View Full Version : Journal 6 in the City- A 5e Campaign Journal

2016-06-16, 10:30 PM
I've been DMing dungeons and dragons for a while, but it's been a while since I was a player in a dedicated game. Not only that, but this is the first time I've been a part of an adventure done over the internet (using roll20) so I'm gonna start this campaign journal to document what I hope will be a new, fun experience for me.

We're adventuring in a setting that is very heavily inspired by the City of Salt in Wounds. (http://www.saltinwoundssetting.com/) we're using D&D 5e.

Edran, the Half-elf warlock (played by myself). He's a librarian.
Kimaru, the Human Rouge/Shadow monk/Warlock. He's an assassin completing his training, and has an overly complex build.
Ralf, the Gnome diviner. He was born in the City of Salt in Wounds.
Grimrock, the Dwarf fighter. He's a veteran of the goblin wars.
Theodora, the elf druid. She's an orphan raised by wolves.
Alynola, the half-elf rouge. An orphaned tomb raider.

All of our party ends up in a Dwarven labor mine in the city of Belgost for one reason or another. Our first session begins with our group meeting each other as we descend an elevator into the mines after being sentenced. A guard, Bellwar, instructs us that our first task is not mining, but rather the harvest of Fire Beetle thorax. One of the old prisoners warns us that a friend of his went missing performing the same task. We decide that an escape attempt isn't practical without more preparation and intel, so we start out on harvesting the Fire Beetles.

We travel down a tunnel into a large cavern with a sinkhole in the middle, with a solid half dozen beetles milling about. The large space makes it pretty easy for our casters to pick off the beetles at range, so we make short work of them and collect the glow glands. After harvesting as much as we can, we move a bit deeper into the collapsed tunnel to explore, and get ambushed by a few rat swarms. The tighter spacing makes it hard to kite the rats, so Kimaru and Grimrock drop unconcious in the first few rounds on some unfortunate crits. Ralf and Edran retreat up the tunnel and pummel the swarms with magic while Theodora desperately tries to stabilize the downed fighters. Kimaru nearly dies, but Hex damage and some good rolls on Ralf's part add up and end the rats before we lose anyone for good.

After clearing out this section of the mine, we discovered a few hidden nooks and crannies where prisoners had stashed some hooch and playing cards, as well as the corpses of the missing prisoners. Wounds indicated that the rat swarms had gotten them not long ago, so we looted the bodies and ran before any more rats showed up. Back in the main section of the mine, we regroup and talk with the Old prisoner again. He asked us if we found his lost shiv, but no one said they found it (in truth Theodora did, but she decided to keep it for herself). Chief guard Bellwar commends us on a job well done, and lets slip something about Ankheg being a problem in another part of the dungeon. The group then tries to convince Bellwar to let them help clear out the abandoned branch in exchange for shorter sentences. He doesn't agree outright, but he admits that we could be useful for a side project. The rest of the evening is spent recovering from our wounds in the main area.

In the morning, Bellwar wakes us and explains this 'side project' to us. He is expecting a group of dwarf guards from outside the mine to come in and enter one of the closed-off portions of the mine. For some reason, he doesn't trust their intentions, and wants us to follow them in secret and report back whatever they're doing. He also gives us back our weapons in secret in case we run into any Ankheg.

Moments later, a team of heavily armored dwarves with black metal pickaxes descends and begins to argue quietly with Bellwar. After a few minutes, the armored dwarves get fed up arguing and leave down towards an abandoned section. The sneakier party members follow close behind, using telepathy to let the rest of us know when to follow. Before long, the armored crew stops and uses some sort of magic drill spell to delve into a hidden chamber beneath the mine shaft. We stay back until we hear fighting, and rush in too late to make any difference in a fight between the dwarves and a group of automatons. The leader was missing, but the rest of the armored crew is dead or unconscious. As we drop into the room, the last automaton stands up and attacks us. With 6 of us, it falls to our concentrated fire pretty quickly. After it falls, one of the thrones in this chamber pulls the broken parts towards it and begins to reform the automaton. Our rogues attempt to 'turn off' whatever magic is in the chair, but can't quite figure it out, so we just try and break it. that doesn't work either, so we just keep going and hope it doesn't follow us.

