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Mike
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Shogaming DnD campaign 1
The Inn from Hell
Asbjorn felt his divine energy restored by Ozrikotep as the sun rose on Phandalin. Quelline Alderleaf was still asleep beside him. The cleric donned his chainmail and quietly prayed for the magical abilities he would need for the day. Quelline stirred in bed.

“Abjorn, my love, promise me you will return safely to me from Neverwinter,” Quelline said softly.

“I swear it by Ozrikotep, I will return to you.”

Teejak, Ash, and Kyron were gathered just outside of the Stone Hill Inn as Asbjorn approached. Surprisingly, Tau was there as well.

“Have you decided to join us, my friend?” asked Asbjorn.

“I’m afraid it is time that I returned to my tribe,” said Tau, “I have learned from my travels that the wide world is a truly strange place indeed, I’m ready to return to a sense of normalcy.”

“We understand.”

“I will accompany you all as far as the Triboar Trail, there I will turn west toward my home in the mountains,” Tau continued.

“Very well,” said Kyron, “where is Gayjon?”

“The last I saw of him, he was asleep on top of a mound of opium,” replied Teejak.

“I see, let us depart then,” said Kyron.

The summer heat was beginning to set in as Team America trekked northward toward Neverwinter. After bidding farewell to Tau, the party turned west onto the Triboar Trail. An afternoon thunderstorm passed over the Sword Coast as the group turned north on the High Road, a major tradeway between the coastal cities of Waterdeep and Neverwinter. Team America was thoroughly soaked and exhausted by the time they reached “The Hell Hound’s Alehouse,” a large inn constructed along the High Road.

“A mug of ale and a feather bed would do me well tonight,” announced Teejak.

“OK” replied Asbjorn, “I’m always down for a beer.”

Inside, the adventurers were greeted by a stout male elf name Kane.

“Welcome! Can I interest you in a warm meal, perhaps a room for the evening?”

The adventurers looked at eachother.

“It seems you’ve been travelling all day,” said Kane, “you smell like shit!”

“How much for a bath, a meal, and a room?” asked Ash.

“That depends on what kind of meal you’d like!” announced Kane, “we have salted sausage with a tankard of mead for 12cp, we also have steamed duck with garlic and dried pear--”

Ash interrupted Kane, “Hell yeah! I’ll take the steamed duck!”

“I’ll have the duck as well!” exclaimed Teejak, “and three glasses of mead!”

“That’ll be 30 cp total,” replied Kane.

Teejak flipped him a whole gold piece, “Keep the change my good man!”

Kane was clearly surprised the adventurers were willing to spend so much money. Ash was looking sternly at Teejak, concerned that flaunting the party’s wealth too much might lead to unwanted attention.

“And a round for the whole inn!” Teejak shouted. The other patrons cheered with excitement upon hearing this.

“I don’t know him,” said Ash.

“You walked in together,” noted Kane.

“We just happened to walk in at the same time.”

Kane performed a quick head count of the inn patrons and looked at Teejak while he rubbed two fingers together, indicating more that 1gp was owed.

“Very well Kane, you greedy bastard!” Teejak flipped Kane a second gold piece and immediately began drinking his mead. More than a few heads around the inn seemed to be examining Teejak carefully.

“So we will definitely be keeping watch tonight,” Ash looked toward Kyron and Asbjorn.

“I’ll be camping outside.” said Kyron.

“We have fine feather beds in here!” replied Kane.

“It’s just a personal preference,” replied Kyron, “please don’t take offense.”

“Well, there’s a small clearing 50 yards to the west of here,” Kane pointed, “please do not chop down anymore trees for firewood, I’m getting sick of people doing that.”

“Very well,” said Kyron as he departed for his campsite.

A young human male with curly red hair, dressed in fine clothing, approached the party as they were eating dinner.

“You haven't encountered any vampires recently have you?” asked the man.

“We killed a necromancer recently,” replied Ash, “Does that count?”

“How did you kill him?” asked the man.

“Well… you see…” Asbjorn was uncertain how much information to give, “we stabbed him.”

“With what?” asked the man.

“With a fuckin dagger!” shouted Teejak drunkenly, “what’s it to you!?”

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” the man apologized, “I was just trying to assess if he may have been a vampire, if he was killed by conventional weapons then he could not have been vampiric.

“How long would it have taken him to revive?” asked Asbjorn.

“A matter of minutes.”

“I think we hung around long enough to confirm this,” pondered Ash.

“Damn it, we should have burned the body or blessed it or something,” said Asbjorn.

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” said the man, “I’ve been looking for the vampire that murdered my family for years, I have no idea if it is still in the area or not. One day I hope to avenge their deaths, but I guess it won’t be today.”

