Animal Crossing, But With Dragons

Session #1
The Meeting and The Pirates

1, Deus 839

Murdoch Athelward, Nanon Hydroxia, Yashin Taroz, Zanphrax, and Zed met below the deck of the SS Amicus. The ship was suddenly attacked by a band of pirates, and the newly acquainted adventurers quickly responded by killing the pirates and sinking their ship.

After their victory, Zed and Zanphrax fell into comas while Murdoch, Nanon, and Taroz partied late into the night.

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Session #2
The Blacksmith and The Octopus

2, Deus 839

After arriving in Altonshire, the party soon learns of a giant octopus that’s keeping villagers from fishing, which is their main source of food and trade. While on their way to inquire at the mayor’s residence, Yashin Taroz purchases two new handaxes from a local blacksmith.

At the mayor’s residence, the party was met by the mayor’s secretary, who refused to let them see the mayor without either an appointment or proof that they had killed the octopus.

The party went and killed the octopus before it could do any of the cool octopus tactics the DM had specifically planned out.

With octopus limbs in tow, the party returned to town, claimed their reward (20 gp and a Belt of Shielding), and sold the leftover octopus meat after Taroz gave some to the blacksmith.

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Session #3
The Half-Elf and The Tomb.

(Note: Due to an unexpected development IRL, Zanphrax was absent for this session)

2, Deus 839

At the Crimson Crow Inn in Altonshire, the Party is offered a quest by Gerey, the half-elf who they met on the S.S. Amicus, and are asked to discuss the details upstairs. Gerey explains that he’s the grandson of a local hero, Horice. He explains that, after his mother fell in love with an elf, Horice didn’t approve of the love, and as a result she fled with her lover, never to return. After some years she had Gerey, and through some connections Horice somehow learned of the birth of his grandson and sent his daughter letters begging her to come home, and one of them mentioned a gift he wanted to give to Gerey, Sirrion’s Codex, as a way of passing on his knowledge.

After discovering the letter, which was hidden from him, inside his mother’s desk, Gerey set out from home to Altonshire to meet his grandfather. There, he found out that Horice had passed and that Sirrion’s Codex had been buried with him in his tomb. Unsure of what to do, he asks the party to infiltrate the tomb for him and retrieve it. The party accepts, after receiving a prepayment of 15 gold, with a promise of 15 more once the book was returned.

3, Deus 839

At midnight the party ventures to Horice’s Tomb, finding the entrance inside a mausoleum, which lacked a lock. Inside the tomb the party found several types of undead, as well as a coffin sealed with a magic lock, and a bookcase where they find Sirrion’s Codex. Sirrion’s Codex, to the party’s surprise, was written in a language none of them were familiar with. They leave the tomb after waiting for it to be dark outside again (having spent enough time underground for morning to come), and return to the inn to give Gerey the Codex. After Murdoch asks Gerey some more about his backstory, Gerey shows Murdoch and Taroz the letter Horice wrote to his mother. Satisfied, Murdoch gave Gerey the book, and he promptly went upstairs.

Wanting to ask Gerey about the language the book was written in, Taroz went upstairs to the half-elf’s room and, after opening the door, found a different half-elf in the room, holding Sirrion’s Codex. Taroz asked him who he was, and when he began to grow suspicious the half-elf cast a spell on him, putting Taroz to sleep. Leaving him asleep on the floor, the half-elf went downstairs and left the inn, unhindered by the party.

After growing worried over what was taking Taroz so long, Murdoch went upstairs to check on him. After finding Taroz asleep, he quickly shook him awake and the two rushed downstairs, but the half-elf was nowhere to be seen.

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Session #4
The Really Expensive Horses and The Trail North

(Note: Due to an unexpected development IRL, Zanphrax was absent for this session)

3, Deus 839

Running out of the inn searching for clues about Gerey, the Party quickly asked around town for anyone who saw a half-elf in purple robes. They eventually found an old lady who said she saw a man of that description riding a horse north out of Altonshire. After asking the local guards, Murdoch learned that he was most likely headed to Earlsvale, a small village to the north.

The party tried to buy horses but they were fuckin’ expensive.

4, Deus 839

On the trail north to Earlsvale, the party came across a group of merchants stranded on the side of the road who asked the party for help, saying goblins stopped their caravan and stole their horses. They offered to give the party a magical item as thanks, and invited Murdoch to look inside the caravan to see it. Inside the caravan, Murdoch checked under a blanket, and while his back was turned narrowly avoided a spear being thrust towards his back.

The party responded appropriately, and proceeded to completely destroy, humiliate, and just plain obliterate the bandits. They also wrecked two of them so hard that there were basically no remains.

