Grisly Eye Games

Black Griffin Campaign Diary (Session 31)

This is the second campaign diary for my 5th Edition D&D playtest campaign, Black Griffin. Black Griffin is a play-by-chat game that runs every week on Roll20. The party are mercenaries in the employ of the infamous Company of the Black Griffin. Lowly even for sellswords, they have been placed on punishment duty as company fetches: bounty hunters charged with capture of deserters for trial.

The below is an edited log from of our in-character chat channel. We've added annotations so you can follow what's going on. Please enjoy!

Preview of Farm Map
Scene II: Lively Farm (Continued)

When we last left our nefarious band of fetches, they had investigated the Lively family's farm only to find it empty and in disarray. As they investigated they were set upon by a pack of wolves brought out of the deep woods by the ensuing war and easy pickings of fresh meat.

We join them as the party defend themselves.

Biron

looks up to the air and growls, readying his axe

Listen, something’s happening.

Ba’Raknul

pricks his ears up

Biron

steps out over the rubble of the tumbled down wall and readies himself

Biron spies a couple of wolves emerging from the trees, joined by another pair circling around the farm house. They run toward him, snarling viciously.

Meanwhile, Orin spies six more wolves moving towards the front of the house. Four start to tear at the front door and windows, sensing Ba within. The other two jump and scratch at the base of the tree, eager to get at Orin's perch.

Biron

snarls back at them

Biron swipes as the wolves leap toward him, but it jumps out the way. Clearly they are well versed in avoiding axe blows!

The pack seem particularly organised as they swarm around Biron. While one beast feints, another uses the distraction to bite deep into his forearms. The other three creatures take the opportunity to pull at the flesh of Biron's arms and legs for a total of 22 piercing damage.

They attempt to pull Biron down so they can get at his more vulnerable spots but he pulls free from their bites and remains standing.

Biron

roars in what seems like anger, the pain shredding through his body

Meanwhile the wolves at the door - so to speak - are making short work of the brittle wood and Ba can already see the muzzles of the creatures snapping and chomping through breaks. Another round and they'll be through!

Ba'Raknul

sees the wolves’ maws baying at the door of the farmhouse and whistles out to them

COME ON PUPS LETS PLAY!

Moves backwards towards Orin and then, focusing his ki, bursts strength into his legs. With two bounds he jumps to the roof of the house and then, loosing an arrow at one of wolves attacking Biron, leaps across to the barn roof.

Such a graceful move is rewarded with a shot so close it catches some of the fur off one of the ravening beasts, but doesn't pierce it.

Orin

shifts their bow and readied arrow to one hand, and climbs a little higher for safety. They then lean against the branch and release an arrow at the nastiest looking wolf at Biron's legs.

The arrow strikes the creature in the side, a heavy blow that sends it flying, landing it several feet away. It lies still on the ground.

Biron

With a blood curdling scream of anger, he reaches for his axe. But, looking over the wolves, Biron instead makes a mighty leap to the roof behind him.

With an evil smile he looks down at the dogs and pulls out a javelin, awaiting his next turn.

Ba'Raknul

seeing Biron’s giant leap calls out

You've got the makings of a monk in you! Now be careful guys, we can take them from here.

The wolves left behind aren't waiting around, they start jumping up at Biron.

Biron

in a low, hushed growled voice

Come get me, bitches.

It's tricky on four paws, but they're surprisingly nimble and nearly make it. You might not be so lucky next time.

The four wolves at the front of the farmhouse break through the door and follow Ba to the barn. They eagerly collect beneath Ba's perch, jumping up to get at his warm flesh.

Meanwhile, two wolves are circling Orin's tree, snarling and looking at them with hungry eyes.

Ba'Raknul

reaches into his backpack and pulls out a flask of oil

He sets it down and holds it with his foot then looses an arrow at one of the wolves trying to get at Biron.

Ba'Raknul catches a creature with an arrow in the hind quarters. Its whimpers are very gratifying.

Ba'Raknul

calls out Orin! Got any fire?

motions to the bottle of oil perched over the baying wolves

Orin

not registering Ba’s request over the adrenaline pumping through their veins, they draw another arrow and shoot at the biggest wolf jumping at Biron.

