Monday, 22 February 2016

Eyes & Teeth & Mouth & Hands - Session 02/21/2016

System: 5e
Akin, level 1 half-orc barbarian
Camo, level 1 human bard
Cecil, level 1 human fighter
Rolen, level 1 wood elf arcana cleric

First session. So the PCs started in Raveslan, a random village map I pulled off the internet and decided to start my campaign in.

Day 1

I decided not to put the PCs in the tavern straight away and let them wander for a bit. Camo cut a deal to perform at the Greenhill Inn for room and board; Crowley, the innkeep, was a bit green about the gills so she tried to get a wage out of him, but no dice. She did manage to cut a deal with the front of house for splitting drink profits (if someone tries to buy her a drink, she orders a hummingbird: they give her a glass of water, she splits profits 50/50). 

Rolen visited the Shrine of Elma very quickly. A shrine devoted to the Morrigan and a local petty god, The Divine Worm (NSFW). There was a crypt with shrines of infants, which a couple of people were praying in front of, but he didn't pay attention to them.

Akin headed to the bar and started drinking a local brew, the Black Plague Stout.

Cecil, who is a fourteen year old girl, went to the general store, doing a wheat delivery from her village which is 9 miles SE of Raveslan. The general store owner, Finn, is concerned: roads are dangerous, she came on her own, he's heard rumours of banditry down south. Cecil shrugs it off because she is a creepy child.

She wanders into a creepy house with a sign that read Trinkets & Curios. The house is dimly lit and smells strongly of patchouli, and is stocked with shelves and shelves of odd objects. She picks up a sphere carved of a dense bone, that looks like this: 

before an odd man with snake eyes, a forked tongue, and a limp politely asks her to leave.

Back at the Greenhill:

Abecan, the town reeve, notices Rolen who looks like the fightin' type and tells him about some of the problems going on in the area: bandits and orcs across the river, the wizard that used to help them, Wokrugh, has been missing for two months, children have been disappearing. Since the royal procession is due to pass through Raveslan in a couple of weeks as they move from the summer capital of Elswark up to the winter capital of Mydern. Rolen says he'll keep an eye out to help anyway he can.

Meanwhile some folks are eyeing Akin hostilely. Camo decides to play some music to lighten the mood and rolls double natural 20s (we play on Roll20 so it auto-rolls the second d20 for advantage/disadvantage). She attracts the attention of the entire village who comes into the village to listen. Crowley is ecstatic: the inn is usually empty. Camo makes a few silvers, and a few villagers thank her for taking her mind off their troubles (dead kids). Cecil approaches Camo and creeps her out. 

A man named Harlen gets quite drunk and tries to start an altercation with Akin, claiming that she's with the orcs across the river who he blames for the missing children. The situation is defused by Camo. The crowd disperses. Cecil is going to leave to walk home but the villagers are reluctant to let her leave at night time, so Crowley lets her stay in the night in the attic, where Camo is also meant to be sleeping.

Crowley starts tidying up and the rest of them get rooms for the night. Akin helps Crowley mop the floor because he is pitiful and she is experienced at swabbing from her time as a sailor. Akin asks Crowley if he knows anything about the missing children. He didn't, but did mention that Harlen saw weird tentacled cats in the hills to the north, but he might have just been drunk. 

Camo decides not to sleep in the same room as the creepy kid and sleeps in a different, empty room. No one else is staying at the inn.

Rolen detects magic as a nightly ritual and notices a blue light emanating from between the floorboards, identified as conjuration magic.

That night they all have a nightmare. They're in the inn, on what looks like the second floor. They all see each other, can all interact with each other, etc. Cecil has a sickle, which she starts talking to, calling it Mr. Sickly and asking it what to do.

They're surrounded by shadowy figures who moan "We've been here for years!" On the floor are empty flagon,  dresses,  evidence of a debauched night. The windows open out into a thick void of utter darkness, full of milky, slurping tendrils that caress. Camo sticks her hand out the window. The darkness has the consistency and texture of jello.

The place where the stairs should be also opens into a hole of blackness. Rolen decides to go down it and would've been pulled down into it for eternity had not Akin and Camo been holding onto him and rolled high on their Athletics checks. Rolen is pulled up gasping and sputtering, hell jello  (hello? Is it me you're looking for?) oozing out of his orifices.

