Episode 2 : The journey through Greenest

The audio of this episode can be found directly here; https://tailsfromthedarkdragonsinn.co.uk/campaign-episode-2/

You can find a ‘live transcript’ of the below here; https://youtu.be/aLoL0vbdwxk

This transcript is colour coded for ease of use. Please download the PDF.

Tobe as played by Liz

Myx as played by Nina

Doomsinger as played by Thomas (Guest)

Erbak as played by Tom

Mhurren as played by Vinny

Narrator/Scraw/GM/Everything else as played by Ray

[Audio Description]

{Tone Guide/Sarcasm etc}

Ray/GM: Hello listeners and welcome to Tails from the Dark Dragons Inn. This is the second episode in our ongoing D&D podcast. We play together online every week and what you’re listening to now is a streamlined result of that. All of the drama, comedy, and action with as little of the fuss as possible. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to drop us a message on Twitter @darkdragonsinn. We’d love to hear from you.

Now let me introduce our players!

Tonight we welcome back our guest player, Tom, reprising his role as The Doomsinger. Tall, slim, and mysterious, this grump of a character is also your orator.

Vinny/Mhurren: Hello, I’m Vinny. I play Mhurren, the half-orc Monk. He has a slender build, dark green skin, blue eyes and coarse dark hair, tied into a ponytail. He dresses simply in a loose shirt, breeches and sandals which he wears underneath a traditional monk’s robe, tied at the waist with rope.

He also wears a bracelet patterened with scales, which was given to him by his Master, Kriv. It bears the symbol of Bahamut. As a monk of the Order of the Stone Claw, he has set out to learn more of the wider world. He also seeks an old acquaintance. One who he hopes has answers about the events surrounding the tragic fate of his best friend.

Liz/Tobe: I’m Liz and I play Tobe. A warlock of the Raven Queen. Tobe is a tiefling, 6ft tall and of slender build. His eyes are a solid purple and he wears his purple black hair short. His skin is a pale grey and he has horns which curve backwards and to the sides before tapering off into fine points.

He wears a turtleneck with a vest on top, both in different shades of purple. Has a long thin tail, ending in a tuft of hair.Often perched on his head is his spirit raven, Oz. Tobe is currently hunting for a cure for his sister Ayla, who he left in the care of a friend.

Nina/Myx: Hi, I’m Nina and I play Myx, the Aasimar warlock of the fey. Myx is 5ft 10, with one gold eye, the other a deep red and she has little horn nubs on her forehead, showing subtle traits of her mixed lineage. Her hair is long, purple tinted silver and she wears an oversized burgundy cloak.

Myx was raised in the woods by her grandmother; an ex assassin and is currently on a journey to learn the truth of her family.

Tom/Erbak: I’m Tom and i’m playing the delightfully oblivious, Erbak Voss. LizarGMan Wizard. Erbak’s basically your average man-shaped lizard, about 5’10 with green scales, yellow underbelly and a head not unlike a velociraptor.

As well as a rucksack and travelling clothes, he wears a traditional, though tattered, doctor’s coat. Erbak’s an ex-slave who worked as a saw bones in The Wastes, before hiding in a pile of post-revolt corpses to make his escape.

He now travels the world, peddling his medicinal skills, whilst looking to sate his scientific curiosities about life, death and everything in between.

GM: And i’m Ray! Your host and Game master, and I play…well, just about everyone else.

So come on in and make yourself comfortable. Please, take a seat. The show is about to start.

The Doomsinger: And so the journey of our intrepid heroes continues. I am The Doomsinger, your orator for the evening. Travels, danger and mystery, what awaits them in the not so peaceful town of Greenest? Could there truly be a dragon in the midst? What could these raiders possibly want? Tonight, much would be revealed.

GM: So, you now have a rough idea of what your party looks like and quite what this dwarven woman is seeing as she turns away from the bodies of the kobold around her. As she looks around at her home and her city which is variously burning, she looks back at the gnome gentlemen who is carrying a small dwarf girl and is tailed by two gnomish children, also a little boy and a girl. She looks around at all of you and says;

Linaan: “We must get to the keep! Will you go with us?!”

Mhurren: “Yes! Let us.”

Doomsinger: “Well, there’s little else to do around here.”

Myx: “Yes, absolutely.”

Tobe: “Makes sense.”

Mhurren: “We must get everyone to safety.”

— dialogue

GM: So you see her pull out of her bag a small vial of something which she takes a small sip of. Then she rushes over to her children and she makes sure each of them takes a sip as well. She gives the remaining to her husband. They all look a little bit rejuvenated after that. She turns to you.

Linaan: “The keep is this way! Do you know the town?”

Tobe: “No, we just arrived today.”

Linaan: “That’s fine. Just keep them safe and I’ll lead the way!”

GM: I need every single person here to roll a D8 please. Let’s find out what happens! Do you guys need to do anything before she starts leading the way?

Tobe: I’m ready to just go.

Myx: Yeah, good to go.

GM: Tobe, Oz has essentially, this entire time just been curled up on your horns. He’s looking a little bit more relaxed but you see him looking around cautiously, constantly keeping an eye out. You can, if you wish, send him to scout ahead once more. However, the dwarven woman is going to be leading the way.

Tobe: Nah, I’m gonna keep Oz with me.

GM: As you guys are wandering through the town, at this point in time she’s quite hurried. Obviously you’re guarding a group of basically young children and their father who are unarmed and essentially defenseless. Linaan who doesn’t take the time to introduce herself is taking the lead. How are you guys travelling around with them? Scraw is definitely just charging forwards as close to the potential action as possible.

Mhurren: Which way is she headed?

GM: She’s headed towards the keep.

Mhurren: Then I guess I’ll stay at the back just in case anything comes at the rear.

Myx: I will be here.

GM: You start on the outskirts of town. You make your way a few hundred feet down the road, pass through very derelict streets. There aren’t many people around currently and the few fires that you do see aren’t particularly large. As I mentioned previously there is a lot of small fires where you can see that they’ve set fire to things in the hopes that that would catch but a lot of the buildings are made of stone or mud and clay which just aren’t taking to the flames in any way. So it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of property damage. The dwarven woman with you is very concerned and she’s looking around frantically the entire time. She leads you toward a corner. She huddles up against the side of one building. With one hand, she indicates back to you to wait as she seems to hear something directly ahead of you. So Scraw is in the lead. Go ahead and roll a perception check to see what you can see.

Myx: {Laughing} Nothing.

GM: You’re trying to get an idea of what she’s warning you about but after a short period of time she ushers you forward and rushes you around a corner and the rest of you follow on.

You pass a tavern, the door of which is very heavily barricaded from the outside. The windows are all shuttered. You see that wherever you go right now, most of what you’re seeing is closed off. You can see there are signs that people have left in a hurry. As you’re rushing along you’re seeing dropped belongings, small bits of clothing here and there. Mostly, it’s just chaos. There’s stuff strewn around as people have been knocking things over. You can see quite a lot of the buildings have their front doors open. A lot of the buildings that you pass, there’s very clearly signs that there are people inside but that they are ransacking the place.

I don’t know if you guys want to inspect that or if you want to keep following this woman and helping her to protect her family.

Mhurren: Because I’m at the back can I just spin my head around and make sure no one’s following us?