This arrow strikes a wolf right in its maw, sending it flying and embedding its head in the ground.

Orin

laughs and shouts If you two don't do something soon, you'll get rather far behind!

Biron

sees the two dead wolves on the floor and smiles, puts the javelin away, and then moves to hold his shield with two hands while waiting for next wolf to jump

roars as the wolf steps and slams his shield into the face of the wolf to throw him back down

The creature goes flying, landing painfully on its side, but it's soon back up on its feet snarling and jumping to get at Biron again.

Biron

gives a throaty laugh

Meanwhile, the wolves at the base of Ba's perch have discovered that the barn isn't as solid as it looks. They are busy digging at the foundations and pulling at the loose boards.

The barn is beginning to shake fearfully!

Ba'Raknul

seeing that Orin will not be providing the fire he looks down at the wolves, gets a torch, lights it and then one after another drops the flask slowly followed by the torch then moves to the other side of the structure.

The oil lights up the grass under a wolf, causing its under-carriage to catch fire. All four of the creatures stop what their doing and leap away, clearly fearful of the blaze!

Biron

sees the wolves react to the fire

Orin

nocks another arrow and, grinning, shoots it at the healthier of Biron's two wolves

This time the arrow slashes the creature’s bowels, sending guts onto the ground. The creature runs off into the woods, presumably to die alone.

Biron

looks at Orin and gives a single nod, then grunts

Ba'Raknul

laughs Orin, you're on fire.... GET IT!

Orin

Whoops! Fish in a barrel!

Biron

picks up a javelin and hurls it at the wolf that he threw off the roof

The javelin smashes the creature in the chest, sending ribs and blood flying!

Meanwhile, you all notice that the barn itself has caught light and is now ablaze! The fire appears to be worrying the wolves and as one they turn tail and disappear into the woods.

Then you hear a scream from within the barn; someone is inside!

Biron

looks up at the noise

Ba! Someone's inside!

Ba'Raknul

shouts to the group Deal with the fire... I'll find them.

He then rushes to the nearest hole or soft point in the roof and dives through.

Ba finds himself in the smoky interior of the burning barn. It's difficult to see anything at all.

Ba'Raknul

looks around calling out HELLO, COME TO ME IF YOU CAN!

He pulls his banana up to cover his face from smoke.

Ba stumbles about in the barn, but the black smoke is becoming impenetrable. You hear what sounds like coughing coming from somewhere in the rear of the barn but cannot say exactly where.

Ba'Raknul

heads in that direction best he can

Meanwhile, outside…

Biron

grunts and looks at the fire

jumps down and runs to the fire, looking for a way to quench it

calls to Orin Help Ba! I don’t know what to do with the fire.

Orin

swings out of the tree and dashes to the far side of the building, looking for another door

They find a small door at the rear of the barn, on the side farthest from the farmhouse.

Orin

swings it open and shouts Come to my voice! There's a way out, here!

Before Orin lies a small, unconscious form lying in the straw. It seems impossibly pale in the black smoke, almost entirely naked. There is something not quite right about the way it’s lying down.

Orin

grabs the form and drags it 15ft out of the barn

Ba finally finds his way to the same area of the barn, drawn by the light from outside.

Biron

runs around the building trying to hear where people are, axe ready if needed

The form at Orin’s feet appears to be the body of a boy, no more than 11 or 12 summers. Nearly unconscious, you can see why he looked odd: he's missing his right arm! It has been cut clean off at the shoulder, with almost butcher-like precision.

He coughs black smoke into the clear air, gulping fresh air down.

Biron

looks at the kid suspiciously and then turns to the burning barn

Ba'Raknul

runs up and scoops up the child

The boy is unconcious. In all your years on the battlefield you've not seen so precise a cut, even from many veteran surgeons. He needs to be taken to a physician soon.

Ba'Raknul

Biron do we think we can knock the burning bit down and away so the rest doesn’t go up, or is it too late?

Biron

looks at the building again

The barn is now completely alight, the roasting hot air beating against your brows.

Biron

grunts, visibly looking like he wants to go and fight the fire, but unsure how It’s most of the south half now. I can’t do that much.

