Classic Fantasy D&D 5e - Shadow of the Demon (for lack of a better title)
#31
The leering face of the troll split into what it surely thought was a winning smile, it spread its hands in a gesture of welcome, claws scraping the ground as it backed away with a slight bow, it's huge feet smearing the blood on the floor near the half-eaten body into a gruesome line. It pointed at the pile of gems as if offering a present.
"Is it...welcoming us?" Raena asks in a whisper, dumbfounded. "Come into my cave for tea? How stupid does it think we are?"

"A bad idea," Renchant says gripping his staff in his hands.

"Trolls are stupid," Dosaken says, ripping the axe out of his holder, "But it must think we're stupider. But we're not."

"More stupid," Renchant corrects.

"What?"

"Nothing..." Renchant sighs.

It's then that the gleam in the troll's eye grows an ugly red and its claw twitch. 

Garvis flicks out both his scimitars, and with a yell charges to engage the creature.

(The troll rolled poorly on its Intelligence and the party rolled well to perceive his evil intent. The party goes first: Garvis, then Dosaken, then Raena, then Renchant, then Mr. Troll)

Gravis's twin blades bite into the creatures flesh, and oozing blood drips down its gray arms. It screams in pain and fury.

Dosaken also yells in rage (Rage) and runs up and swings his axe and the troll parries the haft with its massive forearm.
Raena's arrow slams into its chest. (Hunter's Mark)

The troll roars in fury and attacks Garvis, he leaps out of the way of the massive death, rolls under one claw attack, but the other rakes cross his chain mail. A bolt of fire flies past his head and splashes against the wall near the large figure tied up by the cook pot.

Then in a matter of seconds, the flesh on the troll starts to knit together and the one ragged gash becomes only an angry scar.

"The Doom take us..." Dosaken mutters shaking his head, scarcely believing how rapidly the creature could heal.

Garvis yells and attacks again, twin scimitars flashing in Renchant's spell light. Slashes erupt across the trolls arms and legs and another arrow hisses into its side. Dosaken connects with his axe and bones crunch. Fire from Renchant's outstretched hand blackens flesh. The troll in maddened rage and fury slashes and bites at Gravis with untold savagery, claws and teeth drawing blood, nearly felling the warrior.

Garvis falls back to the rear near Raena who stands a few paces behind him. Garvis's scimitars are slippery with his own blood. Dosaken hits the troll again with a massive blow. Another arrow hits the troll in the neck. Renchant's fire scorches one eye.

Does the troll go after Garvis?


(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

The scent of blood maddens him. He wants Garvis!

Enraged that his prey is retreating, and his battle lust rising to the fore, the massive troll knocks Dosaken aside (misses his AOO) and chases after Gravis, rushing at him! Garvis tries to evade, but one claw slams the fighter to the ground, piercing his armor in three places. Blood oozes between the chain link rings. 
Garvis groans and his scimitars fall from his fingers onto the stone ground with a clang, and he goes limp. Another claw rakes the fighter again sending him rolling three times and onto his face. The troll then leaps after him and on top of him bites down hard on the back of his neck and head. (Critical on Garvis) (Garvis essentially "fails" two deaths saves automatically for being hit twice while unconscious--he has one death save left.)
  • ...bites down hard on the back of his neck and head. (I know FG says Garvis is dead, but according toe 5e rules he has to take his total hits in one blow... or something like that to die. PCs usually only die through failed death saves. So, he's still alive, but only barely now. One more death save to see if he dies or fails.)
Dosaken rushes behind the creature and slams his axe down into its head in a staggering blow, the trolls is stunned and stumbles back three steps. It rears back and tries to pull the axe out, an opening that Raena takes, and her arrow embeds itself in it eye socket. (Critical) 
It falls to the ground, but even so, its wounds begin to close again!

"No you don't!" Renchant hisses and with an arcane shout, his final firebolt engulfs the beasts head into a mess white fire leaving only charred flesh. (Critical) It goes limp, a fire burns out of blackened eye sockets.
"It's over," Dosaken says, yanking out his axe.

"Garvis!" Raena whispers, and is about to attend to the fallen man when Garvis suddenly coughs, and his eyes flick open, he spits out blood and groans rolling over onto his back. 
  • ...and his eyes flick open (He rolled a natural 20 on his final death save and actually healed a HP. Dude... He's so lucky! I thought he was a goner).
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#32
They tend to Garvis and they also investigate the large humanoid naked and bound by the cookpot.

Is it a human?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

Definitely not human; in fact, not even partially human. In fact, naked isn't the right word as a scaly hide covers its body. (I'll say it's a Dragonborn.)

Why is it here? I'll use MAG.

(falling bombs, pot with something oozing out of it, house on fire, birdface, helmet decoration, two hearts/linked together with a tear drop or blood drop, a camp fire, a cloud with lightning, a salt shaker--or a shotgun shell)

Well first, is it willing to talk?

