Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly D&D: A legend falls in battle

The air became still. The world seemed to stop. The only movement came from the flames dancing in the campfire. No one in the party said a word; they couldn't believe what had just taken place. Just minures before a group of close friends were enjoying dinner around the campfire and enjoying each others stories. Then the party was ambushed by bloodthirsty orcs on all sides. Finlore, Vatuu, Rurick, and the Hag were no novices though. The party made fierce blows against the enemy, tearing through orcs as if they were made of parchment. But the orcs were not the only side to take casualties that evening.

As the band of friends struck down each murderous foe, an orc in the distance readied one of his javelins. He had his bloodshot eyes fixed on a scruffy halfling who had already effortlessly taken down two of his comrades. He took aim and thrust the weapon through the air. The javelin soared through the branches, seeking its target with deadly accuracy. The Hag let out a shrill scream as the javelin pierced her side. The world became a blur to her as she began to stagger. She fell with a soft thud, her breathing becoming quick labored. She tried to call out to her friends, but all energy quickly drained from her body and she could only let out soft whispers. 

The ended as quickly as it began. The party made quick work of most of orcs; the last two beasts, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, attempted to escape with their pathetic lives. Rurick and Vatuu began to persue the cowards, but Finlore noticed something that he had not in the heat of the battle. Across the camp he saw the pierced halfling laying on the ground in a pool of blood. Her hand weakly reached out in his direction. She had always been so fierce both in and out of battle. To see her in such a weak and vulnerable state took him by surprise. Surprised turned to panic as he realized how dire the situation truly was. The elf crossed the camp faster than any human could, hoping to outrun death itself, but nobody can outrun the cold clutches of death. Just as Finlore was approaching the Hag her hand dropped and her eyes glazed over as the remainder of her life seeped through her wound. The elf wasn't fast enough to save his friend when she needed him most. This realization hit him like a fist to the stomach. He let out a pained scream. 

Vatuu and Rurick turned to see the screaming elf kneeling over the limp body of the Hag. Vatuu had just cut through his prey like a blade of grass, but Rurick's target was getting away. Finlore set gently set down his friend, rose, and lifted his wand to take aim at the escaping orc. With great resolve, Finlore began to speak a powerful enchantment. The wand glowed a sickly green as a large ball of acidic sludge formed at it's tip. With a flick of the wrist, Finlore sent the green orb soaring at the orc. The ball struck the orc directly between his shoulder blades. With a gurgled howl, the orc was reduced to a puddle. 

The group worked in somber silence as they buried and mourned for their friend. Rurick took an old dagger, a keepsake precious to him, and placed it at the foot of the grave. Finlore collected all of the remaining magical energy that he could muster to cast an enchantment that ensure the grave would never be disturbed. On the top of the grave he wrote "Here lies the Hag. A legendary warrior." Rurick, Vatuu, and Finlore spent the remainder of the night reliving the adventures that they had partaken with their lost friend.

In the following morning the remaining three friends made a pact. Their individual missions and motivations were changed and unified by the loss of their friend. They branded themselves with the letter "H" as a permanent reminder of their new shared goal. With new found determination the group readied their materials and set off. The friends decided that they had not seen the Hag for the last time. They would travel to the land beyond the living and rescue her from the grasp of death himself!
This was hands-down my favorite night of D&D. Hilda Haggins, or "the Hag" was a halfling rouge created to be used by my wife when she played. When my wife took on the role of DM, my friends and I took the Hag because we needed an extra player for our adventure. Since she never talked, she became somewhat of a feral creature in our story. Then in nearly every battle, she would roll back to back critical hits on the enemy. She quickly became a legend in our group for clearing out entire rooms with ease. 

When she fell in battle we really thought that we could save her in time, but we rolled a critical miss on a saving throw ONE TURN before the next player could go and stabilize her. It was exciting and emotional at the same time. We knew that we couldn't let the legend go, but none of us had the resources needed to revive her. It is unclear how we are going to save her yet, but it will definitely be a legendary adventure. I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I loved playing it. Happy adventuring. 

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