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D&D 5E Cormyr Griffons - Forgotten Realms D&D 5e campaign



I'm the Dungeon Master on a campaign that has been running for a fairly long time now: The Cormyr Griffons.

We play every other week and are currently in session 60+.

I just made this thread to post playthroughs and other stuff from the campaign - feel free to comment.

General info:
  • The characters are level 9 and are a mixed bunch of halv-elves, elves, gnomes & halflings. There are no humans in the group.
  • They have been involved in a worldspanning plot to turn Faerûn into a undead wasteland. Currently they just struck a hard blow against their BBEG.
  • Players are 40+; we've known each other for a long time. Credentials are a uni professor, a music teacher, a game designer, a game writer, a selvpublishing RPG-writer and more...
  • Around 10+ people have played in the campaign; people have left for a variety of different reasons (mostly real life obligations gettting in the way). We're currently 4 active players and me.
  • We're in Denmark.


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Session: "Home, Sweet Home"
Play Date: 2020-11-18

For reference, I use Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the DMsGuild supplement Renizens Of Trollskull Alley:

I can highly recommend Residents Of Trollskull Alley; it creates a very good community in the alley and have the potential for a lot of conflict (conflict = story).

The players bought Trollskull Manor from Volo a while back and are paying of on the IOU – 1000GP/Month. While they still owe him money, he gets free service at the inn, which has turned Trollskull Manor to his new favorite inn. He hangs out with Renaer Neverember a lot.

The inn is run by Sibylla (Fighter 5) and with waitress Savira Romero does the tables. The two women share a room at the Inn with Savira’s son Hugo. The kitchen is run by the deep gnome Firble (a PC from a player, that are taking a break from the campaign due to health reasons).

The young adult gold dragon Caerleon lived in the turret, when they moved in; they came to an agreement with it and it regularly delivers freshly killed venison from its nocturnal hunting forays into the countryside.

The ghost Lif is still at the Inn. He lived at the inn with his elven wife and their son; owning and running the inn was his project to prove to his wife’s father that the half-elf deserved his daughter’s hand. He succeeded. However, the Zhentarim had a secret meeting room in the basement and wanted him to pay protection money. He refused, so they poisoned the food at the inn – just enough to get people sick, but not enough to kill them. Unfortunately, Lif’s son ate a huge portion and died from the poisoning a few days later. Lif’s wife then threw herself from the turret of the house in the middle of the night. Grief-stricken, Lif picked up her corpse, carried it inside and buried her next to their son in the basement. He then waited for the Zhentarim agent to come by, poisoned him and then hung himself from the rafters under the turret. All potential visitors to the manor was scared away by his ghost, until the players came, found the bodies and buried Lif’s body next to his wife and son in the basement. He then proceeded to help out in the inn.

Other regulars are city guards Wilhelm & Gottfried, who have taken to sitting on the porch outside to keep tabs on who enters and leaves the alley. Their long-term plan is to make the alley their sole area of responsibility. They get tea for free and a discount on beverages – Savira waters down the beer in the afternoon if they are getting to inebriated (it’s in Eleasis/August, so it’s hot outside) .

Sibylla is an experienced barkeep and knows that she had to stay on good terms with the community, so she tries to keep the noises down and maintain a good relationship with the authorities.

So last play session:

To prepare for the session, I took Residents of Trollskull Alley and prepared little plots for as many as the shops as I could. The emphasis is for the players to establish an understanding and emotional connection to the area.

Most of the plots leave the locals as victims and are focused on small plot-twist: the explanation is never straight-forward.

<Example: E1 Havershambles

Some of their gems have gone missing - mostly small gems. There is no sign of break-in. Socally (male) suspects Wembly, Bumble (male) will hear nothing of it. Socally "cleaned" Wembly's room, but didn't find anything.

Twist: One of the mechanical dolls – a Raven - is animated; it “eats” gems for sustenance. If the player open it up, they'll find all the gems inside>.

The PCs returned from the last leg of their quest to save Faerûn; they are not done, but have reached an important milestone in thwarting the big bad evil guy’s plan.

