TLDR: Five days leading up to the ultimate hag showdown, we ran six assaults throughout the week leading up to Feb. 17 - from attacking the hags in their lairs, to defending Black River Island, and finally escorting the firbolg clan to Griphon's Roost. On Feb. 17, 20 players and 2 DMs converged for a 9-hour session to close out a major plot point. Three tactical squads (melee, range, and blended) deployed to take on two of the three standing hags, Molly and Midden Heap, at the White Tower, a gateway to the feywild on the night of the full moon. Many fell throughout the battle but we survived and "won" in 6 rounds. Thanks to all who played in the week and day of!
(Thank you Lisa S. for recording this on paper as the raid occurred!)
We arrived at the space of the White Tower an hour before sunset. Merelda (through a clairvoyance potion) and the Jinn through his Raven familiar, scouted the tower’s location. The found a variety of 12 bullywugs, frogs, X lizardfolk, 5 Sahaugin, and 4 merrow.
Squad 1 advanced. Liam drew the first blood with fire bolt, followed by Liana with an arrow. Kohaku held down the bullywug with a spiked growth. Squad 2 advanced. Squad 3 advanced. Lucretia called for her squad a blessing and called that they leave no one behind. Rhogar summoned a huge snake. Glin jumped on Rhogar’s horse and they rode into the fray. Krolan snuck in from the East side of the fray.
Two Deepbreath lizardfolk advanced on the river, disappearing under the water as another squad dove into concealment. Many of the bullywugs tried to move through the spike growth, taking a fair amount of damage and killing 2 and bloodying another. The green hag disappeared from the battlefield. A tree erupted into entangling plants and a blight in the midst of Squad 2.
The merrow engaged Krolan with harpoons. The second harpoon pulled him into their clutches. Another squad of Strongclaw lizardfolk advanced on Squad 2 and threw javelins at Koltalon. He knocked one aside but another struck him. Squad 1 advanced further. Shaena and Kohaku struck the Blight as Brea attempted to cast control water from a scroll. Instead she created a fog cloud along the river.
Squad 2 Liam used a twinned scorching ray, causing a beam of fire to boil away the blight. Jinn cast dragon breath on Udoroth and then used acid splash on the Strongclaw lizardfolk near Koltalon. Koltalon advanced on the Strongclaw lizardfolk. He drew Autumn Fury & Summer’s Breath. They sung to him and he smashed them together to create an arcane longsword with smoke rising from the blade: Firestorm. Merelda cast sacred flame. Roscoe and Bennie shot short bows into the Strongclaw lizardfolk.
Squad 3 Krolan engaged with the Merrow. Vincentos tried to cross the river and was attacked by the two Deepbreath swimming lizardfolk. He cast hellish rebuke and killed the first. Lucretzia cast sacred flame on the remaining river-lizardfolk, but missed. Rhogar and Glin rode forward on his horse and tried to trample the Strongclaw lizardfolk. Tormund tolled the dead and then dove into the river. Glin did acid splash on the Deepbreath lizardfolk.
by Ayten Gilrin (Vera d.) Jan 17
TL;DR: Ayten hires Rawq, Morgrimm, Zorak, and Shield leader, Udoroth, to seek the last sylvan sword called "Summer's Breath" in the northwestern mountains with Dufdor (the firbolg's help). The party takes the sea route and encounter a shark (thwarted with Beast Bond), an abolith in Dead Man's Grotto, and discover a nest of manticores. They discover that an earthquake had set loose Heartslayer, the undead Eladrinne warrior who protects the sylvan sword, Summer's Breath. They delve into the underdark and discover the ancient drow mausoleums and a treasure trove.
Dear Eilis and Theobold,
First - dear sister Eilis - I'm sorry you lost your sword, Aqmar, to a clever polar bear. I hope the recovery goes without a hitch. I have successfully acquired Summer's Breath, but it wasn't easy. The undead elf, Heartslayer, was sworn to protect it and he gave us a good fight -- in a drow temple! I will have it for you when you return from Summerport next week.
Theobold: In this journey, we have established an alliance with the firbolgs, led by Dufdor and his sister Audra. Together, we opened the spire using arcane means: Bless (Morgrimm), Jump (me), Druidcraft (Dufdor), and Jump (Audra). We entered the tomb without disturbing the plate but discovered an earthquake had opened the door leading to Heartslayer. We jumped in and followed the quake to a series of tunnels that ultimately led us to a company of skeleton soldiers (magic stone is pretty handy for destroying skellies) and delved into a drow crypt. Heartslayer was waiting for us in the drow temple. Udo had successfully summoned one of the undead minions and had Heartslayer under his control but for a moment. I had wildshaped into a giant spider but unfortunately, Heartslayer got the best of me. I ran out of wildshapes but fortunately my heroic companions prevailed. We found the exit leading back to the forest and got back safely.
Lore on the obelisks and the swords: The four spires in Black River are from a primordial elf race from before the cataclysm. The eladrinne created the swords to evoke the four seasons of war. They magnify power and Midden Heap has her hands on the Spring sword. The White Tower has a fairy ring by it that opens on the night of a full moon.
