Campaign: On the Death of Dragon 12/05/22

Game Master:
Dungeons & Dragons 5e Homebrew Campaign
12th May 2022
Characters:Val – Elf Monk
Yolanda – Elf Ranger
Caradoc – Human Druid
Benn – Human Wizard
Pooka – Halfling Rogue
Rorin – Dwarf Cleric

It is Highharvesttide once more.  Six years have passed since our heroes proved themselves by rescuing Farmer Almenna’s family from raiding goblins.  But all is not well in Hock.

Over those six years, the winters have been getting steadily harsher; the summers, poorer; the crops, less reliable.  At the close of this year’s harvest, it is apparent to all in the Village that this year, there will be only just enough to go around, and all will have to go without at some point over the winter.  There is no usual feast-day celebration.  Instead, the council has called a village meeting, to decide what must be done.

The meeting is led by the Village Leader, Heini, and other village elders including Joya and Stor.  The consensus is that a small group of villagers need to go and look for help, though from where is far from clear.  Joya suggests seeking out the druid, Shauna, or the ranger, Serelis.

There are five volunteers: Val, Yolanda, Caradoc, Benn and Pooka.  

During the meeting Finn, the centenarian village idiot, interrupts with his cackling laughter to tell everyone that the only solution is to find the Roaming Daughter – the bogeyman according to village legend.  When no-one takes him seriously, Finn leaves.

When the meeting ends, the party go and talk to Finn at his hut, which sits astride a running stream.  He tells them that he can lead them to the Roaming Daughter – not that he has met her – by taking them on a two-day journey up to the saddle of a pass through the mountains.  From there, a further three days’ travel will take them to Her; or rather, to somewhere where She will be in one of four places (or perhaps four ideas – the crazy idiot makes so little sense).  Finn mentions a few times that it’s what his wife would do; strange, because so far as the party know he has never been married.  He also shows them a giant acorn which he says the Roaming Daughter would want.  Yolanda notices that hanging in his hut is a very new, sopping wet shoe.  She recognises it as his, but why is it new?

Val argues that they party should follow Finn to the Roaming Daughter, on the basis that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  While the others think there is something to Finn’s mad ramblings, they are less sure that it is the something they need to help the village; and so the party decide to first go to the druid, a journey which will take 2 days, on the basis that they can follow Finn’s lead afterwards.  They plan to tell Finn the next morning that they will be back in 5 days, but at dawn he is nowhere to be found, although his bed has been slept in, and the shoe is gone.  They leave him a note.

The journey to the druid goes uneventfully for the first day.  The party find a camping spot with Yolanda’s help, and share the watch.  Benn summons a familiar, a fey owl named Bill.  Yolanda hears some wolves, but they move on; otherwise, the night is uneventful.

In the morning, while Val meditates, Yolanda shoots a squirrel, which Pooka decides to roast (extra flambéed courtesy of the druid).  The party have some more of Caradoc’s Goodberries for breakfast.  As they prepare breakfast, they hear a strange rustling in the distance approaching them; it turns out to be a quartet of halfling-sized ants.  Caradoc casts Animal Friendship on the first of them, whom he decides to call Larry.  A few antenna exchanges tell Caradoc that Larry and his troupe area ‘going home’.  The rest of the ants move on; Caradoc tells Larry to follow and decides to follow the group to find out more about these mysterious giant ants.  The rest of the party follow, Yolanda and Pooka a little behind owing to the need to clear up the camp, and Pooka’s shorter legs.

Caradoc, Val and Benn follow group follow the ants to the edge of a large sandy crater. The ants deliberate and head in, only to be met by a giant ant-lion, which to the party’s horror proceeds to devour the smaller ants.  Despite some conflicted loyalties – should Caradoc let the balance of nature takes its course? – the group attack the predator.  Caradoc inflicts a mighty blow before being knocked unconscious; Yolanda and Pooka the (Ant-)Lionslayer ride in to save the day, the halfling taking down the beast with a well-placed dagger.  A healing potion revives Caradoc, and the party head back to camp to reflect on their encounter.

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