Note – I believe that, per this site’s philosophy – all characters are able to edit this. If you want to throw in some memories of your own, feel free.
Characters start at Franconia and have a somewhat awkwardly-railroaded introduction with each other. They set out towards the halfling village of Burke where there’s a bug-hunting job that looks to pay a lot of money1. Must be a lot of bugs to pay that well.
En route, they see a sign advertising that the militia at Ft. Belvoir is looking for more recruits1. It states that the pay is great, danger is guaranteed, and, most interestingly, training is offered for recruits with the gift (if they show promise).
While reading the sign, a man (Vludin) rides up on a horse and immediately starts bad-mouthing the council and its “goldthirsty lackeys” at Ft. Belvoir. He states that they shouldn’t be selling land – It is not their land to sell any more than the air is theirs to sell. After some conversation, and indicating that he can tell that all of the party has the gift, he lets them know that they could do some work for him instead of the Ft. Belvoir goons. He’d provide them a small amount of pay, and additional training of the gift – he will teach them how to tell if another being has the gift.
He has a couple conditions – keep chatter to a minimum, and wear burlap cloaks/tunics over their gear. He doesn’t want the party to be so easily recognizable to strangers.
The party is amenable to his offer, and backtracks around Franconia, and onwards towards Alexandria. About halfway between the two towns, Vludin leads the party north on a small trail. He tells the party that he’s testing them out – he has his own concepts of danger, and the energy he feels from the bugs in this area is both intense and different from what he’s seen before. While he manages other affairs, he wants the team to find the source of the new/strange energy so that he can investigate. They should meet him back at their rendezvous point at high-noon the next day with all evidence and knowledge possible of the strange energy’s source. If the party does not meet him there at that time, or does return then but doesn’t bring back any useful evidence of the source of the new power, he will assume they have either fled, were killed, or aren’t the investigating-types that he needs. He would then find others to tackle this particular problem.
So the party investigates the place – an old farmhouse and surrounding buildings. A few (hopefully) memorable parts:
- In the very first structure examined, a home-made children’s play-house, Vikna the ranger finds a ring that is determined to have a faint but definite magic aura. Unknown properties, so he let Slow Monk put it on. He isn’t dead yet.
- There were giant spiders in the smoke house, which turned out to be both pretty stealthy and pretty dangerous.
- The party discovered the wonder of the free circle of healing, per the psionic ability. Since each person can heal up to 3 points of health to someone else without taking any damage themselves (the 4th starts incurring damage to the caster), we had a big ring-around-the-rosy with 3 hp being handed out like candy. We also had at least one person use the “heal up a hit-die in a short rest”, the first time I think I’ve seen that rule invoked. Neat! People should remember though that both of those healing mechanisms only reset on a long rest.
- When watching the main structure itself, and old farmhouse, a couple things were noted. On the second floor windows facing south, there was a flash of dark in the window. Very similar to a flash of light, but the opposite.
- In the farmhouse:
- There have been several bugs, some of which have gotten ready to use their sonic wail ability, but none have so far lasted past one round for it to be effective. I bet the party is pretty downtrodden that they haven’t been able to see this wonder of nature yet.
- There were a couple fleshy humanoids hiding in the indoor-privy that splashed to the floor and boiled off when defeated.
- A couple bug-devoured corpses of other Vludin-sent adventurers, assumedly, based on the fact that they’re wearing the same burlap covers the party is now wearing. But there are only 2 such bodies found.
- In several rooms, there have been poofs of dirt that drop down from the ceiling in rhythmic pattern, much like a person walking would cause. But dirt…? Why so much dirt?
- The party is currently on the bottom floor of the house, having almost completely cleared it out, and the session ended as a party member decided to use his Vibrattuned ability to get a sense of what is going on above.
One last note, mechanically speaking – I don’t have logs of casts of abilities. I know we had a burning hands and a Vibrattuned, and a lot of Structural Rebalancing healing, but don’t remember the rest (ki points? other spells?). As the farm house was intended to be a single encounter, I’m hoping people have some idea of what they’ve already used. Not a huge deal if we have a couple extra spell slots retroactively granted due to us not remembering, but this place was built with a one-long rest time limit in mind (since you’re meeting Vludin the next day at noon). So, in the interest of not out-resting everything that comes your way, please do be mindful of that.
1 Indicates explicit alternate branches of plot hooks so far
We can certainly go other directions, but I haven’t built up anything beyond these three (Vludin, Ft. Belvoir, Burke Village), and a couple reserves, so far. I was wondering which of those three you all would choose at the start. Vludin is pleased with you, da!