AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 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.

Our subclass discussion this week is the Cleric of the Peace Domain. Clerics of the gods of peace are seen as arbiters and diplomats, settling disputes and presiding over the signing of treaties. Their divine magic is used to draw people together, and aid those who are driven to fight for the way of peace. Domain Spells for the Peace Domain include Heroism and Sanctuary at 1st level, Aid and Warding Bond at 3rd, Beacon of Hope and Sending at 5th, Aura of Purity and Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere at 7th, and Greater Restoration and Rary’s Telepathic Bond at 9th level.

As an Implement of Peace, at level 1, you gain proficiency in either the Insight, Performance, or Persuasion skills.

Also at 1st level, you can create an Emboldening Bond among people who are at peace with one another. As an action, you can choose a number of creatures equal to your proficiency bonus and create a bond between them for 10 minutes. As long as those creatures are within 30 feet of each other, each creature can add 1d4 to an attack roll, ability check, or saving thrown once per turn. You can use ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, regaining expanded uses on a long rest.

At level 2, you can use your Channel Divinity feature to create a Balm of Peace. As an action, you can move up to your speed without provoking attacks of opportunity. Whenever you pass within 5 feet of any creature during this movement, you can heal them for 2d6 plus your WIS modifier.

When you reach 6th level, your Emboldening Bond also becomes a Protective Bond. Whenever a creature effected by your Emboldening Bond is about to take damage, another bonded creature within 30 feet can use their reaction to teleport to within 5 feet of the first creature and take the damage instead.

At 8th level, you gain Potent Spellcasting, allowing you to add your WIS modifier to damage rolls from your cantrips.

Finally, when you reach level 17, the bonds you form become Expansive Bonds. The effective range for your Emboldening Bond and Protective Bond increases to 60 feet. In addition when a bonded creature uses Protective Bond to take someone else’s damage, they have resistance to that damage.

[spoiler title=”Players and Characters”]Josephus is back as DM to continue his Eberron. The members of 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, who may or may not have once been a pirate (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 that was unfortunately built too close to a Xoriat manifest zone (Spiny)
  • Scylla, a Half-Elf Genie Patron Warlock, who a found a curious patron in a back alley market near Morgrave University (Hayes)[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”Into the Mournland”]Dear Patience,

My purpose here in Khorvaire, as you know, is to learn as much as I can about the people and the continent, but especially about what they call “The Mourning.” I have traveled all over Khorvaire and learned very much–but the Mourning itself remains a mystery. It seems no one in Sharn or anywhere else actually knows what happened. I am finally getting some first-hand knowledge, however, as our latest mission for the Provost has us venturing into the former nation of Cyre.

Our mission this time is to recover an artifact called the Steel Heart from Ash Tower in the Mournland. The tower is supposed to be manifest zone for Shavarath, the Eternal Battleground, where angels and devils engage in their perpetual conflict. Whether it’s because of the influence of Shavarath, or simply an effect of the Mourning itself, healing magic doesn’t work within the borders, and even natural recovery from wounds is hampered. The one exception is Goodberries, which luckily both Petie and I know how to produce. Lhara also gave us each a bottle of Goodberry wine, which would help us recover. It would be a journey of two or three days from the edge of the mists to Ash Tower, and there was no telling what we’d encounter on the way. The Steel Heart itself is said to be the still-beating heart of a legionnaire devil. I’m not sure why the Provost needs this, or any of the other artifacts we’ve gathered for him, but at least he pays well. I have more gold than I know what to do with most of the time.

We took the lightning rail from Sharn to the edge of the Mournland, a journey of two days. The rail line simply ended at a wall of mist that marked the border of what was once Cyre. As we disembarked, Petie and I handed out some Goodberries to everyone. As we passed through the mists, I could sense that things weren’t right. It felt the mist itself was on the verge of reaching out and choking the life from me. Petie and I took the lead, following the map Lhara had provided as close as we could. We had been warned that no map of this area could really be considered accurate anymore–things moved around unpredictably inside the Mourning. As we walked, we started to find some strange things. Petie noticed a rock with paper wrapped around it. Written on the paper was Petie’s own name and the message “Help me” among some illegible scribbling. The paper had her name on it, and some scribbles that said “Help me.” Just looking at it gave me the willies, and I could swear I tasted blood in my mouth. Cherri threw the rock away and we continued on. Later we found a doll with no eyes laying on the path, and heard a child’s voice singing in the distance. But as soon as someone mentioned hearing it, the singing stopped. None of us wanted to stick around and investigate.

