Old school Dragonlance campaign

story so far... from solace burning to Pax Tharkas

After defeating the black dragon Khisanth and recovering the Disks of Mishakal for Goldmoon, a cleric of Mishikal from the village of Qué-Shu, from Xak Tsaroth, Black Rabbit, Goldmoon, Kerplaaak, and Polaris traveled back to Solace. From a far the group saw that the village was smoldering but decided to sneak into the town from indirect route through the surrounding woods. When they arrived they found many of the mighty vallenwood trees scorched or toppled. Many of the buildings that once sat high up in them were burned and shattered on the ground. They made their way in to see what had become of the Inn of the Last Home. It too was in pieces on the village floor but the kitchen was intact and accepting patrons. They took a seat at far table and were served by the barmaid Tika Waylan. Queitly she informed the companions of all that had happened since they left for Haven. She cut herself off when four Kapak Draconians came in and sat down at an adjoining table.
A lone quiet figure who had sat staring into his drink stood up and started to walk out to leave. As he did, one of the Draconians grabbed his hood and pulled it off. It reveled that the quiet figure was an elf that Black Rabbit recognized as Gilthanas Kanan, a son of the royal family of the Elvish kingdom of Qualinesti. Gilthanas pulled his sword and confronted the Draconians. The companions joined into to help and a mighty bar brawl ensued. The companions easily defeated the four Draconians, but only after discovering that they dissolved into a pools of acid when killed, filling up the kitchen’s floorspace. They soon then found that the noise of the row attracted the attention of the Draconian army that occupied the town and they now had surrounded the building. The leader of that army, a hobgoblin named Toad, gave them an ultimatum but, at Kerplaak’s and Polaris’ urging, the group decided to dig in and fight to the death. They were eventually beaten into unconsciousness and taken prisoner. It also did not help that Black Rabbit found himself in the way of one of Polaris’ Scorching Bursts.

