Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 011

Game summary for November 22, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric priest), Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf swordmaster), and Weland Ironboot (dwarf warrior).

With several allies dead, the team pressed on with retainers Archibald Baker (halfling), Decimus Kozani (cleric), Germanus Andros (fighter), Ma’Kala (cleric), and Wuldric Mineshield (dwarf) as well as newcomer Weland Ironboot (dwarf).  The team carefully weighed their options of going down the hallway to the left or to the right.  Eventually, they picked one at random and went down it.  At the end, they discovered a prison room with numerous chained hobgoblins and bugbears along with a tall massively-muscled human male.  The team found the man alive and gave him water.  Once set free, they learned this is Uthgar from the far north.  He agreed to help them fight and killed bugbears, and they gave him the two-handed sword once used by Edgard.  The team then fell upon the hobgoblins and bugbears, knowing them to be too dangerous to set free.  They then discovered a moldy cheese wheel, which they fed to Uthgar.

Next, the team traveled back down the hallway and followed the other branch.  The soon discovered a second prison full of goblinoid captives.  Uthgar barged in and slashed them all to death before he could be stopped.  Thinking they had a strong and eager to brawl young ally, the group moved out.  As they moved back the way they came, they stumbled upon a pair of ghouls who tore into the group.  With three allies paralyzed in moments, the team was in trouble.  Fortunately, Nicholae invoked the power of the church of Traladara and turned the two creatures back into the darkness.

The party then moved back down the sloping corridor leading to a room they had previous discovered filled with bugbears.  This time, not as many of the creatures were within, but enough were to be very dangerous.  As a fight broke out, Uthgar entered a blind rage and bloodlust.  He spun about and chopped Germanus into two halves!  Bewildered, the party fell back as the berserker engaged both sides.  The bugbears spilled out of the room and past the madman to fight the withdrawing team.

Soon, a battle raged in several places down the main hallway.  Uthgar steadily dropped bugbears, but they landed blow after blow.  The team battered away and dropped several as well but suffered many hits.  Then, from the darkness behind them emerged the two ghouls from earlier!  They paralyzed and killed Decimus in seconds before Nicholae could again drive them back into the dark.

In short order, the male bugbears were dead, but the females killed Uthgar and advanced.  They then killed Weland in a spray of blood.  The team closed in on their flanks and killed the bugbears after several hard minutes of battle.

With all the bugbears in the immediate area slain, the team recovered several dozen coins and a silver urn.  They then retreated outside to nurse their injuries and flee back to civilization.  Will the team hire new retainers?  Will anyone work for them now?  What, other than gnolls, remains hidden in the caves?

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

Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 010

Game summary for November 17, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric priest) and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf warrior).

With a mighty team assembled to face the bugbears, the group only had one remaining order of business: the use of the mysterious cold cube they had found in the caves.  They had traded a wand of paralyzation to Ursula Botsaris in exchange for her research into the item.  She revealed that it combined the powers of a mystical ice cube and a cube of abilities.  Known for his clumsiness, Nicholae decided to risk the power of the cube of abilities and found himself gifted with far above average manual dexterity for his efforts!  Encouraged by his good fortune the team, including retainers Archibald Baker (halfling), Decimus Kozani (cleric), Edgard Zeklos (fighter), Germanus Andros (fighter), Ma’Kala (cleric), Rusalka (elf), Ursula Botsaris (magic user), and Wuldric Mineshield (dwarf), set off to the bugbear caves.

Again, the team found the welcoming sign outside the cave giving directions.  This time, the team went to the left instead of right.  They found a single bugbear in a room with a glowing brazier.  The bugbear tried to run up some stairs as the party filed in around him, but they cut him down quickly.  They then continued up the same stairs and found a locked door.  Unable to enter, they went to the second closed door.  Within, they discovered a disheveled bedroom occupied by the massive bugbear chieftain and his favored mate.  The two engaged the party in a vicious melee, both darting around the room to the consternation of the team.  The goblinoids proved deadly, slaying Edgard with a crushing mace blow to the skull and a lethal stabbing of Rusalka the elf.  Archibald found himself terribly injured, and Wuldric bled a bit as well.  However, the team fought on and took down the two brawlers.

The group searched the room and found a chest atop a wall niche.  Inside they discovered several pounds of silver and ivory as well as potions of healing.  Theobald discovered a magical hand axe also.  While searching, they found a secret door leading into the caves of the minotaur they had explored the previous day.  Noting such on their map in case of emergency, the group then took the chieftain’s keys and entered the other locked room.  Within they discovered heaps of food and drink along with a platter filed with catnip.  Wuldric noticed some kind of leather strap sticking out of the catnip, and the group learned it was actually a shield +1!

With several new magical trinkets, the group collected their dead and moved further along.  They encountered a guard room filled with spear-toting bugbears!  Ursula slipped through the ranks and blasted out a cone of her wand of paralyzation to freeze two of the bugbears in place while Germanus cut down a third.  The two unfrozen bugbears surrounded the magic user and impaled her on a spear, killing her instantly.  The team moved in and dispatched the two rather quickly but too late to save Ursula’s life.

With three dead retainers, the team regroups.  What further horrors and treasures await in the caves of the bugbears?

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

Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 009

Game summary for November 10, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric adept) and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf warrior).

The team introduced themselves to Captain Timotei Miklos of the watch as he trained some new recruits.  The team discovered he had heard of their exploits with the goblins and owlbear.  They spent some time teaching the recruits a few pointers.  He agreed to speak to Captain Maximinus Polymeru of the guard about potential opportunities for employment.  They decided to meet up later in the bar.

The Captains came and told the characters about a missing knight, Sir Valentinus Mardas.  They provided a map where he was expected to have entered a cave and disappeared approximately two weeks earlier.  They described him and his ornate plate armor as well as how the knight’s family is offering a 500 gp reward for his rescue or proof of his final fate.  The team set out at once.

