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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:13 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm
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Location: Grimbo
KOTS Part 9b: New Blood.

The 27th day of the third month of the year 2012, upstairs in Wrafton’s Inn- the assembled group stare a while longer at the chest full of gold coins, then the huge minotaur closes the chest, hefts it on to his shoulder and goes to depart the room.

The brute stops before Jimmy, hesitates a moment.
Jimmy looks up, and up, and…
“Sorry.” The minotaur states and nods his head a little.
Jimmy looks worried.
The minotaur stomps off.

“What was that about?” Jimmy asks after the creature has departed.
“Sergeant Ramm helped to… err, subdue you when you came round in the Inn, you were a little…” Rond tails off, shakes his head. “Anyway, Ramm’ll carry the money for the exchange tomorrow, if anything bad happens he’ll do his job.”

Ramm, Male Minotaur Guardian Fighter Level 2
Played by Lee (who played Hal)

Image
Ramm, like Gokan, favours his +1 Vanguard Battleaxe.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Ramm, level 2
Minotaur, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Build: Guardian Fighter
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Occupation - Bounty Hunter (+2 to Perception)
Theme: Stormraider

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 18, DEX 10, INT 10, WIS 11, CHA 8

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 16, DEX 10, INT 10, WIS 11, CHA 8

AC: 21 Fort: 17 Ref: 13 Will: 11
HP: 39 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +6, Endurance +6, Heal +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics –3, Arcana +1, Bluff +0, Diplomacy +0, Dungeoneering +1, History +1, Insight +1, Intimidate +0, Nature +3, Perception +5, Religion +1, Stealth –3, Streetwise +0, Thievery –3

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Stormraider Attack: Storm the Deck
Minotaur Racial Power: Goring Charge
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Weapon Master's Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Tide of Iron
Fighter Attack 1: Shield Bash
Fighter Attack 1: Shove and Slap
Fighter Utility 2: Unstoppable

FEATS
Level 1: Armor Proficiency: Plate
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)

ITEMS
Plate Armor x1
Adventurer's Kit
Heavy Shield x1
Vanguard Battleaxe +1 x1
Javelin
====== End ======

“’Ow you mean, zumthing bad ‘appen?” The speaker uncrosses her legs and stands, she has short dark hair framing her elven face, she is… Jimmy searches for the right word- beautiful?
“We ‘appen. Zat iz bad. For zem!” Eko declares, the half-elven beauty grasps the pommel of her longsword.
“What?” Jimmy asks and gawps.
“My chere… Zer iz no need to worry. Everyzing iz how you say ‘underz control.’ Bon?”
“Douvern?” Gerda sounds worried, and annoyed.
“What are you planning?” She finishes.
Jimmy looks from his mum to his dad.

Eko, Female Half-Elf Valorous Bard Level 2
Played by Steve (who also plays Sigur)

Image
Eko totes her +1 Orium Wand.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Eko, level 2
Half-Elf, Bard
Build: Valorous Bard
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Valor
Signs of Influence Option: Welcome Guest
Signs of Influence Option: Ritual Beneficiary
Half-Elf Power Selection Option: Knack for Success
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Dune Trader

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 13, DEX 10, INT 14, WIS 8, CHA 20

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 10, INT 14, WIS 8, CHA 18

AC: 18 Fort: 12 Ref: 15 Will: 17
HP: 37 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +8, Diplomacy +13, Heal +5, Intimidate +11, Perception +5

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Athletics +1, Bluff +7, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +2, History +4, Insight +3, Nature +1, Religion +4, Stealth +1, Streetwise +7, Thievery +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Dune Trader Feature: Quick Formation
Half-Elf Racial Power: Knack for Success
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Feature: Words of Friendship
Bard Attack 1: Staggering Note
Bard Attack 1: Vicious Mockery
Bard Attack 1: Shout of Triumph
Bard Attack 1: Stirring Shout
Bard Utility 2: Concerted Effort

FEATS
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Improved Majestic Word
Level 2: Wand Expertise

ITEMS
Ritual Book
Traveler's Chant
Alarm
Chainmail x1
Adventurer's Kit
Longsword x1
Light Shield x1
Orium Wand +1
Longbow
====== End ======

The second elf is on his feet, tall and extremely handsome, dashing even- with a red neckerchief.
“A little surprise! Zat iz all.” The Red Baron, the good-looking male elf, adds to the mix, and winks at Jimmy while miming firing the great bow slung on his back.

The Red Baron, Male Wood Elf Archer Ranger Level 2
Played by Dave (who also plays Gokan)

Image
The Red Baron grips tight to his +1 Retributive Longbow.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Red Baron, level 2
Wood Elf, Ranger
Build: Archer Ranger
Harper Pin Option: Tymora's Luck
Fighting Style Option: Archer Fighting Style
Ranger Option: Prime Shot
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Harper Agent

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 8, DEX 20, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 8, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 10

AC: 19 Fort: 12 Ref: 17 Will: 14
HP: 37 Surges: 5 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +10, Heal +9, Nature +11, Perception +11, Stealth +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +1, Athletics +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance –1, History +1, Insight +4, Intimidate +1, Religion +1, Streetwise +1, Thievery +5

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Hunter's Quarry Power: Hunter's Quarry
Ranger Attack 1: Twin Strike
Ranger Attack 1: Nimble Strike
Ranger Attack 1: Two-Fanged Strike
Ranger Attack 1: Split the Tree
Harper Agent Utility 2: Harper's Healing Boon

FEATS
Defensive Mobility
Level 1: Weapon Focus (Bow)
Level 2: Bow Expertise

ITEMS
Hide Armor x1
Adventurer's Kit
Longbow
Longsword
Retributive Longbow +1 x1
====== End ======

“Douvern!” Gerda comes again, the worry in her voice now replaced entirely with anger.
“What!” Douvern spreads his hands, tries his best to appear entirely innocent.

CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP OOOF!

“Sorry old chap!” Clomping in to the room, and barging in to Rond en route, comes a third stranger, a much older dragonborn- clearly a warrior, wearing a battered suit of plate armour and lugging a heavy shield, with a longsword at his belt.

The dragonborn, and his equipment, have clearly seen better days.
Gerda looks up- astonished. “Sir Garlik!” She’s quickly to her feet, she fusses her hair a little.
“I… Douvern!” She turns to stare at her husband.
Who continues to spread his arms wide and mime his innocence.

“Don’t worry Gerda- you’re looking as divine as ever by the way.” Sir Garlik, the dragonborn knight, schmoozes. “The young lad’ll give the signal…” He nods at Jimmy. “We’ll rush in, slay the vermin, get the money back, and be back to the Inn with the fellows in time for hot buttered crumpets, and a medicinal snifter or two.” The dragonborn concludes.

Sir Garlik, Male Dragonborn Avenging Paladin Level 2
Played by Stu (who also plays Tonka, and previously Hedda)

Image
Sir Garlik wields his +1 Longsword Sentinel Martial Honour Blade, a family heirloom.

Sir Garlik

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Sir Garlik, level 2
Dragonborn, Paladin
Build: Avenging Paladin
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Holy Symbol)
Dragonborn Racial Power Option: Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Acid
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Gladiator

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 17, CHA 13

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 17, CHA 11

AC: 21 Fort: 16 Ref: 14 Will: 15
HP: 39 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +7, Heal +9, Insight +9, Religion +5

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics –3, Arcana +0, Athletics +1, Bluff +2, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance –3, History +2, Intimidate +4, Nature +4, Perception +4, Stealth –3, Streetwise +2, Thievery –3

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Gladiator Feature: Disrupting Advance
Dragonborn Racial Power: Dragon Breath
Paladin Feature: Divine Mettle
Paladin Feature: Divine Strength
Paladin Feature: Divine Challenge
Paladin Feature: Lay on Hands
Paladin Attack 1: Holy Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Valiant Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Radiant Smite
Paladin Attack 1: Paladin's Judgment
Paladin Utility 2: Sacred Circle

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Devoted Paladin

ITEMS
Plate Armor x1
Adventurer's Kit
Longsword
Heavy Shield x1
Sentinel Marshal Honor Blade Longsword +1 x1
Javelin
====== End ======

“What?” Gerda gawps.
Douvern tries to stay out of his wife’s line of sight, he hides behind Sir Garlik.
“What!” Gerda tries again.
Jimmy gulps.

“We’ll…” Sir Garlik starts back up.
“I know what you said Sir Garlik…” Gerda cuts the dragonborn knight off.
“Let me exp…” Douvern starts, but he too is truncated.
“I think you’d better- not here…” Gerda stomps out of the room. “Douvern!” She calls back.
Douvern follows, head down. “Yes, dear.”
SLAM and the door’s shut.

Silence, except for Gerda’s raised voice - muffled by the closed door.

Jimmy winces.

The dragonborn mean time fetches out a ready rolled cigarette, screws it in to the corner of his mouth, and lights it.
Jimmy looks at the three adventurers before him- finally gawps up at Sir Garlik.
The dragonborn roots around inside his armour, searching for some…
“Bang on!” Sir Garlik grins and fetches out a silver hip flask, a moment later he’s gulping the liquid down.
Jimmy still stares.
“Sorry, not done the intro’s.” Sir Garlik wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Chap with the bow’s the Red Baron…” The Red Baron smartly comes to attention and then grins.
“Lady with the blade’s Eko.” Eko grins- Jimmy melts.
“They’re…” Sir Garlik searches for the right word, finally settles on, “Elves.”
“I’m Sir Garlik, Knight Protector of etcetera etcetera…” Sir Garlik bows slightly, and then raises the flask once more to his lips.
The dragonborn suddenly stops, looks puzzled.
“I say little chap- you don’t know where there’s any ice do you?” Sir Garlik waves the flask about.
Jimmy shakes his head, mouth-open wide, still gawping.
“Pity.” Sir Garlik states and then adds, “just have to make do, chin-chin.” He salutes with his flask and then tilts it back and drains it.

Jimmy is also Level 2 now.

Image

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Jimmy Hoofenburger, level 2
Halfling, Rogue (Scoundrel)
Build: Trickster Rogue
Rogue Tactics Option: Cunning Sneak
Rogue Option: Scoundrel Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Outlaw

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 10, DEX 20, INT 10, WIS 11, CHA 16

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 10, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 11, CHA 14

AC: 18 Fort: 11 Ref: 18 Will: 14
HP: 37 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Bluff +9, Perception +6, Stealth +11, Streetwise +9, Thievery +13

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +1, Athletics +0, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +1, Heal +1, History +1, Insight +1, Intimidate +4, Nature +1, Religion +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Outlaw Attack: Surprise Strike
Halfling Racial Power: Second Chance
Rogue Attack 1: Deft Strike
Rogue Attack 1: Sly Flourish
Rogue Attack 1: Acrobat's Blade Trick
Rogue Attack 1: Blinding Barrage
Rogue Utility 2: Tumble

FEATS
Level 1: Light Blade Expertise
Level 2: Backstabber

ITEMS
Leather Armor x1
Adventurer's Kit
Dagger x6
Shuriken
Vicious Dagger +1 x1
====== End ======

Image

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
https://the-points-of-light-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
https://the-seven-dwarves.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
https://the-european-union-d-d-5th-edition-campaign.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:54 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Grimbo
KOTS Part 9c: In the Dark.

“When I get… oooff!” Sigur’s head thumps hard in to the wall- a great hairy clawed foot against his face- pressing down, crushing him in to the stone.
“Get off… Me.” The dwarf gasps.

The pressure subsides.
“Soooon. Soooon…” A lilting voice hisses and croons from the darkness.
“Filthy…” But that’s as far as Sigur gets.

It’s nearly an hour later when the dwarf comes around.
“… I don’t know why you do it- that’s all. You continue to make it worse for yourself, and for us, if you’d just shut up- stop antagonising them. Sigur? Sigur, are you listening to me?” Tonka asks.
Sigur shakes his head, to clear the cobwebs. “No!” He finally states.
“Clearly you are listening, your reply just another example of your churlish nature. What is it with you Sigur, hmm? Do you crave attention; do you always have to have the last word? Always?” Tonka asks, clearly exasperated with the dwarf.

The silence extends.

