Our heroes begin this adventure in the forests surrounding Daggerford. GAIL GREY and her companion MALATHORN are with their traveling companions VALEN OAKSON and TALUS KOSS , they have just finished ridding the Sword Coast of a marauding band of goblins and are resting before heading back to town.
The woods are quiet this night, and the air grows chill. Your fire sputters as a low mist gathers around the edges of your camp, growing closer as the night wears on. By morning, the fog hangs thick in the air, turning the trees around you into gray ghosts. Then you notice these aren't the same trees that surrounded you the night before.
Bone tired, Gail had been dreaming peacefully enough at first. As the night drew on her dreams became darker and strange. Somebody was watching her from afar, judging. It was as if her very soul was being peered through, was she found wanting? She couldn't say but it went on and on... At some point in the half light of pre-dawn she woke shivering a cold sweat. It was no matter they'd be in Baldur's gate by mid day. As a rule she disliked cities, but civilization did have it's charms. Warmth, good food, a soft bed, beer...
Looking around properly she muttered in disbelief, "I must be dreaming... What happened to the pine trees?!" For all around was a dense copse of Oak and Hawthorne, rarities on the sword coast. More than a little frightened, Gail croaks, "Guys, wake up. Something is very wrong!"
Malthorn stirred as Gail called out to the group, He'd drawn the short straw this round and had the middle watch, gods was he tired. Sleep had been a vague thing last night when he went to sleep, mist creeping all around. His watch was worse, as the same mist that made it hard to see also distorted the sound, The fiend from hell he was sure was coming; was simply an night owl he spotted up in a tree, after some tense moments of searching.
"Gail, calm yourself I went to sleep twice last night against this huge white pine, just look fer yer...yer...self?" The warlock voices trails off as he looks above, where he'd just pointed for the other's benefit "and just where in the planes are we?"
Valen night was filled with fitful trance dreams unusual to him and a weary mist shrouded watch. He knows to trust the sense of foreboding that followed such a night and so when Gail awakens the group with her cries he is not the least bit surprised. He gets to his feet and clasps his hand to the hilt of his ornate blade as he peers about at the strange trees. "It seems we are not where we should be."
Talus' sleep had been filled with images of great gulfs of darkness separating fragile islands of life, mere pin pricks in a vast sea of inky solitude.
Such dreams were common to him, ever since he'd been awakened to the special powers available to his mind.
But never had they been so vivid, so present....
Gail's call brought him awake instantly, the tall man rolling to his knees, blinking , taking in what she'd said.
Noting the closeness of the mist and the differing flora, he opined "Indeed, Gail, Malthorn, Valen...'tis strange." he rises smoothly and walks to the edge of the camp, where the mist hung, pregnant with menace.
For a moment he contemplates reaching out and touching the mist, then thinks better of it, and lowers his hand.
"I suggest we wait for daylight, to get a better lay of the land....whatever land we find ourselves in."
Siobhan stood as immediately as Talus rose slowly. Rummaging through her pack, she slipped on her belt and removed a rugged crystal from a pouch and whispered to it, causing it to glow like a torch. She holds it over her head to see if it will give her a better through the mist.
"I think 'Where in the planes' is an appropriate turn of phrase Malthorn. I don't think we're in Faerûn anymore." She says with wonder, seeming more enchanted than she is frightened.
She continues, sagely, "I've a feeling this is daylight, Talus. I think we should decide on a direction to move on in. "
Gail was aghast, "Another plane?! By Sylvanus how could that be?" She was about to add, 'Surely you jest', but somehow in her heart she knew this was true. Chewing her lip for a moment, Gail frowns and grumbles, "How could this hapoen? In all the stories of planar travel, the bold hero jumps through a shining portal in monster infested halls. Or a powerful mage rents the weave asunder with their will. I remember none of that!"
Talus and Siobhan were right, there was nothing more to be done till the sun rose. Assuming it did rise here, wherever here was...