They awoke to find themselves in caged cart in the town center of Solace, part of a caravan of caged warriors to be taken to the fortress of Pax Tharakas for slave labor. They shared the cart with Tika, the barmaid, with whom Polaris started to reveal more than a friendly interest in, as well as Gilthanas, a Human blacksmith named Theros Ironfeld who was severely injured, two Highseeker Priests, one of which was the elderly Elistan, whose council they sought in Haven, and an eccentric old man in gray, large brimmed hat. Elistan revealed that the Dragonarmy had betrayed their promise to the elders of Haven and overran it as well.
As the caravan embarked south towards Pax Tharakas, it was ambushed by a force of elvish archers led by Gilthanas’ older brother, Porhtios. When the caravan came to a stop, a gully dwarf nicknamed “Worm”, who apparently wasn’t enthralled by the lowly moniker, broke open the lock of the companions’ cart out of spite to his superiors. One by one, the heroes jumped out of the cage and attacked the hobgoblin guards. Although unarmed, but with the clever use of Caribou by Kerplaak and aided by the sudden return appearance of “Bear Bear,” they were able to defeat the guards and recover their weapons and gear from another cart. Elistan and the other Highseekers decided to depart with the eccentric old man who talked with the trees while Tika, Theros Ironfeld, and the companions followed Gilthanas and Porthios, after some arguing, to the Qualinesti capital city of Qualinost.
They they were taken to the palace and met with the kingdom’s leader, Speaker of the Sun Solostaran Kanan. Black Rabbit asked to Kerplaaak and Polaris to keep his name a secret from the Qualinseti elves and refer to him as Leif Windrunner for reasons he would reveal later. They are also greeted by Solostaran’s young graceful daughter Laurana, who was very excited to see Black Rabbit with whom she had an apparent bond with. Solostaran thanked the companions for helping his son Gilthanas return safely. For some reason, he attacks Goldmoon as a heretic and burns his hands on the sign of Mishkal that she wears. After some convincing from the group, and after he allows her to heal his hands, he accepts her and tells the group of his kingdom’s plan to travel east and sail across the sea to Southern Ergoth to avoid the advancing Red Dragonarmies. Kerplaaak, Polaris, and Black Rabbit object to this, telling him that the elves have a better chance by staying in their lands and fighting. Nobody knows the woods better than the elves and that is where they belong. Solorastan disagrees and Black Rabbit mutters something under his breath about “city elves” who have lost their way. The three, however, are able to convince him to grant them new weapons, gear, and armor so that they may stay behind and defend the forest anyway. Gilthanas mentions he knows of a secret way that they can enter into the Pax Tharakas and attempt to free the fighters imprisoned there. Solostaran agrees to allow his son to remain behind and thus guide them to the fortress. They then depart the Speaker’s chambers and retire for the night. Tika and Polaris go off to the grove mentioned by Laurana to “refresh” themselves.
The next morning the group gets it new gear from the elves and make ready to head out. Tika decides to remain with the elves and go with them to their new home across the sea. As Gilthanas, Goldmoon, Polaris and Black Rabbit travel along the path away from the city, they encounter a group of fallen warriors at a crossroads. They stop to attend to the lone survivor they find there but are ambushed then by a small band of Baaz Draconians. After they defeat the Draconians, the injured warrior introduces himself as Eben, and tells the group his band of fighters was overwhelmed by the Draconian forces and they were left there as means to set up an ambush. Goldmoon offers to heal Eben, but he oddly refuses. The five continue their journey towards Pax Tharakas and Eben trails along behind.
Gilthanas takes the group before a rock face. Cracks soon appear and a door opens. The party proceeds inside and turn to their left. They come into a chamber where on the near wall they see a clothed skeleton seated on a stone throne flanked by two large statues of sword bearing warriors. Despite the presence of the two elves Gilthanas and Black Rabbit, it is Polaris who recognizes the skeleton to be that of Kith-Kanan, the founder of the Qualinesti nation. Both Kerplaaak and Black Rabbit approach the skeleton. Black Rabbit scans it over for any traps, but finding none, sees that the figure is fitted with both a cloak and large falchion. Kerplaaak picks up the sword and as he starts to slide the sword from it’s scabbard and bright light emenates briefly from it. He keeps the falchion and learns that it’s called Wyrmslayer.

