Luck is a fickle mistress, Perrin thought as he gritted his teeth, watching the second goblin sharpshooter turn past the dark corner of the corridor. Adventuring continued to be harder than he had thought, and his admiration of the heroes of legend grew further with each twist in his own tale. Of course, when he told this story, there would be details he would conveniently forget. These same details he would always remember.
The detail from earlier in the night stung the most. Who knew that you should remind warriors that the weapons they held were not there for the first time? Seeing a trained archer and swordsman “wield” their weapons like the caravan children almost seemed comical in afterthought, but in the heat of battle had terrified him. Once the four goblinoids in the antechamber had been handled, he reminded all his allies that equally important to bravery and valor in battle was keeping one’s head, and using the weapons at hand as proficiently as possible. These young ones must not be without a leader, and he would have to learn how to do that in more than word quickly if they were to make it out of this night alive.
Of course, the other detail he had learned the hard way this night was ringing in his ears as loudly as the goblins’ warnings rang down the dark corridor in front of him: the element of surprise is too costly to ever squander. Surprise, Perrin now thought, comes from not knowing what happens next. Master Ironbound had done well: that dwarf’s senses had given them valuable information about what they would face this night, but Perrin did not think to push him for more. That was why he was so crestfallen when the doors to the Varzand crypt slammed into the sides of the corridor, revealing a tight corner instead of a band of unsuspecting hobgoblins. They had dispatched the brutes easily enough, but not before one opened up the heavy doors to the corridor beyond, letting these two damn sharp shooters pick at them with crossbows before turning to warn their allies. If the hobgoblins had been dispatched more quickly, this failure might have been avoided!
No, not a failure, Perrin thought Not yet! And with that mantra, he ran full force down the hallway, grabbing the rope and swinging across the pit, racing to catch the goblins which he prayed had been slowed enough by Gorgoth’s powerful Sleep spell…
I hope all who read do not misunderstand this post: I enjoyed the heck out of this session, and found it intensely satisfying. Perrin had some serious success in protecting his allies in all three of the combat encounters within Raventree Keep, and it was a very fun challenge to play a second character through combat for the night.
I want to highlight some of the fun moments I thought Gorgoth had during this session, but I wouldn’t want to use my style of recollection for another player’s character, even if I did have the honor of playing him for the night. As a compromise, here’s some bullet points:
- Gorgoth unveiling his new at will power, Cloud of Daggers on the swarms of Drakes in the Arkalis family vault. The drakes could not stand before the might of his powerful spell!
- Gorgoth’s strategic use of light: he lit stones and hid the light in his hand when stealth was good, and then threw them to keep enemies in sight. When he needed to light some place further, he lit one of Kaolen’s arrows, and let the ranger loose light across the battlefield!
- Stepping in for close combat: when his friends started to take a beating from the Drakes, Gorgoth tried to step in and push the drakes back, using both Thunderwave and his Dragon Breath. Unfortunately, neither attack did very well thanks to some bad rolls, but it was still pretty cool!
- Dragon Rage! When Gorgoth got bloodied in the second fight of the night, he went nuts! He spent encounter powers to try and crush the enemies who hurt him with their crossbows, and when they fled his wrath, he cast a powerful sleep spell on them to keep them from getting away. The goblin sharp shooters didn’t tumble over asleep, but we hope do discover that they were significantly slowed down by his spell!
Perrin is still a fluid cluster of ideas inside my head at this point, and this nebulous nature is fascinating to play with. He still doesn’t have a voice, or even a personality fully nailed down, but he becomes more real for me every time I ask myself a question about him. When trying to write down a journal entry for this session, the biggest question was what does surprise mean to him?
I think halflings can be very easily underestimated. It’s easy to assume that such small creatures are either sneaks or cowards. A halfling can either try to overcompensate for this, and impress everyone he meets, or use this to his advantage and surprise them. Perrin so far has been of two minds about this. He played into the lying and cowardly image that Morrik had of him, after working so hard to impress Lord Pedraig. He fights valiantly to protect an inn, and speaks words of great courage to rouse the hearts of men, and then prepares to catch a gang of hobgoblins unawares. Perhaps those he views as threats he wishes to surprise, but those who he views as allies he wishes to impress?
I still think of Perrin as a pitchman. He grew up in a caravan that I think of as a band of tinkers and merchants. They traveled as far and wide as they could, and bought and sold whatever they could to make enough money to sustain the caravan, and hopefully grow it. When you pitch goods, you need to both surprise and impress your audience. They must be surprised by how well the knife cuts, by how high in quality the fabric is. They must be impressed by the product enough to think your price is too low. The guards must think you honorable enough to be let into town, and the bandits must be confused by how viciously you take them down. This duality may become a theme I explore more deeply in the future.
But that is another song…