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Subject: Kai's PbV Games: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh Session #2 rss

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Kai S.
Germany
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Drama Llama Roleplaying Society
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Participating Players
DM - Kai
Abe 'Wave' Dover (water genasi druid lvl 1) - Fred
Luther Tideguard (aquatic half-elf sorcerer lvl 1) - Pieter
Sounds of Waves Roaring aka White Noise (tabaxi bard lvl 1) - Freddie

Date played
24 August 2019

Details
The party discusses what to do with the captured smuggler. Luther suggests that, instead of just killing him, they recruit him. The man - rather unsurprisingly - is willing to discuss working for the party and gives his name as Derek. They offer him payment in form of a gold coin per day and Derek agrees to their offer - he arms himself with a scimitar from one of his fallen comrades. With a new fighter filling up their ranks, the group discusses which part of the mansion they want to explore next. Derek reveals that there is a cave hidden behind the southern secret door in the basement and that his companions might be out with their boat. Since they barred the secret door, they decide to investigate the upper floor of the building next, just to make sure that no-one sneaks up on them from there.

They return to the entrance hall and climb up the stairs which lead onto a L-shaped balcony on the upper floor, with hallways going east, west and north. The tracks they saw earlier lead into the eastern wing of the building. The hallway in this part of the mansion has three doors, all going to the south - the tracks disappear into the second room. The adventurers investigate this room first and enter an empty bedroom, where part of the floor looks very unsafe. Luther, who remembers the exact dimensions of the damaged ceiling from the ground level, steers his companions around this area to make sure the floor doesn‘t collapse beneath their feet. The tracks lead to the only window in this room. They investigate the area around the window and spot scratch marks on the window sill. Abe suggests that the smugglers flash a lantern from here to send signals to a ship out on the sea. There is nothing else to see in this room, so they leave and continue further down the corridor.

Opening the door at the far end of the eastern hallway, they spot an unusual sight: a man, dressed only in his undergarments, lies tied and gagged in a corner of this room. They ask Derek about this person and learn that he snuck into the building a few days ago and attempted to loot it. When he got too nosy, the smugglers knocked him out, tied him up and left him here, only occasionally feeding him. White Noise frees the man, who claims that his name Ned Shakeshaft. They get him some clothes and water, while Ned thanks them profusely, even going so far as to hugging them - something the tabaxi manages to evade, thankfully! They do notice though that Ned very intently stares at Derek. The man explains that he made it to the kitchen in this house, where someone knocked him out. When he regained consciousness again, he was lying in this room, bound and gagged. When Luther inquires why he’s so intently staring at Derek, Ned reveals that Derek was one of the guys who fed him. He offers to join them, despite his weakened state - it’s time for some payback, he calls. The party gladly accepts - their numbers having gone up to five by now!

Luther heads to the first door in the eastern corridor and pushes it open. The room is mostly empty, except for a fireplace and lots of webs. He moves closer to investigate a shiny object that lies at the bottom of the fireplace, when suddenly swarms of spiders rush down both the chimney and the wall behind him. The sorcerer doesn’t want to flee from this: he unleashes a fire bolt on the creatures and then moves back into the hallway. The combat takes a turn for the worse, when the spider swarms severely injure Abe. The druid collapses to the ground unconscious, clearly in need of medical assistance. White Noise grabs his companion and grabs the genasi out, brushing the spiders that still sit on him off. With his healer’s kit Luther quickly stabilizes Abe - and just as het gets up again, both Derek and Ned, the latter of which has grabbed the druid’s club, move in to attack the remaining adventurers!

Luther kills Derek with another use of Burning Hands and scorches Ned, but the traitorous ‚prisoner‘ remains standing. Soon enough he falls prone though, when the tabaxi induces magical laughter in him. The two adventurers attack him, severely injuring Ned, who then turns and runs downstairs and out the door. They go after him and finally manage to kill him when he tries to leave the ruined mansion’s premises. Moving back inside, Luther pours one the of the healing potions they found earlier in Abe’s mouth, reviving him.