GM: You are keeping a careful eye out as you are watching. No one is particularly paying any direct attention to you. It seems that Linaan is leading you through a lot of areas that are either not currently occupied by the invading forces or have already been cleared through. Occasionally you’ll see a kobold running from one building to the next or a cloaked figure running from one building to another carrying large amounts of things usually in a bag. But they don’t seem to pay you much attention. Either they’re not noticing you, as you see them quite frequently as you’re just leaving a street. Or they’re just so occupied by what they’re doing that you’re not catching much attention.

Doomsinger: Have we seen any sign of my noble army of caravan guards?

GM: No. They headed in a completely different direction to you. So you guys headed towards the south west entrance of the town and when you guys left the caravan, the men that you summoned and encouraged to join the fight split off during the couple of miles that it took to get to town. And they went in to another entrance to get to the city to try and cover more ground and hopefully help more people. So you have not seen them yet. But, it’s a big city. It’s not a small town. It’s not a little village. Well, it’s not a city. It’s a large town. There is a lot to be covered. The fact that they split off is probably a good thing.

So, you guys are making a fairly slow pace at the moment. Obviously the gentlemen who is with you is carrying a small dwarven child. You notice that he’s walking with a limp as he’s taking some kind of injury to his leg as he’s fleeing with his children. His little gnomish children are also sort of hung on to him as he walks. He’s doing his best to hurry them along at a decent pace.

Mhurren: Can I go over and offer to take his child? [laughs]

GM: I mean you’re quite large and it’s a very small child so I’d say yes. You can carry one of them without it affecting your speed.

Mhurren: Just so we can maintain our–

GM: You help this gnomish gentlemen. I need you to roll a persuasion check.

Mhurren: Persuasion? Ah, okay.

GM: This is a test of your charm. Maybe it should be animal handling because children.

Tobe: {Laughing} Wow.

Mhurren: I’ll take it. I’ll take it.

GM: You offer to take the child off him and he kind of looks doubtful for a second and he sort of agrees, that’s fine. You helpfully take her away and then as you bring her up in your arms to put her in a secure position she suddenly comes face to face with your face and you see, for a moment her lip quivers. What do you do to reassure her?

Mhurren: “Please, don’t worry. This way we’ll move faster.”

Child: [cries and sniffles] “…Okay.”

GM: She does her best to put on a brave face and you give her this big, goofy ass grin and she’s like “okay,” grabs one of your ears, pulls on it a bit and she sticks her thumb in her mouth. She’s fine.

Mhurren: {laughing} Okay.

GM: You guys continue further down the road, quickening your pace slightly as you come to what appears to be a market square. This area is bustling with activity. There are various groups coming and going in lots of different directions and they are all either — what they appear to be doing is piling up loot into a cart that is in the center of this marketplace. And you see a lot of the invaders that are in the town are basically coming from different directions and sort of congregating on this market square. It is here that you are noticed because Linaan sort of comes into this area, doesn’t know her way around town, tries to sneak you through one side and as you sidle along the side of a building, a group exits as you approach the door and they catch sight of you immediately.

Mhurren: We’ve stopped moving right?

GM: Yeah, you’ve been noticed and it’s gonna go into initiative unless people can think of a way out of this, however these are a large group.

Mhurren: {whispering} We’ll throw the children and make our escape.

GM: Good idea.

Tobe: I might personally have some issues with that plan.

Mhurren: There are spiky things

GM: Myx was directly behind Scraw who was behind Linaan who is leading the way. And then Tobe and then there was The Doomsinger who was in back. Mhurren, you would have been a bit more up front now because you would have been carrying one of the children. So there are three commoners travelling on foot, one is being carried by Mhurren. So yeah, as you guys round the corner of the building, a large party of the invaders rushes out of the building and immediately catches sight of you. One of the humanoids which appears to be wearing a very reptilian mask, points at the kobold and points at you guys and he shouts something draconic. How many of you understand draconic — how many of you don’t understand Draconic is probably simpler?

Doomsinger: Me.

Erbak: Let me just check

GM: Well, you’re lizardfolk, you definitely do and I believe Mhurren does. I know Tobe does and I believe Myx does.

Tobe: I do.

GM: So in that case, Doomsinger, you hear [Draconic noises] it just sounds like garbled nonsense to you.

Doomsinger: Oh well.

GM: And what he shouts is;

Cultist: “For the Glory of Tiamat! Go, take them!”

GM: And unless anybody can think of a way to address this situation, time to roll initiative.

Myx: I really wishing I studied dragons more.

Doomsinger: I’m going to roll initiative. I’ve no idea what’s happening so I’m rolling initiative.

GM: Someone just pointed at you and shouted something in language you didn’t understand and all of the kobolds immediately looked hostile towards you.

Doomsinger: “God knows I’m used to that.”

Mhurren: “He paid you a compliment.”

Doomsinger: “Well, apart from the lizard face, we’ve been quite nifty off the start here.”

Mhurren: “I’m cold blooded give me a break.”

Tobe: “It probably won’t last.”

GM: Some of you may be wondering whether or not this combat is balanced. The answer is I don’t know!

Myx: “Let’s not die people. Let’s keep it together.”

Mhurren: “Keep our body parts together, and still attached.”

Doomsinger: “An excellent plan”

GM: Oh, of course, Linaan also needs to be in combat. So, you’ve just heard what the tall, humanoid-like creature shouted. What do you do?

Myx: Can I address it?

GM: What language do you wish to speak?

Myx: Draconic. So looking at this guy rather like sternly, “What does Tiamat have to do with this village?”

GM: He doesn’t respond to you, in any way.

Myx: “Well, I never!”

GM: What do you do?

Myx: Oh, I hate being first.

GM: Okay, well the kobold’s is gonna go first then. He heard you say Tiamat and he is not best pleased about you speaking her name. “Filth!” So he’s just gonna rush over and stab you up.

Myx: Fuck. That hits.

GM: Yeah, I suspect it might. Woe betide to those who commit to indecision. 5 points damage as he whips out a dagger and stabs you in the leg with it.

Myx: Dang. I am not gonna last.

GM: You are squishy now!

Myx: I am so squishy. Woe be the days of no longer being a cleric.

GM: Now it is your turn. What would you like to do?

Myx: I’m gonna murder that thing. It’s the one just in front of me, right? I’m going to — it’s close enough that I can use a dagger — ram it right through his throat.

GM: You stab him right back and that’s actually enough for this guy. He’s a pretty small kobold. And you stab him and you drive the dagger through his ear and the lights go out. He drops to the floor. Doomsinger!

Doomsinger: I shall saunter merrily along as I seem to have a habit of doing so. I shall point my finger at the kobold straight down the line from me and I’ll go “Fire at the disco! Fire in the Taco Bell!” And shoot a firebolt.

GM: Everybody blinks for a moment and thinks “What the fuck is a Taco Bell?”

Doomsinger: The Taco Bell was one of the famous temples, that I have frequented over time. Famed for its large bell made by the Smith, Taco. I will shoot a mote of fire at his fizzog. And that’s D10.

GM: Yes, that hits. Just barely. You sort of saunter over, look at the kobold. You look at everybody with one glance, look at the kobold and you just sort of flick your wrist, after you sing this little ditty. And a fireball successfully launches from your hands, for I think the first time, and incinerates this thing [fwoomph]. It doesn’t even have time to screech or react. It simply burns. Mhurren!

