A narrative account of what transpired during our first D&D session at the mall.
Cast of Characters
Wood Elf Barbarian – Red
Human Wizard – 12 year old boy
Aasimar Paladin – Emergency DM
Dragonborn Fighter/Bard – older teen girl that seemed quiet
Andelle (Ann for short)
Wood Elf Druid – new player convinced to try D&D by her wargamer sister and brother-in-law
Tabaxi Druid – lady with a baby
Lizardfolk Monk – guy married to Mistress Mau’s player
The world was in the sky; ships were buoyant and flew on the breeze, some looking like dirigible-lifted submarines and others looking like floating sailing ships. A dense cloud-cover obscured what was below the world’s floating islands, and no one asked.
The players arrived in a small, nondescript peasant village with a small port. Paladin Balthasar preached the strength of his weapon in the town square, asking if any sought the aid of justice only for his cries to fall on apathetic ears. Del watched him shout with passing interest, her attention drifting among those wandering to and fro. The stealthy Tabashi Mistress Mau quietly wove through the alleys in search of interest, all of them and others ultimately entering the shadows of the tavern.
“Can I buy you a drink?” a jovial merchant greeted each in turn. “My trade route was quite the profitable venture and I feel like giving something back tonight!”
Some raised an eyebrow or question in doubt, but all fears were eventually calmed and drowned in drink until the night grew late and dark. All slept heavily and soundly, but they did not wake where they had been. Hammocks swayed languidly back and forth to the creaking tune of wind and wood, and eyes opened to the underdecks of a ship.
A flurry of feet carried the unfortunate up to the main decks, where the merchant contentedly watched the rest of his crew. “I demand to know the meaning of this!” Bobby howled, the force of his fury shaking his thin frame.
“You signed on with the ship!” the merchant smiled, producing a roll of paper with fine letters scrawled across its breadth and signatures looping at the bottom.
The wizard snarled and conjured a blob of acid, but it only etched a splatter into the breastplate hidden beneath the merchant’s silk shirt. Scowling, he backhanded the wizard, and Bobby tumbled halfway down the stairs to the underdecks although Paladin Balthasar stepped into his place.
“Rubbish!” Andelle cursed from behind the armored form. “We signed nothing!”
The paladin extended his hand, into which the merchant placed the parchment. Eyes darting across the thin letters, he sighed before handing it back and muttering: “It’s legally binding.”
“What’s going on?” Del yawned from far in the back of the group, her stretching almost upsetting her unsteady balance.
“We’ve been press-ganged,” Mistress Mau hissed.
“I guess this’ll be an interesting experience,” Del stretched again.
After a few days had passed, the group learned that travelling the skies was a strange ordeal. A floating nest of giants wasps had attacked the ship, and although Hazudra had looked a little worse for wear after the encounter, the merchant was surprised that all of his new sailors had survived. Unfortunately, still stranger things lurked in unseen corners of the sky, and the merchant vessel landed upon a small island oasis to restock on various foods.
While scavenging about, and after Bobby had vaporized a nearby squirrel to the anger of Andelle, three came across a vine-covered hole in a rockface. Hazudra and Mistress Mau, clearing away the fauna, announced that it was a cave.
“Bobby, shoot one of those fire bolts into the sky,” Hazudra instructed, pointing through the verdant treecover, “So the others come.”
Instead of lighting the evening sky with fire, the bolt caught the bow of a green tree, which lit brightly and sent a trail of smoke curling into the sky. The others amassed, but Andelle and Del snarled at the waste of fauna life, both of them cutting down the burning branch to stamp out the flames as Bobby rushed off to avoid the stern stares and curt words. Into the cave he delved, the evening sun casting the small, stone hollow in a beautiful glow. Silver sparkled in the firey light, and Bobby grinned at the beautiful treasures within – silvery rapier and arrows, and a masterfully crafted suit of armor.
Bobby reached out to run his hand over the etched details as footsteps announced that the rest of the party was following, but as soon as his fingers grazed the metal, his wrist was caught in an iron-strong grip. The helmet of the armor turned as if to look at him, and the gauntleted hand yanked him up into the air as a startled clatter saw the two surrounded.
Mistress Mau leapt forward, clawed hands clutching the animated armor’s helmet and desperately trying to wrench it free, but some invisible force held it in tact. Momentarily distracted, the armor released its hold on the wizard and slammed the slight Tabashi into the cave wall behind it before a rain of slashes and cuts descended upon it.
“Help me tie it down!” Mau implored the others in hopes of salvaging the enchanted plate, only to again be viciously smashed between it and the rocky cave wall. Unfortunately, even though she and Del were able to hold the thing down, a closer examination by the trained eye of Bobby found that the armor would remain alive unless some powerful dispell was cast on it. Having not learned to do such a thing, he recommended the thing be dismantled, which it was, with sword and axe and rapier.
With the armor in peices, all that was left in the little cave were some silver arrows, a silver rapier, and an indescipherable scroll clearly written in an unknown language.
So, that is all for the first session. I’m not certain if I am going to keep up with this narrative style or just go to summarizing. I like the creative writing exercise, but it really is being difficult to get back into the swing of since I predominantly write technical articles in my normal life.