Arriving at Earlsvale late at night, the party saw a pack of wolves roaming the town, and killed them.

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Session #5
The Cleric and The Fireball

(Note: Due to an unexpected development IRL, Nanon was absent for this session)

4, Deus 839

After the Party slayed the wolves, saving Earlsvale, Zanphrax suddenly appeared from literally out of nowhere. With the wolves gone, villagers began to resurface from their homes, thanking the Party. The Party asked a young man, named Franklin, for information on Gerey. Franklin told the party that a half-elf with the description they gave had kidnapped the local cleric, Rasiel, before fleeing east while an accomplice called forth the wolves the Party had just defeated. Franklin mentions that Gerey’s cultists had looked like cultists, and there were rumors of some cultists camping a bit northwest of the village. For their heroic deed, the party was given a free night’s stay at the Lucky Hag Inn, an offer which the Party reluctantly accepted as they were in need of a rest.

5, Deus 839

The party set out from Earlsvale early in the morning, but due to losing their way in the woods, wound up only arriving at the site of the camp after the sun had already set. Guided by Murdoch’s torch, the party advanced, taking down a few patrolling cultists with shortbows. They hid the bodies in nearby huts, which contained nothing except bunk beds and chests containing black robes the cultists wore. Seeing the robes, somebody had the idea to don the robes so they could sneak into the central building undetected, and somebody else agreed. So, Murdoch and Taroz left their chainmails in a chest inside a hut, while Zed left his crossbow and a few other miscellaneous items in another.

Zanphrax led the Party into the building, wearing a robe they had found which appeared different from the others – this one having dark gray trim instead of white, as well as a gold badge with a picture of a nine-stranded whip, which Murdoch identified as the symbol of Loviatar, the goddess of pain. Inside the building, a dozen cultists were gathered around a stone platform, upon which an altar sat in front of Gerey, and tied to the altar was an unconscious cleric. As Zanphrax addressed Gerey, to apologize for being late, he rolled a 1 on Deception but he was wearing Gerey’s robe anyways so that jig wasn’t gonna last that long anyway tbh. As Gerey commanded eight of the cultists who weren’t praying at the altar’s side to stop him, Zanphrax ran outside lickity split. The Party prepared themselves in front of the door, everyone ready to attack whoever came outside first.

After almost half a minute without any cultists leaving the building, Murdoch cautiously poked his sword past the curtain hanging over the door frame, and two arrows flew out the door in response, confirming his suspicion that the cultists had taken up the same strategy. As Gerey continued the ritual behind the cultists, the Party fought to re-enter the building as the cultists fought to keep them out. At one point the heroes considered retreating, but the tortured screams of Rasiel from inside the building convinced them to continue. Eventually, Taroz was able to use his lightning breath to break the cultist’s defense and the party was able to enter.

However, they turned out to be too late, as the last of Rasiel’s screams were sucked from her lungs and she fell back on the altar completely motionless, Gerey opened a back exit and escaped with the remaining cultists. As he left, the torches on the corners of the altar flared up, their flames growing taller and merging over Rasiel’s corpse into a giant fireball. As the party escaped, Zanphrax and Murdoch tried to retrieve her body, but after Murdoch’s Lay on Hands failed to revive her they accepted she was lost and fled the building. With the fireball overhead growing larger by the second, Zed attempted casting Ray of Frost to quell it, but the spell was overcome by the extreme heat and failed to affect it. As the Party fled, the fireball exploded behind them, setting fire to the forest.

The party fled to Earlsvale, abandoning the robes on the way. After arriving, Murdoch told Zanphrax to ring the temple bell, waking up the townsfolk. The party quickly warned the townsfolk, and within half an hour the townsfolk had packed their necessities into six caravans and fled south to Altonshire.

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Session #6
The Tortoise and The Dire Hare

(Note: Due to clashing schedules IRL, Zed was absent for the first half of this session, and Zanphrax was gone the whole time)

6, Deus 839

The Party arrived in Altonshire with the refugees from Earlsvale, and were quickly asked to explain the situation to the mayor. After telling the mayor about the destruction of the forest, the mayor mentioned that he had recently been informed that Horice’s Tomb had been broken into, as well. Murdoch, who was talking to the mayor, feigned ignorance to the event, and the mayor told the Party that Horice was an evil wizard who had terrorized Altonshire. When the mayor asked, Murdoch mentioned that the leader of the cult who destroyed the forest was a half-elf, and the mayor immediately realized this must have been Adoros, the apprentice of Horice who fled the town after his mentor was executed.