“I said…”
“I heard what you said- I was just proving my point.” Sigur snaps back.
“And your point is?”
“I don’t have to have the last word- I don’t have to reply to you at all; in fact I’d probably be better off not listening to a word you said, as a rule.” The cranky dwarf goes on.
“Well, I’ve never been spoken to…” Tonka replies but is cut off.
“That I doubt. I bet people are telling you all the time to shut up- but you just go on and on and on. But the difference between me and you, dragonborn, is that I’ve actually been, seen and done things- I didn’t get my life experiences from reading books at some goddamn seminary at the arse end of nowhere.” The last line is delivered with malice and at volume.

The silence returns- for a good while, maybe thirty minutes.

Eventually Tonka, still angry, decides to try again- there’s nothing else to do.

“Why do you do it then? Why antagonise the wererats?” Tonka asks, genuinely desperate to know.
“So that they beat me!” Sigur replies sarcastically, as if the answer is obvious.
“So that they beat you?” Tonka parrots back, confused.
“You really don’t get it do you?” Sigur asks exasperated.
“No.” Tonka confirms.
“So that they beat me- and not you, or the bloody half-orc. You idiot.” Sigur explains.

The silence returns, goes on a while, again it’s Tonka that breaks it.

“That’s possibly the bravest thing I’ve ever heard.” Tonka states with emotion.
“Shut up!” Sigur snaps back.
“I’d not thought of it that way. Thank you, Sigur. Thank you.” Tonka’s voice wobbles a little.
“Gah!” Sigur spits.

Tonka goes to speak again but his words are drowned out by the sound of grinding stone, the wall ahead slides aside and light floods in to the chamber.

It’s a rough cavern, maybe ten feet square, no exit save for the secret door just opened.

The chamber is natural stone, shaped a little here and there, but uncomfortable. In the far corner lie the three adventurers, their arms and legs tied tightly, Tonka squints in the light- takes a moment to check out his companions.

Gokan lies silent still; the half-orc’s cuts have at last stopped bleeding, although Tonka is certain they are infected. Gokan has only been conscious twice, and then only briefly, in the last- Tonka estimates - 48 hours. The half-orc is hovering at death’s door.

Sigur is a mess, perhaps even more of a mess than Gokan; one eye is completely shut, blood covers the dwarf’s face and mats his beard and hair. There are at least a half-dozen of the dwarf’s teeth scattered on the floor around him, his mouth is a ragged bloody mess. Sigur has been stabbed, at least twice, and beaten- Tonka estimates, at least five times- he must have broken ribs, the dwarf wheezes when he breathes.

Tonka has been beaten once- he has a black eye. Gokan has not been touched.

Standing in the light are four halfling-sized wererats, grinning- several of them produce crude wooden clubs, one of them hefts a rock, the last a dagger. The vermin shuffle forward, grinning and hissing their pleasure.

Tonka knows what comes next.

Sigur snarls and… gets a dig in the ribs, which takes the dwarf’s breath away.

“You’re nothing but nasty mice. You’re cowards, horrible cowards. Yes, that’s it- horrible cheese-eating cowards! If I were free of these bonds…”

Tonka’s speech is quickly curtailed, or rather brutally curtailed; the wererats beat the dragonborn warlord severely, and stab him once in the leg for good measure.

They leave Sigur and Gokan be.

Tonka regains consciousness two hours later, the dragonborn’s moans and groans wake Sigur, even Gokan stirs a little. The light is gone- the door is shut, they’re back in the pitch black- and still with no food, or water.

“I feel terrible” Tonka finally mutters.
“So do I. Most of the time.” Sigur states, and then giggles.

The giggle turns to laughter

And after a moment’s hesitation Tonka joins in.

Note, because these guys have been captured they are still level 1- in all the time in captivity they have not been allowed to rest properly. I also made each player make an Endurance check and Constitution check each day, for three days, mainly because it added tension and also helped me to craft the story dependent on their dice rolls and the PCs role-play, of course.

Tonka’s checks started well and then went downhill, although never terrible. Sigur’s checks started average and then got better. Gokan on the other hand had a critical failure on his first and second day- and thus remained unconscious. In contrast on the third day his checks were, unadjusted, ‘20’ and a ‘19’. The half-orc got better quickly.

All three characters are bloodied still, and have half their maximum healing surges, although they cannot access their surges as of yet- because of sleep deprivation, illness and constant beatings.

The rule is they can only access their healing surges again when they’re free, you’ll see.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
https://the-points-of-light-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
https://the-seven-dwarves.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
https://the-european-union-d-d-5th-edition-campaign.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:47 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Grimbo
KOTS Part 10: The Exchange.

Image
See Character Sheets for stats and magic items.

The 28th day of the third month of the year 2012, and the wind whips around the ancient burial site- Jimmy stands statue, behind him- every now and then the huff and snort of Sgt. Ramm, the great minotaur.

“Here we go…” Jimmy says out loud, but doesn’t move.

On the opposite side of the depression a mixture of rats and rat men scurry down the slope, leading the prisoners, there are- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven… there are a lot of them. Too many? Jimmy worries and frets.

Jimmy’s fellow adventurers, the wererats’ prisoners, shamble, stumble and almost fall time and again. Tonka leads the way- their hands are tied behind their backs, Jimmy notes. Tonka and Sigur look the worst for wear- Tonka is cradling his right hand, it looks broken. Jimmy seethes, they’ve clearly been beaten badly.

Gokan, Jimmy’s brother, however looks remarkably well, odd that.

Eventually the scurrying rats fan out across the depression, and then at some squeaky signal stop, and hold station. In the middle of the pack the much larger wererat suddenly shapes and forms.

The wererat mugger, the chief of the vermin, stretches and yawns a moment. The foul creature is massive - perhaps six-and-a-half feet tall - and thick-set; Jimmy continues to fret. The foul vermin wields a blood-stained morningstar, at least Jimmy hopes that’s blood, if not… the halfling wonders.

“Well?” The wererat chief proclaims and leans on his weapon.

Jimmy turns and nods at Ramm, the minotaur strides forward- snorting all the way, then in one swift action lifts the great chest off his shoulder and lets it go. The box thumps in to the hard earth, and rocks back and forth for a moment- spilling much of its contents.

The minotaur reaches for his battleaxe.

“Ah-ah!” The wererat chief warns pointing at Ramm’s weapon with his morningstar.

Ramm sucks in air and bellows, long and loud… and terrifying. The minotaur is not in the least bit cowed, Ramm hefts his axe, snorts again and stomps back to stand alongside Jimmy.

“Send them to us…” Jimmy states.

The wererat chief nods back to his rat men, a pair of scurrying wererats head forward, and after a short time spent sniffing and tinkering with the chest flip the lid open- gold, lots and lots of gold, more of it spills out.

The pair squeal with delight, take it in turns to nod furiously at the chief, and then attempt to drag the chest back to their lines.

Meantime the three prisoners are lead forward by four smaller wererat minions, the creatures ready for action with daggers drawn.

“You’ve done the right thing…” The wererat chief starts up, but Jimmy isn’t listening.

The halfling stares intently at Gokan, waiting, wanting the half-orc to look up and meet his gaze.

“… but you do realise there are only two of you…”

The wererats leading the prisoners forward suddenly come to a halt, preventing further progress- menacing the trio with their blades. Another pair of the smaller wererats rush over to help the drag the chest away.

Jimmy tries desperately to catch Gokan’s eye- the half-orc is for some reason staring hard at a bush over the far side of the depression.

“… so, five thousand gold- that’s enough for one of them.” The wererat chief grins. “Choose!”

Jimmy suddenly looks over at the chief, puzzled.

“I said choose- five thousand buys you one of your brothers.” The last word is uttered with such disdain…

Jimmy starts to curse but then, at last, locks eyes on Gokan.

The half-orc winks and then grins at his brother, and in the same moment Tonka and Sigur also meet the halfling’s gaze- all three of them are grinning.

Involuntarily Jimmy finds himself smiling back.

“Stick it up yer arse! For Douvern!” Jimmy screams, and all hell breaks loose.

Image

The Red Baron calmly stands and aims, previously hidden in a swathe of vegetation on the edge of the depression. A wererat suddenly sprouts two arrows, it staggers as the blood spurts from its wounds- screaming in its odd high-pitched voice.

Image

Image
Wererat
Skirmisher Level 2

Image

A patch of ground to the side of Jimmy erupts, Sir Garlik launches himself up and forward, the dragonborn paladin is covered in dirt, he spits out the hollowed reed he has been using to breath while buried in the earth, and shouts out.

“Have at them chaps!”

Sir Garlik charges at the closest enemy, a shocked looking scurrying wererat, and connects.

Image
Scurrying Wererat
Skirmisher Level 3

Image

Another patch of earth explodes and Eko stands, spitting dirt, and with her off-hand trying to frizz the muck and detritus from her hair.

“Mon dieu! It iz filthy!”

The half-elf makes shapes with her wand and shouts over at the wererat Sir Garlik is facing, “but not az filthy as you, although you were born in a litter!”

The wererat staggers, Eko’s vicious magical mockery somehow winnowing away its strength, it’s mortally offended by the half-elf’s casual racism. Jimmy grins and chuckles, takes a step back, and spins out his vicious dagger- the scurrying wererat falls, the rescuers’ first victim.

Eko’s opening Vicious Mockery attack is a Crit for 21 Psychic damage.

Ramm bellows, hefts his axe and charges with his battered shield to the fore, the minotaur crashes in to another wererat, smashing and flattening the creature’s nose- sending it sprawling on its back in to the dirt.

Image

And Ramm Crits too, 15 points of damage from his Shield Bash, and knocking the wererat back and prone.

Sigur, Gokan and Tonka scream and shout and scrabble furiously with their bonds trying to tear themselves free, alas all to no avail.

The three prisoners can attempt to break free of their bonds with a DC20 check- using a suitable skill (convince me)- the check is a Move Action, furthermore the DC is reduced by 1 each round.

Remember they cannot use Healing Surges until they’re free, by which I mean free of their bonds.


The wererat chief screams up a storm, interspersed with numerous high-pitched squeaks, all of the rats and wererats scurry in to battle- a chaotic rag-tag charge in to the adventurers.

Sir Garlik is quickly surrounded, or else harried on all sides- a vast swarm of rats nibble at the paladin’s feet while a pair of wererats, one tall and one small, stab and bite at him.

Image

Image
Rat Swarm
Skirmisher Level 2

Image

Image
Wererat Scum
Minion Skirmisher Level 5

Image

Image
Wererat Minion
Minion Skirmisher Level 1

Image

“Damn your eyes, you verminous cad!” Garlik yelps and parries again, he manages just to keep the creatures at bay, but is wounded twice in quick succession.

A tide of wererats make for the three prisoners, the easy targets, Gokan however is straight in to action.

“Raaaaghh!” The half-orc rages and breaks his bonds, a wererat charges forward and is kicked in the face. A wererat scum scurries forward and takes an elbow to the throat, the foul vermin sinks to the floor clutching at the spot- it takes an age to choke and die.

The injured wererat breaks off its assault, bruised and battered; the half-orc is as of yet unharmed, although still suffering from his time in captivity. Another wererat minion dashes in to the fray, but is brusquely cuffed and knocked aside.

The three prisoners are unarmed, I have therefore allowed them were possible to use their existing Martial (and other) powers either unarmed or else with improvised weapons- with penalties on their To Hit chances, and reduced damage of course.

Gokan however, it seems, is back on top form- the dice love him.


Sigur, still tied up, manages to use his bonds to parry a wererat’s dagger thrust. Tonka alas is not so fortunate, or else less adept; the dragonborn warlord is gnawed on by a pair of wererat minions- he staggers.

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Tonka finds himself very quickly reduced to 3 hit points.

“Kill them all! Kill the traitors!” The wererat mugger chief yells out to his verminous companions.

The Red Baron calmly notches an arrow, and then another, both shots thump in to the same wererat he pin-cushioned previously, the squealing creature sinks to its knees and then pitches forward.

