In this week’s episode recap of the Blue Collar DM Presents Blue Collar Dungeons and Dragons, we take a deep dive into Episode 20 of Campaign 1, The Drowned Swamp. This episode was a doozy and a huge turning point for the series and the campaign.
The game started like most, the characters waking up after a night at the Slumbering Steed Tavern in the small city of Thistlebrush, a city known for its gnome and halfling population and their wonderous inventions and raucous parties. In addition to the haunting that Juliet suffered after last episode, Twyla was also haunted in a terribly similar way. Both characters had their hit point maximums reduced thanks to the haunting and had to continue to carry their 1st level of doom, cursed with a failed death save.
Looking to rectify the curse, the party sought out a local medicine man, Katankles, a gnome shaman just outside of town. After gaining his favor, the Druid was able to concoct some sort of mixture of mushrooms to create olfactory experience that was quite warm to say the least, restoring the lost hit points and maximums.
Feeling revitalized, the party continued their way north, resting in the Fungal Grove they visited before, observing rapid growth in the sproutlings there. Needing to rest for the night, cycling through the night’s watches, both Twyla and Juliet were both once again haunted by the witch demon entity that haunted them before. Twyla seeing Roland, her mentor, flayed with his face peeled once again as before, and Juliet seeing the image of the kindly old woman Mabel, transformed into a wretched, ugly creature wearing Mabel’s face for a mask.
Shaken by their hauntings, both Juliet and Twyla gained a second doom level, having their hit point maximums reduced and taking a second failed death save. Situation being dire, the party needed to move quickly to stop this ongoing threat.
On their way to their destination, almost out of nowhere, misty globules of light descended upon the party. On their approach, they began to charge with lightning energy. Upon stepping back, Juliet had her leg clutched onto by a skeletal hand. Fighting through waves of Will-O-Wisps and hearty skeletal zombie creatures known as Putrid Haunts, the party needed to expend several skills resources trying to fend them off. In a battle that saw both Juliet and Twyla knocked unconscious by the creatures, before attempting to drag their bodies underneath the swampy muck, and Morharan dragging them back to the surface, the party suffered several close calls, until one was too close to overcome.
Juliet, whom we also just learned about her real name, Natasha, fell to the creatures and was dragged under. In desperation, Morharan was able to drag her back to the surface and vanquish the last of the zombie horde, but it was too little too late. Juliet had been defeated. The images of the battle and light of the world faded in her eyes, before she was then met with the image of her patron, Sheykas, the tiger demon that gave her powers. Seeing he was disappointed, she did not fight against the demon, and offered her soul, part of the bargain she made to get her powers. And that is where our story ended.
What does this mean for the party? How will this loss affect them and affect their relationships amongst each other? What is this demon witch that was able to do this to them and put them at such disadvantage? Will they be able to stop the oncoming plague of undeath and destruction created by this witch? We took a break this week so be sure to tune in on Thursday, April 8th at 8:30pm EST to find out!