Well, we’re four sessions into a play test of the Mind Weave rules around the table. With two players leaving the group and a player taking over one of their characters in the next session, I figure I ought to write up what’s happened to catch him up, and why not make it a report here.
The campaign takes place in Stormguard with all of the party members coming from the Southern human colony of Anaithwaite:
- Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 1 (Fire Spellbook)
- Talia Stromborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 1 (Healing Spellbook)
- Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 1
- Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 1 (Tracking and Archery)
A small ship, a single mast schooner, battles northward along the coast against howling winds. Farther out to sea a storm is blowing in and the last chance of the ship to not be dashed against the coastal rocks is to find the shelter of several large islands ahead off the port bow. The crew of 13 have been all hands through the night striving to make that shelter and though the wind is picking up and fighting their every effort, the captain is not yet resigned. He orders a sailor to rouse the passengers in the hopes that they might be able to lend a hand.
Upon being roused, Hilbrent, Benquil. and Algaeir rush on deck to offer any aide they might be capable of. Talia remains in her quarters, as do the other three passengers (a halfling musician, human herbalist, and human merchant whose goods fill most of the hold), but prays to Vardor to save the ship. None of them being sailors, Hilbrent, Benquil and Algaeir stand on deck looking for any way they can help reach the shelter of isles. Hilbrent offers to cast a wind spell to hasten them and under the captains direction the sails are trimmed properly for the gust and the spell cast.
The surge of favorable wind pushes the ship forward, but quickly begins to die away. In the meantime, a sailor sees something off the starboard bow. “Battle ahead!” He cries. Algaeir runs to the bow to see several Osprytes locked in combat with several Merfolk. Hearing the call, the Ospryte leader calls out “in the name of Anaith, aide us against these beasts.” The Merfolk captain rebuffs, “we let you sail our waters, aide us against these intruders.”
Instructed by her god to join the others on deck, Talia arrives, recommending that they aide the honorable Osprytes, of whom she has read. The sailors begin to throw javelins and fire arrows into the merfolk. Algaeir joins in with his powerful bow, as does Benquil with his crossbow. His magical energy nearly depleted, Hilbrent refrains from the fight while Talia heals a sailor struck by a javelin. Soon the Merfolk are in flight.
During the battle, the ship has been driven still nearer the coast and cannot be saved. The captain calls that he is changing course to strike the shore favorably. The Osprytes offer to carry passengers to shore and soon all of the crew and passangers are ashore, watching their ship crash into the rocky shore.
Knowing that they are in orcish territory, everyone agrees that they must set out, whether North or South. Almost all vote to go North to the Elven lands to which they were originally bound. Myron, the merchant, insists they haul his grain, and Captain Retinue agrees that they will need the food supplies, despite Myron’s protestations against eating the grain.
During the discussion, Talia comforts Irion, the musician, encouraging him to play a tune to enbolden the shipwrecked band. Elba, the herbalist, goes about bind wounds. Algaier departs, scouting the area. He find an orcish village, awakening and taking breakfast. He returns and informs the others, who are now unloading grain and other supplies from the broken ship.
When about ready to set out, they spot an orcish hunting party who when noticed charge. The sailors form a defensive line while Benquil and Algaeir take shots at the oncoming enemies. Both miss and the orcs engage the sailors. Drawing his scimitar, Benquil throws himself into the line. Killing an orc, taking a hit and then slaying another while Algaeir shoots one down.
Fearing further danger, they immediately set out, relying on the two warriors to guard their front and rear, with Algaeir scouting well ahead and Benquil taking up the rear. One of the sailors, Mickey Hayeck, approaches Benquil and thanks him for saving his life. “Surely that blow you took was meant for me. You saved my life, thank you.”
All of them laden with grain, they take frequent breaks, but still keep a good pace. About when they are considering stopping to take lunch, Benquil’s ring (whose magic he does not understand, except that it warns him of danger) began to glow. Conversing with Captain Retinue, Hilbrent, and Talia, they decide to continue without rest or food to escape the unseen danger. Eventually they are exhausted and are forced to rest, too many of them unable to press on.
As they stop, trying to catch their breath, arrows fly from the rear. As sailors prepare bows and form a knot between the enemy archers and the passengers, Benquil runs up the hillside to their left, looking for a better view, only to be fired upon. At the same time, Hilbrent orders a sailor, Don, to check the hillside on the right. Don, too, is fired upon. He dodges, but soon find himself fighting two orcs in melee. Seeing this Hilbrent charges to his aide with a couple sailors while another few run to aide Benquil. Don takes blows, falling unconscious. Benquil orders the sailors on his side back to the middle, which is being charged, but Mickey refuses to leave his side and they quickly clear their hill with the help of Algaeir’s arrows as he arrives from the front. Meanwhile, Talia runs to heal Don while Hilbrent uses the last of his magic to burn the orcs on that hill.
Out of magic Hilbrent charges toward the middle with dagger drawn. With Algaier and Benquil also helping on that front, where the sailors were winning already, the conflict is quickly finished, with the last orc archer captured.
Wow, longer than I thought it would be. I was going to do two sessions, but I’ll just have to do this in four posts.