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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Keep on the Shadowfell (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:11 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 15- The Scions of Fallcrest Part 2 In search of the Crimson Hand.

And so in double-quick time the Knights intend to find out who has been stealing things from the Dev'shir family tomb, a little unhappy that they have been waylaid by this task- prevented from heading straight back out of Fallcrest in pursuit of the good citizens of the Vale that have been sold into slavery by the Bloodreavers.

Lucan leads the Knights into the final chamber, one of the tombs ahead seems to have been broken open.

In play this week we have the same players as last week-
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Cleric of Moradin Level 3
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 4
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 3
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 2

It seems someone, singular, has been here recently, a lone set of booted tracks disturb the dust, otherwise the place has lain empty for years.

Lucan makes his way cautiously forward, a tomb on the southern wall has been smashed open, and recently, the tracks end here- he can make out the name on the tomb- Dugesia Dev'shir, he files away this information for later use. Within the cramped chamber of the tomb all is chaos- the broken body of a once beautiful woman lies bent and abused on the floor- long dead but only recently attacked it seems- strange, who would want to attack a corpse?

Unseen by Lucan and the other Knights, a little way further down the unlit corridor, one half of a marked brick, like the ones in the Dev'shir family tree encountered earlier, rises, seemingly unaided, into the air.

Then violently hurtles forward and smashes into the side of young Lucan's skull- the blood pours as the Elf screams and darts back out of the tomb, only to be confronted by the screaming spectral figure of a once beautiful young woman.

“TOMB ROBBERS! DESPOILERS!”

The ghost screams, howls and rages- the horrifying sound leaves all of the Knights covering their ears, trying vainly to block out the terrifying sound, they're dazed and struggling to comprehend what is happening.

All save one.

Lucan looks up at the once beautiful woman, and whispers “Dugesia?” he accompanies the plea with his best doe-eyed expression.

Which brings the action to a sudden stand still.

It goes quiet.

The once ferocious ghost looks betrayed, or else becalmed, unsure of who the beautiful Elf addressing her is.

“Sir Knight?” she tentatively enquires of Lucan.

All eyes are on the Elven Rogue, who rises to his full height, about five foot six, puffs his chest out and begins his spiel.

“I am Sir Lucan the Brave, Holy Paladin of...” Lucan casts around trying to summon the name of a benevolent deity to mind, “... Erathis?” he offers.

The ghost of Dugesia Dev'shir, for it is she, bows.

“Fear not beautiful maiden for I have come to revenge your loss, to seek out and destroy the evil miscreants that have fouled your final resting place.” Lucan adds and half-heartedly salutes, sort of.

[DM Interlude- Lucan rolls something ridiculous like 34 for his Bluff check, damn him.]

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Lucan, not even the dead are safe from his charms.

[DM Interlude Encounter #46 [700 XP = Level 1] Dugesia Dev'Shir, Tormented Ghost (Level 8 Elite Controller)]

“Oh Sir Lucan- me? Beautiful?” The Ghost of Dugesia Dev'shir goes all weak at her spectral knees.

Lucan turns back to look at the other Knights, winks at Cathal who is bristling with rage, and indicates that they should leave the room, he wants to be alone with his new 'special' lady.

Thirty minutes later Lucan reappears, he looks to have very faded lipstick smears on his face.

“Well that was interesting!” he declares and applies a wonky grin to his physog.

His kiss-and-tell story goes a little like this- the tomb was raided about three days ago, the robbers broke into the first chamber it seems, took a few items from here and there and then broke into the side tombs. The tomb robbers were lead by a woman. Dugesia, the Ghost, heard her giving orders- the woman then broke into her tomb and, seemingly enraged, smashed up the place- hence her body lying bent and busted on the floor.

The woman was very angry about something, then she and the other tomb robbers left, although before they left she heard them say something about the 'Crimson Hand'.

Some time later Dugesia realised that she was no longer trapped within her broken body, she was a ghost, returned to haunt this place- to ensure that the tomb robbers, and in particular the cruel woman, were punished for their treachery.

Lucan finally adds that Dugesia Dev'shir told him she is indeed the sister of Elam (Lady Markelhay) and Lacki Dev'shir. The latter, the older sister of Elam and Dugesia, having died many years ago of a wasting disease.

“So we're looking for Lacki then?” Cathal surmises.
“I figure.” Lucan nods and then throws over the two halves of one of the missing bricks from the family tree- it's marked with the name Dugesia Dev'shir of course.
“Which means we're just missing the one with Lacki Dev'shir written on it?” Ignaran concludes.

[DM Interlude- bloody hackneyed plots, you could write them on the back of a postage stamp.]

The Knights form up ready to head off, next step the Famished Froghemoth. As they're about to leave the spirit of Dugesia Dev'shir reappears, buttoning up her blouse, and bearing the same wonky grin Lucan is toting.

“Farewell Lord Lucan. I wish you well brave sir Knight, you and your men; and your pet Dwarves of course- Rollo and Fatty. Hurry back, I'm dying to see you again.”

She waves the Knights off.

And winks at Lucan.

Lucan looks a little sheepish and files out, the other Knights wait till they're a good distance away before expressing their disgust and/or admiration.

[DMs Interlude- after some excellent role-playing Lucan now has enough XP to advance to Level 4, after a (much needed) extended rest that is.]

Next stop the Famished Froghemoth, or so you'd think- however the time is not yet right for the Knights to head to the pub, Cathal has other plans.

He and Ignaran head off to the Civic Hall, in the hope they can wake a clerk or two and get into the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Rock and Farkill, still bristling from Lucan's previous insult, are sent back to visit Oskar the Pawnbroker- the question that needs answering is 'who or what is or are the Crimson Hand?'

Lucan volunteers to stay with Dugesia Dev'shir- pump her for more information.

And so it goes.

The Friday Knights meet up in two hours later to share their findings- Lacki Dev'shir it seems is really dead, at least that's what the register says, she died a dozen years ago although the records are a little confused. It seems the wayward Dev'shir sister spent much of her adult life in a secure mental institution, this after attacking and killing a servant of the household- she was known to have a blistering temper. Regardless, she's dead, that is unless the records have been falsified- now who would do such a thing?

The Dwarves, Rock and Farkill, have no problems with Oskar the Pawnbroker, he's very pliant now and eager to help- particularly when Rock gets his axe out again. The Crimson Hand it seems are a local gang of ne'er-do-wells. Latimer, the tomb robber who sold the amulet to Oskar, is a low ranking member of the organisation.

Inevitably the conversation at the Pawnbroker's circles a while-

“Why didn't you tell us this?” Rock asks.
“You didn't ask.” Oskar responds.
Repeat and rinse.

[DMs Interlude- after some excellent role-playing Rock also has enough XP to advance to Level 3, likewise after an extended rest.]

Lucan, back from visiting with Dugesia, has no new information to offer, although the wonky smile is back.

The Knights head for the Froghemoth and venture in. The place is a dive, packed with a variety of Fallcrest's nastier specimens, foremost of which is Gwaldys Protheroe, one of the nastiest Halfling's, scratch that- the nastiest Halfling inhabitant of Fallcrest. A known gang land boss, she's playing cards- and winning, with a number of cowed crooks.

Lucan makes a bee-line for her table, and on-form, begins to make an arse of himself and in the process prevent the bad-tempered Halfling from winning any further hands.

[DM Interlude- Lucan is a somnambulist adrenalin junky; one word answers or grunts, belligerence in abundance, the morals of a... no, nothing springs to mind- when he doesn't have to move he doesn't move, in combat at times he becomes one with the furnishings. And then danger comes along, his little eyes light up, particularly at the thought of annoying someone else, preferably Cathal, and off he goes.]

Latimer, the Half-Orc tomb robber, is in the Inn, and already drunk, it seems he's bent on spending all of his ill-gotten loot as quickly as possible. Soon enough Rock and Farkill are on the scene and helping him waste his gold.

The other Knights scope the place and ready themselves for trouble.

Once again the Knights and their silver-tongues hold sway, Latimer- now in his cups, and a little maudlin; is made to see the error of his wanton ways, through jagged crocodile tears he tells his story, or at least a little of it- however he's interrupted mid-flow, almost fatally.

As is Lucan and Gwladys, who are about to go head to head, the Halfling gang leader having finally run out of patience with the Elven Rogue.

The interruption takes the form of a cowled Tiefling who enters the bar flanked by two muscle-bound no-necked Human Thugs.

“Slayer business- leave now or die- we've come for him.” The Tiefling points at Latimer who spills the last of his pint and then empties his bladder.

Who are the Slayers you ask?

Actually it's Rock that asks.

“Assassins.” Lucan whispers, even he looks a little worried- Gwladys and her cronies depart, clearly indicating that she and Lucan will meet again some not so sunny day, and things will not go so well for the Elven Rogue at their next meeting.

The other revellers within the bar make their escape, even Marsupial Joe, the Inn owner, heads into the back room and locks the door.

Which just leaves the three Slayers, the Knights and Latimer.

“I wont tell you again.” Traenor, the Tiefling Slayer states, and glares at each of the Knights in turn.
“You just did.” Cathal answers back and draws his longsword.

No guesses what happens next.

The Slayer Thugs are straight into the fray, this after loosing a volley from their hand crossbows, which they then discard. The pair are flailing wildly with their greatswords, and connecting more often than not.

Traenor is a different proposition altogether, he's a Warlock- Cathal is swiftly cursed, then Eldritch Blasted. The Slayer follows up with all manner of foul incantations, including his Crown of Thorns which as well as bloodying the Warrior of Kord also clouds his mind and judgement- Cathal slashes furiously and injures Rock.

Then, of course, just as Cathal regains his senses and closes in, the Tiefling teleports away and becomes invisible.

In the meantime the Slayer Thugs continue to soak up the damage, however when Traenor reappears again, all of the Knights turn to face the Slayer- Cathal's orders, disregarding for a moment the Thugs entirely, and unleash whatever they've got left in their armoury. The Knights figure this is the last confrontation for this evening- the dailies are spent.

In double-quick time Traenor is taken down, courtesy of Cathal and Rock's joint Villain's Menace, And Lucan with his Positioning Strike; the others weigh in but are less effective.

It's soon over.

Only a curse for the living as Treanor and his Thugs are bested.

“I'll get you... see if I... aaaagggghhhhhh.”

The Inn returns to silence, save Latimer hiccuping and being sick in the corner, his nerve has finally gone.

The Half-Orc Rogue eventually finishes his confession, he and several other Crimson Hand members were ordered to break into the Dev'shir Tomb by his boss Haledon, even now the Crimson Hand are ensconced in an abandoned Iron Mine a little more than two miles north west of Fallcrest.

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This one will Slay you.

[DM Interlude Encounter #47 [950 XP = Level 4] Slayer Thug x2 (Level 4 Brutes) & Traenor, Tiefling Warlock Assassin (Level 7 Elite Skirmisher)]

The Knights, or at least the Dwarven contingent, spy an opportunity, hop over the bar and settle themselves beneath the beer taps- take it in turns to open the flow. In the meantime the pair continue to make as much noise as they can in order to prevent Marsupial Joe from thinking about re-entering the bar, and in doing so extend their period of free boozing.

And when Marsupial Joe does return-

“A Slayer... You've killed a Slayer. In my bar... A Slayer!”

He's not happy.

Lucan explains that the Knights may have just dashed their chances of getting on the Slayers Erathismass card list- they're not going to be very popular.

“Kord will not be stopped- we are here to fight crime!” Cathal declares, to beery cheers and hiccups.

Eventually the Knights head home (singing), or at least back to the Blue Moon Alehouse, their home from home. There they meet up with Eoffram Troyas, councillor of Fallcrest, and explain all that has gone on.

Eoffram is excited at the prospect of finding the Thief, this Crimson Hand gang, so excited is he that he doubles the reward to 1,500 gold coins for each of the Knights should they prove successful in bringing them to justice.

He further confirms that Lady Markelhay does indeed, or rather did indeed, have two sisters- Dugesia who died in a fire, and Lacki who was taken by madness and killed herself, all but a prisoner in a far off sanatorium- so not a wasting disease as Dugesia told them.

The Knights retire for the night, wake early, take breakfast and then march straight out of Fallcrest- about two miles north west of the city, following a map that Latimer supplied them with. That is before the Half-Orc borrowed some money from the Knights and went to the docks in search of the first boat out of Fallcrest. The Slayers are known for their persistence.

A short steep-sloped valley lies before them, Lucan is sent forward a way- hidden in the lee of the cliffs he spies out the enemies position. He returns to the Knights and tells them that there is a tree house, or at least a platform, in the tree to the left with guards in it.

The Knights settle upon a plan- they charge straight towards the tree with the platform in it, pull up short and unleash all manner of ranged fury at its inhabitants, not much of a plan admittedly, but it works.

In the tree there are three Crimson Hand members, two Human Bandits, one of whom is quickly killed, the other doesn't last much longer, and Selvin, the Elven Ranger. He holds the fort and fires down upon the Knights, who don't have it all their own way.

Rushing out from the tree on the opposite side of the valley comes Bork, yelling all manner of indecorous threats to a personage, he's a spear wielding Human Warrior; alas the furious fellow is cut down by Cathal and Rock before he even has the chance to land a blow.