Continuing through the hidden chambers, we find some mechanical part storage, a forge room, and a longer hallway. In the forge, we find some blueprints for equipment for the automatons, as well as a key hidden inside a flow of lava. Mage hand grabs us the key, which we don't take the time to Identify until later. It does however, fit a lock that disables the regenerating automaton via control panel. Further down the passage, we run into the leader of the Dwarf team, who seems to be sizing up another automaton. The key we used earlier also is able to deactivate this automaton. The Dwarf captain shares with us that his purpose is to uncover lost secrets of automaton construction. The deactivated automaton seems to be guarding a tomb that is the last resting place of a legendary Azer named "the craftsman", which the Dwarf captain wakes up. For whatever reason, the Azer is furious and attacks us, wielding a massive fiery war hammer. He hits pretty hard, but again our concentrated fire drops him pretty quick, and the Dwarf captain subdues him with magic. Our help in subduing the Azer earns us the gratitude of the captain who offers to appeal our sentences to his uncle, a high ranking member of the clan. We find our way back into the main chamber of the mine after some mild climbing issues, where Belwar and Rook (the apparent name of the Dwarf captain) have another argument about waking up the craftsman. The session ends as we ascend the elevator back into the sunlight.

2016-06-18, 03:01 AM
Huh, didn't even know someone turned that famous thread into an actual setting. Pretty cool.

So is the journal for that matter. Player-POV journals are always a nice variation, since the majority seem to be written by DMs (which is understandable). Makes me wish I'd get to be a player for once, too. :smallamused:

Around what level is the group? Did this take place beneath the eponymous city, or are you just headed there or something?

2016-06-19, 12:44 AM
interesting start. I've only had a little time to go over the setting you linked to, still looks appealing. I was kinda hoping a few seessions might take place in the prison mine, but am curious to see where this goes all the same.

2016-06-20, 06:24 PM
Around what level is the group? Did this take place beneath the eponymous city, or are you just headed there or something?

At the end of the first session, we got to level 3. I'm pretty sure that the prison is beneath the Dwarven capital, which is not the City of Salt in Wounds. As far as I know, the prison is a way to get the party together and gives us a common goal- I'm guessing the government will ask us to do something in the City in exchange for commuted sentences. Next session is Thursday night so we'll see if my theory pans out.

2016-06-29, 08:40 PM
Sessions 2 and 3

My predictions turned out to be correct- The leadership of the Stonefoot clan offered us commuted sentences in exchange for a favor that involved us traveling to Salt in Wounds. Specifically, the Stonefoot clan is in political disagreement with the rest of the dwarven government as far as trade partnership with the City of Salt in Wounds. They want us to go set up the other half of a teleportation circle so that they can establish a blackmarket economic connection. We have little choice but to accept, and begin our journey north after some exploration of the city (I'm not gonna write the whole RP encounter since I had to be absent for part of it and it doesn't really matter)

After journeying through the night to avoid heat, we come across a city that's been completely covered in sand. With the morning sun heating up, we decide that we need to rest before continuing deeper into the desert. Our druid can make water, so we aren't worried about thirst, but heat exhaustion could become an issue if we don't find good shelter. While searching the ruins, Grimrock falls through the sand into a half-buried temple and is attacked by snake swarms. He holds them off for a few rounds until the casters show up and finish them off. Further exploration shows that this temple is clearly the tomb of a death priest. We decided to raid the tomb (against my better judgement) and find some (surprisingly) un-cursed jewelry. We rest and take time to Identify all our loot, then continue deeper into the temple. Out of character, we start joking about expecting mummies so badly but not finding any when we get ambushed by the mummified servants of the dead priest. They do a number on our wizard (ralf) in the surprise round, and we retreat into a defensive formation. Psychic Whispers and our fighter keep them off our casters for the first 2 rounds of combat, which is enough time for our wizard to open up with more damage. we come very close to a few party members dropping, but the mummies fall to our high DPR before anyone falls unconscious.

We finish exploring the cave, with the only remaining threat being a single snake swarm that our druid eats in bear form. There isn't much else here other than a potion and a scroll, so we just gather what treasure we've got and take a rest and get some sleep away from the sun.

We end this session here.

We pick up the next evening continuing our travel north. After some time crossing empty desert, we run into a patrol of goblin soldiers. Grimrock wants to fight them, but the rest of the party is less excited to exert ourselves in the open sun. Our rogues hide and ready an ambush just in case. When the goblins finally reach us, Grimrock starts giving the leader attitude and it looks like a fight until I step in. A suggestion spell advising against being out in the heat sends the goblin soldiers back to the west without bothering us, and we continue north without incident.

