The session had a full group of 7 players, and it is very enjoyable, but naturally leaves less time for individual attention and combat takes longer.
It began inside the small (randomly found) adventuring site the group discovered in session 7. They began the evening by identifying the treasure they found – a wand of secrets and an Alchemist Jug. The jug is actually quite a nice wondrous item, when you are in new settlement on a far away coast, as it can produce one type of liquid each day in various quantities, including water, mayo and honey.
I like the Wand of Secrets, as it helps me avoid the awful situation where players decide to search after secret doors in the right spot, but rolls too low on Investigation. Secret doors are fun when they are found!
Abbott – the strange warlock and noble son – also drew a question from my stack of background questions, and told us that his most significant memory from the war in their homeland was going through a village that had been pillaged and slaughtered. He declined to say, why that was significant…
From that point they travelled north, and I rolled an ambush in my random encounters, an Ettin in this case, who was arguing with himself. They relatively quickly dispatched him (80-ish HP doesn’t last long against 7 characters), and Arak cut off his heads and put them on a pole as a warning. The wizard, Welk, was a bit upset, as he spoke the language of the giants, like the ettin, and would have liked to gain information from him.
I rolled another encounter for the next day, and this time it was another minor adventuring site, and it turned out to be the lair of a huge giant scorpion with weird lichen and toadstools growing from its carapace. It was lurking in a large copse of toad stools with Shriekers around it. Down in its lair, they discovered a magical dwarven shield, with a throne marked on it, which confirmed to them, that there must be dwarves somewhere in the land they’ve settled in. They were also attacked by 6 scorplings, and was another reminder that 6 smaller foes – particularly when they can grapple and poison you – can be much harder to deal with than one large foe. The encounter had several of the players below 0 HP.
The next days of the journey was uneventful, and Korrick the dwarf bard and warrior, got to tell them, how he was accompanying a dwarven expeditionary force as a record keeper, when they were ambushed, and he was forced to pick up arms and become a soldier. Eventually, they found the old track of the lost man-at-arms,and followed it to a large ruin where a lot of colorful flowers and toadstools were growing. There were many low ruins, but the main one looked almost like a base of a meso-american pyramid with several entrances in it and vegetation growing out of it from within.
They found two sets of tracks leading away from the ruin and decided to follow the track instead of going into the ruin, which they wanted to return to later. Some miles from the ruin the area became more marshy, and they saw charms in the trees and elven runes in the tree, which they translated into warnings of an ancient fey creature living in the area.
Jarn, the nominal leader of the group, could tell them of how his order once fought a coven of hags, and how badly that went, and that they can take the form of other humanoids. After some deliberation, they wearily decided to move forward and find a small swamp with a 150 foot tall tree stump growing in the middle, which is clearly the home of someone.
Next session is tonight! I look forward to seeing how they approach this challenge?