My group of players and I sat down for a virtual game of D&D! This is a chronicle of their tale. (This post contains spoilers for “Ghosts of Saltmarsh”)
The party tries to decide how to deal with the open trapdoor, when an arrow bolt goes whizzing past their heads. Faban encases himself in mage armor and both Cha-Cha and Ravenna jump down the five feet onto the top of the stairs below.
The room within is very large, and appears to be some sort of living space. There are ten beds along one wall, a large table in the center, and a cookstove on another wall. Three men crouch behind the far end of the table, with a view of the top of the stairs. Two of them have crossbows, the other a longbow.
Above, Chips lies down on the floor of the house to peek into the room. She asks the occupants if there are any monsters down there, hoping to explain that they didn’t mean to kill their compatriot, just that they thought he was a monster.
But the voice from below, which belongs to one of the crossbows – and who seems to be the leader of the three men – says very sarcastically that sure they have lots of monsters.
Ravenna fires an arrow, and hops off the side of the stairs to take cover beneath the wooden structure. Faban runs down the stairs, fires a ray of frost at the longbow, severely damaging him, and takes cover behind the other side of the table.
Cha-Cha throws his boomerang, missing, and hops off the stairs as well, going to hide between two beds. Chips also hops off the stairs, firing her longbow, hits one of the men, and goes to the last bed to take cover.
The men all take their shots, but only manage to hit Cha-Cha in the shoulder. They split up, trying to get better sights on the party. Cha-Cha tries to insult the leader of the three, using vicious mockery, and calls his mother a weasel.
The crossbow leader-man resists the psychic insult, and instead calls back, saying the lutrinian bard’s mother was, in fact, a weasel. Chips declares that he’s an otter not a weasel!
The other crossbow man rounds the table and fires at the exposed Faban, but it ricochets off of his magical force armor. Faban, wanting to put distance between them, throws up bright sparks with prestidigitation to distract him and runs around the table and in between two beds.
Chips moves up to the table and shoots her longbow at the leader, hitting him through the neck. The man clutches his throat and falls over, twitching, and gurgling on his own blood.
The other crossbow man tries to shoot Chips, but misses, and Ravenna runs up and skewers him through the gut with her rapier. Chips then stands, turns, and fires another arrow at the man wielding the longbow, and gets him in the eye socket.
The threat over for now, Chips starts searching their bodies, while Faban helps Ravenna search the walls for any possible trapdoors or hidden doors. Ravenna finds one, which seems to lead steeply down through rough-hewn and natural caverns in the rock beneath the cliffside. It’s damp, and she can very faintly hear water.
She closes this door for now, noting it to the others.
They all start searching all of the wooden lockers at the ends of all the beds, finding a number of coins, clothing, a couple of books, and Chips also finds a long-dead rat, which she keeps. Cha-Cha, in the meantime, has taken this time to rest and recover from the fight.
Ravenna then finds two doors nearby. One looks normal, but the other has a large, wooden bar set across it and the word “DANGER” is written on it in chalk. The wooden crossbeam is damaged and bent outward, as if something were trying to break through from the other side. Choosing to leave this trouble alone, they go through the normal door.
Inside they find a comfortably furnished room featuring lots to look through. Faban finds a number of empty books, ink bottles, and parchment, plus a map of the region around Saltmarsh. Ravenna finds a bullseye lantern, and a secret compartment in the desk containing a spellbook – which she gives to Faban. Chips finds a fancy and probably valuable robe in a wardrobe, and she also takes three books on a shelf.
They then discover a parchment with notes scribbled onto it, with strange sets of phrases:
They immediately figure that this is probably some type of signaling code used in conjunction with the bullseye lantern. Cha-Cha and Ravenna especially – who have experience on the sea – know that this type of material could be used to signal other ships or to shore. They take the parchment and lantern too, and then head to the secret door in the wall.
Well, after a harrowing combat encounter, it looks as though our party is on to something! They have found a room with lots of hidden goodies inside, and are now aware of a certain signaling system that may or may not come in handy later!
Even better, they found the secret door that leads down into the caverns below. What will they find down there? And will they survive it? Find out next time, in “He’s Hobgoblin You Up!”
Until then, Well Met!