Garlik meantime is still struggling to keep his attackers at bay. The rat swarm is beginning to slow him down, the creatures are doing their best to climb and bite at his legs, the dragonborn swoons and staggers. Then suddenly shifts his head back and lets loose a spray of fizzing acid from his mouth- portions of the rat swarm are instantly blackened, reduced to smoking formless lumps of scalded flesh.

A wererat minion is likewise caught in the acid arc, blobs of the foul expectorate smoke and burn in to the screaming vermin’s fur and flesh- the creature drops down dead.

Garlik holds his sword aloft for a moment, and then yells to his god- “I am Bahamut’s revenge, hear me roar…” and then in one swift motion brings his magical honour blade around and down- in to the midst of the rat swarm, a whirlwind of cuts and slices, like a threshing machine.

Decapitated, or else cut clean in two, tens if not hundreds of rats fall to his blade which is a blur, in the midst of the mayhem Garlik takes a moment to point at his new dragonborn companion- Tonka, “Bahamut preserve, my lad. Bahamut preserve!”

Many of Tonka’s wounds instantly heal, the hurt is gone.

“Yes he does! Yes he does!” Tonka yelps back, nodding his thanks and twisting aside from a wererat’s dagger.

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Sir Garlik is a thing of beauty when he gets in to action, and is being played expertly here- or so it seemed to us at the time.

Although bloodied by the swarm the dragonborn paladin fights back with his Daily Paladin’s Judgement, the swarm is also bloodied, while Tonka is healed and back in the action.


The wererat chief is being out done in the leadership stakes, the furious vermin screams and points at the Red Baron; a bunch of wererat minions scurry towards the elf, although the ranger is fairly safe for now, atop the depression.

Tonka snarls and grimaces, and… wonder of wonders, breaks his bonds. The dragonborn inhales, and then exhales a fan of lightning. One of the two wererat minions menacing the dragonborn is caught in the blast- frazzled and fried. The dragonborn grabs up what’s left of the creature and uses it as a club- smashing the broken burnt body in to a wererat that strays too close, almost killing it in his frenzy.

“Bahamut preserve!” Tonka yells and more of his wounds disappear.

Eko rushes forward a little way, towards the enemy’s front line, she swats with her sword ineffectively and then suddenly calls out, a warrior’s battlecry.

“Zword and Bow!
Zpell and Prayer!
Vanquish ze Vermin!
For Harken!
For Harken!
FOR HARKEN!”

Alas her shout of triumph is lost in the noise of the battle, the wererats unaffected by her call. The half-elf harrumphs, and steps back a little way, it’s time for her wand to do its work.

“I am ze clever cat. Ze clever cat eats cheese, and breaths down rat holez wiz baited breath!”

Eko stands on tip-toe, arches her back and makes claws of her hands- she hisses like a fearsome feline ready to pounce. The effect is instantaneous; a good third of the remaining rat swarm takes fright and scurries away.

The last remaining wererat scum clutches at its chest and keels over dead, frightened to death by the half-elf’s vicious mockery.

“Mwah!” Eko kisses her Orium wand, its power enabling her to repeat her trick on the wererat scum. “Bon.” She declares.

The fighting is still furious however, in the midst of the melee Gokan and Tonka are both bitten by wererat scum, the little bastards are everywhere.

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Gokan is bloodied.

“Enough of this!” The wererat mugger mutters, and strides over to Gokan, the half-orc quickly turns to meet his new opponent, the first swing of the chief’s morningstar is wild, Gokan easily parries it. The second attack takes all of his skill to turn aside, the third… The third Gokan doesn’t even see.

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Wererat Mugger
Elite Brute Level 5

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The morningstar crashes in to the side of Gokan’s unprotected skull, almost smashing it- worse still the studs of the great weapon exude some viscous fast-acting toxin. Gokan suddenly stands tall, goes rigid, and then wordlessly collapses.

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Gokan is reduced to -5 hit points after taking 16 damage and 5 Poison damage from the Wererat Mugger’s Poisoned Morningstar attack.

“Noooooo!” Jimmy cries out as his brother falls, the halfling moves forward flinging daggers as he goes, a wererat minion clutches at its throat briefly and then sinks to its knees, clawing at the gaping wound which spurts and gushes blood.

“You bastard!” Jimmy yells again, now marching straight towards the wererat chief, a second wererat minion dives towards the halfling, another of Jimmy’s daggers spins out and skewers the vermin’s heart.

“You’re the double-crossing rat bastard.” Jimmy’s vicious dagger spins out.

THUSH!

A horrible watery sound as the vicious blade slams in to the wererat mugger’s right eye socket- destroying the orb within entirely.

The chief screams and flails wildly as it staggers.

“We’re Hard Core, don’t mess with us!” Jimmy states as his magical dagger reappears in his hand, with a sly flourish he darts in and stabs the wererat mugger, as hard as he can, leaving a great jagged rent in the vermin’s gut.

Jimmy with his Blinding Barrage Daily, followed by an Action Point and a Sly Flourish- all hits.

Yet another pair of wererat minions are quickly on the scene, the pair get between Jimmy and their chief, stabbing and squeaking- snapping and biting, Jimmy is nipped once in the fracas, but manages to keep the pair at bay.

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Tonka continues also to menace the wererats before him- swinging the dead wererat about him, alas he too is bitten for his efforts. Sigur meanwhile, manoeuvres as best he can- dodging and ducking to avoid the various melees. All the while the dwarf continues to try to break his bonds.

Alas the old dwarf, exasperated and swearing furiously and constantly does not possess the strength to free himself

Ramm, the great minotaur sergeant is the last to wade in to the action, he sees his opportunity at last. His half-run turns in to a charge, casually cutting down an already battered wererat en route to the blinded chief.

He slams his axe in to the wererat leader, digging another great rent in to the foul creature’s body, and then gets in close.

“You’re dead meat, scumbag!”

He whispers in to the wererat chief’s ear.

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The rat swarm moves off a little way and menaces Eko, the elven bard dodges back and kicks out at the vermin, she keeps away from harm.

Meanwhile the Red Baron similarly manoeuvres and gets clear of the wererat minions scrabbling up the steep bank, sent by the chief to menace him. The elf’s hands are a blur on his bow; his first arrow thumps in to the chief, delivering further hurt. His second almost ends another nearby wererat, his third arrow misses the chief by inches, his fourth however finds the spot.

The Red Baron with his Daily Split the Tree, followed by an Action Point and a Twin Strike- three hits out of four attacks.

Although it needs to be said the Wererat Mugger (Chief) is still not bloodied.


Garlik, still bleeding from a myriad bites, calls out to the swarm.

“Fight me verminous scum!” Then lashes out, his magical sword momentarily wreathed in radiant power- he cuts another swathe through the now vastly depleted vermin menace.

A wererat rushes towards Tonka, squeaking furiously as it comes, the dragonborn spills the broken body he was using as a club- looks about him for a new weapon but sees nothing suitable to hand. The wererat closes fast, and then launches itself at the dragonborn, who cocks his right hand and steps aside at the very last moment; Tonka punches the foul creature in the side of its head as it rushes past him. The wererat lands in a crumpled heap- neck broken, dead.

“Bahamut preserve!” Tonka calls out, and Gokan’s eyes flutter open.

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Eko’s freedom meanwhile is short lived, the rat swarm tracks her down, ignoring Garlik’s threats and menaces- the elven bard takes bites and scratches to her feet and lower legs. She fights back however, and manages to cut a few more of the vermin down. The dragonborn paladin likewise cuts again and despatches several more members of the rodent gang. The swarm is all but gone- tens, rather than hundreds, of rats are all that’s left.

Yet again Eko dodges back and gets herself free of the swarm; she concentrates her efforts on a new target, the still blind wererat chief.

Eko hollers at the flailing chief- “You’re not a rat; you’re a mouse wiz dreamz. We’re here to CRUSH YOUR DREAMZ!”

The effect is instantaneous; the great rat man cowers and just for a moment seems to shrink in size.

“DEZTROY ZE VERMIN!” Eko shouts out to her fellow adventurers, and then off-handedly calls back to Sir Garlik, “Mon chere, up, up- in to ze fight!”

The dragonborn paladin grins as his wounds and hurt disappear in an instant after Eko’s majestic words.

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Eko with her Daily Stirring Shout, the Wererat Mugger (Chief) takes a little Psychic damage but even better every hit on the creature restores five hit points to the attacker.

Not everyone on the side of right is happy with their situation however…

“Great big dangly wobbly troll cobblers!”
“If I… <Gnah!> When I… <Ghah!>”

And other exhortations, Sigur continues to attempt to free himself from his bonds, a wererat minion spots the dwarf’s predicament and clambers on to Sigur’s back to gnaw at his neck.

He’s not happy.

Not happy at all.

Image

Sigur is, of course, bloodied.

The wererat chief, still flailing wildly and sans one eye, lashes out at his main tormentor- Jimmy; the sneaky halfling scurries aside at the last moment- avoiding the wild swish of the creature’s morningstar, and its follow up gnashing bite.

Alas Jimmy’s own attacks, a spinning effort aimed at the wererat chief and another of the seemingly ever-present minions, are also well wide of the mark. The halfling momentarily juggles his vicious dagger and on the third attempt manages to grab the blade, and prevent it from escaping his grasp.

Jimmy with Acrobat’s Blade rolls ‘1’, and, ‘1’. We don’t have critical fumbles in game but I made him make a Dex check to keep hold of his weapon- it seemed right.

The wererat minions continue to snipe, and stab, and bite at the adventurers- Gokan and Tonka both fail to keep the pesky miscreants at bay, and are further cut, sliced and slashed.

Gokan is back to bloodied, as is Tonka.

Sigur at last gets free, after gnawing at his bonds.

“Moradin’s undergarments… at last!”
The dwarf cries and then invokes, the wererat minion gripped tight to the dwarf’s back is suddenly swamped by dark and bloody thoughts of its own demise.

“Kill me! Kill me now!”

The wererat yelps, Sigur grabs the creature and twists its neck violently, there’s a sickening CRUNCH as something snaps, the dwarf is happy to oblige.

Ramm meantime puts his head, and horns down, takes a step back and launches himself at the wererat chief, the vermin leader is skewered- the hurt not that great, although enough to leave the lycanthrope sprawling in the dirt.

Ramm bellows, and stomps and paws the dirt.

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The Wererat Mugger may be down but it's still not bloodied.

The rat swarm turns its attention back to Sir Garlik, but the paladin is in no mood to play. Again and again he slashes at the scurrying menace, until finally, eventually- the few remaining rodents scarper, the swarm dissipates- destroyed.

Not content Garlik lumbers forward and grabs Gokan and pulls him up to his feet, stating in a clear voice- “Bahamut preserve you, my lad. Bahamut preserve you.”

The half-orc grunts in acknowledgement and grins, his wounds heal over- and just in time.

A pair of wererat minions dash at Gokan, the first is subject to a roundhouse kick which sends the verminous fellow flying, only to land in an unmoving crumpled heap. The second however gets a grip on the half-orc, but not for long; Gokan grapples and wrestles it, eventually grabs and throws the small wererat over his shoulder, hard on to the ground. He unceremoniously finishes the move by stamping repeatedly on the wererat’s head, face and neck- till it’s dead.

Two down- Gokan thinks, and grins.

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The Red Baron scurries back, having to duck and dodge a wererat minion assailant, the elf takes a nip to his right wrist during the manoeuvre, although he manages to free himself of the wererat’s attention. His first arrow ends the creature, his second thuds in to the wererat chief, who screams and hollers. The shot is made more difficult by the fact the wererat is lying on the floor in the midst of the melee.

The Wererat Mugger is at last bloodied.

The battle field is clearing- the wererats are almost spent. As if to prove the point Tonka moves forward and lashes out at yet another minion with his longsword, the miserable wretch is gutted, it dies in less than a minute.

“Fortune favourz zose zat favour fortune…” Eko states cryptically as she sidles closer to Tonka, the dragonborn nods- as if he understands, his wounds also heal over- the half-elf’s majestic words make him smile.

“You dirty, double-crossing rat!” Eko yells out at the wererat chief, alas her vicious mockery falls on deaf ears- the foul creature, even with its one-eye, can see the destruction that has been wrought on its followers.