Selvin screams his surrender, and under instruction makes his way down from the tree platform, he spills the beans- the Crimson Hand are indeed within the mine complex, the entrance is trapped, a little- and other than numbers- maybe two dozen, there's little else he can tell.

The Elf is kicked and tied and wedged behind one of the trees to contemplate where he went wrong in life. 'Getting caught by the Friday Knights' is his first thought.

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The Crimson Hand gets bloody.

[DM Interlude Encounter #48 [600 XP = Level 1] Human Bandit x2 (Level 2 Skirmishers); Bork, Human Warrior (Level 4 Brute) & Selvin, Elven Archer (Level 4 Artillery)]

The Knights then get a little creative, the platform up in the tree is wrenched down to the ground, shaped a little- with axes; into a sort of large wooden shield. Selvin having previously warned them that there is a crossbow trap within the mine entrance.

The Knights head on and enter a cave which is dark and dry, with a dusty, rubble-strewn floor. The walls are rough hewn, with roots hanging from the ceiling like tendrils. The corridor ends at a t-intersection with passages leading to the east and west.

Lucan scouts a little to the west, hears noises and moves a little further in- there seems to be some sort of blockage in the passage, scratch blockage- make it blockade; behind which are a gang of crossbow wielding Orcs, they seem to be on alert, funny that.

The Elven Rogue scuttles back and informs his friends of his find.

A moment or two later the Orcs can't believe their eyes, there seems to be a large wooden wall jogging towards them, they wonder what manner of strange creature it is- they hope it will prove to be friendly.

It turns out, of course, to be Cathal and Rock holding what remains of the wooden platform before them, the pair crash into and through the blockade, spill their large improvised shield and trample over it and into the fray. The Orcs are in disarray very quickly.

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Choo-choo, here comes the Knight train.

Tizer, an Orcish Cleric spots the danger, his Chaos Hammer explodes with fury and smashes both of the front rank to the ground- Rock and Cathal stumble to their knees- exposing the rear rank to the Orc Bandits, who unleash a volley of crossbow bolts- all of which miss.

The action slows right down, the standing Knights check themselves all over, searching for leaks to plug- and yet... find none- not a scratch.

Hell comes early this year for the Orcs, Cathal and Rock are back on their feet and Tizer is soon after down, the Bandits take a little while longer- two of them even try to flee but there's nowhere for them to go except back down the entrance passage- and that's where the Knights are.

The dust settles on dead Orcs.

[DM Interlude Encounter #49 [800 XP = Level 3] Orc Bandit x4 (Level 3 Skirmishers) & Tizer, Orc Cleric (Level 5 Controller). Don't worry that these are easy encounters, I'm building slowly.]

The Orcs are searched, the room is scoured, and sure enough a secret door is found. Meanwhile Lucan and Ignaran head back down the passage to the entrance to the mine, instead they take the eastern spur, cautiously follow it a little way, spot the crossbow trap, which Lucan - with a little help from the Druid - disarms.

Back in the Orc guard chamber the Knights reassemble, gather their kit, and prise open the secret door, another darkened passage sloping upwards lies beyond- heading north, there's a pair of heavy metal rails, the kind that you find in mines.

“Shhh!” Lucan announces, grins, and then disappears into the black.

And that concludes the fifteenth session of play, with 7841 XP to share between the players.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Scions of Fallcrest (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:12 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 16- The Scions of Fallcrest Part 3 Shaking the Crimson Hand.

In play this week we have-
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Cleric of Moradin Level 3
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 3 (Level 4 after an Extended Rest)
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 2 (Level 3 after an Extended Rest)

Ignaran is missing, presumed still at work.

It's a one-man show, Lucan heads up the sloping passage, spots the mine cart poised at the top ready to be let loose, to send crashing down into the Knights. His instincts take over, he wedges a pair of 'spare' daggers into the front wheels of the cart- that should severely slow its progress.

He then creeps around the cart to get a good look at the two shoddily dressed individuals on the other side.

Alas he is spotted.

Actually he gets spotted when he rams his dagger into the spine of Kaz'Gar the Human Ranger, at which point the now crippled Crimson Hand member surrenders- not much of a fight, particularly as the second miscreant, Aneurin, a Human Rogue, runs into the eastern wall, thumps it hard- another secret door opens, and then dashes off screaming into the dark.

Game Over.

Lucan pulls the secret door back shut, he can hear the sounds of more bandits readying themselves for action. He grips tight to Kaz'Gar, puts his blade to the man's throat, and as the remainder of the Knights reach the spot, mutters “speak or die?”

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Lucan, MVP.

[DM Interlude Encounter #50 [700 XP = Level 4] Kaz-Gar, Human Ranger (Level 4 Elite Skirmisher) & Aneurin, Human Rogue (Level 4 Elite Skirmisher). Too easy? Or just very well played- Lucan was rolling hot, natural 20 for stealth, and same again for his attack.]

Kaz'Gar burbles the truth- more bad guys waiting for the Knights ahead, probably setting up some sort of ambush, anywhere up to a dozen more Crimson Hand members, the Ranger states.

'No time like the present then.' Cathal grins and kicks open the secret door. It's a patented Friday Knight move- the head long charge into danger. Cathal leads it, Rock's not far behind- Lucan takes care of Kaz'Gar, and by take care I mean... use your imagination- he loots the Ranger's still warm corpse before joining the others for the fracas.

The Knights rush into yet another guard chamber, tables have been hastily overturned and awaiting the Knights arrival is a whole host of bad guys- introductions to follow. First on the agenda however are the swathe of caltrops the charging Knights have just run into.

Damaged and slowed is not enough however- the front line, Cathal and Rock cannot be stopped.

In the Crimson Hand's corner we have- four Human Bandits; Bramm their Lieutenant Leader-type; Borsk a huge Half-Orc Warrior, not overly bright; and Finn and Fenn, Human Mage and Human Warrior- respectively, the last pair are brothers.

Threats are made, missile weapons are flung and fired, and the Knights hop and scatter towards the barricades.

Two of the Human Bandits are killed in the opening exchanges, Bramm, the brave leader of the Bandit squad, legs it.

Lucan, on a roll, spirals out a dagger and catches Finn, the incanting Human Mage, unawares- and another critical; so fond is he of this manoeuvre that he tries it again, and hits again doing enough damage to sink the Mage in a little under six seconds.

[DM Interlude- Action Point (said in a comic/derisory tone). Gah!]

Fenn, brother of Finn, goes mental- leaps the barricade and goes after Lucan, alas (for him) Rock gets in the way- there follows a slugfest- Fenn and the huge Half Orc versus Cathal and Rock, with missile support from both sides.

It's a no-brainer for the Crimson Hand, they get soundly beaten (to death).

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Borsk is quite a looker- actually he looks a little like me, your friendly DM, no, honestly- he really does.

[DM Interlude Encounter #51 [1475 XP = Level 8] Human Bandit x4 (Level 2 Skirmishers); Bramm Human Bandit Lieutenant (Level 4 Skirmisher); Finn, Human Mage (Level 5 Artillery); Borsk, Half-Orc Warrior (Level 6 Brute) & Fenn, Human Fighter (Level 4 Elite Brute).]

The Knights rob the dead and then without a moments hesitation, except perhaps a short rest to top up the tank, they press on- the passage leads on into darkness, mumbled cries somewhere ahead- Lucan is sent forward to scout the way.

While he's gone Rock notices something odd about the wall he's leaning on, awaiting Lucan's return, he puts his shoulder against it and heaves. Sure enough, yet another secret door and another dark passage within. He shares his news, the Knights however decide to mark time until Lucan returns- point-man is his job these days, and he does it so well.

[DM Interlude- Bastard.]

Lucan returns forthwith, there are yet more of the Bandits, nothing special- Lucan thinks - awaiting the Knights' approach, in a small bedchamber further down the passage; he thinks he saw the guy who ran from the last fight with them- Bramm.

Rock and Farkill keep an eye on the passage, while Lucan leads Cathal into the newly revealed secret passage, and on into a jumbled storeroom.

Unbeknownst to the two Knights, secreted away high on one wall is a cubby-hole in which sits a baby-faced Gnome twisting a dagger in his hands.

[DM Interlude- I ask for perception checks, as the PCs say they are searching around, Lucan rolls a natural 20, Cathal rolls a 19 plus bonuses.]

Lucan dashes up a stack of crates and is at the cubby-hole in seconds, his blade pressed against Lem, the baby-faced Gnome's, throat.

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The villains are getting younger and younger...

Lem comes quietly, actually he's a very temporary member of the Crimson Hand, his actual employer is Gwladys Protheroe, the Halfling Crime Lord that Lucan is so fond of, and vice-versa. The players are not aware of this however, and he's not telling.

[DM Interlude Encounter #52 [600 XP = Level 7] Lem, Gnome (Level ?). Only two PCs in the action here.]

Lem tells the Knights everything they need to know- there are half-a-dozen to a dozen bandits left; a mad Priest who hasn't been seen for days, and the big boss- he's called Haledon, a swordsman of sorts apparently, a bit of a rake- a ladies man. Lucan shakes his head- competition. The whole operation Lem declares is pretty ramshackle, he's fairly certain there must be someone else in control, pulling the strings.

Lem is also polite, and makes suitably crude jokes to lighten the atmosphere. Saving Cathal, everyone likes him - nobody of course seeks to question the fact that he's so keen to tell the Knights exactly what they need to know.

[DM Interlude- one of those moments as a DM you have to sit back and chuckle, my players, unless they read this, will never realise that Lem's job was to make sure the Knights clear out this pit of... competition, what better way than getting a bunch of do-gooders to do your dirty work for you, very clever is Gwladys Protheroe, at least at times.]

Lem is released.

And unharmed.

Made my day.

The Knights head on, further into the lair, slowly building up speed they jog around the corner and into the next chamber packed with flailing low-life Crimson Hand Bandits, and in their usual manner cut them down.

Five more Human Bandits lie dead and Bramm, their erstwhile (fleeing) leader, is captured and beaten a little- he's just not cute like Lem.

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Room 6b. Bandits!

[DM Interlude Encounter #53 [800 XP = Level 5] Human Bandit x5 (Level 2 Skirmishers) & Bramm Human Bandit Lieutenant (Level 4 Skirmisher).]

Before the Knights can get really worked up with Bramm, a voice rings out-

“Come fight me, you feebling scumdogs, I am Haledon the Great, master swordsman, wit and raconteur.”
“What's a raconteur?” Rock asks.
“A type of beetle.” Lucan replies.

“He's very confident for the last man standing isn't he?” Cathal observes and scratches an itch.

The Knights forget Bramm, who scuttles off, and instead edge forward in order to get a glimpse of Haledon.

Haledon eventually hoves into sight, he's well dressed, his Chainmail armour is beautifully maintained, his beard neatly trimmed- and suitably rakish, his hair fly-away, his complexion clear- he obviously has a good moisturising regime.

Oh and he wields a Flaming Longsword, seemingly with expertise.

There's a lot of pushing and shoving in the Knights' ranks- no one wants to be at the front.

The Knights and Haledon exchange barbed remarks, artfully-crafted rejoinders, put-downs and bon-mots.

Actually...

“And so we meet at last...” Haledon begins.
Lucan nudges Rock.
“Shut yer yap!” The Dwarf barks and rumbles forward at full tilt.

And it really doesn't go all the Knights' own way.

[DM Interlude- a smile plays around the DMs lips, he readies his 'mwah-hah-hah.']

First contact and Cathal is hurt badly, although not yet blooded, and Haledon is unscathed. It very quickly descends into a war of attrition, the Knights start hitting but Haledon never misses, and oft times his attacks dish out a chunk of damage.

Farkill is swiftly relegated to back row, serving up the healing and failing repeatedly to land a ranged spell or weapon attack.

[DM Interlude- what edition are we playing again?]

Lucan is not going anywhere near this guy, excellent at scouting but a stranger to danger (or at least this sort of danger), he's content to guard the Priest of Moradin, and fling his daggers for piddling points of damage- a striker shorn of his power.

It happens of course, the Knights win through, but it takes much of everything, and even then Haledon is content to fling down his weapon and surrender, knowing full well that the information he holds, is the prize.

He bargains well, and the Knights are undone, Cathal particularly as he wants to quit Fallcrest as soon as he can and head after the enslaved citizens of the Vale. He's still grumbling about the rich folk bossing him around, that's ex-mercenaries for you.

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Haledon, proves a difficult stain to remove.

[DM Interlude Encounter #54 [700 XP = Level 4] Haledon Human Fighter, leader of the Crimson Hand (Level 8 Elite Soldier) With a healthy AC of 25 and other defences to match Haledon proves difficult to shift.]

Haledon eventually agrees to be taken back to Fallcrest and into the custody of the Fallcrest Guard, only then- when he's safe from the Friday Knights, will he reveal the location of the 'foul witch who brewed up this plan.' His opening position was to be paid and then released- he gets knocked down however- with a hammer, and so softens his stance a little.