Teejak examined the young man, his fine silk clothing suggested that he had spent little, if any, time adventuring in the wilderness.

“Just go home kid,” said Teejak, “a vampire is a formidable foe, this isn’t going to end well for you.”

“You don’t think I can handle myself!”

“I know you can’t handle yourself!”

“Fuck you guys!” the young man stormed off angrily.

“Come on kid, come back here!” Teejak felt a little guilty, “Come back and tell us about your quest!”

Ash looked around the bar and noticed two peasant eyeing Teejak’s gold purse.

“Why don’t you give some gold to them,” Ash motioned toward the peasants, “they clearly need it.”

“If I gave a gold piece to everyone like that, I’d be broke,” replied Teejak coldly.

One of the peasants, a male elf, approached the party next.

“I’m looking for a powerful wizard to apprentice under,” said the elf, “do you know anyone accepting apprentices?”

“The only wizard I ever knew was a coward!” shouted Teejak drunkenly.

“Where are you looking to study?” asked Ash.

“I’m hoping to go to the Neverwinter University of Magic,” replied the elf, “but they won’t accept me until I complete an apprenticeship.”

“Do you know where Phandalin is?” asked Asbjorn.

“I do!” said the elf, “It’s a small little settlement southeast of here if I’m not mistaken.”

“Well,” continued Asbjorn, “If you go there and give all your money to a man named Wizziff, he might be willing to teach you a thing or two.”

“That’s the coward!” interjected Teejak.

“I’ll take what I can get at this point! Thank you kind cleric, I will go and seek out Wizziff!” the peasant began to head for the door of the inn when Ash stopped him.

“Hold up. When’s the last time you ate a decent meal?” asked Ash.

“Well… it’s been a few days, “replied the peasant, “If I learned to be a wizard I could magically create food for myself though!”

“Here,” said Ash ash he handed ten goodberries to the peasant elf, “take these.”

“Thank you kind ranger!” exclaimed the elf before leaving excitedly toward Phandalin.

Ash next apologized to the young vampire hunter for Teejak’s drunken behavior.

“It’s alright,” said the man, “My dad, before he was murdered by a vampire, used to drink a lot. I know how it is.”

“What’s your name,” asked Ash.

“Faendter”

“Do you go by anything else?”

“Not that I know of… I do consider myself somewhat of a scholar.”

“In what?”

“Vampire lore.”

“Where do you think this vampire that murdered your family is?”

“I think he might be hiding with Strahd Von Zarovich somewhere in Barovia, far to the east of the Sword Mountains”

“I doubt any of us have encountered the vampire then, although we do have a couple holy smiters in our group.”

“A vampire is no ordinary undead, they are incredibly intelligent creatures. The trick, I’ve heard, is to catch them in daylight when they are weakened.”

“Do they sparkle?”

“Not actually, I know there is that stupid book series that tells everyone vampires sparkle though.”

With that, Ash bid the aspiring vampire hunter farewell.

Asbjorn, let’s bunk together tonight,” said Ash, “I have a feeling we may have made some enemies here.”

After finishing their food and drink, Team America retired for the evening. Teejak requested the king suite of the inn. Meanwhile, Ash and Asbjorn shared a room with double beds and took turns “keeping watch” on the door to their room. As an added precaution, Ash instructed Arcanine to sleep by the door as well.

Around midnight, Teejak was awoken from his trance by a strange noise. The rogue immediately recognized the sound of someone attempting to pick the lock to his room. Teejak, who was not wearing pants, simply opened the door. On the other side was one of the peasants the group had encountered earlied. The man gasped before turning and running. He vaulted over the balcony of the inn and crashed onto the tables below. Teejak then went back to his elvish trance.

Around 3am, the entire party was awoken by the sound of a woman screaming. The sound seemed to be coming from a smaller building on the other side of the road. Asbjorn sprung to his feet and readied his war hammer, before promptly tripping over Arcanine on his way out the door.

As the party reached the first floor of the inn, they could begin to hear the familiar gruff voices of hobgoblins and bugbears coming from the road just outside.

“Come with us!” yelled one of the voices.

“Watch these ones while I round up the others!” shouted a second voice.

Arcanine gave a menacing growl, Ash’s companion was clearly ready to tear some goblin throats out.

“Ash, Teejak, take the southern entrance,” said Asbjorn, “I’ll take the northern entrance.”

The two groups exited the inn simultaneously and emerged onto a grim scene. Heavily armored hobgoblins and bugbears were rounding up patrons of the inn and restraining them near the well across the street. Fifty yards to the south, Kyron was sprinting towards the inn from his campsite.

