These are the journal entries for our D&D 5th Edition campaign being played on Roll20. There are 6 PCs: Ragnar (Paladin), Eamon (Cleric), Jortran (Druid), Tec (Rogue), Malfred (Warlock), and Tristan (Barbarian).
26-27-28 Flamerule – 1490 – Year of the Star Walker’s Return
In the cloudy, rainy morning, Jortran woke to find his room smelled of pipe smoke. A chair from the common room was now in his room, facing one corner, the pipe resting on its seat, but with no tobacco within. Everyone met downstairs and after a quick breakfast decided to collect their money from Halia Thornton for their shares of the mine. Afterwards the group set out to track down the missing ring from Freda’s finger using magic.
Eamon cast a spell which led them to a crumbling shack on the outskirts of town, at the far end of a farm field. There was no one there, but they found the ring in a box under the bed, and clothing from various townsfolk, including Freda, and the burly miner they’d seen in the tavern each morning at breakfast, including that morning. They quickly headed back to the inn and questioned Toblin about the miner. They learned that his name is Lanar, and he comes in to town for breakfast every morning before going to prospect in the hills. Toblin provided them with directions to Lanar’s cabin, and the party set out south.
They found the cabin quiet, and unlocked. It seemed no one had been there for some time. They searched around the area, but found no signs of violence, or a body. After some debate they decided it wasn’t their job to find the murderer, and that they should move on to Thundertree to rid it of the green dragon that was rumoured to be there.
Heading north through the mist and rain, they camped for the night not far from the location of what they had assumed was a giant’s hut on their previous foray to Cragmaw Castle. So close to it, Jortran could smell the stench of death and decay in the air. They decided not to investigate. In the night Jortran found his pipe lying in the dirt a few feet from their camp in the treeline of the Neverwinter Wood. He couldn’t say how it got there. Later that night, Ragnar met a small fox that crept out of the dark and asked him if the humans were going to get rid of the dragon, before running away. After that they heard a raucous of wolves howling wildly in the distance of the forest, followed by loud crashing, and then silence.
The next day as they continued along through the grasslands bordering the forest, a heavy fog laying about them, the rain beginning to chill their bones, a Hill Giant suddenly appeared from the trees carrying a brace of dead wolves over its shoulder. It noticed that party and, dropping the wolves, began running towards them, its massive club in one hand, the other hand scooping up rocks to throw. Tristan spurred on his horse and cart and headed westerly, attempting to get around the giant to attack from the rear. The giant tossed a large rock in his direction, hitting him heavily, but not killing him. The heroes rushed forward to meet the giant, and when the battle was done the giant fell to the ground, pinning Ragnar briefly.
After healing up, Tristan decided he would head for the town of Neverwinter along the High Road instead, and meet the PCs at Thundertree later. he loaded the dead wolves into his cart, and trundled away. The rest of the party continued north. Their next night of camping was uneventful, giving them much needed rest. Not long after morning they came upon the long abandoned town of Ragnar’s infancy as it loomed out of the mist and light rain. There was a new sign at the head of the road into the town that declared “New Thundertree – A Natural Town. Pop.
Just past the sign, in the first old building on the left, they found the old, wizened druid, Reidoth. He had fashioned himself a temporary home in the building, having fixed up the roof, and welcomed them in for some herbal tea around his warm fire. The heroes took the opportunity to warm up and dry off a little, and asked Reidoth what was happening in the town with the dragon.
Reidoth told them that the dragon’s name was Venomfang, and that he was a great philosopher, who wanted to try out a new way of marrying nature and civilization with something called a “natural town”. The goal was to have the creatures of the so-called civilized world live in harmony with nature, by making nature an integral part of the buildings and planning of the town. He was using the old town of Thundertree to test this philosophy, and was welcoming anyone who wanted to move to the town, as long as they would live by the natural town philosophy.
The druid also told them there were other humans in the town, some cult that had come to treat with Venomfang, but who had now joined them all as part of the natural town experiment. That is, except for two of them. He claimed one of them had tried to burn down the town in an act of evil, and had been stopped by his former companions. The other was was a young woman who was holed up in another building at the other end of town.
Suspicious of the dragon’s motives, and fearing that Reidoth might be charmed, they checked for any signs of magic. With the exception of his sickle and staff, Reidoth did not appear to be surrounded by any magical auras. The party asked Reidoth to show them to the building where the woman was hiding.Along the way Ragnar asked Reidoth to show him to the old herbalist shop that had belonged to the family of Mirna Dendrar from Phandalin. There Ragnar found the small hidden box, as Mirna had promised, inside of which was a beautiful bejeweled pendant. They also noticed a body lying in the road. Reidoth said it was the cultist who had tried to set fire to the town. They asked him why the body hadn’t been buried, and he replied “Because nature will take care of it, of course!”
At the far end of town they came to building with a sturdy door that had been bolted from the other side. The windows were blocked with furniture. They called out and from within a young woman answered. She explained that she was only 16, and was the daughter of a wealthy Waterdhavian family. She had left her home and joined the cult of the dragon to make her parents angry. She thought it would be some fun, see the realms, and maybe see a dragon, but she was afraid she was in over her head now, and wanted to go home. She feared if she tried to leave the town the dragon would hunt her down and kill her.
Since the young woman refused to let them in, the heroes decided to look around some more. They realized that many of the buildings around them were occupied by some of the strange Ash Zombies that they’d heard of. Reidoth explained that he’d been killing them when he could during the day, but that he was only one man, and they only came out at night, so it was otherwise safe to move around. Ragnar plunged into a nearby rotting house where he found one of the Ash Zombies. They made quick work of it, with Reidoth helping, and decided to go door to door destroying the undead. In the next crumbling home they encountered four of the creatures, and quickly laid them low. Now they will decide which house to investigate next.
UNTIL NEXT TIME…