The Knights agree but decide to take a little time to check out the rest of the Crimson Hand's lair, in search of pretty baubles to satisfy their greed (Lucan).

They quickly locate Latimer the Half-Orc Rogue's old room, and therein some half-finished bottles of Morrain Whisky, one of Rock's favourite tipples, it doesn't last long.

They also find a chest full of valuables and plenty of coin, and a magical shortsword- needless to say they've already confiscated Haledon's sword and armour.

Oh, and a Deathrattle Viper, which launches itself at Rock and has to be battered to a bloody pulp before it lets go. It was in Latimer's dirty laundry, as was the treasure.

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Rock – Snake. Snake – Rock, A-ha-ha!

[DM Interlude Encounter #55 [200 XP = Level 1] Deathrattle Viper (Level 5 Brute).]

The Knights continue on... there are other chambers to check out.

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The Crimson Hand leave their collective savings lying about for the Knights to collect.

Eventually the Knights end up in another bed chamber, this one holds an altar to some dark god; actually on examination the altar turns out to be dedicated to a Demon Lord called 'Crypticus', a deceitful brute fond of... well, deceit. Go figure!

Farkill swiftly brings his axe into play, soon after the altar is no more, and it is thus that the second chest stuffed with the ill-gotten gains of the Crimson Hand is found, including some Ritual Scrolls. Nice work!

Of the Priest there's no sign.

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The altar looks at Farkill funny- you know what happens next.

Haledon is dragged into the chamber, he's now trussed up like an Erathismass Turkey, even he doesn't know where the Priest has gone, he hasn't been seen in days.

A further concerted search of the chamber...

[DM Interlude- they know there's a secret door there, I know there's a secret door there, now someone please tell the dice.]

Eventually Rock, “ah-hah, here it is”, finds it.

The Knights wrench open the heavy stone door and descend a set of well worn stairs into...

And that concludes session 16, the Knights amassed a total of 8908 XP all told, more next time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Scions of Fallcrest (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 17- The Scions of Fallcrest Part 4 The Crimson Hand is broken, bring on the Witch!

In play this week we have the same players as not last week, but the week before-
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Cleric of Moradin Level 3
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 4
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 3 (Level 4 after an Extended Rest)
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 2 (Level 3 after an Extended Rest)

[DM Interlude- I know it's not that great having a player, and his character, miss a session, and then suddenly reappear in the dungeon the week after. However, as frustrating as it is for me- from a narrative perspective, and because I sometimes include creatures/situations designed so that a single character may shine, or else make further sense of their backstory. As frustrating as it is for me, it's doubly so for Mike (Ignaran), who wants to play and therefore has to juggle a job and several time zones to get a game- dedicated like coconut that lad.]

And so the Knights, lead by Lucan, descend into a fresh hell, actually a fairly ancient looking cave, supported by four intricately carved pillars, depicting all manner of barbaric acts, some of which even Lucan has not yet thought of.

“Nice tilling!” Lucan admires the craftsmanship.

Leaping out from the darkness and shadows come a pair of miscreants, the first being our missing Priest, who actually doesn't leap that far - he settles for bobbing up from behind the altar ahead, he blasts dark energy rays at the Knights, his name is Malek. He looks to have aged rapidly either that or Malek has joined the Undead throng.

Perhaps Malek's recent conversion may have something to do with the second inhabitant of the chamber- Malicia, Deathlock Wight, and servant of Jezuel- an Exarch of Orcus, the Painbringer.

Either way the temperature drops a couple of notches as the pair attempt to necrotise the Knights to death.

Malek with his Necroblaze and Necrobolt attacks, and Malicia with her Gravebolt followed by flinging herself into the fray and ripping her face off- her Horrific Visage attack, which sends the majority of the Knights scuttling back the way they came in.

The Knights batter and blast, and finally get Malek to lie down, which doesn't last long however, Malicia quickly reanimates the Wight Priest, who bobs back up again, toting a grin to match Lucan's post-coital smile.

Once again the Knights have to reach deep, dailies get spent and eventually the two Undead are battered beyond submission and into pieces.

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Stop Wight now thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch!

[DM Interlude Encounter #56 [900 XP = Level 4] Malek, Wight Priest (Level 5 Elite Controller) & Malicia, Deathlock Wight (Level 6 Elite Controller). Nice encounter, got the Knights on the back foot.]

[DM Interlude- Cathal has enough XP to advance to 5th Level, and Farkill has enough XP to advance to 4th, after an Extended Rest.]

The foul temple to Jezuel is searched - the altar... goes without saying; the Knights discover all manner of foul trappings designed for the distribution of pain - all are destroyed, Lucan looks like he's going to cry at one point.

The Knights, satisfied that the place is decommissioned, move on- into Haledon's bed chamber, and what a nice chamber it is- the bed is very comfortable, Rock attests to this by going to sleep on it while the others search the place.

Lots of gold and valuables are found, including the missing items from the tomb robbery, the Dev'Shir grave goods- Cathal puts them aside to return to their rightful owners later. Haledon's diary is discovered, as are the (burnt) remains of correspondence between Haledon and the Witch. It's clear that whoever this woman is she means harm - not just to the Markelhay's, but to all of Fallcrest, the letters contain dire threats.

Rock locates a pile of gems and jewellery, stashed away in Haledon's pillow, he finds them when he wakes.

There's also a secret door that leads to a crumbling ancient passage which winds a little way, and then emerges into the light of day - a secret exit.

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Haledon's comfy bed, g'night Rock.

Sated, the Knights head for home- Fallcrest, hand Haledon over to the authorities, at which point he spills the beans.

“The Witch calls herself Cadavra, she lives in a ramshackle ruin of a windmill- she's a big fan of the Undead.” Haledon warns and indicates how to get to the place.

The Knights meet with Eoffram Troyas, the councilman who set them on their way, get him up to speed with current events, hand over the Dev'Shir diamonds, (Lucan looks like he's going to cry again), and receive a good chunk of reward money- that's it, the Elf looks a little happier.

The Knights do a little light shopping in what remains of the day and then hit the hay, a hard earned Extended Rest is taken.

And so, rise-and-shine, the Knights are back.

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Farkill, Dwarven Cleric of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 4
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 4
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 3

And ready for more, they head straight out of the city and for the windmill, a couple of hours march.

“What are the scarecrows for?” Rock asks as the gang approach the place. There are three Scarecrows seemingly guarding the dilapidated windmill.
“The birds,” Ignaran counters and points to the flocking, swooping mass of Crows which are constantly trying to alight on one of the windmills turning sails.
“Not up to the job!” Rock harrumphs.

When the Knights get a little closer they learn why the Crows are swarming, the body of Latimer, the Half-Orc informer, is tethered to the sail in question- the Crows have made a mess of him.

“Do you think the flock of Crows did that?” Rock wonders aloud.
“Murder,” Lucan corrects.
“Really? What for? I mean what could he have possibly done to them?” Rock looks aghast.

The Scarecrows uproot themselves and come shambling forward, it's almost a relief when they do. The Crows form into a tight black bolus- a Murder, and descend on the Knights.

And just when the Knights think things can get no worse, the Scarecrows swatting at them with their scythes, or else sending them fleeing back with their spooky-eyed Deadlight attacks; with the Murder of Crows positioned over and around them- clawing and snapping at them; it gets worse.

A Lightning Bolt arcs out from a room with an open window at the top of the windmill, Icy Rays follow, then Magic Missiles pour down.

It gets bloody, very bloody.

It's only when Lucan has the bright idea of getting as close as he can to the windmill, and out of range and sight of the magic flinging monster- whoever it is up top, that the Knights begin to turn the tide. All of the Knights manoeuvre out of sight and begin to smash away at the easier to hit, and see, enemies.

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A Murder of (Scare)Crows.

[DM Interlude Encounter #57 [1250 XP = Level 6] Scarecrow x3 (Level 6 Soldier); Murder of Crows (Level 10 Skirmisher) & Cadavra (briefly). That shook them up a bit.]

Lucan, eager to get inside, finds a secret way in- only he doesn't tell the other Knights.

He stumbles into the darkened interior of the windmill, a 40-foot by 40-foot room cluttered with an array of metal and wooden gears, including a 15-foot-wide circular flywheel horizontal with the floor- the gears are in motion. The gears extend all the way up to the 25-foot-high ceiling, terminating at a shaft that disappears into the upper level. Beyond the gears, a pair of staircases can be discerned, one leading up, and the other leading down. Along the south wall is a 10-foot by 10-foot opening in the floor, with a massive boom and tackle mounted overhead. An elevator platform attached to the boom and tackle appears to be currently at the lower level.

A stomach-churning creature stands before the gear assembly. A lanky 12-foot-tall humanoid creature with pale-green, rotting flesh, and sporting horrific burn scars hefts a massive greataxe. The creature wears hide armour set with metal plates, and a battered helm partially covering its smashed skull. With an unnatural glow in its hate-filled eyes, the twisted mockery shambles forth.

Or so the module says, my Zombie Troll looks a little different.

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Albert!

Lucan's self-preservation gene kicks in, the Rogue dances away from the great brute, climbing from gear to gear like some mad parkour enthusiast, all the time screaming like a little girl- blowing his cool instantly.

The Troll flails but can't get close, meanwhile the other four Knights alternatively try to discover how Lucan got in so quickly and/or try to smash their way through the locked front door- something has to give, it proves to be the door.

The remainder of the Knights catch up, but not before the door explodes and sets Cathal on fire however, trapped- what they needed there was a good Rogue.

The fight gets bloody very quickly, particularly when Rock gets smashed for 29 damage and knocked Prone with the Trolls first attack, a Crit.- at long last.

The Knights however are smart cookies, Cathal at the core of the tactics, the Troll is knocked back into the gears of the mill, which make a real mess of the brute. When the creature finally extricates himself from the gear the Knights are at the ready again, the Troll then suffers the indignity of being pushed into the lift shaft- it uses its head to break the fall.

The Knights go silent, listening hard for any movement below.

“Bwaaaaynz” The Troll lisps and begins to flail about down below- clearly there's a little life left in the beast.

“Quick. Let's kill it!” Cathal states.

The only problem now is how to get safely down to the thing.

[DM Interlude Encounter #58 [1250 XP = Level 6] Zombie Troll (Level 8 Solo Brute). The thing is still not dead, it is however regenerating down below- but shhh! Don't tell the Knights this.]

[DM Interlude- it's at this point the gang notice a marked silence from Jack, who plays Lucan, later we will learn that he has consumed one too many beers and has fallen asleep on his keyboard- still from my perspective I like the new odds. 'Lucan is so terrified by the Undead Troll he chooses not to come down from his lofty perch', I state, the game goes on.]

Rock and Ignaran are all action, they find a grain shaft that leads below, the pair tumble down into darkness, only to find themselves in a different chamber altogether, a grain storage chamber- that figures; what's worse, they seem to have drawn the attention of a triumvirate of humanoid size spiders.

Meanwhile...

Cathal and Farkill, call the lift up, climb aboard and head back down into the basement proper- the new locale of the now almost completely regenerated Troll, there's just two of them to fight the thing- Rock and Ignaran being otherwise engaged.

[DM Interlude- in game it's a round of one fight then a round of the other, see who finishes first.]

Oddly the second time around the Troll proves to be a much easier prospect, this partially made possible by re-using the tactics that proved so adept above- the great brute finds itself a little while later wedged into the gear shaft, again; and shredded, again. The thing is taken down in style in less than a minute. Admittedly Cathal's arm is numb and Farkill has used both of his Healing Words on the Knight of Kord, but other than that- meh!

However, things hot up when Cadavra, the Witch the Knights came in search of, pops her head through a hatch in a door and blasts the two Knights with Icy Rays, Magic Missiles etc.

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Say hello to the Witch.

This tactic is swiftly curtailed when she nearly gets her head taken off- this time it's Farkill who spills the natural 20 and makes a mess of the Witch, even through the hatch in the door. She retreats at speed, as the Zombie Troll climbs to his feet again using its Rise Again power. Cadavra is gone again.

The fight lumbers on, however the Troll has really lost his mojo now, once again it is Tide of Ironed back into the shredding blades of the gears, and then hacked to pieces.

[DM Interlude Encounter #59 [1600 XP = Level 9] Zombie Troll (Level 8 Solo Brute) & Cadavra, again, briefly.]

[DM Interlude- Rock now has enough XP for level 4, all he needs is an Extended Rest.]

Back in the grain storage chamber, Rock and Ignaran are taking their anger out on the Deathjump Spiders there, they're still fighting when Cathal and Farkill batter the Undead Troll for the second, scratch that, third time. The freed up pair follow the sounds of dwarven swear words and break into the grain storage to help out.

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Where's the Troll?

At which point both Rock and Ignaran are bloodied and poisoned, with numbers on their side the Knights win the day- and rest a moment.

[DM Interlude Encounter #60 [750 XP = Level 4] Spider Deathjumper x3 (Level 6 Skirmishers).]

The body of a dead Elf, identity unknown, is located and thoroughly ransacked, the creature has a fine magical dagger and plenty of coin, the dagger's for Lucan, when he awakes.