They came home, had breakfast in the commen area of this rooms (they occupy third & fourth floor of the inn) and was updated by Sibylla about what is going on, which isn’t a lot. The players haven’t really been at the inn a lot, so nobody really knows them. Sibylla is the outwards face face of the inn. So one of the goals of the session was to introduce them to Waterdeep customs & power structures.


They have received two guests while they were away. A Dark Halfling and a Myconid. The dark halflings are a subterrain tribe of halfling. Their historians realized that cataclysmic catastrophes regularly beset Faerun (approximately with the release of each new edition of the game), so they build underground burrows for their kind and lived there in symbiotic relationships with the myconoids, while the storms passed. The PCs helped the halflings a while back and the halflings gifted them some items: one of which was a sword that was stolen from them. And automatically returned to them (disruptive player); it is an artifact. So the halfling travelled across the continent to hear if they are okay. The halfling and the myconid took up residence in the basement of the inn; the myconid set root right above the grave of Lifs family “gravesite”. Later on he’ll might be able to convey memories from Lif and his family.


The female halfling barbarian Yellow Tania is from a halfling village up north; it was raided by orcs. The orcs killed the adults but spared the children for later. She freed the kids and promptly adopted all 28 of them; they fled to Waterdeep to get away from the orcs. As she was away, the kids have sorta been living on the street and at Trollskull Manor; Sibylla has not been let in on the deal, so she chased them away. After a while and after rumors of rampant theft, the city guard swept in and arrested 20 of them (the last 8 got away).

Less then happy about it, the halfling barbarian confronted the local guards with it, then the sergent and eventually the Lieutenant at the local Guard HQ. She agreed to take responsibility for the children and pay a fine of 40GP in “administrative fee” to have the children released into her custody. Child services will come by later to check up on the living conditions of the children; the barbarian is a bare breasted savage with anger management problem and a huge chip on her shoulder; she would not be considered a proper caregiver for 28 children.

Back at the inn, the barbarian suggested that the children could help at the inn; this was immediately veto’ed by Sibylla. She runs a serious establishment in a proper neighborhood and will not have a bunch of half-feral halfling kids running around inside. Eventually they agreed that the children should be in school and contacted the local private academy. The academy accepted to have the children, IF the barbarian payed a year’s fees in advance. The headmaster doesn’t want this children to mingle with the proper kids from North Ward, so they are going to set up a special school just for them. Until it is ready, the kids will receive outdoor education, starting the next day at 8am with discipline training (Stand to attention, learn to listen, don’t speak unless spoken too etc.). The next bill will be for the school uniforms 😊


The human bard/warlock Presmer went to the local furniture store to get a bed for their “basement halfling”. As he is talking with shop owner Tally, the city guard came in and arrested the shop-owner under suspicion for “robbery & murder” of the noble Lord Torquill Gauntyl. Tally and his two apprentices were gob smacked and denied everything, so Presmer suggested that the guards searched the store for material evidence. The guards came back with a rather expensive silver pocket watch with Lord Gauntyl’s insignia on. Case closed: Tally the shopkeeper was dragged away. Presmer wasn’t satisfied with this, so he motivated the whole party to go talk to Lady Gauntly. Lord Gauntly had – quite correctly – gone to the Bent Nail for a new dresser. People had seen him enter the shop, but he never left again. The player began searching the shop; two went to the basement, one searched the display area, while the two apprentices worked in the shop in the back. The elven ranger Viavon spotted an open drawer in a wardrobe and found a piece of bone in it. He opened the wardrobe and was promptly attacked by it: it was mimic. Alarmed by his panicking scream of anguish and despair, support quickly arrived from the basement and the party made short order of the mimic. The guards were presented with the evidence – the corpse of a giant mimic with the remains of Lord Gauntyl inside – and promptly exonerated the shopkeeper of the charges. In gratitude Tally gave them the bed for the basement halfling for free and began building the bunk beds for the 28 halfling children.

Back at the Inn, the PCs rested when Socally Havershamble wanted to inquire regarding the theft of gems from his shop: he suspected that the culprits might be the halfling kids. Yellow Taniya wasn’t in the inn at the time, so he was going to come back later. This will be the first mini-quest for the next session.

And thus ended the session.
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