You started the session in the wine cellar, with Taryn stripping the armour from the body on the floor and putting it on. The others, meanwhile, were keeping watch and taking a scouting interest in the very curious room beyond the secret door.
This curious room differed from the others in the house, in that it appeared to be very recently occupied (though now empty). 10 beds lined one wall, and 12 chairs stood round the long table in the center of the room.
Once dressed, Taryn was ready for action, and the party moved into the next room to check things out more thoroughly. When Varis went to check out one of the beds, he got a better look at the east end of the room and saw two doors: one slightly ajar leading to a candelabra-lit room, and the other with ‘DANGER’ written in chalk on it, and barricaded with a heavy timber.
Following the logic that people always hide good things behind doors marked DANGER, Taryn easily lifted the timber aside and pulled open the door. Inside, he found a largely-empty and dusty room, where a handful of skeletons were slowly rising from the floor to adopt a fighting position.
The ensuing combat did not go very well, with the skeletons making short work of Rakik and Helen, and very nearly killing Taryn as well. Discretion being the better part of valour, Taryn grabbed his fallen comrades and dragged them out of the room while “BoogiestEin” re-barricaded the door. The bodies were dragged back into the wine cellar, where the party spiked the secret door and settled in for a good nap.
Before you’d even had a chance to fluff the pillows, though, you were interrupted by a gnoll coming down the cellar stairs! Varis and “BoogiestEin” pincushioned it with arrows until Taryn charged up the stairs to finish it off with a sword thrust. They then dragged the body down the stairs to be looted (“BoogiestEin” found a very nice golden armband on it, in addition to a large set of leather armor, a short sword, and a longbow with 20 arrows). You then resumed your rest.
Varis did a little investigating in the next room, and managed to find a secret door in the far (southwest) corner of the cellar. A little later, Rakik regained consciousness and began a short rest of their own. “BoogiestEin” kept watch on the cellar through the secret door by holding it open a smidge. She actually witnessed two humans emerge through the other secret door, spot her, and then run back through the door, apparently frightened. The longish rest continued.
After probably three and a half hours, total, Varis started hearing more and more activity in the next room. He got the impression that the gnoll that you’d killed was somehow allied with the humans, and was expected back before now. Fearing that time was running short, Taryn was encouraged to give his healing potion to the still-unconscious Helen, which he did. Thus healed, the party felt it was ready to resolve this situation.
Heading into the cellar once more, you once again found it devoid of life. You gathered near the secret door in the southwest corner, and prepared to open the door and deal with what laid beyond. Varis sneakily snuck up and opened the door to reveal… a large barrel of “FIRE OIL” with a lit fuse almost-completely burned down into it. You each dove for cover.
But it was a trick! Taryn, trying to pull the fuse from the barrel realized quickly that his hand passed right through it! Looking into the area beyond, he saw a large number of humans, armed and ready to charge up towards him. He retreated a little and shut the door. Rakik improvised the roar of a mighty dragon, which seemed to be very convincing as several screams could be heard beyond the secret door. After a moment, you heard a muffled shout of “It’s a trick, get up there! Break down the door!” but nothing seemed to happen. The rest of you regained your composure and verticality and prepared for the onslaught, invigorated by the thought that these enemies were not as fierce as you initially feared.
You prepared to face whatever came through the door, and didn’t have to wait much longer: the first two men through the door were killed instantly by the directed attacks of the party. The rest then filed in, looking quite scared, and began their shaky attacks against you. They were followed after by a gnoll (armed and armoured like the one you’d fought previously) and a decently-dressed man who stood just beyond the secret door from you.
The battle was as long and hard as a euphemism, but in the end you managed to render the “leader” unconscious, and accepted the surrender of the last remaining footsoldier. You tied them both up, and gagged the spellcasting leader. Searching the leader’s room, Varis discovered a loose flagstone covering an iron box. “BoogiestEin” used a key she found on the leader to open the box, but as she turned the key a needle sprang out of the mechanism and poked her fingertip. A blue colour began to spread through her fingertip, and Rakik quickly gave her the Potion of Vitality found earlier. “BoogiestEin” now has a blue fingertip, but otherwise seems fine. The box, once opened, was found to contain 5 vials of liquid: three which appear to be Potions of Healing, one which appears to be a Potion of Vitality, and a silvery liquid which Varis believes is a Potion of Speed.
You are all now catching your breath and preparing for a longer rest.