And thus the 17th session of play draws to a close, Cadavra is in retreat and the Knights, although beaten, are far from broken; they've clocked up a whopping 14,038 XP between them this session- top play.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Scions of Fallcrest (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:08 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 18- The Scions of Fallcrest Part 5 Abra-Cadavra

In play this week we have... well it's a funny one, we start playing at 7 every Friday, and by 7.30 we only have three players and no sign of the others- no-one is responding to e-mails or calls, so we decide to drop a few of the secondary players into the game. Our reasoning, it's going to get harder, and not easier.

Antaurea, Elven Ranger Level 3
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 4
Immeral, Eladrin Artificer Level 3
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 3 (Needs an Extended Rest for level 4)

[DM Interlude- damn the narrative, the continuity guy in the film adaptation is going to go nuts.]

The newly arrived Knights, dashing to the windmill straight from Fallcrest, instantly get to work- Lucan, let's say, is refusing to budge, and Farkill is staying with the terrified young Elven Rogue who wont come down to play.

Immeral quickly locates a hidden door, within the chamber Cadavra was recently hiding in, and blasting at the Knights.

The group follow a narrow rock, that's 'rock', not 'Rock', passage into darkness, and then on into a much larger natural cavern.

The larger cavern has a low stream running through it- the water's travelling at quite a lick, it doesn't look to be very deep however, on the far side of the chamber, illuminated briefly is Cadavra.

“Who are you bastards?” She screams, and drops a Fireball into the party's midst- which as intro's go, needs a little more work.

The results however are devastating, with all of the Knights caught in the flaming blast- Rock's very unhappy, he charges across the stream and buries his weapon in Cadavra. The Witch flees out of the chamber leaving Rock to contend with a Corruption Corpse in her place.

If that wasn't bad enough, a group of poorly hidden Zombies rise from the water and block the way- Rock is on his own with the foul undead creature.

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Cadavra seems to be wearing a snood! Very fashionable, in 1987.

The Zombies, all of them, prove to be only a minor nuisance, the brutes in the river are knocked on their ass, smashed to pieces, decapitated and worse.

The Corruption Corpse up close is a far easier prospect than at range- Rock swiftly makes mush of him.

[DM Interlude Encounter #61 [1025 XP = Level 4] Zombie Corruption Corpse (Level 4 Artillery); Zombie x4 (Level 4 Brutes) & Cadavra (briefly).]

[DM Interlude- An hour and a half into the session, there's plenty of banter at the start of each week's play, that and time for catch-up and questions; and guess what, the missing two turn up- all change.]

In play we now have (ahem)-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Farkill, Dwarven Cleric of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 4
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 4
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 3 (Needs an Extended Rest for level 4)

[DM Interlude- Immeral & Antaurea are sent back to the city, it seems Lucan is ready to move on, and Farkill is up for action. Either that or pretend the last bit didn't happen- what the hell, it's only a game.]

The Knights reconvene, Lucan smells treasure, he leads the gang up a second narrow passage and into what looks to be Cadavra's bed chamber.

Very tasteful, everything in here is valuable, she's clearly used to refinement, the furniture is worth over 1000gp easily.

Lucan also manages to locate the hidden pit trap, he dances back just in time, but not quick enough - a Skeletal Claw Swarm climbs out and begins to scratch at an itch the Elven Rogue didn't know he had. The Knights are quickly into action- it's a forgone conclusion, however they manage to get scratched enough to necessitate a Short Rest.

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The chamber is empty... Scratch that!

[DM Interlude Encounter #62 [350 XP = Level 1] Skeletal Claw Swarm (Level 8 Brute). It's a crappy little monster but in conjunction with the trap and its ability to attack everyone adjacent to it- annoying.]

The Knights locate Cadavra's diary- she's as guilty as sin, if any further proof were needed, it's all here- written down. Her real name is Lakaisha Dev’shir (duh!), she's out for revenge- possibly locking her away in a sanatorium didn't go very well; it also seems she has been creating a horde of undead. There are notes marking where in Fallcrest the monsters are hidden- ready to be unleashed upon the city. The Knights must work fast.

The Knights ready themselves and then head off in pursuit of Cadavra this time, the river is forded - easily, and the gang stomp their way through to the next chamber, no subtlety here.

Into a long thin chamber, lit by the dying embers from four squat braziers with ebony, charred surfaces. To the left and right are stone benches, each perhaps 10 feet long. In the centre of the chamber rests a cauldron of immense proportions. This massive pot is wrought from dull black iron, and stands on three short legs at nearly four feet high, with a diameter over three feet. Its outside surface is dimpled, and covered with infernal runes and pictograms involving the animation of a myriad of creatures. Surrounding the massive pot are a small horde (small horde- is that right? Like a 'little giant', maybe- oxymoron? No, not you) of Zombies, and a quartet of Vampire Spawn, all with glowing red eyes and bad make-up (like Rob Smith from the Cure, only slimmer). At the far end of the room, the murky stream lazily tumbles by (ah, that's nice- makes everything okay).

The Knights shuffle into action.

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Is that soup?

The Zombie tide breaks against the Knights, Cathal and Rock are at the fore- smashing and bashing, the rest protected from the flailing Undead by the stolid, and solid, defenders. Did someone say 'doughty', oh yeah- it was me.

Her Fireball already used, Cadavra brings on a Lightning Serpent and frazzles Rock a little, who cooks in his tin-can armour, more Lightning Bolts follow- the air hums with electrical discharge. The back row of the Knights are not immune it seems.

It's slow progress, mixed in with the Zombie and Vampire Spawn Minions are a quartet of Zombie Warriors, made from sterner stuff (Improved Dead Flesh!), and in the bottle-neck they manage to hold the Knights up; or at least give Cadavra some extra time to zap them with her spells.

The Undead creatures also seem to lack their usual vulnerability to Radiant attacks- Farkill is sh*t out of luck, and has to content himself with healing the other Knights and delivering the odd blast here and there.

Eventually Cathal and Rock break the line, and not even Cadavra's Blur spell, followed by a swift Dimension Door, is enough to get her out of the mess she's in.

The poor Witch is eventually chased down and knocked unconscious, all the way back in the basement of the windmill; with the Knights chasing after her like a gaggle of axe-wielding schoolchildren.

Ding! Dong! The Witch is... well not dead, just knocked unconscious and made uncomfortable- hog-tied.

[DM Interlude Encounter #63 [2052 XP = Level 9] Zombie Rotter x4 (Level 3 Minions); Vampire Spawn x4 (Level 5 Minions); Zombie x4 (Level 2 Brutes) & Cadavra (Level 11 Elite Controller).]

The windmill is thoroughly ransacked, searched from top to bottom, Lucan gets to trigger a Glyph of Warding in the process, he's only a little singed by the experience. Latimer's body is recovered, after a bit of uncoordinated clambering.

The Cauldron in the final chamber radiates strong magical, necrotic magic; the Knights take it, and anything else they can find of worth, including the missing brick taken from the Dev'Shir tomb and haul ass back to the city- Cadavra in tow, beaten back into unconsciousness. You can't be too careful.

A little while later the truth is told- Cadavra, that is Lakaisha Dev’shir, the oldest of the Dev'shir sisters was destined to marry the Lord Markelhay, assured from birth of her place in society. Her cruel and spiteful acts however resulted in the death of a servant of House Dev'shir, which was hushed up, Lakaisha was sent away- condemned to a life of misery, destiny denied.

How she escaped is another story, another story that the Knights don't bother to enquire about, which is a shame because I had a whole plot point ready and waiting.

[DM Interlude- She escaped with the help of a Necromancer called Paldemar, an adherent of Orcus, who taught her all she knows. Still the Knights will catch up with Paldemar soon enough.]

The hidden caches of undead scattered about the city are easily routed, the Knights take time off and leave the legwork to the stout members of the Fallcrest Guard. There are few casualties, and no deaths, although numerous undeaths- the undead creatures discovered are almost exclusively shambling minions.

The Cauldron turns out to be an artefact called the Cauldron of Illserves, the cudgel that Cadavra wielded is the stirrer cum spoon for the device- the set is complete; the item is a foul creation, capable of birthing undead creatures from its bubbling stew. It is sent away for study by Nimozaran, with an eye to finding some way to destroy it in the future.

The Knights receive their just rewards, which alas does not include a meeting with Lady Markelhay, she is said to possess an unearthly beauty, Lucan complains vociferously.

Quest done, the world back on its axis, the Knights head out to do a little, scratch that, a lot of shopping, which proves to be slightly more arduous than normal, they're attacked mid-shop.

Ignaran and Lucan are minding their own business when two Swarms of Shadow Bats descend from the evening sky, picking the pair out from the now-screaming crowd. Not even Lucan has time to see who is orchestrating the attack before he's thrust into the maelstrom.

Ignaran summons his Onyx Dog to help him deal with the creatures- see picture below for the humour in this.

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Ignaran's ravaging hound from hell- Mrs. Fluffykins.

[DM Interlude- Mike (Ignaran) knew I had done a token for his Onyx Dog, he just hadn't seen it till now- not happy, I proposed to introduce a sterner looking 'hound from hell' to coincide with each advance in level for the Druid. He seemed placated. Heh-heh, now to find pictures of suitably feeble dogs.]

The Bat Swarms are easily defeated, the two Knights seem to think that they have been sent some sort of warning- how right they are.

[DM Interlude Encounter #64 [150 XP = Level 1] Shadow Bat Swarm (Level 3 Lurker).]

[DM Interlude- very improvised maps for this and the next encounter, they weren't planned.]

Elsewhere in the big city the other three Knights are going about their business when, you guessed it, they're also attacked- swooping from the heavens come a troupe of Spiretop Drakes. The Knights get all swatty.

The Drakes are dealt with easily; Cathal, Rock and Farkill reach the same conclusion as the previous pair- they're being warned by somebody.

[DM Interlude- mission accomplished.]

Image
Duck! No, Drake.

[DM Interlude Encounter #65 [700 XP = Level 6] Spiretop Drake x7 (Level 1 Skirmishers).]

Shopping done, the Knights get their wish - an audience with Lord & Lady Markelhay - which turns out to be polite but fairly short and to the point. The Knights are basically given a list of things they must accomplish- alongside offers of generous rewards. It's all very business like, perhaps save for the smile of the Lady Markelhay, which could melt even stone hearts.

There's only one interruption to the proceedings, when Lucan states that a kiss from Lady Markelhay would be reward enough for him.

[DM Interlude- he's a lying bastard, if that was true he should try to stop stealing the other Knights possessions for a session or two.]

The list of outstanding Quests at the moment goes a little like this-

1.Eoffram Troyas wants the good citizens of Fallcrest, captured by the Bloodreavers in their dastardly attack on the city, returned... still.

2.Lord Padraig, of Winterhaven, also wants his citizens back... still.

3.Valthruin the Prescient, of Winterhaven, wants the Knights to discover what happened to the Minotaur inhabitants of Thunderspire Labyrinth a century ago.

4.Lord Markelhay wants every last one of the Bloodreaver scum crushed- destroyed.

5.Lady Markelhay also wants the citizens of the Nentir Vale returned to their loved ones, for which she promises a kiss.

6.Nimozaran, the High Septarch of Fallcrest (Big Wizard) wants a locked box delivering to Gendar, a Drow Merchant, in a place called the Seven Pillared Hall in Thunderspire. The Drow will give over some items for return.

7.Next, Nimozaran gives the Knights back the Rod of Ruin and the Cauldron of Illserves- they must find the Forge of the Mountain King, hidden within Thunderspire Labyrinth, and use the forge there to unmake the foul artefacts.

So, not much to do then.

“So we're carrying all the cool bad stuff back into the lair of big bad evil Bloodreavers? I just want to get this right in my head...” Cathal begins before getting ushered out of the audience with the Lord and Lady.

[DM Interlude- after the negotiations Ignaran now has enough XP to gain level 5.]

And so the eighteenth session of play draws to a close, the third module, Dungeon Crawl Classics #54 Scions of Punjar (Fallcrest) has been completed. This session the brave Knights have amassed a total of 9490 XP between them.

Next time, more of this kind of thing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights en route to Thunderspire (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 19- On the road to Thunderspire.

Final preparations for the journey are made, Cathal looks out the shrine to Kord, makes a few friends there and does a heap of praying. He delegates Eruan to shop for a bunch of cloaks and other stuff, basically ways to disguise the Knights while they're on the road to Thunderspire.

The other Knights say farewell to friends, acquaintances, and generally other people's significant others- I'm looking at you Lucan.

And so the Knights hit the road and are en route for Thunderspire, actually first stop is a place called Haven Inn, it marks the point where the Trade Road meets the Road to Thunderspire. The Knights are looking forward to good clean beds and an ale or two before they have to plunge into the depths.

But for now it's trail rations and camping out.

In play this week we have-

Aeolace Eladrin Wizard Level 2
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 4
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 4

[DM Interlude- Aeolace the Fire Starter is back!]

The Knights are barely out of the city when it all gets a little tasty, by which I mean violent, they're ambushed- fortunately the guys doing the ambushing are city folk, it's not what they're used to out in the country, still...