The glint of treasure in the spiders’ room still intrigues the adventurers, so they devise a plan to get rid of the arachnoids: Luther sets a piece of cloth on fire and puts it on the door’s threshold so the spiders won’t be able leave the room, after which they throw Derek’s corpse inside as a distraction. The party continues to slowly little down the number of spiders, burning the webs in the room and the chimney, until they have finally defeated the swarms. In the end, it turned out to be a close call though. Luther then examines the fireplace again, where he finds a small crystal bauble, which looks like a alchemical counterweight.

After this, the party leaves the eastern wing of the building and decides to take a short rest on the balcony above the entrance hall. Unfortunately, part of the balcony collapses as Abe and Luther are moving across, sending them tumbling down to the ground floor. Somewhat embarrassed, they move back onto the upper floor where they then take their well-earned rest.

They continue exploring the upper floor, jumping across the collapsed part of the balcony and moving to the western wing of the building. Two doors are visible in the corridor, the first leading to a decayed bedroom with a old bed and a wardrobe. Before they enter the room, the party very carefully listens for spiders - and they do the same thing at the wardrobe door - but there is nothing to be heard. Luther opens the wardrobe with Mage Hand: it contains a pair of old boots and a ragged cloak. Something about the inside of the cloak, which looks slightly moldy, strikes him as odd, so drapes it over the bed with the inside out and warns his friends about putting it on. Both Abe and White Noise can’t find anything wrong with the cloak though and start arguing over it, but the sorcerer manages to convince them to leave it alone for now. Next, he examines the boots, but can’t find anything interesting about them. Much to his disappointment the fireplace also doesn’t seem to contain any treasure. With his Mage Hand he grabs the cloak and drops it down near the balcony so they can recover it later.

The second room in the western wing contains only an old bed, while part of the room is covered in cobwebs. The mattress in the bed looks usable though. Luther burns the cobwebs and then searches the room, but can’t seem to find any treasure in this room.

The party returns to the balcony in the entrance hall and moves to the northern part of the building. There are two doors, both leading west, in the hallway, which then takes a right turn at the end of the building, where a set of stairs coming up from the kitchen is visible. They enter the first room, which contains a chest and some rubbish strewn about the room. White Noise examines the lock on the chest, but it seems neither trapped nor locked. Inside, they find only rotted clothing and bundles of documents that are no longer readable, their meaning lost long ago. They check for any hidden compartments, but don’t find anything. By now, disappointment sets in: it seems their trip to the mansion will not be as rewarding as they hoped.

They move to the final room on the upper floor, where they find a large oak chest standing by the window, a pile of fairly new peasant’s clothing and a mildewed sack. The party speculates that the clothes probably belonged to Ned, who took them off when he pretended to be a prisoner. The chest is empty and the sack only contains soiled underwear and a surprising amount of wool socks. All in all, this room seems like a waste of time.

The adventurers move to the end of the northern hallway where they see the set of stairs leading down into the kitchen. There is also an opening in the ceiling that apparently grants access to the attic, but the stairs leading up there have almost completely collapsed. Luther throws a rope and hook up through the hole and they climb upstairs. Dim light illuminates a rather cramped attic, with lots of wooden rafters supporting the roof. Broken furniture and rubbish is strewn about everywhere. From somewhere up in the rafters they hear the occasional flapping of wings… and then a swarm of six stirges descends upon then!

At first, the stirges have the advantage and several of them attach themselves to Abe and White Noise. Luther is the one to turn the tide by blasting two of blood-sucking creatures with Burning Hands, after which his two companions dispatch the rest of the critters rather quickly, especially after the druid uses his newfound powers to wildshape into a bear. After the combat has been won, the adventurers search the attic, but they only find a porcelain doll with jade eyes, which they take, and more wool socks.
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