As the others wake and begin looking around as well, Malthorn quickly recovers and begins rolling his bedroll up and stowing his gear, ready for travel. Keeping his ever present staff close at hand, To a passerby it looked nothing more than an ornate walking stick, and in truth it performed admirably in that right. Yet assisting in his travels by foot was not it's real power. For the morning after the whispers had answered his cries, he'd awoken to it beside his bed. With it close at hand the powers gifted him were always easy to come.
"Doubt the mist is going anywhere soon, I'm going to work my way around the camp in ever growing circles, I will return shortly. Feel free to continue to talk, infact I'd appreciate it if you did."
Falling back into his military training he eases into the mist, keeping the sounds of camp on his right shoulder and listening for anything to his fore and left.
with the poor visibility he is difinitly taking his time making his round, also looking for any trails that might be there.
"Don't get ahead of yourself Malthorn! Going into an unknown world alone could put you in great danger. At least let me join you in your scouting." Valen's tone starts harsh, but softens as he speaks. He is obviously just worried about his companion.
Valen's stealth, survival and perception are all okay, so I think he is a good canidate to join Malthorn in this
Malthorn nods at Valen's words, acknowledging they made sense. Glad for the company as well as the extra eyes and ears.
Malthorn and Valen creep into the mists and 2d20 ⇒ (4, 15) = 19 immediately feel a pressing weight on their bodies as the mists overlap them. Malathorn hears sobbing in the distance, he swears it, but then its gone. Valen can hear the cawing of ravens, and then nothing at all not even Malathorn's footsteps mere feet from him. The mists overtake the two men and they quickly lose their sense of direction, eventually they exit the mists nearly exactly where they entered them.
As those two enter the mists and creep around, the rest of our heroes wait for the sun to rise higher in the sky, hopefully to burn the damnable mist off...but it never does. The sky never brightens above a dull grey and the mist lingers. As the party debates where exactly in the cosmos they are, Siobhan and Talus notice the mists have backed away to the west revealing a dirt track leading Westward.
"Well it appears we have a direction to head." Malthorn says dryly as the mist give way to the trail. "Can't say I like this one bit but after our last foray into the mist, I'd say we have no choice but to go that way. Whoever or whatever brought us here will reveal itself after a timw I guess.
Malthorn will take point but will also defer to Valen who has a better passive perception
Speaking of passive perception, Gail has +5 and survival. Unfortunately she is in armor so has a disadvantage on stealth. Maybe she should be towards the front of the marching order.
Gail follows Malthorne's lead. Her eyes darting around, looking for evidence of any tracks, animal or otherwise. We may need Gail to forage, she is able to do so thanks to her background and survival skill. I'm sure Niles will let me know if dice rolls are needed.
I would suggest one of Gail or Valen to take up the rear and watch our backs while the other heads near the front. We also have the best AC and HP in addition to good Passive Perceptions. Siobhan and Talus are a bit squishy, so should stick near the middle of the group. Malthorn is pretty darn squishy too, but I won't stop him :P
Valen agrees with Malthorn's course of action, "One trail, one direction to go. It seems we are being herded, but there's not much else we can do."
It's always the rearguard who gets it in the scary movie isn't it? Gail will go rear guard.
Malthorn has a great desire NOT to be in the direct midst of combat but he will still walk point or towards the front. His past says he'd go he's just not the best at it. ;) he's going to be more a run and gun, than straight up fighter.
@Gail that how I understood the cleric spellcasting to work
1d20 ⇒ 15
The dirt path winds through the bleak countryside. The mists never completely fade away, but do recede somewhat so that the party gets a good look at their surroundings as they trudge through the colorless landscape. Eventually the dirt path gives way to a wider gravel road.
The gravel road leads to a village, its tall houses dark as tombstones. Nestled among these solemn dwellings are a handful of closed-up shops. Even the tavern is shut tight. A soft whimpering draws your eye toward a pair of children standing in the middle of an otherwise lifeless street.
The children are only 40' or so from the party. The mists have again closed in and the party looks behind them to see the mists engulfing everything within 10' behind them.
Siobhan never had quite seemed in her element since the other four met her, the road never suited her.