The wererat mugger leaps to its feet and flees, and at top speed.

Although not fast enough to out run Jimmy’s vicious dagger, which briefly lodges in the vermin leader’s back, before reappearing in the halfling’s hand.

We have a rule in our games, if the bad guy (or PC) can get off the game board (on-line map, or whatever) then they are considered to have escaped. Note many of the maps we use, particularly on-line via Maptools are very big, as in the whole dungeon is mapped out. It’s therefore easy to get away in the great outdoors, or else in the streets of the city, more difficult to escape in the dungeon.

Regardless the Wererat Mugger is one square away from the edge of the map, having spent its Action Point to make a triple move…


Sigur, hands free at last, mumbles and invokes as he strides forward over the body-strewn battlefield. Thunder rumbles and rolls, for a second, and then explodes- a titanic thunderclap which slams in to the wererat mugger, leaving the creature disorientated and dazed, and clutching at its ears.

Ramm, the minotaur sergeant, hefts his axe and rushes off in pursuit of the wererat chief.

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The Wererat Mugger is Dazed and reduced to 40 hit points, can it escape with its life?

Gokan screams and charges, smashing in to the unprotected back of the wererat chief, his twin axes THUNK in to the creature, leaving it sprawling in the dirt. And yet still it scrabbles trying to be up and away.

The Red Baron skitters closer, and even though the mugger makes a poor target- it being very close to the ground, the elf still manages to sink two arrows in to the foul vermin.

Image

The Wererat Mugger is still Dazed but is now on only 3 hit points.

“Peace! PEACE!”

The wererat chief screams as it gets to its feet, hands out before it.

Ramm realising he’s not going to get there in time grabs out a javelin and sends it high in to the air, briefly, the missile ends its journey by skewering the wererat mugger’s remaining working oracle.

Although the loss of the wererat’s vision proves to be only a minor inconvenience, the javelin protrudes all the way through the lycanthrope’s skull, the foul vermin sinks to its knees and then flops forward- dead.

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Ramm ends it with a Crit.

The wererats are dead, the rescue is complete.

Encounter #10 Synopsis, PC XP & DM’s thoughts.

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Encounter #10 The Rat Pack, starring-

Wererat Minion (Minion Skirmisher 1) x10
Wererat Scum (Minion Skirmisher 5) x2
Rat Swarm (Skirmisher 2) x1
Wererat (Skirmisher 2) x3
Wererat Scurrying (Skirmisher 3) x1
Wererat Mugger (Elite Brute 5) x1

1400 XP Level 6 Encounter.

However when the PCs get their comrades free- Gokan, Sigur & Tonka, then there's going to be 8 good guys in play.

PC XP

175 XP each for a total of 1594 XP in total (PCs Level 2).

Eight PCs in play at the end, hence only 175 XP each- I am of course going to ensure that all PCs have the same amount of XP at all times.

DM Thoughts-

The PCs are back on form, a cracking combat in which I allowed the PCs to get the drop on the bad guys because this was their chance to shine; all the guys had to do was come up with a good workable idea for how to hide the troops.

It’s a real shame that the Wererat Mugger (Chief) got tagged early in to the fight, after dropping Gokan with one good hit I thought I’d get the chance to make merry. That didn’t work out.

On reflection an easy fight, what with the players having a free run with their Daily powers- they’re going to take an Extended Rest next.

I don’t mind a few easy victories here and there, besides if the dice had rolled different I figure I could have taken another PC down.

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:51 am 
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KOTS Part 10a: Clearing up the mess.

The prisoners, now ex-prisoners are embraced- each in turn by Jimmy, the halfling is most pleased to see his brother, Gokan. The half-orc is less emotional of course, and quickly back in to action.

The bodies of the dead wererats are searched thoroughly, a little gold and silver is recovered- which is put in the chest with the rest of the money brought to the exchange. Two other items of note are found; the first a set of leather bracers inscribed with magical runes of some sort- these are taken by Sigur, “Flaming Bracers”, the dwarf states and slips the magical items on.

“Nice!” Sigur crows and admires his new look.

Image
Sigur is loving his new Flaming Bracers.

The second thing of interest, discovered on the body of the wererat mugger, the chief of the messengers, is a key. Not a new looking key, an old, maybe ancient key- large and ornate, made of some dark metal which even Sigur has difficulty identifying.

The best the dwarf can come up with is that it’s, “not from the ground… something else, something strange!” It’s not often that Sigur is stumped, and willing to admit to it.

The wererat bodies are hurriedly buried, the turned earth covered by bushes and scrub, hopefully they will not be found- if indeed anyone should come looking for them.

The burial site cleared up, the adventurers head back to Winterhaven- job done.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:30 pm 
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KOTS Part 10b: Celebration.

Time seems to speed up and then slow down, at least for Jimmy. The return to Winterhaven is glorious- Wrafton’s is packed for the occasion, everyone in the town wants to buy them a drink. The locals are still jubilant after the defeat of the Kobolds, Jimmy’s not even sure they know anything about the Shadow Keep and its skulking inhabitants.

Jimmy tries to put the bad things from his mind, he plasters a smile to his face and accepts drink after drink. Gokan of course is a little more subdued, perhaps even a little downcast- perhaps he’s missing his big metal brother. The half-orc disappears early on from the celebration, slips upstairs with Gerda- it seems the pair have things to talk about.

The elves, or rather the elf and the half-elf, the Red Baron and Eko are in the centre of the celebration- relaxed and affable, drinking in moderation but partying hard. Eko has a beautiful voice it seems; the locals are very soon bewitched and delighted by her rousing ballads and songs. The Red Baron accompanies her for a while, borrowing a five stringed lute-like instrument from behind the bar.

Garlik also entertains with tall tales of high adventure; the dragonborn paladin has a rich and sonorous voice, which enthrals all within earshot.

Ramm drinks hard, doesn’t leave the bar, consuming pint after pint- the minotaur has a day off tomorrow but the day after, he’s back in on duty in the Winterhaven Guard. Sigur joins the minotaur- the pair say little to each other, just steadily drink themselves in to unconsciousness.

Tonka is a little lost, part of his evening is spent with Jimmy, glad to see his little friend again, later it occurs to the dragonborn that things have changed now. He’s aware that he must return to the Shadow Keep, a mixture of dread, fear and excitement affects him, and yet he’s conscious that now is not the time to speak of their return.

Later still he worries further, will any of the adventurers want to return to the Keep- is this it, are they done? Tonka frets, drinks too much perhaps, and becomes a little maudlin.

The evening ends as the revelers, one by one, head upstairs to their rooms or else home to their families.

Families…

Douvern is the last to retire, even taking the time to clear a little of the debris of the evening away, he doesn’t want to go to sleep yet.

Tomorrow is going to be difficult, decisions are going to have to be made, Gerda is probably not going to be happy, or worse still- he’s going to be disappointed.

They must go back, Douvern thinks. They must finish the job, or else what was it all for… the loss of his son, Hal.

Adventuring is in the blood, he thinks, and finally- with the fingers of dawn glistening in the window, the party over, he trudges upstairs to sleep if only for a little while.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:21 am 
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KOTS Part 10c: Fever!

The next day, of course, doesn’t go as Douvern planned- no decisions are made.

Filth Fever strikes.

By midday on the 29th day of the third month of 2012 three of the adventurers have been declared sick- very sick, by Sister Lenora. Jimmy, Tonka and the Red Baron are bed-ridden, the trio are beset by a terrible fever, alternatively freezing and boiling. The priestess of Avandra has her work cut out, although Garlik and Eko are on hand to help with her ministrations.

The day passes oh-so slowly, no-one it seems is talking about the future, about what happens next.

Back in the bar Ramm goes back to drinking, Sigur joins him.

Gokan stays out of the Inn, the half-orc accompanies a local tracker, an elf by the name of Ninaran in to the wilds- hunting for sport and for game for the pot. Gokan wants to be away from the black cloud that seems to hang over the town, the tavern, and his friends.

Douvern and Gerda are not talking, at all. Both, however, take it in turns to visit Jimmy, to hold his hand and fret some more over their fragile son.

The day passes, subdued- with no one asking the obvious question- what now?

The next day is less quiet, Jimmy and Tonka are better, at least their fever is almost gone- they’re ordered to spend another day in bed resting but Sister Lenora is certain they will make a full recovery very quickly- up and about the next day perhaps.

The Red Baron is not so fortunate, his fever worsens, the elf spends much of the day delirious, muttering and shaking, beset by phantom itches and aches. He struggles to eat, or else take water- he’s very sick, Sister Lenora worries; she confesses to Garlik that if the fever doesn’t break in the next two days then the elf’s life may be in the balance.

She prays that fortune favours the brave.

And thus it continues…

For the next day.

And the next day.

And the next.

It’s not until the 3rd day of the fourth month in the year 2012 that things change.

The Red Baron’s fever has still not fully broken, although Sister Lenora is now confident that the danger has passed, the elf will need a good deal more rest, but the worst is over.

And with this news the dam bursts.

In style.

Ramm smashes his tankard in to the bar, fracturing the vessel and spilling the last of his ale; the minotaur has been excused duties in the town, somehow ‘attached’ to the adventurers that skulk around the inn.

“Gods! What the hell are we still doing here?” The minotaur turns to address the bar, all of the adventurers, save the Red Baron, are present, as are Douvern and Gerda.

“I don’t know what you saw there? What you’re frightened of? I’ve only lived here for three years, but even I know what you’ve done.”

Ramm has an audience; the minotaur gesticulates and points furiously, a little drunk.

“You’ve stirred up a nest of vipers. I’ve heard you speak about the Shadow Keep- about the creatures you fought there- goblins, hobgoblins, wolves… demons!”

Ramm hiccups.

“Is that how you’re going to leave it? Leave us?”

Ramm spreads his arms out wide, exasperated.

“Oh what heroes you are… You rescue your friend…” Ramm points at Douvern. “Then you take care of the kobolds. Then you head off to the Keep, start to make your mark… It all goes wrong of course, but now!”

Ramm shakes his head furiously.

“Now! You just sit here, and worry over the elf.” Ramm tails off, and then suddenly turns and shouts again. “They’re out there, at the Keep still, and if we don’t go back and get them, then they’ll come here- for us!”

Ramm grabs out his battleaxe, spins it in the air and catches the haft, just.

THUNK!

He sinks the blade in to the table at which Sigur and Tonka sit.

“I will go to the Keep. I will see the job done.” Ramm declares, jabbing himself in the chest, he suddenly grabs for his axe and attempts to lever it out from the table, he struggles and after a moment has to flop down in to a chair, which groans under the sudden weight.

“Bloody fools!”

Ramm plainly states, and then head down slumps in to unconsciousness.

“I’ll go…”

Jimmy and Gokan state in unison, the pair look at each- grin. Douvern grins back, thinks better of it and tries to hide his smile, Gerda scowls.

“Count me in.” Sigur states.
“And me.” Declares a grinning Tonka.

Gerda heads for the door, stomping all the way.

_________________
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The Seven Dwarves, go here-
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:30 am 
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KOTS Part 10d: Return to the Shadow Keep.

“So there are two of them with names beginning with ‘K’?” Jimmy states.
Valthruin nods, “that’s right- Sir Keegan was in charge of the Keep, he went mad- slew his family and men. He was eventually trapped in the catacombs by his second in command, a holy warrior of Bahamut- Sir Kalarel, a brave young man who fought valiantly to bring the Keep back under control.”

The room goes silent. Ramm shrugs, “what do we care?” The minotaur huffs.
Sigur grins and whispers to Tonka, “I like him, good attitude, better than the metal one… ”

Valthruin, the sage of Winterhaven, has been hired again, at Gerda’s insistence- just to run through the history of the Keep once more, ensure there’s no clue to be found.

Tonka grins at Sigur’s aside- Hal was a little difficult to talk to after all, the dragonborn looks around only to be met by Gerda’s gaze- she’s not grinning, or smiling, or… Tonka puts his head down and admires his boots.

Sister Lenora has also been visited by Gerda, the two women it seem have much in common- certainly their opinions on foolish men folk that seem to think they have something to prove…

The Priestess of Avandra, at Gerda’s insistence, brews up a fresh batch of healing potions, enough for each of the adventurers to take one; Gerda’s spending Douvern’s money in an effort to ensure that her remaining sons return from their next venture in to the Keep.

