Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 007

Game summary for October 11, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric acolyte) and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf veteran).

In the castellan’s keep, the team reunited with Germanus, and Illithor departed for other opportunities.  They returned to the Hearth and Road tavern to recruit new retainers and re-hired Wuldric Mineshield and Arathorn.  Additionally, they hired archer Quintinus Metelko.

Re-equipped, the team returned to the lair of the Bloody Fist orc tribe and began working on preparations for the upcoming battle with the Finger Gnawers goblins and Blades of Doom hobgoblins.  They provided the orcs with the maps they had made of the goblin and hobgoblin lairs.  Nicholae gave a stirring speech to rally the orcs, and Arathorn encouraged their bravery.  Theobald led the orcs through a number of exercises to limber up for the fight and taught them several ways to improve their preparations.  Quintinus and Theobald conferred on military strategy for a while and determined that was better left to the rapier minds of the violent orcish brutes.  Nicholae visited the Get the Gruumsh orc tribe in a nearby cave and tried to talk them into joining the fight.  After failing to appeal to their altruistic nature, he paid them gold.  With a several dozen orcs now ready for war, Nicholae conducted a religious ceremony to bless the battle.

The orcs and hobgoblins met blade-to-blade in the valley of the caves of chaos, and blood ran deep.  The preparations by the party paid off, and the orcs proved extremely deadly.  The battle raged for half an hour as the orcs drove the goblinoids into the caves.  Using the knowledge scouted by the party, the orcs were able to negotiate the terrain readily and slaughter even more goblin scum.  Meanwhile, Nicholae and Theobald worked to treat the wounded orcs and keep them in the battle.  After an hour of battle, most of the goblinoids had fled into the night or lay dead or dying.  The marauding orcs stripped the bodies of valuables while Nicholae collected left ears to prove to the keep the number of goblinoids eliminated.  The orcs then claimed the bodies as dinner and returned to their caves.  As agreed, they left the inner goblin caves to the party.

The team worked through the caves scaring off the occasional goblinoid straggler and stripped the caves of any valuables.  They recovered a small fortune in silver, pewter, and gemstones along with assorted coins and a well-stocked armory.  All told, they recovered several thousand gold coins in value.

After a several trips to the keep to unload spoils, make bank deposits, and restock, the team set out to explore the furthest cave on the lowest level of the ravine.  They discovered an entryway filled with leaves, branches, bones, and decaying corpses.  Sifting through the reeking mess, they discovered a number of loose coins.  However, the rattling of the leaves attracted a swarm of giant rats!  The vermin swept into the party like a tide of chittering teeth.  Several of the retainers were injured, but the party made short work of the rodents.  Afterward, they resumed their search through the garbage and had to fight off another trio of rats.

With the second set of rats defeated, the party stood ready to proceed deeper into the caves in search of glory, riches, and enemies of humanity.

The above summary is for a game session of Dungeons & Dragons BECMI / RC edition played by the Phoenix Gaming Club.

Halloween Hootenanny 2011 – Ravenloft Lair Assault

Game summary for October 8, 2011, Ravenloft Lair Assault; present characters included Aleksei the Skald (human hybrid barbarian/bard | winter fury), Bartok Greigos (human cleric | warpriest), Nuncio Giordano (giormorgo rogue [wizard multiclass] | daggermaster), and Salimor Darkstalker (elf ranger [hunter] | peerless hunter).

The team entered the catacombs of the vampire necromancer, Xanus Kul, to kill him before his blood sacrifice rite filled him with enormous power.  Knowing they only had minutes to accomplish this, the team dove right in.  The first chamber was massive, with numerous coffins and a grate covering a pit of blood.  A snarling werewolf loped toward them as a spine creep skeleton began spinning his head and spine like a flail, grinning in mute anticipation.

Bartok began by blessing the party and then advancing down the stairs.  Nuncio followed close behind.  Aleksei opened with a shot from his flameburst crossbow and moved in as well.  Salimor advanced down the stairs and to the side to provide ranged support with his lightning longbow.

The werewolf was out classed, unable to pierce Bartok’s armor and taking grievous wounds from Nuncio and Salimor as well.  Bartok lit a sunrod to eliminate some of the gloom while the spine creep moved in and started flailing away.  The cleric also imbued Nuncio’s dagger with radiant energy, which proved anathema to the undead over and over.  One of the coffins appeared to be haunted, with some kind of spirit hurling freezing necrotic bolts into the party.  It particularly harassed Aleksei, causing him to stumble and lurch in his step, keeping his progress slow for a while.

The werewolf went down quickly, but the spine creep proved dangerous with its spinal whirlwind, which kept driving the party back and interfering with their movement.  It drove Bartok out over the grate, where the blood beneath animated and assaulted him with acidic tendrils!  Then, a burst of necrotic energy flowed through the complex with a lingering miasma of decay sapping the strength of the group.  Finally, the spine creep was brought down by Aleksei, and the team fled away from the coffin toward the far end of the room.  They opened one door to find a coffin and pool of blood and moved on.  Another chamber was found filled with coffins and a swarm of vampire spawn bloodhunters and twin death kin skeletons.

Salimor set a ranger snare in the doorway which destroyed one of the bloodhunters.  He and Nuncio engaged the creatures emerging there, Aleksei limped along trying to catch up and launching spells from a distance, and Bartok sought a clear route through the right-hand door.  Within, he discovered a bizarre science lab inhabited by another werewolf and a blaspheme imperfect!  The wolfman charged out, and the stitched together corpse followed suit.

