Grisly Eye Games

Black Griffin Campaign Diary (Session 34)

This is the fifth 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!

Black Griffin Encampment Map Preview
Scene IV: Night 1 (Continued)

When we last left our low-level bounty hunters, they had been ambushed while on patrol. From the shadows, squealing assailants attack sending arrows flying at the party.

Biron

roars from the top of the fence, staring down.

booms DANGER!

The party feels a shudder as Biron starts to rage out, as though they were all raging themselves. Arrows continue to shoot out of the shadows at Ba and Biron, but they narrowly dodge out of the way. The party sees three small... creatures with pale skin dodging through the shadows between the tents.

Ba'Raknul

locks eyes on the creatures, draws his spear, and rushes forward.

Biron

roars again and stares out at the creatures running.

As Ba closes the distance he sees something cowering before him. With white worm-like flesh, it’s as small as a child, yet it has animal-like ears, wears a leather jerkin, and wields a bow and arrow. It squeals as his kick lands into its leg with an audible crack.

Ba'Raknul

spins low and kicks out again, propping himself down low using the spear and torch as protection.

Ba sends the creature flying into a nearby tent. It doesn't appear to be moving anymore.

Orin

squints at the shapes moving about but still can't see clearly enough to be satisfied. They hold fast, waiting for Ba'Raknul to attack another one.

Biron

flies off the top of the fence with a mighty leap to charge down one of the pale pig creatures, roaring the whole time. He takes out his newly acquired sword for the fight.

The strange blade seems to hand in Biron’s hand. He feels the draining effect as it sucks the life force out of him, but also the strange, empty power it replaces it with.

As he runs screaming up to another of the small creatures, he catches the glimpse of hoof-like hands drawing a small shortsword. It's hard to tell in the dim light.

Despite its inhuman appearance, its flesh cuts just like human flesh and the creature squeals, turning its tiny, pig-like snout toward Biron and glaring at him with inhuman hatred.

Biron’s swing nicks the creatures face, opening a gash along its snout, but not injuring it fatally.

Biron

glares with huge eyes toward the pig creature while roaring at it.

At that it turns, with its compatriots, evades Biron and Ba swinging after them and runs into the shadows with inhuman nimbleness.

Orin

reacts quickly, aiming an arrow at the creature Biron injured.

Orin’s arrow was crafted well and strikes true, hitting a creature square between the shoulder blades and sending it flying. With that the party sees two other small creatures sprinting with inhuman speed into the warren of tents.

However, at that moment they hear a tremendous creaking sound!

The tower closest to them begins to list, you can hear the shouts of the mercenaries within it. For a moment it seems to hold... but then gravity asserts its will and the tower plummets towards them! Ba'Raknul and Biron manage to roll out of the way, but Orin is distracted by their quarry and tarries a moment too long.

A splintered strut slams into Orin’s leg, sharp pain flashing across the left side of their body.

Biron

roars in anger!

Get them!

Ba'Raknul

pulls the flame prepared arrow out of his bag, lights it on the torch, and fires it straight into the air.

The arrow flies up over the barricade and lands somewhere in the cleared ground around the camp. Biron hears shouts from the other towers.

Ba'Raknul

shouting at Biron Chase them down! We won’t be far behind!

He moves to Orin to check on them.

Ba examines Orin's leg: it is bruised and will be colourful come the morn, but they are okay and seem capable of standing up.

Orin pushes themself up, only giving their bow a short look over before drawing another arrow and firing at another of the creatures.

A true archer, Orin lines their arrow up just so... to strike one of the fleeing creatures! They see it go down hard.

Biron

charges forth to where the swine creatures went, yelling as he goes.

The fallen tower is mostly in one piece, with many broken struts, injured, groaning archers and supports lying everywhere.

Biron

runs, placing his sword back into its sheath, and uses his whole body to push forward.

Biron feels the strange and powerful drain leave him as he sheaths the blasphemous sword.

Biron

charges on ahead trying to keep up with the creatures.

shouting "DANGER! KILL THE INTRUDERS!"

Biron runs with impressive speed, tents whipping past him as he keeps the small creature in sight. He turns a corner and almost catches it... before it slips from his grasp and runs off into the shadows of the tents. And somehow he loses sight of it completely!

All about the party men are roused from their slumber, grumbling and calling out "What goes there?", "What is the fuss?", and "Shut the fuck up!"

Biron

searches for traces of the swine folk, lighting a torch.

Ba'Raknul

looks down at Orin.

Make sure we get one of those bodies for proof. They have a habit of disappearing.

He makes a small prayer motion before channeling Ki into his legs and sprinting off, dirt exploding under foot, straight past Biron and over any obstacle in his way to try cutting the creatures off.

passing Biron Keep shouting!

Apart from some very grumpy mercenaries, Ba sees nothing suspicious.

Orin

jogs into the tents where the creatures fell and grabs one of them, dragging it out into the open near the fallen tower.

Orin cannot quite believe what they see before them: a small creature, a pig really. It bears strange armor and a vicious sword made of the same, strange metal of Biron's blade!

Orin

searches the pig-creature for anything informative.

The creature is strange... it looks like a pig dressed as a man, but somehow a pig wielding a small scimitar and shortbow. Its skin has the rubbery, pinkish quality of a pig, yet it bears what appears to be a face painted white... some kind of tribal symbol perhaps?

And its weapons are all made from the same strange blackened steel of Biron's mysterious sword. What is more, its belt buckle bears the same symbol of a half-lidded eye.

Meanwhile, among the tents…

Biron

snarls and searches for tracks or markings or traces of these infiltrators.

With a hunter's intuition Biron puts together the creatures speed, distance of travel, and finds a rough area where he thinks it would be lurking.

