Signs of Aerth Campaign: Game 1 - The Forgotten Tower

We embarked on our latest campaign a few Saturdays ago (our first real foray into 5E, as I mentioned in an earlier post), and lest I find myself falling desperately behind in my campaign journal entries (as I have with our previous two Dungeons & Dragons campaigns) here's the skinny:

Eladrin exile Indilwyn, after fleeing from her home (the Feywild) and spending weeks travelling through the deep forests in the northeast of the Known Lands, found herself on an ancient, worn road. The angry, early autumn clouds had been threatening rain all day, and  as the sun began to touch the horizon, delivered on their promise. She had just made a small fire at the edge of the forest when the rain began to fall.

Sir Mourning had been following the Olde King's Road north-northwest for days. It was his first real task from the Patron of the Iron Keep: travel to Northport, patrolling the road as you go; rout any evil creatures you encounter.

The sun was setting and the rain had begun to fall - a fine, cold drizzle - when he spotted the smoke ahead. He signaled his squire and servants to be extra vigilant as they approached the lone, cloaked figure kneeling by the smokey campfire to the side of the road.

It was thus that Sir Mourning, the Black Rose, knight errant of the Iron Keep, came to meet Indilwyn Winterblade, exile of the Feywild. They shared a meal and conversation in the descending gloom, and as the drizzle turned to violent thunderstorm, they looked for shelter together.

Indilwyn Winterblade and Sir Mourning (and entourage)

In the flashes of lightning, they spotted the silhouette of a tower on a bald hill not too far into the woods. They found a narrow, overgrown track - perhaps a road, once - that took them to the clearing at the base of the hill. There, they found the remains of a motte-and-bailey fortification. All that really remained was the man-made hillock and the tower upon it, and as they approached, it became clear that the tower was not man-made at all, but dwarf-made.

They searched in the rain for ingress and found none - the tower appeared to have a few arrow slits high up, but no doors! It was Indilwyn who discovered the sloppily hidden double door in the base of the hill. They scouted it out, then - ever so cautiously - they opened the doors and descended into the dark, dank-smelling place.

Within, they were ambushed by a band of small, evil, dog-like men. The pair beat most of the foul creatures back, then Mourning made a huge tactical error and pursued them while Indilwyn was still engaged in combat with one in the entryway. This led to a less than heroic scene in which the player characters were both knocked unconscious and had to be rescued by Mourning's squire and servants.

Small, evil, dog-like men

Ultimately, though, the creatures were destroyed and the PCs were roused. Corpses were looted, and the deeper sections of the entrance level were explored. As the PCs approached the end of the long corridor that led to rooms deeper under the tower, they noticed the air growing colder and a rime of frost appeared to cover every surface. They peeked into the room at the end of the corridor and spied a sleeping dragon the size of a warhorse, frosty air billowing from its nostrils as it slept. Beneath it, a pile of gold and silver coins lay under a thin sheet of ice.

Although sorely tempted by the lure of the treasure, they were both battered and bruised, and their magicks depleted. They opted for the wiser course of action and silently fled the bowels of the dwarf tower.

The group spent an hour or so resting in the woods not far off, huddling beneath cloaks and blankets in the torrential rain. When the rain finally abated somewhat, they made their way back to the road and headed for the nearest human settlement.

As dawn's light was breaking, they emerged from the rolling fog and rising autumn mists into the hamlet of Dunbridge...