Keep on the Borderlands – Game Session 012

Game summary for December 1, 2011, In Search of Adventure campaign, Keep on the Borderlands adventure; present characters included Nicholae Dragos (cleric priest) and Theobald Goblinbane (dwarf swordmaster).

Once back at the castellan’s keep, the team hired on a new retainer, Thyra Delvewalker (dwarf).  So, the retainers now also included Archibald Baker (halfling), Ma’Kala (cleric), and Wuldric Mineshield (dwarf).  The party asked to speak with Castellan Horvath, but he would not grant them audience for several days.  However, they ran into Captain Miklos who told them of some missing caravans from the south.  They started asking around at the keep and went to the pickle merchant, Vasile Goral, whom they had rescued from the Caves of Chaos.  He told them he was missing an entire shipment of cucumbers from the south.  The group went and hired a guide, a logger and woodsman named Vlad Bodnar, a talkative but ugly man with a single large united eyebrow.

The group bought supplies, as directed by Vlad, and set off to the south.  They crossed over a bridge and down into the swamp.  The found evidence of the trade skiff route and started following it.  As darkness fell, they encamped on a hill of dry ground.  In the middle of the night, sentries Thyra and Theobald noticed eyes approaching erratically.  As the creatures entered the ring of firelight, the dwarves realized they were under attack from giant toads!  One of the amphibians snatched Thyra with its tongue and began gnawing on her.  In moments, the entire team was up and rushing to battle.  In seconds one toad was driven off into the swamp while the other was slain.

The following morning, Vlad led the team deeper into the bogs until he found where a skiff had veered off course.  Tracking this new trail, they came upon skiff wreckage and crates.  Within, they discovered some textiles and others filled with cucumbers!  The team made note of several reptilian tracks heading further off alongside a set of humanoid prints.  Seeking survivors, the party dashed through the swamp.

After a bit, they tracked the footprints to a gruesome scene.  Half a dozen lizard men held a stripped and bound female elf in a metal cage over a growing fire.  Seeing the woman still alive, Nicholae charged forward as quickly as he could in the muck and attempted to bargain with the creatures.  The lizard men seemed uncertain what he was saying but decided the party would make a nice addition to the cooking cage.  Battle ensued as the elf worked herself out of the gag and began to scream.

The brawl was fierce and violent, with the fast moving lizard men falling upon the party in a mad dash.  Theobald tried setting his spear against the charge but was unsuccessful.  Ma’Kala and Archibald set up a barrage of arrows and sling stones while the three dwarves created a wall of stubborn resistance.  Nicholae waded in hammer first and held his ground as well.  Both sides scored telling blows, but Ma’Kala and Nicholae used their divine magic to keep their team strong.  Before long, the lizard men were all dead.

Nicholae, desperate to save the lovely naked elven female from a fiery death, plunged through the muck, mud flying.  He burst the lock and dragged the woman from a gruesome fate.  The elven maid, Elasha, had been one of the caravan guards on the doomed skiff.  In appreciation for saving her life, she agreed to travel with the party as a retainer free of charge for a period of one month.

With the rescued elf in tow, the lizard men slain, and an answer to the fate of the lost trade goods, the party returned to the keep to seek additional adventures.

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