Call of the Kydemones
Our first proper D&D session started out simply enough: Rianne arrived at Highbury Monastery with an urgent request for our other heroes (Evendur, Orwin, and Fenn). We were to return at once to the Kydemones Academy in Nauem, where civic turmoil there was putting our shared alma mater at risk. Armed with traveling gear and sufficient rations, we set out, encountering muddy and dismal conditions on the road. Despite some false starts, we made it to the village of Krunu where we found a D'Murge priest, one Brother Dimos, willing to share his temple with travelers of his order.
And so, the first day passed without death by devil chicken, though there was a rather strange series of utterances from our paladin Orwin (who felt it necessary to boast loudly about his persuasion abilities, wanting to be the one to find lodging for the night). Nonetheless we enjoyed the hospitality of Dimos, whose town, we learned, had recently been the subject of mysterious attacks and disappearances. Feeling pity for these people, Fenn encouraged Rianne (the keeper of our purse) to share some silver with them, given that we could not stay and help due to our mission. Seeing this donation take place without having been consulted, Orwin threw a childish tantrum in full display of our hosts (evidence, no doubt, of his vaunted persuasion), and had to be physically carried off by Fenn.
It cannot be said that fondness for Orwin changed tack, because after insisting to be in the lead, he lost track of the path and enmeshed our party in dark woods, where near-silent flapping noises were the only harbinger of a sudden attack by the deadly, mind-destroying Cornix! (Yes, my friends: a devil chicken! Or, more accurately, a devil crow.) If not for some quick crossbow work by Fenn, and Evendur's stealthy retreat into a good knife-throwing position, our party would have been lost. Orwin, for his part, and despite his best efforts, ended up nearly dead, face-down on the ground, revived only by a prayer of healing from Fenn.
Thanks to some sensibility on the part of Rianne, we had soon lit a torch and found our way out of the dark forest, passing eventually into a more open land where we felt we must stop and make camp for the night to rest and heal. In an attempt to make up for his various embarrassing missteps throughout the day, Orwin took first watch. Unfortunately for him (perhaps being too deep in reconsideration of his life choices), he missed the sudden onslaught of two lightning-quick Kotopoio (think devil ostriches)! Catching the party unawares, they ravaged Orwin and left him draining life on the ground. Once awake, the rest of us were able to poke them sufficiently with swords, finishing these marauders off without suffering too much damage. But Orwin was basically gone. Fenn, with deep sorrow and pity replacing the irritation in his heart toward Orwin, once again knelt down, and prayed a Prayer of Recovery. His prayer answered, Orwin's ghastly pallor retreated and he appeared to be in stable condition, though in a deep unconscious sleep.
And so we leave our heroes: exhausted and harried after not even two days on the job, with Orwin just back from death's door and everyone else keenly aware of our vulnerability. Will we make it to Nauem? How are we meant to help the Kydemones Academy once we get there? What is Orwin's deal anyway? These are questions for the morning, and for our next episode. For now, we rest.