Vesk is dead, the NPCs are firing at the Deathspider from a distance. The Dwarves have been all but beaten.
Our Heroes are on the Neogi ship, moving quickly through its innards to find the Dwarven families and hopefully get some good out of this situation.
My exact notes for this session are as follows:
-Hauberk, Leo, and Amalia are on the Deathspider.
-Vesk is Dead (R.I.P.)
-The crew has stopped firing
-The Dwarves are taking back their ship
-Gargax takes the death hard.
Inside the ship are five humanoid slaves, a Gazer slave, and a Giant Badger slave. A Neogi is hooking up families to the Lifejammer Helm.
If the party saves the people, the Dwarves are happy to send two Dwarven guards to protect them till they arrive at the Rock of Braal.
947 Copper, 9,271 Silver, 249 Gold, 2 lute (35 gp), 2 disguise kit (25 gp), 6 lbs. of copper trade bars (3 gp), 1 set of navigator’s tools (25 gp), 6 green garnet worth 100 gp each,
Medallion of thoughts, Eyes of charming, +1 Wand of the War Mage
15 Days Pass
I A small asteroid with a few dead bodies on it flies off in the distance and seems to have a few severed heads floating around it. When a ship gets near, the floating heads unfurl their wings and four Vargouille attack!
13 Days Pass
J A Human “Merchant” ship is actually an Ambush. The “Merchants” even have an enslaved Flail Snail! Eight Bandits and a Flail Snail.
1,717 Copper, 766 Silver, 21 Gold, 4 bottle(s) of fine wine (40 gp), 2 moonstone worth 50 gp each, 4 malachite worth 10 gp each, Gem of brightness
3 Days Pass
K The Party arrives at the Rock of Braal
A big theme for todays session truly is “Will they make it to the Rock of Braal?”
I think they will, and so I’ve prepped a bit by reading the Rock of Bral guide book from 2e, and thinking about what I should focus on for each character.
- Leo wants to find some way to hide, probably using some sort of magic item.
- Amalia wants to lay low as well, but in a more subtle way, so she’s going to dye her hair and change up her looks that way.
- Hauberk will probably want to know more about Zelligar and Roghan, as he used to read about them.
- Jake’s new character is gonna be a wild card, so I prepped a few other things just in case.
The rest I’ll have to improv until I get a better idea of what their next goal is. The majority of my actual plot is going to come out here in Bral, but I don’t want to spoil any of that, so I’ll be coy for now and get on with the summary.
We began with a man named Jason Steel. He’s staring blankly at a metal wall, sick to his stomach, and locked into a chair. This is a Lifejammer, a helm that steals the Hitpoints of creatures to fuel the ship’s momentum. Jason starts his life with a Death Save, and was already at 1/4th of his Hit Points, because that’s how a Lifejammer works.
Kili is startled by this and yells “For real?!”
I do so love to be the DM
What’s left of the party moves quickly into the ship, Leo and Hauberk explaining to Amalia what happened. Amalia gets angry and blasts a door with an Eldritch Blast. The door buckles in, and she, furiously, leads the way.
They arrive in a major chamber of the Neogi ship. Inside are cages to the west, butchery tables to the east, and in the center are four people strapped down to Lifejammer helms. Jason, A dwarven woman, a dwarven man, and a Neogi is attempting to lock a Dwarven child into the final one.
In the east is a Giant Badger feasting on the remains of some poor soul. Above it all is a Gazer, charmed into slavery by the Neogi. The Gazer notices the party. Roll for initiative.
The battle is quick, with the Gazer catching Hauberk and Amalia, then Hauberk and Leo with it’s Fear and Charm rays. Between Hauberk and Leo, the Neogi is taken care of. Then Amalia catches the Gazer in the middle of a shatter, and it pops like a balloon. Hauberk goes to attack the Giant Badger, but since the Neogi was dead, it had no reason to stay, and ran.
(There was one beautiful moment where Leo told the scared Dwarven child to play dead, because it had worked for him before. This is a callback to the time the party lost very badly to some Pirates in session 3. Before I started doing the summaries.)
After the fight, Leo heads over to the cages, Amalia starts unlocking folks hooked up to the Lifejammers, and Hauberk keeps an eye on everything.
Leo finds that there are five people in the cages, and calls to them to wake up. Only two humans wake up, and so he guides them out. The remaining three Dwarves (an elder and two kids) had previously succumbed to the terrible conditions.
The civilians are saved, one of which being Jake’s new character Jason Steel. Jason offers to help however he can, and then Hauberk notices a noise coming down the hall they arrived from. The Umber Hulk from before, the one Vesk was fighting, is stomping down the hall, holding the gutted remains of the Giant Badger. Hauberk warns the others.
Amalia tells the civilians to stay back, and the elder Dwarf and Human woman stand in front of the rest of their folk, in order to protect them if they have to. Hauberk races to meet the Umber Hulk in the hallway, and they roll for initiative.
- Jason starts it all off with a Snillocs Snowball Swarm, revealing that he is a wizard.
- Hauberk gets a couple good licks in, but ultimately has a hard time with this fight, not hitting as much as he would like.
- Leo races down the hall to throw darts or slash with his swords, but Jason actually ends up using Expeditious Retreat in order to run forwards, past Leo and towards the Umber Hulk, then attempts a Lightning Lure. It doesn’t work out as well.
