The Heart of Hemskil, Pilot Episode

  • Magnus (1st-level kobold fighter)
  • Kord (1st-level dwarf cleric)
  • Zing (1st-level boggart rogue I guess)

Session Highlights
Magnus and Kord arrive in the city of Tjelos after nightfall, and while looking for an inn spot a squat humanoid creature down an alley: it's doing a good job looking suspicious, and a poor job hiding since it's carrying a brightly glowing object.

They give chase, figuring that maybe someone wants whatever it obviously stole. It ducks into the sewers, they follow, and end up getting ambushed by a gang of boggarts. None of the boggarts have the glowing thing, so the party makes sure to keep one alive to question: apparently they stole a ruby that is also a heart, and it's currently on the way to a swamp about half a day out of the city.

Since it's night Magnus and Kord decide to get some sleep: they're tired and it's a bad idea to go into a boggart infested-anywhere at night. They initially intend to just keep Zing (the surviving boggart) around as a guide, but end up convincing him that it's a good idea to try and overthrow the current boggart king: if you can't trust a treacherous boggart willing to figuratively and probably literally backstab his own kind, who can you trust?

Boggarts aren't welcome anywhere they aren't the majority population, so they stuff Zing in Kord's backpack while moving through the city. This isn't all that bad because this way they only need to pay for two people at the inn, though they still gotta feed him.

The next day they head out to the swamp, and with Zing's help avoid some traps and find the boggart village right away. Even though they are boggarts, it's a whole village, so Kord calls down divine flame to ignite a bunch of towers, and while the boggarts scramble to put them out they sneak around to the side where there isn't really much of a wall.

Zing knows where the leader's tent is, so they slice it open and sneak inside. Unfortunately the boggart king is there, but fortunately he's just a single boggart and with Zing's help they crush and stab him to death pretty quickly. Zing snags the king's crown, armor, and spear, while Magnus and Kord search through various chests, pots, and boxes: there's a surprising amount of treasure, just no heart-ruby.

This is when Zing suspects that it's already been taken to the Faerie King, which would have been helpeful to know and saved them a trip. All Zing knows is that the Faerie King lives much deeper in the Hemskil forest, where space and time are in constant flux, and there are much worse things than boggarts. The party sneaks out of the village, sacks of coin and jewelry in tow, and return to Tjelos to plan their next move.

There's a faerie enclave in the city, and since they'll need to deal with faeries Magnus goes there to dig up some information. He learns that the ruby heart actually belongs to the prince, and without it he'll die: it's only because of fae magic that he's still alive, albeit in a coma. The enclave doesn't carry anything especially useful against fae, nor do they have any directions to the Faerie King, so Magnus picks up a few mending and vigor potions before leaving.

While pawning off their loot, they learn that there's a village near the forest called Gaunder: perhaps someone there would be able to provide them with some information.

Designer Notes
Melissa originally wrote this adventure for Dungeon World, but we never finished it and I ran it for the Dice Pool version of Dungeons & Delvers. Now she's running it for most of the Tuesday group (since one player can only make it every other week), and we'll be converting it to the d20 version of Dungeons & Delvers as we go! Plus it gives Melissa a chance to run, hone her GMing skills.

I decided to try out a mine kobold fighter, see if the stone-phasing ability is as "broken" as it might seem. I only used it once, passing through the street into the sewers so that I could literally get the drop on the boggart thief: unfortunately I missed trying to hit him with a dart and he got away. I already know what happens in the default adventure, so hopefully Melissa changes some things up to keep me on my toes (and make the mine kobold stone-phasing more useful).

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want!

After months of doing other things, we turned our attention to and released The Warden. It's based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons class of the same name, but judging by the responses we did an excellent job converting it over.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

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