He turns over several tents, revealing several grumpy veteran mercenaries throwing curses and threats at him.

It's only as he turns over a blanket that seems to be left idly on the ground near a campfire does he find the creature.

It squeals at Biron!

Biron

makes a larger roar while standing over it.

IT’S HERE!

It slashes at Biron, cutting into his shins before racing off into the tents again... before running right into Ba!

Biron

wails at the short sharp pain and shouts after the creature in anger.

Ba'Raknul

shouting What in the gods? DANGER!

He tries to grab hold of the creature, then focuses again and brings his knee up twice to its face.

Ba grabs the creature and it squeals horribly, squirming in his grasp. The blow bloodies its face, splattering Ba’s knees with black ichor.

Biron

stares up towards the weird swine creature, a grim smile curled on his face.

He growls and moves to the creature and punches it to make it unconscious.

Puny beast.

The creature squirms out of the reach of Biron’s blow, he lands the hit on Ba instead, only pulling back at the last minute so as to not cause any real damage.

The creature squirms and squirms, and Ba fumbles, allowing the creature to drop to the ground. As soon as its free it darts back into the warren of tents.

Ba'Raknul

chases after the creature.

Nimble Ba easily catches up with it.

Ba'Raknul

swings a big knockout roundhouse punch to the creature.

With a sharp crack Ba knocks the creature out cold!

Ba'Raknul

moves quickly to secure the creature, taking it into custody and searching it for anything on its person.

The pig beast bears familiar symbols and weapons, as well as bearing a face painted white. As well as a pouch containing 12 silver pieces. These also bear the eerie symbol of the half-lidded eye as borne by Biron's sword.

Ba'Raknul

takes all of them and puts them in his bag together to show to Agata

Biron

picks up the other dagger.

He grunts.

A crowd of mercenaries are gathering around the tower. One turns to Orin.

Soldier

What happened here?

Orin

We were attacked. We need more people on guard. These creatures knocked down the tower for a reason.

They remove the bow and sword from the pig-like corpse as well as the creature's belt buckle, then turn to the fallen archers.

Several men and women start attending to the injured, carrying them off to the Infirmary. But now this part of the barricade is un-defended from attack.

Ba'Raknul

puts the unconscious creature over his shoulder. He tries to hide the face and moves towards Biron.

Make sure no one sees the corpses.

He starts trying to collect the bodies stealthily while the soldiers talk to Orin.

Biron

grunts and moves.

Ba collects the four corpses from where the party left them without anyone noticing in the chaos. Although, already many mercenaries are going back to sleep.

Ba'Raknul

catches the party’s eyes, once he has the bodies, and mouths "AGATA" silently before heading directly to her tent quickly and quietly.

Orin

searches the fallen tower for signs of how it was done.

Orin can clearly see where the struts were being hacked away, at the two feet level... just about arm height for the small creatures they killed.

Biron

meets up with Orin.

in a low voice We've still got patrol.

He stares at all the people around, remembering there are still infiltrators in the camp.

Orin

nods at Biron. We can't leave this position unattended.

Biron

searches the crowd for anyone that looks like they were involved.

It's not.

Orin

gestures to another pair of sleepy mercs wander off to their tent.

Any minute now.

Nothing seems untoward as far as Biron can tell. It’s much as expected from a crowd of veteran mercenaries wakened from their drunken slumber.

A few company engineers are already gathering to assess the damage and discussing plans to start construction of a new tower the next day.

Biron

growls and steps forward in front of some privates.

You. Keep this place guarded until secure. We are still on patrol.

The privates grumble, but comply.

Biron

grunts, then moves back to Orin.

We need to patrol.

Orin

We need to report what happened.

Ba'Raknul

steps slightly out the shadows.

Let's continue patrol until we're near Agata's tent. If we abandon our post something else could happen... The towers have already been put on alert.

If we run into Loth or Agata, we get their attention.

Orin:

What'll we do with the pigs?

Ba'Raknul

shrugs.

I'll carry them, you'll just have to cover me.

I can drop them if it gets really hairy.

Biron

grunts and rolls eyes.

Orin

sighs.

Okay.

The party proceeds with their patrol, which continues around the perimeter quite without event. As they pass the fetches’ camp on the last circuit of the night, they spy lamplight coming from Agata's tent.

Ba'Raknul

sees the light and nods his head.

Orin, can you go see if she's alone and if we can have a moment?

He then finds a place in the shadows to hide and wait.

Orin

nods.

Biron

stops a moment and looks.

He grunts and follows Orin.

He keeps a little distance from them and instead of entering Agata’s tent he moves slightly around it to the back where the rip was originally made. He tries to keep his footsteps light to not get noticed.

Biron sees the tear in the tent has since been hastily repaired with the usual lack-lustre skill that characterises Griffin Company.

Orin can hear a low voice talking from the tent, not enough to make out the words but its definitely Agata speaking.

Orin

steps quietly and leans into the tent to listen.

They step quietly indeed.

Agata

We can only assume they know about the safe houses in Dismas and our agents in Old Town.

We'll have to burn the lot.

She sighs heavily.

There is further discussion about possible missions for fetches, not including your team. Some being sent across the border into Commonwealth territory.

Orin

leans back again, clears their throat, and scratches at the tent's door.

Agata?

There is a pause and a rustling of papers...

Agata

You may enter, private.

Orin

enters and bows their head a little.

Orin enters the tent to find Agata bent over her table, with Loth, as always, hovering nearby.

Orin

Sorry to disturb, but I assume you heard the noise earlier? We caught some infiltrators.

They pull out the belt buckle.

They bore this mark.

Agata

raises an eyebrow.

Never seen it before in my life, private.

What was all that commotion?

Biron

walks around the tent to listen to Orin.

To be continued...