Salimor and Nuncio found the vampires easy pickings, but the death kin skeletons were more challenging, drawing several deep cuts.  Bartok was hard pressed by the werewolf and blaspheme imperfect who kept grabbing him and sapping his life force.  Aleksei, taking a pounding from the soulchill coffin, hurled spell after spell to assist Bartok.  Salimor caused the roots growing down from above to fill an area to provide some favorable terrain advantage for the team, and he and Nuncio finished off the skeletons.  Bartok called down a flame strike, immolating the werewolf and blaspheme, but the wolf shook off the fire.  The blaspheme, undaunted continued to attack.

A second wave of necrotic energy ripped through the catacombs, dealing even more lingering damage.  It also caused the area to become infused with necromantic energy, reducing the healing abilities of the party by half!

Meanwhile, Bartok was in serious trouble and Aleksei finally got out of range of the coffin.  He ran forward entering the swift panther rage and cut down the werewolf in a spray of gore!  He and Bartok then ran toward the science lab because Salimor and Nuncio had discovered the hallway was a large loop.  While they ran, the ranger and rogue dispatched four more vampire spawn bloodhunters and crossed a rickety swaying bridge to get to the hallway north of the science lab.  Aleksei got pinned down by the soulchill coffin and incapacitated.  Meanwhile, another soulchill coffin activated by was disabled by Nuncio by flipping open the lid and laying the bones within to rest.

Bartok caught up to Salimor and Nuncio with the blaspheme imperfect hot on his trail.  The brute flailed about, dealing even more serious damage but was eventually dismembered.  The team then found a portcullis blocking the path, and the team worked together to lift it and go under.  They emerged in the inner sanctum of Xanus Kul right as the power was about to flow into him.  Salimor threw a thunderstone into the blood vortex, which slightly disrupted it, buying the party a few precious extra seconds.

A second spine creep skeleton tore into Salimor, but Nuncio used dimension door to surprise Xanus Kul and hit him with a nasty strike.  Bartok powered past the skeleton on foot and hurled himself toward the vampire.  Xanus blasted Nuncio with a terrible deathwave, which drove the rogue several yards away to slam into a pillar.  Salimor fell back into the hallway, leading the skeleton out of the fight and keeping it engaged while launching some arrows in Xanus’ direction.

The rogue pulled himself up and landed a deep cut with his radiant-enhanced dagger, causing Xanus to spray his precious blood out in a fountain.  With nothing left but determination, Bartok struggled to the side of the vampire and did the damage that he could.  However, the biggest advantage he provided was that Nuncio now had the ability to flank the vampire lord!

Xanus tried to blast the group off of him and failed, and the pairs’ positioning worked.  Nuncio slipped into place as Xanus defended against Bartok and drove his radiant-enhanced vicious dagger into a critical spot, ripping a horrendous wound!  The blow itself did not kill the vampire, but the radiant power as well as the spurting injury from the deep cut previously proved too much.  Mere seconds before his ascension of power, Xanus was cut down and destroyed!

Another force of great evil was eliminated, making the land of the Mists a little safer.  The heroes were able to patch their wounds, collect Aleksei’s body and return to more civilized lands in Darkon.

The above summary is for a game session of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition played by the Phoenix Gaming Club.

Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 006

Game summary for October 6, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Illithor (elf veteran-medium), Nicholae Dragos (cleric acolyte), Stanislav Dmitros (fighter veteran), and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf veteran).

The group returned to the caves and met with the Bloody Fist tribe, including the chieftain, Right Fist, whose hand was coated in dried blood.  The orcs agreed to team with the party to wage war against the goblins and hobgoblins in two days’ time.  Meanwhile, they suggested the party cause disruption and chaos, as they had been, among other tribes.

The party asked about some of the other caves, and Right Fist pointed out where to find kobolds, goblins, hobgoblins, gnolls, and bugbears.  Stanislav informed the party that bugbears were some of the largest and more violent goblinoids, and the group decided to visit them.  Outside the cave, they discovered a sign written in kobold, goblin, and orcish stating, “Safety, security, and repose for all humanoids who enter—WELCOME!  (Come in and report to the first guard on the left for a hot meal and bed assignment.)”  The promptly entered and went to the right.

The team’s light alerted the guards to the left who called out to them in the guttural language of the goblins.  Ignoring it, they pressed on down a slope and opened a door to find a room filled with bugbear men and women who snatched up axes and swords.  Meanwhile, the bugbear guards from down the hallway closed in on the other side, catching the party between a dozen armed and violent goblinoids!

The team fought valiantly but quickly found themselves nursing grievous injuries.  Several bugbears went down, but the party could not hold the line.  Germanus found well with his glaive, and Stefan stepped up to swing his hammer, but even the two warrior retainers were not enough to turn the tide.  The team opened a way through toward the exit and fled at full speed.  The bugbears cut off the escape route of Germanus and Stefan while others ran after the fleeing party.

Stefan fled deeper into the caves, Stanislav was cut down in his tracks, and Germanus fled another direction.  Nicholae was surrounded and beaten into unconsciousness.  The bugbears then bargained with the survivors and ransomed Nicholae for 25 platinum coins.

With Nicholae recovered along with the corpse of Stanislav, the team ran back to the keep to lick their wounds and learn from what went wrong.

The above summary is for a game session of Dungeons & Dragons BECMI / RC edition played by the Phoenix Gaming Club.