She’s not happy but she’s going to make damn sure that Gokan and Jimmy do not want for anything. In fact unbeknownst to Douvern, or indeed any of the other adventurers, both receive a stern lecture from Gerda about staying safe in the dungeon.

For Gokan it goes a little like this-

“And keep warm…”
Gokan nods as Gerda roughly grabs his leather surcoat and attempts to drag it over any gaps where the wind or chill could get in.
“And look after your brother; he may think he’s tough but…” Gerda sighs.
Gokan nods.
“Have you sharpened that?” Gerda nods at Gokan’s hand axe.
Gokan grunts, grins and nods.
“Make sure you have.”
Gokan nods again.
“Hands.”
Gokan proffers his hands out flat before him.
“Nails! Cut them! I don’t know” Gerda slaps the back of Gokan’s right hand.
Gokan winces and then nods.
“Turn.”
Gokan turns his rough hands over.
Gerda stares down at them.

For too long, a tear falls on to Gokan’s open palm.
The half-orc grunts, gently, more like a sigh.

Jimmy’s experience is a lot less subtle.

“Mwarm” Jimmy tries again.
“Mwarm!” He tries again, insistent.

Jimmy’s face is bright red.

“MWARM!” Once more, this time a mixture of anger and fear…
Gerda steps back, releasing Jimmy from her bear hug.

Jimmy gulps in air, able to breathe again.

“I don’t know why you worry so much, I can take care of myself- I’m a lot tougher than Gok…OOF!”

Followed a moment later by-

“MWARM!”

Eventually the adventurers are on their way, the journey back to the Shadow Keep is very familiar for four of the five, Ramm follows his companions.

Their passage is silent, or at least quiet, a little chatter here and there- mostly Tonka keeping everyone’s spirit up.

Just before midday on the 4th day of the fourth month in the year 2012 the Hard Core adventurers return to the ruins of the Keep on the Shadowfell.

_________________
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:33 am 
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KOTS Part 11: Return to the Shadow Keep.

The Hard Core Adventurers Level 2

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They’re back...

The adventurers soon discover the partially eaten remains of one of the goblin prisoners they took on their first venture in to the dungeons, last seen tied to a tree.

The goblin, Gokan confirms, has been savaged by some wild, but probably natural, predator- the creature had little defence what with its broken arm, multiple fractures- wrist, jaw and skull; and probable concussion.

Sigur grins, “Got what it deserved.” The dwarf spits on the shredded remains of the dead goblin, chuckling still.

The other prisoner is gone, although the rope that bound it is still there, the creature looks to have untied itself, or else it had help…

Gokan noses around the spot- the half-orc’s not certain, many days have passed and there’s been a lot of rain, but he thinks the creature headed back in to the lair. Alone, probably.

The next step is to get closer, back in to the ruins proper and to the stairs down to the catacombs.

Jimmy heads forward, Gokan shadowing the halfling- their first task is to scout out the upper region of the ruins, the fallen stone and blasted masonry of the original keep, just in case.

The pair quarter and search the area quickly, all is safe and secure. They locate the stairs down, and after directing their colleagues to the spot, Jimmy heads down- Gokan a little behind the halfling.

The pair pull up short, voices- or rather one raised voice- not happy, a second voice only apparent every now and then.

“It waste! It all waste. Bun good. Bun make strong- fight, fight… Grrr!” The first voice is loud, insistent.
“But Jum…” The second voice wheedling, on shakier ground.
“BUN GOOD! Bun make strong. Bugsquash eat plenty bun. Fight-fight! Good bun!”
“Jumbatty say…”
“Who Jumbatty? Jumbatty strong? Jumbatty fight-fight?”
“Jumbatty say…”
“Jumbatty dead-dead. Jumbatty no strong- Jumbatty no bun. No bun bad! Jumbatty bad!”
“Bugsquash dead-dead. Bugsquash eat bun?”

There’s a murmur, other voices, seemingly grunting and agreeing with the last speaker.

Jimmy is at the bottom of the stairs now, Gokan only half way down, while the other adventurers wait at the top. The chamber is much as it was the last time they entered here, only this time there are hobgoblins present, at least six of them that Jimmy can see.

Five of the hobgoblins wear thick cured hide armour and tote longswords, the last- the stern voiced leader - is clad in scale armour, with a nasty looking flail and an equally nasty spiked shield.

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Six is more than enough hobgoblins, the halfling thinks.

The creatures are guards, that much is obvious from their armour and weapons. Jimmy presumes they should be guarding the entrance, he’s thankful they’re not.

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Hobgoblin Grunt
Minion Level 3

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Hobgoblin Soldier
Soldier Level 3

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The foremost of the hobgoblins facing the leader seems to be clutching a misshapen, and squashed, handful of bread rolls. Two of the other grunts are eating sausages and following the action intently, every now and then gesticulating with their sausages to reinforce or back up a point.

“How Jumbatty know this?”
“Jumbatty hear it in book.”
“What Jumbatty hear in book?”
“Bread bad. Bun bad!”
“Why bread bad? Why bun bad?”
“Jumbatty say bread made of cardiganhighhats…” The grunt trails off.
“Cardigan…?”
“Cardiganhighhats.”
“Cardiganhigh… hats?”
“Cardiganhighhats.” The formerly wheedling hobgoblin grunt confirms.
“Cardiganhighhats.” The leader states again.
The other hobgoblin nods, his fellow guards join in.

Jimmy scratches his chin, tries the word, “cardiganhighhats…” I wonder what… the halfling thinks.

“What cardiganhighhats?” The hobgoblin leader asks.

Jimmy nods.

And leans in a little closer to listen further…

“Aaaarggghhhhhh!” Gokan screams and rushes at the closest hobgoblin, the grunt holding the conversation with the hobgoblin soldier leader as it happens.

“Ohhhhh…” Jimmy sighs, followed by, “… don’t…”

Gokan flails wildly with both axes… and conspires to miss with both attacks.

Phew- Jimmy thinks, and then starts up again, “… don’t kill…”

Alas the last of the halfling’s statement is cut off by the sounds, and shouts and grumbles, of Tonka and Sigur moving at pace down the stairs - neither of them gets close enough to the action but they both put a lot of effort in to sounding threatening and dangerous.

“I just wanted…” Jimmy tries, but then looks up to see the hobgoblin soldier beginning to hoist its nasty looking flail in to action. The halfling’s vicious blade spins out and takes the creature by surprise…

The hobgoblin forgets its weapon and clutches, briefly, on to the pommel of the blade which nestles in its gut- briefly because the blade, moments later, disappears only to reappear in Jimmy’s hand. The hobgoblin soldier, dazed by the spectacle of its own blood, stands station- still clutching at the spot.

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Jimmy’s Sly Flourish combined with Surprise Strike, with Combat Advantage of course- 17 damage and the Hobgoblin Soldier is Dazed, nice one.

Jimmy grins.

“What’s cardiganhighhats?” The halfling shouts at the hobgoblin grunt who knows so much… The forlorn goblinoid turns, mouth open, to gawp at Jimmy.

“Cardiganhighhats are…”

And is then decapitated by a rushing, hollering, slicing Ramm.

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“Fu…” Jimmy begins.

Suddenly a second hobgoblin soldier appears from the corridor to the south.

“What’s going on…” The creature begins but then spots its comrade clutching its gut, and the decapitated grunt, and then last of all Jimmy…

The great armoured hobgoblin charges, it takes all of Jimmy’s skill to duck and dodge the creature’s whirling flail, which smashes instead in to the pillar behind which the halfling now hides.

Another hobgoblin grunt suddenly springs in to life- it screams and lashes out at Gokan with its longsword, the half-orc easily parries the blow and with his hand axe cuts the creature down. Gokan cuts again at the bleeding soldier clutching at its gut, but as with his opening charge contrives to miss.

Tonka smashes in to the side of the same soldier, who is now vainly and badly trying to defend itself, the hobgoblin somehow manages to keep Tonka at bay. Yet another grunt gets in on the action and lashes at the dragonborn, but Tonka’s too quick and easily deflects the blow with his shield.

Down the corridor another pair of hobgoblins scurry in to the light, and begin to move forwards, towards the sounds of fighting.

Jimmy is suddenly menaced by yet another grunt, the hobgoblin cuts and the halfling dodges.

Back in the fracas the bloody soldier finally gets the hang of things, it screams and swings wildly at Gokan, the half-orc deftly avoids the creature’s flail.

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Sigur stomps forward, so he can get a good look at the situation, the dwarf grumbles and his favourite three ghostly grasping hands appear- the first gut-punches the injured soldier, who blanches and almost falls.

The second slaps and leaves a radiant burn on the face of the second soldier, while the third clutches and chokes the life out of the grunt formerly menacing Jimmy.

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Jimmy proffers a thumbs up, Sigur smirks unimpressed, and then rumbles and grumbles on, making pounding fists with his hands.

Thunder rolls and a pair of thunderclaps burst- the first leaves the already battered hobgoblin soldier clutching desperately on to a pillar, the second explodes within the body of the last but one grunt- there’s hobgoblin viscera everywhere.

Gokan catches an ear, and quickly drops it.

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Jimmy stabs at the soldier still menacing him, alas the warrior is too quick although in dodging the halfling’s dagger it steps back and in to Ramm’s range- the minotaur smashes his vanguard battleaxe in to the creature, and then follows up with a shield slam. All the air goes out of the hobgoblin soldier as it’s flung back hard in to the wall of the chamber.

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Ramm’s opponent is quick to respond however, the hobgoblin soldier seems to bounce back off the wall and straight at the minotaur, flailing wildly- but Ramm’s too quick, his shield’s up and in the way. The hobgoblins pushes forward regardless and Ramm catches it with a glancing blow.

“To me!” The soldier screams and links shields with the last remaining grunt to form a small, but effective, shield wall.

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Alas the defensive stance is short lived, Gokan whirls as his axes sing, his hand axe slashes the throat of the last hobgoblin grunt, his vanguard battleaxe decapitates the forlorn looking hobgoblin soldier clutching at the pillar.

Gokan with a Whirling Frenzy- ‘19’ on the Hobgoblin Grunt, and ‘20’ on the Hobgoblin Soldier, a Crit for 30 points of damage, alas it only had 3 hit points left.

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Tonka rushes in to the newly formed gap, making for the southern corridor, just as another menacing looking hobgoblin soldier exits; this fellow is armed with a deadly looking greatspear- which it expertly stabs in to the dragonborn’s right thigh. Tonka cuts back with his longsword and scores a hit but the goblinoid fares better in the exchange, Tonka limps badly, while his leg gushes with blood.

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Hobgoblin Spear Soldier
Skirmisher Level 4

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The hobgoblin spear soldier grins and feints and then stabs Tonka in the other thigh, the warlord gasps with pain and staggers.

Tonka is bloodied- and surprisingly quickly.

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Meantime the now friendless hobgoblin soldier catches Gokan with a hearty swing, the half-orc clutches at his side in agony, almost unable to catch his breath.

The last hobgoblin, still a little way down the corridor, takes in the scene.

“Guard, orderly retreat- by the numbers, phalanx move. One-two-three. One-two-three. One-two-three.” It yells, and sure enough the two remaining hobgoblins comply, moving back in unison to protect their warmonger leader.

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Hobgoblin Warmonger
Artillery Level 5

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Not done, the guard commander notches an arrow to the greatbow it’s toting and sights Tonka, it fires- the arrow thuds in to Tonka’s chest, the dragonborn wordlessly falls forward and clatters on to the cold stone floor- dying.

Tonka is reduced to -2 hit points after being hit for 16 points of damage by the Hobgoblin Warmonger’s Greatbow attack.

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“Next.” The hobgoblin warmonger simply states.

At the same moment a wretched figure lurches out of the eastern passage, a hunched hobgoblin wearing rags, its pale skin pockmarked with pustules, its fingernails long and talon-like.

“Undead!” Sigur shouts.

