Leah began her auspicious DnD career getting tumbled underwater by a giant crocodile. She ended her career by giving the what-for to a pair of Nightmare riding undead eladrin. In between, the characters of our favorite player Leah have fought and struggled to become the bad-asses they were. In her stint with our gaming group, she played a halfling paladin, a human cleric and a human warlord. (Yes she likes healers.) And she will be missed. Next week she will be moving to a new state, ending our year-ish of playing together. This post, and last Friday’s game night are dedicated to her.
I first met Leah at our workplace. I walked past her desk carrying my DM Guide or something, and she said “Oh, you think you’re so cool with your DnD books,” which stopped me in my tracks. I have heard many comments when someone notices a DnD book in my possession, but that is the first time it was equated with ‘cool’ so I knew right then this called for more investigation. I replied “Of course,” and asked her if she would like to play next Friday night. So began a year of great gaming.
On her first night playing, while exploring a dungeon they came to a pit. Leah stood up and mimed pulling out her holy symbol, while casting the light spell, and I knew right then that we had a great new addition to the group. She brought energy and hilarity to the game. She was also great outside the game, and always contributed to the meals, often bringing unusual but delicious dishes, including some new types of cheese, always a pleasure to discover.
So last session saw the group finally leave the free port of the Marquoil and arrive with incident at the Jewel of the Jade and Azure Seas, Shalazar. The vampire Rook was the estranged daughter of the immortal queen of Shalazar, and the party was quickly escorted to castle Ravenloft, where the queen held audience. The were barred from going in while the queen spoke to a strange traveler. It looked to be a demi-human with the head of a lion, whose mane was twisted into elaborate braids. They overheard him speaking of waking in a mysterious ruined city where he was the only living soul. He lef the city and made his way to Shalazar, passing through mountain regions crawling with giants and other evil monstrous humanoids. Though he did not recognize the party, they recognized him as Rowthar, leader of the people of the City at the End of Time. They had met him while time hopping thousands of years into the future. He was old then, but a young man now.
As Rowthar left the audience hall and they were called in, they agreed to speak later on. Rook was estranged from her mother the queen, due to a foolish marriage and the cruel slaughter of her new husband, but mother and daughter quickly made up. They came bearing news of an invasion of Yuanti to the south, threatening the Three Seas area. This news was not the only grim reports of warfare to come to the queen’s ears that day, as a dwarf entourage came bearing news of giants in the northern mountains.
On the other hand, the new leader of the northern city of Fallcrest was there as well, Doctor X, and he claimed his city could take care of itself. The dwarves of Hammerfast were being cowardly. The queen listened to both side and called a war council for the next day. She then offered the party lodgings in the old east tower, and bade them come back on the morrow for further council.
That night, there was a huge explosion and the hearth at the end of the hall tore itself free with malevolent consciousness, and from the gaping darkness where the fireplace once rested, two nightmare steeds leapt forth bearing undead eladrin mounts. The battle in the old tower was fraught with danger and flames, but the party was victorious. The hearth golem was a fearsome creature of spewing flames and ash, but these veteran heroes were practically immune to its scorching heat. The slaughtered their attackers, and prepared for the morning meeting with the queen.