The group proceeds down the narrow corridor behind them and encounter the giant slug of Santa Cruz. Kerplaaak charges forward saying something about “I have a sword and I have religion…” and the group slays the slug. As Kerplaaak cleans himself off of slug guts, Black Rabbit checks the rubble in the corner for “dead rats,” and begins stuffing his pocket with said “dead rats.” When the group catches on, they split up the gold evenly and give a gem to an enthusiastic Goldmoon. Kerplaaak leaves an offering of his gold to his lord Bahumet, but Black Rabbit seeing this, and thinking it is a waste of gold, secretly swipes about half of it. The groups traces back through to the way the came in and venture down the corridor that was to the right of the entrance. As they turn the corner, Kerplaaak’s sense of the presence of the undead goes off. The group quietly proceeds down to the path and into a chamber of several large, rusted doors and stone coffins. Kerplaak argues to go the direct route but Black Rabbit gets the group to turn back and follow him down a corridor they had past on the left. Getting an eerie sense from one chamber, they proceed past it and scout further through the winding narrow paths. It is at this point that Polaris suggest that they start drawing a map so as to not get lost, which she agrees to do. With both Black Rabbit and Gilthanas scouting ahead, they spring the trap of the Infinite Loop, and get separated from the rest of the party when a stone slab suddenly shuts off the opening behind them. With both the Thunderwave spells cast by Polaris and the brute strength of Kerplaak, they are able to eventually free the opening up again. Black Rabbit relents that maybe the direct route was the best in this case. They group returns to room with the stone coffins. Suspecting a trap, they ask Polaris to cast the Ritual of a Magic Circle to protect them against immortal creatures as Black Rabbit disables the lock of the large iron door at the far end of the chamber. They succeed in opening the door without triggering the trap. They then work themselves through a series of trick passages and hidden doors to find themselves in a large dark room that at its center has an enormous chain anchored to floor and stretching into the darkness above. After some investigation, they are able to discover that they are now in the hidden halls underneath Pax Tharakas, which was built by the Dwarves of Thorabin as part of an alliance that Kith-Kanan struck between the two nations to help each to protect both their kingdoms. The group learns that if the chain is somehow released, it will open the massive doors that close off the fort from the rest of the mountain pass. Black Rabbit then proceeds to investigate a small ante-chamber off to the side. He walks into the room and discovers a pile of bones. As he approaches, a spirit rises forth from the bones and takes the form of a tattooed eleven female. She recognizes some of the tattoos on Black Rabbit and ask him for a sign that he is of kin. He presents her a sign of twisted twigs which she recognizes. She tells him the story that she was once one of a group of thieves who had many years before infiltrated the tombs in search of treasure and she was killed when she sprung a trap. The rest of her group just walked over her dead body and removed the treasure at the center. They were eventually killed by the undead guards of Kith-Kanan and the treasure was returned to the room. She ask that if Black Rabbit would agree to collect her remains and return them to be buried in an elven forest where she belongs. He does and she grants him the armor and the items among her remains. As the group enters the room and see the treasure at the center, he tells them he wants nothing to do with it and hopes that they will too. However, the allure of gold is too great and they divide it up. Polaris asked puzzledly why a thief would refuse gold when there is usually no honor among thieves. Among the items that Black Rabbit pulls from the bones is an amulet that will transform its wearer into the form of a fox. However, the longer the person remains in this form, the more difficult it is change back. Polaris quips that she is looking forward to making a nice stole. The group exits and takes a short rest before proceeding through the door that opens into the halls of Pax Tharakas….
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Red box closer & transition to Dragonlance campgin setting

As we neared the end of the Red Box campaign, I decided that I liked DMing, but that it would be much more efficient, easier, and enjoyable for me if I was more familiar with the campaign setting. So naturally, as a long-time fan of Dragonlance since I was first introduced to the novels as a kid, I gravitated to that realm. But could I adapt the old school DL1-DLX campaigns to meet 4E? And could we use the same characters? Turns out I found some help online. Someone neamed Ivy actually converted DL1 to 4E, but the rest is up to me. I also decide to transition seamlessly from the Red Box campaign to the DL campaign, all in the DL continuity. So here’s the transition that resulted:

Malareth is killed and his chest discovered.
The large chest in the back corner of the wizard’s laboratory contains Malareth’s treasure: a sack of 200 gold pieces and a +1 magic staff. (any character can ID it – hand over card) Traevus’s box lies open on the central table. The inside is lined with black velvet that cradles a rolled up map.
The map shows the land of Abanasinia, with notes written on the back of it addressed to Malareth:
[Show map and note]
Malareth,

This map shows the lands of Abanasinia. You are to explore this land and identify any threats that our armies may face. I want to know if there is any chance the races and people of Abanasinia may ban together to fight us. What is the state of the elvesn kingdom What about the dwarves that are rumored to be in the south? As for the humans, I want you to recruit as many as possible, and infiltrate the seekers. I want a man on the seeker council in Haven to be our eyes and ears, and to help influence them if we need to. Before you teleport back to report, I want answers to these questions, and identification of any threat to us in the region.
You are to scout this area and establish a stronghold for the area. We will need you to raise an undead army assist us in our assault of the region.
You must also keep an eye out for a blue crystal staff. This symbol of the true gods must NOT be found. We must find and destroy this staff. If you hear of its location, spare no resource in recovering this. Our Queen of Darkness, the god Takhissis, will be most displeased if you fail. She will not tolerate any symbol of the gods of good. The races of Krynn must be kept in the dark as to the existence of the true gods. Their despair must continue.

