Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

The Smugglers Cave
Session One
Moonday, 3rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

Hochtritt sends his resistance fighters on their first mission: to escort three children (Eric, Matthew and Rosie) to the Smugglers Cave, to be delivered to their contact, a smuggler called Morten. In exchange, they will be given a supply of weapons to be brought back to the safe-house.

The party (consisting of locals Corvin, Halmary and Senoj, and dwarf brothers Ungrid and Zarkov) sneak out of town under cover of night, easily avoiding the ogre patrols, and travel three hours through the moonlit night, to the cave. There they discover the corpse of Anders, one of the three smugglers they were to meet. He lies on the ground, arrows in his back (which Zarkov recognises as orc-arrows), a sword thrust to his gut. They immediately suspect trouble ahead, and keep the children back as Corvin scouts ahead, entering the cave. It is dark inside, but in the faint light coming from outside, the young thief stumbles upon the body of Jeppe, the second smuggler. He has been hacked to death. He reports this to the others, and all but Zarkov enter, lighting torches to see by; the dwarf craftpriest waits by the entrance, guarding the children.

The others head towards the storerooms, from where Ungrid hears movement. Suddenly, an orc looms up in the light; no, more than one, three orcs! Senoj and Corvin let loose arrows, injuring an orc, who shouts out to alert his allies. The orcs fire back, their own arrows bouncing off the walls and Ungrid’s banded armour. Both he and the cleric, Halmary, charge into the room and engage two of the orcs; the third seems to have vanished. Corvin and Senoj head back to the entrance, keeping an eye on the other tunnel as they know it links to the cave where the orcs are. As they do so, they hear a scream down another tunnel (they know that one leads to a dead-end), which is suddenly cut off. Zarkov, children in tow, decides to investigate.

Meanwhile, the dwarf vaultguard and the cleric are fighting a pair of orcs, when an orc champion comes out of the store rooms and engages Halmary. Ungrid takes out his orc with an axe to the head, and goes to help Hal. Elsewhere, Zarkov descends into the other tunnel, finding a dead orc. Before he goes any further, a giant spider pounces from above, narrowly missing. He swings his mace at it, scoring a hit, but little more than bruising it.

Back at the entrance, Corvin and Senoj spot the other orc down the tunnel and fire at it, and the explorer scores a direct hit, an arrow between the eyes that fells the orc. Ungrid kills his orc, and then helps Halmary against the champion, who manages to further wound the cleric. Zarkov backs away from the spider, telling the children to run back to the entrance, which they do. The spider follows and manages to bite the dwarf, but his hardy constitution resist the poison in its bite. He manages to get out of the tunnel, and the spider doesn’t follow, instead retreating into the darkness.

Halmary takes out the champion, crushing its skull. Ungrid heads up into the connecting tunnel, and spots another orc in hiding; he charges it. Halmary takes a moment to catch his breath, and heals his wounds with a divinely inspired lay on hands. Zarcov follows his brother, as does Senoj and Corvin. Ungrid wounds his orc, allowing the explorer to finish it off.

They spot the shipment of weapons, open and rummaged through, and approach it. From that tunnel (ends near the shrine and a dead-end tunnel), Senoj hears orc voices. Zarkov moves up to the crate, but an orc spots and shoots him, severing several fingers and knocking him down. Senoj drags his body out of view, and Halmary quickly tends to him, bringing him around and helping to bind his wounds.

Senoj calls out for the orcs to surrender. They reply with a threat to kill their captive, and shove Morten into view; the smuggler is alive, battered, and tied-up. They want to be allowed to leave the caves safely, or they will kill Morten. Senoj argues that if they kill him, then they are as good as dead. The orcs ignore his threat, surround their captive, and start moving up the tunnel.

End of Session

Kills: 6 orcs, 1 champion.
PCs ko’d: Zarkov (recovered, but lost a few fingers).

No loot as yet.

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Orcs & Ogres
Session Two

Moonday 3rd, to, Waterday 5th Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

A quick plan is formed: as the Orcs move out with their hostage, everyone but the dwarves hide and get ready to ambush them if necessary. They move into position as the Orcs start moving up the tunnel, the dwarves backing away.

As the Orcs reach the side tunnel, one of them spies Senoj and calls out to his chief: “Boss, there’s more of them. A filthy human!” Then he spots Halmary and the children behind him. “And they’ve brought snacks for the Ogres. We’ll be taking them, human; hand them over!”

Naturally, Senoj refuses. At the same time, Ungrid calls out for the Orcs to release their prisoner, and they’ll allow them to pass. The Orcs refuse, and at a shout from Ungrid, the ambush is sprung; unfortunately, the Orcs are ready for trouble and aren’t surprised. As Senoj looses an arrow and Ungrid charges in, narrowly missing his Orc, Halmary steps past the explorer and crushes the Orc’s head with his mace. Behind that Orc, however, stands the Champion, who moves in and swings at the cleric, missing by a wide margin. Zarkov and Corvin advance, the dwarf craftpriest bashing in the skull of another Orc, while the thief manages to hit only armour.