Day 2

They wake up and go downstairs to talk to Crowley, sans Cecil who stays in her room. Crowley looks sleep deprived, eating porridge and having a double of whisky to assuage his nerves. When Rolen confronts Crowley about it he breaks down and tells them: he bought the inn two years ago for cheap, not realising it was, essentially haunted. Five years ago, some wizards had a debauched party and ended up teleporting the second floor of the inn into another dimension. People who sleep here are plagued with nightmares. A few fell down the hell jello hole. No one sleeps here anymore, business is bad. 

Camo urges Crowly to rebrand the inn as a haunted house experience. Initial name suggestions of the "The Spookyhill Inn" are gently dissuaded.

Over porridge Akin, Camo, and Rolen talk about the creepy kid with the sickle and what to do with her. Camo brings her some porridge, Rolen tries to detect magic. Eventually they all go out to find supplies around town. Camo buys crossbow bolts from the smithy because she had a crossbow but no bolts from her starting equipment. The blacksmith asks Cecil why the iron ore shipments from Avol have been so slow. Cecil shrugs it off.

They go to the general store where they see Finn's surly son, Huw, who announces that he's leaving for the Shrine of Elma. Finn asks Cecil why she hasn't gone home and asks the rest of them to please take her back to Avol. They agree to do so, despite Cecil's protests.

On the road to Avol, they all visit the Trinkets & Curios house to try and find some creepy stuff for Crowly. Cecil stays outside. The man from before introduces himself as Grime. Rolen tries to cast Detect Magic but Grime points out the No Magic sign. He leaves the store (notices Cecil has left) and casts it and tries to walk back in but there's a barrier. Akin and Camo look around for some creepy stuff. There's a mummified dwarf (?) heart. They decide on a skull. Grime directs them to the shelf of skulls, including but not limited to: human, dwarf, halfling, gnome, ettercap, troll, and elemental skulls (a puddle, a coal, a rock, and a jar labelled "air elemental skull"). Grime's not sure if they're cursed or not. They decide on a standard human skull, and Grime throws in a free little keychain/earring skull that goes clicky-clack when it moves.

Because Cecil disappeared, missing kids came up. Grime insists it isn't him, and blames Huw, citing some creepy masks Huw brought back from the north when he left town for a few years (after his child died) as evidence.

Cecil's back outside now and they head towards Avol. The clicky-clack skull turns out to be ambiguously Irish and very unambiguously foul-mouthed. It insults people for 5 minutes a day and then falls asleep. Akin wears it as an earring and it loves her. On the road to Avol, they pass Abecan's house and his mother is on the porch. She tries to convince Camo to marry her son, but after a swearing fit from Akin's skull necklace she passes out and the party continues on their way.

They encounter some barrows by the river but otherwise their journey is uneventful. The road to town is blocked by three bandits. They let Cecil past but insist the the other three pay their toll. Bill rolls a d12 twice to set the price, rolls 5 twice, gets angry, and sets the price at 10 gold. Some back and forth occurs and the three bandits end up being of the "lovable rogue" variety rather than the murdering douchebag variety. Apparently Einstein is one of the bandits and they all know the theory of relativity.

Akin manages to persuade one of the bandits, Tristram, to let them pass (they go into a shack and do it for like 2 minutes). 

The town is infested with bandits. They see two houses have burned down. One of them belonged to a family, the Ovrens, that refused to pay the bandits and it was burned down with them inside. They go to Cecil's house and her brother, Tov, tells them the situation: bandits have held the town for 3 months, bribed guards, etc. They've closed off the town mines for some reason and the town is slowly dying. Tov asks if the PCs could take care of Cecil for a while, since it isn't safe in Avol.

The PCs have no idea what to do now so they just go to sleep instead.

Day 3

They go to check out the local inn, The Gargoyle's Nook, where Cecil's older brother Bennet works. It's full of bandits. Camo tries to talk to one, an irritable man by the name of Harvald, but is promptly ejected from the bar. The PCs are left with no idea of what to do, but a vague desire to explore the mines.

Overall, very fun and solid start to the campaign. I have a really good roster of players. Start was a bit slow, and a couple of the players struggled with the sandbox ("I thought Avol was where we were supposed to go! It seemed level-appropriate!") but no more bumps than normal for the first session. Excited for next Sunday.

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