- Amalia gets in a few Eldritch Blasts from where she is, and in a fantastic shot, shears the head of the Umber Hulk right off.
The fight is a win, and the players saved the day. They head back to the front of the Neogi ship, and meet up with the remaining Dwarves. The Cleric, named Rorrick, thanks them, and exchanges are had. In the end, the Dwarves give Vesk a Dwarven-made Coffin to be kept in, and offer to send two Dwarven Guards with the party till they get to Bral.
Captain Amalia, still reeling from the death of her Crewmate, tells him it isn’t necessary, while she goes to loot the ship with Gibben, Zilly, Jason, and Leo.
Gargax is taking Vesks death not well at all, repeatedly trying to heal him, then just sobbing. Hauberk heads over and sadly tells Vesk “You liar, you told me you had him.” In a fantastic little bit of RP from Matt.
The loot the party gets matches the loot in the Neogi Deathspider section of the prep, so I won’t copy/paste it here. Amalia gives the Medallion to Hauberk, citing that they were the most trustworthy among them. She also gives Leo the Eyes, warning that if he ever uses them on her, she’d kill him. She keeps the Wand for herself, and goes to sit in her chair by the helm, talking to Oolu about everything.
The entire crew opens up the final cask of Vesks homemade ale, called “The Last Leshraw”, and they down it while doing a toast. Nobody really speaks, but the care is there. Jason feels a bit awkward but says his piece.
The party heads off into Wildspace, determined to get to Bral as quick as they can. During downtime, Hauberk discusses creating a new body with Gibben, so that they can start fixing Memphis’s soul, to plug it back into his old body, and also so that Hauberk has a body for fitting for who they are, not all religious and clerical.
Jason discusses with Hauberk, Gargax, Leo, and Zilly what his whole deal is. He says he’s a professional “Siege Cross” player. A sport that is much like Rugby, but uses a cannonball covered in cloth and leather. It’s a game of risk, a game of skill, and a game of immense and obtuse love by various races. (Fun Fact: Jake sent me rules for this game, and now I know that I just gotta run a session where they play it.)
The party spies a small asteroid where I had set up the Vargouille, but smartly avoid it.
They’re also approached by a ship looking to trade. When they realize most of the folks on that ship are armed, and there is a screaming animal on their side they try to run. The ship fires grappling hooks and catches them however, but the fight is over very fast.
Eight pirates and a slave Flail Snail turn very quickly into one survivor and a Flail Snail. Hauberk and Gargax heal the Snail, and name him Arnold. A few good Animal Handling checks allow them to bring him aboard, and since he was treated 100% better on their ship than on the Pirates, he’s here to stay.
Amalia and Leo question the survivor, and as an interrogation tactic, call him various wrong male names while doing it. It’s hilarious, and Kili and Chris make a great duo. Through a journal and some info from the survivor, they realize that these guys were hired by the Lightway Company, same as they were. Also same as everybody they ran into on Doom, as far as they knew. Seems the Lightway Company is up to something.
They finally make it to Bral, in all its glory. I’ll discuss some of the changes I’ve made to Bral next diary, but they really aren’t very immense.
The crew, specifically Oolu, asks for their pay, and Amalia realizes her people won’t be working for free. She hands out 500 GP to everyone, including the players, and they all go off to get business done.
The party, including Jason, head off to clean up. They end up grabbing a shared bath, and given that none of them are very coy with their bodies, talk the future while cleaning.
- Amalia is interested in a jewelry store here, with enough loot to sustain them for a long time if they could nab it.
- They discuss that Leo is wanted, and they might have to figure out how to get him un-wanted. Amalia has a contact that could help with this.
- Jason wants to catch a game of Siege Cross, as well as check out the Library.
- Leo has to mail something to his mother.
- Hauberk, being a Cavalier, is going to buy a saddle and barding to ride the Flail Snail Arnold into battle. As you do.
And so we end our session this week with a bath, and planning. This gives me plenty of time to plot out all sorts of hooks and adventures. The party will most likely be in Bral for a good amount of time, and I’ve got a good amount of stuff planned for it all.
What I learned
The fight in the beginning was a real blast to run, with a tense-ness of being in enemy territory, mixed with the fury of folks who had lost their friend. It was played out well, and having some folks be unable to be saved put a dour mood on the party. This was great, so the sensory and detail focused stuff really popped out.
The travelling events and dialogues were great, as always, the NPCs and the players have great relationships and discussions. There was a fantastic little dialogue between Chirp and Hauberk, where Chirp was asking what they would do when all their friends died like Vesk. They both vowed they would protect them as long as they could.
The main thing I should have kept in mind was that damn Flail Snail. I should have realized the characters would attempt to get at it, I was fine with them having it as a pet, but now Hauberk wants to ride it! I love the idea, do not get me wrong, but that’s a powerful little thing to allow him to have. Who knows, could lead to a good time.
It was a great week this week, and next week is gonna be even better. The next two weeks might be a bit weird, as we will have one player missing each one, but we’ll try and keep playing anyway, with fun side adventures or stories in Bral.
Spelljammer Summaries is a simple Campaign Diary article series about my time running a 5e Spelljammer game. It is filled with many details and lore about Spelljammer, with a good portion of my own homebrew details.
If you have any more questions about how to run your own Spelljammer game, Contact me! I’ll be happy to share any personal resources I use.
Here are a few resources from across the web that got me started!