The team returned to the Caves of Chaos and stopped to speak with the Bloody Fist orcs.  They talked with one of the guards and were able to locate what they believed to be the correct cave.  The team asked if he knew what was within, and he replied that he thought it very close to the bugbears and too far from the gnolls.  He had seen cattle enter on several occasions but had not been inside.

The team then approached the cave and did find hoof-prints in the mud leading to the opening, including some around the entrance.  Ma’Kala ignited a torch, and the group advanced.  Within the walls began to waver and move, a sense of vertigo sweeping over the party.  In moments they were hopelessly lost in a maze of corridors.  They discovered the partially consumed carcasses of some stirges down one branch.  Wuldric then had the idea of taking the paint they found the day before and marking an “X” on the wall.  The group was quickly disappointed to wander about and find the “X” several times.

As they moved about, they noticed a red light down the hallway approaching quickly.  Along with the light came numerous click-clack noises.  Nicholae urged them to hide in ambush, but Ma’Kala’s torch proved the undoing of that plan.  Seconds later, three fire beetles ran down the corridor to attack!  Nicholae moved into the hallway to engage backed up by Wuldric and Germanus.  Nicholae cracked the carapace of one beetle, and Germanus finished it off with his glaive.  Theobald used his spear, enchanted against bugs, to blast a hole through another.  The third beetle clamped its vise-like mandibles on Nicholae’s armor but could not penetrate.  In moments the third insect lay dead as well.  The group decided to then extract the glowing red glands from the bugs to use as a light source.

After some more wandering, the group stumbled into a wider section of caverns.  From the shadows charged a massive bovine form, a chainmail-clad minotaur!  The horned monstrosity impaled Arathorn the elf and hurled his lifeless, broken body against a wall.  Undaunted, the team engaged to land blow after blow.  Despite scoring many hits, the minotaur kept swinging, injuring the party greatly.  Finally, the hammer of Nicholae slammed into the creature’s spine from behind, breaking its back and killing the horror.

The party then ransacked the caves, no longer afflicted by disorientation, and left with a wealth of coins and jewels.  More importantly, they discovered the ornate armor of Sir Valentinus Mardas.  The group took the horns of the minotaur as a trophy as well and delivered the carcass to the orcs for a roasting.  They then returned to the keep.  Once there, they were able to speak with Castellan Horvath who rewarded them with 500 gp as well as the knight’s magical armor!  In addition, and more importantly to Theobald the dwarf, he decreed that there first drink every night in the tavern be on the house!

Wasting no time in taking advantage, the party went to the tavern.  Within they talked with all the mercenaries gathered and hired every one of them for a single mission: eradicate the bugbears!

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

Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 008

Game summary for November 3, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric adept) and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf warrior).

The party, along with retainers Arathorn, Germanus, Quintinus, and Wuldric, proceeded into the caves.  They sifted through the debris uncovering a single copper coin along with a rusty cargo hook.  Theobald searched for traps and made enough noise to draw the attention of a cave denizen—an owlbear!  The creature attacked, mauling Theobald in moments.  The team tore into the ferocious beast, which only made it attack more violently!  Theobald fell back, and Nicholae stepped up only to be mauled as well.  Quintinus sank arrow after arrow into the beast while the twin glaives of Arathorn and Germanus worked it over.  Wuldric battled on with his mighty axe, holding the line.  It was the mighty arm of Theobald, however, who brought down the beast with a savagely hurled spear!  The team skinned the conquered beast and took its talons and beak as trophies.

Within the lair of the owlbear, they discovered a partially eaten gnoll and a bone scroll case containing a scroll of protection from undead.  The team then moved down a side hallway into a chamber wherein they found a corner radiating frigid cold.  After shifting the accumulated debris about, they found three geometric shapes carved into the wall:  a circle, a square, and a triangle.  After fiddling with it a bit, they discovered the triangle turned.  Soon thereafter, they succeeded in pushing the square.  Thinking for a moment, they pulled on the circle, which opened a secret compartment!  Within lay a stone cube radiating unearthly cold.  The team placed the cube in the owlbear skin for storage.

The team then moved into another chamber to discover an orc corpse slain by a goblin javelin.  Nicholae, drawing on what he had learned with their recent alliance with the orcs, performed an acceptable funeral rite over the maggot-infested body.  As they turned to leave the area, they found a gray ooze slithering down the corridor.  The horror surged forward to engulf Quintinus, stripping the flesh from his bones and killing him in seconds!

The party scattered, and Germanus landed a telling blow on the ooze.  It succeeded in touching other party members with a pseudo pod but failed to inflict the damage it had on Quintinus.  Theobald threw the cold-emanating cube at it, which it did not seem to like.  Nicholae rushed forward and pounded the ooze into inanimate slime with his warhammer.

With this monstrosity dealt with, the team moved north and found a room with a murky pool of water with something metallic shimmering on the far side.  The group got into an argument with Arathorn, who refused to go in after the golden item.  Finally, a disgusted Nicholae waded into the pool to find a jewel-encrusted goblet.  Unfortunately, two more gray oozes floated up and attacked.  The party started to flee, with Wuldric and Arathorn holding the line of retreat.  They dispatched one ooze and bolstered their confidence.  The group stayed and fought with the other until it too was slain.

The team then took the owlbear carcass to the orcs who cooked and ate it at a great feast while the party told tales of the encounter in the cave.  Later the team walked back to the castellan’s keep to sell the chalice and owlbear skin.  They patched up their relationship with Arathorn as well as hired on a mysterious dark-skinned young woman named Ma’Kala.  She was brought on due to her clerical training and knowledge of mysticism, religious ceremony, and healing.

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