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.
Keeping it light this week–in honor of Halloween, what are you favorite spooky TTRPGs? Have you ever run or played in a good Halloween-themed D&D one-shot adventure?
Our group started up a new adventure this past weekend. We’re starting in Eberron and running through the Light of Xaryxis module that was released as part of the recent Spelljammer set for D&D 5e. Josephus Brown is taking the reins as DM, and our new characters include:
- The Wonderful Wizard AN (Plasmoid Divination Wizard) The Wasp
- Delilah Delethorn (Satyr Swashbuckler Rogue) TheHayesCode
- Geenie Crambits (Halfling Undying Light Warlock) Spiny Creature
- Okassaath Ch’katroth d’Tharashk (Half-Orc [Mark of Finding] Arcane Archer Fighter/Stars Druid) CleverGuy
- Tekili-Li (Wildhunt Shifter Twilight Cleric) Otto
- Ximon (Fire Genasi Swords Bard) Wafflicious
My search has brought me all the way to Stormreach. I signed on to a dragonshard-finding expedition and sailed off to Xen’drik. While the fool merchant running this trip gets lost on the wilderness thanks to the Traveler’s Curse, I’ve been staying back and guarding the ship mostly. Of course, I made my usual inquiries in the city at first–orphanages, temples, brothels. Any place that might take in strays. I never really believed that you’d have come this far from everything, so I wasn’t too disappointed to find no leads here. I’m not sure I came in the first place, just had a feeling it was the right move. Following my gut and this mark on my arm, hoping it’ll lead me to you.
I can see why the merchant came here, anyway. Seems like Siberys has been crying every night for the past few weeks–we’ve seen lots of falling stars, so dragonshards should be easy to scrounge. And there are some interesting folk on the ship with me. There’s AN, who looks like an ooze or jelly creature, but can speak and even cast spells. AN travels around doing roadshows with a halfling named Geenie, who was (or maybe still is) involved in some Solar Positvist cult from Sharn. Then there’s Delilah, a one-handed satyr, who seems to enjoy fighting as much as flirting with everyone she meets. And the genasi cook, Ximon, is pretty good with his swords and knives as well. There’s a shifter priestess as well, Tekili-LI, but I haven’t gotten to know her well yet.
Had a bit of excitement a week or so ago, when one of the expedition teams returned to Stormreach saying they’d found something big out in the jungle–might be the biggest dragonshard they’ve ever seen. They consulted with the merchant captain, then gathered supplies and left again. Haven’t seen them sense. Probably wandering the cursed jungle still, or maybe they got eaten by some Xen’drik beast. Normally, I’d be all for exploring, but something tells me I should stay close to the ship. And anyway, it’s not dragonshards I’m interested in finding.
It’s been weeks now since that expedition team went out and still no word from them. But yesterday, a huge Cannith galleon arrived in the harbor. Ximon and I started to head over to look at the ship, until we saw that a few of their folks were bee-lining right for our ship. We circled back and saw them all go into the captain’s cabin. Listening at the door (or in the door in AN’s case), we heard them say that they were taking over the merchant’s expedition for some reason. Some money exchanged hands, but not nearly what the merchant was hoping to earn on this trip, and then the Cannith folks left. The captain didn’t tell us much, just that we were shutting down and wouldn’t get the pay we’d been promised.
My friends and I decided to trail the Cannith party into the city, but they actually headed straight out into the jungle. They were a strange group, too–I counted at at least six different dragonmarked individuals, all from different houses. I’m not an expert in Five Nations politics, but I’ve picked up enough to know that some of those Houses are pretty bitter enemies, so seeing their agents apparently working together is surprising. I was tempted to keep following them, but the likelihood of hopelessly lost seemed too high. I’m a good tracker, but the Traveler’s Curse is the real deal. Instead, we all gathered at a bar near the docks, where we could keep an eye on that Cannith galleon. Ximon even tried talking his way past the guards to get aboard the ship itself, but didn’t have any luck.
