The Spirit Within – Session 1

Wow….It’s been awhile, but hopefully, albeit slowly, 3-Sided-Die is back!

In the past year+ there have been significant changes in my life.  Losing a job, getting a new one, relocating 2 hours away from our previous residence, blah blah blah.  You get the picture.  We’ve been offline for way too long.  So let’s cut the bullshit and get right to it.

With moving to the Capital Region of NY, about 15 minutes outside of Albany, I was fortunate enough to find a new group in the area.  Mind you, there is still my old group, but we haven’t played in over a year.  A YEAR!  Blasphemy!

For now though, the coming posts will deal with the new group and with an entirely new campaign, called “The Spirit Within”.

Some quick points of note.  We are playing 5th edition D&D, starting at level 3 and yours truly is the dungeon master.  It feels a little rusty getting back into the swing of things and with the new house/job/life, time has become much more limited, so I’m just taking it one step at a time.

First off, let’s talk about the party make-up, because it’s a fantastic fucking PC circus.

THE CAST:

Rook – Aasimar Warlock of the Raven Queen.  Has a Raven familiar, can sprout his own giant Raven Wings and fly, and is our min/maxer of the party.  (Another power gamer just like me.  Game on!)  A dark past and potentially an even darker future.  The visions from his queen are hammered into his skull almost daily, with little reprieve.

Haloisi – Water Genasi Druid.  Think an older, headstrong, Jamaican woman with loads of experience and wisdom that she loves to share, whether you want to hear it or not.  The spirits have spoken and she volunteered to look into the coming darkness.  She is the captain of the ship, the Cresting Wave.

Alistar – Another Aasimar, Cleric/Sorcerer.  A disheveled mess, but still striking as an Aasimar can be.  Can also sprout angelic wings and fly, (yup two flyers at 3rd level) and has strong emotional issues he is constantly dealing with and nightmarish dreams that keep him drinking in large quantities.

Hafiz – Human Paladin.  A desert warrior from a land far away, traveling west for an unknown reason.  His profession in life was that of preparing the dead for their journey into the afterlife.

 

THE NPC’s:

Hester Quick:  A slight human girl in her mid-twenties that is at home in the crow’s nest and always on the lookout for port and danger.  Sh has long brown hair held by a garishly colored scarf and a sharp eye for what goods or passengers are true, and which are cuckoos in the nest.  Hester often stays on the ship when at port; out of sight and out of mind.  At sea, she’s insufferably cheerful and difficult to refuse.

Pip Lightfoot:  A Halfling who would have you believe he’s the second in command of the Cresting Wave.  He’s a liar, a cheat, but he’s a good sailor.  He’s often found in the pubs of the port city, and if he’s there, he’s telling tall tales and cheating men out of coin.  He’s completely oblivious to everything except the opportunity to make money.  The only person to really best him is Haloisi and that’s how he began serving on the her ship.  Though he’s more than paid his debts to her, he’s stayed on because it’s easier to cheat people coast to coast, than in one spot.

Visconti:  Drow Elf first mate and husband to Haloisi.  A boyish grin with a good heart; a romantic, but drawn to the art of swindling.  With the Cresting Wave always on the move, it aids in his natural ability to deceive an unsuspecting victim and make off before they are the wiser or can catch him.

 

THE WORLD:

The PC’s were not given any real information on the world they were travelling to.  This was on purpose as with this being a home-brew campaign, I didn’t want any preconceptions of what the world was and what it should be.  They were free to make up their background and history, including locations and distinct NPC’s, without any micromanaging on my part.  The focus of the campaign was in a new, largely undocumented land with not much to go on, however all signs pointed in this direction.  The only information they did have was that it was a standard medieval setting utilizing the 5E rule set.

On to Session 1!

So these are the notes that were taken, with only minor updates.  I wanted to keep a majority of the integrity, so it could read how Nick, who plays Haloisi, saw it:

The group meets for the first time on the deck the Cresting Wave, where they have each negotiated passage in their own way and for their own reasons.

Rook has been on the Cresting Wave since the last port of call and he uses his magic to animate objects to clean, thus giving the impression that he is very effective at his chores.  He had been off the ship with Hester and they were just getting back from sight seeing and shopping.

Haloisi greets the pair as they walk up onto the ship, though something about the man still unsettles her, like he isn’t one to tell the complete truth.  She makes a note to herself to keep a close eye on him and have Visconti do the same.

Next up, is Haphiz, a man from the Anarath Desert.  He says hello to Haloisi and is an affable.  He is odd in that he just wants to sail west, with no clear destination in mind… just west.  He is going to room with Pip.

Finally is Alistar, a grump of a fellow. Alistar is quiet and short on words, but mentions that he already paid Pip for his passage.  Halosi laughs, saying that she will never see that money.  She ushers him on the ship and says he’ll be rooming with Rook.

The ship sets sail and Rook and Haphiz become fast friends, both bonding a bit when they try to discover the deal with some of the spirits that haunt the ship.  At 10:00 the Woman in White comes to the prow of the ship and the two sort of pester her trying to “figure her out”. Alistar tells them to stop it and to just “live and let live”.  He gets angry at them when he is triggered by the thought of “helping out the ghost”.  The ghost disappears below deck and Haloisi comes out and cracks Rook on the head, basically tells them to leave the spirits alone and that after 10:00 it’s “their time” and leave them be.