The mayor wasn’t sure where Adoros would be now, but he recommended the Party head to Ostcrest and ask the duke of the island.

h2 7, Deus 839

Party traveled to Ostcrest and killed some Elks on the way.

h2 8, Deus 839

Party arrived at Ostcrest, and talked to the duke, an elderly man who seemed slightly senile. When he heard the Party say that Adoros had Sirrion’s Codex, he asked if he had the other book from the set, Habbakuk’s Tome. He explained that Adoros would likely be on his way to Soathon in the northwest, where a large temple to Habbakuk is located, and inside it the spellbook. The party spent the rest of the day traveling to Mosslet, which they found destroyed by the fire. In the middle of the road in town they saw a blank book with red binding, which Murdoch put into his backpack.

h3 9, Deus 839

Party traveled through the destroyed forest to Earlsvale, which they found in an equally destroyed state. They spent the night and traveled on.

h3 10, Deus 839

On their way through the hilly area of Levelich Isle, they encountered two Gnolls demanding a toll to pass. But then the gnolls died. For further details on the rest of this day, see Session #7.

h3 11, Deus 839

Party arrived in Soathon in the late afternoon.

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Session #7
The Gnolls and The Filler

(Note: Due to unexpected developments and clashing schedules IRL, neither Nanon nor Zanphrax were able to make it to this session. As such, the DM decided to make this a filler session, putting it in the timeline right before the end of Session #6)

10, Deus 839

As the last of the two gnolls fell, one of them laughed at the Party, telling them with his final breath that the rest of their pack was going to raid Soathon come morning, and there was nothing they could do to stop it. Then his head fell, pointing in the direction of the gnoll base. The party, following this clue, ventured into the hills south of Soathon. By nightfall they came across a watch tower standing next to a tall fence, with two gnolls standing inside it. While Murdoch and Taroz hid behind some bushes, Zed shot a Fire Bolt spell at one of the tower’s legs, causing it to catch fire and quickly begin to spread.

The gnolls, noticing this, quickly ran down the ladder with longbows in hand. One of the gnolls spotted the party hiding behind the bushes and began to fire, while the other ran into the darkness. As the tower continued to burn and spread light into the area, the Party could see the gnoll who had run into the darkness was opening a gate that led inside the fence surrounding the camp. As the tower fell and the gnoll fled inside the camp, the Party finished off the remaining gnoll outside. As the party began to venture inside the camp, they were met with the sound of gnolls shouting and wolves barking.

The Party fought long and hard, setting fire to a tent inside the camp as well as the fence around it, but when they began to find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of arrows flying at them from the darkness, at one point even bringing Murdoch to the brink of death, the Party decided to make a tactical retreat back to the burning tower.

As they did so, the gnolls fell back as well and began shouting for their comrades. While the heroes readied themselves outside, they heard the shouts of at least half a dozen gnolls storming outside their camp. When the Party saw how many gnolls came out of the camp and took into consideration their own pitiable state of affairs before making the decision to flee. As the gnolls saw them begin to flee, their leader shouted at them to stay and fight like men. Murdoch shouted back “Not while you outnumber us,” to which he replied: “I fight you ONE ON ONE!

Murdoch took him up on that offer, and as he was about to ask for an hour to rest, he suddenly felt Heironeous’ strength surge within him, restoring him to perfect health. The gnoll leader told them that if he beat Murdoch, then the Party would have to rebuild his camp, and if Murdoch won then they could go free. With Murdoch healed and the conditions set, the fight was ready to start.

Within seconds Murdoch realized that the glaive the gnoll leader carried was far from ordinary – as it narrowly missed striking him in the arm and smashed into the ground, the weapon’s blade spontaneously burst into flames, singing the grass at Murdoch’s feet. With each swing, the battle grew more tense – at one point the gnoll leader attempting to bite Murdoch’s arm off and Murdoch narrowly evading his teeth. Finally, after like at least a minute of rolling dice, Murdoch found an opening and, leaping into the air as he struck the gnoll leader in the side of the face with the side of his blade, sent him flying into his comrades’ arms, dropping his glaive to the ground.

After being brought back to consciousness by his allies, the gnoll leader acknowledged Murdoch’s strength, and agreed to let the Party go. Murdoch reached out to help the gnoll leader stand up, and he took his hand. The gnoll leader introduced himself as Kaito, and agreed to Murdoch’s request that the pack not raid Soathon. Then, after Murdoch offered to pick up Kaito’s glaive, Kaito told Murdoch to keep it – that he had earned it through battle. And so the Party went back on their way, a new friendship formed and a new kickass flaming glaive obtained.