Pretty soon, though, we saw them starting to bring out a big floating barge, like a hovering sky-sloop, from the hold of their vessel. It looked like they were going to drag whatever it was they’d found in the jungle back to town. Now were were too curious–we decided to follow the Cannith soldiers and their floating platform, though Geenie remained behind in town. Following their trail wasn’t too difficult. We kept far enough back to avoid being noticed.
Along the way, though, we weren’t quite careful enough to avoid attracting the attention of a shambling mound, that rose up to attack us as we started to cross a shallow river. We handled ourselves pretty well. Delilah and Ximon closed in with their rapiers, while Tekili and AN hung fired spells at the creature. I managed to tangle it up in some thorns of my own, so slow it down some, the monster kept pushing itself through the brambles, even though I could see it was hurting itself. It slammed me to the side, and then managed to grab Delilah and pull her into its form. Then it started trying to slink it’s way back into the stream.
Ximon set a magical Cloud of Daggers swarming over the shambling mound while the rest of us did our best to keep the creatures from getting away with our friend. Delilah managed to wriggle free, and as the creature turned to try to grab her again, it shredded itself on Ximon’s dagger cloud.
We continued on until we saw that the large party we were following stopped to make camp. We circled around to get in front of them, thinking we could reach the site before them. I thought I could beat the Traveler’s Curse, but before long I had to admit we were lost. Or worse, I thought we were lost, until we somehow stumbled upon the site almost a full day before we should have. It was around that time that Tekili-Li found a strange holy symbol inside her pocket, which AN actually recognized as a symbol of the Traveler–the same deity that is responsible for the curse. Somehow we’d won the Traveler’s favor.
What we saw was something big. It was in the bottom of a huge crater in the earth, and it certainly didn’t look like any dragonshard I’ve ever seen. It looked almost like a massive moth, obviously crumpled by impact, and made out of some metallic substance. We wanted to get a closer look, but there were several Cannith camps spread out all around the thing–worth the risk. I used a bit of my Druidic magic to give myself a bit of a boost, but something strange happened–my Guidance spell didn’t just affect myself, but all my friends as well. Another boon from the Traveler?
We managed to sneak right up to the moth without raising any alarms, but none of us could tell much about it. It was hollow–there was a definite opening on one side, under guard. But it also felt as if it had been alive, before it crashed anyway. Living metal… maybe like those Warforged soldiers House Cannith used. Maybe this is some new Cannith experiment–but then why invite all these other houses to come and look? The Cannith party had been inside, clearly–a little off to one side, I saw a strange crystal structure that looked like a coffin or maybe a seed. It must have pulled out of the ship, or at least fell with it at the same time. We overheard the Orien representative thought it might be a boat of some kind or maybe an airship, but there’s no sign of how it would fly. Someone said they recovered an elvish body from the wreckage.
We snuck back to our camp just as the big salvage team arrived to load up the moth on their floating barge, along with the crystal seed, or coffin, or whatever it was. With nothing else we could really do, we headed back towards Stormreach. Around noon, we came upon a large crystal vine that seemed to be growing out of the ground in the middle of a clearing. The crystal was warm to the touch, and still growing–we could feel it in the ground. I thought it might be the same crystal as that seed we saw back at the crash site. Tekili noticed that seemed to be growing toward the Ring of Siberys rather than the sun. Ximon took out his flute and started to play, trying to match the harmonic resonance of the crystal.
I don’t know if it was a response to Ximon’s music, but a bunch of smaller crystal vines suddenly burst out of the ground all around us. They closed in quickly, pushing through the earth and grabbing us like tentacles. We managed to fight our way free–the vines shrugged off my radiant arrows, but they didn’t handle my Thunderwave nearly as well–and made it back to Stormreach without any more trouble.
I can’t help but wonder what all this means, or what the strange moth in the jungle is. Maybe we can to find out more when they drag it back to Stormreach. It shouldn’t concern me–obviously metal moths and crystal vines didn’t steal you away from the Shadow Marches all those years ago. But it is curious…