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 fledgling party heads down a short flight of stairs hewn from the natural rock and discovers a system of caverns beneath the house. Cha-Cha senses distant whispers with his whiskers, and they take a route to the left which is well-lit by torches. A gentle, salt-scented breeze flows up from the declining cavern tunnel, and the sound of lapping waves can be heard in the distance.
Ravenna and Chips sneak ahead, and find an opening to a large storage room occupied by several people. They quickly move over to some cover in the rock wall, leaving both Faban and Cha-Cha exposed and seen. A human man with a scimitar and a hobgoblin stand in the opening of the room, which contains boxes and casks of goods, and bolts of cloth. A younger man with a bow aims at the bard and the wizard, while a final man – tall, bald, and with green eyes – addresses them.
He says that they have done well to get this far, but now it is time for them to die. Ravenna steps out with her bow drawn at the man, and threatens him to stand down or end up like the others upstairs. The man with the shaved head says that they are no match for Sanbalet, and attacks! He fires three scorching rays, one at Ravenna, one at Faban, and one at Cha-Cha. Faban instantly falls unconscious as he’s dealt a critical blow.
Ravenna fires her bow and then ducks back behind the cover of the wall. The man with the scimitar follows after and starts attacking her and Chips. The hobgoblin goes after Cha-Cha, and renders him unconscious with a slash from his longsword. With both of their spellcasters down, Ravenna and Chips remain to fight unaided by magic.
Sanbalet laughs and tells them it’s over, that there’s no way they can win!
Chips and Ravenna team up to take down the man wielding the scimitar, and then Chips fires an arrow into the hobgoblin’s neck, missing the vital areas. Ravenna finishes him off with a second arrow to the neck.
With two each to either side now, Sanbalet says that they’re at a stand-off – or at least it would be a stand-off if Ravenna and Chips’ friends weren’t dying on the ground between them. He orders them to surrender.
Chips has another idea. She asks the remaining bowman how much Sanbalet is paying him. The bowman considers, and asks how much Chips is offering. Chips says she’ll give him 25 gold pieces if he’ll help them. The bowman agrees, and turns his bow on Sanbalet.
Incensed, the wizard starts cursing him, but Ravenna fires an arrow at him. It scrapes along his cheek, and rips the flesh off his face, exposing teeth, muscle, and bone. He grabs his face with his hand and begins screaming at them in furious pain.
Chips steps out and fires a second arrow, piercing through the hand at his cheek, and into his mouth, where the arrowhead stays. Sanbalet stumbles back against the wall and falls down. Chips comes over and ties him up, keeping his hand arrowed to his cheek, and Ravenna threatens him with her dagger at his throat. They demand he talk.
Ravenna becomes aware of what this place is…a smuggler’s den. Sanbalet reveals that, while he works for no one, he’s here to use the house to discover the secrets of the alchemist that disappeared, and to hone his magic craft. When asked about the smuggling, Sanbalet says he doesn’t know their names, but that they come on a ship and deliver their goods, and then leave.
Chips thanks the bowman, who says his name is Eric. Eric further elaborates, stating that about once every two tendays, a ship called the Sea Ghost comes to dock at their lair, has them unload various goods for shipment throughout Keoland, and then leaves. The ship signals before they arrive, and they respond.
Under threat of death, Sanbalet offers to work for Ravenna, saying that they can get the gold he earns through his operation here. But Ravenna says that she’s the one in charge, and slits his throat. Eric helps them carry their unconscious allies back to Saltmarsh.
Ravenna offers Eric a meeting with her employer, since he helped them, and Chips pays him the gold she promised. Eric takes Ravenna up on her offer, and tells them at the Snapping Line that it’s been about one tenday since the ship last left, and so it’ll likely be back again in another tenday. With the help of Hanna Rist’s claw wine – which Ravenna suggests she adds some bourbon to – they revive both Faban and Cha-Cha.
Eric leaves for the Empty Net, agreeing to meet Ravenna the next day. Cha-Cha heads for home. Faban gets a room at the Snapping Line, and Chips goes to bunk with Ravenna for the night, much to Hanna’s disappointment.
And that’s the end of that session! The players all did a GREAT job of handling themselves in this one, even if a couple of them were taken out pretty quickly at the beginning of the big fight. I was still impressed with how everyone played.
Getting the bowman to work for them was awesome! He turned out to be an incredible asset here, because they may not have survived had it not been for Eric turning on Sanbalet. Great job!!!
I’m so excited to see where this goes next! I know that, in the next session, they’re going to meet with the Saltmarsh Town Council to discuss everything that just happened, and what it means for Saltmarsh. So, hopefully, that will spur them on this great adventure!
Find out what that means next time, in “Spring Cleaning the Haunted House!”
Until then, Well Met!