Ungrid moves into the tunnel and quickly takes out the last typical Orc, while Corvin shoots over his shoulder and manages to hit the chief, forcing him to drop Morten and back off down the tunnel. The Orc Champion stabs Halmary in the chest, and the cleric falls down! Senoj leaps over his body, drawing his sword and wounds the champion; Ungrid and Corvin head after the chief, leaving Zarkov to help Senoj.

Zarkov manages to revive Halmary, who is weak from shock but thankfully alive. The others engage the chief, and Ungrid delivers the killing blow.

With the smuggler freed, they pass him the children and loot the Orcs, finding 1,800 silver, 2,000 electrum, and a quiver of fine elven arrows (which turn out to be +2 arrows). They return home, with an offer of a job from Morten (a historian wants to visit a lost temple, and wants an escort; he is willing to pay well), and a paper of Orc orders about a dungeon the giants want secured. When they return to their Safe House, Hochtritt uses one of the valuable healing potions to treat Halmary and tells them that a local farmer is in need of help: an Ogre has been causing him trouble, and as the farmer supplies them with much needed healing herbs, he has agreed to send his pupils to deal with it.

On the afternoon of Waterday the party head to the farm, and after talking to the farmer learn that the Ogre comes at night, demanding food and drink, threatening the family and carrying off one of their pigs. They believe the Ogre is not one of the main lot, so repercussions is caught might not be as severe. The party makes a plan: Corvin hides in one of the trees, some of the magic arrows with him; Senoj hides by the pig-sty with the other arrows; Halmary hides on the roof of the farmhouse with his net and an oil-soaked blanket; while the two dwarves remain inside, ready to attack. Then they wait for the Ogre to arrive.

A couple of hours after sunset the Ogre arrives, but before it can even bellow out that it wants its food, Halmary throws the net; which misses. Corvin fires off an arrow, and also misses; Senoj hits, making the Ogre twist round to see where the arrow came from, allowing Halmary to throw the blanket over its head, confusing the large creature; and allowing Corvin to shoot another arrow, which sticks in its back; the Ogre falls to its knees, seriously injured, and another arrow from Senoj takes it down, the arrow sticking out of the back of its head.

The farmers thank them, and the party chop up the body and dispose of it (some fed to the pigs, the rest buried). They return home to clean up and decide that the next thing to do is journey to the dungeon and see what the Orcs were after.

End of Session

Kills: 4 orcs, 1 orc champion, 1 orc sub-chief, 1 ogre.
PCs ko’d: Halmary (recovered, but was in shock and needed a day resting).

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Bandits & Dungeon Crawling
Session Three

Waterday 12th, to, Sunday 16th of Readying , CY 591 (Spring)

“We need to know what the giants’ interest in this ‘dungeon’ is,” said Hochtritt while pacing in the hall of the safe-house. “From the directions the orcs had, this dungeon is about three days travel; up in the foothills, halfway between Tika Town and West Town. I need you to go out there and find out what’s so important about that place; if it’s something we can use, take it. If not, destroy it. It’s quietened down now, so you should leave as soon as you are ready. The equipment you wanted has been smuggled in by Morten, and is over there by the door. Norris has also supplied us with the healing herbs we needed, so take what you can carry. If you’re not back within two weeks, I’ll presume you are dead. Try to make sure you come back; it’s takes time to train new folk, and time is a luxury we don’t have.”

The resistance party (Ungrid, Vaultguard L1; Zarkov, Craftpriest L1; Senoj, Explorer L1; Halmary, Cleric L1; and Corvin, Thief L1) head off as night falls, sneaking out of the town and heading along the road towards West Town. It takes two days to reach the old trails that lead into the hills, and they travel into the foothills in daylight; as night falls they seek shelter, and as they search amongst a rocky ravine with trees hanging from various outcroppings, a voice calls out: “Stop where you are! Show us you gold, and we’ll let you live.”

The keen eyes of Ungrid spot a couple of bandits lurking in the rocks and trees, and Corvin hears more on the other side of the trail. Senoj tells them to “stuff it”, and Zarkov and Halmary make a move towards the trees; and the bandits take offence at that and a couple of arrows fly harmlessly threw the cool night air. Senoj replies by loosing an arrow, which strikes a bandit in the chest, hurling him out of the tree and to his death below. Halmary follows his example, slinging a heavy stone that crushes the skull of another bandit, who falls amongst the rocks. An arrow barely scratches Senoj, and Corvin fells another (his first kill!) with a well-placed arrow. He climbs up the rocks, hoping to get a better view of the other bandits, but falls down, unconscious, as one of those bandits spies him and shoots him down. Zarkov rushes up to a bandit, using his axe to cleave him in two; and meanwhile, Ungrid tries unsuccessfully to climb the rocks, but his armour weighs him down. Instead he heads over to attack a bandit who climbs out of the tree, trying to get a better aim; but the dwarf’s axe swings wide.