Oddly enough, she walks a little more casually in this mist. As Malthorn and Valen go ahead, Siobhan follows the Paladin close behind. The eerie backdrop of gray buildings and deadened trees is still unnerving, to her, but the idea of planar travel excites her more. They might be better prepared if they knew where they were, though, and Siobhan tries to wrack her brain for clues as to where they might be.
Religion: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Arcana: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Siobhan holds out her glowing crystal to see if anyone is in the windows of the houses nearby. The weeping children cause her to frown in concern. She looks at them carefully and the surrounding environs to decide whether it's a trick.
Insight: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
"What's the plan? Do we help them?" She asks aloud, "Gail, Valen, opinions?"
As they followed the path something was bothering Gail, "I mislike these mists. See how they ebb and flow, as if charged with capricious intent. Of course that's nonsense, it must be some peculiarity of the local climate. Yet as much as my head makes excuses, my heart fears Valen has the right of it."
A little later the outline of the children and a most unwelcoming village appears wraith like in the middle distance. Gail glances at Siobhan curiously, 'Sylvanus! Look at her, she seems comfortable in this infernal mist. How does she do it?' Shivering inwardly Gail replies, "They're children, we should find out what is a miss." Horror story textbook error #1.
Cautiously (because of the mists are obscuring everything) Gail approaches and calls out, "Hello there! We are travelers, is everything alright?"
Talus remains silent as the pathway is revealed by the parting mists, merely nodding at Valen's observation.
His mien remains stoic as the group travels the path, as if in a tunnel, the mists surrounding them so.
The crunch of gravel is a welcome respite from the unnatural stillness and quiet of the mist , but the village it reveals does nothing to quell Talus' disquiet.
"Herded. That was what Valen said, I think he's right. But is it intelligence that 'guides' us or just the habit of an ancient unthinking evil?
Talus' thoughts are brought short by the appearance of the children, he watches the two's reaction to Gail's salutation.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Valen restrains himself from whistling as they follow the trail. The mists were odd, -he couldn't deny that- yet traveling with his allies still felt serene. If there is some evil at work here we will simply take it down together!
As they reach the village Valen eyes the boarded up buildings with interest. Something is most definitely off here. His unease increases as they see the lone children.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21 Looking around the village
"Whether it is a trap or not... We cannot ignore children in what looks to be an abandoned town." Valen nods as Gail calls out, "We mean no harm, we simply followed the trail to your village." Despite his calming words Valen keeps on alert, watching the children for any signs of something amiss.
Insight: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20 Watching the children
The two children turn to face the heroes as they approach them.
The boy shies away and begins wailing, the girl shushes him and says There's a monster in our house! she points to a tall brick row house that has seen better days. Its windows are dark. It has a gated portico on the ground floor, and the rusty gate is slightly ajar. The houses on either side are abandoned, their windows and doors boarded up.
and horror movie mistake #3
Malthorn looks the children over and says little about their appearance, what cute vampiric children, Rose would make a lovely daughter for a vampire lord, for he'd grown up in Absolom with others pointing out his own issues.
"What kind of monster little one? Surely, is there no one else in your village that could have helped you before we came walking through?" Turning to Valen "It feels like a trap but then again since we woke up this morning what hasn't. Stay on your toes"
He waits for the children's description but then on a whim that no one understands, most of all himself, his feet begin moving towards the house. Staff in hand, the blue stone at it's top pulsing slightly; almost in rhythm with his heart beat. It's not enough light to see by but then again he'd never needed to worry about seeing in the dark.
"Trap or not, we press onward because we feel the need to help do we not?" Valen's words to Malthorn are tested as Malthorn walks towards the house. Valen doesn't miss a beat as he follows him.
"A monster?" calls Gail with concern, "What does it looks like? Oh and can I talk to your parents?"
