Dark Squad in Meet the Uthgardt
Session #027a The Dark Squad are Dead!
Dark Squad (in alphabetical order, no egos here).
Buggles (played by Stu) Male Wood Elf Fighter Lvl 2/Rogue Lvl 3
New Tricks (played by Bear) Male Tabaxi Warlock Lvl 5
Ramshambo (played by Kev) Male Half-Elf Rogue Lvl 5
Vincenzo (played by Haggis) Male Shifter (Wildhunt) Druid Lvl 5
Daktari Male Human Uthgardt Sky Pony Barbarian Lvl 5
Buggles’ undead servitor
Gwen Female Duergar Skeleton, in full-face helm and armour
NPC hangers-on, rescued prisoners of the Orcs
Geradil the “Inconceivable”, aging trapper (Male Human)
“Screaming” Courana, lady’s maid (Female Human)
Spandwick the Magic Gnome, ex-stage mesmerist (Male Gnome)
Bel, the beautiful and lovely wife of Spandwick (Female Gnome)
This is session 27, I loved it, and the players seemed to be giggling a lot (and in all of the right places), so… it worked.
Bit of a chapter end this one, as you’ll see… eventually.
So, the Dark Squad are still in the land of the bad dead ancestors, and they’re running out of ideas about how to escape this place- they need to talk to all seven bad dead ancestors you’ll remember- but there are only six ancestors here. So, that’s not going to happen- even when Garumn turns up and volunteers to play the part of the missing ancestor- job done, but then nothing continues to happen.
That didn’t work.
They’re still stuck here.
Vinnie has also activated the artefact the Dark Squad received from the Uthgardt, and when prompted enquired of the voice within the strange maze-etched device- “how do we escape zis place?”, the answer given- “DIIIIEEEEEE!”
So, that’s not good either.
But ding-ding, the bell rings and we’re off again, the session’s started.
First up, and as at the start of most all sessions- lots of chatter, and the Dark Squad are desperately searching for a way out of here, something they’ve missed, or else… “I don’t bloody know”- is the consensus.
Eventually they track down and read through all of the Uthgardt prophecies (and Belphegor’s instructions to Newt), taking each one in turn to ‘work through’.
When I say ‘work through’, I mean take it in turns to make great (and sometimes frenzied) efforts to try to bend the various prophecies into a variety of shapes to fit the Dark Squad’s present situation, but… they’re reaching.
Really reaching, and getting absolutely nowhere with it.
So, Garumn- who is still a bit miffed that his former comrades have not departed yet, they need to be getting on with finding the missing seventh bad ancestor so that he doesn’t have to keep up his barrow-sitting job. The former paladin, latterly ghostly smith, goes for a chat with the light above- his master, the All Father- Moradin.
It’s a one-sided conversation, with Garumn mostly nodding along, and at the end of it he reports back to his friends- “it seems the All Father has miscalculated, this isn’t his home turf- so, I’m not the last bad dead ancestor, therefore me telling you my secret has achieved nothing. Well, hardly nothing- it seems my fate is sealed, I’m stuck here- I may not be good enough to be the seventh bad dead ancestor, but I’m good enough to be the stand-in.” Garumn makes it clear- “I’m stuck here until you find the missing ancestor, thanks.”
With that the grumpy paladin retires to his dilapidated barrow.
“What ‘appens to us, mes amis?” Vinnie calls out after Garumn, but the dwarf just shrugs and heads off to begin making much needed repairs to his new abode.
There follows lots more chatter- more desperate attempts to co-opt any loose piece of information from here, there or anywhere- to try to make sense of the present situation. To figure a way out from the land of the bad dead ancestors.
Then Vinnie, as usual, has an idea- “We should just try walking through ze shadow walls that surround zis place- ow do we know zer iz nuthin’ beyond zem?”
[Walk through the walls idea 250 XP]
The Dark Squad gather at the nearest wall of shadow and… take another fifteen minutes to talk themselves out of making the attempt.
When you’re stuck- you’re stuck, or at least it seems that way.
Vinnie’s second idea follows soon after, the druid decides to follow Garumn’s example, he kneels beneath the circle of light (the source of the tethers connected to the PCs, remember) and… he prays to Moradin.
“All Father, I am not an adherent to your cause, and yet a sink I have lead an honest life- I have tried to do zer right ting…”
And on he goes, and it would be beautiful but… Buggles follows suit, the wood elf drops to his knees beside the druid, and calls out to his Aunty Ingrid (she’s a hag) in the hope that she will hear him and use her powers to get the Dark Squad out of this place.
It doesn’t sound much when you write it down but at the time- Vinnie (played by Jim) is earnest, solemn, whole-heartedly beseeching; and next to him Newt is offering not to kill Aunty Ingrid’s cat (Noseyarris) if she’ll use her powers to get them out of this dump.
All that’s wrong with our game, and all that’s great about it- and at the same time.
The pair make promises, they beseech, and… the light above goes out.
[Prayers and promises to Moradin/Aunty Ingrid 300 XP]
The Dark Squad are back in the land of shadow proper, and now- very obviously, the walls of the pocket plane are closing in. The land of the bad dead ancestors is shrinking, and rapidly so.
Garumn, soon after, is swallowed by the black- and without a word, the dwarf and his fixer-upper barrow simply disappear from sight.
The Dark Squad scramble into the middle of the map- the last spot that will be swallowed by the rapidly approaching tide of gloom.
I'd love to show you a screen shot but- nope, nothing. Bloody players- they had it coming to 'em.
Vinnie casts a daylight spell and thunders a few more brave words at the heaven. Alas the only effect of the illuminating spell is to enable Daktari (the only member of the Dark Squad without darkvision) to also clearly see his approaching doom.
The circle of shadow gets smaller- the land of the bad dead ancestors is coming to an end.
And suddenly the rubbery freezing cold, numbing walls of this existence are crushing the adventurers.
Crushing the life out of the adventurers.
At which point Ram acts- “Screw this!” The rogue pushes his way into the numbing shadow black.
And is the first to die.
Although the rogue’s comrades succumb mere moments later.
The Dark Squad are dead.
Just for info- Buggles, the tough elf, was the last to perish.
He’d want you to know that.
Thanks for reading.
Stay safe and well.