Our 5e campaign has taken some interesting turns.

I mentioned we hit 7th level last week. This was right on the tail of our encounter with the iron golem, so uh. We got a lot done. Once the golem was down, I think we decided to take a break. Just a “short rest,” if I remember correctly.

Our Fighter had Hit Dice to spend, after all.

We had only a few rooms left in the last corner of the dungeon to clear, and some in the middle which had been blocked by rubble. We investigated a couple of rooms, checked passages, and set guards at a few points.

I figured that after our near-death experience with the cannibals, it would be a good idea to . . . not be surprised again. For everybody’s sake.

Things don’t always go quite the way I plan.

When we were certain we’d figured out the next encounter location, our Fighter broke down the door and charged . . . into a room with a dozen or more cannibals and some dogs. It was a big room. With a lot of guys.

Luckily, I got much better initiative this time around.

I tend to be in the back because I’m a squishy Wizard. I also tend to be surrounded by hired henchmen. Well, I am the one who hired them and the other players don’t like the henchmen in the front ranks for some reason.

Like I’ve given them any reason to worry.

Well, at this point I figure we’re screwed again. If even half the cannibals in the new room had ranged weapons, we were looking at a TPK. So I moved up and filled the room with a Fog Cloud. I left space for our party to operate.

Our Druid and Fighter were pretty eager to join the battle, and they got battered pretty hard. As soon as I realized my henchmen were pretty well outclassed, I pulled them back to use strictly for defense.

Luckily (you may be noticing a pattern), these cannibals didn’t possess ranged attacks. But they did have a Wizard, who could dispel my Fog Cloud.

I cast another Fog Cloud on my turn to buy us some time, but not after urging everyone in the party to focus fire on the Wizard. Because duh.

Without Cone of Cold (it had come out of my Staff of Frost the last time), we had to fight the cannibals the hard way. They were hard to hit, and soaked up a fair bit of damage all things considered.

By the time the enemy Wizard dispelled the second Fog Cloud, many of the cannibals had closed to attack our group at the room entrance — we hadn’t pushed very far into the room — and I called the party back to the passage.

I figured we could create a choke point.

With the enemy cannibals concentrated near the room entrance, I unleashed my new Fear spell, and hit something like nine targets. The cannibals and dogs fled across the room, and gave us time to regroup and dispatch the Wizard.

Our Fighter and Druid were better able to focus down individual targets grouped near the room entrance, and our Ranger was able to rain death down on the enemies cowering on the far side of the room.

Then, we had things pretty well in hand.

We scooped up some treasure a couple rooms later, including a Potion of Clairvoyance. It was getting pretty late, and we wanted to scope out one of the last rooms where we expected an encounter. All signs said vampire.

I led a discussion about what we should do in the event of a vampire. They have charming gaze, and considering how well fortified the room was, I guessed it had been there a while. Long enough to have allies in town.

My assumption was the vampire probably had some spawn either in the town or somewhere nearby, and I thought it might be in our best interest to interrogate the vampire and find out. But “light was fading fast.”

While most of us cleared rubble to reach the vampire’s room, the Cleric jogged back to town so he could scan for Undead. The spell only lasts ten minutes or so while you concentrate. Luckily the town was on the small side.

Our Cleric located a couple of vampire spawn — barmaids — and we sicced our NPC Assassin on them. Back in the dungeon, everybody got a job and we prepared to move in on the vampire.

Fighter was on stake detail.
Druid was opening the coffin.
Cleric was on standby to turn undead.
Wizard (me) was ready with spells.
Ranger was out of Charm range, ready to arrow.
Henchmen were down the hall to prevent escape.

And the Fighter pulled it off. I mean, staked the vampire. It technically took like, 3-4 tries, but we won initiative and the Fighter just . . . hammered away.

Then we hacked off its head. And were. Done.

The vampire was the last monster on the first floor of the dungeon. We were done. But there were a couple rooms left, and uh. The treasure room.