Rose does the speaking as Thorn keeps behind her The monster. We haven't seen it, only heard it. Our parents keep it locked in the basement, that's where the sounds are coming from. We didn't see our parents, but please help them! Oh! And help Walter! I couldn't get him out of his nursery! It's on the third floor! as Rose pleads with you, a screeching sound emanates from the home. The front door opens slightly
Having come to the conclusion they are legitimate, Gail replies firmly, "But of course. Walter is a babe? He must be our priority followed by rescuing the parents and dealing with any monster."
Signaling the others to follow, Gail cautiously approaches the building, whispering a prayer to Sylvanus as she goes.
Noooo it's a trap! She is using the guidance cantrip on herself.
At the doorway, Malthorn uses his staff to push/pull it wider open allowing them to look inside; before moving towards the stairwell heading upwards if one can be seen.
There's no stairs, not sure how you guys got that idea.
Gail walks forward and pushes open a rusted gate. It screeches in protest but opens. Two oil lanterns sit unlit on either side of the wooden door. As Malthorn pushes the slightly opened door, the lamps alight.
The door opens into a foyer Hanging on the south wall of the foyer is a shield emblazoned with a coat-of arms (a stylized golden windmill on a red field), flanked by framed portraits of stony-faced aristocrats. Mahogany-framed double doors leading from the foyer are set with panes of stained glass.
Suppose we just assume on account of there being three floors. We'll find them. Just to confirm, there is only the one set of doors?
"Self-lighting lamps. That's not ominous at all." Valen smiles wryly. He examines the portraits to see if there is a resemblance to the children outside.
between "And help Walter! I couldn't get him out of his nursery! It's on the third floor! " and Gail stating to get the little one first, I was trying to give you a direction they would head. hence the part about moving towards a stairwell if one can be seen
"Not a bit, nope, not at all" Malthorn studies the curious coat of arms on the shield. Malthorn checks the doors and when the others are ready will open them to the rest of the house.
investigation: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Niles does the stained glass dipict anything or just multicolored?
Gail frowns at the lights, and mutters "Enchanted lamps, is that somebody's idea of a joke?"
Shaking her head, she walks down the path to the house. At least I assume she just opened the garden gate, and Malthorn opened the front door which was ajar.
When Malthorn opens the door, Gail steps inside and calls out, "Hello the house!" She straines to hear any reply. Perception I think: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 Awesome rolls!
If there is no reply and we can't see/hear anything unusual. Gail suggests, "Lets head upstairs and make sure the little one is alright?"
Got to say my wife and I would be freaked out if strangers entered our house to check on the baby... This will need a light touch, unless of course they are all zombies.
"Yes. Let's. Keep an eye out for our monster as well. Mystra willing, no one will be hurt." Siobhan replies.
She replaces her bespelled crystal in its pouch and draws her wand, preparing for danger.
perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
She lingers on the family portrait and crest, wondering if she might find clues as to where they were.
Intelligence check to find out about the family crest and portrait: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Then she follows Gail up the stairs, still on guard.
The portrait bears some resemblance to the children that were just outside. The stained glass is merely multicolored, nothing sinister or odd about it.
Siobhan and Gail open the main doors and enter a large Hall.
A wide hall runs the width of the house, with a black marble fireplace at one end and a sweeping, red marble staircase at the other. Mounted on the wall above the fireplace is a longsword with a windmill cameo worked into the hilt. The wood-paneled walls are ornately sculpted with images of vines, flowers, nymphs, and satyrs. The decorative paneling follows the staircase as it circles upward to the second floor.
Map is posted. I included as I usually do, color coded arrows for ease of reference
Valen slips past Siobhan and Gail and enters the hall. "The rich certainly enjoy a level of intricacy and grandeur in their homes do they not?"
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
He does not notice anything odd about the wall designs.
He heads toward the staircase, ready to head upward and find the babe. "Logic says to cover this floor so we do not leave danger at our backs, but... If there truly is an infant in danger, we should not tarry!"
Talus trails the others as they enter the house, looking about at the decrepit condition of the neighbouring houses. Upon gaing the entranceway, he pauses and looks back to the two children, as if to say "Coming?"