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Hobgoblin Wight
Skirmisher Level 5

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The hobgoblin wight rakes and claws Ramm, the great minotaur snuffles and snorts as an icy coldness washes over him. Ramm bellows forlornly as he feels his life-essence flicker and wane.

Sigur bustles closer.

“Foul spawn, get ye back to whence yer came. Shove off ya nasty git!”

The dwarf hollers, making sense- albeit for a brief moment, a radiant light settles on the wight, its skin crisps and burns, but the effect is short lived. The foul creature grins at Sigur.

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Jimmy hustles forward, keen to get away from the undead abomination; the Halfling sees a gap and spins out his vicious dagger, aiming for the warmonger in the back row. A miss.

In the blink of an eye Jimmy’s vicious dagger reappears in his hand- he sends it spinning again, this time it connects, the same target- the warmonger grabs at the blade but too late as it disappears again.

“Kill the halfling!” The hobgoblin leader states.

Ramm all the while fights back, with his axe, and then with his shield, and yet the hobgoblin wight stands the test- dodges every one of the minotaur’s attacks and every time comes up grinning.

“Come on!” Sigur half-shouts, half-gripes. The dwarf knows it’s in the balance.

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Gokan, still clutching at his side, staggers forward a little to menace the hobgoblin line, he steadies himself and then brings his axes around again- this time with much greater success. He cuts the remaining hobgoblin soldier down.

“That’s it!” Sigur hurrahs, and manoeuvres next to the fallen Tonka.

The spear soldier dodges forward and thrusts its greatspear at Jimmy, under orders, alas the agile halfling is much too quick and light on his feet, Jimmy skips aside.

The warmonger, in the background, grunts its discontent.

“Attack! Kill the halfling I said!” It orders the spear soldier again, and again the creature complies… and yet still Jimmy is too quick.

The halfling grins, he can’t help himself- he laughs, caught up in the excitement, and the fear, and the fact he keeps managing to evade the spear-wielding hobgoblin.

The warmonger however… the hobgoblin stares intently at the halfling, Jimmy… Jimmy… Jimmy is suddenly mesmerised, the hobgoblin seems to be mouthing words, hard to comprehend, hard to understand, words nevertheless.

Jimmy gives over all his energy, cranes to hear or else make sense- the warmonger is talking about him, the hobgoblin…

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“Your brother Hal is dead already- his body smashed and broken lying in the dark… You will die next, you will not survive, you cannot survive… Then your brother Gokan, Gokan is next, after you to die… Then your mother, then your father…” The hobgoblin goes on but Jimmy’s no longer listening, the red mist has descended.

Jimmy stabs, hard and fast, for the gut- a painful death, long, slow, bloody… KILL!

Jimmy stabs. And at the very last moment possible Gokan moves an inch to his right and lives.

The hobgoblin warmonger grins.

Jimmy looks down at the dagger in his hands, at his brother Gokan with both axes poised, moments away from attacking him.

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“He…” Jimmy tries, and points at the warmonger. Gokan nods and turns back to the fight.

“Bastard!” Jimmy spits, “I’m coming for you…”

The hobgoblin warmonger grins.

Ramm meantime keeps the hobgoblin wight at bay, the undead flails and claws but the minotaur fighter’s shield is always in the way. Suddenly a ghostly spectral hand appears and upper-cuts the foul creature, leaving a smoking fist mark on the right side of its face, the wight yowls and curses with the pain, and for a second drops its defence.

Ramm’s axe bites, and tears, the hobgoblin wight staggers back.

Sigur grumbles as his two other spectral appendages fail to connect with their targets. Jimmy meantime, back in the world of the living, ducks under the spear soldier’s attack and stabs the hobgoblin in its lower left leg, and then ducks back and out- all in one swift manoeuvre.

The halfling rogue grabs a potion flask from his belt and scuttles back to Sigur, the dwarf still stands over the body of the fallen Tonka.

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Gokan dodges forward, hoping to make his way around the spear soldier, alas the hobgoblin is expecting the manoeuvre, it dodges back in time with Gokan’s move, and stabs its greatspear out. Gokan is skewered briefly, the half-orc thuds in to the wall of the corridor, and then with a supreme effort pushes himself off and forward, wrenching himself free.

The howling half-orc rushes forward, beyond the spear soldier’s reach, he smashes in to the backtracking warmonger, with both axes. Alas the hobgoblin leader proves too adept, even with its greatbow in hand, it manages to parry or else deflect Gokan’s blows, it even manages to give the half-orc the slip, backing out of combat and readying its bow in one smooth motion.

It fires, at almost point-blank range, it cannot miss.

And yet it does.

At the last moment Gokan twists and turns, the arrow flies inches wide- the second close miss in this fracas. Alas the reason for Gokan’s expert dodge is soon revealed- the spear soldier has stabbed the half-orc again, this time in the back, the tip of its greatspear protruding through just below his collar bone.

Gokan screams.

Gokan is bloodied, actually reduced to 8 hit points.

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The spear soldier lurches forward, pins Gokan face first in to the wall of the corridor, and then pivots around until it stands next to its commander, the warmonger.

Sigur quickly shuffles to a better position, so that he can see all of the adventurer’s assailants.

“Get him up shortstuff!” The dwarf barks at Jimmy and nods towards Tonka. “Before your fanged brother falls over…”

Sigur grumbles some more and a trio of ghostly hands appear, and shoot out towards their respective targets, The dwarven invoker is back on form. All three of the radiant hands strike home- the spear soldier is scorched. The warmonger is slapped and singed, causing the great hobgoblin to stagger a little, while the wight is punched again, the undead goblinoid screeches and hollers, not long for this world.

Jimmy doesn’t hesitate, he swiftly kneels- grabs Tonka and forces his healing potion between the dragonborn’s lips. He pours. Tonka’s eyes flash open, he grins, but Jimmy’s away- the dragonborn’s smile soon disappears as his head thunks in to the stone floor. Again.

Jimmy spins out his vicious dagger again, as he scurries forward towards his brother, the blade bites and the warmonger has to grab for the wall to stay upright.

Back in the first chamber the wight at last manages to escape Ramm’s menacing slashes- it lurches back, and then quickly, and unexpectedly, leaps forward, clawed hands extended- aiming to rip the minotaur’s throat out. To wallow and wade in the great beast’s blood.

THUNK!

“Too slow!” Ramm states and stomps off towards the other fight, the broken wight briefly reaches up and tries to grab at Ramm’s foot, too late- again. Ramm’s gone, seconds later so is the undead menace- forever.

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Tonka gets quickly to his feet.

“Bahamut preserve.” The sheepish dragonborn observes, as Gokan’s wounds heal over.
“Go get ‘em…” Tonka offers.

The half-orc grins, screams and then charges forward, evading the spear soldier’s thrust- Gokan smashes in to the hobgoblin warmonger, his duel axes a blur- he cuts the leader down.

“That’s the spirit! For the platinum dragon.” Tonka cries, and charges after Gokan, again dodging the spear soldier’s, now forlorn, thrust. Tonka cuts at the last remaining hobgoblin with his longsword, grins as the creature bleeds and staggers.

“Onward Bahamut’s soldiers, marching as to…”

At which point the haft of the hobgoblin’s greatspear comes full circle and smashes Tonka in the face.

The dragonborn spins on the spot, like a child’s top, and then gurning all the way down crashes in to the floor.

Out cold.

And dying again. Tonka is reduced to -6 hit points after the Hobgoblin Spear Soldier lands a Crit with its Greatspear for 16 points of damage. When will he learn?

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“Moradin’s hairy balls!” Sigur states, and stomps forward, en route his magical wristbands flare and begin to smoke and burn. Moments later a single ghostly hand appears, although this time it’s also wreathed in flame, the appendage darts forward and thumps in to the last hobgoblin standing.

The creature staggers back, spits out a stream of blood, and then crouches low ready for further attacks; it stabs its greatspear before it, and snarls. It’s not giving up the fight. Even Jimmy’s vicious dagger, which spins out and pierces the goblinoid’s side- and makes it grimace - is not enough to make the creature back down.

I usually have the last bad guy surrender at this point, however the PCs are level two now, and the Hobgoblins are much more ferocious, and less likely to back down than the guys previous opponents. I figure for the most part that if they want to take prisoners then they’re going to have to do the hard work themselves.

The Hobgoblin Spear Soldier is of course very bloodied at this point, down to 10 hit points, in fact.


Ramm stomps in to the corridor, bellows- long and loud.

Suddenly the last hobgoblin standing looks less sure.

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As it turns out Ramm is not the one the hobgoblin needs to be frightened of; Gokan darts at the goblinoid, who’s quick enough to wheel round and catch the half-orc with its greatspear, a glancing blow- it’s not enough.

Gokan’s vanguard axe comes down and ends the hobgoblin spear soldier.

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“Get up!” Sigur grouches and nudges Tonka repeatedly with his boot, moments later the dragonborn comes around.

“Where am I?” Tonka states.
“On your arse, like you always are.” Sigur states and wanders off.

The adventurers are back in the Shadow Keep.

Encounter #11 Synopsis, PC XP & DM’s thoughts.

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And so the guys are back in the ruined Keep, re-entering the place for a second attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery...

Encounter #11 The Hobgoblin Guards (Upgraded), starring-

Hobgoblin Grunt (Minion 3) x5
Hobgoblin Soldier (Soldier 3) x2
Hobgoblin Spear Soldier (Skirmisher 4) x1
Hobgoblin Warmonger (Artillery 5) x1
Wight Hobgoblin (Skirmisher 5) x1

1065 XP Level 5 Encounter.

Map: Back to the first encounter in the Keep on the Shadowfell, last seen in encounter 5, The Goblin Guard Room- this time the goblins have been replaced with hobgoblins however- it seems the place is still worth guarding from intruders.

PC XP

213 XP each for a total of 1807 XP in total (PCs Level 2).

DM Thoughts-

While the outcome was never really in question there were some good moments, Tonka taking a dirt nap twice in the encounter was just wonderful, although Stu who plays Tonka seems to be suffering a little. He’s convinced that the Dragonborn is somewhat lacking- truth is he’s not front line, he’s more Skirmisher than Soldier.

Rumour has it Stu has a soft spot for Sir Garlik, a Dragonborn Paladin with chutzpah and style, I think we can look forward to more moments of madness- Stu may be taking Tonka to the wire, playing him to death as it were.

I also enjoyed the moment where the Hobgoblin Warmonger gave Jimmy the nod- the Halfling duly backstabbed his brother Gokan, only the dice prevented what could have been a beautiful show of brotherly love- the players were WTF?

All in all a nice welcome back to the Shadow Keep, with tougher enemies, Hobgoblins are a nice step up from Kobolds and Goblins.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
https://the-points-of-light-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
https://the-seven-dwarves.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
https://the-european-union-d-d-5th-edition-campaign.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:48 am 
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KOTS Part 11a: The Blame Game.

“They’re keen to keep us out!” Tonka states, wiping down his blade.
“You seem intent on helping them. How about trying to stay conscious in the future?” Sigur states.
“That’s ridiculous… I’ll have you know I’m an expert with my longsword…” Tonka fires back.
“At what?” Sigur responds, “… opening jars, levering the lids off things… Warlord! My arse…”
“I’ve never been so insul…”
“Stick around! There’s plenty more coming your way if you carry on being a liability.”
“Li…” Tonka exclaims, but is cut off in his prime.
“… Ability! Which is pretty much what you lack.” Sigur notes and wanders off.

Tonka stands and fumes.

Gokan and Ramm stand statue and continue to stare at Tonka.

“What?” Tonka finally explodes, and then instantly regrets shouting- “sorry, good work back there- now let’s search this place, and them.” Tonka points at one of the fallen hobgoblins.

Five or so minutes later the three chambers that make up the entrance complex have been searched, nothing of any real note has been found- a few shinies courtesy of the hobgoblins, but that’s it.

The five reassemble in the goblin bunk room.

