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”)

Chips looks into the room and sees six skeletons that start to animate back to life, and move toward the half-elf fighter. She strikes one with her swords, nearly taking it down, but then all six converge on her and all attack. Chips just barely clings on to consciousness right at the start of the fight.

Cha-Cha tries to support her with his boomerang attack, and gives Ravenna some inspiration as she steps in with her bow, finishing off that skeleton that Chips attacked.

Faban fires a ray of frost at another one. The skeletons advance, moving to attack Faban and Ravenna as well as Chips. Chips takes a breath, gaining a second wind, and continues to attack, taking down one of the two ganging up on her.

Ravenna uses her rapier to attack and move away from the skeleton accosting her. Faban tries to use his quarterstaff on his skeleton target, but misses.

Cha-Cha throws his boomerang at a skeleton, taking it down, and it returns to his hand just in time to use it to block another skeleton’s attack on him. Ravenna finishes one off with her bow, and Faban sends another ray of frost over her and Cha-Cha’s heads, missing the skeleton attacking the bard.

Chips uses her sword to lop off her enemy skeleton’s leg, then she scoops it up in her off-hand, and attacks with it and her sword, shouting, “stop kicking yourself!” as she scatters its bones across the opposite wall.

Cha-Cha takes that moment to take out his dagger and behead the last skeleton enemy.

Chips then notices, in the room, that there is a blue light glowing at the base of a section of the wall up ahead, as if the light were coming through a small crack. She directs everyone’s attention to it, and Faban takes a few moments to cast detect magic to see what they can find, while Cha-Cha doesn’t find much using his whiskers to listen at the wall.

Instead, the group minus the busy Faban takes a quick breather to patch themselves up while Cha-Cha sings a little song to cheer them up. By the time they’re done with that, Faban has finished his ritual. He has detected a large amount of transmutation magic on the other side of the wall, seeping through under the crack.

Faban and Chips work together to locate a secret door in the wall, and Chips immediately pushes it open. Inside, she finds a skeletal corpse wearing black robes and a pointed hat, with a wispy blue beard coming off of its bony jaw, straightening up further in the room. The blue light is coming from it, as it traces arcane symbols in the air with its skeletal finger.

It speaks to them, saying, “Secrets found and lost then found again. Your paltry minds cannot fathom…”

Chips shoots her bow at the skeletal figure in tattered, ornate robes. Ravenna comes in to provide support fire as well. Chips is able to throw both of her handaxes at the figure, striking it hard.

The figure produces two glass globules of a yellow-green liquid in its hands out of thin air. It hurls these at Chips, hitting her square in the chest with both, spilling an acrid-smelling acid on her body.

Cha-Cha misses with his boomerang, and Faban lands a critical hit with his ray of frost, sending the robed skeleton back into the table behind it, destroying it.

The blue glow disappears, and the group starts exploring the room, which appears to be a laboratory. They find a chemical apparatus, and powders and liquids in various jars. Faban goes to the open book on the table and finds an extremely complicated and specialized text inside. Looking at the cover, it reads, “Ye Secret of Ye Philosopher’s Stone.” Faban takes the book.

Chips searches the skeleton’s remains, finding both a bag of holding and a strange, flat river stone with an arcane symbol carved into it. She gives the latter to Faban to inspect. He can’t tell much, but he does decipher the symbol, which might mean “fortune,” or maybe “luck.” Chips gives it to Cha-Cha, hoping that maybe it’ll bestow the bard some luck.

The group also finds several golden objects on the table, which aren’t usually gold: a human skull, an apple, a rose, and a set of small discs (which Cha-Cha recognizes as balance weights). Each of them takes one of these items.

Chips also takes a group of actual gold coins from the table to later divide among themselves. Searching further, they find a spellbook, which Faban takes.

Satisfied with their haul, the party returns to Saltmarsh, to the Snapping Line. Hanna greets them, and they ask her where they can go to appraise the items they found. She recommends many locations around Saltmarsh which may be able to help them. With that, the group turns in for the night.

So the party found the secret stash in the haunted house! I was hoping they would come back and get this done, as they skipped right past it the first time – which is probably good, as they likely wouldn’t have survived. This time, it was pretty close for Chips for a bit there, but she made it.

They also have a bag of holding! I love that this campaign gives the group one of these so early on. It’s a great item, and so useful. Now they want to check out all of these items, which is exciting because there could be some interesting discoveries here if they go for it.

In the meantime, the party still has a lot of time until the Sea Ghost comes back to Saltmarsh. I know I could just fast-forward most of this time, but I want the characters to become a little more entrenched in the town before I do this. I want them to be invested.

To accomplish this, I’m about to throw a few different things at them that will start a few short story threads in town that will allow them to get to know various important figures and also to choose sides in some of the politics going on. And that’s exciting. Find out what I’m talking about next time, in “Taking in the Porcinery.”

Until then, Well Met!