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).
28-29 Flamerule – 1490 – Year of the Star Walker’s Return
The heroes moved around the abandoned town of Thundertree destroying ash zombies. As the moved towards the north end of the town, they noticed some men in strange, black costumes, wearing masks, standing around the base of the crumbling tower on the hill. Perched at the top of the tower, watching them with interest, was a large, green dragon.
They ignored their watchers, and cleared out the last old building of zombies before boldly making their way up the hill to the back of the tower and the small cottage connected to it. As they approached, the dragon called out “Hello!”. He introduced himself as Venomfang, and thanked the party for helping to clean up the town. Venomfang called out to someone named Favric, and a moment later a man in dark browns and greens, wearing a featureless mask, emerged from the cottage. The dragon instructed Favric to pay the party for their work, and Favric obeyed, giving them a gold piece for each Ash Zombie they killed.
The heroes questioned the dragon, demanding to know what his plans were for the town. Venomfang spoke eloquently about a new philosophy of building called Taliesen that he’d learned from a druid named Frankleroy Wright. This philosophy promised a way for civilization and nature to work and live harmoniously together, by combining the two. Venomfang wanted to test this new way of building and living by using Thundertree as a prototype, repairing the town and its buildings naturally. He invited the party to stay in the town if they wished, to choose any abandoned home they like and fix it up, as long as it respected the philosophy of Taliesen.
Both Jortran and Ragnar recalled hearing of the druid Frankleroy Wright, and Ragnar warned the dragon that he intended to ask his master in Silverymoon about it. He also mentioned that his family had fled Thundertree when he was still a babe n arms, and that he had come to reclaim it. The dragon thought this was a grand idea, and asked Ragnar to invite his family and any others who remained from Thundertree to return and live here again, as long as they were willing to live by the philosophy of Taliesen.
While they spoke with Venomfang, Eamon stuck his head into the cottage, where he saw bedrolls and a small iron cookstove, nothing suspicious. Venomfang insisted that the young woman hiding in the far house could leave if she liked, so Eamon next went to tell her this. Unfortunately she did not believe him, and remains cowering inside.
Finally, Ragnar decided he would not try to kill Venomfang for now, intrigued as he was by this new idea about living with nature, but he warned the dragon he would be watching him. After this, as the day started to move on to evening, the party decided to camp for the night in the old barracks (now cleared of zombies) and press on in the morning to Neverwinter.
Towards the end of the night, just before dawn, while Tecton sat on watch and the thick mists of night wrapped around the cottage and roiled at the old windows, something strange happened. Tec nodded off for just a split second, and when he looked again the barracks, indeed the entire village, was gone. The party was sleeping on the ground in the midst of a dark, ancient, foggy forest. Confused, he waited patiently for his companions to wake. As they did, they began wondering where they might be, and how they got there, as well as what happened to Jortran, who was no longer with them.
They began walking downhill, and noticed along the way that the forest was comprised mostly of conifers. Tecton climbed up as high as he could to look out over the forest, and saw two large mountains in the distance with a forested valley in between. They continued walking, trying to determine where in Faerun they might be, and when, since the few deciduous trees they saw had leaves verging on yellow and orange. Eventually they came to a muddy road through the woods, mottled with small potholes of brackish water. They followed it along until ahead of them they noticed a wagon at the side of the road, it’s single horse still asleep.
Creeping up they looked in the back and found a sleeping Tristan sprawled out, snoring loudly. They woke him, and he was as surprised to see them, as they were to find him. He explained he’d been on the road to Neverwinter when it grew dark and foggy, and eventually he decided to pull off and sleep until he could get his bearings in the morning.
Together they continued along the road in the direction of the valley, the sun barely breaking through the dismal grey sky that lay over them like a blanket. Eventually they came around a bend in the road and discovered a huge wall of stone blocks that stretched across the valley floor, meeting the steeply rising forested hills on either side at a height of at least a hundred feet. At the center of the wall were tall double doors of heavy wood, guarded to each side by towering statues of warriors. The head of each statue lay on the ground at the foot of the wall, amidst tall weeds. As they approached, the doors slowly opened outwards, like arms reaching out to hug them. After a brief investigation of the wall, they ventured through the doors, seeing more road and forest on the other side. As they passed through, the doors slowly swung shut behind them, with the loud grinding of ancient gears. Now they continue down the road on the far side of the wall, wondering aloud where they are.
UNTIL NEXT TIME…