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Gail looks askance at the wallpaper and mutters snarkily, "This is like some tasteless Waterdhavian folly. Witness the, no doubt very expensive, enchanted gate lanterns and this bespoke skull and serpent motif wallpaper. All in rather poor taste, I dread to think what other embellishments cap off the grand design..." Don't worry Gail, you will find out soon!
She pauses a moment on the landing before adding, "Third floor nursery, I suppose we'd better go up."
"Up we go then, personally Valen, I agree clear the floors as we go, but who knows what the god forsaken mist will deposit in here while we're gone anyways."
Gail and Valen lead the party up the opulent staircase. The stairs lead to a landing and another hall Unlit oil lamps are mounted on the walls of this elegant hall. Hanging above the mantelpiece is a wood-framed portrait of the Durst family: Gustav and Elisabeth Durst with their two smiling children, Rose and Thorn. Cradled in the father’s arms is a swaddled baby, which the mother regards with a hint of scorn. Standing suits of armor flank wooden doors in the east and west walls. Each suit of armor clutches a spear and has a visored helm shaped like a wolf’s head. The doors are carved with dancing youths.
fighting off swarms of bats.
The red marble staircase that started on the first floor continues its upward spiral. A cold draft can be felt coming down the steps.
Seeing the mist so close, Talus jumps across the threshold with a gasp of surprise.
Seeing the others slowly ascending the staircase, he hurries to catch up, "The mist has closed off our escape.." he mutters to no one in particular.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Leaning in he peers at the nearest door ,"How quaint, bats." he says quietly.
He then straightens and looks at the Durst family portrait, "Not the most maternal of ladies, is she?"
"Perhaps a bastard child brought into the home proper, can see how that might ruffle a few feathers"
perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
"Hmm wolves, serpents, skulls, and now you mention bats, however I fail to see any of them, is this a house or perhaps a zoo? Definitely an eccentric bunch"
history: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21 Can Malthorn remember anything about the family's history?
Having glanced at the picture, knowing nothing, which isn't unexpected as they have no clue of where they are, Malthorn turns towards the next flight of steps. "The cold just falls down the stairs from above. What kind of child is this?"
Has my family's deal with the Devil come back to haunt both me and my companions? A sweaty palm grips the staff tighter as the warlock continues upwards....
Gail looks down her nose at the painting, "If rich but dysfunctional was the look they where going for, they certainly got it." When Talus points out the bats, she rolls her eyes, "This just gets better and better. I'll give 3 to two odds the mother is the one with an unhealthy interest in the occult. Any takers? No? I suppose we go up." Gail's tone was flippant, but something about the place was getting under her skin. The odd behavior of the mist had rattled her and the eccentric decoration was just the icing on the cake.
I totally agree about the tactical implications of heading straight up without checking rooms. Gail is not thinking about that at all, there is a baby or perhaps toddler in 'peril'. Tactics be damned, she's going up anyway! ;)
Ok, I'll assume that you want to go up the stairs.
Gail leads the group up the red marble staircase to its full height.The party comes to a dusty balcony with a suit of black plate armor standing against one wall, draped in cobwebs.
Oil lamps are mounted on the oak-paneled walls,which are carved with woodland scenes of trees, falling leaves, and tiny critters.
The hairs on Talus' neck rise as he feels the cold draft coming down the stairs, but he takes a deep breath and ascends with the others.
"Marble stairs, carved wood panelling...this family was certainly well off, at least until...whatever happened." he comments once he's gained the landing.
Looking around, he says, "Well our babe-in-danger must be here somewhere..." , walking over to the nearest door, waiting for the others.
Move to stand before green door.
Siobhan impatiently makes her way up the stairs and trains her wand on the door ahead of Talus. She nods at him silently to signal she is ready.
Move closer to the door. Ready an action to cast Ray of Frost on the first threatening creature on the other side of the door.
Talus moves towards the door and as he does the dusty plate armor animates and attacks!
Talus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Gail: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Siobhan: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Malthorn: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Valen: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Animated Armor: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Good guys are up. Kn:Arcane for info on the creature