At one point, we were suddenly attacked by a shadowy humanoid figure that simply appeared in front of us, swinging two long blades. The blades bit into Petie’s body and all of her strength was sapped out of her. Petie was able to teleport away while Cherri and Uda closed in, and Scylla took off into the air to fire her thunderous blasts at the shadow. But when I tried to throw some fire at it, all my fur turned blue! It seemed that it wasn’t just healing magic that was weird in this place. Scylla eventually blasted the shadow to bits, and I checked out Petie’s wounds. She looked extremely weak, and was having trouble just moving in her armor. It was lucky that she was so strong to start out with–I’m fairly certain I’d be dead if that thing had drained so much energy from me. Petie and Cherri could both use a rest, but none of us wanted to stop in the mists.

We continued on, ignoring as many as of the strange sights and sounds as we could, and eventually made it out of the mists and into a fairly pleasant countryside. The sign was beginning to set, so we set up camp. Before turning in Petie and I generated as many Goodberries as we could for the next day, and we set a watch and went to bed.

As dawn neared, I was on watch when two strange slime monsters full of eyes and mouths formed out of the ground nearby. I shouted to wake everyone else, and then used Thunderwave to push them back. Cherri and Uda popped up and rushed into attack, while Petie threw a pair of javelins into one. It looked like her strength was back. (I am still blue though, I think that might be permanent. It’s weird, but I think I actually sort of like it.) One of the mouthers hit Cherri, but Scylla blasted the other apart. Something about the gibbering sound these creatures made had Cherri hypnotized or something, she was just standing there. I tried to use a Thorn Whip to pull the monster awat from her, but my spell just fizzled for some reason. Luckily Uda was nearby and was able to smite the creature before it could do any more harm.

Since were all awake now, we moved on, traveling through the countryside. Even out of the mists, strange things kept happening. Trees appearing out of nowhere, a single mysterious footprint in the ground with no one around. Once, as we passed near a pair of cottages, we saw what appeared to be a stained-glass spider running towards us, fleeing from a hail of humanoid teeth. As we watched, the glass spider was destroyed by the storm, and before we knew it teeth we raining down on us. We headed for one of the cottages for shelter, getting pelted by teeth the whole time, and Uda tripped and broke her bottle of Goodberry wine.

Inside the cottage, we saw a couple of people sitting at a table, apparently about to eat dinner. They didn’t react to us at all though, and on closer inspection, they appeared to be dead. Not undead, just dead. And the food on the table was still warm. It was unsettling, but we waiting for the storm of teeth to pass anyway.

As the storm quieted, Scylla and Petie looked outside to see a pair of living Thunderwave spells clearing away the teeth and coming straight for us. I tried to just Dispel one of them, but it didn’t work–whatever created these living spells was too strong. Petie tried to run to but one of the Thunderwaves chased her down and tried to engulf her. The other crashed into the cabin and rolled on Cherri and Scylla. Scylla ducked out of the way, but Cherri was sucked up into it. Scylla tried to Hex it and instead a bunch of strange flumphs appeared and burst out of the house. I tried to get away, but the spell knocked into me, and I turned into a bear as I jumped out the window.

It was a very strange sensation to claw and bite a mass of rolling thunder to death. Petie jumped back into the house to help the others, and her, Uda, and Scylla all got sucked into the spell. Uda’s chains flailed wildly around, and one of them sliced Scylla pretty badly, but Uda managed to smite the living spell out of existence.

I’m not sure I’ll ever understand what happened here, even witnessing it first-hand. All I can do is record everything I find, and hope to make out alive. Then I’ll send my notes back home to the Moonspeakers to study. Maybe they’ll be able to glean something.

Your brother,