The Great Shadow

"However, such as with our actual world, the expanses of the game multiverse will always have frontiers and unexplored territories. This fact, indeed, is what makes the AD&D game system so wonderful and appealing."
— Gary Gygax, Unearthed Arcana, May 1985

Wanderers of the multiverse be welcome in this hall that has been prepared for you by RiotMinds.
You may find shelter here, plenty of mead and a plate full of the finest meats, poultry and wild fowl. Feel free to sit down and listen to the sung.
A sung about Trudvang, the home of heroes, wurms and trolls. And if you are so inclined do not hesitate and tell us of your journeys and heroic deeds because under this roof no voice will be unheard and no sung will be forgotten.
Be welcome in Trudvang Adventures 5E!
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:27 am

The Great Shadow

Post: # 422Post Geschrei
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:52 am

A short recounting of the Adventure.

The cast:

- Torgrim Ulfvarson, Stormlander Dweller with experience on knarrs, good fighter and healer

- Roia Wolfskerdottir, Mittlander Rogue who worked as an assassin but didn’t liked this life and fled, married to Torgrim

- Dalke, Wildfolk Ranger

- Rowolfh Eadanson, Mittlander Warrior who seeks an honourable death on a battlefield, currently working as a sword-for-hire

- Leihvi, a half-elven dimwalker

First session

We started by me telling them a little about River’s End and the most important inhabitants. And that they were in the village for nearly two months - but didn’t know Ulaf. They know that there is an abandoned house but there were no questions asked.

Then came the night of terror. The heroes rushed out to meet the villagers and got to know that three children were kidnapped. They searched for clues, found tracks and the little carved pieces with the runes for Revenge and Stag or Deer. They came to the correct conclusion that the children were kidnapped by barbarians. They swore to the villagers that they would get the children back to safety. Vindmey gave them a little bit from her herbs and potions. And Grisebo gave a silvered dagger to Torgrim, an heirloom of him, so that the fellow Stormlander could slay the kidnapper with it so that Grisebo get his revenge. Torgrim gave the dagger to his wife Roia.

Info: I gave them the dagger because besides of the Dimwalker they would have no one that could fight the Great Shadow. And I absolutely didn’t like that.

Then the journey started with bad weather (snow and wind) but the heroes were absolut perfect trackers! They paired and so two of them got Advantage to their rolls.

Info: My players really loved this aspect, especially the two players who never played 5th before.

They travelled and met the Crazed Grey Troll. They finished him in two rounds and Roia showed what was in her. She killed him with her dagger, yelling: “You will not hurt my husband!” Awesome! Even the warrior raised his eyebrow in appreciation. Unfortunately I never hit anyone because my d20 on Roll20 was not on my side 😉

They tracked further, met the Wild Dogs and the Snowboar but no fight. Roia with the help of Rowolfh used Animal Handling successfully.

Info: The players loved that they didn’t have to fight and could save the animals.

The ranger Dalke proved his worth in finding enough food for all of the heroes with Forager without to roll the dice. And with his background he could find campsites with a roll because I allowed that he knew the land. Great!

They found some clues and the corpse of one of the clanswoman. So they knew that their assumption was correct. On and on they tracked and after three days the found the village of the Clan of the White Stag. They really considered to fight their way to the children but then decided to speak with the barbarians. And so they had to complete the three trials of manhood (or in one case womanhood). No one succeeded in all three trials but only the ranger Dalke didn’t succeed to pass the test. So he was not in the tent to speak with Mopor Annika. They presented their case and after some good role paying from Leivih’s and Roia’s players the promised to take on the Great Shadow to get the children back to their parents.

They rested in a tent and are now ready to move into the Great Shadow Wood.

