Monday, June 21, 2021


   We started this session in May and finished it over Father's day weekend, which just passed.

  The Players:

  Jack- Athanasius, 6th level Cleric

  Jennifer- Ingrid, 6th level fighter

  Alex- Seeker, 8th level thief

  Sam- Graystar, 6th level wizard

  Nick- Akira, the Man with the Eldritch Fists, 6th level monk

  Theo- Sir Dread, 5th level Fighter (hologram of his first character)

  Henchmen- only 6, but includes a paladin, a monk, and a 6th level Religious Brother

The Setup:

The Company of the Dark Moon has been tasked with occupying Whitehill's Castle to prevent it from falling into enemy hands and to begin patrolling the wild, lawless areas south of the capitol city. There had been scattered settlements in the past, but in the time since the death of Whitehill and the Scouring of the Treacher's Way more people have moved into thearea. 

  The Company only patrols along the road that stretches from the Fords of the White River to the ruins of Pirateport and within about 8-10 miles of the fortress proper. Scouts and rumors reported that there was a witch in the areas south of the road and west of the patrols and that, worse, livestock and people were starting to vanish in the same area. A group of Company members saddles up and set out


  The growth of small 2-3 family thorps with rough palisades in the area startled the PCs a little bit. There were many reasons: the open areas near the Briars were, well - near the Briars; the lands around Wyvern Keep were first in line if the orcs ever went to war again; the places near Eastport were also subject to raids and war. With the Company and Whitehill's Castle the area was seen as a great place for 2nd and 3rd sons to get a plot of land large enough to live well.

  The party spent the night in the barn of a young family (the religious brother baptized their newborn daughter) and learned that the farmer had seen the threats - dragons! Not very big and obviously not very old, a pair of red dragons were starting to prey on the new locals.

  The big shock was finding the witch. She was a skilled hedge mage! She and her husband, a retired city guard, had settled here in hopes of a living as the local wise woman. The shock was they had moved into one of the lairs of the Red Maiden! It was a stone house with the outside carved and painted to look like a gingerbread house. With the Red Maiden's illusions it must have been a deadly place for wanderers.

  While speaking with the pair Athanasius checked for magic and the party soon realized that the husband of the hedge mage was charmed! With a Dispel and some questioning he'd been surprised in the forest and one of the dragons had charmed him. When he had gone for water he had warned the dragons of adventurers via a lantern. The party and the couple fled for their lives.

  They were able to evade the pair of dragons, but the stone hut of the Red Maiden was destroyed. The couple left for Adrian to rethink and the party went on.

  Soon they found the lair, another old bolt-hole of the Red Maiden., in the Graywal Mountains. The entrance was a 60' diameter tunnel stretching 300'+ into the granite then opening into an enormous cavern divided into two sections - the front section was level with the tunnel, the rear half was essentially a massive ledge 180' up a steep slope. In the ceiling's highest point was a natural gas vent that was alight, fulling the entire space with an eerie, dim, flickering, bluish light.

  Graystar's Clairvoyance spell confirmed that both dragons were asleep! The party carefully and quietly crept into the cavern. Akira clambered up the sloped and pulled the rest up with ropes. The two dragons, each with a separate sleeping hoard, were about 200' from each other, the largest in the back. The plan was to attempt to kill the small one in its sleep and then deal with the larger, hoping the loss of the smaller would make it easier to parley or subdue.

  The party attacked and through planning and the luck killed the first one in it's sleep. Carefully following all the AD&D 1e rules, the other remained snoozing. They quietly shuffled over to the bigger one and - also killed it in one round before it awoke, a stunning feat. Theo got a round of applause because his first two combat rolls were both 19's and his first two damage rolls were 1 off max and then max damage.

  The party really worked hard and the encounter was much more intense than this summary can convey including the monk rolling a 02 for danger sense, barely avoiding setting off an Alarm spell that would have awoken the big dragon when the party was too far away to charge and too close to flee.

The Loot:

  The gold and such was good, but a bit below what was expected. The magic items were a bit better and included a Cube of Force! The treasure had a surprising number of traps and tricks and the party decided to carefully examine the cavern, eventually finding a large (10' x 12') secret door that opened to a tunnel heading south-southwest along the mountains. The door had the entrance to Skull Mountain on the inner face.

  There was also a huge scroll, the size of a king mattress, to the dragons from their sire, the dragon of Caerfadch Daw, giving them the rules he expected them to follow. The points that stuck out to the PCs were that he got all gnomes and that the two dragons were to 'obey the treaty with the men from Skull Tunnel'.

  When Sam had Graystar read the letter he specifically folded up the bottom of the scroll and said,

"I will not read the signature, at all."

He then gave it to Athanasius who said,

"You know what? I cast Dispel Magic on it."

  My notes on the scroll? 'Anyone reading the signature must save vs Spell or be Charmed by Tyraxus unless the scroll is Dispelled.'

  That's right, they dodged it. They also learned that Tyraxus, the dragon from Caerfadch Daw, is a powerful mage, too.


  Then, in a bit I did not expect, Athanasius and Ingrid used spells and potions to fly up to and through the jet of fire in the ceiling - and found a tunnel. A tunnel I hid in 1983 and no one else has ever found. Following it they eventually entered a room high on the cliffs of the mountain they were in. The room was a semaphore station with one set aimed to and from the closest island in the Demon's Tears, aother aimed at a mountain further west, and the third aimed at the ferry crossing where the Adrian and Freshet Rivers meet.


  Every character and henchman leveled up, many to the edge of domain play. This led to a wonderful 3 hours talk over dinner about the domain game, the frontier of Seaward, Seaward's history, and PC plans that I wish I had recorded as a podcast. 

  The summary, though, is that the players expect 2-5 characters to enter the domain game within the year and are starting to prepare for that level of play


  1. So amazing to have players finding secrets so old! These guys are on their game!

  2. I really love this stories Rick. Your table, your game, your family... All is amazing.

    Cheers to your players and their soon-to-be lords PC's!