Nine ragged ass Humans leap out and attempt to do for the Knights, none of the fine fellows are particularly skilled with a blade, all however are up to their neck in dutch courage (booze). There's lots of shouting and gesticulating but hardly a scratch on the Knights.

The Humans however are falling like flies, they serve briefly as a diversion, three Halfling Thieves, well-concealed in the foliage, more than make their mark on the Knights- if there were more of them it would be a tough fight. As it is, the Human Rabble and Lackeys fall all too quickly, the Halflings are soon exposed to attacks, and suffer for it.

The Halflings realise they are outmatched and do the only honourable thing left- flee.

None of them get away, actually two are killed, the third- Twinky is captured.

Image
A gentle stroll in the country is rudely interrupted.

[DM Interlude Encounter #66 [903 XP = Level 4] Human Rabble x6 (Level 3 Minion), Human Lackey x3 (Level 7 Minion) & Halfling Thief x3 (Level 3 Skirmishers).]

Twinky is quickly made to see the error of her wanton ways, it's Lucan doing the persuading, and with a dagger in his hand. It seems she is late of the employ of Gwladys Protheroe- that name seems familiar, the Halfling Crime Lord with a grudge against our heroes (mostly Lucan).

She is now however in the employ of the Friday Knights, the pay is terrible, the hours are worse but at least she gets to stay alive. Twinky is to head back to Fallcrest and spread the word that the Knights were victorious here, and will be coming back in a little while.

The Knights also learn that the nine, now dead, men that fought alongside the Halflings were gathered from the dockside bars of Fallcrest, plied with ale and then sent to fight- not warriors then. Is this the best that Gwladys can muster?

The Knights press on, spend an uncomfortable night in the wilds, in which nothing much happens.

[DM Interlude- except on Lucan's watch when a few purses get a little lighter, he loves playing with fire our Rogue, call it shrinkage.]

Rock is on last watch, and has eagle-eyes it seems, normally his perception roll is something a little below ten, he rolls an adjusted 23- damn him. Rock spots movement in the bushes surrounding the camp- bellows and kicks at his friends, and then charges off into the early morning mist.

His charge leaves him face-to-face with a thin, and older, Human in robes, with a piece of tinsel on his hat- must be a Wizard. He smashes the erudite looking fellow, who sits down and looks very hurt.

Screams abound as more than a dozen other Bandits and Rabble close in on the waking Knights, armed, but without their heavy armour, the Knights leap up to meet them.

It's a massacre, the Wizard doesn't even get a spell off, the Knights don't hold back- dailies get spent and a good portion of the interlopers are swiftly set on fire- Aeolace says play with matches kids.

Only one of them is left alive- and he's grabbed, the Knights are getting good at this kind of thing.

Image
Could it be Magic? NO!

[DM Interlude Encounter #67 [1704 XP = Level 7] Human Rabble x8 (Level 3 Minions), Human Bandit x8 (Level 3 Skirmishers) & Bangcock, Human Mage (Level 5 Artillery).]

The camp is secured, the bodies searched and the last man surviving gives up a few details, and then is put to the sword- there's friendly. They're Bloodreavers, and they've been looking for the Knights. It seems the Bloodreavers' management wants the Knights dead.

The Knights sleep in a while, with watches reset, to make up for the break in their rest, breakfast well and then head off again.

[DM Interlude- the maps for the remainder of this session, and most all of next week were alas lost in the great Computer Crash of '08, sorry.]

The Knights push on, having lost time earlier in the day, they march on into the early evening, the Haven Inn is their next stop, but what's this.

Screaming from the road ahead, an ambush is prepared- down the track come a pair of fleeing humans, workers by the look of their clothes, possibly bar staff- the pair are being chased by a pair of Grey Wolves.

The fight is over very quickly, the Wolves barely have chance to register their alarm.

[DM Interlude Encounter #68 [250 XP = Level 1] Grey Wolf x2 (Level 2 Skirmishers).]

“They're coming!” Young Toby screams and points back down the road, and sure enough they are indeed coming, a rag-tag bunch of ne'er-do-wells.
“The Inn has been taken!” Maggie the second human yells and dives for cover.

Which just leaves the Knights facing a horde of Goblinoids- fourteen of them in total, and they're closing fast.

It gets bloody very quickly, and fiery a little before the bloody bit- Aeolace's Scorching Blast catches seven targets first time round, and five in the second volley.

From there Cathal and Rock charge into the hoard, Ignaran goes for area effects and keeps those not on fire either entangled or else otherwise pre-occupied.

Lucan picks off the stragglers, initially from a distance.

It works like a dream, the Bloodreavers, yep more of 'em, are decimated, and are not given the chance to surrender- someone's pressed the red button, the Knights are out for blood.

Only one Goblin Sharpshooter gets away, although two Goblin Blackblades are shoved into a fast running river and are not heard from again.

The Skullcleaver Goblin leader is shredded.

[DM Interlude Encounter #69 [1437 XP = Level 6] Goblin Cutter x4 (Level 2 Minions); Hobgoblin Grunts x2 (Level 4 Minions); Goblin Blackblades x2 (Level 2 Lurkers); Goblin Sharpshooter x3 (Level 3 Artillery); Hobgoblin Soldiers x2 (Level 4 Soldiers) Goblin Skullcleaver (Level 4 Brute).]

Maggie and Toby supply the full story, the Haven Inn has been attacked, taken- a bunch of Bloodreavers lead by a fellow called Skave the Sly, a notorious villain in these parts; it seems his merry band are now taking Bloodreaver coin.

[DM Interlude- some of the details of this mini-adventure/interlude came courtesy of a free 4E adventure called, I believe, “The Blue Mountain Inn”- it must be about somewhere... It's very nice, or at least served my purpose.]

The Friday Knights head a mile down the road to the Inn and approach cautiously.

The place is a mess, a high walled courtyard surrounds the Inn building, an old stone weathered two storey affair with a connected stable. The large gate to the courtyard shows signs of damage, and is wide open. The sounds of merriment and song come from within- Goblin voices.

Lucan is sent a little ahead, he reports back in a short while, the bar is packed with Goblins who are making free with the ale and behaving indecorously with the captured serving staff.

Cathal gets very angry very quickly- there's no real plan, just a firm belief in 'Might being Right', the Knights charge into the Inn's common room and set about bringing justice to the humanoid scum.

The Goblins situated here a mostly Cutters, they don't last long. However there's a Bugbear asleep, not for long, under a table, he wakes and evens up the numbers- then it, of course, gets worse.

A moment later a Goblin appears from a storeroom clutching a crate of wine bottles, taking in the situation he leaps atop the bar and begins to fling the bottles at the Knights- the Goblin Bottlebrigade has arrived.

He doesn't last long it must be said- Aeolace sets him on fire- BANG! He takes out a couple more of the Goblins in the explosion.

The Knights are still cutting through the Bloodreavers in double quick time, but the noise is attracting others to the fracas, a bulky Human Berserker emerges from the kitchen, clutching his head- hung-over, he has a pet Guardian Drake- Cathal moves to intercept the pair.

It gets worse still, a trio of Spiretop Drakes, previously warming themselves by the fire flutter into the chamber- it's getting pretty chaotic in the bar.

The back door of the Inn opens and rushing in comes a second Bugbear Warrior, the first alas has already shuffled off this mortal coil, he screams something intelligible and joins the scrap.

And, as if the above wasn't bad enough, Big Lesley arrives.

Big Lesley is an Ogre, he was sleeping off the results of a monstrous drinking session with the Human Berserker in the stable, it's a shame the Knights didn't take the time to have a look in there before charging in.

And then we run out of time, the Knights are surrounded, three of the five are bloodied, still standing for the bad guys are- a lone Goblin Cutter (how'd he stay alive?), two Spiretop Drakes, the Guardian Drake, the Human Berserker, the Bugbear Warrior and Big Lesley- still it gives the Knights plenty to aim at.

[DM Interlude- note at the end of this fracas, and after an Extended Rest Aeolace will have enough XP for Level 3, and Lucan enough for Level 5- that's if they get through it.]

Session 19 draws to a close, the Knights have accumulated 10,527 XP between them, and Aeolace is back, Paul who plays him has got a free pass from his wife it seems, he's allowed back out to play with his strange internet friends.

More of this sort of thing next time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights en route to Thunderspire (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:49 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 20- Thunderspire here we come...

Still in the midst of the fracas in the Haven Inn bar with the Bloodreavers, we only have four players in action, initially, this week.

In play this week-

Aeolace Eladrin Wizard Level 2 (needs an Extended Rest for Level 3)
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 4 (needs an Extended Rest for Level 5)

Farkill, or rather Zoran who plays Farkill will be in-game in a short while, as soon as he gets done with work- the bane of any civilised society. Rock is missing presumed on holiday.

And so the fight goes on, another of the Spiretop Drakes bites the dirt, the last of them smashes its way through a window and flutters off into the closing night, possibly with a message to deliver.

“Damn!” Cathal swears and cuts down the hung-over Human Berserker, the Guardian Drake follows soon after.

Shinto, one of the Inn's bar staff, is caught up in one of Aeolace's fiery blasts and slumps to the floor- the Eladrin Wizard makes amends, he teleports over to the dying man, and makes good with his Healing check, saving Shinto's life- although he did set him on fire in the first place, which karma wise makes him about even.

The Bugbear Warrior sees which way the wind is blowing and makes a break for freedom, back the way he came into the Inn's vegetable patch and over the wall- he gets as far as the wall when Lucan's dagger locates the spot between his shoulder blades, and ends him.

Big Lesley likewise sees the sense in retreat, the exit to the Inn is blocked by Ignaran and the Ogre is engulfed in a swarm of stinging insects- courtesy of the Druid. He therefore tries the second option, to smash his way through the front window of the Inn, taking a little of the wall with him in the attempt, alas he gets wedged.

And is quickly slain.

Ruda, another member of the Inn's bar staff, emerges from her hiding place- gulps and looks at the destruction, she faints away, but is soon revived by a leering Lucan who gropes her a little- but has a winning smile.

[DM Interlude Encounter #70 [2005 XP = Level 9] Goblin Cutter x5 (Level 2 Minions); Drake Spiretop x3 (Level 1 Lurkers); Goblin Blackblade (Level 2 Lurker); Goblin Bottlebrigade (Level 2 Artillery); Drake Guardian (Level 2 Brute); Goblin Sharpshooter (Level 3 Artillery); Human Berserker (Level 4 Brute); Bugbear Warrior x2 (Level 6 Soldiers) & Ogre Savage (Level 8 Brute). Nice! My players seem to think I have this thing about starting a fight with a bunch of Minions and some others and then keep drawing in other combatants every round- saving the nastiest to last, sh*t my secret is out.]

[DM Interlude- just a brief note to remind you that we are still without maps, this due to the Great Computer Crash, and the Failure To Back Up Debacle of 08- I have been warned.]

“Quick. Lola's upstairs- the Goblins have her!” Shinto cries and points to a set of stairs in the kitchen that lead to the Innkeeper's quarters.

“Where's the 'keep?” Cathal frowns.

Shinto points to a second set of stairs to the common and private sleeping chambers.

“More Goblins?” Cathal grimaces.

Shinto nods.

“The fightback begins now, we must rescue the woman first- Lucan.”

Lucan leads the Knights up the stairs in the kitchen, to a door, and peeks within- he looks back at the Knights, ashen faced.

“They're...” Lucan can't find the words.

There's quite a racket coming from the chamber, the Knights storm in to see what manner of debauchery is being perpetrated on the innocent wench.

[DM Interlude- at this point Farkill turns up, yeah... the narrative, but hey-ho, it's just a game.]

In play this week (amended)-

Aeolace Eladrin Wizard Level 2 (needs an Extended Rest for Level 3)
Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 4 (needs an Extended Rest for Level 5)

The Goblins are mid-pillow-fight, five on to one, Lola, actually the beautiful Lola, is losing badly, but seems not to have suffered too much harm, although her clothes have been pulled about and loosened in the exertions- Lucan springs to attention.

“I'll save you fair maiden.” He declares and stabs a Goblin Skullcrusher, armed with a pillow, in the back.
“Brave sir Knight- would you?” Lola declares.
“Indeed I would.” Lucan adds with a smirk.

It kicks off, and in close quarters, two of the Goblins are Sharpshooters, although they're having problems making use of their bows in the cramped conditions. The other three Goblins are Skullcrushers, and when they finally grab their axes and hammers are more than a match for the Knights.

Fortunately for the Knights the surprise round works well for them, one of each variety of Goblin are taken down. The remaining three Goblins get some good hits in but it's only a matter of time- their screams soon abate.

The noise fortunately is little different from the cacophony coming from the chamber before the Knights arrival.

[DM Interlude Encounter #71 [825 XP = Level 3] Goblin Sharpshooters x2 (Level 3 Artillery) & Goblin Skullcrushers x3 (Level 4 Brutes).]

Lola is safe and sound, and in the arms of Lucan- why wouldn't she be? Farkill however is a little jealous- Lucan always gets the girl, “where are all the Dwarven women?” He barks.
“They've taken them to Thunderspire!” Lola exclaims.
“The Derriere Girls, a group of exotic dancers, they were staying at the Inn, en route to Fallcrest. Skave 'as got them.” Lola adds.
“Then I shall not rest until the Derriere Girls are free!” Farkill declares, to general agreement, then rearranges his underwear.

