Today was the sixth session of my (still relatively new) Eberron campaign. We started in January and have been playing monthly, the third Saturday of every month. The players are David Noonan, Andy Collins, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Jesse Decker, Stephen Schubert, and Cameron Curtis. It's been a change for me, from playing every week and with a different group, but it's been quite fun so far. Playing monthly means longer sessions when we do play, and it means that in most weeks I have more time to be with my family. (It's just the week leading up to our monthly session, when I'm doing too much last-minute prep work, that maybe I have less time with my family...)
So the campaign began in January with the adventure that will see print in DUNGEON next month, "The Queen with Burning Eyes." It's a classic sort of dungeon delve, with the weird twist that all the rooms are constructed from miniatures terrain tiles. For that matter, in the published version of the adventure, I suggested miniatures to use for every encounter.
After playing through that adventure, the characters traveled to the city of Sharn, where they hooked up with a professor at Morgrave University for an expedition to Xen'drik. (One of the items they recovered in the first adventure turned out to be a key to a vault somewhere in Xen'drik, and in a later confrontation with the Emerald Claw necromancer Demise they recovered a second key to the same vault.) They fought some sahuagin in the strait of Shargon's Teeth, encountered some incompetent Emerald Claw agents in Stormreach, and sailed near the location of the Lost Vault they sought.
Journeying into the jungle of Xen'drik, they encountered a harpy who informed them that Tzaryan Rrac of Darguun sought the same treasure as they did, and claimed it for his own. They dispatched both the harpy and a batch of gnolls working for the Darguun warlord with ease, and made their way to the enormous steps of the Lost Vault. The drow guards there proved ill-equipped to withstand the PCs' assault, and the remaining denizens of the Vault—an owlbear, a pair of ogres, a drow wizard with some Abyssal eviscerator allies, a water elemental, and even an erinyes—all fell before their might. They emerged from the Vault with a horde of lost treasure, including a glowing iron rod that Professor Karrna seemed particularly interested in bringing back to Sharn.
Upon emerging from the Vault, a black dragon intercepted the characters, spouting off cryptic remarks like, "The world is not ready for that which you bear," and, "If I perish, so do many, but you will be stopped." They defeated the dragon, then faced still more minions of Tzaryan Rrac: orcs, another ogre, and a displacer beast. It seems they have found the treasure that both the Emerald Claw and Tzaryan Rrac are desperate to claim. But what do the mysterious dragons of Eberron have to do with it?
So today they made their return trip as far as Stormreach. We started the day off with a bang, since I got my first Giants of Legend miniatures this week: a bulette. The fight went pretty well, considering that the characters were only 4th level—they would all have survived had it not been for the critical hit it got on Gwen's wizard, killing him outright. Gwen went off to make another character, while the others proceeded, fighting a trio of werewolves (who seemed to really hate Andy's shifter, even going so far as to call him a "mudblood," though I can't believe I used that word in a D&D game, and one of them taking two attacks of opportunity from other characters in order to go attack Andy). Then they returned to where they had left the launch from the ship they came in on.
Near the launch, they were attacked by a group of lizardfolk—5 ordinary lizardfolk and one rogue (the GoL mini). That was a pretty easy fight, but the pair of sea cats out on the water was tougher—especially since one of them was just attacking the boat. It turned out to be pretty exciting to see Andy's shifter hanging on to the edge of the larger ship while Professor Karrna tried to climb up him from the launch before the sea cats pulled it down under the water. All while the pirates up on the deck, who had captured their ship, were shooting scorching rays and crossbows all over the place. The pirate warmage died pretty quickly, his quasit ally fled the scene (after his cause fearmade Cam's warforged run like heck), and the pirates fell in short order... especially once the fear wore off. Gwen's new character had been working (rather unwillingly) with the pirates, but aided the PCs from the start of that encounter.
Back in Stormreach, lots of shopping took place, and the artificer made a lot of stuff, and we closed off the day with one more fight against the Emerald Claw. This time it was a party of four enemy agents: a cleric of the Blood of Vol, a barbarian/fighter (Axe Sister mini), a Daring Rogue, and a kalashtar wizard (with a striking resemblance to an elf of Evermeet). They went down pretty quickly, too, to my chagrin.
So that was the session. Here's a rundown of the players and characters:
Dave: Madivh, an Aerenal elf monk
Andy: Kalar, a shifter ranger/psychic warrior
Gwen: (originally) Te, a changeling wizard
(now) Phenn, a changeling cleric/transmuter (heading toward mystic theurge)
Jesse: Crael, a halfling (House Jorasco) druid, and Fergus, his dog
Steve: Jeb, a human artificer
Cam: Stratos, a warforged barbarian/fighter