Mhurren: Okay, first I’ll put the kid down. Do I still have an action?

GM: yeah, that’s a free action. You can drop the child as a free action or you can place the child for — no. I’m kidding{laughing}.

Mhurren: I chuck it behind me! No. I’ll just drop it down gently. “Lumber!” Okay, and then I’m going to move into the fray, that’s twenty five feet and then I’m going to have a go at this little scaly thing. Mace, on it’s fod. 15 to hit.

GM: You rush over and bringing your mace down, smash the kobold in one fell swoop, knock it to the ground, dead as a squashed nail, as per hammering into dirtness.

Mhurren: I just shout back in Draconic —

GM: Who are you shouting to?

Mhurren: To the humanoid that issued the command. I shout in Draconic, “Bahamut is the one true god.”

GM: He sneers. In fact they all do. As soon as you say this, in fact, all four of the people wearing masks draw dual scimitars and they turn and focus in entirely on you. Tobe!

Tobe: Which one of the humanoids spoke earlier?

GM: It would have been the one in the middle here.

Tobe: I’m not going to say anything. I’ve actually gone quieter than I usually am and am going to eldritch blast this motherfucker.

GM: You silently — your eyes darken and you feel the energy bestowed upon you by the raven queen flowing through you as you manage to channel it into the crystal in your hand and you focus it and concentrate. The wave of force goes over the head of Linaan cleanly into the face of the cultist and his mask is blown away and he is revealed to be a half elf. And he snarls and says again in Draconic;

Cultist: “You will pay for that one, wormling.”

Tobe: I say nothing in response. I’m just angry.

GM: Kobold… having seen what the Doomsinger did to his friend who was standing directly in front of him, he is going to pull out his sling and try to attack the Doomsinger. That is three points of damage. He uses a pebble and it hits you just above the eyebrow. You think for a moment had it been just a little bit lower, you may have been blinded. Instead, it simply leaves a — How does it hit you below the eyebrow? It doesn’t. Is the answer. I think it hits your mask hard enough that your mask hits you in the face.

Doomsinger: “Ow, my mask face!”

GM: And that just feels really uncomfortable because it’s like your face suddenly slams itself into the mask you wear pretty much all the time. As I said, Mhurren, you have drawn the ire of the cultists. The next one rushes forward and he is going to take a slash at you.

He runs over and takes a swing at you. You sort of nimbly dart to one side and parry the blade away. The kids are actually pretty comfortable where they are. Their father’s kind of pushing them behind him. And he’s like trying to comfort the dwarf who he’s holding.

Gnomish Father: “It’s okay, it’s okay. Everything’s fine. These nice people will make the bad ones go away. Everything’s fine.”

GM: And it is now this guy’s turn. He rushes up. The cultist completely disregards Dwarven women with a spear, ready to stab him up, and focuses his entirely his efforts on you. So Scraw is fairly annoyed that he’s being ignored and he stays exactly where he is in fact and just whips his glaive around as hard as he can to try and attack the one to your right.

Scraw gets really annoyed that these cultists are paying attention entirely to Mhurren and whips his glaive around and cleaves straight into the back of the cultist’s skull. He falls to the ground and his mask falls away and you see this guy is a half-elf. Erbak!

Erbak: The one who shouted in Draconic, the cultist with the weird face that Tobe shot, is he the one straight in front of Linaan?

GM: He’s this one over here. Directly in line with Mhurren.

Erbak: Okay. I’ll see if I can fix that face of his.

GM: I will just highlight to you that there are currently people coming and going all over this. These guys are not really interested in what you’re doing, they’re not paying much attention right now cause this is happening extremely quickly. But there are a lot of different cultists and kobolds variously spotted around this marketplace, rushing to and from buildings.

Erbak: I’m just using chilling touch

GM: And you were targeting the one that shouted in Draconic, right?

Erbak: Yeah.

GM: You manifest a skeletal hand and he backs away in horror as it comes towards him and it passes straight through his face. And as you do so you see his head kind of loll back and he falls into the cart directly behind him, dead.

Mhurren: Nice.

Erbak: I just calmly whisper to myself that I never liked a talker.

Tobe: I curse under my breath in Infernal. I wanted that one!

GM: Linaan tries to stab the cultist in front of her that has been targeting Mhurren, but she fails to make contact as he deflects her broken spear away with a scimitar. This cultist now sides up, standing over the corpse of his friend, attacks you, Mhurren.

Mhurren: That’ll hit!

GM: 2 points of damage, as he rolled especially poorly.

Mhurren: Ouf!

GM: Myx, whatcha you doing?

Myx: That’s a good question.

Mhurren: {pained} “Save me!”

GM: So these guys are flanking Mhurren just slinging scimitar after another. You know those old rail carts where it’s like pump, pump, pump and you have someone on either side to keep the momentum going? They’re attacking in that kind of rhythm, like oppositionally, to try and keep him baffled so they can keep attacking him and keep him off balance and distracted. And every now and again, they’re almost in a religious fury, and they’re just repeatedly shouting.

Cultists: “Glory to Tiamat! Glory to Tiamat!”

Myx: Okay, I am going to…

Cultists: “Tiamat above all things! You shall kneel!”

Myx: I am going to – let me make sure I am within range.

Cultists: “I have a pamphlet!”

[everyone starts laughing]

Myx: Okay, I am going to move here and so I am exactly 10 ft away from both of them. And I am going to cast the cantrip poison spray. Extend your hand toward a creature you can see within range, which is 10 ft, and project a puff of noxious gas from your palm. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.

GM: Okay, which one are you targeting?

Myx: The one to the right. Basically the one that is directly in front of me, if there wasn’t Linaan.

GM: So he just goes choking. You rush over, stick your arm out over Linaan’s head. She kind of looks as your arm extends and you sort of curl your twisted claws and release a wave of gas into his face. He breathes it deep and goes down coughing and choking until his body falls limp. Doomsinger!

Doomsinger: I am going to see the approaching kobold-y bits. I back slightly away, reeling and clutching my mask. Then I shall reach out my hand and just shout, “I’ve had enough of singing. Just burn, you bastards.” And throw a firebolt at the kobold.

GM: You’re like, “I’ve had enough of singing!” It’s almost like you get so frustrated that you don’t want to put in the effort into your magic. And because of that, and that alone, the firebolt that you release a second time is barely more than a small dart, like the kind that Mhurren throws except it’s made of flame. And it hits the kobold as it’s rushing and it turns and screeches out at you a slew of words that you just don’t understand as you don’t speak Draconic. The rest of you understand and it wasn’t pleasant.

Doomsinger: “Nonsense, my mother was a saint!” I shall inspire Mhurren to smash the cultist in the face a bit harder.

GM: Mhurren?

Mhurren: I am going to hit this one on the knocker. Mace, it hits. 7 bludgeoning.

GM: You smash him in the face with the mace and he is revealed to be a Dragonborn.

Mhurren: Oh!

GM: And he kind of just hisses in your face as the mask falls away.

Mhurren: Is he still standing?

GM: Oh, yeah. He’s fine. Well, he’s not fine. He’s been injured, but he’s still standing.

Mhurren: {sarcastically} He’s totally fine! Took it like a champ.

