So it’s All Come Down to This… Black Holes and Bear Traps

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

Waking up the next morning, and heading outside to relieve himself in the street like the Pirate King he is, King Roberto the Pirate King (last time I’ll do that, probably) looked up and saw a familiar figure above him in the sky. Venomfang the dragon swooped down and grabbed him, speeding off with Roberto in his clutches. That’s right, this time it was Samuel, Lordi and Bubbles that were absent from the session, and were left asleep in the pub (possibly where they were in reality too). Thus far only two participants of this D&D adventure have made it to every session – me and the DM. It speaks volumes about my social availability in the evenings. I don’t have a lot going on.

After a long flight, Roberto was dumped on top of a tall Wizards Tower where he found the missing Deano, Rick and Tiny. It turned out they had been up on this tower for several days, having failed to pry open a magically sealed trap door leading downwards. Venomfang wants us to travel to the bottom level of the tower, which oddly is only accessible from the hatch on the top, and retrieve a chest for him. Tiny persists in asking fairly stupid questions, trying his patience, but he does tell us that the chest contains a magic chain, which he wants to give to a Bronze dragon (apparently his love interest for hot dragon-on-dragon romance).  He is very clear, with the threat of imminent violence, that we do not touch the chain.

I mean, obviously we were going to touch the chain.

Indy

The dragon opened the trap door for us, so we all drop down on each other intentionally, causing slight damage to ourselves. The room contains another trap door, also sealed, and a pedestal with a leather pouch on it. There are spikes on the ceiling, presumably attached to a mechanism on the pedestal, so we spend far too long trying to Raiders of the Lost Ark the bag. Finally, we set the trap off, and the spikes come down but stop. Apparently just a warning not to continue, even though the door magically opens. We continue

The stairs turn into a slide on the way down, so we all slightly damage each other again tumbling down. We find a circular room filled with water, with an island in the middle of the room and a flaming torch. In the water these was a skeleton holding an ornate sword, which Deano dove in to grab, and his hand stuck to the sword. It wouldn’t budge, so he started to drown. Rick tried to pass air into his lungs, but just ended up awkwardly kissing him. Roberto dunked the torch into the water, thinking it was magic or something (secretly hoping it was gasoline and he could “accidentally” get rid of Deano, whom he doesn’t trust at all) but that was a bust, and Tiny also tried to be helpful by bringing a flask full of air to Deano, but his small limbs meant he swam too slowly and Deano eventually manages to shift the sword and swim up by himself, with a nifty looking new two handed sword.

Through next trap door we found the room full of bear traps. The floor was completely covered, so we tapped one with a sword to set it off, and as it snapped closed a black hole appeared, summoning a large black bear. As we fought it, more black holes were triggered, bringing in more bears. Peering through one of the singularities before it closed, we saw a lush valley full of calm looking bears. There were now three in the room with us, none of whom appreciated being ripped from the Valley of the Bears, and one of whom was severely injured from our attacks and the two traps attached to his legs.

Slowly we created a path to the next room, first by setting off a trap on purpose, pushing the dying bear through the maw straight away, the black hole closing afterwards without dragging another through. Then we got the idea to use the traps on the bears to send them back to their home. We didn’t want to leave the bears stranded, so in a misguided attempt at setting them free we tried clamping the traps on the bears, opening the vortex directly on them and sending them back to the rolling fields full of their friends. Possibly bleeding to death.

DwarfThe next room was divided by a deep trench across the middle of the room, several feet wide. At the bottom were deadly spikes, and we also discovered that there was a barely visible glass wall on the other side (by Rick jumping in to it and nearly falling to his death). Throwing rocks at the glass revealed that it didn’t go all the way to the ceiling, so we attempted a midget toss using Tiny, tying the rope round him and launching him over the wall. He smashed in to the glass, shattering it, and as he picked the glass out of his face, we all jumped over through the gap he created.

At last, we found the chest we were searching for. Ignoring the dragon’s threats, we opened it and Tiny touched the glowing chain inside. He was enveloped in energy, and was suddenly and permanently bestowed with Gold dragon powers, including the ability to breath fire. His appearance was altered too, with his hair turned to gold and crackling energy surrounding him, turning him into the least subtle thief of all time and resulting in him looking a lot like this…

Trunks

The chain was left grey and depleted. We would have to lie to Venomfang, and try and convince him that we found it like that. We drag the chest all the way to the roof, leaving Tiny down one level, due to his new glowing presence. Disappointed, the dragon nonetheless believed us when we say we didn’t use it, but King Roberto decided to mock him anyway, muttering under his breath. Venomfang casually, yet swiftly, stabbed Roberto with a single claw and nearly one-shotted him on the spot.

Apologising and bleeding profusely, we gave him the chain and he gave us back our ropes so we could join them together and climb down from the tower. As we made our way back to our compatriots, King Roberto mused on what he had learned that day. Mainly, that Level 4 players can’t take a dragon, and as such should probably avoid antagonising them.

