Over the weekend I went down to Alexandria to play games as part of the D&D Weekend my friends get together for every year. This is how the game I played in went down:
Characters. Fillian Frost (human rogue), Sterling (human fighter), ZhaoWei (eladrin warlock), Gunther (gnome barbarian), Wolfric (half-elf paladin), Ivy (aasimar cleric).
Events. After attending the funeral of a character we met last time--and did not murder ourselves, we asked--we were approached by a cleric who told us about a series of villages that had been raided down the coast...apparently by a ship full of ghost pirates. Of course we agreed to investigate.
We talked to a madman that claimed to have seen red eyes during one of the attacks. We also talked to a ludicrously named gnome healer named Filistrum Wundercundoodle who had some "toe bones" from the "ghost pirates."
"Filtrum Wundercumdoodle, your shop has a wonderful aroma. Now, let's talk about bones." - Ivy Valerio
The fact that the bones had some sort of adhesive glue on them led us to believe that a Scooby Doo situation was afoot.
And then, side quests. A talking squirrel directed ZhaoWei to a woodland glade where he was told that something was messing with the weather patterns. Sterling and Gunther were given a silver axe in the cemetery by a half-orc who warned them of demonic cult activity. Ivy was invited to a late-night dinner and was asked to keep an eye out for a delayed merchant.
Encounters on the way! We found the delayed merchant, fixed his broken axle, and ate his stew. We got caught between a dire wolf and her cubs, but Gunther managed to talk her out of eating us.
We met up with a ferryman who told us that there was nothing interesting about the island village he lived in, so of course we wanted to go there. It was a suspicious shit hole. A little orphan girl asked us to take her with us when we left. A bunch of old women threatened to poison us. The guy we were hoping to get information from told us that a dracolich was responsible for the attacks, but he was clearly lying and wouldn't admit it even after we escalated from good cop/bad cop to bad cop/worse cop.
The villagers told us that no one comes back from the forest, so we explored it and found their demon cult cave, complete with sacrificial altar, evil dagger, and books that indicated that the villagers had sold their souls to Tiamat. Since the village was full of hovels, it looked like they got ripped off. On the way back we fought a demon made of sagging skin.
Back in the village, a storm had hit. We checked out the smokehouse, where dubious meat was hanging. We took refuge in the barn, where Gunther talked to the goats--who were unhelpful. Of course, a miscreant with a crowbar and his "skeleton pirate" pals showed up to fuck with us, but we killed them handily. (And probably blew too many resources doing so.) The ghost pirate was actually just a kobold in a costume.
Then, we saw the fake ghost ship...rammed by a real ghost ship. Our Scooby Doo situation had gone meta. We commandeered a boat and rowed out to the melee. Our plan was to fight the real ghost pirates first, then clear out the kobolds. Things looked good for us at first, but then we had at least three solid turns of bad rolls on our side. Things were looking dire. Gunther was knocked out, Fillian's player fell asleep, the fake pirates' cleric leader tried to make off with our boat, all of us were low on hit points and we were out of spells.
We retreated to the boat and let the ghost pirates take their revenge on the villagers.