The Hospital Tent

Cragmoor’s Company is broken. Able-bodied survivors number in the dozens, with a few dozen more walking wounded, and many more seriously injured that will require a long convalescence. The majority of the Company are numbered among the dead.

It’s chaos. Captain Cragmoor is dead, the army has lost much of its transport. Lord Claudred and his cavalry have turned traitor and left the Company. Sergeant Irontoe is missing. Shatul-Ghorag’s orcs have dragged away captives and treasure but they could return at any time.

With Cragmoor and his staff dead or captured, the elf Bercalion, one of the senior sergeants of the Company, is now the ranking officer. Bercalion is a steady hand, but his response to the crisis is predictable — retreat! It is all he can do to keep the withdrawal from becoming a rout. His plan is to fall back to a defensible position on the east bank of the River Calaran near the Bridge of Four.

There is no time to bury the dead.

Cleitus and Adrial bring the body of their friend, Lucan, to the hospital tent. It is a bloody mess. Fengrim is here, red to the elbows and exhausted from an endless series of surgeries, healings, and amputations. The senior cleric is Menkure, a dark-skinned, half-mad holy man from some unimaginably distant land. You know little about him — he is just one of many men who joined the Company to start a new life and forget the past — but now he is Lucan’s only hope of resurrection.

He stares at you blankly when you request that he raise your friend from the dead. “Look around you,” he says, his eyes glassy with exhaustion. “Many good men fell today. Friends. Our beloved Captain. My own half-brother.” He wipes bloody hands on his apron. “Why should I raise this one man, when so many others go into shadow?”

* * *

OK, here are your options.

If you want Lucan back, you will have to convince Menkure. Give me your best argument and we’ll role play it out a bit here in comments. Ultimately you will have Lucan back if that is what you want but the cost will be determined by the strength of your argument.

Alternatively, you can leave Lucan dead — we may see him again sometime, but not for the rest of this campaign. In his place, you can roll up a new character (at first level), maybe trying out an exotic race and/or a warlock, paladin, druid, or ranger if you can scare up a copy of Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms before our next game on the 22nd.

If you’re feeling really badass, you can soldier on just as three characters and see if you can finish the campaign without him. That means more XP and rewards for everyone but a substantially higher degree of difficulty.

Regardless, you will also have to decide what to do next. I assume you will pursue the orc raiders while the trail is hot — they have captives, and Cragmoor told you to avenge him — but it is up to you what to do next.

Reply in comments, please. Give me an idea of what you want to do so I can prepare for the next game …


4 thoughts on “The Hospital Tent

  1. Given that the rogue was one of our best damage dealers, I think soldiering on without a replacement of some kind would be unwise. Even more unwise than leaving a character on the front line of a battle with only two hit points.

    Right now I’m drawing a blank about any reason why Lucan is more special than other the others who fell on that fateful morning, other than him being “mostly dead” having expired by only two points on a fairly lucky damage roll after being randomly picked out of the crowd as a target in the first place.

    Given his penchant for rolling ones in critical situations, I’m thinking the dice have wanted Lucan dead since the beginning. Who am I to defy the will of the dice?

    1. Menkure nods. “Death comes for all men, the just and unjust alike,” he says. “Lives of mortals are a twinkling. The Queen does not care when we come to Her, She will always win in the end.” He wipes his hands on his shirt. “It is for mortals to decide how long they will struggle in this world. If you friend is done with life, you should let him go. But once he has visited the Queen’s Hall and received his judgment, there is no returning. If this door closes, it cannot be reopened.”

    2. Clearly, this is Dave’s choice, and I’ll go along with whatever he thinks best.

      I have a couple of thoughts. First, why not allow Lukan’s replacement (whomever that might be) to come in at 2nd level? The rest of the party is almost at 3rd, and I don’t think it will be too fun to play someone underpowered/vulnerable. Even starting at the minimum experience for 2nd level is a handicap.

      Second, I’m tempted to pick up the new Heroes book and try out a ranger (assuming that is not what Dave already has in mind). Adrial is a wuss, perhaps he can stay behind and help shore up what’s left of the company – and a ranger would be useful in tracking down that bastard Claudred.

      If Lukan’s big brother, or guildmate, wanted to join in the hunt for revenge, adding a new rogue for Dave would be great and easy to justify from a roleplay perspective. Or, if Dave’s done with Rogues, perhaps I can run one, and he can take the ranger, or paladin, or whatever interest him.

      1. If the party were up to L5 or L6 I say, sure, bring the new guy in at party level, but we’re only L2, and it’s a kind of semi-official house rule that a replacement character should come in at Party Minus One, so let’s stick with L1 for Lucan’s replacement (if we do indeed replace him).

        I have no problem if you want to replace Adrial with a new character, Andrew … a mage was never a great fit for you, and aside from taking out piles of minions and some fast talking with the dragon, he’s been a bit of a disappointment.

        It is easy to narrate new characters into the story at this juncture — the Company is shattered and there will be plenty of mercs looking for revenge or their next paycheck. If you want a feel for new characters, bring ’em on, or if you want Lucan back, that’s cool too (and it opens up some story possibilities, too, although we won’t be able to explore them in the two games that remain).

        It’s up to you guys!

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