“We press on.” Sigur states and points with his mace at the far door, the door the goblin wizard tried to flee through during the adventurers’ first sortie in to the Keep.
“No. Not yet.” Tonka states, certain. “Before we go on we’ll search the other chambers we’ve been to previously.”
“Hn!” Sigur offers, clearly unhappy.
Tonka goes on, “… for two reasons- one, so that we don’t have any surprises later on. I’d hate to find a band of goblins before us and another behind.”
“Mmm.” Sigur, concurs, perhaps.
“And second, we need to find the body of our fallen brother…” Tonka pointedly looks at Gokan and then Jimmy, the young halfling nods and wipes his eyes.
Sigur sighs, and whispers, “… waste of bloody time.”

And so thirty minutes later the adventurers have revisited the sites of their previous battles here, in the torture chamber, against the goblin chief- Balgron the Fat, and finally through the secret doors to the excavation site. The chambers are pretty much as they were left, although with one very noticeable difference.

“All the bodies have gone…” Jimmy declares.
“Mmm.” Tonka notes, and thinks.
Even Sigur seems interested in this new fact.
“Well?” Tonka asks.
“Tidying up?” Jimmy offers.
“Alas no, little one.” Tonka offers.
“I think we’re going to be seeing these guys again…” Sigur states, hands on hips.
“How do you mean?” Jimmy wonders.
“Undead.” Tonka confirms.
“Oh.” Jimmy states, followed by, “… that’s not good.”

Having completed the circuit, and found nothing untoward- not even the body of their fallen comrade Hal, the adventurers are momentarily at a loss. Until…

“What’s down there…” Jimmy points to a set of stone steps, leading down in to a cavern, this from the excavation site.
“That’s where they kept us.” Sigur states.
Gokan nods.
“Well then, let’s take a look…” Tonka commands.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

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The Seven Dwarves, go here-
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My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:18 pm 
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KOTS Part 11b: Heads, you lose.

Jimmy and Gokan head down the stairs, as silently as they can, in to a large cavern; something squeaks.

“Rats!” Jimmy hisses.

Something moves in the shadows ahead.

The pair hold station for a minute- taking a good look at the area before them, then cautiously head forward, staying as best as they can in the shadows, and close to the walls- Jimmy to the east, Gokan to the west.

A minute or so later and they have circumnavigated the chamber, there are two exits - both heading south.

There are rats here, every now and then one hoves briefly in to view, or else a shadow darts away.

“Cave rats.” Gokan whispers, Jimmy nods.
“Clear?” The halfling asks- it’s Gokan’s turn to nod back.

A minute later and the chamber is flooded with light; Tonka has placed a lantern down in the centre of the cavern, causing many more rats to scurry away, as far away as they can get from the light.

“They lead us back through here- we came from that way, I think…” Sigur points to one of the passages to the south.
“We’ll try that way then.” Tonka nods and Jimmy and Gokan head forward again.

It takes the adventurers another twenty or so minutes to map out the caves; they encounter only three things of interest in their journey.

The first is another secret door, expertly spotted by Sigur, it takes a moment for Jimmy to get the thing open, it’s a crude affair but heavy- Ramm has to help the halfling in the end. A short excavated tunnel leads in to a pocket chamber, which is quickly identified.

“This is where they kept us.” Sigur states.
Gokan and Tonka nod.

The secret chamber is briefly searched, there’s not much to it- it’s empty.

The adventurers move on.

The second thing, or rather place, of note comes in the shape of a large warped metal studded wooden door, warped because of the damp. A crude sign has been affixed to the door, in scrawled common it reads “Stay Out!”

On the third try Ramm’s shoulder smashes open the door, which is beginning to crumble and come apart in places- the wood is waterlogged.

There’s another natural cavern ahead, smaller and rounder, with a sunken floor and slippery stone steps leading down to a very still looking pool of water.

“I don’t like it.” Tonka states, and shakes his head.
“That’s because you’re a big baby.” Sigur fires back and points with his mace down the stairs; there’s a pile of something down there, by the pool.
“I think we’ve found tin legs…” The dwarf finishes.

Gokan and Jimmy are quickly, but carefully, down the stairs and in to the chamber proper- there’s a small bank, the rest- water.

“It looks deep.” Jimmy adds, peering in to the cold dark pool.
“Very deep.” He adds.

Gokan meanwhile is at the pile that Sigur indicated, sorting through twisted metal. The half-orc shivers, then looks at the pool, he shivers again. Gokan feels… frightened, perhaps that’s too strong a word, uneasy, that’ll do it.

The half-orc grabs out a sack and begins to fill it with Hal’s remains, job done Gokan creeps back up the stairs, now and then looking over his shoulder at the still water.

Jimmy remains below, grabs up a stone and hoys it up and PLOOOP! In to the pool, concentric circles spread from the spot, Jimmy dips a toe.

“Bloody hell, it’s freezing…”
“Come away from it, brother.” Gokan calmly, but firmly, states.

Jimmy stares at Gokan for a moment, trying to read the half-orc’s thoughts, then with one last look at the pool the halfling scurries up the steps, and out of the room.

“Close the door please Ramm.” Gokan adds, once the adventurers are out of the chamber.
The great minotaur shrugs and then gets to work, the area is sealed, although the door itself is beginning to break apart, it’s far from impassable.

“Well? Is he in there?” Sigur asks.
“Most of him.” Gokan states.
“Most of him?” Tonka and Jimmy ask in unison.
“Mmm.” Gokan affirms.
“What’s…”
“… missing?” The pair collude again to ask.
“His head.” Gokan calmly states.
“His head?” The pair come again.
“Mmm.” Gokan affirms again.

Sigur giggles.

The other four adventurers turn to stare.

“Sorry, just thought of something funny…” Sigur covers his mouth with his hand and looks suitably contrite.
Gokan and Jimmy look less than pleased, Jimmy particularly.
“He was our brother.” The halfling states, sharply.
Sigur clears his throat, and then coughs.
“Sorry, but…” The dwarf adds, and then trails off.
“But what?” Jimmy asks and steps up to Sigur, hand on his blade.

Sigur’s demeanour changes, instantly, Jimmy swears later he could see pinpricks of fire in the dwarf’s eyes.
“Why would anyone want the tin man’s head, it was probably the least important part of him, although…”, Sigur thinks for a short moment before ploughing on with his insult. “Although, that’d be a close fought race- the least important part of the tin man. Like that one…”, Sigur points at Tonka, “… he had a habit of spending time on the floor.” The dwarf finishes by puffing out his chest and squaring up to Jimmy.

The halfling and the dwarf glare at each other for a moment.

“Do you have any friends?” Jimmy bites off.
“Your dad.” Sigur snaps back.
“He thinks you’re a nutter!” Jimmy sneers.
“Then no, I don’t have any friends.” Sigur calmly states.

Ramm shakes his head and snorts, then stomps off.

After a few more moments spent glaring, the adventurers file after the minotaur.

The third and final discovery is a little more mundane in comparison; a section of the cave complex which was obviously the lair of the wererats the adventurers fought previously. The cavern curves around, with nests and rat-holes either side, and… well, mess, and stink.

The adventurers follow the path, Ramm to the fore, generally rooting through the nests with his axe, or else slamming the blade in to the wall here and there to collapse an area. The curved cavern opens at last in to a slightly wider chamber.

In the centre of this final chamber is a larger nest, probably the former home of the wererat chief, now of course deceased.

No new creatures are encountered, although a myriad cave rats scurry and squeak, but do not seem intent on any harm.

“Spread out. Search the place.” Tonka states.
“Ramm, stay back a way- keep a look out.” The dragonborn continues, Ramm nods and takes up position back down the corridor, axe at the ready.

The nests are constructed of all manner of detritus, from sticks and mud to gnawed and scavenged pieces of furniture, wood, cloth and other found objects. There’s little of any real interest to be found, although here and there the odd coin or two turns up.

The only item of any real note is a small amount of paper; this located in the largest nest- the one right at the very end of the corridor. The paper is shredded in places; certainly it has seen better days… Tonka is intrigued.

“It seems to be all from the same sheet of paper, perhaps if we could piece it together.”
Tonka notes Sigur’s look, the dwarf looks less ‘intrigued’.
“It could be something important.” Tonka states.
“It could.” Sigur agrees, “but I doubt it.”

Tonka shoves the papers inside a pouch at his belt.
“Okay. I’ll try my best to piece it together later, but for now…”
Tonka points back down the corridor, back the way they came.

The caverns have been searched, most of Hal has been located, the adventurers press on- back to the rest room beyond the entrance chamber, the door through which the goblin wizard tried to flee.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
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The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
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My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:38 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm
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Location: Grimbo
KOTS Part 12: The Dead Centre.

The Hard Core Adventurers Level 2

Image

Through the door and down the discoloured stairs, this section of the catacombs seems somehow older; certainly less travelled. There’s a damp smell of rot and ruin in the air.

Jimmy, of course, and Gokan lead the way, their comrade’s wait on the stair.

There are a maze of passages ahead; from the foot of the stairs the wide passages head north, south and west- furthermore each of these corridors seems to branch at some point.

“A maze?” Jimmy whispers to his brother.

The pair move a little way in and then stop again to whisper.
“Look!” Gokan points down the north passage, at the floor a little way down the corridor.
“Ohh!” Jimmy murmurs.
There seems to be a dull white furze on the ground- illuminating the spot, but only slightly.
Jimmy peers around to look down the west corridor.
“Another!” The halfling whispers and points.
Gokan nods.

The pair watch for a moment, until…

Image

“A shadow…” Jimmy hisses.
“What?” Gokan questions.
“Something just moved in front of the light. I…” Jimmy adds.
“Are you…” Gokan begins.

Clump.

A footstep.

“It’s coming…” Jimmy hisses.
“Trouble!” Gokan states, loud enough for his friends to hear, while drawing his axe and moving forward, down the western passage.

The other adventurers move down the stair and make ready.

Gokan moves quicker now, his eyes adjusting to the gloom, picking out details- two figures approach. Closer, the half-orc suddenly screams aloud, a guttural sound; coming in to view before him are a pair of shambling humanoids.

“Zombies!” Gokan hollers, and then his axes dance in his hands, and slice and cut- the first rotter falls, and then the second.

Image
Image
Zombie Rotter
Minion Level 3

Image

“Zombies!” Gokan calls again, as he squints ahead to see, something much larger approaches.

Jimmy is quickly to his brother’s side, “What’s…”

Out of the furze ahead staggers a large humanoid, perhaps an ogre, or at least it must have once been an ogre- now a great hulking zombie, its body torn and ragged in places with gory breaches in its flesh.

“Avandra!” Jimmy screeches and flings out his vicious dagger, the blade misses- and such a large target.
“Come on. Come on…” Jimmy worries, at last his blade reappears in his hand, he flings it again, this time burying it to the hilt in the zombie hulk’s capacious chest, the huge undead creature doesn’t falter, or indeed miss a step, it comes on…

Image
Zombie Hulk
Brute Level 8

Image

“Braynz!” The Zombie Hulk hollers as it staggers forward.

Image

Suddenly the sound of movement, all around- from the myriad passages and openings that lead from the stair, the noise is heard by all- Jimmy and Gokan, and their colleagues still at the stairs.

“Make ready!” Sigur grumbles.
“Here they come!” Tonka concurs, while Ramm hefts his axe and grunts.

“Aaaargghh!” Jimmy screeches, lurching out of the darkness comes a smaller humanoid-sized zombie, the foul creature has a misshapen head and is surrounded by a cloud of buzzing flies, the smell of rot is almost overpowering. The creature flails at Jimmy, who at the last moment side-steps the blow…

Image
Zombie Tainted
Brute Level 1

Image

Phew, close. Jimmy frets.

Jimmy turns a certain hit in to a miss with a Second Chance.

At the same moment the zombie hulk brings around one meaty fist and smashes Gokan down.

Gokan is bloodied, actually reduced to only 5 hit points by the Zombie Hulk’s Zombie Smash attack for 26 points of damage, which also leaves the half-orc prone.

Tonka moves forward, towards Gokan- “Hold the line!” The dragonborn hollers; from a side passage another zombie rotter lurches in to view- set to grab Tonka, he slices and the undead critter slumps to the floor.
“Bahamut preserve!” Tonka declares in a loud voice, the prone and bleeding Gokan grins up at the dragonborn, many of his wounds are healed in an instant.

