This is the session log from the seventh night in a custom Dungeons and Dragons campaign I’m a part of.  Usually, you can find new entries every Tuesday (our sessions are on usually on Monday nights, although this week was postponed until Wednesday.)

Be sure to read the previous sessions of our campaign.

When last we left our heroes…

The party’s magistrate has been killed, and the party has been hired on to the Department of Interior.  They’ve been granted full investigative freedom as Arbiters.

The Characters

Belt, a beer-brewing dwarf who was previously in the military. (Played by me!)
Svenn, a soft-spoken elf mage. (Played by Mike)
Rhoderic, the Magistrate’s Paladin who investigates unauthorized use of magic (Played by Ian.)

Our story continues

The party is dispatched to a southern kingdom to investigate a series of murders.  They’ve been ritualistic in nature, and while the public is being told they are the result of a wild animal, the Department knows something far more sinister is afoot.  After spending the night at a roadside Inn, the party meets up with a local magistrate, who informs them of a murder that had just taken place the day before at a farm.  The party rides out to the farm, and is taken to the body (which lays in front of the farmhouse).  The arms and legs have been staked down to the ground, the body has been split up the middle, and the entrails have been arranged around the body in some kind of arcane symbol.  Upon attempting to investigate the crime scene, the party discovers that the whole area has been trampled by heavy feet and horses, leaving no usable clues behind.  They decide to head to a nearby town to see if there are any witnesses, or if anyone has any details on what’s been happening. 

"Excuse me, sir. Have you seen this monster?"

After asking around, the party learns that the location of the murders seem to be in a pattern….a pattern which, at its center, lives a family that has been in a castle keep on the southern edge of the territory behind the wall.  The family was quite rich and powerful even before they fled their previous homeland, and their keep was one of the first built when the island was occupied.  Unfortunately for them, they essentially live in the boonies now, and don’t really rule over anything other than themselves.  There are rumors of a family curse that extends back centuries…a curse that somehow involves a monster.  No one in the town has any details on it beyond that, but that’s enough for the party.  They head out, and make quick work of the journey to this family’s keep.

The party arrives at the keep, and are welcomed inside.  They’re introduced to Broseph, the lord’s frat-boy-like son.  Broseph informs the party that his father is quite ill, however he (Broseph) has vowed to not only find and kill the monster that’s been murdering people, but also to capture and defeat the monster of his family’s legend (“Given that this legend has gone on for centuries, it’s highly unlikely he will ever succeed.”)  Broseph and his Bros ride out every day (“at the crack of noon, since the hangover has worn off by then”), and patrol the edge of their territory, looking for the murdering creature.  After getting everything they can out of Broseph, the party requests to see the sick lord.  They are taken to the lord’s chamber, and are welcomed by his secretary/keeper/handler.  Upon being brought to the lord himself, Rhoderic manages to partially heal him of the illness that he is afflicted with.  Svenn, using a combination of detect magic and spellcraft, deduces that the lord has a protection from evil cast on him.

After their discussion with the lord, the party decides to go out on patrol with Broseph and his Bros.  After an uneventful, hours-long patrol, the party decides to go back the way they came without the Bros, in the hopes of spotting something that would otherwise be hidden by the noise the Bros make (they are, of course, fully armored drunken frat-boys riding atop war horses.  They’re not exactly quiet.) After walking for a couple of hours, the party runs into a shimmering specter.  Not thinking clearly (he had been drinking for the whole trip), Belt charges the specter, but his axe passes right through it.  Svenn sends a series of magic missiles towards it, and Rhoderic casts magic on both his sword and Belt’s axe.  Once that happens, the party takes down the specter quickly, then returns to the keep. 

When the lord hears about the specter, he sends the Bros and the party back out.  Upon approaching a bridge, the party and the Bros encounter a legion of skeletons and specters [Note: I really wish I could convey this portion of the night properly.  What I was seeing in my head were flashbacks to playing the game Myth back in the mid-90’s…I kept thinking about the wights and the zombies that could walk under water.]  The Bros charge the skeletons, and although a couple of the Bros fall, the skeletons get ripped to shreds.  Suddenly, the fallen Bros reanimate, and stand back up.  The party, realizing it’s in trouble, steels themselves to join the fray, when a huge blast emanates from the direction of the keep.  The skeletons are cleaved in half, and the specters are disintegrated. 

The party rushes back to the keep, only to be informed of another murder that has taken place.  The party heads to the location of the murder, which luckily hasn’t been tainted yet by the Bros.  Although the same ritualistic scene is found, this one is much more sloppy…almost as if the perpetrator had to rush through it.  The party finds some muddy footprints on the ground, but other than that, there isn’t much of anything else they can visually see.  The one major change is that Svenn now detects magic in every direction.  With nothing else to see at the crime scene, the party returns to the keep to report their findings. 

After resting, the party is led to a banquet by the lord’s secretary.  The party notices that he isn’t wearing any shoes, which, for a secretary of a rich lord, doesn’t seem right.  Having suspected the secretary previously of being involved with the murders (due to subtleties that don’t translate well to written word, unfortunately), Rhoderic uses his Arbiter’s cloak to disguise himself as the secretary and, on a whim, heads to the laundry room.  He manages to find a worker, and (still disguised as the secretary), asks about his shoes.  The worker replies that the shoes were far too muddy to be cleaned, so they’ve been thrown away.  Rhoderic fetches the shoes from the trash, returns to the banquet hall, and drops the shoes on the table in front of the secretary. 

The secretary denies any wrongdoing at first, but is quickly intimidated into telling the truth: it was indeed him that committed the murders.  Because the secretary has been performing necromancy-like magic, he is quickly bound and gagged, tossed into the back of a carriage (which the party loads into), and begins a journey back to the main city so that the Department of Interior can question him.  As the carriage approaches the edge of the lord’s territory, the secretary starts to kick and scream and have a conniption fit.  As the carriage passes out of the territory, the secretary suddenly stops screaming, and falls over dead.  There is a blast of energy that comes from the direction of the keep, and the massive magical aura that Svenn previously detected is no longer present.  It turns out that the secretary was performing the ritualistic murders as part of a spell that kept all of the undead and other nastiness out of the castle keep.  In order to maintain the field, the secretary had to stay within the confines of the territory.  (“Oops.”)

The carriage is turned around, and the party returns to the keep as quickly as they can.  Amidst the chaos already ensuing, the party finds Broseph.  He insists on going down to the family crypt, as his father (the lord) was seen being hauled down there.  When the party arrives in the crypt, they come face to face with what could only be described as something vampiric in nature.  Broseph attempts to charge it, but gets casually tossed aside into the wall.  After a very brief struggle, the vampire-like creature phases through the ceiling, out of the party’s reach.

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That about wraps it up for night seven.  As a two-parter, this particular night could have ended in a few different places, but I’m glad it ended with the vampire phasing through the ceiling.  We got started a little late, so it seemed like we were kind of rushing it at the end, but there was a LOT that went on for just one night of play.  The above session notes that you just read are actually about half of what went down…the major events were covered, but there were a LOT of little things that happened.  We essentially crunched together one and a half nights into one.  It was awesome!

Check back here every Tuesday for the wrapup of what went down. When it’s all over, I’m going to condense all of the logs down into a single document and post it on Scribd. I hope you enjoyed reading about our third night as much as I enjoyed playing it!