So, I just finished my DnD campaign a day or twi ago, and it was honestly the most heart-wrenching session I have had in a long time.
But for some background: We were in the world on Eberron. our party consisted of 5 players: A Human Fighter named Oliver obsessed with taking photos. A Dwarven Rogue named Jo who always had gold in his pockets (I bet you can guess why). A pair of Kalashtar Druid Twins that always had a bone to pick with each other, Gash and Ash. And then there was me: Val, the Punk from modern times.
He came from modern times, an alternate reality of our world if you please. He played in a Set It Off cover band with his friends and brothers as the Lead Singer. When his friend had to move back home to take care of his parents, he adopted the role of lead guitarrist as well. And during practice one day, he struck a horrid chord due to his little practice, opening up the untapped magic of the world and hurling him into Eberron, right at the other party member's feet, with nothing else but his white jacket and ampless guitar.
And that was how it started
We were in a small town at the start, named Fwar. The party didnt get along with Val well, more or less due to the number of curses he slung around in average conversations, as well as his constant urge to drink to make him forget how much he missed home. If I didn't mention, the rest of the party basically were acting as messengers of their holy lord and savior, so these were pretty deplorable behaviors. However, the party let him stick around because he could secure them housing in hhe developing town, performing at the local inn with the few songs he could perform by himself.
We bounced around for a bit, defending the small city, more like a village, from these external threats like Nothics, Zombie Hordes, and the like.
We found out that these beings were controlled by some external warlord, Haljar, the half warforged, who was basically a cyborg. Of course, we werent powerful enough to fight this thing yet, so we expended most of our resources expanding the town, eventually becoming the very council that governed it. Val made constant efforts to make the city more like his homeworld, devoting money into the research of motor vehicles and boxes of light to transmit video. But more than these, he recruited wizards from afar to research a way for him to get home.
The rest of the party considered exiling Val several times due to the seemingly selfish nature of his investments, yet they let him stay, because he had wonderful ideas for inventions that werent even possible yet.
Skip forward a few sessions, Fwar was a major city now, and we had finally pinned down the location of Haljar. None of the wizards Val had recruited even came close to developing a solution.
And much to his dismay, the party's hatred of him as well as the city populace's hatred grew further. They all saw him as a tyrant, not even trying to benefit the city, even though he provided some of the greatest innovations the country has ever seen, even drawing some tourism.
When he hit level 11, and he got 6th level spells as a bard, he cast Major Illusion as a permenant spell to re-create his band from home. Even with all of the minor things he had done to immerse him back into his homeworld, he grew depressed, rather quickly.
On the transition to our eventual BBEG fight, the party slowly warmed up to him, realizing that he wasnt trying to disrespect their god. He just didnt know any bettet and just wanted to get home. Even the city itself began to praise Val for his achievements.
He even found love in the city, got married, and had two kids with a wonderful elf, Sara.
Fast forward to the final session. Val slowly climbed his was up the social ladder until he was the most liked person in Eberron.
We confront Haljar at his stronghold, and fight through his ranks of strange monsters to his "office." Combat ensues, resulting in all of the other characters being KOd. The cyborg then stops Val with an invisible wall.
"Now listen here child, I do not think you are worthy of "saving" this realm."
The DM interrupts Val whenever he tried to speak. Eventually he poked in "I hear you want to go home."
Val stops, curious. He hadnt actually thought of his home realm for some time.
"I can send you back to where you belong. People of your honor don't belong with this group of ruffians, they do nothing but cause trouble anyways.". A portal glowing a neon green opens across the room. "And I also know you care about the friends you made here, so I'll make you a deal. If you walk through the door back to your home, I will let your friends go. A true Win-Win I believe. What do you say?"
The table was silenced. It wasn't quite sacrifice, but they would lose an important unit. Val had tears streaking his face, both from happiness of going back home and the sorrow of leaving an epic story and even better friends behind. He started to walk to the portal, and got within its reach before turning around. He still had his guitar out from the fight, and strikes a chord, casting power word kill. The DM franticlly flips through pages. Turns out, the thing was in double digit health, and dropped to its knees before having blood pour out from its eye sockets.
The rest of the party manages themselves awake, just in time to see Val approach the portal further. And staying with his back to the portal, he threw up a peace sign in the air, and was gone.
I found out after the session that Haljar was attempting to use the portal as a way to lure me away so he could kill the others without witnesses. He wouldnt have saved them. But at least I saved the party to live on. And Val finally made it to where he belongs. I'd call that a win.