This week at The Gaming Goat marked the end of the current season of DnD Encounters, The Elder Elemental Eye. Initially we looked to be short a few players this night so we pushed the two tables together and got ready to roll as one group, only to have a few more show up at the last moment. We decided to go as one large group of eight, including myself, Nate, Zach, Steve, Bobby, Andrew, Tim (welcome back), and Don, with DM Jack doing the honors.
Last week half of the players had been TPK’d while the other half had successfully muddled through the big boss fight, only to find this week the whole group was back safe and sound in the town of Easting. A day of celebration and a full night of rest was in order. The party returned home to Irribor where they presented the local leaders with the results of their successful adventure. Another round of celebrations befell the party, along with 50 GP apiece from the city’s coffers.
The group ended up at the Wandering Wyvern Inn, one of the finer establishments in town. Most of the party members were sitting quietly in a corner when one of the group was approached by an Elven Ranger. She spoke, knowing of the party’s recent exploits, and offered her congratulations on their success. She also offered a warning – other cultists were still about and were being led by a Drow assassin. Several in the party noticed the Elven Ranger was likely in disguise, and probably not Elven or a Ranger. Her words were deemed to be true though, and when she proffered a gift of a slender bone tube my character thanked her and slipped it into her cloak.
Just then there was a cacophony outside. A horse drawn wagon had crashed into a fountain in the street in front of The Wandering Wyvern. One of the barmaids, Ella, that had been serving the party had just gotten off work and now lay pinned beneath the wagon, while her sister Cinder stood to the side and screamed for help. Two farmers, one in the wagon and one with the ox, attempted to extract the beast from its predicament. Another civilian, a female, lay in the street, apparently suffering from wounds caused by the crash. With the warning of the possible presence of a Drow Assassin still strong in their consciousness the party poured into the street to provide assistance.
Some of the party noticed the two “farmers” really weren’t much interested in the wagon or the ox. Some noticed the woman that had laid in the street had partially risen and looked ready to fight. Several other members of the party noticed a medium sized spider in the wagon (honestly, even medium-sized monster spiders can still be pretty darn big). Initiative was rolled and off we went.
The party met the injured pedestrian/assassin, the two farmers/cultists, and the spider in the middle of the street. Serious blows were dealt on both sides and several members of the party were quickly bloodied, but so to were the assassin and her henchmen. Two more cultists appeared to join in the battle, as well as another medium-sized spider. Both of the spiders were of the jumping variety and one was able to follow our arrow-shooting Ranger onto the roof of a nearby building.
The assassin was able to do her damage, but none of the party went down. The party concentrated their efforts on the assassin and once she was down to stay two of the cultists soon followed. Some key healing was done to keep the injured party members in the fight, although others were now taking their turn at being damage attractors. Finally the last cultist succumbed to their wounds and the noise of battle quieted away, although two of the players decided to get into some sort of towel snapping contest with each other at the end.
Further investigation revealed that the bone tube held a slender wand, festooned with gems and runic writing. The party determined the wand was really more of a key, something that would likely come in handy for those of us who might be playing in the upcoming DnD Encounters session, Web of the Spider Queen.
I was not planning to play the next DnD Encounters session due to a change work hours, but it turned out The Gaming Goat was not planning to continue their support of DnD Encounters after this session anyway. There have been a lot of players that have come by and played, even if only for a week or two, and have received a proper and fun introduction to DnD. Unfortunately the degree of interest was not reflected back into actual sales of any DnD products. There were always a ton of Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh players in the store, and since the CCG players do spend money this was an easy business decision to make. There are other RPG games played on scheduled nights - look at the schedule to see what else is offered.