D&D Chronicles: Vale Ash

Ash was a plainswoman, hailing from a remote village in the north. She trained as a ranger and loved the outdoors, but her life was calm and ordinary until a clan of goblins attacked her village and stole a sacred artifact. This caused her and her friend Alix to journey into the mountains in pursuit, where they encountered an unlikely band of adventurers and became fast friends. Ash discovered in herself a taste for adventure, and her skills as both ranger and warrior were tested beyond her wildest imaginings. She defeated scores of foes, was knocked out more times than she could count, and explored parts of the world she’d never dreamed to see. In her last days she was bonded to the young snow wolf, Ylva, who died defending Ash’s slain body. She was just 26 years old.

***

I’ve been having so much fun playing dungeons and dragons of late, that I forgot sometimes it sucks.

Namely, when your character dies for real.

It’s been a while since our party lost any characters permanently… in fact the last time was the death of my previous character, Rhi, and one of the others (albeit in separate incidents). Since the introduction of Ash and Alix as replacement characters almost exactly a year ago, Intan (paladin) has died and been resurrected twice, and Ash died and was resurrected once (just last session).

But now Ash is dead for good this time. Just as she made it to level four and gained an animal companion. Saffir, our rogue, is also dead. Just as she made it to level five.

We are really cranky.

It happened when the two of us were on reconnaissance — the details don’t matter anymore — and we failed first two spot checks and then a will save. At the time we didn’t have any idea what the ramifications would be…

Ash’s wolf, Ylva, left back with our companions, started howling and then they found us with our throats cut, having succumbed to a sleep spell. That was it. No battle. Just… nothing. Dead. Worse than being killed by a plant. Much worse than bleeding out in a battle, when at least you have some time to prepare yourself…

I am still really cranky.

It happened early in the evening (our time), thrusting the proverbial spanner in the works as far as the party’s plans went. It also forced two of us to roll up new characters, come up with hasty backstories, and try to integrate with the balance of the party who are insanely suspicious of strangers.

On the whole, it was an awkward,  frustrating evening with intermittent fun. Once Ash was dead, I confess I didn’t pay much attention to whatever else was going on. We did send the new party off on a mission to try to gain some positive action for the evening, but that didn’t go so well either. I think we were all relieved to call it a night, and will have to scramble to pick up the pieces when we resume.

So… this has all been a bit doom and gloom, hasn’t it? Sorry about that.

I will introduce the new characters in my next post, after we next play in about two weeks. For now, we remember Ash and Saffir.

Commiserations gratefully accepted. Sniff.

6 comments

  1. RIP Ash and Saffir!

    It seems like a situation that applies equally to stories. Without the credible threat of death then the story lacks a certain edge to it. Some of my favorite books and tv shows are the ones where significant characters are killed off early. Not because I want to see them gone but because it lets you know that anything can happen and you don’t know that your favorite character is going survive any given encounter.

    Saying that, it does sound like you got the short end of the stick. Apart from having such an ignoble end, the consequences seem out of proportion to the rolls missed. At least in story/game world. While we do want story/game world to be realistic with the possibility of such ends, we generally don’t want it to be quite as harsh as the world world.

    Like

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