AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Carnival of Shadows, Episode 18

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.

We’re closing out 2020 with a look at the newly published Cleric of the Twilight Domain. These Clerics serve deities that govern the transition from day to night and guard the innocent against the terrors that come with the night. Twilight Clerics bring comfort to those who seek rest, and also actively venture out into the night to ensure that the darkness is a comfort rather than something to be feared.

To those ends, Twilight Clerics get proficiency with both martial weapons and heavy armor. They also gain the following Domain Spells at certain levels: Faerie Fire and Sleep at level 1, Moonbeam and See Invisibility at 3, Aura of Vitality and Leomund’s Tiny Hut at 5, Aura of Life and Greater Invisibility at 7, and Circle of Power and Mislead at level 9.

Starting at 1st level, your patron deity grants you Eyes of Night, allowing you to see through the deepest gloom. You gain darkvision with a range of 300 feet. Also, as an action, you can share your darkvision with allies within 10 feet of you. You can grant this power to a number of creatures equal to your WIS modifier, and it lasts for 1 hour.

Also at 1st level, you can give a Vigilant Blessing to yourself or an ally, granting advantage on the next initiative roll the targeted creature makes. There’s no duration listed for this ability, so it lasts indefinitely, but you can only have one creature affected at any given time.

At level 2, you can use your Channel Divinity to create a Twilight Sanctuary for you and and your allies. As an action, you can cause a 30-foot radius sphere of twilight to radiate from you, filled with dim light. The sphere lasts for 1 minute, and whenever a creature ends it’s turn within the radius, you can grant that creature temporary hit points equal to 1d6 plus your Cleric level,1 or you can end a charm or fear effect on that creature.

At 6th level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to ascend the Steps of Night, granting you a flying speed equal to your walking speed for 1 minute. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus each day.

At level 8, you gain the ability to make Divine Strikes, adding 1d8 radiant to damage to an attack once per turn. This damage increases to 2d8 at 14th level.

Finally, at 17th level, you can summon a protective Twilight Shroud over yourself and your allies. Any friendly creature within the the radius of your Twilight Sanctuary feature gains the benefits of half cover while inside the sphere.

With Josephus busy with holiday gatherings this weekend, Hayes ran a small one-shot adventure in her Carnival of Shadows Eberron campaign for us.

Cast of Characters
  • Tinka, the Warforged Battlesmith Artificer, who performs tricks with the mechanical animals she creates (The Wasp)
  • Wind Over Sand, a Tabaxi Open Hand Monk and contortionist (Wafflicious)
  • Clo Fullia, a Shifter Battle Master Fighter, a bearded lady who also has a tendency to shift into strange beasts (Otto)
  • Tano Lyrimasyl, a blade-juggling Elven Bard of the College of Swords (TheCleverGuy)
  • The Shill, a Changeling Trickery Cleric who works the crowd looking for easy marks for the rest of the carnies (Josephus Brown)
  • Annabelle and Shirley Fredricks, conjoined twins, one of whom is a Human Divination Wizard (Spiny Creature)
How We Stole the Gritch

After leaving Fairhaven, we traveled north along the main road, hoping to meet up with the Carnival before entering Karrnath. On our way, though, we heard some strange rumors of toys coming to life in the town of Askelios, at the foot of the Starpeak mountains. We decided to make a brief stop to investigate.

Askelios had all the usual businesses and shops, along with a rather large orphanage. Not far from the orphanage, was a newly constructed building, with a sign out front proclaiming it to be Blinsky’s Toy Shop. “Is no fun, is no Blinsky!”

We decided to visit the orphanage to perform a bit and gather info, while Annabelle and Shirley hit up a local magic shop to trade some scrolls. We learned that the headmistress of the orphanage didn’t allow the children to have toys, and only felt vindicated in her belief when Blinsky’s toys began terrorizing the other children in town. Clo, Tinka, and the twins paid a visit to Blinsky’s, while Wind and I stayed with the kids. Wind was tumbling and offering kitty-back rides for the orphans, and I did some simple sleight of hand tricks. I was just teaching some of the older children how to do some basic juggling, when we heard a shout from Anabelle down the street.

Wind and I rushed over to the toy shop, where we found our friends battling some animated toys. Androcles was fending off a couple of wooden soldiers, while across the room Clo was having a tea party with a couple of living dolls. I could tell by the glazed look in her eyes that she was under a Suggestion spell–I’ve made use of that one myself from time to time. Tinka was surrounded by what looked like a bubbling mass of animated hot cocoa–if she wasn’t Warforged, she’d likely have drowned.

After quelling the toys’ attack, Blinsky told us that he had apparently made friends with another toymaker who lived at the top of Starpeak mountain and who taught him to give the spark of life to his toys. This friend on the top of mountain (who was green and furry, with too-small shoes), gave him this magic powder to try and keep the children of the town quiet and docile.

We decided to head up the mountain to have a talk with this person. They must have known that their toys were attacking. So we made our up the snowy mountain. Near the peak, we saw a battered old top hat sitting on a pile snow just off the path. Not far beyond, we could see a cave opening in the rock, but I was curious enough about the hat to check it out. Turns out this wasn’t the best idea–as I approached a huge snow monster came to life underneath the old silk hat and attacked us. Tinka moved fast and shrunk it down to size a bit, and the rest of us closed in. My swords bit into its snowy body, but the monster didn’t even seem to feel it. When Annabelle’s mind magic had no effect either, I thought we might in trouble. At least my friend’s magic weapons seemed to hurt it. Even shrunken down, the monster still packed quite a punch, and it caught me with a huge icy fist. Annabelle summoned a pixie that surrounded the snowman in darkness. I took the opportunity to back off a bit, then summoned a Cloud of Daggers around snowman as well. With Clo, Tinka, and Wind keeping it contained, the daggers shredded the snowman and his hat.

We continued up the mountain toward the cave, narrowly avoiding some hidden pit traps lined with sharpened candy canes at the bottom. Inside the cave we found the Gritch–a green hag with two trained polar bears for protection. Colorfully wrapped boxes were arrayed around her. She told us that she couldn’t stand the noise of the children in the town below, and had devised a plan to scare them off (or kill them) with animated toys. Against all odds, Clo talked the Gritch into joining the circus with us and leaving the town behind. All she wanted was to frighten children, and we figured the sideshow would give her plenty of opportunity. Personally, I’m not convinced that the Gritch will be able to handle all the noise, noise, noise, noise of the Carnival itself, but at least she’ll leave the children of Askelion alone. What’s more, she even allowed each to open a gift! I got a magic sword of my very own, just what I’ve always wanted!