Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread! Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into. Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.
Let’s continue our tour through the subclasses with another new one from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the Oath of the Watchers Paladin. Taking this oath means that your Paladin has vowed to protect the mortal realms from threats of extraplanar nature, whether from fiends, aberrations, fey, elementals, or even celestials. To the end, the tenets of the oath are as follows:
- Vigilance. The threats you face are cunning, powerful, and subversive. Be ever alert for their corruption.
- Loyalty. Never accept gifts or favors from fiends or those who truck with them. Stay true to your order, your comrades, and your duty.
- Discipline. You are the shield against the endless terrors that lie beyond the stars. Your blade must be forever sharp and your mind keen to survive what lies beyond.
Like all Paladins, your oath also grants you access to certain Oath Spells when you reach specific levels. For the Watchers, those spells include Alarm and Detect Magic at 3rd level, Moonbeam and See Invisibility at 5th, Counterspell and Nondetection at 9th, Aura of Purity and Banishment at 13th, and Hold Monster and Scrying at 17th level. Once you reach the associated level, those spells are automatically prepared each day and don’t count towards the maximum number of spells you can prepare.
Also at 3rd level, you can access to two Channel Divinity features. You can Channel Divinity once per short or long rest, choosing from one of these two options. With the Watcher’s Will feature, you can use your action to grant yourself and a number of your allies equal to you CHA modifier advantage on INT, WIS, and CHA saving throws for 1 minute. Alternatively, you can Abjure the Extraplanar, using your action to turn any aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, or fiends within 30 feet of you for 1 minute, if they fail a WIS save. This feature works similarly to the Cleric’s Turn Undead, causing enemies of the specified types to spend their turns running away from you until they take any damage.
At 7th level, you emit an Aura of the Sentinel, which grants you and allies within 10 feet of you a bonus to initiative rolls equal to you proficiency bonus. This does mean that you have to know your party’s positions before combat starts, which is not always the case at some tables.
At level 15, you can perform a Vigilant Rebuke against enemies you attempt to beguile you or your allies. When you or an ally within 30 feet of you succeeds on an INT, WIS, or CHA saving throw, you can use your reaction to deal 2d8 plus your CHA modifier in force damage to the creature that caused the saving throw.
Finally, when you reach level 20, you have the ability to become a Mortal Bulwark. As a bonus action, you can manifest a spark of divine power within yourself, which gives you truesight to a range of 120 feet and advantage on attack rolls made against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, or fiends for 1 minute. In addition, whenever you hit a creature with an attack during that minute you can also force it to make a CHA save or be banished to it’s native plane if it’s not already there. If the creature succeeds on its save it can not be banished this way for 24 hours. However, if the banishment works, there’s no associated duration–the creature is banished indefinitely, unless it can find its own way back to the Prime Material plane somehow. You can only manifest this spark once per day, unless you expend a 5th level spell slot to use it again.
Josephus took over as DM for a new adventure in Eberron. The newest recruits for the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild in Sharn include:
- Sly, a Wildhunt Shifter Druid of the Circle of Dreams from the mysterious and exotic continent of Xen’drik (CleverGuy)
- Cherri Bomb, a pink Tiefling Rogue (Waffle)
- Uda Haserrea, a Summer Eladrin Paladin hailing from the Fairy Court of Thelanis (Wasp)
- Petie, an Earth Genasi Ranger, who grew up in mostly Dwarvish community underground (Spiny)
- Scylla, a Half-Elf Genie Patron Warlock, who a found a curious patron in a back alley market near Morgrave University (Hayes)
I’m writing to you on our return journey from Icewhite Isle to Stormhome. This latest adventure my friends and I were sent on turned out to be much more difficult than we were expecting. Our employer sent us up to Icewhite to recover a certain flower from the top of an icy spire that was particularly in tune with Risia, the Plane of Ice. Apparently our patron had sought to hire us earlier, while we were in Droaam, but was forced to find another adventuring group at that time. However, the other group had not returned, and now our patron was getting nervous. Time was of the essence, he said, since the Risia was nearing convergence with the world. We didn’t even have to time to find our Tiefling friend, Cherri. We were given 3 healing potions and outfitted with cold weather gear and climbing kits from the quartermaster and then had to run to catch our airship.