May the dark queen watch over you,
Lord Verminard

Traevus
The companions seek out Traevus, and he gives you 30 gold, and explains that he was hoping to warn the seekers in Haven about this threat. He asks if you have seen the blue crystal staff or any other signs of the old gods, and tells you to keep the map, as you are obviously more capable than he. He urges you to warn people about this threat, and to find some sign of the true gods.

Heading to Solace
You have all had quite the adventure, and having bonded over this experience, you all head to the nearest town, Solace, to unwind and rest. Having spent a significant amount of time there, Black Rabbit suggest that you all head to Solace’s Inn of the Last Home.
Solace is a quaint sleepy village set on the forested eastern shore of Crystalmir Lake. The city is located on a major crossroads in a wide, fertile valley, located in the heart of Abanasinia. It may perhaps be the most unique town on he continent of Ansalon. With only a few exceptions, all the businesses and dwelling places of Solace are built among the branches of mighty vallenwood trees. Broad wooden staircases wind up the tree trunks to provide access to the buildings, and sturdy rope-and-plank bridges form a network overhead connecting important locations. The people of Solace are hale, hearty, and trustworthy folk who are generally open and polite to strangers, even in these strange times. In the shaded branches of the giant vallenwood trees, the townsfolk live in relative peace.
[Show Map of Solace]
The Inn of the Last Home, run by Otik Sandath, is a fine establishment renowned for its hospitality throughout the lands of Abanasinia. Most well known are Otik’s delicious and aromatic spiced fried potatoes. The inn is the largest building in Solace, about forty feet off the ground. It can be reached by a staircase that winds around the trunk of the vallenwood in which it is built. Readily visible from the main road, the Inn has two stories—-common room and kitchen on the main floor, sleeping rooms above. It is a lovely building with gabled roofs and stained glass windows. Stables are located beneath the Inn for the convenience of the guests.
You sit and unwind from your adventures; chatting about highlights such as finding bear (who gracefully departed back into the forests to the West) and rescuing him from the leg trap, just barely defeating the chess pieces, Kerplaaak’s stylish defeat of the chillborn zombie, and the successful teamwork you used to defeat Malareth and his undead creations. You also chatted about the funny and unfortunate incidents of Black Rabbit attempting to cross a stream during battle and almost drowning, Polaris’s failed early attempts at spellcasting, and the Bugbear’s failed suicide bomber attempt. There were also the bigger questions that came up during your adventures: such as the map and note that indicate that some foreign army is scouting out Abansinia for some sort of attack or invasion, or the fact that you met a necromancer—-an evil cleric—-whom you though didn’t exist anymore and who apparently worships one of the old dark gods, there was also Polaris’s vision at the teleportation circle of the dark flying fortress, and lastly, there was mention of the blue crystal staff, some symbol of the true gods that Verminard and Malareth were afraid of.
Being as tired as you all are, and wondering what it all means, you were unable to decide how to proceed.
Hours pass, then days, and finally 3 years pass by. You all have made a home in Solace; loving its large vallenwood trees, and small, peaceful nature. You have a good number of adventures together over the years, but nothing that amounted to the Malareth incident, nor anything that mentioned the old gods, or anything that substantiates the letter from Verminard.
You also make many new friends. Black Rabbit meets a dark haired human, a very capable swordswoman named Kitiara. He falls head over heels for her, and she accompanies you on many of your adventures. He continues to work on his thieving and outdoor skills over the years, loving his town in the trees.
Polaris decides to study for her test of high sorcery—-a right of passage for aspiring mages. She also reunites with her cousin Caramen, who also occasionally accompanies you on your adventures. He’s from the good side of the family; someone she didn’t know too well but has great trust for.
Despite his strange appearance, Kerplaaak also sticks around Solace, albeit with a hood over his face since dragonborne have never been seen around here, but figuring that you two needed someone to keep an eye on you. He often trains with Kitiara, improving his skills with the sword.
Everything has been going well for all of you; however, an autumn breeze is in the air, bringing in not only cool air, but new tales and rumors that instill a feeling of despair, adding some darkness to your bright time. People are, after all, calling this the age of despair for the lands of Krynn. Rumors of amassing armies in the lands north of the New Sea have emerged, with people turning to the seekers and their new gods for assistance. Unfortunately, their cries to the new gods go unanswered. The seeker movement initially started many years ago as an intellectual movement searching for the old or new gods, but quickly turned into a political movement that created new gods, leading to the current Seeker Theocracy that came to power in Abanasinia. Yet despite peoples pleas for help, poverty continues to get worse, and the nervousness about the amassing armies is spreading. At the end of these 3 years in Solace, you find your thoughts and conversations drifting back to Malareth’s map, the foreboding note, and the hope represented by the blue crystal staff. Your home is changing, as is all of Krynn, and with the increasing reports of armies to the north, you all decide that now is the time to act.
You all decide that these damn Seekers will be the end of Solace, if not Abanasinia, so you decide to split up and search for this Blue Crystal staff, or some other evidence of the True Gods, something besides the aged and powerless alters you found in Malareth’s dungeon. You agree to spend the next 2 years searching for such evidence, and investigate the rumors of armies to the north, and to meet again at the Inn of the Last Home and report your findings.
[Give them New Major Quest – Find evidence of the True Gods]

