With the cliffhanger of last week we ended up starting the night off with, surprise, COMBAT! This is the second part of my player point of view Epic Experience articles. I’m playing a barbarian for the first time, a dragonborn for the first time, and as a player in 5e for the first time! We had a lot of fun during this session!
It was a blur of rage and frenzied rage. I hadn’t been on the player side of a barbarian and I wanted to push it to the limit. The Bloodcloaks, myself, my wife’s character, and our Aussie friend’s character, managed to clear out the first area of this keep; trying to find the king/lord. As we did so, the halflings played by OokamiPaparu and GraveAT9 tagged along. The demon spawn played by Rob also managed to help while staying somewhat out of the way (kill stealing tiefling).
We caught glimpse of the lord and what looked to be people helping him fight off undead. It turned out that the undead were protecting him, and the people were angry people trying to kill this king, which had been hinted at in the previous session. No matter, the undead acted as our enemy just as much as this usurpers. We made quick work of them and I pressed on to find the king. It was my charge to protect him, and by all that is balanced in the world, I will NOT fail a contract, regardless of how crappy they decided to get on me. Of course, if they cause a breach in contract, I could care less they will pay for that.
In any case, we entered where he ran through. I counted roughly 10 undead locked in combat with 10 usurpers. The rest of the party collectively said, “Nope”. I pressed on. Screw these people. I want my money. I didn’t bother engaging in combat. I carried my tired ass (level 3 exhaustion by this point and all rage used) straight past all this combat. And, it worked. OF COURSE IT WORKED! At least that is what I thought to myself. These people were engaged in combat with formidable foes, the last thing they would want to do is screw with a seven foot tall dragonborn carrying a blood soaked greatsword, not to mention the other FIVE people that entered with him.
We intimidated our way through the keep. Along the way, one poor mage was left to block a small corridor. Upon seeing us, he fled back the way he came, and right into the grasp of a ten foot tall undead abomination. Did I mention the king had undead protecting him? In any case, we found the king. Several mages surrounded him, they got distracted with us as we showed up. The king ran up a huge flight of stairs and a single mage followed as several were left to fend us off.
So after a round of combat we found ourselves at the top of the stairs. Mages + Narrow Stairway = Yes it blends. The king had just finished a ritual, he lay on the ground injured as we downed the final mage.
What did the ritual summon? Oh nothing really. Just a twenty foot tall bull headed, scorpion tailed, minotaur of the pits of the nine. Nothing major. At this point in time, nearly EVERY SINGLE, enemy I targeted had been last hitted (killed by someone) other than me. We locked in combat, I used what little abilities I had left to negate any disadvantage caused by my level 3 exhaustion. I wasted my frost breath in the stairwell. Well, it wasn’t really wasted, it severely weakened the mages; and my character genuinely thought that this was it before he got to the king.
I charged the minoscorpiontaurbination and unleashed damage that would make Charlemagne look like a saint. The rest of the party followed suit, with the small folk actually listening to me in aiding the king and making sure he lived. (You know, payment, and I’m sure they didn’t want to mess with me at this point in time.)
It got down to roughly round three, I was out of options. I had bardic inspiration from the halfling and my attack was going to miss. With one last hurrah, I roll 6 on my 1d6 for bardic inspiration. I roll damage. Down goes the minoscorpiontaurbination. I looked a the king, who was healed up enough to be conscious at this point in time and basically told him. “Contract complete.”
In the end. We got paid, a measly 150 gold, and he has more work for us. I don’t think I’m willing to take it unless he is willing to negotiate a much higher price. He left out a lot of details this time, and I just plain don’t care for how everything was handled by his ‘followers’ and what not. My character took his other two companions for a night out at any bar that would have them. I look forward to the next session.
As it turns out, the two halflings are turning their characters in for new ones, something that may be able to fit in with The Bloodcloaks, and the tiefling… Well, his player knew that he’d not be able to fit in at this point in time, so he’s rolled up something new as well.
I guess we’ll see how that goes next time! See you then!