Halmary takes out another bandit with his sling, as Zarkov clambers up to tend to the bleeding Corvin. Senoj exchanges arrows with the remaining bandit, both missing. That lone bandit, desperate but determined, starts to withdraw and Ungrid follows him, as does Halmary and Senoj. The bandit manages to block their attacks, then stabs Senoj in the chest, and the Explorer falls down! Meanwhile, Zarkov has woken Corvin and bandaged his wounds, and the thief is fit and well again. The dwarf then scurries down the rocks, leaping down the last few feet to block the bandit’s exit; allowing Halmary to get his third kill as he bashes the bandit’s skull in.

In the aftermath they revive Senoj, who is not too injured, merely bruised and winded. They find no loot on the bodies, just tattered suits of leather armour, worn short swords, bows and arrows. They strip the bodies and stash the equipment for recovery later; to help build up their ‘army’ supplies. They rest for the night, all feeling refreshed and fighting fit by morning. Another couple of hours walk and they come across some rubble, the ruins of a building long since collapsed. A stairwell leads down into darkness, a couple of dead giant rats on the middle steps. Closer investigation reveals that they have been drained of blood.

Torches lit, they descend into the dungeon, finding a couple of doors and an archway leading into a larger chamber. Etched on the keystone of the arch is the symbol of a raised gauntlet, spiked and clenched. Senoj hears a fluttering from the chamber ahead. Halmary and Ungrid, then the others, try to open the doors; but they are warped and rusted shut and prove hard to budge; their noise, however, attracts attention and a Stirge flies in to land on the arch, eyeing them up. Senoj lets fly an arrow, which misses, but agitates the creature into attacking!

Two more Stirges fly in from the chamber, converging on Ungrid, Halmary and Senoj. The Explorer shoots one of the air, and Corvin wounds another before it engages the rest; then the other two creatures follow after their mate, leaving a small pile of dead critters on the floor. Ungrid takes his axe to one of the doors, hacking it apart. Beyond is a disused, empty room. Another door leads into a closest, a pair of cloaks hanging up, worn and rotten with mould. In one is a pocket, holding an Agate gemstone. They pocket it, and head back to the other door.

End of Session

Kills: 6 bandits, 3 stirges.
PCs KO’d: Corvin, Senoj.

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Centipedes, Skeletons, and Rats! Oh My!
Session Four

Following on from the previous session, the party (Senjo the Explorer, Halmary the Cleric, Corvin the Thief, Ungrid the Vaultguard, and Zarkov the Craftpriest, all Level 1) continued to explore the dungeon…

Halmary approaches the other stuck door, forcing it open with a mighty kick. Inside is a room damp and covered with mud, with fissures and cracks letting in light through the ceiling. Another door is across the room. All is quiet and seemingly empty. Him and Corvin enter, heading to the door. The others start to slowly move in as well. As Halmary kicks the other door open, six giant centipedes skitter out of the mud and fissures.

Corvin has one drop down almost on top of him, but he cuts it in two; Halmary and Zarkov crush another two with their maces, but Senoj only manages to wound his with a shot from his bow. Ungrid steps up and cleaves one in two, and seconds later Halmary kills another, Senoj wounds one, and Zarkov steals the kill by smashing it with his mace. A quick search reveals no treasure, and the door leads to another closet, with nothing but a blunt spear inside.

They move on, past the room from where the Stirges came from, taking the left corridor: cells line the corridor, a door at the far end. Inside two of the cells are skeletons: one is a human skeleton chained to the wall, a heavy silver bracelet on its arm. The other cell holds two dwarven skeletons, hands clasped around each others necks. Corvin checks for traps, finds none, and loots the treasure. Then, as he steps into an empty cell to have a search, a blob of Green Slime lands on his back! Quickly, as the slime begins to dissolve his armour, he cuts himself free of the leather vest and backs out quickly, slamming the door shut. They leave the slime to its meal.

The door opens, after a hefty kick from Senoj, into a dining hall, with a cistern and pump in one corner, and several tables and benches. Sat around them are eleven Skeletons, dressed in tattered robes and holding rusted maces in his hands. None react when Senoj shoots an arrow into the room; but as soon as the adventurers start to enter, the skeletons animate and advance, attacking en masse.

Halmary tried and fails to turn them, but Zarkov summons up his power and turns eight of them, which begin to back away. Meanwhile, Ungrid smashes one to pieces, then takes out another as it withdraws. Halmary takes two out, proving capable with a mace, as does Corvin. Senoj merely damages one. Then Ungrid takes a heavy blow to his head, momentarily dazing him, so that his return swing has little effect.