Tobe: Define, fine.

Dragonborn Cultist: {hissing} “Tiamat will eat your bones and all those of the ones you love.”

Mhurren: Gonna hit him with the unarmed strike as a bonus action.

Dragonborn Cultist: “Your life means nothing! I will soon be by her side.”

GM: That hits.

Mhurren: Damage is a 7 again. Still standing?

GM: Jesus, fuck.

Dragonborn Cultist: I will soon be by her side.”

GM: You bring back one giant fucking ham-sized fist and smash it into the side of his skull and he drops like a sack of potatoes. He is out for the count.

This kobold over here is still in play. The rest of–

Mhurren: Oh, sorry! And then can I just quickly say to Linaan, “Which way next?”

GM: She sort of gestures, she’s just like, she tries to gesture to keep your voice down and points across the marketplace, past the cart and in the same direction that the kobold is currently fleeing. Tobe, it is your turn.

Tobe: Okay, here’s what would usually be my better judgement, I’m just gunning for that guy over there.

GM: Which guy? The last kobold that you were fighting or someone else?

Tobe: No, I’m going for the cultists.

GM: Okay, so now just to… Now, what’s on the map to indicate that there are groups of people.

Tobe: Okay, I feel like I would just start tunnel-visioning at this point.

GM: I say this because each one of those tokens represents 3 to 4 people. There is a lot of people in this marketplace which is why they haven’t paid much attention to you cause there’s a lot going on. You can still do that if you want to, but I just want you to be aware that that is a thing.

Tobe: No, yeah. I’m not in my right mind, I’m making poor decisions.

GM: So are you using chill touch or eldritch blast?

Tobe: Eldritch blast.

GM: That does not hit.

Tobe: {laughing} Anything?

GM: You’re really like, I assure you.

So you guys see Tobe turn from the group that you’ve just finished taking care of and start firing wildly into groups of nearby cultists. Apparently not hitting anything, but it does appear to draw a bit more attention on you guys.

Mhurren: Shit.

GM: And it is the kobold’s turn. And he is going to rush up onto the cart. He just turns and looks at you and screams.

Kobold: “Rise, brothers! Rise!“

GM: Let’s see how persuasive he is. As he leaps onto this cart and he shouts this towards the nearest group of people. You get a few of the kobolds that are passing near the cart sort of stop and look up at him and go, “Yeah! Woo!” And they sort of just cheer. They’re looking directly at him, ignoring where he’s pointing. And they’re just like “Yeah, yeah! Rise! Woo!” The cultists play absolutely no attention to him at all. So for now, I’m going to say initiative is dropped.

Tobe is wildly firing magic into groups of cultists. There appear to be no immediate threats and no one is paying a huge amount of attention to you though this wildly firing magic just barely missing people is starting to garner attention. Do any of you do anything about this?

Mhurren: I say to Linaan.

GM: You’re just like fucking ignoring the fact that Tobe is shooting magic at people that are ignoring you.

Mhurren: “I think we should move.”

Doomsinger: Well, I am currently holding my face. It hurts.

GM: Okay, I am going to have Scraw roll athletics to try and tackle Tobe and stop him from doing what he’s fucking doing.

Tobe: {laughing} The only one who has any sense!

GM: You can try and contest that if you want.

Tobe: No, I’m not paying attention.

GM: Yeah, he’s like um. Okay, so Sraw just rushes over and wraps his huge long arms around Tobe and bodily picks him up and goes, “Nope! We’re going and we’re going now. Everybody, let’s get out of here!”

Tobe: I am struggling.

GM: Cause now he’s dealing with two of his least favorite things. And the second being touching. What do you guys want to do? Like Linaan is sort of ready to go.

Mhurren: Yeah, I said to Linaan, {urgent}“I think we should move.”

GM: Yes, you did. Everybody roll a group stealth check. Are you gonna grab the kid again, Mhurren?

Mhurren: Uh, yep, I’ll hang back and just wait until most of them pass and then I’ll.

Erbak: “I think I tripped over a kid.”

GM: {Emulating the doomsinger who fluffed his roll} “Oh, we’re leaving!” and you just start stomping forwards

Mhurren: He’s hidden. Behind the mask!

GM: You are stealthily struggling, that’s what’s happening there. Is that Tobe is like, he’s suddenly aware of his surrounding and that Scraw is like holding on to him. Tobe goes from “Get off of me!” and then he’s like “oh my god, someone is holding me” and he kind of just ironboards up.

Tobe: Yeah.

GM: And he’s just like “oh god, what’s going on, what did I do?” He’s just frozen and that’s why he’s so stealthy.

Tobe: {laughing} Let’s go with that!

GM: The children and the wounded gnome rolled higher than Erbak voss.

Erbak: I think to be fair, most things roll higher than Erbak Voss. The FIRE rolled higher than me.

GM: Luckily, the rest of you are cautious enough that you do not attract attention. Scraw, despite carrying Tobe, managing to make a pretty good, decent job of being somehow inconspicuous. You guys make it out of the marketplace and Scraw puts Tobe down. And he puts him down while still firmly holding him.

Scraw: “Is there going to be any more of this? Save it for when we’re in danger. But it’s great. Do save it.”

Tobe: “I’m good. Please let go. Just let go. Stop touching me.”

GM: He’s like “very well” and like he puts his hand on your head and ruffles your hair between your horns back and forth.

Tobe: {distressed} “No, no, stop!”

GM: You can roll a Dex save, if you wish.

Tobe: Yeah. He fails.

Scraw: “Very, well. Hush.” Ruffle, ruffle, ruffle.

Tobe: I feel like Oz has flown away at this point

GM: Your head is basically jostled around as he ruffles your hair between your horns and his hand keep hitting the sides of your horns so your head keeps going like boop, boop, boop, boop.

Doomsinger: “Isn’t lovely to see beautiful new friendships forming?”

Tobe: I shoot Doomsinger the worst scowl ever.

GM: The biggest fuck you look you could muster.

Tobe: If looks could kill, Doomsinger would be dead.

GM: Leading you forward, Linaan turns and says;

Linaan: “We must try to not draw attention. We cannot afford to-”

GM: And as she’s sort of giving you, as a group, this lecture, you guys see a group of three villagers running past. So you’re at a crossroads and you see these villagers come out of the road running horizontally across. They are running, they are trying to hold onto their worldly possessions. But they are being pursued by a pair of cultists and what appears to be a large lizard of some kind.

Doomsinger: “I’m beginning to dislike this place somewhat.”

Erbak: “That’s probably due to the sheer amount of enemies we’re encountering.”

Doomsinger: “Yeah, I guess. Very droll, very observant, sir.”

GM: You can roll a Nature check to determine whether or not you know what it is, if you like. What you notice is this is what is known as a drake, it’s essentially a dragon without wings, but is a smal horse size. Heavily pursuing these people who are fleeing for their lives.

What are you guys doing? Are you going to… like, they don’t notice you, cause you guys are sneaking along pretty well, but again these people run past screaming for their lives and they are being chased down.

Mhurren: But they’re just kind of opposite directions?

GM: Well, you’re heading forward toward this crossroads, they run past the crossroads. Linaan kinda stops because she doesn’t want to get involved. She’s obviously trying to keep her family safe, but they just passed.