Our next stop is much more eventful. An oasis has become a trading post/fighting pit where Dwarven and Goblin raiders and merchants stop to gamble. Lynn and Theodora go scout out the fighting pits while Kimaru turns invisible and goes to spy on an argument between some goblins and dwarves. Two sticky situations begin to unfold at the same time

At the pits Theodora and Lynn find that some dwarves are being wrecked by some trained Ankheg in the fighting pits. The fight looks like it's going south, and they take pity on the dwarves and jump in to help fight. The pit boss isn't a fan of this, so he opens up a cage and sends in a second Ankheg to make the fight more fair. The second Ankheg manages to kill a dwarf, but Thodora's spells combined with Lynns sneak attack damage turn the fight pretty quickly. The pit boss gets even more mad and stops the fight, sending in his guards to cage the Ankheg and the Dwarf slaves. Theodora and Lynn aren't about this, so they try and help the dwarves escape, starting a fight with the goblin guards. They quickly realize how outnumbered they are, and try to retreat and flee the pits.

At the tents the argument between the dwarf and goblin raiders appears to be over the recovery of an artifact of immense value. The goblins seem to want proof of the artifact that the dwarves aren't willing to provide without payment. Kimaru uses disguise self to try and negotiate with the dwarf leader disguised as a Hobgoblin. Some lucky Persuade rolls convinces the dwarf to 'come negotiate with the chief' and leads him back to our party with the artifact in tow. We ambush him and put him under with a sleep spell, then tie him up behind a large cactus. At this point we notice the girls of been fighting in the pits and run over to help

All together now We try and draw attention away so they can get out of the pits, but the pit boss joins the fray and makes running tough. We are able to take out several minions, but Lynn drops just as she gets out of the pit. The casters start running while trowing spells back to try and soften up the crowd while Grimrock and Theodora try and recover Lynns unconscious body. A horde of reinforcements emerge from the center tent and start running towards us as Grimrock reaches about where Lynn dropped. A few minions start dragging Lynn towards the center tent while the Pit Boss holds off Grimrock. Ralf and I start taking shots and max range to take out the goblins dragging Lynn- Ralf misses but I take one out, and some good damage rolls are enough to drop one. I then transfer my Hex to the other one's STR to try and stop him from being able to move the body. Grimrock tanks several AoOs and grabs Lynn from the Hex'd goblin, and we resume our desperate retreat. A small party of goblins makes it almost to our casters in this round as well, so Kimaru switches to trying to take them out so we don't get overrun and stuck in melee.

At this point, we are split. Grimrock, Theodora, and Lynn (unconscious) are next to the west edge of the fighting pit, engaged with the Pit Boss, hit Lieutenant, and a small number of minions. Kimaru, Edran (me), and Ralf and 90+ feet south of the pit, trying to give ranged support while running from a large group of goblin minions that are between us and the pit. The captured dwarf and rescued pit fighter are also with the southern group. Things are looking grim, but Grimrock hits a lucky MAX DAMAGE crit on a Riposte and one-shots the Pit Boss. This sends the minions by the pit into a panic, and our fighter and druid get a chance to escape with the rogue in tow. They grab 2 more prisoners from a tent on the way out. Our casters take one last shot before turning tail and dashing back into the desert under a Pass Without Trace.

We escape into the desert and flee towards the mountains to the west, using magic to obscure our tracks. We see a goblin search party in the distance heading south, but otherwise have no other encounters as we run. We do, however, begin to see shadowy figures stalking us out of the corners of our eyes. My best guess is that we're being stalked by vengeful spirits from the Temple... especially after Kimaru has a nightmare about being attacked by a mummy. We decide to keep closer to the mountains to stay away from potential goblin patrols. I identify the artifact as a gem for summoning a fire elemental, and we begin interrogating the prisoner dwarf- he doesn't have a lot useful to say until we mention taking something from the tombs, at which point he gets a bit nervous about us being followed by cursed shadow creatures. The dwarf clearly hates us (for good reason), and we start discussing whether to kill him. while we are arguing, the other dwarves we rescued declare 'die traitor' and snap his neck. We shrug, and continue on.

That night, Ralf begins to see shadowy figures again, but this time they're more real. He tries to banish them with light spells, but all he does is reveal the position of a mummy lord just beyond the firelight. It charges in and we jump out of bed to fight. We try and group up with Grimrock in front, but the other shadows become solid and move in to attack, leaving us surrounded. We try and cut our way out, and find that the shadows drop pretty easily, but the mummy is a tough cookie. We wipe most of the shadows and turn to focus the mummy itself in hopes that we can end the 'curse' on us from the tomb by killing it here. Our rogues charge in and me and Ralf fire of Dissonant whispers to set up sneak attacks and run it through the fire. It stumbles to the edge of the light, and I fire off my last spell slot and finish it off.we lick our wounds, and plan our next steps, with our first priority being curing the mummy rot our druid acquired during the fight.

Here we level up to 4 and end the session.