We were also joined by three other players. This campaign started out as a way to fill in a gap while this couple was on their vacation. But, they liked the idea so much, that they wanted to join too when they got back. So, they brought along their 12-year old son, bringing my PC count to 8. That's a lot for me!
Anyways, I had to engineer a backstory that would bring the two groups together. So, after some exposition, my current party, which consisted of a human paladin, a human barbarian, a tiefling ranger, a dwarfling warlock, and an elf rogue, were joined by a ferrusan cleric, a half-orc wizard, and a halfling warlock (yes, the majority of my friends don't believe in playing anything remotely "traditional").
They met in the tunnels where the hobgoblins were gathering slaves to be transported to their encampment. After a brief exchange where they sorted out whose side everyone was on, and found themselves united by the shared concern for freed slaves, they escorted the villagers back to Slovane, and began making plans. The sheriff informed them that he had a "visitor" that they might be interested in talking to.
The visitor was none other than the hobgoblin deserter whom they had freed earlier. He had been caught trying to steal food for his journey away from this area. He bargained once more for his freedom by providing more information that he hadn't thought was important in their first meeting. It turned out to be just the clue the party was looking for.
But, before they could further their plans, the village came under attack. The hobgoblins apparently wanted their escaped slaves back. So, the party gave them a sound and magically flashy thrashing, that resulted in 15 dead hobgoblins, and only a couple of wounded party members.
During all of this RP, the party came to a few realizations. First, this hobgoblin army was not nearly large enough to accomplish what they seemed to be intending. There would certainly be casualties on the side of the humans and their neighbors, but in the end, the hobgoblins would most likely be slaughtered. They also learned that a tribe of orcs from the same mountains were waging a guerrilla war with the hobgoblins, having actually been responsible for freeing the human slaves in the process of freeing their captured brethren. And finally they found out that the leaders of this army had visited a long-abandoned, and rumored to be haunted, monastery prior to putting this invasion into motion.
The party decided that the best thing they could do was to send messengers to potential allies, and to the large town/city that seemed to be the hobgoblins' eventual target. Meanwhile, they would journey to the monastery and see if they could cut the head off this snake. They also agreed to release the hobgoblin, with a few coins and some supplies, and suggested he make his way to the trading outpost to the west, where a certain drow airship captain might be interested in employing him.
As they were preparing to leave, the rancher whose property they would be crossing to get to the mountains, pulled them aside, and told them a tale of a young copper dragon that he had befriended, and who he had struck a bargain with. The dragon, however, had gone missing, and so he asked the party if they could keep an eye out for him, and see if he was ok. They agreed, and headed out.
Once they reached the forested foothills, they came across signs of occupation in the middle of the wilderness. What they found was an encampment of hobgoblins who had captured and caged the young dragon, and were attempting to break its spirit and enslave it for their own uses in their "war." The party made short work of the slavers, and freed the dragon, who, upon hearing of the attack on the village, immediately flew off to ensure its safety.
At this point, the party decided to make camp in the woods, and make the last part of their journey to the monastery fresh in the morning.
Although the session went well, and everyone had a good time, I found I need to do a few things in preparation for future sessions. First, I need to actually name my NPC's. I always forget this detail (mainly because I work from general, hand-written notes, rather than a full-on script). And I also need to make the combat encounters more challenging. With this many casters, they are wading through my monsters way too quickly.
Not sure when we will get to play again, but I will endeavor to be more prepared. After the session, I was inspired by a few more ideas that will (hopefully) make things very interesting.
|And just for giggles, I drew a picture|
of my son's barbarian character, Theeth.