- The "golden" time is over. The players now understand the game and those first exciting, illuminating sessions are long gone.
- The players are starting to get tired of each other.
- 8 players is just too many.
- I am not too thrilled with this adventure and it is probably showing through. I think it will pick up when we get to the temples, but that's a few sessions away.
- I think running the Iceshield Orcs mini-adventure was a mistake. It ate up 3 weeks of gaming and it has nothing to do with the main storyline.
In general, the players don't like the idea of Squirrel Man being run like a normal squirrel. I sensed this immediately and loosened up a bit to accommodate their vision.
- Elf Rogue: Played by a 4th grader, her character's name is Lucky and she has a black cat named "Bad Luck".
- Dwarf Cleric: In real life, played by Lucky's dad. He has a scottish accent and worships Ilmater.
- Drow Rogue: Middle Schooler. Wants to be evil, but Adventurer's League rules restrict this. Has a dog.
- Goliath Barbarian: Middle Schooler. Really nice guy.
- Human Bard: The player is about 25 years old, knows the rules pretty well.
- Human Paladin: Worships Helm. Played by the bard's dad, who played old D&D and is new to 5e.
- Human Rogue: A new player. Taking to the game very well.
The adventurers decided to head into the woods to try to rescue him. They crept up into the forest. They saw that the orc horde was gathered around the rogue, going through his stuff. They revived him so they could question him.
The shaman found his wand of magic missiles! It had only one charge left. She took it and began to question the rogue, and told him he'd make a useful slave.
The orcs then heard a noise in the forest - a cantrip cast by one of the heroes. It sounded like the party issuing a challenge. Many of the orcs went to check it out, led by their orog leader.
The adventurers jumped the shaman and her orcs. The rogue being questioned gave her a leg sweep. Squirrel Man raced forth and pulled the wand from her grasp (yes, Squirrel Man made an opposed strength check against an orc and won - the orc rolled a natural 1).
Shatter spells and arrows from trees devastated the shaman and her orcs. The shaman created a spiritual weapon, but it was of little use. The orog and the 17 orcs with him came back and saw the slaughter. They decided to leave the shaman to her fate.
The heroes returned to the ranch. Late in the night, the orcs tried to creep close to the ranch to set the place on fire. They created a decoy, letting a pair of orcs be spotted past the ranch entrance, while the rest of the pcs tried to creep up from the other side. Squirrel Man was sent out to sweep around and see what was going on.
Squirrel Man was soon being chased by 15 bloodthirsty orcs, but escaped with his life. The orcs retreated into the forest, their scheme foiled.
The heroes were out of spells and all of them were injured. As the orcs advanced, elves burst out from the forest and attacked the orcs. The elves were led by a paladin riding a spectral stag. He was the paladin who killed Rezmir in Hoard of the Dragon Queen, now a great hero known throughout the land!
The adventurers let out a cheer as the paladin rode up to the orog and hacked into him, ultimately rolling a critical hit, slaughtering him. The heroes and the elves killed every last Iceshield Orc.
The paladin and the elves came to the ranch and everyone celebrated. The paladin told stories about fighting Tiamat, and one party realized that his father was one of the slayers of Tiamat (he's playing the son of his previous character).
Lucky decided to try to make friends with the paladin, so she could add him to her friends list. She tried to impress him with her juggling, but it didn't go well. Ultimately he became a friend.
The heroes slept and healed. Once refreshed, they struck out for Summit Hall, leaving Druid Okobo behind. She gave the party three potions of animal friendship (for Squirrel Man dealings) and 2 scrolls of knock (there's an arcane-locked door in the Sacred Stone Monastery that I want the PCs to be able to get through).
Along the way, they spotted 5 robed figures up ahead. They wore golden gargoyle masks that glinted in the sunlight. The adventurers didn't know it, but these were earth cultists posing as monks.
As the heroes approached to greet them, the cultists saw a few of the heroes wearing wingwear (looted off of dead air cultists at Feathergale Spire). They thought that the heroes were air cultists who had fled Feathergale Spire. The earth cultists began to make fun of them, and asked them where their vultures were.
A fight broke out. I had the priestess cast a slow spell, which didn't have much effect. Almost everyone made their saves, and then when she took damage, she lost concentration. It was an experiment. I wanted to see how slow worked in play. It seems like concentration spells are going to be difficult to use effectively.
There was a ridiculous moment where Squirrel Man ended up in a bad guy's body (don't ask) and the party priest hit that cultist cast sacred flame. This created a sort of classic action movie scene, where Squirrel Man had to tunnel out of the guy's body as a fireball chased him. Squirrel Man exploded out of the poor guy's eye socket in slow motion as fire rolled out right behind him.
The earth cultists were so freaked out by this, they turned and ran.
The adventurers made it to Summit Hall, and the skeletal knight laid down on a slab. He was at last at rest. The Knights of Samular offered to allow the party paladin to join them. He decided to mull it over..
The knights recognized the golden gargoyle masks and directed the heroes to the Sacred Stone Monastery - an outpost of the earth cult.
That's as far as we got. Next week, the adventurers will arrive at the monastery to find it had just been attacked by the fire cult!