Friday, 3 October 2014

Blackhawk Campaign + Gnomes

Tonight Dave lent me his DM Screen of Awesome.
Thursday night, game night. A report on last Thursday's session, which was a postponement of the usual Monday night session. The players were on fine form and a good time was had by all accounts.

"Taking stock of provisions and acquired wealth, we decided to head home rather than descend further into the dungeons beneath the ruined tower.

We climbed the stairs and entered the street, the morning light reflecting off the miasma about our knees.

Suddenly there were brown shapes moving betwixt our legs. A plague of giant rats! Spewing forth from the dungeon behind us, biting and gnawing at our rear flanks.

Weapons were drawn and no quarter was given. Blood, bone and fur went flying as the mêlée ensued. I saw Hiro hopping about with a rat attached to his crotch. Saunders knocked himself on the head but was soon standing again, a weird dream of fury amongst the mayhem. Tui missed a rat and sideswiped Bill, who grunted and kept swinging.

Despite these mishaps, our blades sang a song of misery. Before long the multitude became a pitiful few and fled before our might of arms.

Leaving that cursed city we strode into the dark forest. However, it had left it's mark on us. Some of our number were ill by the first night. A festering sickness came upon them. Vito and Nick were the worst afflicted.

The next day, if it can be called day in that black wood, others were soon stumbling on rock and root.

Ahead we saw a horrid thing." Red the Bard.

I will save you from more of my terrible prose. Suffice to say, the decision to leave the Tower of Xenopus and head for their stronghold was a cautious one by the players. Possibly born out of the desire to "level up" and identify magic items. They also had a kings ransom in coin and gems from the goblin's vault and those chests were getting heavy. 

All my wilderness encounter rolls are random. Type of creature, number appearing, who is surprised (or has the upperhand) and their initial reaction to the party are all determined by the dice. The rest is roleplayed from that starting point.

The group decided to avoid the 'horrid thing' (a Carrion Crawler feasting upon some poor unfortunate soul) and cut an alternate track down the mountain. It was the first of three encounters in the Dark Forest, as they had bought themselves one less encounter roll by bribing the DM with one of Dave's birthday beers. The Gnome Encounter proved to be the most amusing. Greg's character Arian spoke for the party and the parley resulted in some good humour and also provided them an opportunity to heal the characters stricken by disease. 

Dragon Warriors Gnomes.
The gnomes in Blackhawk are inspired by the dew-eyed, gnarled and earthy creatures from Dragon Warriors. They resemble the woods they tend. However, more than mere gardeners, I've turned them into deviant druids. The diseased characters entered a magical gnome tree and whatever happened in that weird place was not spoken of upon their return the next morning. Those characters 'Touched by Fae' were fully healed of The Black Death (and had a +1 boon to their Charisma score) but will probably never look a gnome in the eye again. 

Good reaction rolls are only part of the players' good fortune. An encounter with a party of seven dwarves(!) was also favourable. Captain Vollos and his heavily-armoured, bearded company were travelling up the mountain to hunt goblins in the city but would've happily relieved the party of their loot and their lives had things turned bad. While talking the Captain had a habit of patting Gloria, his incredibly efficient looking crossbow. Helgor (Dave's Dwarf) was quick to distract attention from the treasure-laden chests with tales of the goblins they fought and bested in the ruins. They parted as friends.

Reaching the sleepy town of Shallowater, they party made straight for their boats and were soon safe within the walls of their island covenant. While the spellcasters in the party spent most of their time (over the next few weeks) in the covenant library studying new spells, trips were made back across the lake by (Blair's character) Vito, a fence and gambler by trade. He sold (Natural 20) the crystal ball he stole from Lucerne the Alchemist and then doubled his money (25 on his D30 roll) in games of chance. A considerably wealthier Vito is now banned from gambling in the town tavern. He was happy to be rid of the crystal ball though. It had been making death threats while he tried to rest.

It was actually Blair's other character Saunders, the ex-dockhand and man about town, that stole the crystal ball, sold it and went gambling with the money in Shallowater. He would blame Vito at the drop of a hat though. I mean come on, he's too big to be a thief.

What adventure awaits them now? In the words of the immortal bard, the world is their oyster. They've made a few enemies however. Goblins are renowned for their tracking skill. Lucerne will no doubt employ them to track down his crystal ball. The party also did nothing to hide their newfound wealth from the dwellers of Shallowater...

They also have two shards of Wyrdstone, which some of you may know of from the World of Warhammer. Life in the covenant is about to get interesting.

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