This is the tale of the start of our campaign, where everybody introduces their character and starts working together, or to be accurate, where some party members manage to be completely useless.
Our tale starts in a tavern, called Madame Freona’s Tea Kettle, located in the city on Phlan. Our party assembles here the first time, and meet each other out of pure luck. Not much background work is put in why we are meeting here. We recently banded together and haven’t been in combat as a party, so some introduction is needed.
Our party consists of 5 people (with a 6th joining later):
- The Aarakocra Bard Ka’akh,
- The Thiefling Warlock TeeWee
- The Dragonborn Fighter Prilin Stormscale
- The Half-orc Barbarian Durog
- The Elven Ranger ER (or, to be soon known as, Eeyore)
- The Half-orc Paladin Hazog (joining later)
While sleeping in the tavern, we are called by one of the daughters of Madame Fiora. A caped man has summoned us downstairs, in search of adventures that are interested in earning some coin. Our party quickly assembles downstairs to talk to this caped man, who introduces himself as an agent of the Harpers.
Our objective is to pose as a trading party in a shady trade going down nearby. The original trading party is captured and the trader will be replaced by a human from our party. Seeing as our party does not have a human party member, our DM decides that our Half-Orc resembles closest to the original trader (apparantly, he has a face only a mother could love).
Our Half-Orc, while posing as a trader, is to trade a bag of fake gems in exchange for a green dragon egg. While we are at it, we should also sneak a magic tracker on one of the trading party members, to see where the egg originated from. If we managed this, an extra reward is in it for us. Without much thought, our party agrees to this deal and sets out to a shady barn nearby where the trade goes down.
The moment arrives, our party approaches the barn and vaguely starts to inspect the surroundings. The barn is a two-leveled building, with windows around 20 feet from the ground. The attack plan for our party starts as follows:
- a party of three (Durog, ER and Prilin Stormscale) walk in through the front door to talk to the traders
- Ka’akh flies around a window, ready to charge in when trouble arises
- TeeWee decides to inspect the back of the barn
This is where we are about to learn a crucial lesson: DO NOT SPLIT YOUR PARTY UP!
For some reason, our parties like to split up in two parts, which is fine. But in this case, someone was left alone.
TeeWee finds a window and decides that the best course of action is to jump up to it, and try to climb in. In which he succeeds. He finds himself on the top level of the barn, between several stacks of hay. A quick perception check makes him notice two assassins hiding in the hay stacks and they notice him. It was in this moment that he realised that he, in fact, fucked up.
Combat errupts between TeeWee and the two assassins. As a quick note, this is the start of our campaign, so we were level 1. The assassins each manage to land a hit on him, and with that, he is immediately hit unconscious. A great start for this encounter. In a reaction, TeeWee manages to hit one of the assassins with a fire spell. The spell makes a lot of noise, alerting us of the threat and SETTING A HAY STACK ON FIRE.
The trading partyis now also alerted, and a real battle royal between three parties commences:
- Our party, already one man down
- The trader and his three guards
- The two assassins
Meanwhile, in the back, each turn a hay stack starts to catch fire …. with our unconscious warlock still in the burning room. So now we have a couple of things to do
- Eliminate the assassins
- Acquire the dragon egg
- Plant the magic tracker
- Make sure our warlock does not die
- Don’t die ourselves
For some reason, stopping the barn fire was not on our priority list, so spoiler alert, the barn burns down at the end. One hay stack fire really was the boiling point (badum tsss) in this encounter.
Exploits of a birdperson
With this start, the encounter starts and initiative is rolled. As luck would have it, Ka’ahk has a bad roll and starts last of the party. The first of our party decides to get close to the trader and attack the first assassin, while the trading party decides that we are responsible for this attack and goes after him. In the middle of the barn, a fight starts between the traders and the party. The assassin is also in this group, mostly taking a part in it instead of being the focus.
During this fight (still in the first turn), the main trader decides to take a run for it. All this fighting is not worth his life and treasure, I guess. Luckily, Ka’akh reacted to him running away by dashing in through the window and quickly catching up to him. It seems that running away is not the best option when one of your enemies is a flying birdperson, but thanks to hiding at the window, he was not aware of the presence of this beast.
Durog, ER and Prilin Stormscale make quick work of the party of the assassins and the mercenaries beloning to the trader. Ka’akh occupies himself with attacking the trader with his rapier, while TeeWee is still busy occupied with not dieing in the burning part of the barn. For some reason, we keep forgetting that keeping someone of our party alive could be more important than acquiring the egg. Blame the priority list for that. The fight continues in the three factions described.
During the battle, the party of assassins and mercenaries are quickly cleaved head-down by Durog. ER sees this as an opportunity to go to the aid of TeeWee, and to rescue him from the enclosing fire. The trader keeps trying to make his escape from the barn through the backside, while Ka’akh blocks his escape slowly. It seems an Aarakocra does not like an enclosed, burning space, blocking him from flying.
ER manages to run to the window TeeWee climbed through, and pulls him through the window and catches him in his arms. The rest of the party is tailing the trader, who is slipping through a crack in the back of the barn to safety. His rogue-like cunning makes him succeeds, untill he stumbles into ER and the dieing TeeWee, blocking his escape again. What a happy coincidence, we almost lost that egg.
The rest of the party quickly joins ER in surrounding the trader and Durog cleaves his greataxe into the trader’s shoulder, wounding him severely. This makes the trader surrender the egg to us, we exchange the fake diamonds in an act of goodwill (can it be defined as goodwill if the gems are faked either way?). ER plants the magic tracker on the trader while the trader runs away, and instructs the party to apply medicine to TeeWee to keep him alive. It was in this moment that Ka’akh, the bard who was assaulting the trader with his rapier, remembers that he is a bard and also has a healing spell on the ready (Queue sad trombone). With a quick healing word, TeeWee rises from the clutches of death, restored and unaware what just happened. A quick trip to the tavern to collect our reward and get some deserved rest will get him up to speed with the events of the encounter.