Adam

 

Check out part 7 here!

So it’s All Come Down to This… Zombies and Herpes Arrows

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

We returned straight back into the fray outside the cave at Wyvern Tor, with a group of orcs rushing towards the entrance to fight us. The ogre Gog was at the forefront, but as he reached us the dragon Venomfang made his reappearance. He swooped down, grabbing Rick and Deano in each of his claws, picking up Tiny by his pack hanging from his teeth (guess which three party members were away for this session?), and flew off with them, cackling. At the sight of the dragon, the ogre turned tail and ran for the nearby hills. This still left 4 orcs and their huge leader Brugor to attack our now depleted party of four.

D&D5

Bubbles quickly dispatched one with a herpes arrow to the face. I should explain. Part of Bubbles’ backstory is that they probably/definitely have herpes. At the start of every session, a dice roll is required to see if there is a particularly bad flare-up that day. The dice roll was poor this time, but Bubbles coated an arrow with the herpes to make it… poisonous? More powerful? Disgusting?

Disgusting.

So this poor orc died, from a combination of herpes and an arrow to the face. King Roberto took out another, ramming a javelin up under its chin not unlike what happens to Timothy Dalton in Hot Fuzz, but driving it home through the brainpan instead. The orc leader Brugor was gradually hacked down by the group, leaving two left who immediately surrendered. They were questioned about the location of Cragmoor Castle, but unhappy with the answers from the first now defenceless orc, Roberto slit his throat. The other, very panicked now, gives us gold and a magic coin.

This session, the DM brought in magic items (most of which he bought real-world versions of, from Claire’s Accessories, and which had to be brought along to each session if the holder wanted to use its effects). Lordy yelled ‘MINE!’ straight away, as they did most of the subsequent magic items, which isn’t really how teamwork functions. The orc told us the wizard Cost, the necromancer who sent us to kill all the orcs, was their friend. After letting him go, we set to cutting off all the ears of the dead orcs, and Brugor’s entire head as proof of a job well done. As is tradition, we looted the bodies, where we found a lovely note from one of their kids . Apparently orcs have blue highlighters.

20150119_232624

On way back during the night, Bubbles stole Lordy’s lucky coin. Lots of hassle ensued, and probable meta gaming that probably should have been punished. Back at the Owls Nest, we found Glass-Staff inside the tent talking with Cost, who tried to silently indicate to us to come back later. Bubbles and Glass-Staff recognise each other an have an awkward moment (as Glass-Staff was the one who gave Bubbles herpes) but before any further discussion Lordy attacked for what were very good reasons I’m sure. Cost joined our side in the fight, using a ring to summon a poisonous snake. Trying to take Glass-Staff out non-lethally so we could question him, King Roberto hit him with the bag of ears. Then cut off his right arm. And left leg.

Cost’s snake bit him, the poison from which quickly killed him. Samuel picked up Glass-Staff’s glass staff, and we found a strange bracelet on him, which Lordy took. Cost then attacked us too, after we ask him why he was dealing with our enemy. We defeated his summoned snake, took the snake ring and killed Cost. Then the horde (is eleven a horde?) of zombies attacked through the tent, but it turned out the bracelet could control the zombies. So that’s what we did.

Heading back to Phandolin to rest up, followed by our retinue of zombies, we crossed paths with two Paladins, Goodwin and Tuck, on horseback. Rewarding us for killing both Cost and Glass-Staff, they were however very aggressively opposed to our plan of having our zombie slaves wait outside the peaceful town while we rested at the inn. We agree to give them the bracelet to destroy, which they did, in exchange for some magic shackles and a fucking magic eyepatch, taken from the Pirate King Saltwater Perkins. King Roberto immediately put on the eyepatch, without waiting for the explanation of its powers. The eyepatch bored out his left eye,  but granted him the ability to summon a storm and use lightning powers once a day. Also +1 charisma! So henceforth his new name would be King Roberto the Pirate King.

pirate king

On our way back the sky darkened, and Venomfang circled above us, dropping Tiny’s thieves toolkit and before flying off towards Thundertree laughing. King Roberto the Pirate King started to formulate a plan to liberate (or pillage the already dead bodies of) his companions up at the deserted town, and fight the dragon with his nifty new storm powers.

Near Phandolin, we briefly headed into the woods to slaughter some cultists who had just murdered a group of villagers and were about to sacrifice a boy. Back in town, we turned the boy over to guards. The boy, impressed by King Roberto the Pirate King’s eyepatch, gave him a jar with a tarantula inside for helping him. He was unsure of what to do with it, but as tarantulas are delicious it could prove a useful snack later. For helping with the cultists, the guard set us up with free rooms at the inn. However, as soon as they enter, Elsa the barmaid can’t resist the draw of the eyepatch, wordlessly leading King Roberto the Pirate King off to the best room in the house.

Thus endeth the session. Come back next week for ‘Blackholes and Bear Traps’!

Adam

 

Check out part 6 here!