As the days go by, Rook and Alistar bond as roommates, realizing that they have similar experiences.  Alistar basically says he feels locked into his destiny to help out all and he just wants to be left alone. Alistar explained his cleric background to Rook.  These two basically don’t do any chores since Alistar got swindled on price and Rook has magic doing his chores. Alistar really likes Rook’s paintings.  The rest of the crew refers to their room as the “Princess Suite”.

Halosi’s ship is friendly and despite its haunted quirks, everyone gets along well and feels like they are part of a larger family.

Haphiz is open to conversation but generally keeps to himself.    He and Rook have many philosophical discussions regarding life and death and what their parts are to play.

Rook reveals his celestial ancestry to Haphiz and the rest of the crew sees this.  Haloisi isn’t particularly impressed; she’s seen it all.  He flies up and says hi to Hester and then is like “ok bye” and leaves.  Hester is now creeped out by him.

A boat is coming at night, heavy, stacks of something on the ship, sails are not open.   It comes ramming in and Haloisi is able to just turn the ship via evasive maneuvers in time.  The other ship is about 10 ft away as it “sails” past us.  The piled stacks are actually dead bodies…and as it moves past us you can see some of the bodies twitching and moving…the ship is moving like 3x as fast as a normal ship.  Visconti attempts to burn it down with pitch but it moves too fast and his barrel falls uselessly into the water between the two ships.  Rook’s Raven flies over but sees nothing but these bodies.  There is a symbol on this ship that Rook and Haphiz are familiar with.  The ghost ship just keeps moving, and Haloisi says that everyone should put it out of their mind; it’s the middle of the ocean and at night weird shit happens.    If we have to fight this thing later we will as fates wills it.

Haphiz reveals his background, how his land was one of warring tribes.  His brother did not follow his family’s path and became a warrior.  When he died Haphiz prepared the body for burial…Haphiz went to the town of Sandstone to shine his brothers shield for burial and was attacked by undead.  He protected the town but the undead horde continued on and raised his brother.  He followed the horde for weeks and saw all of them be packed onto this ship with the symbol.  There were dozens of these ships and appeared to be headed west.

When Haphiz shares this information with Haloisi she is noticeably worried; dark times are ahead for sure.  She thanks the gods that Haphiz is on the ship, a holy protector will likely be needed.  The symbol is something she has seen before but she can’t quite put her finger on it.

The crew and Haloisi are all very quiet and anxious as we get closer to the end of our journey.

There is fog and rocks as we approach the destination, so we drop anchor about 150 yards out from the rocks.  The four PCs go into a row boat, Haloisi and Alister in one and Rook and Haphiz in the other.  Haphiz drops his oar which Haloisi jumps into the sea and retrieves for him with ease and hands it to Rook, telling him to help row.

There is suddenly very obviously something under the water coming at them…Haloisi turns some of the water crystal clear and they see just in the nick of time Sahuagin come popping up.  They are trying to pull the group into the water.  Oddly, their eyes are glazed over white.  The group fights back…Rook sprouts ethereal wings and takes to the sky, Alistar attacks one of the creatures with his mace, and Haloisi follows up smacking the same creature with her staff.  She calls upon the Lady in White, who appears and outlines the attackers in a faint white light…it’s obvious that they have the same symbol as the “zombie ship” on their scales  Haphiz attacks another creature, his sword biting into the monsters skin but he loses balances and goes prone.  One of the creatures grabs Haloisi and drags her into the water.

Rook lets out an eldritch blast and turns one of the monsters into cloud of red mist.  Alister crushes the skull of another, its eyes losing the white film as it dies.  Haloisi’s staff comes to life and the eel head takes a bite out of the neck of the creature that has her grappled and it lets her go.  It retaliates though and rakes its claws against her flesh.  Haphiz continues to fight but is pulled into the water, his armor quickly bringing him downward. Alistar uses his lighting lure to pull the beast attacking Haloisi away, freeing her from 1 on 1 combat.    She swims like a bullet to Haphiz and grabs the man around the waist to keep him from falling farther into the water….a tug of war happens between her and the Sahuagin and she barely keeps Haphiz from being pulled farther down.  Haphiz knocks the Sahuagin off of him, and Haloisi helps him stay afloat.  Between Haloisi and Rook, they get Haphiz back on the boat.  Meanwhile, Alistar dispatches with the last monster attacking his boat.  The final beast sees he is outnumbered and swims away.

The group cleans themselves up and decides to carry on to the deck.  As they approach the dock they see a figure shrouded in fog, but the figure turns and leaves before they reach the dock.

 

 

About jinx_the_bard

Longtime Dungeon Master, tabletop and video gamer. Been playing D&D and Shadowrun on and off most recently. Ran a post apocalyptic, paragon, 4th edition D&D campaign for a couple years. Running a 5th edition campaign now called “The Fall of Astia”. Enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and even the Pre-sequel (which I tend to play with fellow author Ness), Fallout 3 and 4, Bioshock and Skyrim. (Games this good never get boring) I also indulge in Magic The Gathering, mostly in the Legacy and Modern formats. Please feel free to contact me at dungeonmaster.bm@gmail.com for any questions, thoughts or things you’d like to see featured on our site.

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