Friday, August 5, 2011

Paragons of Waterdeep: Session 1

Greetings all. Apologies once again for my infrequent postings of late. I wanted to take this change to post a recap of our first session. This is an embellishment of a recap provided by two of my players, to whom I am indebted. Without them, this recap would not be possible.

The campaign begins on the third day of Tarsakh in 1369 Dalereckoning, also known as the Year of the Gauntlet. The cleric of Lathander known as Oisin hails from the village of Amphil, which is three days north of Waterdeep. 
The first session found Kale the elven ranger arriving in the City of Splendors. She is a member of a nomadic clan of wood elves in the High Forest. She is part of an elite group known as the Daughters of Mielikki, who serve to protect her clan from threats. The elves live in temporary settlements known as vo’ans. Kale was sent by the leader of her clan Elaya (also known as the vo’antir or voice of the vo’an) to seek aid from the Temple of Lathander in Waterdeep. The request stems from a steadily increasing number of undead humanoids (orcs, goblins, and gnolls) appearing in the High Forest. Kale’s clan has few clerics at the current time, and therefore does not have the means to easily combat the undead.
When Kale arrives at the Temple of Lathander, called the Spires of the Morning, Oisin and a newer member of the Lathanderite clergy named Leela were summoned by a higher-ranking cleric named Rorik. The two lower-ranked clerics learn of the plight of the elves, and Oisin and Leela are eager to help. However, Rorik is comfortable with his routine duties at the temple and seems to enjoy bureaucracy. The higher-ranked cleric says that he wants to further consider the idea with the other senior clergy and perhaps even the head of the temple.
After Rorik left them to wait for the decision from the senior clergy, Oisin and Leela took Kale to get some food, seeing as she had a long journey to Waterdeep. Leela took everyone to the Singing Sword Tavern, an establishment she used to frequent prior to joining the temple. At the tavern the three ran into an old friend of Leela's named Nestor. People in the tavern were overheard talking about some strange deaths in the city involving victims bursting into flames. The group, which now included Nestor, decided to leave the tavern and check out the site where the last victim (a trader's wife) had been found. The group searched the alley where the last victim had been found, discovering scorch marks and the scale of some sort of creature. While searching, the group was approached by several unsavory characters to which Nestor apparently owed a gambling debt. Oisin paid Nestor's debt in return for the rogue’s service to the temple.
Upon returning to the Spires of the Morning, the group met with an agitated Rorik, who informed them that Leela and Oisin were to go with Kale to her homeland in order to investigate the undead. Nestor, balking at the thought of the long journey to the High Forest, stated that he had a plan to get the group to the forest via a much faster route. But he would only do so if Oisin released Nestor from the outstanding debt. Oisin agreed to Nestor's terms and the group made arrangements to meet him the next day.
So the following day Oisin, Kale, and Leela met with Nestor to find that his plan involved using a teleportation portal to travel quickly to the High Forest. Nestor claimed to have a friend who is an apprentice of the powerful archwizard, Khelben Blackstaff. The apprentice said that he had discovered the portal in his fiancé’s basement. In order to use the portal, they would have to sneak into the fiancé’s parents’ house while everyone was home that morning. Kale refused to travel without her trusty elven-bred horse, so a compromise was reached and the group decided to take two of their four horses through the portal. The apprentice wanted payment for travel through the portal, so the group traded him the scale that they had found at the crime scene the night before. With the help of the apprentice's fiancé, they slipped into the house. With some tense moments, we got the pack horse through the back door and quickly through the portal then the rest of us went, along with Kale's horse while the fiance's parents kept calling her and asking what was going on.
The group emerged from the portal to find themselves in a cave with little light, with their pack horse was nowhere to be found. They made their way toward the entrance of the cave, guided by daylight. Kale's sharp elven senses picked up a creature moving outside the cave entrance. That’s when the group spotted the mutilated carcass of their pack horse just outside the entrance. Moments later, a blood-covered owlbear rushed into the cave and attacked. A desperate combat ensued, in which the cleric Leela was injured and had to fall back to heal. After a pitched battle, the owlbear was slain.
The group eventually emerged from the cave to find themselves on a narrow mountainside trail in a thick fog. With Kale in the lead, they carefully made their way along the trail, narrowly avoiding a place where the path would have crumbled beneath their feet and plunged them off a sharp drop. After several hours of travel, Kale heard the sound of horse hooves. Ahead of them, a female centaur emerged from the mists with a bow and arrow at the ready. The centaur, upon seeing the group, took aim and called over her shoulder “I’ve found them.”