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Session #8
The Everything Going Wrong IRL and The Everything Going Right IC

(Note: Due to literally everything going terribly, terribly, wrong IRL, the session’s start was delayed by over an hour, Zed had to leave early, and overall everything went just awful. In game everything went swimmingly, though)

11, Deus 839

The Party arrived in Soathon in the afternoon, and immediately went to the Habbakuk Temple. Murdoch warned a man who appeared to be the head priest about the threat Adoros posed to the temple, but despite this he insisted that Habbakuk’s Tome was perfectly safe. However, at Murdoch’s insistence, the head priest allowed him to stand guard downstairs, where two other guards were located. While he did this, the rest of the Party stayed on the main floor and watched the people going in and out of the temple to see if anyone suspicious entered. After waiting until night and not seeing anyone suspicious, the Party members (except for Murdoch) were asked to leave as the temple was closing. The Party went to the inn and slept (everyone except for Nanon, at least).

h3 12, Deus 839

At midnight, the sound of a large explosion erupting from the temple rang throughout the town, waking up the entire Party. In the basement of the temple, one of the guards were crushed by the falling debris, some of which also hit Murdoch. As the Party rushed to the temple, Nanon forced the doors open with Eldritch Blast, and inside found cultists setting fire to the temple with enchanted arrows. And at the end of the temple, standing next to the altar, was Adoros preparing to descend the stairs down to where Habbakuk’s Tome lay. At this moment, Murdoch rushed up the opposite staircase to see what had happened, but before he could attack Adoros he was stopped by a cultist, giving Adoros enough time to descend the stairs.

The fire spread as the Party fought, Zanphrax and Taroz getting wounded by fire arrows shot by the cultists, and by the time most of the enemies were down, towers of fire could be seen in every direction, rising off of fallen beams. Eventually Murdoch followed Adoros downstairs but, after hearing him shout “DAMN IT!” and run for the stairs in the other direction, he turned around and went back upstairs, ready to engage Adoros in combat as soon as he walked upstairs. As he ascended the staircase, Adoros released from his hand three rays of fire, the first of which killed a cleric who was trying to move debris off of the head priest before the fire moved to it. The second ray nearly killed the guard from downstairs, and Murdoch barely managed to block the final ray with his shield as it came flying towards his face.

Healing himself and bracing his defense with magic, Murdoch continued to fight Adoros while the rest of the Party ran to the altar to join in the fight. After Taroz attacked Adoros from behind, he cast Thunderwave, knocking Murdoch unconscious and, with a second casting, Taroz followed. Zanphrax, Zed, and Nanon all fired projectiles at Adoros, to seemingly no avail until, as Adoros was about to walk towards them, Nanon struck him with an Eldritch Blast that sent him flying back and down to the ground, knocked out.

As the Party hurried to stabilize Taroz and Murdoch, the building began to come down around them. While Nanon and Zed carried the head priest and Taroz outside respectively, Zanphrax tried to loot the corpses only to fall unconscious himself due to his injuries and being struck by a piece of the falling debris. At this point the town guard entered, and helped carry away the unconscious Party members before the building fell.

While some local spellcasters cast spells to put out the flames consuming the temple before it spread, the Party explained to the guards what had happened, and after hearing that they had killed Adoros the captain of the guard rewarded the Party with 250 gold. Murdoch also asked the head priest about the blank book he had found in Mosslet, and the head priest told him that it was most likely Sirrion’s Codex, having turned blank as a result of its limited uses being exhausted.

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Session #9
The Birdaxe and The Fire Lizard

12, Deus 839

After awaking from their sleep after defeating Adoros, the Party headed south to visit Kaito at the gnoll camp and offer to help rebuild their camp. On the way, Murdoch asked the rest of the Party to hear their backstories.

Later when they arrived at the gnoll camp, Kaito insisted the Party leave, as the gnolls would handle rebuilding the camp on their own.

As they left, the Party decided to travel to Shepnor in the north. On the way, they encountered eight blood hawks that had pretty much the best first round ever and knocked Murdoch unconscious right away. After the battle was over, Taroz pulled one of his handaxes out of a hawk corpse to find that the hawk’s beak was stuck over the handaxe’s blade, transforming it into the BIRDAXE.

Then everybody but Murdoch and Taroz disappeared as they encountered a giant goat and a giant lizard. The giant goat went down no problem, but when Murdoch hit the giant lizard with his fire glaive, the lizard grabbed the glaive and absorbed its power, transforming itself into the Fire Lizard. As the battle waged on, the Fire Lizard became giant and grew wings, calling down a rain of fire and launching eye beams as it flew away in pursuit of greater goals.

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