Orin

pulls their spare shirt from their bag and makes a bandage from the whole thing

Do you think there are any medics left at camp?

Ba'Raknul

If there aren’t any we can watch him... but Agata knew these people, she'll want to know.

Orin

Let's get him to the house and clean him up, see if we can get some water in him, then?

Ba'Raknul

looks around If we can get some sticks and a jacket or something, we can make a stretcher to keep him better protected.

Biron

grunts disapprovingly but nods

walks up to the edge and listens to the wood around him, keeping an eye out for movement

The woods seems still, a breeze blows across the grass beyond. You see what looks like the foundations of what was once a tower and... something glints in the grass beyond. Something metal.

Biron

snarls On guard!

Ba'Raknul

snaps his head up and moves his hand to his longbow

What is it?

Biron

draws his might battleaxe

Orin, keep eye on me.

Orin

nods

Biron

crouches low but moves forwards quickly to the glint of metal, axe ready to swing at any given person

Orin

knocks an arrow, waiting

As you approach, you see blood is splattered about the grass but otherwise there is no sign of life. You see there is a weapon lying in the long grass, a longsword made of strange metal, black as though caked in soot. A metal that looks... familiar.

The blade itself is strange, crudely forged yet impossibly sharp. It bears a sigil on the hilt: a half-lidded eye.

Biron

narls and stares into the wood, looks for signs of figures that moved through here puts a cloth over the the sword and picks it up, then raises his hand to call Orin over

Orin

walks over to Biron, eyeing the woods warily

What are you doing? We should make sure the boy lives.

Biron

Shh. Look, a swords been left… with an etching. Help me look to see if we can find anything.

Orin

As if we haven't made enough noise already?

Biron

passes the sword to Orin and starts looking

Biron can see there are tracks leading into the thick woods to the north.

Orin

peers at the etching on the sword, wondering what it means

As Orin brings the sword closer they hear a strange sound, like a low hum that seems come from inside their head! They recoil slightly.

Orin

looks over their shoulder at Biron

Mean anything to you?

Ba'Raknul

starts putting a makeshift stretcher together

calls out If it’s not an immediate threat we need to go… with this we can go a bit faster and we'll keep a look out. The camp isn’t too far.

Biron

snarls in a hushed voice Too much land to cover.

looks and sniffs the air around

Orin

sighs We'll take this with us. Let's go.

walks away without looking after Biron

Biron

stands still, listening and staring intently into the forest ahead

Ba'Raknul

places the child carefully on the stretcher and gently ties him down

Okay if we take a side each and one on watch.. Orin, if you don’t mind being look out?

Orin

Of course

Ba'Raknul

gets in front of the stretcher and waits for Biron

Biron

snarls angrily and paces back to the group

under his breath Also a rotting kid to look after.

He picks up the other side of the stretcher but stays quiet at all times, now listening and on alert.

Orin

still with their arrow clenched against the grip of their bow, they glare at Biron

Ba'Raknul

grabbing the front end Okay Quick and quiet... Orin, give it a 25 ft lead.

Orin

nods and walks ahead toward the camp

You make your way through the dark woods back to camp, leaving the burning pyre of the Lively's farm behind you. The woods seem a good deal more sinister than on your trip here. You hear the sound of wolves howling in the distance as dusk falls!

Suddenly, the boy starts to shake violently!

Orin

whispers loudly from ahead What's wrong?

Ba'Raknul

calls out Hold a sec.

Biron

stops and pulls out his axe, looking around him

Ba has no idea as the boy starts to froth at the mouth! His eyes open and they roll up into his head.

Ba'Raknul

I don’t know what to do. We can just push on hopefully we make it.

lies him on his side so he doesn’t choke

Biron

stares at the kid, drops his axe, rolls him over, smacks on his back a couple times, and attempts to give him water

checks the boy for fever.

Biron's seen this before; a child suffered from shakes like these in his village. He prepares a crude remedy which soon stops the shakes, but the boy looks even paler than before... he does not have long!

Ba'Raknul

breathes a sigh of relief Lets go, quick.