Mhurren: I just say to the group, “That looks like a drake up ahead.”

GM: Well, everyone can see this. So we’re talking, like, this is 15, 20 feet in front of you. As this group charges past, you can either choose to interact, like intervene, or ignore them and let them make their own way.

Erbak: Can I get a good look at this creature? Like, really, really inspect it as it goes by? I just want to see, you know, just like look at it .

GM: Yeah. Okay guys, are you intervening and saving these people or leaving them to their fate?

Tobe: I am kinda shell shocked at the moment.

Myx: Intervening!

GM: Okay, so Myx is going to intervene one way or another. Is anybody going to intervene or just going to leave Myx to sort it?

Tobe: I am going to go with her

Doomsinger: I’m going to move forward, I might need to join.

GM: Scraw definitely would jump in cause Scraw is just always looking for a fight.

Doomsinger: Large beast with a potential.

Erbak: I’m going to stay where I am, I think, but might approach it closely if someone else gets in trouble. I don’t want to get involved. I will hang back, but try and keep it… in case I can jump in.

GM: So the cultists and the drake are rushing this way toward to commoners, the townsfolk. You guys are coming from this direction. Go ahead and roll initiative again!

Myx: Who, me?

GM: Everyone!

Mhurren: All of us, everybody.

Tobe: That’s less good.

GM: Mhurren, you rush to the forefront as you see this group charging after the townfolk.

Mhurren: Am I still carrying the child? [laughs]

GM: You are still carrying a child, yes.

Mhurren: Shit. Where is…

GM: Father and siblings are behind you.

Mhurren: Oh, okay. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. I drop the child.

GM: Yep!

Mhurren: And then, I’ll step forward a little bit and then I shout in Draconic. I kind of hold my mace up and shout, “For Tiamat!”

GM: Go ahead and roll a deception check with disadvantage.

They look confused. The drake does not in any way stop, it continues its charge. But the cultists are given pause. Doomsinger, you didn’t understand a word of what he just said. So you just saw him run out into the road and shout something growly and dragon-like and wave his mace at them.

Doomsinger: I will shout, “All of the grey towers, I shall cast thunderwave.

GM: So the one who gets thrown back, you see him get thrown into a nearby tree. And he hits it hard and his neck kind of falls in an unnatural way as his body slumps to the ground. The one to your left reels slightly, but then comes back and draws both swords to try and attack you.

Doomsinger: For my bonus, I am just going to start shouting a death chant inspiringly toward the bugbear, try and rouse him with my passionate speech and my general charging fighting-ness which I know he favors by watching him.

GM: Tobe, you’re up.

Tobe: I’m gonna cast chill touch on the drake.

GM: Also another cultist wearing the same lizardy mask.

Tobe: Yeah, I’m a little bit more in my right mind now so I’m going for what I see as the bigger threat.

GM: Yep, the bigger threat. Sure. So you summon the skeletal hand which swipes at the drake who blinks and seems unfazed as it continues its charge forward. Scraw is going to run over to Mhurren’s side and swinging his glaive into his hands, he extends it to the very tip of its reach, brings his arms up over his head and swings down. The longest arc you’ve ever seen anybody wielding a weapon. And he slams it down into the skull of the drake. And the drake does react, it screeches and roars in agony as it continues its charge. But it seems a bit slowed. It’s taken several attacks from you guys now and it’s badly wounded as it continues its charge forward.

Erbak: It definitely doesn’t really seem like the most intelligent creature. Rolling up my sleeve, I am going to put my fingers to my temple, clear my thoughts, and visualize a bell. And I will toll the dead on it.

GM: So you guys see this creature suddenly lashing its head around as though it’s trying to locate the source of the sound and its screeching turns into roars and its roars become gargled and pained as it starts slamming its head into the ground over and over and over again as it bludgeons itself into unconsciousness.

Erbak: With dissatisfaction, I just tut, not very impressed.

GM: The kids and the father are just going to hang back with Linaan who is also hanging back. Myx?

Myx: I’m going to use my crossbow to attack.

GM: Standing next to the Doomsinger.

Myx: Yeah.

GM: The only one, the others are just innocent townsfolk.

Myx: Oh, sorry, I got really confused then, yes.

Mhurren: {whispering} Kill everything.

GM: Are you attacking to kill or to wound?

Myx: No patience. To kill.

GM: I love how the entire way through the town you’ve been like “Capture them! Capture them!” The one time you actually have the chance to catch someone, you’re like “Nope, straight through the eyeball.” That’s what happens.

Myx: Cultist isn’t gonna tell us anything.

Doomsinger: Not once he hasn’t got a face anyway.

GM: You shoot the cultist and the arrow hits his skull and he drops to the ground dead. As this happens Linaan turns and shouts to the townsfolk, the ones fleeing;

Linaan: “Wait, travel with us! Safety in numbers!”

GM: They turn around and are like “What?” Cause up until just a moment ago there were two cultists and a drake chasing them. They turn around and they see a dead drake and the dead cultists and they, surprised, sort of stagger back to you . These are a group of firbolgs, who are sort of like, think trolls, but if trolls were nice?

Mhurren: Oh!

GM: Very soft, forest-y creatures. Kinda almost like ogre-like dwarves.

Mhurren: Yeah.

GM: And they kind of just bumble over and like;

Firbolg: “Thank you, friends! Thank you. Come, we must to the keep.”

GM: And he points slowly behind him and it’s up. You follow the direction that he’s pointing and you see that there is a large hill, not that far from where you are now, which has atop its land, a large keep. You do see the occasional kobold or, you see figures in the distance running around that area, but not nearly as many as you’ve seen pouring through the town and smashing through the houses. He says;

Firbolg: “Come, to the keep!”

GM: And you notice that the entire time you’ve been running through the town there’s been a bell that has been ringing. And there’s been more than one bell, but the main source of this bell does appear to be the keep. And its been doing its best to usher in townsfolk to safety, to let them know that the keep is safe. So Linaan, from there, just turns around and picks up one of the gnomish children and she turns to you again Mhurren and says;

Linaan: “Are you still able?”

Mhurren: Yes!

GM: So you hoist up the dwarven girl and the rest of you carry on. Linaan just starts making pace. The firbolg’s turn and they all start walking at a decent pace towards the keep. One of the firbolgs, with his arm, gets the the gnomish father and sort of helps him to overcome his limp so you’re, you’re making a slightly quicker pace than you were before now.

Erbak: Before we leave, am I okay to hang back? I’d like to just head over to the corpse, and since it already smashed its head into the ground a few times and had it’s head smashed in by a glaive and they’re a bit loose by now, see if I can get a couple of fangs out of its mouth.

GM: Uh, see, in the meantime what is the marching order? Because are you going to wait around, are you going to do this while there are people still around or are you going to wait for them to leave and then catch up?

Tobe: I want to look at one of the cultists’s corpses and see if I can find any information on their person at all.

GM: You, roll an Investigation check. Erbak, roll Nature.

Doomsinger: I’d like to pluck a scale from the drake, please.

GM: Go ahead and roll Investigation.

Tobe: {laughing} Nevermind!

GM: Uh, you find the mask that the cultist is wearing and you don’t find any other information on the body of the corpse.

Tobe: I keep the mask. I stow it away for now.