Conclusion: The players liked the world very much. That I can say. They wanted to play on and as I told them that we could play another adventure (Wormtongue) they wanted to play that too. As three of the players are and I play 5th it was easy to play because the rule set is fortunately very easy to grasp and play. The two players never had any problems with the rules. But there were some minor issues with the creation of the rogue character. It seems that the player couldn’t connect with the class because the description makes it clear that they are bad people and not well liked. I convinced her to play the rogue and she’s quite okay with it. But I had to tell her that PCs are not the normal rogue. The PC rogue break the rules, he has honour. We all think that the description of the rogue have to change.

I will tell you what’s happened next after our next session 😊

The second session

After a good nights sleep they traveled to the Great Shadow Wood, let by three scouts from the clan of the White Stag. The wood looked and felt terrible to them and the leader of the scouts warned the group that the dead don’t rest well in theses area. Nonetheless our heroes went into it and there I told them that the wood seemed to watch them and that it made them think that there was a great evil in it, a horrible consciousness. Leivi thought about the place and he knew that the Great Shadow was the place of a mighty battle between the elves and the dragons. They could hear the sounds of it echoing through the trees. They found the tracks of the wargbeast and followed it but because of the darkness of the night and the forest they made camp very soon.

The next day the went on and found the obelisk of the elves. And a short time. Later they were attacked by two Sàlheles. This was a tough fight! I described them as two ancient elven skeletons. The dweller Thorgrim went down and stayed down for the rest of the fight. Rowolfh the warrior was downed too, got back on his feet for one round and then was hit again and fell down again. The group had only one bludgeoning weapon 😉

The rogue as again the heavy hitter and wasn’t hit once! Very lucky indeed! After the fight they rested and lost the fear level so they rested again.

They saw two Sàlheles again but made a big detour. They made camp and I made them roll fear saves because I thing that the wood is so depressing and horrible that it rise the hackles. But nothing happened and the next day the found the lair of the wargbeast. The noticed the dogs, fed and watered them. The dogs wouldn’t track their master, they only ran around the rogue and whimpered. Now they assumed that the wargbeast was a changeling. They hid in the cabin in the woods. The warrior and the ranger didn’t succeed in their fear saves and get anxious again.

And then there came the Werewarg! They wasn’t surprised and so the fight went on! Rowolfh charged with his bards sverd for a mighty 15 damage - zero success in damaging the beast. The group grew concerned. Hour before I told them to read the description about actions. And so they used Help to let the rogue get advantage. The fight went on and then Leivi the dimwalker used his first level spell to hit for 18 damage! Then the rogue made a crit. The werewarg didn’t look so good anymore. But he brought the rogue down and then the dimwalker. And the dimwalker didn’t succeed in his save against lycanthropy. And normally he would have been dead because I made a crit against him and it was enough damage to kill him. But we will see him again in Wormtongue because this is only us testing the rules. And so I have a good story what the group will do before playing Wormtongue: they will searching for a cure for Leivih.

Rowolfh got the silver seax and attacked the werebeast. Now the werewarg was down to 2hp. But he got his revenge and downed the warrior. And now was Rowolfh’s greatest hour! He got a 20 on the death save. He surged to his feet and plunged the silver dagger deep into the heart of the children killer!

Conclusion: The players loved the feeling of the Great Shadow Wood. And there was an immense tension during their stay and especially in the boss fight. But as I predicted they absolutely hated the immunity of the werewarg. We discussed it and I told them that not every fight has to be fight until the end (Sàlheles, I hear you) and that Trudvang is very dangerous. That they understand but in the boss fight... If I was not so nice and gave them a silver dagger and that the group has a magic user they would have been toast. I told them about what other groups done but they weren’t convinced that that would really have worked. The idea to use the dogs brought us to same conclusion which I had: to threaten them would have enraged the werewarg even more. All of my five players said this.

But overall they liked their experience in Trudvang very much and they are looking foreword to play Wormtongue.

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Re: The Great Shadow

Post: # 426Post Mellekai
Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:15 pm

A very good read @Geschrei.
I love to have your reports here for entertainment for the reader but also as food for thoughts and future discussions.
Thank you for that.

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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:27 am

Re: The Great Shadow

Post: # 429Post Geschrei
Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:52 am

No prob 😊

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