First, we tally up the spoils:
Wooden box: 3 flasks of oil, a tinderbox with flint and steel, 8 new candles and a piece of parchment (which has some curious marks on it)
Books: a volume of erotic poetry (fully illustrated!), a naval almanac listing tide times for the area of coast containing Saltmarsh (a total of 100 miles of coastline is covered), and a learned volume concerning mesmerism and its effects (inside this book is a sheet of parchment carrying some simple words and phrases in the common tongue, like “Stop”, “Fight”, and “Lift”, and their equivalents in an unknown language). You think the first two books could be worth 10gp each in a place like Saltmarsh, but the third book may be harder to sell (though worth more if you manage it).
First gnoll: large leather armor, short sword, long bow, 20 arrows, gold bracelet (75gp)
Footsoldier #1: Large gold ear-ring in right ear-lobe (15 gp); belt pouch containing 3 gp, 13 sp, 7 cp and a gem worth 200 gp
Footsoldier #2: gold chain with ‘lucky charm’ round neck (60 gp); large gold ear-ring in right ear-lobe (15 gp); belt pouch containing 23 sp.
Footsoldier #3: pair of large gold ear-rings (50 gp the pair); belt pouch containing 15 sp.
Footsoldier #4: gold ring on finger (75 gp); belt pouch containing 6 sp.
Footsoldier #5: gold bracelet (75 gp) on right forearm; belt pouch containing 3 gp.
Footsoldier #6: large gold ear-ring (25 gp) in right ear-lobe; belt pouch containing 9 sp.
Footsoldier #7: ’lucky charm’ on chain round neck (60 gp); belt pouch containing 2 sp.
Footsoldier #8: ’lucky charm’ on chain round neck (60 gp).
Second gnoll: large leather armor, short sword, long bow, 20 arrows
Leader: 2 daggers in belt-sheaths, 1 dagger in wristsheath, a belt pouch containing 7 gp, 5 sp, 3 ep, a key (to the iron box), a set of dice, and three gems each worth 250 gp. A second, smaller, belt pouch contains material components for spellcasting.
Iron box: 3 Potions of Healing, Potion of Vitality, and a Potion of Speed.
Next, we add up the experience gained:
Skeletons: 60xp each
For the humans & gnolls (combined): 120xp each
For solving the mystery of the “haunted” house: 100xp each
This brings each of you to a running total of 465xp, which means…
DING! LEVEL TWO!
For reaching level two, everyone will get more hit points (see below), an extra hit die, and usually one or more class-features which are dependent on the class level you take. Which brings me to this piece of information on multiclassing:
Any time you gain a level in D&D 5th edition, you can choose to either gain it in an existing class, or to branch out by taking a level in a new class, if you are qualified for it. Branching out like this lets you retain your original class(es) and all the abilities and features you already have, in addition to the features from the new class. Qualifying to branch out into an additional class requires having at least a 13 in the key ability score(s) for that new class, which represents you having a natural aptitude for it. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that for now… if you’re interested in being something of a “jack of all trades” rather than a “specialist”, then let me know and I can fill you in on further details.
For those pushing further into their existing classes, some will be gaining spellcasting powers for the first time (e.g. Rangers and Paladins), while the rest of you will be gaining incremental spellcasting ability. (Which reminds me: Thea was supposed to already have access to some spells at 1st level… sorry for that oversight! Ack! I’ll email her with a list of spells to choose from for 1st level.)
Hitpoints: when gaining hit points, you have the choice of rolling a dice old-skool-style, or simply (and safely!) choosing an average value. For example, when a bard or cleric goes up a level, they normally gain 1d8 hit points. They can either roll an 8 sided dice to get a random value, or they can choose to take a non-random 5 hit points (the average roll for an 8 sided dice is actually 4.5, but here we round up to 5). Each time you gain hit points for going up a level, you always add your Constitution modifier to the result. Here’s how to compute hit points for each of your classes:
1d6 (for Sorcerers): roll 1d6, or take 4. Add Constitution modifier.
1d8 (for Bards and Clerics): roll 1d8, or take 5. Add Constitution modifier.
1d10 (for Paladins and Rangers): roll 1d10, or take 6. Add Constitution modifier.
If you have any questions about leveling up, or want to inform me of which class you’ll be gaining a level in, drop me an email and I can offer some advice and/or send you the features and options you’ll have access to at your new level (for those who don’t have access to a Player’s Handbook).