GM: Maybe you can learn more about it later. Erbak, you sort of start rifling through the mouth of the drake. Basically it’s done so much damage to itself, smashing its face into the ground, that all the fangs that you can find are just smashed, they’re cracked. Looks like they weren’t particularly sturdy in this specimen.

Erbak: {disappointed} Mmm. Not really worth it.

GM: Perhaps not worthy of preserving. You manage to find a loose scale. But the majority of these are fairly firmly in and would require a decent amount of finesse to recover.

Doomsinger: That’s alright, I just want the one.

GM: You find a sufficiently loose scale to recover. It’s quite large. I’d say it’s about twice the size of a two-piece. Not the largest scale on the creature, but a large scale as scales go. What’s the marching order around your growing group of townsfolk?

Doomsinger: I assuming that I’m around the back as I was picking dragon scales.

GM: I just mean before you guys proceed so Linaan is leading the way still. Although she’s actually hanging back a bit now that they are more people and she’s carrying one of her children. Scraw’s going ahead and walk with whoever’s leading. You guys are currently being lead by a group of three firbolgs, but they’re lumbering and they’re doing their best to take a quick pace towards the keep.

And you find yourselves very shortly at the base of the hill where the keep starts. You’re seeing an increasingly large gathering of cultists and kobolds amassing in the area around this keep. However, they haven’t really created a refined line yet so it’s still possible for you guys to get through. As you make your way up the hill, you are interrupted by a group of cultists with a well-armored guard. And they’re kind of actually just wandering towards a group of kobolds that are starting to form a line to try and hedge in and prevent access to the keep when they catch sight of you. And obviously you’ve got quite a large group of townsfolk with you now so they are doing their best to just get in your way. How are you guys going to approach this? Or are you going to try to cut them down.

Tobe: I think cutting them down is probably going to be the best bet cause otherwise they’re going to keep getting in the way.

Myx: I’m kind of regretting not stealing a disguise from one of the no longer existing cultist so that we could have passed through and conversed with them.

Doomsinger: Did you say an elf stood in the back?

GM: What? No, he’s just a guard. He’s also wearing a mask, but he’s well-armored compared to the others. So unless you guys are gonna do otherwise these guys are going to attack you. So unless you can think of a way to talk your way out of this, roll initiative.

Tobe: God damn it.

Mhurren: Now, do we kill them all or…

GM: Scraw just goes first and goes;

Scraw: “Out of the way, fiends!”

GM: And he whips his glaive around and just attacks the first cultist on the right, cause given the arc of his weapon that makes sense. So, yep! With that one swing, he just drops that cultist. Erbak?

Erbak: Quick flick of the wrist and a chill touch on that guy.

GM: So you try to summon the skeletal hand that has served you so well thus far. But a long hour or so of charging across this city and attacking many a foe has drained you of your energy. Temporarily you lose focus and you’re unable to summon your attack. Mhurren.

Mhurren: Dropping the kid, move over here. Take out… I’m gonna try, I’m going to attack this dude with mace.

GM: Yeah, so you run over with your mace, you swing it at a cultist who dodges deftly. You do a Jet Li. You swing your mace to one side, he turns to look at it and you stick your fist in his face and as he turns back, you just slam it forward into the side of his face.

Tobe: Ouf!

Mhurren: And that’s for 6 damage.

GM: Nice! Yeah, so he reels from the blow. [Orcish snarls] And as that is orcish, you would understand, he basically just swore at you. Myx!

Myx: I am going to, I’m going to use my crossbow again.

GM: So he takes the arrow and it actually smashes through his mask and leaves a large gash across the side of his face. You see that this guy is a half-orc. Half orc, half… like it’s, but there’s something goblinoid in his features. So his lower jaw is much more prominent than normal. His face is much gnarlier than the standard half-orc. He looks much less soft-featured as most half-orcs tend to look a little bit softer than a standard orc. He actually looks gnarlier than a regular orc as his face is very brutally scrunched up, his fangs are much more pronounced. And this now quite significant gash across his face, leaving him with a quite terrifying visage.

Linaan shields her child’s eyes from the horror.

This is going to swing around over here and try to attack the townsfolk. And he, he just cuts down one of the firbolg.

Mhurren: {whispering} Shit.

GM: He doesn’t kill the townsfolk that he attacks but he does heavily wound him and it drops to his knees. And he just looks up at Scraw and he says;

Firbolg: “Please, help.”

GM: Tobe!

Tobe: Well, I was going to go for the guard but instead I’m going to rain retribution down on that asshole. I’m going to chill touch the cultist that just attacked the townsfolk.

GM: So you summon a skeletal hand and as he’s like slashing down at this firbolg, he comes back in for a second strike and as he does so this skeletal hand grasps down on his arm and he rears back suddenly, unable to land the blow. And he cries out in pain But is still standing though he’s looking extremely rough at this point as he’s also the one that took a smack in the face from Mhurren. He’s looking very unsteady on his feet. Doomsinger.

Doomsinger: I’m going to wander over here and go {singing to tune of smoke on the water} “Smoke on the water, fire in your face.” Shoot firebolt at the cultist that hit the peasant as well.

GM: You shoot a firebolt and it actually impacts with the dragon-like mask the creature is wearing. And you find that it’s extremely flammable as he screeches and grabs his face, trying to remove the mask. His hair is caught on fire as he falls to the ground trying to put himself out and falls into unconsciousness from the pain. This is now a very badly scarred half-elf. You get the impression that this guy is half-elf, half-dragonborn. He’s got a lot of scales across his face anyway so the scarring is kind of mottled and mutilated flesh of his face. And now it is the cultist in front of Mhurren’s turn!

He’s going to try and take a pop at Mhurren. Mhurren, you take 4 points of damage as he slashes you up with his scimitar.

Mhurren: “Heathen!”

GM: Now it is these guys and this commoner is going to rush over here. And he is going to kick the cultist who’s on the ground, the rest of the them are too afraid to do anything.

Scraw’s turn. He is going to attack the guard who has thus far done nothing because he was not rolled into initiative {sarcastically} cause I am a fantastic Game Master. No, you know what, seeing as that was the last round, the guard, he is going to throw a spear, just into the crowd of commoners. He grievously wounds two more of the people in the group.

And now it is Scraw’s turn. And Scraw is going to furiously lash back. Scraw reacts badly to the guard throwing the spear at a group of children and firbolg and slashes him heavily in the face with a glaive. The guard reels from the blow and is looking extremely rough as blood pours down the right side of his face. Erbak!

Erbak: Still looking rather confused at my fingers as to why that spell didn’t go off, I am going to wriggle my wrist and try it again. Chill touch at this one.

GM: Who are you attacking?

Erbak: This bloke right in the center of the group. Finish off that cultist, make sure he’s definitely down. No the guard, I don’t know why I said cultist. The guard.

GM: So as the guard is reeling from the blow of Scraw’s glaive, you summon a skeletal hand behind him which rushes up into his skull and, as he staggers backwards, the hand passes through his skull. And as he collapses onto the ground.

Erbak: I make a noise of satisfaction.

GM: Dead! as you can see. Mhurren!

Mhurren: I’m just gonna finish this guy off with my mace.

GM: Yeah, so you swing around and smash him with your mace. He drops to the stone.

Mhurren: Was that the half-orc?

GM: That was the half-orc with the fucked up face.

