Ok, so I've never done a session report, or anything narrative on this scale so please forgive my errors, or at least point them out with a spoonful of sugar!
Apparently this town is a bit different from my village.
Gloomhaven was not what I expected when I set off six months ago from my home village, but I was no sightseeing visitor.
Ok, a little background. I’m a big guy from a small town, an Inox. And I came to Gloomhaven on the chance that it might save my home. Unfortunately a virus had been sweeping through our village and the only cure I’d heard of lead me here. I think I made a mistake.
Gloomhaven is not a nice town, it’s scummy and surrounded by empty lands. Well, I say empty, but that doesn’t include the monsters, vegabonds, and general ner-do-wells. But, I’d heard that there were creatures here that might help, their essence allowing me to find the cure I so desperately needed.
Walking through town does make you hungry, so I decided to step in to a local watering hole, the Sleeping Lion. As I sat there nursing a drink I noticed a very purple Orchid sitting nearby. Orchids aren’t exactly common sites in this area, many of them spending their time in meditation, growing…. rocks on their heads. But here she sat, nursing her own nectar of forgetfulness.
I turned my head back towards the door as I heard it swing open, who knew what might walk in? Turned out that this time it was a Valrath women, red, dressed in a red cloak. Her tail flicked back and forth as she observed the room. I didn’t know much about her race, don’t see them much in my parts, but she seemed to have a goal in coming into the tavern, and it wasn’t to drown her sorrows. Her eyes fell on me and she walked over.
“I need a favor,” she said, “and a big guy like you could be a big help.”
“I’m not here to do others favors” I said.
“But you are here for money, and something else, which does not interest me, I can however, help with the first”
I was loath to admit it, but money was something I was lacking in. We were not a rich village, and with the disease ravaging my people, there had been little money to send me on my way. I was interested.
“What do you want?” I asked
“Justice, a thief dead and what’s mine returned. Do that and I’ll help you with your money problem”
“what did this thief steal?” I asked.
“None of your business, just get it and bring it back here”
I was apprehensive about helping a stranger without knowing more, but I needed money, and being a large Inox lends itself well to bashing heads, that head belonging to a thief was icing on the proverbial cake.
“Where do you need us to go?”
I turned at the unexpected voice, and jumped as I noticed the Orchid women standing next to me. I must have had more to drink then I realized.
The Valrath woman sighed, “fine, I wasn’t looking to pay two people, but this is important and having a spellweaver would certainly help. I don’t know the place, but I’m sure you two could find out. The name’s Jekserah, come find me when you have what’s mine. Any other treasures you pick up… consider them a bonus for a successful job.”
With that Jekserah got up and left the tavern. I turned to the Orchid and stared levelly at her.
“What do you think you’re doing? I need the money and I’m not looking to share.” I said.
“You also need help, I’ve heard rumors and if it’s what I think it is, you won’t survive this job on your own, you need me” This woman was getting pushy.
“Well stay out of my way, and whatever I find when we get there is mine, I’m not looking to make friends or share, I’m here for a reason and plan to leave once I get what I’m looking for.” I stated levelly.
“That makes two of us, I’m not interested in you either pointy” She eyed the three horns on my head with a lazy glance.
“Very well,” I said, “lets go and get this over with quickly”
Suddenly the lights went out.
The tek-lights that lit the room seemed to pick random times to quit, and this was one of them.
“Time to get started on that bonus,” said the Orchid, as she moved swiftly towards one of the other patrons in the darkened room. Clearly this was not a scrupulous individual. But, I was now stuck with her, and would not see another individual working with me stoop to stealing. Besides we’d been seen together and I did not want to answer uneeded questions. I stood up and attempted to reach her as she reached towards the purse of the poor patron. Then the lights flicked back on.
“Such decisions are foolish ones,” I growled as we rushed out of the bar quickly. This was not a large city and word of what we apparently attempted to do would spread. I did not want this to become a habit.
It did not take us long to find out where we needed to go, as I said, Gloomhaven is not a reputable place and it’s denizens are not a group known for loyalty. We quickly learned that force gets answers, and it led us towards a location not too far from the corpsewood. Fortunately I think I repaired our reputation, as on the way, I helped some guards stop a fleeing criminal. But that was beside the point, for we had arrived.
The hole in the ground wasn’t overly hard to spot, the Orchid women (she never gave me her name, I’ll just call her Orc hehe) described it like a rat hiding under a rug. I figured not much good could come from such a location, but I knew we must continue.
We entered the tunnel and immediately came across steps going down. The smell wafting up from below wasn’t one I wish to smell again, though somehow I doubt I’ll get my wish granted. It was the smell of death, rotting and fetid; faint at first, but growing stronger as we descended. So did the light ahead. And the voices.
We opened the door on three guards, and our quarry, who quickly rushed away as the guards turned towards us.
“Well this should be fun,” I said dryly “just stay behind me, I wouldn’t want you to chip a rock”
Orc just glared at me as she raised her hands, the air starting to stir around her semi clenched fists.
I raised my sword and prepared to charge forward.
It didn’t take long for the two of us to dispatch these three poor souls. A few blasts from Orc weakened them. And I managed to flip over all three and land, taking them out with the spikes on my armor. We proceed through the door.
Only to find four more people waiting for us in the hallway, two archers and a couple more guards. And they had barricaded the doors with a couple spiked traps. I growled as I entered and charged the first scout, shoving him into the traps and taking him out without much trouble. Between the spellweaver and I we were able to dispatch the others without too much trouble, but we were growing weaker, the exhertion of the fighting tiring us.
The spellweaver seemed worse for wear as she gasped in short breaths. She waved at me to continue as she muttered a couple words and with a whoosh of air she seemed to almost fully recover her strength. I approached the door quickly, ready for what lay beyond.
I was not ready for this.
Two decaying corpses stood before me, yes stood; with hanging flesh and extra limbs sticking out haphazardly. Two archers stood further back, facing the door. Over to the left, beyond a table, I observed a treasure chest. What had we gotten ourselves into?
The two skeletons immediately began to shuffle towards me as I quickly took a deep breath, preparing to defend myself, to kill the dead. Each skeleton scored a hit, raking their boney limbs across me, scoring bleeding trails across my exposed flesh. The archers also attempted to line up a shot but were not able to get close enough.
At this point I was feeling my injuries more then I care to admit, but thankfully Orc took this moment to surround me in a healing aura. Feeling refreshed I was able to dispatch both skeletons with a sweeping blow. Then, with the help of some enchanted boots I had purchased back in town I sprinted for the chest in the corner of the room. I may have had a goal in coming to this hell pit, but money is a strong motivator and I ripped open the chest; only to discover a faded map and a note about a chained Isle, whatever that was. Maybe it would lead to money, or a cure.
I turned around to witness the spellweaver moving into the room and sending an orb of flames into one of the archers, singing the targets bow. The archers split, one moving towards me and the other towards Orc. The one moving towards me was still too far, their loss. I was able to close distance with her and disposed of her quickly. Her companion fell before my companion and we stood there, our chests heaving. We had done it.
I took a look around the room for our quarry, I didn’t remember fighting him. Sure enough he was gone. And with that I noticed a set of stairs and more death wafting up from below.
I don’t think this was what the elder meant when he told me to “do what needs to be done”.
We looked at each other, took a moment to recover, reset, and then we descended into hell.