Now only two of the skeletons are still fighting, the rest cowering from the might of Zarkov. They all fall quickly to the combined attacks of the party; and not a moment too soon, as from the corridor behind, Corvin hears the pad of many feet and squeals of rats. He shines his torch and sees a swarm of Giant Rats heading straight towards them!

Corvin backs off, bow out, and stands with Senoj, both behind the two clerics who take up the front line; Ungrid, injured and without any missile weapons, stays back ready to help. Before the rats close, Senoj takes one out with his bow. Then the rats attack.

Zarkov is bit, a chunk of flesh torn from his shoulder. He bashes it over the head, crushing it. Senoj shoots over the dwarf’s head, killing another rat, and Halmary crushes one of those attacking him; more rats take their place. Corvin wounds one with his bow. Then Senoj drops his bow, grabs his spear, and begins to help the clerics, while the thief continues to fire at the rats still behind the front line; he takes another one out, thinning the numbers.

Then Zarkov falls down! A rat almost bites his face off, and Senoj fills the gap, allowing Corvin to drag the body out. The cleric and explorer take out two more rats, leaving one for Ungrid to slay as he shoves his way forward to revenge his fallen comrade; and the rats lie dead at their feet.

Zarkov is badly injured, has lost six teeth, and needs rest to fully recover; but at least he is alive. They discuss what to do, and after a search of the room (with nothing of value found), they decide to head out of the dungeon, make camp, and give Zarkov time to recover; while keeping an eye on the ruins, in case any orcs or giants turn up.

Thus ends the session.
Kills: 6 giant centipedes; 11 skeletons; 11 giant rats.
PCs KO’d: Zarkov (again; lost six teeth, needs a week’s rest).
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Kobold Slaughtering
Session Five

Moonday 17th Readying, to, Sunday 23rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

During the week they are resting, nothing happens until the final couple of days. On the night of the 21st, Corvin spots approaching Frost Giants (three) and Ogres (seven) coming toward the ruins. After a quick discussion, the party break camp and, carrying the nearly recovered Zarkov, hurry into the dungeon. They make it without being seen, and set up camp in the empty room that wasn’t full of mud. Corvin and Idni keep watch, listening to the giants. Seems that they are looking for the Orcs sent to secure the dungeon, and plan on waiting until tomorrow to see if they show. If not, some of the ogres will be left on guard, whilst the rest of the group head to West Town to see if the Orcs went there instead. They’ll return a few days later.

Meanwhile, both parties settle down for the rest of the night. As they do, the party of resistance adventurers hear the scurry of paws, more rats, in the night, as well as the soft pad of feet. Nothing comes near the camp, but it is unsettling nonetheless. In the morning, the giants and all but three of the ogres head off; the three ogres guard the ruins, but are soon dozing in the sun. Zarkov is now fully healed, so they decide to continue exploring the dungeon, looking for whatever it is that the giants are searching for.

The adventurers move into the hallway where the Stirges attack, and hear noises from the corridor leading to the room with the skeletons. A series of yaps and barks, which Ungrid and Zarkov recognise as Kobold. The little reptilian dog-faces are caught unawares, even with the torch light; they are busy cutting up the dead rats for food, while a couple of others are too intent on re-covering the pit. Before they can react, Ungrid hollers and charges in, and the rest of the party follow.

The Kobolds prove no match for the party and quickly fall to arrows, bolts, spears, maces and axes. Nothing of value is found, so the party head onwards, entering a room with a pool of water. More corridors with cells lead off, a skeleton in one has a ring which Halmary takes. Into a large, vaulted chamber they enter, which is home to more giant rats. They do not attack, at least not until Ungrid swings his axe, narrowly missing. The rats swarm, coming from all directions, even behind, and for a moment it looks like the party are going to be overwhelmed; but despite a few bites, the rats are soon slaughtered.

The party separates to explore the rats’ nests. Corvin gets stuck in, elbows in the filth and debris the rats gathered, finding some ornate windchimes for his trouble. Meanwhile, Ungrid is jumped when he investigates a corridor leading away; two Kobolds leap out, swinging spiked clubs, but the dwarf’s armour is too sturdy. The little creatures back off, but Zarkov, with his crossbow, shoots one dead as it retreats. The other yells for help before being cut down by Ungrid, and at the same time, Corvin spots two more trying to sneak up from behind, via the corridor the party first entered from. He shoots one dead, but the other flees and is chased by the dwarves.

As the dwarves disappear from the room, the rest of the party take a look down the new corridor, turning a corner to find a gang of Kobolds ready to attack. With the party split up, the Kobolds attack; but to no avail. As the new ones engage the party, the dwarves track down the other Kobold, killing it and then following the corridor around to the rear of the new fight. Ungrid charges into their backs, whilst Corvin and Idni shoot arrows, Zarkov lets loose with his bolts, and Halmary wades in, mace swinging. One-by-one the Kobolds fall, and even as some try to flee, the party remorselessly cuts them down; two flee through a door, and Ungrid follows: he triggers a trap; a spiked wooden frame swings down from above the door, injuring him; but he carries on, and takes out one of the fleeing Kobolds. The other manages to escape through another door, wherein more Kobolds can be seen.

