D&D Weekly: Air of Paranoia

Riley Lenarz

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It took us a while to get the campaign started this week, our group was scattered around the room, one of my group showing off his newest D&D book to everyone, while another was high on caffeine. I don’t know how but I managed to wrangle them all to a group of desks and we got started.


When we had left off last, our party, Matt, Sean, Jimmy, Veronica, and Abby, whose characters were Siegfried, Caelynn, James, Valentina, and Frost, respectively, had woken up realizing that one of their group, a Commander named Garrison, had gone missing. They were being escorted to the town of Kefton to talk to the Earl when they had decided to sleep for the night. When they woke up, Garrison had disappeared, leaving almost all of his stuff behind, one of the five guards that had been accompanying them stated that he had a habit of just wandering off. We ended with Frost, Abby’s Tabaxi, which is basically a humanoid cat, finding Garrison’s trail and seeing it lead into a forest


We began with the party deciding to follow him as they couldn’t just leave him, to Jimmy’s dismay. They decided to enter the forest he had wandered into with four of the five guards, leaving one guard and the Earl’s steward, Joff, to guard Frost’s cart. Their party now nine people large, they ventured ahead. Following the trail for a few hundred feet, they noticed his trail go up to a tree and then stop, as if he had walked through the tree. Investigating the tree, Sean’s werewolf hunting elf noticed several broken branches, signaling that Garrison had climbed the tree. Caelynn and Frost climbed the tree, Caelynn being graceful and Frost not so much. One one of the branches of an adjoining tree was a rope wrapped around the branch with a couple feet of it dangling down from the tree. Sean was starting to get unnerved by how events were playing out and I was curious as to why. Inspecting the rope, he concluded that Garrison had used it to secure himself to the tree. As Frost climbed down the tree, Caelynn undid the rope and let it fall to the ground. Frost inspected the rope again but this time noticed human tracks run off into a  certain direction followed by several canine tracks. Now was Matt’s turn to be unnerved now since Sean realized it wasn’t Giant Spiders like he thought. Matt said that he was starting to get flashbacks to a previous campaign which ended with him getting impaled through the chest by a Gnoll’s spear, a Gnoll being a savage humanoid hyena. He began to order me to tell him the size of the tracks and repeatedly mumbled. “If they are medium sized, if they are medium sized.” Sadly for him, they were. Matt paced, convinced that he knew exactly what was coming next, helped by the info that there were two smaller paw prints, which could hint toward hyenas, which Gnolls traveled with.


After a heated argument about if there were or were not Gnolls, Matt grabbed my Monster Manual, the book of all monsters in the game, opened to the bookmarked page, and sure enough, Gnolls. Understandably annoyed over him spoiling what was coming up, I thought of switching the enemies from Gnolls and hyenas to Werewolves and wolves, all around more difficult and annoying enemies, but decided punishing the entire party was a little much. After walking yet again and having Caelynn climb a tree, they found Garrison up a neighboring tree, taking potshots at the gathered, laughing Gnolls at the base of the tree. After creating a strategy involving me drawing a quick map of the forest, the session ended with a volley of arrows being poorly shot by the nine party members with only enough hits to kill a hyena and one Gnoll from the seven strong pack.


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