The DnD Diaries is my journal as a Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) newbie testing my wits and skills in my first ever tabletop campaign. Previously our party of heroes had fought their way to the keep at the center of town. But holed up in the keep with the town overrun, the party need a new plan of action…
A few days had passed since our first DnD session, we had created our characters and learned the basics of combat and adventuring, we even survived our first few battles as well.
Reflecting on how fun that night was, the party and I received a group message from our DM.
“Keen for another session soon guys, also since you’re just a party of three I’ve got a friend who could round out your team nicely. What do you say?”
It was true that three people makes for a pretty small party, and we were always happy get to know more DnD friends, so we agreed to the proposal in no time.
“Great! I’ll have him set up his character separately and he can join you next session.”
Days passed, and before we knew it we were back at Josh’s dinner table, the party assembled and ready to rejoin the adventure. Around the table sat myself, Dan, Josh, Daniel the DM (or just “the DM”) and our new guest, Tristan.
The DM explained to us that Tristan had gone ahead and set up his character to be a thief, maybe because it would balance out our party nicely or possibly because Tristan enjoyed playing as a shifty bugger.
With introductions out of the way, the DM checked that everyone had their dice and character sheets ready, looked over his notes, and then began the next chapter in our grand adventure.
The gates of the keep close slowly behind the party as they are greeted by a weary old man, the man thanks the heroes and identifies himself as the town mayor.
“Thank you brave heroes for arriving when you did, when I heard people were still stuck out there I was fearing the worst. May I ask your names?”
One by one the party introduced themselves.
Fatoompsh the half orc Paladin, triumphant and spattered with cultist and kobold blood.
Tak the halfling monk, looking like he was on the wrong side of a fight, and not seeming to mind.
And the tiefling warlock Ashward, still feeling the sting of embarrassment from having multiple spell malfunctions occur in the same battle.
The mayor thanked the heroes individually, and then his face grew solemn.
“Gentlemen even though you have just arrived in this sanctuary, I am afraid I must ask more of you.”
The DM laid out the situation; both the town chapel and the town mill are under attack by cultists, and we only had time to investigate one of the sites.
We took a moment to weigh up the options and decided that the our best option was to help out at the mill, the DM noted our choice down and then smiled and told us “Okay the mill it is. Looks like it is time to meet your new party member.”
The mayor solemnly nods.
“The front gate no longer safe to let people in and out, but there is a locked sewer gate under the keep that you could use to make your way in and out unseen, we lost the key to the gate a long time ago but there may be someone who can help you with that…”
The mayor leads the party down into the keep’s dungeon where they find all the cells empty bar one. Inside the cell sits a human male, slim build, his face bruised and bloodied, his expression surprisingly calm.
The mayor speaks to the man. “Prisoner, with the town under siege I had every intention to leave you in this cell to rot, but it seems you may have a purpose now. These heroes have volunteered to help defend the town and they could use someone with your… unique skillset.”
The man in the cell smiles at the party, “Volunteered? You mean you didn’t even negotiate any pay for this?”
The party sheepishly look at each other while the mayor continues, “Enough talk, either you can rot here or you can help these men defend the city. Do your part and MAYBE I’ll think twice about putting you back in this cell when this is all over. Your choice.”
The prisoner stood up and approached the bars. “While this cell was beginning to feel very homey I could use a chance to stretch my legs. Okay, I’ll help.”
The mayor opens the cell door and the guards hand the prisoner his equipment.
“Okay pals, the name is Mylo. Let’s get to work shall we? And while we’re at it, I need to give you all a good talking to about negotiating pay rates.”
Tristan’s character had only just joined the party and already he was adding a new level of character to the game’s story. In our previous session we were getting used to being creative with our actions in battle, but seeing Tristan having fun with his character dialogue as well was giving us ideas.
The DM narrated us through to the next location as our characters headed down into the sewers in single file, coming to a stop at a large mess of rubbish and sticks in the middle of the tunnel.
The DM continued, “Fatoompsh, as you’re in front you can step past the pile of rubbish, but you will need to make a dexterity roll for it.”
I was not too confident about my chances as my character dexterity was pretty low, but I rolled for it anyways and the dice were unkind enough to show me a four…
Attempting to deftly avoid the rubbish pile, Fatoompsh makes an agile leap to the side of the mess.
With the grace of a thrown boulder the orc lands and immediately slips on a wet stone. Fatoompsh attempts to rebalance himself and ends up plunging his foot directly into the pile of rubbish, which responds with a series of shakes and screeching noises.
Fatoompsh looks up at the party, “This is not going as well as I hoped.”
Suddenly the rubbish pile bursts open with a swarm of sewer rats, and the party scramble madly to dispatch them all.
Fatoompsh attempts to poke the rats with his great sword with minimal results, Ashward and Mylo disgustedly destroy what rats they can while Tak is just happy to be hitting things again.
The battle ends quickly and Ashward shoots Fatoompsh a dirty look.
“You’re such a friggin’ dumb orc.”
Fatoompsh shrugs off the insult as he approaches the end of the tunnel to inspect the locked gate. On the other side is a grassy plain and a small river, a much nicer scene than the murky sewer they now found themselves in.
“Well now all that is over with, how do you want to approach this gate?”
Tak runs up to the gate and begins to squeeze through the bars.
“Just like this!”
Before continuing Josh looked at the DM.
“Uhhhh do I need to roll for this?”
The DM thought for a moment.
“Well, your character is a halfling, he should be fine. The rest of you however don’t even bother trying that.”
Josh smiled and continued describing (and impersonating) his character’s actions.
Tak wriggles and struggles for a moment until finally squeezing his way through the gate, landing with a tiny flourish. Ashward is not impressed.
“That’s all well and good Tak but we’re still on the other side of this thing, is there a key on that side by any chance?”
Mylo steps up and inspects the gate’s lock.
“No need, I believe my previous experience as a thie- uhhh… as an enterprising businessman, can help us out here.”
Mylo removes a few small tools from his bag and begins to tinker with the lock on the gate.
Within a brief moment, the lock releases and the gate swings open effortlessly, the party walk out of the sewer to find themselves at the base of a hill with the river before them.
“There you all go, feel free to be impressed. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to the river to wash this sewer juice off me.”
Mylo walks down to the river and washes the dirt from his face, Fatoompsh picks up the filthy Tak by the back of his pants and carries him down to the river to join their new party member.
Standing by the gate, Ashward watches the others clean themselves up, he has no need to as he has a talent for keeping himself impeccably spotless during his battles. You never know when you may come across a fair maiden to impress.
While the party clean themselves up the tiefling hears something troubling, the familiar sound of marching footsteps. He looks past the hill to see a troop of kobolds and cultists headed in his direction.
With the rest of the party in the river, being caught off guard would mean serious trouble for them. Ashward prepares to warn the others but before he has even the chance to turn around lead cultist notices him.
Thinking fast, Ashward hurriedly recomposes his casual demeanor and scrambles for a plan as the cultist approaches…
The party has a new member and the shifty thief is already at it picking locks. But now they’re in the reach of a cultist troop and it’s up to Ashward to keep them from getting caught with their pants down. Will the party ever make it to the mill in time? Find out in Chapter 4: Enough Milling About