The party gather before the door, and Halmary kicks it open, revealing the lair of the Kobolds!

End of Session

  1. Kills:* 8 giants rats; 15 kobolds.
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Betrayed by Kobolds
Session Six

Sunday, 23rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

Backed up by he rest of the party, Halmary stared down the chieftain of the kobolds, who surrendered. He told them that they were just minding their own business, after being driven out of their homes by the giants. The party agreed to let them live, so long as they kept out of their way. The kobold chieftain agreed.

Actually, they were lying. As soon as the party left, the chieftain sent out his men to surround and attack the intruders as soon as they were distracted. To aid this plan, the chief told Halmary that there were unexplored rooms possibly holding treasure; he directed them to the room with the zombies.

The party headed out, following the chief’s directions to a door that was board-up and from behind the sounds of feeble knocking could be heard. Getting no answer from whoever, or whatever was inside, they party spread out in the corridor. Halmary took the lead and started pulling free the planks. As soon as he had the door open, the inhabitants crowded into the doorway: zombies! Dressed in the uniforms of soldiers from the Gran March, six in all.

Ungrid and Halmary stepped up to block the doorway, whilst Zarkov stood behind them and called upon his god: one of the zombies cowered and backed away; none paid any notice Halmary when he tried to turn them, but Ungrid got their attention by hacking one of their head’s clear off.

Behind the front-liners, Idni and Corvin fired arrows into the rear zombies, scoring hits but failing to take them down. Zarkov turns some more, and Halmary brains one as it flees. The rest, cowering now, are quickly dealt with. Amongst the bodies Corvin finds a jewelled ring.

The room below them holds nothing of interest, so they continue to explore, looking for whatever it is the giants are after. They come across more cells, from which pale light shines. Corvin stumbles upon four fire beetles, which only get hostile when Ungrid takes a swipe at them.

Meanwhile, the kobolds have spilt into three groups and sneak up the passages, surrounding the party. Zarkov spots two of them hurry past, and goes to get an eye on them, moving away from the main party.

As Ungrid engages the beetles, and Idni and Corvin shoot arrows at the others, Halmary joins them, leaving Zarkov alone guarding the passage. He spies some kobolds and moves up to get a better look, to see what the little pests are up to. A gang of them jump him as he passes the corridor leading to the lair.

Corvin heard his yell for help, and coming round the corner spots kobolds surrounding the dwarf and more further up the corridor. He takes one of them out with a well-placed shot. Idni follows, while Ungrid and Halmary starts whacking the beetles. The explorer takes out another kobold, and Corvin slays one of their champions with a single shot through its beady yellow eye.

As Ungrid and Halmary finish off the beetles, and the cleric goes to help the others, taking his light with him, Ungrid is left in the dark. From what little he can see, the dim light of disappearing lanterns casting some illumination, he sees and hears a gang of kobolds charging him.

On the other side of the passages, Zarkov stumbles under a series of blows from the kobolds’ spiked clubs and bleeds all over the floor. He doesn’t go down, for once, and manages to back away when Idni grabs his spear and skewers one of the kobolds surrounding the dwarf priest. The explorer gets a whack to his head for his troubles, but tis’ but a scratch. Away from the rest of the party, Ungrid blocks attacks, deflects them with his shield, and cleaves a champion kobold in twain.

Idni takes out another kobold, and then another, ‘cleaving’ with the butt of his spear, crushing the skull of a kobold. Corvin takes out one of the kobolds not yet in melee, and on the other side Ungrid kills one, then cleaves another kobold on his back-swing, drenching himself in their blood. The last one flees.

A surprisingly brave kobold carries on fighting, his fear abolished when he breaks Idni’s rib; but the explorer gets his revenge and kills his attacker. The last kobold backs away, then turns and runs!

Meanwhile, Ungrid runs after his fleeing kobold and hacks it down, then carries on into the next corridor to see his comrades finishing their fight. He rushes up to join them just as the last kobold makes a run for it: Idni throws his spear, wounding the creature, making it stumble; and Ungrid finishes it off by charging up behind it and striking it in the back.

In the aftermath, Zarkov tends to his wounds, as do the others. A few bandages, stitches, and use if herbal remedies, and the party are fit to carry. Vowing to deal with what remains of the traitorous kobolds later, they carry on and find some stuck doors. As they try to break them down, they attract the attention of some giant centipedes, which are quickly dispatched, although one bites Halmary, but with no effect. They kick one door open, a closet with an urn that has a gem hidden inside. They move on to the next door, and Corvin spies some giant rats, both slain as they charge towards the party.

End of Session

Kills: 6 zombies, 4 fire beetles, 11 kobolds, 2 kobold champions, 8 giant centipedes, 2 giant rats (the last killed marked the party’s 100th kill).