By the way, have you ever heard of an abolith? He was an odd slimy creature waiting for us in a grotto we dubbed Dead Man's Grotto. He was accompanied by a couple of pale almost translucent fisherman. He really messed with our heads and kept inviting us to join him. I fought him as a giant octopus but ultimately escaped to prevent further injury. I think you try to make contact with this strange humanoid. Zorak had the heebie jeebies about him.
P.S. I have added to my catalog of creatures on Black River "Island."
by merelda meznen (vera d.) 7-16 springfell
TL;DR: The Shield make good on their weapons' deal with the Greatscale and discover Atuji obeys Midden Heap's bidding but will align with Shield if we can defeat her. The party learns there could be another lizardfolk clan older than the known ones that can assist but they are northwest. Before returning back to a point of light, Midden Heap's minions deal a near TPK and Chief Udo dies until Merelda prays to Luthic to intervene and bring him back. He lives.
Merelda's Prayer to Luthic
Oh Cave Mother Luthic: Thank you for hearing my prayers and bringing back my beloved leader, Chief Udo. As you know, I greatly admire his valor and leadership. No hero should fall to a mound of shambling vines and twigs. I will forever be faithful for the miracle you have blessed us with.
I have so much to be thankful for, things unseen and seen.
Your mighty power is at work in me, transforming me, renewing my mind. To You Luthic, I belong. I promise to protect Udo as you instructed me to as you breathed life back into his lifeless corpse. With your blessing, he returned from the darkness of death. Though his shimmer has dulled, I will see to it that his strength and courage shines greater than ever.
Oh, P.S., please bless Chief Atuji. He is an honorable lizardfolk and I do believe he will uphold his promise to align with us when we defeat Midden Heap. I am disappointed that he will not openly rebel against the hag, but I cannot wait for the day we can break bread together again and not hide our friendship. Thank you, Great Mother Luthic.
by merelda meznen (vera d.) 10-15 hs
TL;DR; Members of Shield (Udo, Merelda, Kotalon) join with the Heralds (Theobold, Haldor) to talk with the four chiefs of the lizardfolk clans to discuss a weapons trade and alliance. Instead, Wicked Polly Frogwart (aka Pollen) disrupts the peace talk, Theo and Haldor fire the first shot, and the clans clash. Shimmerscale declares he will not let Black River Island adventurers proceed safely in the bayou. Theobold's Recap | Koltalon's Recap
12 -13 Highspring - Clan Shimmerscale
My fellow Shield members decided to join the Heralds, led by Theobold Peacekeeper, on the mission to discuss a weapons trade with the chiefs of the lizardfolk. Chief Udo and Theobold speculated on whether or not Chief Atuji would be in attendance. Theo wanted to bring dwarven forged weapons to impress the Shimmerscale clan but having firsthand experience with the Greatscale clan, we insisted that "silver stings" like arrows and hand axes of "silver light" (or steel) would be sufficient in satisfying the lizardfolk's expectations for weapons.
We left a couple days before the scheduled parlay on 14 of Highspring, anticipating yet another ambush. Surprisingly, we spent the next couple of days without much disturbance except for Haldor's brief encounter with some large lizard beasts. A guard that Theo called Longtail, but whose real name is Thisma, scolded us for not telling them we had left our camp to investigate the lizard beasts. Honestly, they seem less accommodating and hospitable than the Greatscale Clan of the East. I don't like them at all.
by koltalon (alex p.) 10-14 hs
TL;DR: The covenant between lizardfolk clans is dissolved; people of Black River Island will be treated as outsiders and attacked if discovered in their lands. Only the Greatscale Clan will continue diplomacy. We must work hard to bring peace to this land if we are ever to move beyond and begin colonization efforts in earnest.
The Shield of Sanctus is reformed. I have had the pleasure of spending the last week exploring this swamp with old company members discussing the future of this land. Recognizing the need for a martial arm in the colonization efforts of the people of overcrowded Sanctus, we have formally reformed the Shield to provide such support. Udoroth the dragonborn paladin of Baphomet has taken the reigns and is crafting a letter to inform the Council of Sanctus of our intentions and needs. I have put together a short document that outlines our company and provides initiate hopefuls with some basic information on joining our honorable ranks. See the attached document. Marelda the young half-orc war cleric seems to be a good candidate to join the ranks, I expect there will be many more willing to aid this cause of necessary violence.
Now for my field report. The goal of this mission was to meet with the lizardfolk clan chiefs on the night of the full moon, their regular meeting time to exchange gifts and maintain relations. We arrived a bit early and camped at the stone marker on the river. Returning from a hunting trip the shimmerscale captain taught us their technique for declaring such activities. A ranged weapon planted point first into the ground leaning in the direction of the hunt will inform others to avoid that area as to avoid spoiling said hunt.
Eventually the night of the clan meet arrived and we were escorted by a retinue of guards from each of the clans lead us to the center of the great clearing beyond the stone avenue. Four clan assembled separate from each other around a great bonfire. Here we met their leaders: Shikma of the shimmerscale with their iridescent fins, Atuji of the greatscale with their large dorsal fins, Jukni of the strongclaw with their yellow fins, and Brawsk of the deepbreath with their blue scales.
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast