Let’s try something different. This post will be about a one-shot adventure that my tabletop D&D group is currently playing. My intention is just to have a record of our group’s adventures somewhere that we can look back again eventually, for whatever reason.
Before we proceed any further let me give a couple of disclaimers: Some of the information may not be 100% accurate since 1) this session was over a week ago plus my memory is terrible and 2) English isn’t my native language and although I can write an read without any issues my ability to speak and hearing is about 90% at best.
If our DM or any of the other players are reading this post and notice any wrong information, please let me know and I will correct it as soon as possible.
Alright, let’s get this started…
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
We are playing on a homebrew setting created by our DM. I don’t remember if the world has a name but our characters live and work in the kingdom of Vulcanhold.
In this world magic doesn’t exist like in conventional fantasy worlds. People can gain magical abilities depending on their deeds and the population belief on them. There are of course exceptions, with at least one wizard being able to use magic without having to worry about it but they tend to be very rare. And I imagine very powerful beings like dragons don’t have to worry about what mortals think about them either and can just use magic as normal.
Our characters are kind of Knights of the Round Table that work for the queen of Vulcanhold. Our role is to protect the kingdom and serve as advisors for her. We are not the only ones though, there are others who are probably busy solving some other problem or another. Our characters just happen to be the ones that got involved in this particular crisis.
There is also some kind of magical technology going on. Meaning that we could have something like a magic-powered cell phone for instance.
One last detail about Vulcanhold is that it is a very cosmopolitan city. All different races co-exist in harmony there pretty much without any prejudice.
All of our characters are starting at level 4. I am going to try to describe them as best as I can from session 0 and the abilities discussed in our Discord channel.
Kaimir Lightbringer – Tiefling – Rogue/Assassin.
My own character. When Kaimir was a baby he was abandoned at the doorsteps of one of the knights of the previous generation, a very brave, kind and compassionate man. Kaimir tried to follow on his footsteps but unfortunately was not able to live up to the legacy of his adoptive father. So he decided to follow a different path, one in where he would protect the queen and the kingdom by any means.
He became a knight after spending years working undercover and helping to dismantle one of the biggest crime syndicates at the time.
Personal ability: Guise of the Infiltrator – Gain expertise with disquise kit. Any roll made with the disquise kit with a result of 9 or lower is instead 10, then add proficiency. Truth and Lying are so blurred, you can use either Deception or Persuasion interchangably when either are asked to be rolled, and you are now immune to Zone of Truth.
Erlihime Myunxekas (aka Erl) – Dragonborn – Paladin/Oath of Crown
A follower of Bahamut and a fighter who will bring down the full force of the law to whoever is foolish enough to break it. She is probably the only one in the party who isn’t a “murder hobo” as she put it during one of the party’s discussion. XD
At some point in the past Erl rescued Flick and the two have been working together since.
Personal ability: The Hero We Deserve – Can now use your Divine Sense charges to cast the following spells ignoring V,S,M requirements, at level 2, using Charisma to cast.
[Aid, Animal Friendship, Bane, Bless, Calm Emotions, Heroism, Resistance, Warding Bond]
Flick – Kobold – Artificer/Artillerist
Flick is a kobold that was rescued a while ago by Erl. Since then Flick has a “please, notice me senpai” feeling towards Erl.
She also works in the “Robots, Fumes, and Doom Kabooms!” department of the Izzet Engineers.
Personal ability: Flick brand Grenades – Can make a variety of grenades with different effects. She can also give them up to other party members but can only have up to 4 at time. If another one needs to be created then the oldest one stops working. Or explodes. I am not entirely sure about this part. XD
Lamilia (aka Lam) – Half-Elf (Actually a Changeling) – Ranger/Beastmaster
A Changeling that is disguised as a Half-Elf. However nobody else in the party knows about this.
Lamilia is also part of the spy division of the Kingdom.
Personal ability: Flick brand Arrows – Charges based on Wis modifier per short rest. With a bonus action, you draw a Flick brand arrow. The arrow gains an effect chosen when drawn. You pick a cantrip on the Artificer list and add it to the arrow. These spells are cast using your Wisdom.
First-Among-Creations (aka #1) – Warforged – Warlock/The Celestial
Created as a joint venture between the Izzet Engineers’ departments of “Robots, Fumes, and Doom Kabooms!” and the “Dwarven Union”. However nobody knows how it got magical abilities. The departments however were convinced to let #1 to join the party as he would be helpful in protecting the kingdom.
Flick has been made responsible for its care and maintenance.
Personal ability: Book of Gods – Your Book of Shadows is linked directly to your Patron. Charges based on Cha modifier per short rest. with an action, you plead to your Patron for help and guidance, looking for the right spell in your time of need. Roll a CHA(Persuasion) roll, DC 15, to find the specific spell on your Warlock spell list you wish to cast. On a success, your Patron has provided the spell and it’s cast, ignore V,S,M requirements. On a fail, you find Eldritch Blast or Guidance (Which ever is more appropriate in your situation) which is cast instead.
Our party was sent to the nearby town of Stoneyquade to investigate some reports of orc raids in the area. While we were camping in some nearby ruins, one of the squires came running, carrying a box and shouting “Orcs! Orcs!” just right before being shot by an orc’s javelin. I don’t know if he had a red shirt or not.
Just as this happens the party gets ambushed from all sides from a band of orcs and some warboars, led by what looked like an orc spellcaster.
It was a pretty rough first fight for us as most of our party are ranged and being ambushed by orcs that could quickly dash to melee range made things difficult for us. Still we managed to take some of the warboars and orcs out. The rest of them started to retreat once they saw one of their own take the box.
Fortunately we managed to kill the orc holding the box before he could retreat and as the box fell to the ground, what looked like a black horn got out of it. Flick also managed to capture another orc alive, as he was retreating, by using a sticky grenade.