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Arrows
Session Seven

Sunday, 23rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)

Continuing their exploration of the dungeon, after defeating the centipedes and rats, the party enter the room that Halmary kicked open. As he does, Corvin rummages in the rats’ nest, filthy once more, and comes out with a statuette of a leering toad.

The room turns out to a temple dedicated to Hextor, God of Murder, Tyranny and other things. A quick search reveals nothing, other than a bronze unholy symbol on the obsidian altar. They carry on, heading north, and encounter a few more giant rats– quickly slaughtered, bronze chess pieces looted from the nest– and a couple of carnivrous giant flies, which are not content to buzz around and are ignored.

Coming full circle and back at the entrance, the party decide to pay the kobolds a visit and see if there is anything in their lair; since so far they have found nothing that they thought the giants might be after. After Corvin listens at the door, hearing movement within, Halmary once more kicks the door open, and the party move in to confront the remaining warrior kobolds.

Two fall immediately, one to Ungrid’s axe, the other to Corvin’s arrow. A bolt shot by Zarkov flies between them, wounding a third, which Corvin finishes off. The remaining kobold backs away, but Halmary simply walks up to it and smashes its head in. They move to the chief’s room next, breaking open the door and attacking the last kobolds: a couple of normal warriors and the chieftain himself. Idni shoots one between the eyes, while Ungrid cleaves another in half, leaving only the chief alive: but he too falls, as Ungrid hacks him down with his axe.

Another room leads to the kobolds nursery, where dozens of wailing brats and their mothers cower. The party leave them alone, but lock them in. They loot the chief’s room, finding a potion, some coins but nothing else.

Going over the map, they start checking out other rooms in case they missed anything, and soon end up back in the temple. There, Halmary finds a secret compartment in the altar. After Corvin checks it for traps, declaring it safe, Idni uses his spear to open it, and Corvin removes three fancy arrows from inside. Zarkov identifies them as magical Arrows of Giant Slaying, which must be what the giants were looking for.

Still wanting to fully check the dungeon, they return to the room where the pool of stagnant water was, which had an underwater tunnel leading into the other pool where the rats laired. Corvin, already covered in rat dung, offers to go swimming. As he disappears into the murky water (ultimately finding nothing), the rest of the party– spilt between the two rooms– are attacked by wandering giant centipedes.

Idni kills one, but is bit in return and his ankle begins to swell, as poison enters his system. His vision begins to blur, but he fights on, killing another and shrugging off the poison of a second bite. Halmary crushes two beneath the head of his mace, and the other two fall to Zarkov’s axe and another spear jab from the weakening Idni. As Corvin and Ungrid join them, Zarkov uses his healing skill and herbs to remove the toxins from the poisoned explorer.

They rest a short while, then return to the entrance. Outside it is early afternoon. The faint sound of snoring comes from above. Corvin sneaks out, quickly spotting a sleeping ogre and two more on guard. He tries to sneak up on the sleeping one, wanting to slit its throat, but it wakes and spots him: he runs back to the dungeon, and everyone gets ready to loose arrows and bolts if the ogres come after them; which they do, and arrows are loosed. The ogres squeeze into the tunnel, the injured one remaining outside and bellowing orders.

Ungrid and Halmary form a shield wall, allowing the rest of the party to retreat, through the archway that they are sure the ogre can’t squeeze through. The ogre suffers a few hits, but manages to whack Ungrid enough to make him stagger down the stairs. The party back off, Halmary getting clubbed in the process, but they manage to get through the arch. Then ogre pauses at the broken doors to the first rooms, and begins ripping them off; it hurls them into the room where the party are hiding, while they in turn step forward and fire arrows. Ungrid gets hit by shards of the door, but the barrage of arrows wounds the ogre, with a final shot by Idni taking it in the eye: the ogre falls down, dead.

The other ogres back off, out of sight. Zarkov and Halmary tend to the party’s wounds, and everyone waits to see what the ogres will do next.

End of Session
Kills: 3 giant rats; 5 kobolds; 1 kobold champion; 1 kobold chieftain; 6 giant centipedes; 1 ogre.
PCs Ko’d: None.

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The Shopping Trip
Session Eight

Sunday, 23rd Readying, to Sunday, 9th Coldeven, 591 CY (Spring)

After tending to their wounds, the party waited to see what the ogres would do next. The two injured ogres started to pull out trees, pick up stones, and began to throw the debris into the entrance, intending to bury them.

Corvin sneaked up, to see how far outside the entrance the ogres were; they spotted him and moved to attack. He ducked back, letting loose an arrow as he backed away. He pushed past the others, letting Ungrid and Halmary to take up the frontal position, with Idni grabbing his spear and moving into the second rank. The others, Corvin and Zarkov, made ready with their missile weapons.

