed to avoid getting himself lost all night so a search was eventually mounted. Navarro and Luther making enough noise with their instruments that the disoriented young Orc was able to find his way back to the party. He appeared drained and was less talkative than usual, the sharper eyed might have seen a quick look pass between him and Gunnar. Once Iivan slunk back to the main camp from wherever he’d holed up for the night they set off again. They saw few other travellers that day but the weather was good and after many hours they arrived at a burnt farmstead – this being the site of an ambush by the Stag Lord’s forces which they had tried to prevent when they passed this way previously. Grimm hauled on Thunder’s reigns and brought their procession to a halt as something on one of the roadside milestones had caught his eye. While they waited for the cleric Fayd spotted fresh cart tracks cutting across the road and realised that the wagons they had tried to save before had been moved, and moved recently. Keen to avenge the party’s previous defeat, Navarro and Fayd immediately began to make plans to follow these tracks, Grimm was quickly persuaded to join them, and while Luther was reluctant to leave to comparative safety of the group – explaining that he wasn’t much of a fighter he agreed to tag along on the understanding that it was a scouting party and if it looked like things might turn violent they’d back off. Seeing Fayd’s determination Gunnar agreed to go, though Navarro’s mention of gold might well have been a stronger draw to the big Orc, the rest of the group decided to wait by the cart under Betsy’s watchful eye.

Luther, Grimm and the two Orcs took the lead, the two hulking orcs moving alongside the tracks with a surprising lack of noise, Luther’s Elven heritage helping him flit through the undergrowth silently and even the heavily armoured Grimm managed to keep his usual clanking to a minimum. Rounding a corner in the forest trail the scouts saw the two stolen wagons being unloaded by a group of ragged looking humans by a small lake. Recognising one of the Stag Lord’s henchmen from the previous fight Fayd and Grimm realised they were heavily outnumbered and overmatched and argued that they should return to the camp and get reinforcements. Gunnar and Luther saw the sense in this and the four were begining to withdraw when, horn blasting a challenge Navarro thundered past spurring his horse to a wild gallop as he charged the nearest guards. The party’s collective muttered “what the fuck…” echoed by the two platemail clad soldiers blocking the road as they span to meet Navarro, hauling greatswords from their backs and bracing to meet the Paladin’s charge. Seeing their chance of surprise gone Luther stepped aside and muttered arcane words under his breath, vanishing in a shimmering haze before his astounded companions, in his place now stood what seemed to be a human woman “If we’re about to fight, I don’t want them seeing my face do I?” snapped Luther to his confused audience before hurling a stream of abuse toward the closest fighters. Ignoring Luther’s furious demands to stick to the plan and escape into the undergrowth Grimm strode forward into the fray chanting a litany of his faith, extending a glowing hand and evisirating the first of the enemy to charge him in a spray of blood and organs that seemed to shock himself almost as much as his foes. The cleric’s look of surprise turning to pain as his body was slammed with more magical projectiles. Fayd rushed forward, his claws extending as he ran into slashing talons as he piled into the group to Navarro’s left. Advancing toward the melee Gunnar looked across the clearing at the second wave of opponents and unslung his heavy crossbow to try to bring down a robed figure striding towards them, grunting something about the ones in the dresses being the ones to worry about before being flung backwards by an answering volley of magical blasts.

Grimm was hard pressed and taking wounds from all sides, but the cleric’s mace could still be seen swinging down in murderous arcs above the melee, Luther, still in his femine disguise slunk forward and cast a spell, giving Grimm a fresh burst of energy. A muscular heavily armoured figure moved through the battling press of bodies toward Navarro, pausing to offer him a mocking salute before unleashing a frenzied attack, energy crackling from it’s blade as it struck at the beleagueared Paladin and pitching him from his horse into the mud. The panicked beast reared, eyes rolling before bolting for the woods in terror. hauling himself to his feet Navarro spat a wad of blood and dirt from his mouth “I liked that horse” he grunted before lunging forward with his spear. His spear tip struck his opponent’s chest plate, punching through the steel like paper before the paladin unleashed a surge of divine power to course through his impaled assailant, a wailing scream erupting from them as energy crackled across their body as Navarro shifted his grip and lifted the spear to they slowly slid down the haft, flesh charring beneath the armour. In the stunned silence that followed, Navarro pulled out his warhorn and, making pointed eye contact with Luther, blew a long blast to celebrate his victory. Gunnar had abandoned his bow and now raging was hacking his way toward the two holy warriors using Fayd’s axe, the magic weapon a blur in his hand. A flicker of movement and a bone chilling howl followed by panicked screaming to his left told Gunnar that Fayd had given himself up to his inner beast again, the shocked cries of horror from both friend and foe assuring him that he had nothing to fear from that quarter. With Fayd’s now bloodied lupine snout dripping crimon gore, the huge wolf seem torn between chasing down new prey and feasting on the steaming entrails of one of the heavily armoured warrior twitching on the floor before him. Seeing this yellow fanged monster return to his feast the Stag Lord’s remaining men began to give ground, quickly turning to a scrambling retreat as Grimm and Navarro felled another of their number. “Stop them!” commanded Navarro, Luther began casting a spell as Gunnar rushed to cut off their retreat. The two terrified men split up, fighting off the combined powers of Luther and Navarro’s spells but unable to avoid the flat of Gunnar’s axe blade which felled one of them with a sickening dull thud, the last survivor managed to escape into the wilderness, chased off by a volley of arrows.

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