Lam immediately noticed that the captured orc (and the rest of the attackers) weren’t native to this region, rather they usually live in Lost Peak, a region that isn’t much known about and happens to be on the other side of the map.
The party tried to interrogate the captured orc but without much success. All they were able to find is that he had a tattoo on his neck that showed he was a follower of Tiamat. Also as soon as the orc noticed Erl’s holy symbols of Bahamut he started to trash talk her. Erl was too classy to answer in the same way.
Flick on the other hand wanted some revenge for being almost killed by the orcs so she shot him, blowing his leg up. Erl tried to stop it but it was already too late. In Flick’s defense she did ask if she could do that first, it is just that the Kaimir gave his approval before Erl could reply.
At this point #1 decided to heal the orcs leg wounds, hoping that he would still be feeling pain and be more cooperative but no such luck.
The squire, who had been healed during combat by Erl, takes this time to tell us how he got the box. While he was scouting he found a band of orcs being attacked by a red dragon that flew away after grabbing up some of them. The scout noticed the box among the wreckage, ran to pick it up and bring to us. Of course, this also brought the orcs too but the squire reckless behavior may have saved the realm for all we know.
After some discussion on what to do next the party decides to return to the city of Vulcanhold to find more about the horn and bring the orc as prisoner. Our hope was that someone in the city could extract information from him that we could not.
Back at the city Lam sends scouts to look for the rest of the orcs. While our prisoner is sent to the city’s dungeons. Then we decide to find some more information about this horn before reporting to the queen.
Our first attempt is to ask the “Robots, Fumes, and Doom Kabooms!” (or Doom Kabooms from this point forward) to analyze it. They find out it is made of material completely unknown to them and it is pretty much indestructible.
Next they tried the local Temple to see what the religious people can find. After doing some rituals they priests discovered that the horn seems to have some sort of intelligence and is able to communicate but it didn’t want to talk with anyone except those with dragon blood.
Kaimir proposed that Erl try to communicate with the horn so we could get some intel on it or maybe the enemy’s plans. However the paladin outright refused due to its dubious origins. Flick was excited to give it a try but the rest of the party thought it might be better to get more information first.
After that they hit the library. Through some research our party discovered it is not really a horn but actually a relic, more specifically the Claw of Tiamat. Apparently the dragon-goddess lost it eons ago in a battle against Bahamut. Suddenly not communing with it clearly was a good idea.
Oh, and to make matters worse, the artifact was most likely stolen from the red dragon by the orcs. Being a magical item the dragon could probably detect its location which was just even more bad news for our heroes.
With all this research done the heroes went on to make their report to the queen. She was very concerned with all the news we brought, specially the part about an orc being able to use spells as this was something unheard of and goes against everything we know about how magic works in this world.
The queen also reveals there may be a way to destroy the claw, but it requires bringing it to the Lost Peaks. I don’t remember the reasoning, I think it was something to do with that being the site of the battle between Bahamut and Tiamat or it just weakening any magical artifacts or something. Sorry~ Terrible memory here!
Anyway, she still left it up to us on what to do next. There wasn’t even a discussion here, the party unanimously decided that the best course of action is to take the horn to the Lost Peaks and destroy it.
Of course, we’ll also be bringing it right into enemy territory but the alternative is to have an army orc invading the city and possibly a very angry red dragon looking for it too. That would certainly cause casualties among the civilian population, at best.
With a course of action decided the next step was to decide on how to execute it. After some discussion it was decided to bring an army with us, while the claw will be stored in a box and hidden in one of the wagons. We also decided to booby-trap the box with some explosives in case one of the orcs can make into the wagon and tries to steal the artifact. We just needed to get the gunpowder for it.
Unfortunately getting the required gunpowder through legal means was a bit beyond our budget. Kaimir then decided to use his underground contacts to acquire the gunpowder with a “discount”.
His contact happens to be a goblin called Sleazy. The goblin could get us the gunpowder at a much lower market price however he needed about a week to deliver it. Sleazy also asked that in return we requested the queen to temporarily loosen up some laws so he could get all the gunpowder into the city. Granted, loosening said laws would also benefit other friends of his but it is a small price to pay to stop whatever nefarious plot those orcs have!
Kaimir was a bit overzealous while buying explosives, spending all his gold on it with Flick being excited about the prospect of explosives and chipping in to buy a barrel of gunpowder too. In the end we got enough gunpowder to blow up a small army of orcs or wound a young adult red dragon.
Our original plan was to put all the explosive with the box guarding the claw. However Lam had some concerns that this plan could backfire on us. After some discussion we decided to compromise. We will put just one explosive with the box in case an orc somehow manages to get into the wagon and tries to steal it. The rest of the explosives will go into different wagons. If we see a red dragon in the distance we immediately put all the explosives with the box and let the dragon take it then we remotely detonate it while it is flying.
We might also put some kind of magical tracking on the claw but the DM said he needed to check the rules on that and would get back to us on the next session.
After the week went by and our preparations are all done we got some more pieces of information. First the scouts found a bunch of orc warbands camps scattered outside the city. Hopefully the orcs will notice our party leaving the city with the artifact before deciding to attack.
The other piece of information comes from the orc prisoner. The city interrogators were able to find that his tribe made a sort of deal with Tiamat. They will summon Tiamat to this plane and in return the dragon-goddess will help out their deity. I am not entirely sure if he revealed what kind of help that would be but I am imagining it would be aid in some kind of cosmic conflict against other deities.
Again, I am sure I got a few facts wrong since my hearing skill in English isn’t that great and my memory is even worse. If that is the case I will correct this post later and put a summary of the changes in the next one so people don’t have to come back to this one just to see what was fixed!