We took the airship from Sharn to Stormhome, a tropical paradise magically maintained in the far northern waters off the coast of Aundair. From there, we boarded an elemental galleon called the Undeniable to sail across the Bitter Sea to Icewhite Isle itself. Both air and sea journeys were uneventful, until the Undeniable drew near to Icewhite. The air grew steadily colder as we approached, eventually freezing the bound elemental that powered the vessel. We all had to brace for impact as the ship crashed into the glacier. No one was hurt, thankfully, and we could see the large spire in the distance, with a fierce blizzard blowing around it.
The captain saw the blizzard as well, and gave us 3 days to get to the spire and back while the crew made repairs to the ship. If we were not back by then, the blizzard would force the ship to leave without us. Looking at the spire, I could tell that it would only take us a few hours walk to get there, if the weather didn’t get too bad. So we suited up and headed out across the glacier. The cold was intense, and I was glad of my heavy fur coat. Uda and Petie both looked exhausted and weak, even just an hour or so into the hike, when we came across a wrecked ship, stuck in the ice. Curious, we took a quick detour to check it out. The ship was named the Nightwood Cask, and was completely deserted. However, Petie discovered a journal that indicated that was the ship that brought the previous expedition to Icewhite, along with a small chest full of jewels in a hidden compartment. Even through the constant snowfall, I was able to determine faint tracks of a handful of people leading away from the wreck in the direction of the spire, so we continued our own trek that way as well.
The weather was getting worse and the footing more treacherous. Petie suggested we rope ourselves together, which probably saves at least a couple of us from falling into the frigid waters when we slipped on the ice. After a while, the snow and wind had left me completely blinded, and bits of ice were being driven into my skin from the wind.
As we neared the base of the hill leading up to the spire, we suddenly felt a blast of heat as a young remorhaz emerged from the ice and attacked us. It was probably just looking for food, but I didn’t want that food to be me! Unfortunately, I still couldn’t see anything. I heard Scylla firing her Eldritch Blasts at the beast, and I tried to blast it back myself with a Thunderwave, aiming based on the sounds the monster was making and the heat coming off it. I think I just managed to graze it with the edge of my spell. Uda and Petie rushed up to engage the remorhaz, though I could tell from the sounds of Uda’s swearing that she was having as much trouble seeing as I was. I heard Perie yell as her axe bit into the monster’s flesh and she got sprayed with it’s scalding hot blood. We eventually killed the monster, mostly by Uda, Petie, and I distracting it while Scylla stood back and blasted it with her thunderous magic. When it finally went down, Petie noticed something caught in its teeth, which turned out to be a magic wand that would make Scylla’s Eldritch Blasts a bit more powerful.
We staggered up to the spire, badly in need of a rest. The door to the spire was ajar, and we could hear people talking inside. We went in and found that the temperature inside was much warmer, and the floor even though it was made of ice wasn’t slippery at all. There was a small camp set up here, and a halfling, an orc, and and elf were sitting around the remains of a fire. In fact, they turned out to be the same three adventurers who had jumped off the tower with us back in Sharn. It seems they hadn’t made it with the Clifftop Guild and had instead joined a rival company. We also saw of their compatriots, standing near another door on the far side of the chamber, all apparently frozen solid.
Our three rivals were looking almost as ragged as we were, so we offered to share our rations and lit a fire for them. They told us how their ship and crashed, and most of the crew was lost overboard. Even if they could past the other door and up into the spire, they had no way to get back from Icewhite, but anyway when they’d tried to open the door it had frozen their companions. They offered to keep watch while we rested, in return for the food, and I was too exhausted to care whether they were completely trustworthy or not. Scylla, I think, stayed awake and chatted with them more, but I went to sleep.
I guess Scylla’s chatting must have been enough to keep the other group from simply killing us in our sleep, because I woke up feeling refreshed and able to see again. When everyone was ready, we went to look at the door. There were four columns of symbols carved on the door, each one rotated in a pattern moving down the column. At the bottom of each column was an empty space, and two statues flanked the door, each holding two discs with more of the same symbols on it. Clearly we needed to complete the patterns in each column, using the discs from the statues. I was surprised by the simplicity of the puzzle, given the frozen corpses surrounding the door. But of course, as soon as I opened the door, our rivals turned on us.
