Breaking the Darkness (Herschel's Campaign)

To New Haven
First town after the start

After their victory at the boathouse, the group slept in the boathouse and set out in the morning, en route to New Haven’s boathouse, and hopefully answers as to the lack of communication between New Silverthorne and New Haven.

The trip took most of the day, listing lazily along the river and pulled gently by the current. Rarely did the group have to bring out the oars and navigate through rough waters, as summer came with little rain. Around midafternoon, New Haven was in sight — as well as one of the dreaded Herschel’s Pawns.

With the group likely spotted by draconians, and the squalls in the water forcing them ever closer to the New Haven boathouse, the group steeled themselves for an encounter. The boat pulled into the boathouse, where it was stopped by a surly middle-aged man. After a brief exchange, Malcolm drew his mace and kindly but forcefully told the man to run.

Not more than a minute later, the boathouse door was being pounded on, with the clicking and hissing voices of Draconian Baaz coming from behind it. Malcolm, now fully prepared for combat, opened the door, grabbed the first draconian by the throat, and pulled him into the boathouse.

Combat quickly ensued, and the draconians were quickly cut down by the group. Several attempted escape, but arrows and Eldritch Blasts from the party sent them careening out of the sky. With precious time gained, Malcolm told the group to make way into town and blend with the populace, while he stayed at the boathouse to deal with the corpses and hide out.

Knowing that Malcolm’s armor would be a dead giveaway that they were not from around town and were allied with the Gods of Light, the group agreed, and entered town hesitantly. They quickly found the inn, and settled in with a plate of spiced potatoes and ale. Wildclaw, wishing to test her luck at a game of chance, challenges the two Draconians at the bar to a game of chance, betting the little gold she has against the Draconians’.

Quickly the situation escalates when Wildclaw loses twice in a row, and, in a bout of emotion, wagers her suit of scale mail armor against the entire pot. She enlists the help of Sharamile to assist with her magic, and fails once again. Knowing she has little else to bet, and not willing to part with her armor, Wildclaw refuses to honor the deal, and the Draconians start a fight to get what is theirs.

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The Adventure Begins
Starting out

The adventure began much like any other.

A small group of adventurerers, consisting of two Qualinesti elves, a sorceress named Sharamile Faralice, and a cleric named Aria Ennala; a single Kargonesti Dragon Shaman named Wildclaw; and a Silvanesti outcast Warlock named Rhyslon Farendeel, set out from their home of New Silverthorne at the behest of the town council. Their mission: to re-establish communication with the town of New Haven and hopefully bring back a steady supply of iron and other raw materials that the town could not produce itself.

Each member of the party set up, expecting to meet resistance both along the way and possibly while in New Haven itself. The group, having known each other and dealt with the Draconian raids many times, knew the capabilities of the monsters and knew that, even together, a massed group of them could easily kill them all.

Two options presented themselves early: which path to take.
The western path was well-worn and led a winding path through the forest, but was the most direct route to New Haven aside from walking straight through the untamed forest.
The southern path led to a small boathouse — which housed several boats used for travelling downriver without being seen, such as when the local Herschel’s Pawn was overhead and they did not want to be detected.

The group chose the southern path, and quickly ran into the local legend — a Solamnic Knight in ancient, rusted plate mail by the name of Malcolm. Malcolm had been a hero to the people for a long time, saving civilians from orcs, goblins, wildlife, and even Draconians for several months prior to the silence of New Haven. Malcolm had heard from the hunters that there was an expeditionary force being sent out to inquire about New Haven, and had decided to join them, for good or for ill.

With the new member in to, the party continued their travels to the south, fighting several monsters along the way — most notable of which was a small group of skeleton warriors, who looked recently reanimated. The group dispatched them and continued on with little trouble, but the question of how these monsters had gotten so close to the town still burned with them.

After a full day of walking, the group came upon the boathouse. Quickly realizing that something was wrong, the group sought cover from the trees, and spied a single lookout atop the boathouse itself, looking away from them and toward a more open path. An orc.

Quickly devising a plan, Rhyslon fired his Eldritch Blast toward the creature, scaring and killing it, but not before it raised the alarm and set several other orcs, holed up in the boathouse, to the side where the group stood. A hail of crossbow bolts met Rhys’ Blast, and the group found themselves pinned down by crossbow fire. The hail of bolts quickly brought Sharamile and Rhys down, leaving only Aria, Malcolm, and Wildclaw standing. Wildclaw brought the two into stable condition, while Aria provided magical healing to them as well.

Malcolm, on the other hand, decked out in full plate mail armor and using a large shield, lit one of his pints of oil alight and charged the boathouse, which was rotten and old. The bolts bounced off of his shield, glanced off of his armor, and failed to penetrate his defenses. As he charged, Malcolm spied six orcs in total, as well as a larger, more hulking one above them. He threw the oil into the wall, and crashed through it with the combined force of his run and weight, bringing several of the orcs with him into the blazing inferno. The boathouse caught fire quickly, and the hole in the wall and momentary distraction proved enough for Wildclaw to land several arrows on her assailants, and to lead a second charge with the remainder of the group towards the boathouse.

By the time they arrived, however, only the large orc remained, locked in combat with Malcolm. The two battled back and forth for a time, until Malcolm’s armor proved too much and the orc was taken down by several arrows and a well-placed smash from Malcolm’s mace. The defenders of the boathouse were no more.

The group also found a ring in the water underneath the boathouse, which turned out to increase one’s capability of swimming by 1.

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