D&D 5e Session #1. Set in The Forgotten Realms.
Malkevoy the Bard, Braxus the Human Fighter, Wruzantar the Dragonborn Fighter, Tanis the Half-Elf Ranger, Inquist the Gnome Druid.
They’d all sought or received a letter, a “Call to Adventure!” it read. Fame, riches, rewards and glory it promised. This was the adventurer’s life. The call was strong enough to follow as each of the brave adventurers headed to Everlund in the Silver Marches, for reasons varied.
Everlund is a remote town and it took most of the adventurer’s weeks or more to travel there, but they were called for. This seemed like the quest they needed, the adventure they sought, the wild lands that needed taming.
They all arrived on time at the Sunken Barge, as requested by their letter, their long journey over. Wruzantar and Braxus travelling together from the rough and wild port city of Luskan. Malkevoy seeking change from his city of Waterdeep. Tanis and Inquist from all over the realm.
The Sunken Barge was a small dishevelled Inn outside the eastern walls of Everlund. Patronage seemed infrequent and the barkeep unfriendly, but it made for a good starting place on a journey along the Rauvin River.
As the only patrons of the Inn, the adventurer’s quickly found one another, holding up their once sealed letters of invite from Graven Urthadar. However, almost as soon as introductions amongst the group began, they were interrupted! An elderly woman rushed into the dusty Inn and headed directly for the Innkeep, a look of panic on her face, “Help me!” she was pleading. The Innkeeper points to the adventurers and soon enough they are accosted, the distraught woman telling them of giant rats attacking her sons in the cellar. The party, mostly noble and willing (with a little trepidation from some), swiftly follow the woman to her home and upon finding it see a decrepit, boarded up hovel of a house attached to a small field of dying wheat.
Malkevoy the Bard doesn’t like this, his feeling is shared a little by others but Braxus the headstrong fighter marches forward into the house, then toward the cellar where noises are heard. After the cellar door is opened Braxus throws his torch down the stairs to illuminate the darkness. The torch lands directly next to an older man, huddled on the floor. He is startled as soon as cloth and hessian around him begins to burn from the thrown torch. With fortune he swiftly stamps the flames out, yelling at Braxus for being a fool! Braxus, backed up by his ever trusty Fighter friend Wruzantar, heads down the stairs whilst Malkevoy uses his substantial charm to befriend the old lady, to have her keep the cellar door open, still untrusting of the situation and her motives.
As Malkevoy talks with the woman the rest of the party head into the dark, carefully scouring the rather large storehouse-like cellar for rats or signs of danger. They see nothing, hear nothing, and Inquist the gnome in particular seems to be looking in completely the wrong direction. They edge forward, now deep in the room. After learning that the “monsters” they seek are the old lady’s sons, Malkevoy rushes toward his party, trying to reach them…
As this happens two men spring forth from behind sacks and crates, launching into attack and yelling threats of death, but unable to get the surprise on the cautious adventures, the adventurers begin the battle.
The first of the men, brothers it seems, is swiftly struck down, one single hit and a sword from Wruzantar nearly cleaves his torso in two. The other brother is hit with two mighty blows from Braxus’ dual swords, but he still stands, hurt and angry. Malkevoy rushes nearer and launches a bolt from his crossbow into the man. The raging man then swings wildly at Braxus, harming him in the process, then surprisingly, the older man the party left behind rushes up to the trailing gnome left undefended and unawares, hitting the gnome hard and sending Inquist, the 3 foot tall druid reeling. Tanis the Ranger stealths, preparing for attacks of cunning.
What was going on? Who were these people?
The fight carries on, now with a new combatant, the old woman is rushing down the stairs distraught at the carnage before her.
Braxus and Wruzantar finally finish off the brutish brother as Tanis stealthily creeps up behind the older man, the father? Tanis, the half-elf Ranger stabs the man’s throat with rogue-like precision… and merely punctures a little muscle, only draws a little blood. This man is as solid as rock and now the whole party must focus on bringing him down. Malekvoy rushes toward him.
The old woman, a mere distraction caught in the fray spies the Bard that had befriended her earlier raising his crossbow, within an instant she sees nothing, her head a red mess as her body slumps to the floor. As this happens the two fighters cleave away at the strong grizzled older man, yet still no death blows are landed. The older man swings wildly and misses, his world collapsing before his enraged eyes. A Bane spell is cast by Malkevoy in an attempt to weaken the man’s blows, but it is in vain as the Bard then steps away, and in doing so is hit by the mace of his opponent. Not to worry, Inquist is valiantly behind-the-lines and healing those in need.
In a mere few more seconds the party finally finish off the old man, and what seems to have been an entire family lay dead and mangled in bloodied pools on the floor.
Who were they? Does it matter?
The adventures frisk the house but find little more than the men’s weapons, pitchforks, a dagger and some silver pieces. They head back the way they came, toward the Sunken Barge. The innkeeper may need a talking to…
Upon arrival at the Sunken Barge the party see a portly man standing with horse and cart. He greets them and introduces himself as Pavel, there to take them to their destination of Graven’s Riverside.
The adventurers also notice the Inn is shut, window shutters locked, closed for the afternoon, or other reasons perhaps? Seeing the Sunken Barge all locked up, Braxus attempts to kick the door open, angry at what may have been a betrayal or stitch-up from the Innkeep. The door, however, is far too solid and does not budge.
With a little caution and conversation with Pavel, the party climb aboard the cart and embark on their intended journey. Slowly all signs of civilisation fades as the road grows rougher, the cart jostling from side to side and the wildlands encroaching closer and closer. Before too long the sun radiates a dusk glow and the Pavel the wagon drivers calls to make camp… they’ll rest in the wilds for the night.