As a session, this mostly consisted of connective tissue. Were this campaign a trilogy, we would have just concluded Act II and enjoyed a relatively low-intensity segue before starting Act III in the next session.
As the party had just eliminated an Elder Evil cult, they went back to the clock tower where their patron, Morrigan Rue, dwells, in order to inform her of all that had occurred. She was quite pleased at the initiative they showed, because she had only pointed them at a lead to investigate and asked them to report back, but they went much further and removed a threat.
Unfortunately, at the same time, the Paladin confirmed the Bard’s suspicion that Morrigan is a vampire. They briefly debated whether or not to attack her right there, but decided that was unwise and instead exchanged the wands they took from the witches for an extra payment and left.
Before leaving town for Chancel, the seat of the Church of Saintly Blood, they paid a few more visits. The Fighter visited Ambrosina the plague doctor (who gave them a letter of recommendation for a colleague in Chancel). The Paladin popped over to the cathedral so that she could wrap up some quick business and commune with her patron saint. And of course the Thief visited the guild safe house to inform them of his absence; confusion resulted, but it mostly sorted itself out.
While passing through the swamps that lay between Piskaro and Chancel, they happened upon a wrecked barge that drew their attention. A few skeletons lay within, but the party noticed that one of them was just playing possum when it lifted up its head briefly to see whether the prey was taking the bait.
After an oddly epic fight with an assassin vine, of all things, the Bard had little interest in a drawn-out melee and just fireballed the barge, incinerating the undead ambushers within.
Despite my earlier thoughts that the previous session would have been a good place to end the campaign, I realized that instead it just concluded a major section of it. That made it feel far more satisfying: this isn’t artificially extending the campaign, but instead giving them a chance to wrap up some storylines.
Preparing for the next session has felt a lot like “After the First Session“. We don’t have too many major ongoing plot arcs beyond what we know of the characters (which admittedly is a lot more than early in a campaign) and they’ve only broadly sketched out their goals. That has given me a lot of freedom, but unlike last winter I now have a lot more experience about what to do. So I’ve set up an adventure front with some dangers relevant to the interest they’ve expressed, but with the idea of discarding a few once they choose a couple to investigate. The adventurers still have to make ongoing choices of what to pursue, but those choices will consist solely of things they have decided on a meta level will hold their attention.