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Necromancer battle - end of red box

The party wakes up in a room previously explored. There are two ornate braziers, casting a faint red glow around this large chamber. Thickly scented smoke clouds the air before disappearing through small ventilation holes in the stone ceiling. There is a pool of water deep in one of the rooms. Another part of the room there is an iron ring that the black horse was attached to. The party had decided to camp in this room due to the twin small basins where the guard drake was located. The water in them is clean and pure, and helps to heal any wounds the party receives. Before continuing on their adventure, Polaris had the idea of visiting the room with the fire glyph carved on the floor, to give the party a higher resistance to fire. After everyone finished with the glyph, they worked their way to the east through a set of doors, to the room with the trap door under the rug. They then went to the north side of this room, where there were two double doors to the north and west.
Black Rabbit was tasked with investigating the doors, and felt an aura of coldness emanating from the door to the north, and only hearing some unknown language being spoken through the western doors. Kerplaaak the zombie slayer identified the language as draconic, being spoken by some lowly kobolds, so the party decided to proceed to the west. Polaris casts the mage fist spell, and a large ethereal looking fist appears before the door, and opens it with ease, revealing 2 kobolds, in a tiny room with a set of 4 runes on the floor, a single door to the west, and a set of double curtains to the north. One of the kobolds turns towards the party and asks, “why you here?” As the only one who knows draconic, kerplaaak decides to parlay with the kobolds.
“We are here to investigate a theft of some personal property of a merchant.”
“Who steal?”
“Goblins.”
“They are friends,” replies one of the kobolds, and proceeds to charge the heroes, but doesn’t make it two steps before a bolt from Black Rabbit’s crossbow hits him between the eyes, felling him in a blink of an eye. The other kobold sees this, and attempts to flee through the curtains to the north, but is stopped quickly by one swipe of the charging Kerplaaak’s falchion.
Polaris again casts mage fist, but this time she uses it to open the curtains to north. Two kobolds spot this, and the nearest runs towards the the mage, but Black Rabbit again puts an immediate stop to this with a well aimed bolt. Unfortunately, the other kobold was further away, and managed to sound the alarm for his comrades. 3 other Kobold minions enter the area from the west. A blast of cold air catches the companions attention from the East, and they see that the large, black double doors have been thrown open, and lumbering zombie shambles out of the room. Kerplaaak the zombie slayer immediately recognizes his racial enemy the zombie, and identifies this beast as a chillborn zombie, an undead creature able to harness the essence of winter to aid in its attacks.
Kerplaaak is anxious to attack this foul creature, but he and bear are occupied by the kobolds that just entered the room. Polaris and Black Rabbit go after the zombie. Or at least attempt to. WIth only her robe as protection, Polaris is stunned by the cold emanating from the zombie, and before she knows it, she is attacked. The zombie swipes at her with his hands, just barely connecting, but it’s enough for her body to go rigid from the severe cold. Fortunately, this is short lived, as the adrenaline pumping through her body is enough to coax her body into action. She shifts to the side as the bear abandons the lesser kobolds and rushes to Polaris’ side. Unfortunately, the bear, takes the brunt of the zombie’s next attack, and is immobilized in place by the severe cold.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, Kerplaaak has killed all but one of the kobold minions. As he stares into the eyes of the last kobold, he opens his mouth, bares his teeth, and menacingly swings his sword around his head, frightening the kobold so badly that it curls up in the corner, muttering to itself in draconic, suckling on its thumb. Kerplaaak wants to interrogate his newly tamed prisoner, but he turns to eagerly take on the more threatening foe—-the chillborn zombie. What he sees is a frozen bear, a Polaris that is so stunned that she can’t get a coherent spell out, and zombie that is focusing on a terrified Black Rabbit, who just doesn’t know where to hit zombies to take them out. Even a bolt to the head won’t take out this beast. Kerplaaak charges forward with his falchion, knowing exactly where to hit zombies to take them out. Right as the zombie reached out to grab Black Rabbit, Kerplaaak swings his huge sword and lobs off one of the zombie’s arms, followed with a swift kick to the leg, grinning as he hears a snap as the zombie falls to now shattered knee. Proceeding exactly as Kerplaaak planned, he steps back, takes a powerful swing with his sword, and lobs the zombie’s head off, smiling broadly as it falls to the ground and splatters like an over-ripe watermelon.