Image

“Make way!” Sigur grumbles and stomps forward, the dwarf continues to mutter, his favourite three ghostly hands appear. The first grabs at yet another zombie rotter closing in on the adventurers- the undead creature’s head seems to melt in the spectral appendage’s radiant grasp, it expires. The second hand burns as it presses itself against the tainted zombie’s flesh, the foul-smelling undead creature menacing Jimmy. The last punches the zombie hulk in the face- burning a fresh cavity in the creature’s flesh.

But Sigur’s not done yet.

“Mighty Moradin hear my call!” The dwarf holds his magical rod aloft; he’s suddenly bathed in a glorious purplish holy light, which pulses once and then shoots out in fine strands, or rays, at the undead creatures surrounding him.

Yet another zombie rotter falls as the radiant light rays leave smoking holes in its torso, the tainted zombie and the hulk are likewise affected; the pair stagger backwards, desperate to get away from the light show. Their smoking remains stagger and sway, they’re still in the fight, but both are somewhat diminished by Sigur’s attack.

Image

An arrow skims Sigur’s shoulder, the dwarf spies a sad-looking goblin further down one of the corridors, the goblin is grey and rotten, another zombie.

Image
Zombie Goblin Archer
Artillery Level 2

Image

And yet more movement, the sound of moaning, groaning accompanied by the further flat slap of footfalls- more of the creatures approach.

“Hold the line!” Tonka yells again, as Ramm- disobeying orders rushes past the dragonborn and smashes his shield and axe in to the staggering zombie hulk. The large humanoid is pushed backward, unable to keep its feet, it falls, it thumps hard on to the cold stone floor.

Not dead yet, but clearly almost spent.

Ramm bellows, raises his sword and shield above his head and with snorts and grunts challenges the undead brute to fight him.

“I’m glad he’s on our side…” Tonka whispers at Jimmy, the halfling grins back.

Gokan is quickly back to his feet, thanks to a helping hand from Tonka, the action has passed him by somewhat- Ramm’s a little way ahead of him, the zombie hulk a little way ahead of Ramm.

The half-orc grins again at Jimmy and Tonka, clearly enjoying the challenge. He spits on his hands- takes a fresh grip of his twin axes, and hollering all the way charges back towards the zombie hulk, which is still struggling to rise.

THUMP!

Gokan’s axe smashes down in to the hulk’s head, the great brute goes still- halfway to its feet, a shiver runs through the creature as Gokan rips the axe free. He’s about to deliver another blow when the undead menace moans once- long and loud, a keening holler, and then collapses.

“Dead.” Gokan declares, Ramm nods.

Jimmy meanwhile scurries and dodges, still being menaced by the tainted zombie surrounded by its buzzing cloud of flies, the halfling gags and dry wretches as he gets in close to the undead humanoid, he stabs hard, a gout of black filth spews out.

The zombie turns to look at the rent, feels with one hand for the spot, and then seemingly bewildered puts its hand inside. All the while the foul undead stares blankly at Jimmy. The tainted zombie’s legs fold beneath it, it slithers down to the floor to squirm a while before finally expiring.

A second arrow flies out of the dark, another goblin zombie archer, the missile thunks in to Tonka- the dragonborn grimaces.

“Get him!” Tonka declares, and then following his own order heads back to the stairs and towards the offending zombie. Shuffling forward he encounters another pair of zombie rotters en route, the foul undead flail as they stagger towards him.

They don’t get close, the duo are suddenly bathed in crackling blue lightning as Tonka breathes out a fan of electrical fury. The zombie rotters complete a short but entertaining dance routine and then flop to the floor, all life gone from them.

Image

“For Bahamut!” Tonka declares, stabs the air with his longsword, and then rushes forward towards the offending zombie archer. The dragonborn warlord slams in to the creature and slices hard; the undead is cut but far from finished.

Sigur heads a little way in, so that he can see down both of the main passages, more zombie rotters move in to view, still coming at the adventurers from all directions. Three more ghostly hands spring in to being- the first pair hunt down a pair of rotters, punch and slap the undead and leave them on the floor. The last menaces the first of the goblin zombie archers, leaving a radiant stripe down the thing’s face.

The undead goblin is provoked, it hisses, notches another arrow and lets fly- Sigur yelps as the arrow buries itself in his right thigh.

“Damn your eyes!” The dwarf snarls.
“The archers next. Kill the archers.” Sigur adds.

Ramm nods and then does his duty; he charges forward and smashes in to the first of the bow-wielding zombie goblins, leaving the creature bent, broken and out of shape -although the hellish fire in its eyes has not gone out.

The great minotaur hollers and bellows some more, making it clear to the foul undead that Ramm is in for the kill.

Image

Gokan, noting that Ramm has the first goblin archer covered, turns face and rushes back towards the stairs and then beyond- down the northern passage. The half-orc lopes forward, axes at the ready, eventually speeds up and charges howling out his fury at the second bow-wielding goblin, already being menaced by Tonka.

Gokan smashes the undead archer down- both axes tearing and shredding the fragile goblin’s already broken body.

Jimmy too is on the move, the halfling heads further in to the chamber he’s in, the former residence of the tainted zombie. He shimmies around to get a better attack at the last goblin archer, which is still being menaced by Ramm.

He stabs hard, while still manoeuvring, and the last of the goblin archers is left sprawled upon the ground.

Tonka stares ahead, as yet another zombie rotter lurches toward him, the dragonborn smiles at Gokan, who nods back in an ‘after you…’ style.

The dragonborn takes a step forward, swings hard, and cuts the zombie rotter down.

It’s at this point that Sigur screams.

“Sodding Raven Queen!” Sigur cries, as a way before him the great zombie hulk clambers to its feet, and then grinning all the while shuffles forward towards the dwarf.

Sigur is of course alone in the corridor- the other four adventurers having been despatched to deal with the goblin archer menace.

A single ghostly radiant hand suddenly appears, rushes forward and somewhat feebly attempts to keep the hulk at bay; alas its burning radiant shove is not enough.

The hulk comes on.

“The hulk’s back up! The hulk’s coming!” The dwarf shouts, his words elicit strange looks and shrugs from his companions.

Sigur turns face and runs away a little- seeking to get plenty of distance between himself and the great undead brute.

Image

The adventurers are an organised bunch though, and the zombie hulk is slow- far too slow.

Jimmy and Ramm spy the brute as it passes the entrance to the chamber in which they stand- the pair shrug at each other, then Jimmy spins out his vicious dagger which thuds in to the zombie’s side.

Ramm rushes forward, around the corner as it passes on, smashing the hulk in the back, and sending it down to its knees. Gokan moving quickly and coming from the other side of the creature is suddenly presented with a kneeling undead ogre, for his delight.

The half-orc swings and almost decapitates the beast.

The hulk flops to the cold stone floor- dead again.

Ramm and Gokan hack.

The undead are vanquished- no footsteps, no moans, or groans. The fight is over.

Encounter #12 Synopsis, PC XP & DM’s thoughts.

Image

And so the guys are moving in to the Keep on the Shadowfell.

Encounter #12 The Dead Centre, starring-

Zombie Rotter (Minion 3) x10
Zombie Tainted (Brute 1) x1
Zombie Goblin Archer (Artillery 2) x2
Zombie Hulk (Brute 8) x1

1080 XP Level 5 Encounter.

PC XP

216 XP each for a total of 2023 XP in total (PCs Level 2).

DM Thoughts-

A nice moment when the Zombie Hulk got back up again but the PCs just made mincemeat of the encounter, the Hulk was smashed back down in a matter of seconds.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
https://the-points-of-light-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
https://the-seven-dwarves.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:40 am 
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KOTS Part 12a: The Pretty Lights.

Tonka and Sigur spend a moment staring down at the pretty lights on the floor- some kind of glyph, the pair look up- at each other, and then look back down again, at the glyph once more.

Gokan and Ramm are wandering around the corridors of the maze-like chamber; while Jimmy is close at hand- grinning.

“Well?” The halfling asks.
“Complex.” Tonka offers in reply.
“Hmmm!” Sigur confirms.

Tonka’s Religion check is an adjusted ‘7’, Sigur’s Arcana check is an adjusted ‘8’- either way neither of the pair know anything much about the glyph they’re staring at, the game afoot is to see who will admit this first.

“It’s…” Tonka strokes his chin and nods slowly.
“… complex.” Sigur confirms, while nodding slowly- and stroking his chin.

“Let me have a look then.” Jimmy tries to get closer to see the glyph- Tonka and Sigur instantly close ranks, try to keep the rogue away.

“It could be dangerous.” Tonka warns and waves Jimmy away.
“Hmmm!” Sigur adds.
“Really, dangerous how?” Jimmy asks.

Tonka and Sigur turn back to the glyph, frown and try desperately to think of a suitable answer.

“It’s…” They both chorus, and then stop.
“After you.” Tonka quickly states, and smiles at Sigur, the dwarf seethes back.

“It’s…” Sigur begins, at which point Gokan and Ramm arrive back.

“There are more of the glyphs down the other passages- all ways are blocked, save one- there’s a clear passage to the south, it leads to a set of stone doors- another crypt, Gokan thinks.” The half-orc nods, as Ramm reports the pair’s findings.

“Fortunate.” Tonka declares, “this way is impassable, the glyphs…” The sentence tails off.
“We could jump them.” Jimmy plainly states, “they’re not that wide.” The halfling helpfully declares.
“Regardless- south it is.” Tonka states and points the way.

Jimmy scurries ahead; Gokan and Ramm head after, leaving Sigur and Tonka, and the glyph.

The pair share a look, and then look again at the glyph desperate for a flash of insight, anything.

“Glyphs!” Tonka suddenly states.
“Complex.” Sigur adds.
“That’s right- really complex glyphs.” Tonka declares.
“Hmmm! Really, really complex…” Sigur suddenly looks up at Tonka, catches the dragonborn’s eye- the ancient dwarf winks, and then pointedly looks at the other members of the adventuring party- they’re a good way away.
Tonka follows Sigur’s gaze.
The pair look back- stare at each other again.
Sigur nods.
Tonka nods back.

Eventually…

“Did you…?” Sigur asks and nods at the glyph.
“Not a sausage- I mean nothing, I wasn’t even sure it was a glyph at first.” Tonka chuckles.
“Moradin’s earlobes, thank the lord for that- my mind just went blank, for a while I was just staring at the pretty patterns- I mean they’re magic and all but what they’re for…” Sigur grins and hides a smile.
“Oh yes, magic- and there’s some sort of religious aspect to them, but what they actually do- nothing.” Tonka taps his empty head and makes a clonking sound to stress the point, he continues, “for all I know they might just be the lighting system for the area- not dangerous at all.”
“You’re not sure of that though…” Sigur starts.
“Oh no! Nothing- nada, zip, zilch, zero.” Tonka grins.
“We’ll get the halfling to check them out.” Sigur grins back. Tonka nods enthusiastically.
“Tell him we’ve conducted a ritual and the magic has been… subdued- that’s it.” Sigur finishes.
“Nice work.” Tonka agrees. The pair grin and nod at each other some more.

“Are you coming?” Jimmy shouts back.

“Not a word to them.” Tonka nods at Jimmy and the others.
“D’ya think I’d bother those imbeciles with discussions about arcane and magical matters, it’s bad enough I have to talk to you, you lily-livered son of a drake.” Sigur replies, the latter half of the sentence at a much increased volume.
Tonka’s eyes go wide, “why you…” Sigur winks at Tonka, and after a brief but nervous moment the dragonborn gets it, “… son of a gnome…”

“Come on!” Jimmy shouts, stern.

The adventurers are soon at the doors.

“They’re safe.” Jimmy adds and nods at the doors.
“Well go on then…” Tonka and Sigur push the halfling to the door, Jimmy shrugs- opens the door and silently slips in to the shadows within.

_________________
My 4e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

Points of Light, go here-
https://the-points-of-light-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Goodman Gang, go here-
https://the-goodman-gang-campaign-d-d-4e.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

The Seven Dwarves, go here-
https://the-seven-dwarves.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page

My 5e Campaigns over at Obsidian Portal, check them out-

They're all here-
https://the-european-union-d-d-5th-edition-campaign.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page


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