- Session start date: 12th of February 1450
- Start location: Danzig
- Party: 1st level magic-user, 1st-level fighter x2, 1st level halfling
First session of Baltic D&D campaign!
To get things started I gave the players one random free rumor from my rumor table which was that south of Lauenberg (city west of Danzig) was an ancient tower from times before the Romans. This already raised some interest in our intrepid explorers especially in the magic-user Suicidus (player claimed to have rolled really bad stats and wanted to kill of his character hence the name). But they went tavern crawling to get more rumors. They got a hot lead that city of Elbing needed adventurer’s for some purpose. After some discussion they decided to head for Elbing with the assumption that it was probably just some local feuds with land ownership and they would just bullshit the locals to give them money for not doing anything and just appearing like professionals. The party’s self appointed leader was a halfling who acted like Russian gangster.
Anyways, the heroes decided to play it safe and take the road to Elbing, which would be about one day longer trip but with well marked route and roof over their heads every night. Hex crawl went well, the area the heroes traveled is the most densely populated area in 15th-century Prussia so no major trouble was expected. They arrived to Elbing three days later.
In Elbing the heroes set out to find more about the situation that demanded professional adventurers. They found out that the nearby (next 6-mile hex) village of Saltmarsh had some trouble with a local haunted manor. Our heroes stayed the night and then headed to Saltmarsh.
Of to Saltmarsh! In Saltmarsh they heroes asked more about the situation and rolled max result in reaction roll (12) so I decided that the local tavern keep/council member was so impresses that he told straight what was up. The deal is that village council will pay 500 gold coins for each hero who clears the local haunted manor. An alchemist lived there 20 years ago but he is long gone. The problem is that the manor lands can’t be reclaimed for farming because the farmers are afraid of the ghost. Some locals have tried entering the manor but the ghosts have driven them away every time. The heroes has also heard that the alchemist supposedly had discovered the secret of turning lead to gold! Our gaffling (gangster halfling) was highly suspicious about the gold transmutation rumor but they all thought that the offer was good one and the job didn’t sound too bad so they headed to the manor.
The manor was by the seaside with badly broken down wall surrounding it. The garden was overgrown and the house was in bad safe, plasters falling from the walls, roof tiles missing etc. Our gaffling went scouting and sneaked around the house hiding in the overgrown grass. Nothing seems out of place, all doors to the house were mapped but our scout didn’t go peeking through windows. The windows had glass panes but so much filth that one couldn’t see through them from afar.
After short debate our heroes entered through the patio door at the eastern end of the house. The brave (or suicidal, not sure) magic-user Suicidus kicked in the door and lived to tell the tale. The room was empty, so our heroes entered. Immediately they heard a voice from cackling from the roof “Welcome fools, welcome to your death”. This gave them a stop but didn’t deter them in anyway, one could say that it raised the spirit of Suicidus, so enthusiastically he proceeded from door to door opening them.
Our heroes proceed out of the trash filled living room to corridor with two doors and some larger room up ahead. It being little before noon there was plenty of light in the house. The two rooms where checked, one seemed to be a study and the other a library. Suicidus was already running ahead when the others started to investigate these two rooms. The study had a grand desk with lots of drawers, most where open but the middle one was still closed. Our gaffling banged it a bit with his hoe in an attempt to trigger any traps in the lock. Nothing happened so it was deemed safe and one of the party’s fighters started dismantling the desk with a crowbar (no thief in party).
Investigations moved to library. There where still some intact books among the mess of mice eaten and moldy books. Thirteen good volumes were gathered but only three of them seemed to be valuable, all of them written my mages and on magical subjects (magical properties of various things). Meanwhile the desk had been forced open but the drawer contained only papers detailing various purchases of chemicals and other weird stuff. There was some speculation from our gaffling that this was some kind of elaborate bookkeeping fraud.
Meanwhile Suicidus who despite wanting to die seemed to be deadly afraid of mold, had charged to next corridor connected to the large lobby. He was bravely opening doors but quickly leaving if he found any mold. There of course was huge amounts of all kinds of mold, the manor ha been abandoned for 20 years and ha serious water damage. Anyways, Suicidus had peeked into two more rooms, he had found one more living rooms with couple of torn armchairs and dining room with remnants of large long table and one chair. Our heroes didn’t have time to investigate further since approaching sound of something living alerted them.
Back in the lobby from a corridor no one had yet investigated came a sound that turned out to be a giant weasel. Giant weasels are savage bloodthirsty predator so of course this one attacked and started viciously mauling our heroes. The battle was short and brutal. The weasel turned out to be an axiomatic weasel (or so the players dubbed it in after game talk) since it only killed of all chaotic PCs of the party. It was subdued by the remaining heroes and Suicidus was among them though he had had perfectly good opportunity to end his earthly journey. Someone realized that the pelt of the giant beast would be valuable, of course it had some holes from spears, hoes, swords and other such implements of violence. Our remaining heroes quickly skinned the beast and retreated with the bodies of their fallen comrades.
Thus ended the first session.
- Experience total: 1300xp
- Fatality rate: 50%
- Survivors: 1st level magic-user, 1st-level fighter
- End date: 16th of February, 1450
- Location: Saltmarsh
All in all the first session of a new campaign was a success. We got to a good start with the adventure although in game time to PCs spent only couple of hours at the adventure location. The rules worked and no odd situations came up. Even though there were two casualties all players seemed happy with the session. The adventure continues next week.