Thursday, July 17, 2014

#TBT Campaign - 2009 D&D 3.5 Ravenloft - Session 3

Ravenloft: Luminaire

This is a continuation of my Throwback Thursday feature covering the Ravenloft campaign that I ran online in 2009 using Skype and a few amazing friends from High School.  

The Second Test, Part Two


  • Rahotep, Human Cleric played by Tom
  • Garrett Jax, Gnome Rogue/Wizard played by Cone
  • Nathaniel, Half-Elf Ranger played by Joe-Pat
  • Barth, Caliban (Half-Orc) Barbarian played by Randy
Journal Date:  5th - 6th Days of Twelfth-Month, the year 754

The commotion of three fearless adventurers struggling against an advancing swarm of rats stirred poor Garrett Jax, from his paranoid catatonic state.  Before the little man could begin to panic, being trapped inside a coffin and all, the fuse on the small explosive inside the coffin’s lock blew.  Carefully, the gnomish burglar snuck out of the pine box, and gazed at the contents in the small cabin’s living room.  Although the still burning embers in the fireplace bathed the room with a warm orange glow, there were two coldly lit objects at the windows that caught the gnome’s low-light vision.  The spectral visages of two children, clawed by small talons and gnawed by jagged teeth.  They mouthed “take us home!” over and over before the skin fell apart, like fettucini noodles spilling from a hot pan.  

When the newly outfitted Rahotep (Studded Leather, Steak Knife, Shovel), Barth (Scimitar, Buckler, Soup Pot Helm), and Nathaniel (Cleaver and Blunderbuss full of nails and rock salt) returned to the living room to check on Garrett’s coffin, they found the poor little man hidden in the corner, convinced that they too were ethereal figures, either ghosts or figments of the imagination.  Eventually the party came together as one, and was able to convince the paranoid Garrett that all was well.  It was time to continue searching the home.  Unfortunately, it seemed that something was still alive and lurking in the attic above their heads.  First the gnome heard it, and then Nate began to hear a second creature bouncing around up there.  The party needed to decide another plan of action.  Moving into the main hallway of the cabin, the group armed Garrett with a small quarterstaff, not knowing the visceral horrors that the gnome would perform with said wooden device.  

While in the hallway, it appeared that a small previously unseen trap to the attic was being prodded and pushed by creatures above.  Before the characters could assess such a situation completely, a second door, this time the one to the east entrance of the home (just behind the characters) began to quake, as a large swarm of rats appeared ready for blood.  The characters planned to enter into the basement, and try to make a stand there against whatever came from above and to the east.  Unfortunately for the team, as soon as the paranoid Garrett passed the trap on his way towards the basement, it blew open and two dire rats appeared.  Snarling and vicious the two beasts were, however they were no match for the gnome’s stealth.  He hid against the wall quickly out of view, leaving the creatures a clear line of sight to the shovel wielding Rahotep.  Garrett was able to slay one of the rats with one sneak attack from his staff not a moment later, about the same time that Nathaniel decided to let the swarm face the power of his blunderbuss.  Now the kitchen door began to shake as well.  The half-elf ranger opened the door to the east quickly, leveling his big handcannon, only to be engulfed in a huge pile o’ writhing rodents.  He blew half of them apart with the shot, nails, and salt from his boomstick.  While Barth and Garrett dealt with the remaining dire rat, Rahotep “doom spelled” the swarm, which luckily caused enough fear in them that they decided to retreat after taking a few more hits from the party.  

Using his language skills with burrowing mammals, Garrett tried to understand what the dire rats were thinking in the kitchen.  All he could figure was that these creature wanted to come and eat “before the rest of ‘them’ come”... Barth was pissed.  He had had it with these rats.  Quickly, while Nathaniel was still trying to load his blunderbuss, Barth charged the kitchen door to the north.  Unfortunately, the attack was too strong, and Barth went with the door, clear into the room like riding a sled.  The door hit the counter, flipped the caliban over onto his back, with the door on top of him.  Oh, there were also four rats in the room who were getting ready to chew on the barbarian.  Garrett was the first on the scene, lashing out and striking one of the bastards with his killer staff.  And then Rahotep appeared, shovel in hand.  Seeing that there was no room to sneak any shots in himself, Nathaniel was not about to let the rest of the group get all the glory.  The half-elf tried to torpedo himself in a vault over the heads of both Rahotep and Garrett.  He failed, and ended up bull rushing Rahotep into the room, where he too hit the kitchen counter, and fell on top of the door wielding Barth.  Amazingly, Barth was still able to continue to slash and stab at the beasties, and in no time these rats were removed from their mortal coils.  

The party sent Garrett into the attic next, where he uncovered quite a few useful items, as well as a small passageway that led through the roof to the stable that was attached to the home.  The party next decided to try the basement, but unfortunately that area was full of horrific mold spore, and none of the remaining characters could go any further into that area.  So it was time to raid the stable.  Garrett and Rahotep would squeeze through the attic passage, while Nathaniel and Barth went outside and entered from the side door.  During their passage through the attic, however, both Garrett and Rahotep saw the apparitions of the two children again.  To Garrett, they cried out again to take them home.  To Rahotep, however, the little girl tried to make conversation.  Sweetly the little girl looked up at the dark skinned, freshly shorn priest and asked “do you like horses?”  

Rahotep said “NO!”

And with that, Rahotep was horrifically affected by the powerful emotions of a screaming ghost!  He became enfeebled, weak, and sick to his stomach.  It would nearly ruin his day.  

The team investigated the stable, only to find a desiccated horse full of rats.  The party lit that up quickly, killing all within.  Across the way was another building, a smaller home.  The party took off for that building next and did some exploring, uncovering a still with some bottles of moonshine (which they turned into molotov cocktails) and a masterwork bow with silver arrows.  

Next they were off to the graveyard.  Things were a bit trickier hear.  At first the ghosts appeared again, and this time they terrified tough Barth, who ran off to hide under one of the beds at the smaller home.  From the tombstones, the characters were able to make out that there had been a mother and father in this home, as well as a son with a young wife, and two younger children.  Everyone but the young children had been buried, and the young son and wife were apparently buried by the two that eventually turned to ghosts.  Putting two and two together, the characters figured that remains of the children must be somewhere... most likely the still unexplored barn.  Resolved to do right by these innocents, the characters headed off to the barn.

Inside the barn, the team attacked special forces style.  Faced with four dire rats, a rat swarm, and a wererat leader, the team first had to face the utter gore that covered the room from top to bottom.  Luckily the team made all of their saving throws against Horror, and were able to start their plan.  Garrett snuck in and intercepted the first dire rat, taking it out with a quick blow.  Nathaniel used his blunderbuss to blow apart a second, while Barth lit the rat swarm on fire with a molotov cocktail (only to get covered in flaming rats himself not a moment later).  Rahotep went into spell casting mode, and managed to summon a very effective poisonous giant centipede, that infected the wererat with a debilitating poison.  Once the smaller creatures were dispatched, it was down to the wererat and Nathaniel’s bow.  Unfortunately for the wererat, Nasty Nate’s a pretty good shot.  The team found the bones of the two children covered by dead deer, raccoons, and badgers.  With his trusty shovel, Rahotep helped bury them in the cemetery.  

Done with their mission, and with the sun starting to rise, the characters headed back to Pont-a-Museau.  Brandt congratulated each of them, and gave them a small stipend to spend on equipment for their next mission.  

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