Campaign Diary | Session 19
Session 19: Falling Leaves
This session is all about getting them to Seyrine and trying out a combat encounter to test balancing with the new party of three. I also want to introduce them to a centaur herd and another NPC who can give them more information on the current climate of Seyrine and the Dracken Wood. I also want to do a bit of a lore drop about Dosmyrr’s previous invasion of Bremron.
The party heads deeper into the Dracken Wood, following an illuminating conversation with Mr. Hats. As the Dracken Wood darkens, the party draws closer to the Kith they have been tracking. The hint of blood in the air has them on guard and prepares them for the massacre they find. The Kith has been slaughtered while investigating the party is assaulted by Redcaps. Dispatching their ambushers, they discover a broken arrow made of black wood. Unable to uncover more, the party settles down for a rest and pushes on in their journey the following day. The interests of the Druid is piqued when the party hears the breathing of a slumbering Cave Bear. His attempts to befriend the bear fail when the cleric attacks it in an effort to protect the Druid. This incident is witnessed by a Wood Elf who intervenes and gives the party a stern talking to about following the ways of the woods or they would not be welcome in the Dracken wood for long.
I got a little off track in this session. Things started out alright with them getting to the combat encounter as planned. They predictably crushed it. The only snafu was when the human cleric wanted to cast spirit guardians but couldn’t as he had no way of differentiating friend from foe as it was the night time in a dense forest and they had no light source. This peeved the cleric abit but he was able to cast it the next round, minor issue. The trouble started when I began deviating from the plan. The Druid character had been hinting the entire game that he wanted to find new wild shape. In my game, we use the unearthed arcana ruleset were Druids need to study an animal before they can turn into it. Wanting to give the Druid a bone, had them hear a Giant bear sleeping in a cave beneath a tree. The Druid excited transforms into a bear and rushes in. This was not a well thought out plan. He wakes the bear up which proceeds to attack him, he in his words goes beta. Attempting to be submissive and placate the bear. Some poor rolls mean that is not going so well. Now I never wanted this to be a combat encounter, I was initially trying to keep the other players out of it and give the druid his moment. I failed at that and in hindsight, I should have tried harder. The Cleric decided to run into the cave after hearing the bear and large creatures moving around. Seeing the cave bear attacking the Druid, he decides to shoot the cave bear. This naturally enrages the bear and greatly reduces the druids’ chances of interacting with the bear. A cave bear is a CR 2 creature, no match for 3 level sixes. They almost kill it in a single round of combat. In an effort to save the cave bear, can’t have the Druid killing a woodland creature, I had a Wood Elf appear and rush in to calm the cave bear and chastise the players for bothering it and upsetting the woods. The whole thing felt cheap and kinda a let down for me and the druid. The Cleric, perhaps not trying to steal the limelight, wasn’t willing to just wait and let the druid have a moment. An upsetting turn of events, on a positive note they should make it to Seyrine next session.