Luckily, my friends were not completely off guard. Scylla aimed her Eldrtich Blasts at the elf wizard, and Petie charged foward towards the halfling rogue, who looked the most hostile of the three. I caught both the wizard and rogue in an Entangle spell, though the strong orc fighter with them broke free of my magical restraints. Uda faced off with him. After taking a few hits, the wizard threw down her wand and surrendered. Petie knocked out the halfling, and Uda’s Wrathful Smite frightened the orc into surrendering as well. Uda’s blood was up though, and she didn’t seem interested in stopping the fight. Scylla and I tried to get Uda to accept his surrender, but Uda wouldn’t back down. The frightened orc took another swing at Uda and missed, but Uda responded by lopping one of his arms off. That was enough to convince the orc to surrender, as well to slake Uda’s bloodlust.
We tied up our rivals and took their weapons. The halfling had a Bag of Holding that we confiscated, along with the elf’s Mabaran wood wand, and the orc’s Adamantine battleaxe. Then we went through the door and up a long winding staircase inside the spire. Eventually we came to another door with a Dwarvish rune that Petie recognized as the word “Melt.” Uda touched the door and it melted away, leading to a ledge on the outside of of the spire. We walked along the outer edge to another door. As I went to inspect this door, an ooze of some kind detached itself from the door and attacked. Uda and I hit it with fire, which it did not seem to enjoy, but the ooze managed to grab a hold of Uda with its freezing pseudopods. As Scylla blasted at the ooze, an ice mephit swooped down out of the blizzard around us slashing at her. Uda managed to free herself from the ooze’s grip by teleporting, and we continues to throw as much fire as we could at the thing. The ooze surged forward and grabbed me instead, and then the mephit blasted us with ice breath, and I nearly passed out. I transformed into a reindeer to break out of the ooze’s grip, and it turned on Petie next, knocking her out. Uda managed to destroy the ooze and gave Petie a bit of healing, while Scylla blasted the fleeing mephit to pieces.
After a short rest to catch our breath, we through the door and continued climbing up another long stair. Eventually we entered a room with five statues arrayed in alcoves around it. Four of them, two on each side, were made of clear, crystalline ice and depicted four ancient dwarven heroes. The fifth, placed directly across from the entrance, was larger and more opaque but still made of ice. We could see another ledge behind it, high up in the wall. The ice sculptures gave me an eerie feeling, but Uda said they weren’t undead or fiends. Scylla made a Silent Image of herself waving in front of the larger one, and sure enough the golem came to life trying to smash the illusion. I tried to knock it backward into its alcove with a Thunderwave, but it didn’t work. I braced myself, expecting to be smashed to bits, but the golem charged right past me and slammed into Petie instead, who was standing near one of the ice sculptures! It was like it was trying to protect the smaller statue. Scylla called out that the statues were somehow powering the golem and we turned our attention to trying to break them. I healed Petie a bit, then turned into a reindeer again, intending to charge one of the statues and knock it over with my antlers. Unfortunately, the golem attacked Petie again and knocked her out before we could do anything with the statues. Scylla managed to destroy one of them with her Eldritch Blast and got a knocked around a bit for her trouble, while Uda headed for the statue across the way. I charged the statue near Petie’s body in my elk form and completely destroyed it. The golem turned on me next. One hit knocked be back into my normal body, and with the next I was unconscious.
When I came to, after Scylla gave me a healing potion, I learned that Uda had managed to break a third sculpture, which was enough to destroy the golem. But no one had been able to get to Petie in time–she was dead, and there was nothing anyone could do to bring her back. At least, not right away. And we still had a job to do. Scylla suggested using the Bag of Holding to carry Petie with us, and we continued up the steps that had magically formed behind the golem’s alcove to a garden at the top of the spire, where we found the flower we were looking for. Plucking the flower we started to head back down the spire, only to have the spire begin to melt and collapse around us. By the time we reached the bottom, I was exhausted from dodging falling chunks of ice and forcing open doors that no longer wanted to melt away for us. The last door at the bottom wouldn’t budge, until a huge wave of water from all the melting ice swept down the stairs and slammed into it and into us as well. I passed out again for a second, and Uda’s healing touch brought me back, but just barely. As we were swept out into the entrance hall, we found that the other group we’d left tied up down there were gone. But we didn’t have time to worry about that, we just made our way back to the Undeniable as fast as we could. We had to get back to Sharn, where the Clifftop Guild would be able to pull some strings and help us bring Petie back from the dead.
I hope we make it in time. The sailors tell us that it will take all the treasure we found to pay the priests in Sharn to resurrect her. I think we’ve learned some harsh lessons from this adventure, and I hope next time to be better prepared. I also hope we won’t need to travel anywhere so cold again, I’m not really built for that sort of weather.