How Our DM Threw an Unexpected Plot Twist at the Very First Session

Our first session for this currently-untitled campaign ends up having a twist none of us saw coming.


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Just last night (as of the time I began typing this entry), we had our very first session for a homebrew campaign that a friend of mine from college is running. The party was pretty small, consisting of only three members – Anya, a paladin that looked human but otherwise had this corpse-like look to her, Spork, a goblin cook (basically a bard but with food), and then there's me, playing a half-orc barbarian named Zhaurgul.

The three of us, total strangers at the time, all end up arriving at Kaladesh – not to be confused with the plane of the same name from MtG. As most campaigns do, we end up meeting and getting acquainted at a tavern called The Tavern of New Beginnings. There, we meet with a incredibly large but friendly man named Stromboli, who gives all three of us a huge welcome and introduces us to stuff about Kaladesh. After some small talk and some food and drink were had, we are then informed that there are two possible jobs that three of us could take, since we were all in need of money at that point.

The first job, which Spork decided to check out, was another goblin looking for people to help out with a caravan service of sorts, in which they had to transport some unknown cargo. "Goblin Bro", as we decided to call him since we never learned of his name, was adamant on not answering any questions, but Spork didn't seem to mind too much. The second, which Anya and I checked out at the bulletin board, provided details about the recent kidnappings – literally, in this case – around Kaladesh and how it has left many parents distraught and that those willing to join the search should remain at the tavern to meet with someone roughly around 10 PM. As we were then brought over to our rooms, which we could stay in at no charge for a few nights, I decided to ask if I could roll an Insight check to see if Stromboli's demeanor was genuine, as Zhaurgul would have suddenly remembered what happened that night. I only ended up rolling a 9, though that was just enough for the half-orc to get the sense that Stromboli really is as friendly as he passes himself off to be, and that he's been in a similar situation before.

We have our dinner and, as the clock strikes 10, meet up with this someone, a man whom we only know as "J" – a member of an independent group that call themselves "The Liberated", who have been doing what they can to help the sorry state of the town and, according to Stromboli, have been doing a better job at it than the actual townsguard. After being filled in on the details of where to meet him for the job, we end up having one final discussion as to which job we take and unanimously agree on helping The Liberated out, unfortunately having to miss out on the job offered by Goblin Bro, as his job would also be taking place in the morning.

Dawn comes the next day and we meet J and the rest of his band by the eastern gate, where we were told to meet him, before immediately setting off. Thanks to a Natural 20 on a Survival check from Anya, we manage to make it to our assigned campsite relatively quickly, roughly around as dusk falls. After having a meal personally prepared by Spork, which we all learn is quite delicious – with Zhaurgul considering this the best food he's had in a long time, we all turn in for the night, with Spork taking first watch and managing to spot two wolves coming right at us and, after a brief scuffle, manage to fight them off before going back to sleep.

The next day comes and we make our way up to the mountain where J was informed the missing kids would be found. As we arrive at the cave where the kids were being held, we look out and see not only all of the kids that had been captured, but also none other than Goblin Bro, with the asisstance of a couple more goblins, making sure they were loaded onto the wagons that would transport them all to who knows were.

That's right – Goblin Bro was the one behind all of the recent kidnappings, and none of us even realized it until we saw it for ourselves. I then asked the DM if I could roll a quick Wisdom saving throw to see if Zhaurgul wouldn't fly into a rage as he sees this development, and end up rolling a total of 18 after being allowed to do so. Ultimately, the half-orc quells his barbaric rage for the moment as now wouldn't have been an opportune moment to strike. With the goblins' attention turned away from our direction, we all then roll for Stealth to see if we can get the jump on them.

I end up rolling a Natural 1 and step on a twig, immediately drawing their attention.

Spork tries to deceive Goblin Bro by passing himself off as him bringing prisoners. Could have worked, but there was just one problem – Goblin Bro never told Spork where he would be for the job he offered. Not buying his bullshit, Goblin Bro then utters in goblin, "Kill them!" We roll for Initiative.

The fight starts off not-too-badly, with Spork and Goblin Bro essentially having the same Initiative in the order. We spend out first turns dealing with the two other goblins that were with Goblin Bro. Next turn comes, and two more goblins are commanded to man the wagons and dash off, with one of them immediately doing so. Spork and I end up going after it, with him at the top of the wagon and me attempting to hold it back and keep it from moving any further. "You're not getting away that easy!" Zhaurgul yells as he grabbed the back of the wagon. Meanwhile, Anya and J are back by the cave, dealing with the goblins there and the remaining wagon that was just about ready to move.

The goblin driving the cart Zhaurgul had grabbed a hold of manages to roll a Natural 20 on his Athletics check to break away from my grip, beating my total of 22 (18 on the die itself). I immediately had him give chase once more, this time electing to cut off one of the wheels as he caught up. I managed to roll a 14 on that attack, and so he cleanly cuts through the wheel on the right, tipping it towards the wall of the cliffside and catching the now-bleeding out Spork, who had taken another arrow from Goblin Bro earlier. I then spend my next turn trying to free the kids inside the cart Zhaurgul had just managed to stop, seeing that the goblin manning it had ran away – albeit not before attacking him first for little damage as I was still raging at the time.

Not long after, J manages to land the killing blow on Goblin Bro, much to Spork's dismay, and we ultimately rescue all of the captured kids. Spork then decides to cut off the now-dead Goblin Bro's head and place it on a stick of sorts, leaving a baguette in his mouth for good measure. I decide to help the now-released kids back onto the remaining cart, as J suggested that we escort them home using that, but then quickly turn to Spork and give him a thumbs up.

Our mission a success, we make our way back to Kaladesh and bring them to the town square, where all the rescued kids were picked up by their parents except for one – an auburn-haired girl named Annabeth – who would be escorted back personally by J. The moment we found ourselves heading back to the tavern with Annabeth in tow, I recalled the Insight check I rolled earlier and put two and two together. Sure enough, it turned out that Annabeth was Stromboli's daughter, and he was more than happy to have her back.

As he witnesses this scene, Zhaurgul briefly reminisces on happier and better times from back when he was just a sailor on a merchant ship – long before the night he experienced true betrayal. "So, is this what we're going to be doing now?" Anya turned to her new companions.

"Well, it's not like we have anywhere else to go for the time being," Zhaurgul replies. "So yeah… it looks like we might be travelling together for a while."

And that's where we ended our very first session of this untitled campaign.


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