Halmary scored a hefty hit, his mace crunching the bones in the attacking ogre’s hand. The ogre made ready to belt the cleric in the face with its spiked club, then yelled in pain as Idni speared it in the chest, felling the beast!

Ungrid, hungry for more ogre blood, rushed out to engage the other ogre, who had back off out of sight; right into the ogre’s swinging tree-trunk. The dwarf crashed down the stairs, unconscious and bleeding from his mouth.

Halmary threw a lit flask of oil, blindly, but got lucky and the oil hit its target: the ogre yowled as the flames caught. Zarkov rushed out, spotted the ogre rolling on the ground in pain, and slew it with a bolt in the eye.

With the ogres dead, the two priests tended to Ungrid’s wounds. He was alive, but injured, lost several teeth and in need of a week’s bed rest. The rest of the party made a stretcher, and carried him home.

Back at their safe-house in Tika Town, their mentor and boss, Hochtritt, gave them their next mission: to head to the freed city of Hochoch, to buy supplies, get the local news, talk to the smugglers, and look into hiring mercenaries. After a week of rest, they headed off into the night.

Five days went by, with a couple of close encounters with hill giants on patrol; both groups were evaded. They made their way through Otywood, and encountered a group of Sylvan Elves, led by an elf called Finrod. They exchanged tokens of friendship (Finrod gave them a brooch, Idni gave him his dagger), and agree to help one another. The elves escorted them safely through the wood. By the end of the week the party reached Hochoch, and were escorted through the gates by a patrol of guards.

End of Session

  1. Kills:* 2 x ogres.
    PC’s KO’d: Ungrid (lost several teeth, needed a week’s rest).
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Jail Break Gone Wrong
Session Nine

Moonday, 10th Coldeven, to, Godsday, 11th Coldeven, CY 591 (Spring)

After arriving at Hochoch, in the morning the party go looking for their smuggler friend, Morten, and find themselves at the Last Word tavern by the docks. They settle themselves in, drinking while listening to the gossip around them, waiting for Morten to appear. They learn that there was a recent battle, against some giants about twenty miles west, and that the Grand Duke himself is due to return within the next few months. They also hear that bodies have gone missing in the cemetery, recent graves dug up. There’re aren’t any spare men to investigate, nor clerics, all bust tending to the wounded, and planning the war of liberation.

Night falls, and still no sign of Morten. Zarkov talks to the barkeep and is pointed to a pipe-smoking woman in the corner. They send Halmary to talk to her, and once he tells her who they are, she recognises them from Morten’s descriptions and tells them that he has been arrested, and is due to be tried and hanged in three days; the governor wants to make an example of him, as he cleans the town up before he has to vacate it and hand it back to the Duke.

The party agree to free him. They arrange to meet the woman, Gwen, the following day, and take rooms at the Dukes Arms. Then Idni and Corvin sneak out, avoiding patrols (as the city is under martial law) to scout out the sheriff’s office, in whose jail Morten lies. They find a stone building, barred windows, only one door in. They plan on blocking the chimney and smoking the guards out, and decide to do it the following night.

Next day, Gwen meets them and tells them she has arranged a safe-house for Morten to hide in, so long as they can free him and get him there. She’ll meet them there at night. While they wait for night to arrive, the party splits up and goes about their busy: Ungrid and Zarkov go shopping, placing orders for as many supplies as they can get; the others check out the mercenaries camp and get a feel for what they can hire, passing by the graveyard on the way to see if the rumours of disappearing bodies is true; it is. They meet up at the inn, where a brawl between the Geoff Army of Liberation, the Gran March Army of Retribution, and a disgruntled company of mercenaries, is narrowly avoided.

As night falls, the party sneak out into the dark, again avoiding the patrols. They make their way to the sheriff’s office, and move into position. Corvin climbs on the roof, blocks the chimney, and they wait for the smoke to drive the guards out: it works, and the sheriff and a pair of guards start to come out. Straight away, Halmary commands the sheriff to sleep, and Idni pushes the two guards back into the smokey room; each party member has wet rags over their mouth, and the guards are completely disorientated by the smoke; which starts to clear as the door is open and Corvin removes the blockage, climbing down to join the others.

Halmary wades into the smoke, swings his mace and knocks one of the guards out straight away; but the other proves harder to put down, shrugging off one blow, and, as he recovers and realises what’s happening, parrying others. Zarkov, Ungrid, Idni and Halmary all fail to land a solid blow, and are forced to defend themselves as he attacks back; and outside, the sheriff wakes up, and staggers under a blow from Corvin; but has a hard head and turns on the thief, sword out.

Then Idni decides that trying to knock the guard out isn’t worth the hassle and, as the guard parries a swing of Halmary’s mace, he lunges with his spear and stabs the guard through the back, killing him instantly. This motivates everyone else to turn to killing rather than knocking people out, and Halmary– albeit with reservation– steps out to deal with the sheriff, allowing Corvin to back away. As the cleric and sheriff exchange blows, Zarkov and Ungrid start searching for Morten, finding stairs leading down to the jails. They hear voices from below, and return to the others; just in time to see the sheriff cut Halmary down, severing his hand in the process. Ungrid, enraged, charges across the room, leaps over the fallen cleric’s body and cleaves the head from the sheriff’s shoulders.