“Next.” Cathal declares, and the Knights move over to the second set of stairs, and up, Lucan again taking the lead.

Through a door the Elven Rogue spies into a larger windowed sleeping quarters, seven beds, there's what looks to a private room over the far side.

Four Goblins, with bows- more Sharpshooters, they're creating quite a stir- they seem to be having some sort of competition- who can bounce the highest on the beds, straining to touch the ceiling of the chamber.

“Play time's over!” Cathal erupts into the chamber, grabs the nearest in-flight Sharpshooter, and shoves the creature through and out of a window, it's a fifteen foot fall, he wins the competition, and yet fails to collect his prize.

The rest of the Knights charge into the fray, in the initial onslaught another Goblin is slain- which just leaves two, and the dangerous looking Bugbear that has just heaved himself out of the linen cupboard.

Oh and the pair of Blackfang Gnoll Marauders that arrive from the private bedchamber over the far side- the odds become evens.

The Bugbear manages to get his hands around Cathal's neck, begins to throttle the Knight of Kord. The Gnolls are caught in Aeolace's fiery blast, but emerge unconcerned and smash into the Knights.

It gets bloody, the Goblin Sharpshooters eventually recover their bows and scatter into a corner, trying to edge behind the Gnolls for protection. Lightning bursts from Ignaran's hand and engulfs the Bugbear Strangler, Cathal works himself free, turns quickly and cuts the creature down.

Lucan locates the back of one of the Gnoll Maruaders- the creature doesn't last long. Farkill meantime has made his way over to the Goblin Sharpshooters and is instructing them in the ways of Moradin, via the medium of axe.

The last Gnoll Maruader and the pair of Goblin Sharpshooters don't last long, and none are given the option of surrender, the final Sharpshooter flings himself through a window and falls to his death.

The fight is over, Cathal and Farkill are bloodied, Ignaran injured, Lucan and Aeolace are without hurt- the Knights catch their collective breath.

[DM Interlude Encounter #72 [1350 XP = Level 6] Goblin Sharpshooters x4 (Level 3 Artillery); Bugbear Strangler (Level 6 Lurker) & Gnoll Marauder x2 (Level 6 Brutes).]

Gingerly, the Innkeeper- Darley, shuffles out of the private bedchamber, spots the Knights- who are now scavenging from the dead, and asks “is it safe?”

Cathal nods, grins- a little disconcerting, and then motions for Darley to come over.

“We are the Friday Knights, we have come to save your Inn.” The Knight of Kord declares.
“Er... Good!” Darley declares and ushers his terrified family into the room.

A little while later, with restorative drinks in hand by the fire, Darley's story is told- the Bloodreaver's, actually Skave the Sly's Goblin gang, attacked the Inn yesterday, quickly took everyone prisoner and marched the Inn's guests to Thunderspire - Darley heard him say something about 'slaves'. Cathal doesn't look very happy- “this would never have happened if we had got here sooner, bloody tomb robbers.”

Darley shrugs and goes on, the guests at the Inn were a group of exotic dancers, “The Derriere Girls”, bound for Fallcrest- five in number; and Randall Halfmoon, a traveller/merchant/trader and some-time innkeep, his family have a trading house in Fallcrest and an Inn in the Seven Pillared Hall in Thunderspire.

Darley goes on to explain that the Seven Pillared Hall is the hub of Thunderspire mountain, where merchants from the Nentir Valley go to trade with the denizens of the Underdark, and the Labyrinth.

Darley also states that Randall, the Halfling, had a small cloaked and odd sounding companion with him...

Darley offers to pay for the rescue of his guests, it wouldn't do for people to find out that the Haven Inn wasn't a safe place to stay- Cathal in turn promises to return the Inn's guests safe to the Haven.

One last thing, Darley states- “Skave is coming back for us.”
“Then we'd better prepare a reception!” Cathal finishes, a twinkle in his eye.

The Knights get to work, repairing the main gate, dragging tables up against the windows for cover, barricading the doors, making the Inn ready for the attack, and working out their plan.

The night passes- slowly, nothing stirs.

That is, until the first mists of morning...

The first the Knights know of the attack is the volley of arrows that comes from the three Goblin Sharpshooters that have already clambered into the Inn's courtyard.

Less than ten seconds later a Hobgoblin Soldier lands hard on the ground before the gate, inside the courtyard, is bathed for a second in Aeolace's scorching blast, and yet still has the wherewithal to get to his feet and lift the bar.

The gate swings open to reveal a bellowing, heavily armoured Hobgoblin Subcommander who unleashes a pair of Dire Wolves into the compound- sh*t!

An Ogre follows behind.

It gets nasty.

During this time Aeolace and Lucan, located in the common bedchamber on the first floor, pepper the invaders with flung daggers, which alas have a limited range, and from the Wizard- Magic Missiles and Scorching Blasts.

The result of which is... Nothing much, burns and minor wounds.

The invaders are at the door, the pair of Dire Wolves snapping and snarling through the Inn's broken front window at the Knights swatting away from behind the upturned tables within.

The attackers are very organised

Which was neither expected nor desired.

A cumulation of hits does for two of the Goblin Sharpshooters, the third alas has made its way round to the upper bedchamber and smashed his way in- the Goblin faces off against Lucan as Aeolace continues to bathe the Dire Wolves and Ogre below in flame.

One of the Dire Wolves finally has had enough, swathed in black smoke from its singed and scorched fur it howls, turns tail and scarpers. The respite afforded is short lived, the Hobgoblin Subcommander with two Hobgoblin Soldiers arrive to fill the gap, just as the Ogre finally smashes the front door of the Inn down- the Hobgoblins dash in.

The first Soldier, already badly wounded, is instantly cut down; the other two are bottle-necked in the doorway by Cathal and Ignaran, who are defending desperately.

The Ogre, having smashed down the door, brings his hammer into play against the already crumbling stone around the window of the Inn, enlarging- rapidly, the hole made by his brother Ogre's earlier attempt to flee the Inn.

And as if that wasn't bad enough the rear door of the Inn is shoved open, a pair of Goblin Sharpshooters scatter into the common room and fire- Shinto, saved earlier by Aeolace, takes an arrow to the throat and dies in a gurgling heap.

Tabor, Darley the Innkeep's eldest son, is hit also- he takes slightly longer to expire.

Stepping through the back door of the Inn is the ugliest, meanest looking Goblin the Knights have ever see.

“Morning. Nice day for it.” Skave declares, in faultless common, and shoots Cathal in the midriff with his Hand Crossbow, the Knight of Kord grimaces, and pulls the bolt out, noting the icky-brown paste smeared on the shaft- he's been poisoned.

“I'll go.” Ignaran declares, and charges off towards Skave- which even at the time Cathal thinks is odd.

En route to Skave, Ignaran completes his transformation, he's a great growling, swatting, swiping and biting Bear by the time he reaches the stunned Goblin trio.

Farkill meanwhile is holding back the Dire Wolf and the Ogre through the breach, and has so far dodged every attack that has come his way.

Upstairs Lucan finally kills the Goblin Sharpshooter he was tangling with, not before he is bloodied however. The Rogue nods, grins at Aeolace, and then points to the stairs- he heads down, sticking to the shadows, and emerges behind Skave- serendipity.

Skave is contending with Ignaran in Bear form, one of his Sharpshooter buddies has already been reduced to a bloody mess- Ignaran having bitten the top off the Goblin's skull.

Lucan's dagger emerges through Skave's sternum, quite a feat, the Bloodreaver employee, gulps hard and looks down, blood fills his boots.

He pulls himself off the blade, and disappears.

Leaving a solitary Goblin Bloodreaver to face the music, he tries to surrender - he doesn't get far - Bears generally don't take prisoners.

Back upstairs Aeolace bathes the Dire Wolf and Ogre combo in the fourth or fifth of his Scorching Blasts- the last Dire Wolf turns and runs, straight into the stable wall, its legs go from under it and it splays onto the cobbled courtyard, and smoulders- dead.

The Ogre has other ideas, it looks up briefly, waves an angry fist at the out of reach Wizard and steps into the common room of the Inn- through the wall, pushing Farkill and the tables back in the process.

The Ogre rages, turns circle once, its hammer smashing anything it can reach in the circuit, then stops and rages some more.

Farkill, half-hidden under a table, steps out and slices his axe through the Ogre's right leg- clean through, the creature topples and falls head first into the banked fire- Farkill heaves again and sinks his axe into the huge brute's chest.

Cathal meanwhile has hacked his way through the second Hobgoblin Soldier and is working his way through the Subcommander, holding the doorway, preventing the humanoid from getting into the Inn proper.

The back door is flung back open and a trail of blood staggers out of the Inn, the invisible Skave beats a hasty retreat, Lucan follows after, judges the distance well and flings his dagger, which connects with... something.

Skave flickers into sight, clutching at the dagger in his chest, scrabbles backwards and is hit by a Magic Missile courtesy of Aeolace on the upper floor.

Lucan's dagger disappears and reappears in his hand. Lucan looks around, morning is breaking, the sun's rays peep over the palisade wall surrounding the Inn, illuminating the vegetable patch, the intricately carved outhouse and the well.

“You're right, it's a lovely day.” He grins.

Then he rushes forward and delivers a low blow, a very low blow, to Skave- the Goblin staggers back some more- screaming, hits the lip of the well and...

Sploosh!

Ends his days.

Lucan's dagger reappears in his hand.

The last of the invaders, the Hobgoblin Subcommander doesn't get far, he's cut down by a bloodied and battered Cathal half way across the Inn's courtyard, heading for the exit at speed.

Then silence.

[DM Interlude- the reports (whatchyer readin' now), need a little more spice, I'm going to try to write up one fight or significant moment per turn from here on in, or at least add a little more detail when I have time.]

[DM Interlude- Ignaran has finally ported over his Druid from Expeditious Retreat's Advanced Player's Guide to the WOTC version- I know which he prefers. Ignaran loves his Bear-form, as do the other Knights.]

[DM Interlude Encounter #73 [2900 XP = Level 10, just short of Level 11] Goblin Sharpshooter x5 (Level 3 Artillery); Hobgoblin Subcommander (Level 3 Controller); Hobgoblin Soldier x2 (Level 4 Soldiers); Dire Wolf x2 (Level 6 Skirmishers); Ogre Savage (Level 8 Brute) & Skave the Slay, Goblin Bloodreaver Bandit Chieftain (Level 9 Elite Lurker). What a corker- the players, and me, loved it.]

The Inn is safe, although a little - make that a lot- battered.

However Darley is inconsolable, as are his family- the death of Tabor, and Shinto.

Eventually things calm down a little, the Knights rest up- Farkill gets a footrub from the beautiful Lola, and pointedly grins at Lucan throughout.

Ten hours later the Knights depart, although Lucan has first to be found, he finally emerges from the outhouse with Lola, both of them toting wonky grins.

Farkill looks crestfallen.

The Knights are soon en route to Thunderspire, the only incident of note, a sharp whispered cry from Lucan which causes all of the Knights to dash for cover. A little while later, a pair of Gargoyles sweep overhead, heading down the road towards the Haven Inn, possibly looking for some one or thing.

Cathal debates turning back, but their course is set- the Knights, still weary, trudge on.

[DM Interlude- the pictures are back.]

Image
Duck and Cover!

A little over five hours later the Knights arrive at the entrance to Thunderpsire, and what an entrance...

Image
“I can't reach the bell”, Farkill declares.

Ignaran drops to the ground, collapses- his friends grab for him, the Druid seems to be experiencing some sort of seizure. Cathal notes Ignaran has the Rod of Ruin clutched in his hands- he wrestles the foul device from his grip, Ignaran's eyes flicker open.

“I have seen... things.” He gasps.

A little later Ignaran relays his vision-

“A whole host of Demons and Undead- an army of the foul creatures- pouring into the depths of Thunderspire. Slain Minotaur Guards scattered on the cold bloody ground, the general of the army, I saw it all through his eyes, raised high on a palanquin, in the midst of the death-bringing demonic host. An invasion.”

Ignaran shudders.

“Wheeeeow” Farkill whistles, have you seen the carvings in here, “makes me proud to be a Dwarf.”

Aeolace catches up with Farkill, “Minotaur, not Dwarven.” The Wizard corrects.
“Oh. Oh, in that case- average.” Farkill stomps off- under the mountain.

The passage is some thirty feet wide, and possibly the same tall, every 100 or so feet paired statues of great bull-headed axe-wielding creatures- Minotaurs, each thirty feet tall.

The passage continues on, descends into the deep dark, for miles seemingly- the Knights, a little awed, have arrived.

Three hours later, very tired, and much less awestruck, they hear sounds- familiar sounds, a confrontation- raised Goblin voices, the noise is coming from a side passage in the tunnel, it's clear someone is in trouble.

The Knights investigate, sure they'll find what they're looking for- a fight.

And so endeth the 20th session of play, the Knights have accumulated 13,654 XP between them.

Next time... bit the next.