I'll say SL since we just saved it's scaly hide.

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Not only willing to talk, it's willing to help the characters in payment of its debt to them.

"My thanks," he coughs and spits blood when coming too from the ministrations of Raena. He looks around at the dead ogre. "I am in your debt my friends... I--" his eyes fall on his small companion.

Who is the smaller dead one?

Human?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

If it's little, it must be a child or tween, or early teen. Is it?

(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

I'll say it was a small young man about 13 years of age. He looks at the lad a long time and plumes of frosty air put out of his nostrils as he struggles to sit up.

"What was a mere boy doing her down in this dark place?" Reana asks bending down and brushing away a wisp of hair from the lad's cheek.

Going back the MAG, the only thing that seems to fit is that the dragonborn felt a kinship to it (the two intertwined hearts). Hmmm. Why? Ah... here it comes.

"Deegan here--poor lad," the tall dragonborn growls and hobbles over to the lad. He sits heavily down next to it and takes lad into his arms swaying back and forth. "No... No...." 

For long moments he rocks the lad back and forth and the companions shift awkwardly. Garvis limps over and puts a hand on the dragonborn's shoulder.

With a shuddering sigh that sends a misty frost onto the boy's pale face, the dragonborn pulls the cloak over the lad's face but still holds onto the body as if loathe to let him go. "Deegan was the son of Broderick Hammett one of my dearest companions. Broderick died ten years ago in my arms with an orc spear through is guts during the War of Tyrants. His dying wish was for me to look after wife and son. I was too late to help his wife. Marauding bandits, taking advantage of the war swept through the countryside looting and burning. Kyie Hammet, his wife, had been slain. But I found their little one, here, just a small hatchling, hiding down the well."

"But what possessed you to take the boy here," Renchant asks.

Yeah... what did?

Haggle / The spiritual

"Ever since I told him of the legend of the 'The Pool of Heaven' he has wanted to find it, to see and speak with the spirits of his dead parents."

"Never heard of it," Renchant says, "And I read a lot."

"Nor have I," Raena shakes her head.

"I would be surprised if you had," Grunts the Dragonborn. He shifts slightly and sets the down and moves into a kneeling position over the corpse's head in reverent farewell. He utters something under his breath.

Is he a cleric?

(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No

Paladin?

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

I see... He speaks in Draconic, a chant or prayers maybe. The cadence 

"May the light and breath of Sheniel carry you home, little one."

Renchant raises his eyebrow and shifts uncomfortably as a soft breeze seems to ruffle the child's hair and then is gone.

"What you said in Draconic just now, about light and breath. It sounded like a prayer."

"It was. To the godess of winds. Her breath will see him home now."

"What is your name Dragonborn?" Dosaken asks.

"I am called Kerdrock of the stock of the Great Silver, Dargwynn the Voiceless.

"I have not heard of this 'Dargwynn'," Renchant says, sounding somewhat miffed.

"Nor have I," adds Raena.

"She is a very ancient dragon. Much of her legends have been lost to time, I'm afraid."

"So you took the boy here to see his parents?" Garvis asks. "To some pool?"

"The boy was going to try and find it whether I took him or not. I tried to warn him of the dangers. I threatened him, in fact; tried to bribe him to give it up; in the end, I had to tie him up," The dragon born's face grows wistful and his toothy grin spreads wide. "But he was a wily one and was gone the next day with a three hour head start. Eventually, I decided it would be better to just help him than to have him wander in unattended and alone."

"So there's a pool? A magic pool?" Renchant asks looking about the cave.

"Magic? You might call it that," Kerdrock says to Renchant. "You have the look of that type."

Renchant leans on the staff that's glowing with a white light, "Well, I wonder what gave that away... so what of this pool?"

Kerdrock grins again. "It's a story, but one that to my knowledge is known only known to the Dragonborn. Though in a moment of careless fondness towards the boy, I told Deegan of it. And that's when the trouble started."

Kendrock starts stacking wood into a small funeral pyre for the boy. Dosaken and Garvis help.

"Tell us," Renchant says.

"It is for the Dragonborn... it...."

"You told the boy," the mage says. "And we did save your life...," Renchant adds leaning easily on his staff. "Look, we're not about to gut you and go after it ourselves, okay?"

After a while, the dragonborn gives a slow nod wincing from this half-torn wing.

"The pools was formed from the tears of Dargwynn the Silver herself," Kendrock explains. "Long before the humans built this fortress, the dragon's mate died, and it is said her anguish was so great, that he roars of fury and pain knew no equal. She cried so long that her moans formed a great tempest. Her voice became one with the groaning of the earth. Cracks and seems formed and her tears mixing with the fire-blood of earth formed a crystal mirror in which visions are said to be had."