Quickly, they drag the bodies inside, shut and bolt the door, and tend to Halmary’s wounds. He lies unconscious, but alive, missing his left hand, and is in a critical condition.

And from downstairs, a voice calls out: “Norris, what’s going on up there?”

End of Session

Kills: 1 guard, 1 sheriff; plus 1 guard knocked out cold.
PCs KO’d: Halmary (lost his left hand, currently at -4, needs to be brought up to 1 hp within a day, or die; then needs a week’s rest to recover).

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Ghouls!
Session Ten

Godsday 11th Coldeven, to 4th day of Growfest, CY 591 (Spring)

After dragging the bodies inside, Corvin and Idni reach the top of the stairs leading to the dungeon below and are spotted by a pair of guards coming up to investigate. They back off as the guards hesitate; and are pushed aside as Ungrid charges down the stairs and buries his axe in one guard’s chest, killing him. His brother, Zarkov, loose a bolt, the quarrel grazing the other guard’s arm; and then Ungrid finishes him off with an axe to the head.

Inside the dungeon a third guard barely has time to lift his sword before he is cut down by Ungrid, and they find the smuggler, Morten, in one of the cells. They free him, loot the sheriff’s chest upstairs, and set fire to the place as they leave. Luck is with them, and the party manage to sneak back to the inn without anyone seeing them, hiding Morten in one of their rooms until they can take him to the safe-house in the morning. They carry Halmary along, acting as if he is drunk, and lay his to rest. Thankfully he survives the night, and awakes in the morning, but is in no fit state to do much more than rest.

In the morning, leaving Halmary to recover, the rest of the party take Morten to the safe-house. There they arrange the delivery of various goods, mostly raw materials to allow Corvin and Zarkov to craft their own armour and weapons; all to be brought to the Smugglers Cave in about a month’s time. They collect the other equipment they ordered, and a couple of days later, with Halmary still in bed, they decide to investigate the cemetery where bodies had been going missing.

They discover a few graves have been dug up, and some news ones freshly laid. They hide in the trees and bushes, Idni helping everyone camouflage themselves. Then they settle in for the night, to see what happens.

At midnight, the entrance to a tomb opens, and three corpse-like creatures crawl out, accompanied by a figured dressed in armour and a horned helmet. The undead immediately head for the fresh graves, and start to dig. Idni decides its time to act, and shoots the horned-one with an arrow, cutting a line of red across its leg. It hollers, and shouts out to the undead, ordering them to attack: every single party member is spotted, their hiding skills unless against creatures with infravision.

Idni continues to shoot arrows at the horned-one, who retaliates by commanding him to ‘fall’; and the explorer promptly falls out of the tree, straight past the undead that has started to climb up after him. The other undead rush to the trees, some climbing, others about to, and Zarkov fails to turn any of them.

Idni scrambles to his feet, grabbing his spear and thrusting at the undead creature in the climb, hitting a branch instead. The horned-one turns on him again, and Idni finds himself held in place as his limbs suddenly stiffen! One of the other undead reaches Zarkov, and with a vicious swipe of its dirty claw, the dwarf finds himself paralysed, and the party realise that they are up against ghouls (the bane of many adventurers). Another badly wounds Corvin, who shouts for help, attracting the two guards who were meant to be keeping an eye on the cemetery. As they rush in, Ungrid gets the first kill, hacking the head off the ghoul climbing to reach him. The dwarf jumps down from the tree, moving toward the evil priest; who simply points at him and commands him to sleep: the dwarf collapses, momentarily out. Corvin tries to flee, but the ghoul trips him up; but the guards arrive in time to prevent the thief from being mauled, injuring the ghoul as it turns on them.

The evil priest calls for a retreat, and the two surviving ghouls and himself disappear back into the tomb. None of the party wish to follow, and tell the guards that they can deal with it now. So they return to the inn, tend to their wounds and sleep.

After a few more days of rest, Halmary recovers well enough to travel, and the party move out. They take the long way back home, avoiding patrols on the way, and after two weeks they arrive home without mishap.

However, all is now well. They discover that their mentor, Hochtritt, is dead; he was caught sneaking in by the ogres and paid the price. After an interrogation his head was stuck on a tree in the town square, and his body given to the ogres to eat. The safe-house was discovered, looted, and trashed.

Driven out of their town, the party make the Smugglers Cave their new base of operations, and over the next few days get messages to the 100 or so able-bodied men and women of the town, seeing who is still willing to fight. Most of them do.

And so the resistance fighters start to make plans, left alone to determine their fate and that of the town.

End of Session

Kills: 3 guards; 1 ghoul.

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