Recently some friends that I have played D&D off and on with since high school and some work friends that have never played decided to get together and start a campaign. I DM’d the first session, running Lost Mines of Phandelver, and the first session went pretty well for them, as I was rolling pretty bad and the newbies were all rolling well, which led to some cool battles and ability check interactions. The next session I couldn’t make due to a wedding I had to go to, however, and that was where trouble began.
One of my buddies that usually DM’s for us took over the session, and it was the polar opposite of the session before. They had abysmal rolls, and all of the enemies they fought rolled extremely well. After losing a fight with some bandits and failing some important ability checks, the game was called as a couple of the newbies were getting very frustrated.
In order to attempt to keep the game going I decided to play in the next session and chose to be a Paladin to attempt to provide some tanking and healing support to let the others shine in combat. I worked with the DM to create the world and he took over creating a story that will be engaging, and I worked on creating my paladin. My goal was to be able to heal, tank, and provide some leadership on a character level to push the story forward when the others got stuck. After a bit of researching, now enter Xacerys, the human Oath of Redemption Paladin.
Lore wise Xacerys was an ex-soldier that had his unit slaughtered, setting him down the path of redemption. What I did not know was that in my absence the previous week a couple of the players had decided they wanted to be a bit more on the chaotic evil side of things… which my lawful good Paladin had a hard time with.
We were all members of an adventurer’s guild, and that guild summoned us to the magical city of Loressa. Loressa is a predominantly Elven city governed by a council of 5 archmages, We got summoned to the guild headquarters in the city under mysterious circumstances, but after the journey (about a week) the guild building was completely empty and there were signs of a struggle.
We finally tracked down one of the women who worked for the guild and she was wounded and terrified, recovering from an attack that took place a few days earlier. Many of the workers had been slain, and the attackers had raided the armory and also stolen the crystal that powers the teleportation system. We decided that the council was the best bet of getting answers since the guards did not know anything, so we headed towards the government building in the center of the city.
When we approached the government building we were directed to the captain of the guard, a human woman named Corin. She let us know that meetings with the council were not typically allowed, but if we helped her with a task she would get us an audience. The magical school in Loressa was the most famous and prestigious on the continent, and it boasted not only the best magical professors but also those that teach non-magical skills. As of late a group of the non-magical staff had taken up arms against the guards and barricaded themselves in the service areas under the training arena. She needed someone not affiliated with the school or city to take care of it, so we were selected, on the condition that we do it discretely to prevent any panic. A bad insight roll kept me from getting much more information, so I agreed to help her out.
We headed to the school, which was a sprawling campus with numerous wings, dormitories, and huge arena. We worked our way to the training grounds and found our way underground, which is where we encountered some guards letting us know it was off limits. The rebellious professors had barricaded the door into the staff break area underground, and they had been unaffected by the magical attacks the guards had used. Attempts to breakthrough the barricade was met with stiff resistance as well. We were able to get a look at the members in the chamber, and they all seemed ragged, tired, and miserable. I felt as though something was up, so I attempted to talk with them. The other members of the party had different ideas, however.
As I began to talk to one of the men, our archer fighter (we have three fighters in the party for some reason) decided to take a shot at him. The artificer also decided to acid spray the other simultaneously. With combat started the Goliath fighter rolled a 19 strength check to break down the barricade, and the battle was on. In just two rounds of combat the fight was over, with three of the professors dead and one knocked unconscious. I tied up the prisoner, and Corin and her men arrived almost immediately after. Her men recovered some of the goods that had been taken by these rebels, and left to bring it back to their headquarters. They were going to come back to take the prisoner once they did.
I was still convinced something was up, so I began to interrogate the prisoner once he came to. In an attempt to play “good cop/bad cop” the artificer decided to threaten to cut off his toes, which appalled valiant Xacerys. He decided to take the prisoner to the guard building so he could talk to him in peace.
Upon approaching the guard tower, the two guards outside looked incredibly angry upon seeing us, and pulled us inside. Corin came rushing over screaming at us. We had made a bit more of a scene than Corin wanted, and she wanted retribution for us making a fool of her. An unsuccessful persuasion check later, and Xacerys took responsibility like the good little paladin he is.
The rest of the party was locked outside, and Corin and two guards that were present took Xacerys into the back room. The part waited outside, but after 3 hours of wandering around and waiting to hear word of what became of their party mate they finally knocked on the door. A tall Elven guard opened the door, and the part convinced him to take them into the back room. It was completely empty. Confused, the party asked the guard what happened to their party mate and he had no idea what they were talking about. They then asked him who he was, so he introduced himself. As Corin, captain of the guard.