“Resistance is futile!” yelled one of the bugbears as it punched the young vampire hunter that the party had encountered earlier, knocking several of his teeth out.

“Teejak, try to get to the patrons,” said Ash, “I’ll go for the----”

Ash was cut-off mid-sentence as a fireball impacted the ground at his feet. The ranger quickly dodged out of the way, avoiding the full force of the blast. Teejak was not so lucky, the rogue lay unconscious and badly burned in the middle of the street. Ash looked up to see a hobgoblin spellcaster cackling on the roof of the inn.

“Kyron!” Ash shouted as the paladin arrived on the scene, “Help Teejak!”

The paladin of the One Above All knelt beside Teejak and placed his hand on the rogue’s shoulder. As Ash watched, Holy energy was channeled from Kyron to Teejak, instantly reviving the fallen rogue.

“You two need to take out that caster,” Kyron pointed to the hobgoblin on the rooftop as he readied his magical halberd.

At the northern entrance to the inn, two hobgoblins charged Asbjorn the moment he exited onto the street. The cleric of Ozrikotep raised his shield and deflected their longsword blows, but was surprised at the raw amount of strength behind each swing. These were no ordinary hobgoblins. A smaller, sneakier, hobgoblin ninja sprung out from its hiding spot and unleashed a barrage of darts at Asbjorn, but none were able to penetrate the cleric’s magical chainmail armor. In response, Asbjorn conjured spirit guardians from Ozrikotep to surround and protect him.

The hobgoblin leader, an enormous brute wearing full plate, moved forward and flanked Asbjorn, completely ignoring the damage dealt by Ozrikotep’s spirit guardians. With his shield arm already occupied, the cleric of Ozrikotep was defenseless. The hobgoblin warlord brought its greatsword down, puncturing Asbjorn’s chainmail and sinking the blade into his shoulder. Asbjorn screamed in pain as blood began to pour down the entire right side of his body.

“Kill the archer and the paladin!” the hobgoblin leader commanded and two bugbears charged toward the southern entrance to confront Kyron and Ash.
Arcanine bravely leapt in front of one of the charging bugbears, allowing Ash to retreat backwards and line up a shot at the spellcaster on the roof with his Goblin Slayer bow. The ranger’s arrow struck the spellcaster directly in the chest, staggering it. Teejak quickly threw his grappling hook onto the roof of the inn and climbed up. He launched a crossbow bolt into the shoulder of the hobgoblin spellcaster before sliding behind cover provided by one of the dormer windows of the inn. The hobgoblin spellcaster was badly injured but still standing.

The hobgoblin warlord looked up at the spellcaster on the roof.

“Finish him.” the brute commanded.

With that, the hobgoblin caster moved to the edge of the roof and shot a bolt of lightning directly downward at Asbjorn, electrocuting the metal-clad cleric. As electricity poured through Asbjorn, he found he no longer had the strength to hold up his shield. Seizing the opportunity, the hobgoblins surrounding Asbjorn mercilessly struck him down with a flurry of longsword blows. As Asbjorn collapsed from blood loss, his final thoughts were of his beloved Quelline and the promise he made to return safely to her.

“Bind him!” the warlord yelled at the two hobgoblin soldiers that were surrounding Asbjorn’s unconscious body, “bring him with us!”

With that, the hobgoblin warlord turned and charged south, locking eyes with Kyron the paladin. Kyron began to charge as well, a lone bugbear stood between him and the warlord. Without even taking his eyes off of the warlord, Kyron eviscerated the charging bugbear before spinning his halberd around and smashing its face in with the blunt end of his weapon. The ninja hobgoblin unleashed a barrage of darts at the paladin. Still not taking his eyes off of the warlord, Kyron continued spinning his magical halberd and deflected all four of the ninja’s darts easily. The paladin of the One Above All relentlessly continued his charge and entered into single combat with his nemesis, the hobgoblin warlord.

Teejak sprinted across the rooftop toward the dormer window the hobgoblin spellcaster was hiding behind. Using the boots of striding and springing, he vaulted over the window and stabbed the spellcaster with his Sylvenom dagger. Teejak pressed the hobgoblin up against the side of the window, immobilizing it just long enough for Ash to launch a pair of goblin slaying arrows into its skull. The hobgoblin went limp, collapsed, and rolled off the side of the roof before dropping 30 ft onto the street below, landing directly beside Asbjorn’s unconscious body. The hobgoblins surrounding Asbjorn looked up to see Teejak waving down at them and decided to move into the entrance of the inn before attempting to stabilize Asbjorn for capture.

