Sword Coast Guard, Episode 2 – Hunting Ashton Sanguine

Session Date: February 25, 2017

In-Game Dates: 29 Kythorn to 1 Flamerule, 1367 DR

I’m behind on my writing... Technically I should be writing a Hand of Light post (or several) first, but this session is freshest in my mind. So, here we go. (And because it’s late and I’m lazy, I skipped proofreading this. But it’s not like I’m getting paid to write this, so whatever...)

The Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls decide that before assaulting Gauntlet Hall, a night’s rest is in order. As they are setting out the next morning, they come upon a macabre scene: massive avian creatures resembling vultures only with antlered heads are feasting on humanoid corpses.

The creatures note the party’s presence but doesn’t seem to pay them any heed – they already found breakfast, after all. After some examination, the heroes determine that it was a group of traveling locals that the monsters attacked and are currently devouring.

Figuring that if they don’t kill the creatures, they’ll just attack some other innocents later, the heroes charge. Elodin opens up with a well-placed fireball that both severely injures several of the monsters and destroys the corpses. The monstrous birds take flight and begin swooping down on the heroes. They put up a ferocious fight, a couple homing in on the wizard in retribution, but the heroes make rather short work of them.

[These are the perytons that the group was supposed to have encountered last session, only the DM pulled the wrong monster card and had them fight super easy flying dinosaurs. I felt it only appropriate that I rectify the mistake.]

The heroes then head to the secret entrance to Gauntlet Hall. After an extended examination of the barred gate – it was rusty, but the padlock and hinges were well oiled – Rusty wraps the padlock in cloth to dampen sound and then smashes it open.

They enter the crypts below Gauntlet Hall and begin to make their way to the room that holds the coffin of Granny Tichwillow’s sister, Agnes – and the living statue of Torm that Elodin barely managed to escape. There are White Knight patrols in the crypts, though, warding against undead that might rise, and the heroes avoid one patrol on their way into their destination.

Once they are in the room they thankfully not that the statue of Torm is once again standing motionless in its original spot. They examine the coffins, trying to determine which one is that of Granny Tichwillow’s sister, and find one with wood that has obviously not been submerged in the water as long as the others.

Once they are ready, Shump, Rusty, and Guld take up positions around the statue of Torm while Nigel and Elodin prepare themselves halfway across the chamber. Once they are all ready, Elodin uses an unseen servant to pick the coffin out of the magical basin of water.

As they expected, the statue of Torm immediately animates and attacks. Shump, Rusty, and Guld immediately begin wailing on the thing with axe, sword, and quarterstaff. The statue proves to be amazingly resilient, shrugging off the best they can dish out. And then, with two blows, Torm lays Guld low.

With the monk bleeding out on the flagstone floor, Nigel and Elodin begin unleashing the best of their magic against the statue. They discover that their spells seem to roll of it, barely having any effect.

Meanwhile, the statue has chosen Shump as its new victim, and begins slamming the mighty barbarian with savage blow after savage blow. However, with Shump heavily wounded [and Guld one death save failure away from oblivion] the heroes finally manage to fell the statue.

The heroes confront the statue of Torm (the troll mini) to reclaim the coffin of Tichwillow's sister.

After dumping a healing potion down Guld’s throat – the monk’s own healing potion, mind you – the heroes open the coffin to make sure they got the right body. Immediately the green runes on the coffin glow even brighter, and the magic spreads to the walls, illuminating the entire room, and spreading out into the corridor.

Figuring they just triggered a magical alarm to alert the knights of their presence, the group grabs the coffin and rushes off toward the exit from the crypts. In their haste, they turn a corner and come upon a group of knights headed straight for them. [What a coincidence…]

The group of White Knights spot the intruders making off with the coffin, shout “Graverobbers!” and attack. The battle turns out to be a rather nasty one.

There is some slinging of fireballs by Elodin. Nigel plays hide and seek around the corner to avoid blasts from the enemy cleric while incapacitating some of the enemies with a hypnotic pattern spell. Shump, Guld, and Rust engage the front line of knights. Archers – tough bastards that can take a hit – rain arrows down on the group. Both Guld and Rusty down at points in the battle, but their friends bring them back up. And the cleric alternates between shaking allies out of the hypnotic pattern and casting hold person on the heroes.

The tide of battle shifts both ways a couple times – at one point when two of the heroes were paralyzed with hold person, it looked particularly bleak, but Nigel saved them with a well-placed magic missile on the cleric – but in the end the heroes triumphed. [It seems that I end every battle description with “and the heroes won.” I need to fix that…]

While fleeing the crypts of Gauntlet Hall with the coffin, the heroes run into a patrol of White Knights.

The group grabs the coffin and books it out of the crypts. Miles away, they hunker down for a rest, feeling they’ve earned it. Afterwards, they note that the area around Gauntlet Hall is swarming with patrols of knights, the beehive having been kicked. Prudently, they make haste back to Granny Tichwillow’s cottage.

After making their way through the fields of wheat dotted with scarecrow after scarecrow – sure Granny Tichwillow had a scarecrow fetish, but this was pushing it – the heroes enter the old woman’s cottage. Granny Tichwillow is overjoyed when they show her the coffin and her sister’s corpse. She claims that at last she’ll be able to give her sister a proper burial.

Gratefully, Granny Tichwillow agrees to fulfill her end of the bargain. She casts some bones in a in tray, slices her palm to squeeze blood in, and spits in the tray. Then, stirring the mixture with a long nail, she begins to chant arcane phrases. After several moments, she gazes into the tray in silence. Finally, looking up, she tells the heroes that Ashton Sanguine has taken up with several “friends” in a ruined tower near the mountains west of Rassalantar.

The heroes then set off to finish their business with their quarry.

They find the crumbling tower on a tall outcropping of rock with a ramp leading up to it. They see orcs atop the tower and a massive giant at its base. The heroes approach the ramp unseen, preparing themselves for battle, but deciding to give diplomacy a go first.

Although the orcs aren’t overtly hostile, they certainly aren’t friendly either. They do admit that Ashton Sanguine is with them, but refuse to allow the group entrance.

Diplomacy failed, the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls make a daring rush up the ramp. Orcish arrows and giant-thrown boulders rain down on them, and the heroes find that they underestimated their foes. One by one the heroes go down, until no one remains to claim gold, glory, and girls. Except the orcs.

[See, I told you I’d need to fix that. LOL. Okay, okay, I suppose that not really what happened… sigh…]

The heroes charge up the ramp and slaughter orcs and giant alike. Elodin convinces one of the orcs to surrender rather than die. They tie the orc prisoner up and prepare to interrogate him.

[See. This is another example of why fiction is more interesting than fact…]

The Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls

This is the group's interim name until they come up with an official one...

Russel "Rusty" Striker - Human Fighter

Nigel Dyreus - Half-elven Bard

Guld the Tower - Half-elven Monk

Elodin - Human Wizard

Shump the Long - Half-orc Barbarian

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