All the companions feel much more experience after having such a battle. They have emerged stronger and more skilled. They take a moment to gather themselves and reflect on what they have learned, and then proceed to search the room for anything of use. Polaris explores the alters that are scattered about the room. Her knowledge of religion is limited, but she does glean a few things from them. She learns that one of the alters is to an old god of neutrality named Reorx, and remembers that this god tends to be portrayed as a paunchy squire to another god named Kiri-Jolith, but dwarves and gnomes hold Reorx as the highest of the gods. According to legend, Reorx forged the universe with his hammer, and also forged the Greystone of Gargath, and is thus the father of the gnomes, dwarves, and kender. Polaris starts to presume that this temple must then be an ancient dwarven temple, but then she identifies another shrine in the room as a shrine to yet another god of neutrality, Zivilyn, the world tree. Zivilyn is said by the elves to exist in all times and in all lands, and possesses all the wisdom of the planes of existence. He is the counterpart to Gilean, the god of knowledge. The other two shrines in the room go unidentified, as no one in the party knows enough about religion. Black Rabbit makes the comment that maybe this is some sort of ancient unitarian temple.
Meanwhile, Kerplaaak is off interrogating his kobold prisoner. The kobold reveals that his master is in the east room, and has something to do with dead things. Kerplaaak tells his prisoner to stay put, and gathers the rest of the party to proceed into room where the chillborn zombie came from. What they find is a shimmering magic circle painted on the ground. Using her knowledge of the arcane, Polaris identifies this as a teleportation circle, useful with a ritual of teleportation to transport creatures from one location to another. The circle appears to have been designed to have only one specific destination. Polaris attempts to trace the magical energy flowing through the sigils in the circle, with the hopes of gleaning some information about its destination. She feels a surge of adreneline as her mind connects with the destination, and her head is filled with a vision of a giant floating fortress, suspended in the air on a cone of jagged stone, as if it was forcefully ripped from the earth. Surrounding the fortress are hundreds of flying creatures, but as Polaris tries to push in closer, darkeness fills her senses, as does a foreboding fear. She withdraws her mind and is caught by Black Rabbit, as she briefly collapses in his arms.
The party proceeds towards the doors on the Eastern wall of the room with the teleporting circle, and are greeted by two goblin cutthroats and a bugbear. Easily dispatching the goblin cutthroats, the companions proceed to take on the bugbear. Despite its power, the bugbear knows when it is outnumbered, and flees in to a nearby room with a large urn full of hot coals. He is pursued by the companions, who back him up against this urn. Just as they thought they had him finished, the bugbear grabs the urn, and tips it over onto himself and the companions, immolating himself in the process. What he didn’t count on was that the companions had used the fire glyph discovered earlier to grant them resistance to fire.
They proceed to search the room for any treasure, searching in the numerous crates and boxes that are stacked in clusters in this large room. Polaris searches the bugbear’s body, finding a magic axe called a lifedrinker greataxe. She decides to keep this for herself. Finding little else of value, the party edges closer to the double doors leading to where the kobold prisoner says his master is located. Before proceeding, the party takes a 5 minute rest. While Kerplaaak is off maintaining his sword, Polaris attempts to off this prisoner, as she doesn’t think any creature of evil deserves to live. However, in her haste, she miscasts her spell, and alerts Kerplaaak, who rushes in and proceeds to get in an argument with Polaris about his sense of honor and her sense of “evil must die.” If it wasn’t for Polaris’ skills in diplomacy, the argument may have gotten much more heated than it was.