Mhurren: Oh, right. As he falls, I say in orcish, “Follow the light, brother.”

GM: That is the end of combat. The firbolg who is badly wounded is like kicking the cultist who occasionally groans, but is not conscious. And another firbolg comes over and puts his hand on his shoulder and he says;

Firbolg: “Enough, brother. We should–” And he just looks around at you all and says. “We should take this one.”

Erbak: I’m just gonna shrug

GM: At this point, Linaan just turns and says;

Linaan: “Do as you will, but we must hurry! Before the gates are closed.”

GM: And she starts rushing with her family ahead to try and get to the keep’s gates before it becomes impossible to do so.

Doomsinger: I will shout, “Wait.” I call her back using wait in my best loud voice.

GM: You can try and persuade her, but with disadvantage because she is fearing for her family’s life.

Doomsinger: {insisting} But we are protecting her family’s life.

GM: But she is determined to get them inside that keep.

Doomsinger: Performance, is that? Or persuasion?

GM: No, just persuasion. She’s not stopping. What are you guys doing?

Mhurren: I follow them. I pick up the kid and follow behind.

GM: The kid’s gone with her. The kids and her husband, like, they all just rushed ahead.

Mhurren: The firbolgs as well?

GM: The firbolgs are looking at you guys. One of them is trying to hoist the body of the cultist, who is much larger than he is, as the cultist that is and he’s like;

Firbolg: “We should take him. We should take him with us inside of the keep.”

Mhurren: That’s a good idea.

Firbolg:Tarbaw will know what to do.”

Mhurren: Oh, I’ll, I’ll pick up the cultist.

GM: Sure.

Mhurren: He’s unconscious?

GM: Yes, he’s very, very unconscious.

Mhurren: {laughing} Okay.

GM: This is the one that’s been burned and fucked up by Doomsinger’s firebolt.

Mhurren: Roasted.

GM: What are the rest of you guys doing? The firbolgs are kind of happy that you’ve picked up this guy, just start rushing towards the keep as well.

Doomsinger: I’m kinda gonna bounce behind the peasants and the children cause I have a bad feeling about this.

Tobe: I hang back as well for all of the townsfolk to go first.

GM: Myx?

Myx: I want to know what they’re gonna do with the cultist.

GM: Well, they’re — Mhurren’s the one who picked him up. He just said bring him to the keep and he said Tarbaw will know what to do.

Myx: Okay, so let’s go to the keep.

Mhurren: Can I ask them?

GM: What?

Mhurren: “Who’s Tarbaw?”

GM: And you guys are still rushing, there’s still a lot of chaos going on. Like they’re trying to rush to the keep entrance-

Mhurren: “Who?”

GM: Before the other cultists or kobolds prevent it being possible. He just says;

Firbolg: “Come, come. You will see.”

GM: As he’s sort of out of breath, trying to run.

The townsfolk all make it quite safely to the gate of the keep which is- You see all along the keep tower there are rows of guards who are firing down arrows at kobolds as often as they can essentially at the kobolds.

Anyone that gets within range along the enemy lines they are trying to fire at. However, they are keeping the road relatively clear, they are preventing people from getting too close to it so that anybody rushing up the road can reach the keep safely. Townsfolk get to the gate and you can see as they obviously rushed ahead of all of you, the gate is open, they rush inside. It’s a big, heavy oak door type thing. And they rush through. As you guys approach, what do you do?

Doomsinger: Well, as I was heading like quite close behind them, can I see what’s in there?

GM: It is not wide open. So if you’ve got two doors that close side by being opposite each other, one of them is cracked open. So realistically you can’t see through there unless you’re basically ready to go in. You can try and peek through?

Mhurren: I’m gonna head straight there. I’ve got the–

Doomsinger: I would like to have a peek through.

GM: Yeah, I mean, Mhurren can still rush through.

Mhurren: Yeah, I’ve got the cultist on my shoulder.

Doomsinger: Stealth up then and peek around the door. I just wanna, peak my head around, I’d rather see what I can see within.

GM: Roll your perception. Myx, Tobe, what are you guys doing?

Tobe: I pause before I enter the keep, just to see if there’s anyone coming up behind them, enemy or other townspeople.

Erbak: I’m also somewhat cautious. I’m gonna follow behind the Doomsinger.

Myx: I just kinda waltz in.

GM: Your friends brush past you. Or, rather, your traveling compatriots brush past you, Doomsinger, as you see that, you can see that there’s a group of guards kind of creating a perimeter around the entrance that you don’t see any of the people that just passed through the door because they kind of just moved in.

Doomsinger: “I don’t like the looks of this guys. I don’t trust this place. Priest, what think you?”

GM: {laughing} Mhurren’s already gone in!

Doomsinger: Ah, well.

GM: He just brushed right past you. He’s like “Come on! I’ve got–” He’s followed the townsfolk straight through, he’s carrying an unconscious cultist on his back.

Doomsinger: “Lizard boy, what do you think of this particular situation?”

Erbak: “Well, there are kobold’s outside and we don’t know what’s inside. But what’s inside are people that didn’t try to kill us so logic dictates inside may be best.”

Doomsinger: “Well, I’d also say”

Erbak: “We can solve the problem once we’re in there”

Doomsinger: “We were met in the road by an armored guard and some cultists and I rather think, that if there was a sizable army of any good sort in here, they’d rather be out protecting the walls.”

GM: So, um, Tobe, you do not see any enemies struggling up the roads. You don’t see any townsfolk on the road behind you. Though you are sure there are more in the town, but there is none that you can see. You do see people. So you do see more cultists and kobolds closing in from either side towards the road, as they are closing closer and closer to prevent further access to the keep.

Tobe: I go in.

GM: He just goes in, disregards the two outside standing there going, “Hmm, this is very, very suspicious.”

Tobe: {laughing} They can do whatever the fuck they want as far as I’m concerned.

GM: Fine, okay.

Erbak: I’m just going to follow them inside.

GM: You guys are both outside, for the moment. You make your way into the keep grounds after Mhurren has gone through with an unconscious cultist on his shoulders.

You see that there is a ring of guards creating a blockade between the gate and the rest of the keep. The townsfolk that you have helped reach this point thus far are standing in front of the guards and you can see they’re having a conversation. And one-by-one, they’re letting them through. They’re not sort of slowing them down in any way, but you can see that they’re giving them a once over for weapons or anything dangerous and the like. And then as their family comes through they kind of usher them in certain directions. What do guys want to do once you’re through the doors?

Myx: Are we allowed to go further in or do we have to drop our weapons?

GM: No one has said anything to you thus far. There is a perimeter. I’d say it’s about 15 to 20 feet radius around the gate, just a wall of guards around the gate. They do have crossbows and they are pointing them at you, but not in a hostile way. It’s prepared rather than, they’re not aimed directly at you. They’re aimed at you, but down as if they’re ready bring it to readiness to fire if you were to show aggression.

Tobe: I want to follow Mhurren cause I want to know what’s gonna happen to that cultist.

GM: So Mhurren just starts wandering over towards the guards. A few of them sort of see that he’s carrying someone so they look suspicious and then as he gets closer they see that you’re all variously armed. Are you approaching as well, Myx?

Myx: Yes.

