We had a couple of DMs missing for this session, but thankfully we were able to cover every table, even though it meant that Paul was DMing Lee’s group rather than playing on my table. Josh also did superb work DMing his regular 7.30pm table as well as filling in for our other Josh at 5.30pm. My own table was full, except for Paul, but we were still down a few players overall – about 30ish were present for this week.
This session saw the group following the cultists out of Waterdeep and to a work camp near Neverwinter, a journey of about a ten-day. There wasn’t as much role-playing and shopping in Waterdeep as I expected, with the group moving on pretty quickly to joining the caravan the cultists were travelling with as guards. The caravan was pretty small, in fact – about twelve guards in all, which meant that the player characters with Janma made up more than half the guards! The cultists were not particularly happy to see the party again, although Mordechai (Josh) was trying to disguise himself.
The journey was an excellent time to throw some more monsters at the group – both for the XP as well as demonstrating exactly how dangerous this part of the world could be.
Ogres came first and, a couple of days later, trolls. The players did really well at defeating the threats, although they killed a few of the other guards protecting the caravan. The fight against the trolls was made much easier by two of the characters able to fling fire bolts at the trolls and thus negating their ability to regenerate. They gained a good deal of respect from the other members of the caravan thereby.
Eventually, the group came to the end of their journey – a work camp near Neverwinter. The camp was run by a half-orc with the improbable name of Bog Luck, who quickly took charge of the unloading of the wagons. The players were very interested in where the cultists’ treasure would be taken, and were somewhat bemused to see their crates locked in a secure area by the half-orc. That night, Lewis and Tim went skulking, trying to work out a way into the secured area. As they did so, they became aware of the sound of movement within. However, the door – which could only be opened from the outside – was still locked. What was going on?
They decided to find Bog Luck to get him to admit them to the strongroom. He refused, blustering that there could be no-one there, especially as all the noises had stopped by the time he arrived. The group appealed to the leader of their caravan, an old soldier who was well respected in the camp, and he agreed with them and forced Bog Luck to open the strongroom.
There was no-one inside, but the pair couldn’t find the cultists’ boxes. What they did find was a secret trapdoor leading to a tunnel!
Before they got a chance to follow it, one of the cultists, who had been holding a grudge since the murder of his friend a few days back, attacked the pair. The cultist was no match for them, and soon enough all of the party were ready to continue onwards, following the secret tunnel to wherever it might lead.
There was a good amount of role-playing and investigation in the later sections of tonight’s session. This brings us to the end of Episode 5 of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. We’ll be returning to some site-based adventures in the next few sessions.