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 Post subject: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 21- Witch way to Thunderspire.

Once again another change of personnel, life intrudes some more on our ability to game.

In play this week we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 4

[DM Interlude- yep, Rock's back and Aeolace is gone again- don't ask me, I only DM the game.]

The Knights head along the darkened passage to a chink of light, as quietly as they can, with Lucan out in front- through the half-open door the young Elven Rogue spies five Hobgoblins, one robed, four Soldiers, all menacing a Halfling- must be Randall Halfmoon. Beside Randall, on the floor is a sack... no, the sack has legs, an unconscious form- the cloaked mysterious friend of Randall's from the Inn.

Lucan relays the news.

Coarse laughter and guttural voices cause the Knights to collectively inch forward to the door- peer within. To see for themselves.

A rough voiced Hobgoblin, speaking Common, says, “You’re ours now, halfling.”
“We’ll easily get ten gold for you!” another Hobgoblin responds:
“That’s a shame, ’cause I’m worth twenty. I’ll buy myself if you let me go.” Randall grins.

The Knights like him already.

Less than thirty seconds later the four Hobgoblin Soldiers are dead, the last one dies attempting to get away, Lucan's dagger does the trick- the Elven Rogue has yet to enter the chamber.

Mid-fracas Randall gets away from his captors and swings into action, the Knights like him all the more, particularly when he manages to trip the robed Hobgoblin.

[DM Interlude- this week, lots of pictures.]

Image
Look who's back.

The robed Hobgoblin, a Warcaster, blubbers a little and begs for his life to be spared- he's pumped for information.

It turns out, to no-one's surprise, the Hobgoblins are Bloodreavers, they hold sway in the Seven Pillared Hall- they receive orders from their command located in the Chamber of Eyes- they're slavers.

None of this information wins him any friends.

Rock smashes him down.

[DM Interlude Encounter #74 [800 XP = Level 2] Hobgoblin Soldier x4 (Level 3 Soldier) & Hobgoblin Warcaster (Level 4 Controller).]

Then the robed figure, the mysterious companion of Randall, reveals himself... to groans, and worse.

It's...

“I am back”, Splug swirls his cloak about him, disappears within its voluminous folds, re-emerges brandishing a rusty looking shortsword- thrust heavenwards.

“Cur (like Sir) Splug, Champion of the Raven Queen, Deathbringer- I laugh in the face of misfortune - certain that I will live until the day I die, at which time I will stand at my lady's side. I...”
“What happened to the Marxist thing?” Lucan enquires, and instantly wishes he hadn't.
“Marx was a thunk-head- we share only one fate, there is written but one end to all our stories...”

Cathal kicks Splug, Rock grabs him up and shakes him, Farkill punches the Goblin in the face.

“You can't... I'm a Paladin... I... I've never... Death's coming to get you- I'm gonna tell her where you live!” Splug splutters, and is dropped hard onto the stone floor of the chamber.

The Knights, and Randall move off, having already searched the Bloodreaver corpses.

“I've been wanting to do that for ages.” Randall adds looking back at the dishevelled Goblin.

Splug scurries after the Knights, one hand clutching the hilt of his holy Flaming (not actually Flaming though, or Holy for that matter) sword- Bent'ass.

Silently, under-his-breath, and in a language the Knights don't understand, he swears he will have his revenge.

The Knights venture on, another mile or so of the great passage, to the Seven Pillared Hall, en route Randall prepares them for what lies ahead.

Explains that the Hall is run by, or was run by, the Mages of Saruun, a bunch of mystics that defend the place from harm, and tax the inhabitants for their services, and make the rules- and seemingly move around the Hall invisibly.

He tells them also about Brugg, a heavy handed Ogre who works for the Mages, keeps the peace within the Hall when the Mages are not about.

And lastly about the Bloodreavers, although this new turn of events is beyond his understanding, the last time Randall was in the Hall- some three months back, the Bloodreavers made their fortune as nothing more than bandits. They ventured into the Hall only to re-supply, or else sell what items they had managed to locate in their nefarious activities. A mixture of Goblinoids and Humans, it seems things have changed in the Seven Pillared Hall.

Duly educated the Knights enter the Hall.

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The Custom House.

Ahead is the custom house, but first things first- oh look, there's a very large Ogre, and some ruffians in tow. It must be...

“Brugg.” Randall whispers.

The Knights enter the Hall in dribs-and-drabs, that is to say a couple at a time, or else singularly- giving varying reasons for their arrival.

From Rock's “I'm the new Postman”, to Lucan's “I'm Dangerous.”

Only Cathal has a problem, he's not that good at lying, and not fond of it either, which makes it all the harder for him to do.

“State 'cher business?” A ragtag Guard barks.
“I have come to rid this dank pit of hell from the foetid grip of the noisome slavers, the Bloodreaver scum.” Cathal states, and then attempts a weak smile.
“Don't listen to him.” Randall quickly chimes in, arresting the Guards motion towards Brugg the Ogre.
“Insurance salesman.” Randall states and shudders.
The guard spits and lets Cathal past.

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The welcoming committee.

The Knights saunter over to the Halfmoon Inn where they are treated right royally by the Halfmoon family. Randall tells his tale of high adventure, and his rescue by the Knights- soon enough they have supped and dined and are very ready for a constitutional, to see the sights of the Hall.

Randall bids them farewell for a little while, and suggests they try to keep their weapons sheathed- it seems the Hall is home to quite a number of Bloodreavers, Randall will have more news when he has discovered for himself what exactly is going on here.

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Happy hour at the Halfmoon Inn.

Ulthand Deepgem, of the Deepgem Mining Company, is first to receive a visit, the Knights chat a while, particularly Rock and Farkill, happy to see a fellow Dwarf. Eventually the conversation hushes and Ulthand asks a favour-

“It's Mr. Slash see, he's gone missing in the Labyrinth, and... well I miss 'im. If you see 'im...”
“Mr. Slash?” Rock asks.
“He's my Boar- I rides him all the time, only he's wandered off. I was just sayin' if yer in the Labyrinth and yer spot 'im. Well, I'll be ever-so grateful, oh I miss 'im so...”

The stout Dwarf Ulthand collapses across his desk, and sniffs a while- Farkill and Rock stand silent, exchanging worried looks.

“MR. SLASH.” Ulthand screams, and flails in a blue-funk.

The Knights make their excuses, Rock and Farkill promising to keep an eye out for the wandering Mr. Slash.

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Ulthand pines for his Dire Boar- Mr. Slash. It takes all sorts to make a world.

Next stop Bersk the Wainwright, who does a nice side-line in mounts and the like-

“Psst! Wanna buy a Lizard? One careful owner- taxed and insured. Low mileage, six 'undred crowns, practically givin' 'im away?”

The Knights examine the various creatures on offer, Ignaran checks each creature's teeth- the farmers do it at the cattle market, he figures it's the polite thing to do.

“'Ow 'bout a Giant Ant- lovely runner, off road- no problem; do anything for a cup of sugar the lad. I'll knock a ton off the asking price on account of 'is missing leg?”

The Knights decline and move on.

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Bersk, 2nd hand Ant salesman.

On to the Temple of the Hidden Light, proprietor Phaledra, Halfling Priestess of Erathis, and that's more like it. The Halfling spies the Knights for what they are instantly- they make another friend, and tell a little of their story.

The Halfling promises to keep her ear to the ground, says she will arrange a meeting later in the day at the Halfmoon Inn, invite others within the Hall that are desperate to see the back of the Bloodreavers. She also pledges to use her skills to further the Knights' cause, Cathal leaves in a much better mood.

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Phaledra of Erathis- a friend indeed.

The Knights nose around the market, buy trail rations and restock the incidentals that make life on the road bearable. Nothing strange to report.

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“Paaaand a fungi- stalks or caps love?”

Eventually they wend their way round to Gendar the Drow Merchant's establishment, the Drow Merchant turns out to be a Drow? Much to the Knights ire- they are loathe to hand over Nimozaran's package.

“A Drow?” Rock and Farkill conclude, in unison.
“I am Gendar the Drow, purveyor of fine goods and antiquities. How may I serve you mighty Lords?” Gendar replies with a flourish.
“A Drow?” Rock and Farkill concur, in unison.
“Can we not move beyond the petty stereotypes, I think perhaps that humanoids of all races have at one time or another have perpetrated terrible acts. Besides, it would be wrong of you to simply judge a book by its cover?”
“A Drow?” Rock, Farkill and Cathal agree, in unison.
“If you prick me do I not bleed...” Gendar begins.
“Let's put that to the test shall we?” Lucan speaks at last.

The conversation circles for a good hour, going nowhere fast.

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Gendar gives the Knights the finger.

That is, until the Drow simply states that he can, on occasion, lay his hands on magical and enchanted items, at which point the Knights start to pay attention.

Nimozaran's box is handed over, the Drow hands a similar box back- to return to Nimozaran, he also asks if the Knights would be interested in a little paid employment- Cathal is about to do his righteous indignation thing when Lucan elbows him into silence.

Gendar, it seems, is on the look out for three items that are 'lost' in the Labyrinth-

The first, the Crown of a Dwarven Clan Lord, stolen away by a mad Dwarf who attempted to seize the throne of said Clan- Thain Cardanas. Farkill and Rock ask pointed questions, and receive blunt but reasonable answers, they're persuaded to believe the Drow- he will see the Crown returned to its rightful owner (with his usual commission of course) should the Knights locate it.

Second, a Skull-topped Rod, the item was bound for the Seven Pillared Hall when those transporting it were waylaid by a bunch of vicious Duergar- the Knights will look into this. Gendar goes on to explain that the Rod is a symbol of leadership for the Blackhand Orcs, an Underdark Orc tribe- very war-like.

Lastly, a large crystal, not magical, but useful- it is said to be located in a section of the Labyrinth known as the Court of Bones, although Gendar's not certain what previous purpose this place served.

Lucan agrees prices, and shuffles out, warily the other Knights follow.

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Thank you! Come again.

Voyage of discovery over, the Knights make their way back to the Halfmoon Inn, and a few hours later, after the Inn is shut at closing time, are in a meeting- a secret meeting, of sorts. Present are a good dozen of the inhabitants of the Seven Pillared Hall, and in fine voice at present is Noristo Azaer, a Tiefling, and of the Azaer Trading Company.

“How can we be sure of them? You're too eager to trust, no offence... “, Noristo motions to the Knights, “but prove it. Then we'll trust you- help you.”
“How?” Cathal asks.

There follows several minutes of whispered discussions, a brief vote- seemingly, and then Noristo's back.

“There's a Witch, she lives high in the mountain- Denoa, she's a Shadar-kai, she keeps a pair of Gargoyles, they watch out for easy targets on the road- merchants and travellers, she robs them, or kills them, or both. Anyway- find her and...”, Noristo gulps, “kill her.”

Many of the Seven Pillared Hall folk present pointedly nod.

“We kill the Witch and you'll trust us?” Cathal wants to get things clear.
“Not only that, but we'll reward you- 100 gold coins each for proof of her demise- what say you?”
Lucan shoves his way into the proceedings, clasps Noristo's hand, and shakes it hard- “deal.”

And so after more food and drink, and a full night's rest, the Knights awake, and with Terrlen Darkseeker, their appointed guide, head out of the Seven Pillared Hall and into the Labyrinth proper.

[DM Interlude- if I was running this scenario again I would make every journey out into the Labyrinth necessitate a Skill Challenge, random monsters the price for failures.]

Several hours into the arduous journey, stumbling through chambers that all look alike, particularly in the semi-dark.

“I tell ya, this Labyrinth's a bloody maze.” Farkill states without a hint of irony.

Several more hours later Terrlen suddenly comes to a halt, the Knights concertina.

“Something ahead... listen.” Terrlen states.
“I can't... Oh yeah.” Ignaran confirms.
“Flapping?” Lucan adds.
“Take a look then.” Cathal finishes and stares at the Elven Rogue.

Muttering under his breath, Lucan heads forward, the cavern passage splits- north or east, Lucan can hear, scratch that, see- two human sized creatures grapple and squabble mid-flight, although perhaps only a few feet off the ground. The place stinks of death- Lucan watches a while longer and then creeps back.

The Knights plump for their tried and tested tactic (singular).

“Charge!” Cathal leads the foray.

The creatures turn out to be a pair of Rotwing Zombies, one of which is decapitated by Rock in the opening exchange, the second creature flutters towards the ceiling and yells and shrieks- inhuman sounds.

“What's he...” Ignaran asks and almost immediately gets his answer.

Three more Rotwing Zombie swoop in from the northern passage, the Knights are effectively surrounded.

Cathal, Farkill and Rock cut down the shrieking Rotwing.

And now the Knights are not surrounded- things change round here pretty fast.

It gets worse for the Rotwings, in short time the flying menaces are no more, and the Knights are face to face with a wild-haired figure, clearly Undead-

“I am Az'Al'Bani, wanderer of the Halls, I search for the Court of Bones.” Az'Al'bani, the Deathlock Wight lisps.

The Knights collectively shrug and shoot disgusted glances at each other- they then press the attack, the Deathlock Wight is quickly very bloodied, only Cathal is wounded in the exchange, although the numbing cold of the Wight's touch leaves him disorientated, and hurting deep inside.