Orin

nods and picks up the pace

Black Griffin Encampment Map Preview
Scene III: The Infirmary

The group makes it back to camp by nightfall and are waved through by the mercenaries on guard at the North Gate. They quickly make their way to the infirmary, which is manned this evening by Vicmas.

This impossibly short man bears what appears to be a monks tonsure on his head.

Orin

shouts A healer! Quick, a healer as ordered by Sergeant Agata!

Biron

grunts

Vicmas

A moment please.

bars the way, smiling with his mouth only, as he looks suspiciously at the boy.

My skills are for the company only. Is this boy a mercenary?

Orin

Sgt Agata will have your head if you don't heal him. We've had orders to retrieve him!

Biron

walks to the physician and speaks slowly with a cold voice

Deal with the kid, or I'll be dealing with you.

Ba'Raknul

He was attacked by unknown forces on our side of the line... We need him to find out information about who did this.

Vicmas

crosses his arms

I don't care if Captain Larke himself ordered it. No medical aid for non-fighters. Unless you pay!

Orin

You greedy vagrant!

Biron

grunts aggressively

Looks like he'll die. Better tell Agata.

Vicmas

smiles wanly

Biron

goes to walk off

Ba'Raknul

looks at Biron Can you fix the kid without the Quack?

Do either of you know enough about medicine? I'll deal with the medic and take what’s coming to me if you can save the kid.

Orin

their face begins to turn red and their mouth becomes a thin angry line

One last chance, weasel...

Biron

He’s dead. Seen it before.

Vicmas

Ten gold pieces or you can tip him in the lime pit with the rest of the dead.

Biron

If the medic doesn't do his job. The boy dies.

Orin

takes a step closer to Vicmas putting a hand on the dagger in their belt

How much?

Biron

looks at Orin Do you still have that sword?

Vicmas

smiles wide, his eyes serious

The medicines to heal him cost gold, medicines that would otherwise go to your brothers-and-sisters-in-arms.

Ba'Raknul

offers out 4gp and looks to the others

It’s either this or he becomes a new recruit and I don’t wanna force that on anyone.

Orin

Fuck the fuckers in arms.

takes another angry step forward

Biron

looks at the dying boy, then looks at the physician, then looks at Ba, then looks at Orin, then looks away

Orin

their knuckles have gone white over their dagger handle

Vicmas

smiles Language!

Biron

looks down and shakes his head, stepping to the healer

Orin, Ba. Leave us.

Orin

draws their dagger

What for?

Biron

stands tall and silent… he doesn’t look away

Leave us.

Ba'Raknul

smiles We're a team... We're all in.

Vicmas

finally stops smiling

Biron

in a cold voice to the others Leave us.

Vicmas

If you harm me, you'll have a court-martial to answer for!

Orin

shrugs

Ba'Raknul

steps back up to the door but doesn’t leave

Biron

his voice again gets darker Leave.

Ba'Raknul

faces out the door

Vicmas

looks coldly at the barbarian

And if I'm dead... so dies the boy. For certain!

Orin

You want coin so badly, I'll be happy to pour them on your grave. As many as you like.

Biron

stares at Vicmas dead in the eye with no emotion on his face

Vicmas

turns to Orin I'm under orders too, and these are mine!

Ba'Raknul

What if we owed you a favour?

Biron

with one arm grabs the Vicmas by the scruff his tunic and pulls him nose to nose

Ba’Raknul

runs to get between the two men

Vicmas

GUA--

Ba’Raknul

puts a hand on each of them Okay, I see now you’re a man of principle. We’ll pay. We don’t actually want to hurt you.

Vicmas

looking at Biron Is that so?

Ba’Raknul

looks Biron in the eye and gently pushes him away

Biron

steps back a little and growls

Orin

Are you joking?

Ba’Raknul

putting a hand in Orin’s way and looking serious

Stand down, private.

Orin

doesn’t move

Vicmas

puts his empty hand out toward Ba

Well?

Ba’Raknul

gives him the 10gp

You’ll heal the boy?

Vicmas

pockets the money and steps aside to adjust his shirt

He’ll receive the same treatment any of you would.

Orin

That’s not very comforting.

Vicmas

shrugs

To be continued...