Wasting no more time, the companions open the double doors to the next room. A stench of death fills this room, along with an acrid chemical scent. Liquids of various colors bubble and steam in bottles and tubes scattered across three large tables. An enormous zombie, apparently the animated corpse of an ogre, looms in front of a bookcase in an alcove, and two skeletons animated by necromantic magic stand around the central table. Barely glancing up from whatever experiment is consuming his attention at the table, a gaunt human dressed in dark robes with a medallion around his neck must be the necromancer you seek, the mysterious rider who commanded the attack on Traevus’s wagon. “Dispose of them,” he growls, and his undead servants turn toward the companions. Black Rabbit perceives that the necromancer is bending over a small open box on the table in front of him—-a box that looks like the one Traevus has asked the companions to retrieve.
The necromancer casts death burst, giving aid to his undead creations, and turns his attention back to what he was doing. Kerplaaak rushes for the necromancer, Malareth, and breaths a stream of fire onto him and one of the skeletons. Unfortunately, the necromancer ducks behind the table, but he still manages to damage the skeleton as potions on the nearby table explode in flames. The skeleton focuses its attention on Kerplaaak, as the hulking ogre zombie squeezes past some nearby tables to engage Polaris and Black Rabbit, who are still standing in the doorway. They retreat out of reach of the zombie, who is fortunately limited in mobility due to its size. Now out of reach of the zombie, hey hammer away at it with everything at their disposal. Being flanked by the skeleton and zombie, kerplaaak focuses his attention on the greater threat—-the ogre zombie. Meanwhile, bear attempts to help kerplaaak by attacking the skeleton nearest him. Kerplaaak “the zombie slayer” is very skillful when it comes to battling zombies, but even he can’t avoid the attacks from this hulking beast. One hit sends Kerplaaak clear across the room, stunning him. Kerplaaak tells his companions that he doesn’t’ think he can take another hit like that, but still charges forward again after the creature. Black Rabbit and Polaris double their attacks, bolts striking the creature’s head, and clouds of daggers striking the creature from every direction, finally the companions unified efforts are paying off, as the hulking beast stumbles, giving Kerpaaak the chance he was looking for, as he vaults off a nearby chair, his falchion gripped downward with both hands, he brings it down on top of the foul creatures head, using his strength to twist and drive his falchion further into its body. Jumping off its body, the creature falls with a thud.
Unfortunately, the bear wasn’t having as much luck on his front. It was busy taking the brunt of the skeleton’s and necromancer’s attack, and is now immobilized by Malareth’s ray of immobilization. The bear collapses, unconscious, as the companions turn their attention towards their three remaining foes. One of the remaining skeletons charges for the companions surrounding the zombie’s corpse, but Black Rabbit shouts to the others to focus on the necromancer, as he will focus on this skeleton. Polaris is first to attack the necromancer, finally learning the best way to use her spells, and casts burning hands on the Malareth and the skeleton, followed by thunderwave. Kerplaaak attempts to charge forward, but is immobilized in place by Malareth. He takes the opportunity to use a healing surge to regain some hit points. With another clap of thunder, Polaris succeeds in taking out the skeleton, and moves forward to heal the bear with her waterskin filled with water from the healing pools. Unfortunately, the bear again takes the brunt of the necromancer’s attack and falls over unconscious. However, this has allowed Kerplaaak to free himself, and he proceeds to jump up on a nearby table. Running towards Malareth, he jumps off the table and attacks him. The necromancer takes a deep slash from his sword, but continues his assault on the companions, and manages to once again immobilize Kerplaaak. Black Rabbit’s crossbow bolts are having no effect on the skeleton, and he decides to focus his attention on the necromancer. After seeing Kerplaaak jump off the table, he takes careful aim on the distracted Malareth, letting loose a well placed bolt that find home right between the eyes of Malareth. As the lights leave the dark necromancer’s eyes, the skeleton attacking Black Rabbit collapses into a pile of bones.