GM: Following Mhurren and one of the guards looks over goes;

Guard: {concerned}“Uh, uh, Captain? Captain!?”

GM: And this is an orcish gentleman and he’s shouting over his shoulder like “what the fuck?” As you guys are approaching the guards, there is a break in the line briefly as a large, stout dwarf in red armor comes through the crowd and goes;

Guard Captain: [clears throat] “What’s all this? What’s going on here? What are you bringing here?”

GM: He’s looking at Mhurren. He’s just like;

Mhurren: “They suggested we would bring, the, one of these guys to Tarbaw. This is one of the guys that was attacking outside.”

Guard Captain: “Right, so you just happened to waltz in and, uh, capture one of these people attacking us, right? That how this happened?”

Tobe: “I wouldn’t say waltz, I’d say more like–”

GM: He looks at you, Tobe. And you look, you haven’t got a scratch on you, right?

Tobe: No, I haven’t taken any damage. [laughs]

GM: So he looks at you and says;

Guard Captain: “Certainly looks like you walked in here to me.”

GM: And he looks at Myx and he says;

Guard Captain: “You, maybe. You I could think have been in a bit of a scuff, but I’m sure not buying this. Where are you from? What brings you to town?”

Tobe: “We came in–”

Guard Captain: “You from here?”

Tobe: “We came in on a caravan and saw the town was being attacked before we even entered the town.”

Guard Captain: “Well, no caravans coming in here now.”

Tobe: “Well, no, because it’s been stopped outside the town.”

Guard Captain: “Bring them–right, right. I suppose that makes sense. How do you know about Tarbaw?

GM: And Mhurren’s just like, “One of the.” And he points at one of the firbolgs who are slipping away “One of the, uh.”

Guard Captain: “Uh-huh.”

GM: As you’re having this conversation, at this point Doomsinger and Erbak slip in behind you. Erbak you’ve slipped in, you’ve decided it’s the logical thing to do.

Erbak: Mhm.

Doomsinger: I shall saunter in behind as I do.

GM: As you guys wander into the keep, you see that there is a 15, 20 foot perimeter of guards creating a ring. Mhurren, Myx, and Tobe are deep in conversation with these guards. And you see that they are talking specifically with a large dwarf wearing red armor whose kind of questioning them and he looks very focused on them right now.

Doomsinger: How far away from them are we?

GM: 5 foot or so.

Doomsinger: Can make a very pointed clear my throat cough to get some attention?

GM: Absolutely! As you do this. [clears throat]

Doomsinger: {pleased} That’s it, that’s the noise.

GM: You see the guards, and all these guards have crossbows. And the crossbows are not at attention, sort of pointed down although they are trained on the door. And as you make this coughing noise and the dwarf looks up and goes;

Guard Captain: “What the bloody hell’s this?”

GM: And he looks at the guards next to him pointedly who raise their crossbows.

Guard Captain: “Sorry, stranger. You’re not coming in here dressed like that. No one goes through without being checked.”

Doomsinger: “Do you not vouch for the word of a priest? I think you’ll find that my companion Mhurren knows me well enough to know that I can be trusted.”

Guard Captain: “Like it or not friend, our town is under attack. I can’t talk anybody’s word for nothing. As far as I’m concerned you’re all strangers here. You may well have a cultist, but for all I know this is just another trap. I’m not willing to risk the lives that we have saved today on the words of some priest that claims to have who knows what.”

Doomsinger: “May I speak to you alone?”

Guard Captain: “No you bloody well can’t, you upright little shit. Who do you think you are?”

Doomsinger: “Merely a traveler wishing to discuss my business with obviously the gentleman in charge. I rather thought that’s what you wanted.”

Guard Captain: “You may reveal yourself now or you may be leaving. Those are your options.”

GM: And as he’s saying this, you see figures walking over towards him from the other side of the line of guards.

Doomsinger: “I would rather reveal myself, I would rather discuss in private. My reasons are understandable once you talk with me. You’re more than welcome to bring in guards with you if you distrust my word.”

Guard Captain: “Look, I don’t have time for this. Just make your decision or–”

GM: And as he’s sort of reinforcing this statement once again, you hear;

HalfOrc/HalfDragonborn: {slurring} “Eskabar! Ayyy, Eskabar. Eskabar, Eskabar, Eskabar.”

GM: And you see a large half-orc, half-dragonborn step up behind him and pats him on the shoulders and;

HalfOrc/HalfDragonborn: {slurring} “Eskabar, this, this man here is the greatest lutist you’ve ever seen. I’ve, I’ve been traveling with this man for weeks. If it wasn’t for this man, me and my buddies we wouldn’t have saved all those people we saved. We saved, look you know how many.”

GM: And Escobert’s looking at him like [groans].

HalfOrc/HalfDragonborn: {slurring} “You know? You know how many people we brought here? You know?”

Escobert: [groans]

HalfOrc/HalfDragonborn: {slurring} “Come on, how many did we save today? Twenty? Thirty? Thirty? Five hundred? I don’t know, it was a lot. Point being, this man’s with me and my buddies and he’s okay. He’s alright. He just likes his mask and, believe me, he plays the finest banjos ever.”

Doomsinger: “I thank you for your kind words.”

GM: He just looks up;

HalfOrc/HalfDragonborn: “Sorry about. He…so…He only plays one banjo now. There’s only one. But it’s still good.”

GM: Behind him you see a large gnome who is sporting a giant, bushy beard and has this brutal, grizzly scar across his chest. And he goes;

Gnome: “Ah, yeah, that’s the Doc! Yeah! He’s with us as well. We’re all good.”

Erbak: “Hey there!”

Gnome: “Escobert, it’s fine, it’s fine. Just let them through.”

GM: And as you see that they’re gesturing, you see that these guys are really, heavily fucking injured. The half-orc, half-dragonborn has literally lost half of his arm and has been really carefully bandaged, but has obviously lost a lot of blood tonight. They are all suffering and there’s only like 5 or 6 of them in this group. They are all severely beaten, they’ve taken a real rough ride tonight. Nonetheless, it’s been made very clear that these guys have made extraordinary work in saving the townsfolk. And Escobert just kind of looks up and says;

Eskabar: “Alright, look. You guys have done the town a great service and I cannot forget that, but this night is not over yet. I will be watching you. You want in, that’s fine. We’ll have a guard on you at all times.”

Doomsinger: “That is fine.”

Eskabar: “And if it comes to it, you’ll be ready when we call. We need all hands on deck.”

Doomsinger: “I very much intend to play my part. That is why I’m here.”

Erbak: “I say, do you not want someone to attend to those men. They look like they’re in poor condition. I believe I could help. It’s the least I could do. I’m a doctor.

Eskabar: “Oh we have our medics. We have clerics and medics, but more medical assistance is always appreciated in times of dire need. Please, as I said, come through. Tarbaw will want to meet you.”

GM: And he turns to Mhurren and says;

Eskabar: “I’m sorry I doubted you.”

Ray/GM: And that’s all we had time for this week. Thank you for listening and hopefully you can join us next time. New episodes will be released each sunday for the foreseeable future so don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed or on itunes or through your favoured podcasting service.

The song that you heard at the beginning of this episode was extravaganza by TRG banks and you can find this on bandcamp at trgbanks.bandcamp.com and the song that you are now hearing is while you are here by Ending Satellites.

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