The ninja hobgoblin immediately moved to avenge its fallen comrade. The creature sprinted across the road and appeared to teleport onto the rooftop before throwing a flurry of darts at Teejak. The rogue dodged the projectiles as best as he could but he was simply too weak after the devastating fireball spell from earlier. The last of the ninja hobgoblin’s darts struck Teejak in the chest, knocking him unconscious once again.

Kyron and the hobgoblin leader were locked in single combat. Kyron was doing his best to keep the brute at a distance with the reach of his halberd, but his opponent was simply too strong. The hobgoblin leader landed a devastating series of three consecutive greatsword strikes against the paladin. Kyron clutched a gaping wound on his shoulder but, finally, saw his opening. He channeled the divine energy of the One Above All into his weapon, dodged under the hobgoblin’s greatsword, and struck the brute with such force that his halberd punctured the full plate armor his enemy was wearing. The hobgoblin leader was about to retaliate when one of Ash’s goblin slaying arrows found a gap in its armor and sunk into it its throat. The creature began coughing up blood, but was still standing. Having finally stabilized Asbjorn, the two hobgoblin soldiers looked over at their bloodied leader and decided to join the fight.

Kyron looked around at his fallen companions. He then looked at the additional hobgoblins charging his position. He then looked back at Asbjorn’s unconscious body. That’s when the paladin of the One Above All saw the path he must walk as clearly as he had ever known anything in his life. Summoning divine energy, Kyron teleported 30 feet behind the charging hobgoblins and sprinted up beside Asbjorn’s limp body. Kyron placed his hand on Asbjorn’s shield and channeled healing energy into the cleric, instantly restoring him to life. Asbjorn immediately stood to his feet.

“In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Keg, Ozrikotep restore us!!!” Asbjorn shouted a prayer of healing to Ozrikotep, restoring Teejak to life on the rooftop and giving additional strength back to himself and Kyron.

“Team America… ASSEMBLE!!!!” yelled Asbjorn as he and Kyron engaged the hobgoblin commando unit. Ash continued unloading arrows at the hobgoblin leader while Teejak stood to his feet and sprinted toward the hobgoblin ninja.

“What’s up bitch!?” shouted the rogue as he plunged his Sylvenom dagger into his foe before flipping behind cover. The ninja teleported to pursue Teejak, striking him from range with two darts. Teejak then made a running long jump with the boots of striding and springing, jumping 40 ft clear across the street from the roof of one building to the roof of another. The rogue landed and rolled to his feet before launching a crossbow bolt back across the street at his nemesis.

Down at street level, Kyron and the hobgoblin leader were once again locked in single combat. The massive brute charged Kyron in a full sprint. The paladin raised his halberd to the heavens, imbuing it with holy energy.

“Remember this as the day you almost killed Kyron the paladin!” shouted Kyron as he brought his magical halberd down, splitting the warlord’s head open.

Kyron then moved toward the inn patrons restrained by the well and untied the young vampire hunter the party had encountered earlier.

“It’s time to prove your combat abilities, young boy,” said the paladin. The vampire hunter grabbed a small rock and hurled it at one of the hobgoblin soldiers, but it barely scratched the soldier’s armor.

Asbjorn released a blinding bolt of radiant energy at one of the two remaining hobgoblin soldiers, burning the beast badly and illuminating its body as a target for future attacks. However, before he could do anything else, the ninja hobgoblin teleported beside Asbjorn. The cleric, now flanked, was once again struck down by a merciless flurry of dagger strikes from the hobgoblin ninja.

Arcanine was still engaged with the last remaining bugbear. Neither the wolf nor the bugbear had managed to deal much damage to each other when, finally, the bugbear landed a critical strike with its morningstar. Arcanine howled in pain before collapsing onto the street.

“Arcanine!” In a fit of rage Ash nocked a goblin slaying arrow and drew it as far back as he could, nearly snapping his bow. He released the arrow, piercing the bugbear’s skull directly between its eyes. Ash then nocked a second arrow and launched it at the hobgoblin soldier brightly illuminated by Asbjorn’s guiding bolt. Ash’s arrow pierced the soldier’s brain through its right eye socket.

Kyron sighed, it was clear this vampire hunter was not going to be of much use.

“Move to flank you moron!” Kyron shouted at the pathetic excuse for a vampire hunter.

The vampire hunter obeyed, and moved to engage the last hobgoblin soldier in melee combat, distracting it just long enough for Kyron to decapitate the hobgoblin. The paladin of the One Above All followed up this attack by imbuing the blunt end of his halberd with radiant energy and bashing in the skull of the adjacent hobgoblin ninja.

Ash quickly popped a handful of goodberries into Asbjorn’s mouth, restoring him to consciousness.

“Fuck this inn,” said the cleric as he stood to his feet. The battle was over.
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