"Visions," Renchant mused. "Have you ever seen it?"

(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

He shook his head. "No... and I don't know where it is either. I've only heard rumors that it is in these depths somewhere. I've only heard tales, but I am a believer."

"Why?" Renchant asks.

"A matter of faith," Kendrock says.

"Seems awfully short sighted of you," Renchant muses. "To believe in something that you can't see."

"And yet, you do the same as well, I presume," Kendrock grins again nodding at the scrolls peaking out from Renchant's pack. "Every time you pick up a musty tome and follow some legend into the dark holes of the earth, you choose to believe something you can't yet see."

Renchant mulls that over for a while, then grunts, stroking his beard, "True. Perhaps you're right."

All this time Kendrock has been arranging the boy's form on the small pyre he's made from shattered crates and barrels that litter this cave, a sort of store room. "Mage, will you help me?"

"Certainly," Renchant picks up a stick and whispers a word, and the end bursts into flame. He hands the flaming ember to Kendrock who places the stick into the pyre. "May the light and the wind of this burning carry you into the hall of the queen, little one...and may you find your mother and father waiting for you," he whispers that last, as the flames consume the small boy's frame. A tear flickers on his scaly cheek then hisses down into the burning wood as the boy is consumed.

They all watch the flames for a long time, lost in their all thoughts. 

Time passes.

They rest and explain their purpose here to find a winged beast that has been terrorizing the country side.

"I know something about winged creatures," Kendrock says. "Though if it be a dragon, I don't know if I would be willing to aid you in slaying it. For they are majestic creatures and part of my kin."

"We don't even know what it is," Dosaken mutters. "We've only heard the flapping of great wings."

"We've seen the signs of its passing in the country side," Raena explains.

"But we ran out of food and sought shelter in these ruins from the storm. And our path has led us to you it seems," Ranea ends.

"Perhaps for a reason," Garvis says.

"If you help us defeat or chase off this creature Dragonborn," Renchant says, "I can't speak for the others, but I'll personally help you find this pool of yours."

"Are you then a believer as well."

"I believe in magic," Renchant smiles. "Or the promise of it. That's enough for me."

Kendrock smiles at that and shakes his hand. "Very well. It's a deal--assuming we live through a confrontation with this creature."

Raena says that she thinks the creature is using the mountains as a lair.

Is there food in this room where they could stock up their dwindling stores?

(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes +Event: Decrease / Ambush

They'll gather up what supplies they can find as well as the loot and divide it among themselves. They find Kendrock's gear in a corner.

While they rest, Renchant will spend time copying in the spells from the necromancer into his spell book and will tinker with the automaton that Dosaken dumped on the floor.

I'll use the MAG to determine the spells he's copying.

Fun... I get this:
(cup with rain or blood drops in it, an ice melting, a huge elephant foot stomping, a feather, a heart in a spiky ring, a cracked hem, a whirlwind, a bomb with a snowflake design, a firework or rocket)

He gets 2 second level spells and 1 first level. I paid the hefty price to copy them into his "spell book", carving them on his staff.
Feather --- Feather fall is the 1st level spell.
Cracked helm --- Shatter lvl 2 spell
Whirlwind --- Gust of Wind lvl 2 spell

It takes 5 hours for him to practice and etch the spells into his staff.

How much food per person is there in this room. A lot per person?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 9[d10]) Yes

There are a total of 50 food rations: barrels of old salt pork but still edible, grain with weavles, a cask of aged wine. The trolls must've had some underling raiders who brought down the goods from the surface or maybe this was a store room from orcs that the troll took over. Either way the party is very grateful as they had just consumed their last meals earlier today.

And now the small pile of gems that the troll was counting. Are they expensive gems?

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Ooo very nice. GM was extra nice today. I'll say there are 3 diamonds and 5 garnets.

Is there any other gear worth taking, on the troll maybe?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

There's a golden sunburst wedged into his belt. Is it magical? (Renchant will do a ritual to detect magic)

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Seems religious. Does it belong to Kendrock?

(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

"That is mine, little mage."

"Are you sure, I don't see your name on it."

Kendrock's grin turns less friendly, and tinged slightly with danger. "I can assure you. It is...mine. Do not test me on this."

"Fine, fine, no need to get testy," Renchant hands it over but he eyes linger on it.

Interesting... Must be some magical item of some personal significant to Kendrock.

I'll say it's a fine, woven gold and silver pendant, with the sun burst twinkling merrily in the firelight.

Anything else of value?

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Everything else is cracked and ruined or rusted beyond repair.

They swap tales while they rest. 


They spend two days down here resting up until Garvis and the dragonborn are mended, and then they move out, dividing up the remaining food among them. 

(They each had 1 ration of food. So they each eat one more after that, leaving 45 rations, or 9 apiece.)
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