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Red Box campaign

Last time
To re-cap past events… Polaris was attacked by goblins when hitching a ride on a merchant’s wagon. The merchant was shot in the shoulder, but Polaris cast a magic spell and scared off the attacking goblins. As the goblins ran away, a mysterious rider was spotted on horseback at the top of the hill. Unfortunately, the goblins made off with a valuable box owned by the merchant. Polaris decided to help the merchant out by hunting down the thieving goblins and retrieving his box. She attempted to climb a clif in pursuit of the goblins, but found it to be a difficult task for a wizard in robes. After a few tumbles, she finally made it to the top; right into the clutches of 4 goblin minions. She wasted no time in catching her breath—-she immediately cast burning hands. In her haste, she missed the goblins, but still hit them with a few flames—-enough to put them out of the fight.

Black Rabbit, who moments ago was investigating the merchant’s wagon and picked up a five-finger discount on some hand crossbows (he’s always wanted a pair) , was distracted by the sound of explosions up on the hill. Being curious, Black Rabbit went to investigate. What he found was a female wizard fighting off three goblins, with one dead at her feet, still smoldering from the last spell. For reasons only known to himself, he decided to join the fight against the goblins.

After a brief fight, the two strangers emerged victorious. They proceeded to enter the cave to explore the caverns, but decided that they needed to get some rest before pursuing the rest of the goblins. Besides, neither of them were quite sure about the other. They setup camp outside of the goblin caverns, and away from each other, and rested for the night, periodically hearing wolf howls, seemingly getting louder and louder.

Their dreams were filled with an ominous dream, where they were battling wolves and goblins at a crossroads. After killing one goblin, the rest simply overwhelmed them. First Black Rabbit died, followed shortly by Polaris.

They awoke with a startle, woken by the sound of a pained growl. Looking at each other, from afar, the pained and desperate growling continued from behind the trees.

They find a bear in a leg trap, trying desperately to get out. The bear is freed and becomes a follower.

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And we're off! Using the new Red Box release!

I don’t remember how we learned about it, but a friend and I learn about the D&D 4E starter red box and decided to buy it. I hadn’t played since I was a teenager (even then I only played maybe 2 sessions), and my friend played only a year or so ago somewhat regularly with a mutual friend. We pulled in two other friends who were new to D&D, and got started. As I was hosting, I decided to be DM, with the idea that we would shuffle around the role. First two sessions are long but fun as we learn (or re-learn) the ropes of 4E.

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