“I gift you this key... If you will only spare my life.” The Wight displays a key, seemingly made of silver, and yet fashioned from some large creatures shin bone.

There follows a short meeting- the Knights hurriedly whisper- deciding the forlorn Wight's fate.

“Couldn't we just kill him and take the key?” Lucan states.
Which is the catalyst for a host of cocky grins.

Thirty seconds later Ignaran is examining the silver shin bone key, while Az'Al'Bani lies motionless on the floor, never to roam the Labyrinth again.

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Dead meat flying.

[DM Interlude Encounter #75 [1200 XP = Level 5] Zombie Rotwing x5 (Level 5 Skirmisher) & Az'Al'Bani, Deathlock Wight (Level 5 Controller).]

[DM Interlude- during the fracas Lucan, or rather Jack who plays Lucan has to leave in a rush, and so Lucan is no longer in play. Fortunately Splug, who has been following the Knights at what he thought to be a safe distance, is spotted- he rushes into combat and joins our happy gang.]

And so in play we have now-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 4
Splug, Goblin Paladin of the Raven Queen Level 1

[DM Interlude- what do you know, Splug now has enough XP to advance to Level 2, after an extended rest.]

The key is hidden away, Cathal barks, and Terrlen leads on- for what seems to be hours, and which is in fact hours and hours.

“Are we there yet?” Farkill whines, to which the answer is...
“Yes.” Terrlen nods ahead, there's light, or rather a lighter dark- the passage opens out, as in to the outside, a stone stair leads up to rough two storey squat stone building, which clings to the side of the mountain and looks down on to the road to Thunderspire below.

“Oh.” Farkill nods, “good.”

Break for a plan- the Knights connive a while, then this is how it goes.

Rock strides up the last few stairs, to a stone door, the other Knights scurry into concealment after.

Knock KNOCK!

Silence for a while, Rock looks back at his companions- shrugs his shoulders, is about to knock again, when...

“Who is it?” The voice is female and the wrong side of ancient.
“Mail man. Special delivery from the Seven Pillared Hall. You need to sign for it.”
“What?”
“I said...”
“Yes, yes. Hang on- I'm not dressed.”

Sounds from the inside, Rock presses his ear against the stone door- nothing distinct.

Eventually the sound of a bolt being drawn back, a pale wizened woman appears at the gap in the door- looks Rock up and down.

“You don't look like a mail man?”
“Special delivery- special mail man, can't be too careful, it's dangerous out here.” Rock replies and smirks.

[DM Interlude- it's at this point that Rock rolls an adjusted 13 on his Bluff check, and curses; then I roll an unadjusted '1'.]

“You'd better come in then dearie...” Denoa, the Shadar-kai Witch, opens the door.

Which proves to be a fatal mistake- the Knights, all of them, actions readied, rush in- or worse.

Less than ten seconds later Denoa is retreating and already badly injured, her Iron Defenders, Fritz & Shultz, leap in front of her to protect her from the Knights.

All of the Knights are in the chamber, which is small and orderly- a cluttered desk, a made bed, a chest, a lit fire, a set of stairs leading to the chamber above, and a stone balcony with what looks to be a superb view of the valley bellow.

Out of the corner of his eye Cathal spots a ghostly black dog, and then it's gone- the Shadow Hound reappears behind the Knights and bays- a terrible loathsome sound that sends fear and dread into all that hear it- Farkill, Ignaran and Splug shut the beast up in a little over ten seconds, but not before it has taken a chunk out of Lucan.

Denoa bathes Rock with a dark ray, the Dwarf stumbles and swats at his face, unable to see anything more than ten feet away- he takes his frustration out on Fritz, Cathal joins him, and the first Iron Defender is battered beyond recognition in double quick time.

Soon after, the second Iron Defender also bites the dirt, but not before Cathal has also been hurt by the Shadar-kai's dark ray.

Which just leaves... Oh hang on.

Alighting on the stone balcony over the far side of the chamber are the pair of Gargoyles the Knights hid from on the road- Betty and Bobby, Denoa coos their names.

The gruesome stone twosome swoop into the fracas, just as Denoa surrounds herself in a thick impenetrable (by sight) bank of shadow.

The fight wears on, the Gargoyles are more than a match for the Knights- Cathal, Rock and Farkill are quickly bloodied; Farkill has to step back and provide what healing he can to stem the tide.

Finally Ignaran, once again in Bear form, breaks the line and gets up close and personal with Denoa, the Shadar-kai Shadow Jaunts, teleports away and becomes insubstantial, and still it's not enough, particularly as she was pretty badly beaten up already.

Soon enough the Shadar-kai lies dead, which serves as a cue for the Gargoyles to make for the exit- bruised and battered, the stony pair make escape.

The Knights catch their breath.

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Nice tats!

[DM Interlude Encounter #76 [1800 XP = Level 8] Iron Defender x2 (Level 4 Soldier); Shadow Hound (Level 7 Skirmisher); Gargoyles x2 (Level 9 Lurkers) & Denoa, Shadar-kai Witch (Level 8 Controller). Nice combat, the Knights pulled out some whopping rolls- with lots of damage, no actual crits but very close to max damage on occasion, and Gargoyles- they don't die quickly, very dependable from a DMs perspective.]

The Knights find some petty treasures- coin and valuables, but more importantly, after rifling through Denoa's papers on her desk, they discover a thick tome which seems to show that the Shadar-kai was working for a Duergar called... the Grimmerzhul?

“There's something else going on here.” Cathal states, and bundles up the tome for later perusal.

Rock decapitates the Shadar-kai Witch for good measure- and to provide proof of the Knights' success. Search completed, no stone left unturned, the Knights- having spent ten or more hours reaching the Witch's lair, settle in for the night.

And there they rest, undisturbed.

That brings an end to the 21st session, between them the Knights have mustered 12,900 experience points.

Next week... More.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:48 pm 
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I'm jonesing for an update! My mouth waters for these recaps each week and I'm overdue!

This is just fabulous stuff and is giving me many great ideas for my campaign. Thanks for all the effort... it is appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:46 pm 
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That' strange I posted an update on Sunday last... only it's not here, I remember doing it- must have crashed out some time after I clicked submit. Damn!

And so, without delay...

The Friday Knights

Session 22- To the Chamber of Eyes

And so after a good rest in the Witch Denoa's chamber, the Knights, with Terrlen as their guide, make their way back to the Seven Pillared Hall, without incident.

In play this week, initially, we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 4

[DM Interlude- Farkill, played by Zoran, will be late- work again.]

The Hall is tense, there's something in the air, some change- even the Knights notice it, although they're not asking questions.

First stop is Gendar's, with the silver shin bone key the Knights took from Az'Al'Bani the Deathlock Wight in the Labyrinth. Gendar is excited to see the key- although unsure of its actual history, he offers to spend some time examining it, if the Knights would only leave it with him.

Not a chance- the Knights still have a problem with Gendar, in summary- “he's a Drow”, succinctly put by Rock, Lucan and Cathal.

The Knights' next stop is Dreskin's, the Provisioner, he seems to be a curmudgeon- trail rations are purchased, as is climbing gear, their experiences in the Labyrinth to date have been difficult- climbing gear for everyone to cope with the undulating passageways they will need to traverse.

A wrong turn later and the Friday Knights end up in Rothar's Taproom, a low-class Inn, which is where the Bloodreavers hang out when they are off duty- it gets tense very quickly, retreat is the order of the day. The Bloodreavers present attempt to pick a fight with each and every one of the Knights, but the heroes are not taking the bait.

[DM Interlude- I'm as surprised as you.]

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Rothar's Taproom, the Bloodreavers get potty-mouthed.

The atmosphere is electric when the Knights return to the Halfmoon Inn, Noristo is over-joyed, as are a number of the other bar inhabitants that were present at the meeting with the Knights two evenings ago.

This isn't a time for celebration however, rewards are given- backs patted, hands shook, and smiles half-hidden. Whispered plans are made- the Knights next target, they believe, should be Brugg and the Bloodreavers within the Hall, this particularly because of the insults they have just been made to suffer in Rothar's.

Noristo and Randall, and the others are not so sure- the whispered conversations get a little heated, which is apposite really as the bar suddenly heats up.

The door crashes open and bursting into the Inn are a snake of Hobgoblins, Bloodreavers of course- mostly Grunts, but also a Warcaster; with them a pair of Goblin Blackblades, and in charge of the crew a Bugbear Warrior.

“We cum fer Knights- yer prisoners. Cum wid us.” The Bugbear pronounces, with difficulty in broken Common.

The bar silences, all eyes are on the Knights, and then back to the Bloodreavers.

Cathal steps forward, hissed whispers behind him from Norsito and Randall, cautious words, he pays them no heed.

“We are the Friday Knights. We are nobody's prisoners. NOW LEAVE, or die!”

The Knight of Kord draws his sword, the other Knights make similar arrangements, the crowd quickly withdraws- leaves a space.

“We cum fer Knights- yer prisoners. Cum wid...” The Bugbear Warrior tries again, not used to having his authority questioned.
“No.” Cathal cuts in.

The silence gathers.

The two sides continue to eyeball each other, the Bugbear eventually nods, and chaos is set loose.

The Blackblades produce bottles of hard liquor from beneath their leather surcoats, already stuffed with cloth tapers- light them from a torch one of the Grunts is holding, and fling them at the bar and into the densest part of the crowd.

Fire spreads.

People scream, windows are smashed as the common folk either flee or fight the flames.

The Knights and the Bloodreavers have not been idle- the two sides charge at each other, Cathal meets the Bugbear Warrior headlong- gives and receives some well aimed blows. Rock and Ignaran (now in Bear form) wade into the Hobgoblin Grunts and decimate them- twenty seconds into the combat and five of the Hobgoblins lie dead, only four still standing.

The Warcaster unleashes his powers, a blast of Force from his staff sends Lucan spinning back into the crowd, the Rogue decides to leave the Warcaster well alone, settles for launching himself at a Goblin Blackblade, who's trying to light a second fire bomb, the fight is bloody and short- Lucan emerges victorious, but not before he's bloodied too.

Rock and Ignaran eventually cut their way through the Grunts, leaving the Bugbear Warrior to Cathal to finish off, they race towards the Warcaster, and are hit by a pulse of force- Ignaran the Bear is knocked back and down, Rock however is made of sterner stuff, he shrugs off the hurt and smashes his hammer into the Hobgoblin caster.

Then the tide turns for good, Cathal swings hard and cuts deep into the Bugbear Warrior, who sinks to his knees, sways for a second, and then crashes face first into the wooden floor of the bar. The Warrior of Kord is at the second Goblin Blackblade in an instant, moments later and the creature is dead.

Fire has started to grip the bar, the area behind the bar proper is aflame- with half-a-dozen Halfmoon halflings scurrying hither and thither- fetching water to quench the flame- bottles of dark spirits explode and send out gouts of fire, it's hazardous work.

More or less all of the crowd have vanished now, made their exit by smashing the windows and crawling out of the Inn, in their place pockets of flame singe and burn, although the blaze has yet to really take hold.

Rock is jabbed hard in the stomach with the Warcaster's metal-shod staff, lightning courses through him and leaves him bloodied and dazed, barely able to maintain his grip on his hammer.

The Warcaster grins, and then too late, spots Ignaran the Bear, who charges into him and wrestles the Hobgoblin to the floor, it ends badly for him.

The Bloodreavers are defeated.

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Fire- ba-ba-ba-ba-barrrrr-bar... something-something... here to burn (maybe?)

[DM Interlude Encounter #77 [1071 XP = Level 6] Hobgoblin Grunts x9 (Level 4 Minion); Goblin Blackblade x2 (Level 2 Lurkers); Hobgoblin Warcaster (Level 4 Controller) & Bugbear Warrior (Level 6 Brute). Turned into a nasty little encounter with only four PCs in play.]

[DM Interlude- Cathal now has enough XP to advance to Level 6, after an extended rest.]

The four Knights scatter, and shout, actually three of the Knights scatter- Ignaran, Lucan and Rock- the three go for buckets of water or anything else that can be used to stifle the flame; Cathal meanwhile shouts- like a traffic cop he directs well... traffic, even the Halfmoons, anxious to save their Inn, obey his commands- Cathal calls the shots.

And in a little over two minutes the majority, if not all, of the fires are out- the Inn is saved.

At the exact moment the door again bursts open and Farkill and Splug half-stumble, half-fall into the Inn.

[DM Interlude- Farkill, that is Zoran, has just arrived in-game, once again work gets in the way. As to the addition of Splug well that's because Mike, who plays Ignaran, has to leave in a little while- he has to go to work. Frustrating I know but what can you do about it, and there are no better nights to play, we've been through all of the options.]

And so now we have in play-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 5 (needs an Extended Rest for Level 6)
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 4
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 4
Splug, Paladin of the Raven Queen Level 2

“What've you been up to?” Farkill enquires, out of breath.
“Just making friends.” Rock states.
Farkill notices the burnt out bar, “Oh, Aeolace back?”
“No, Bloodreaver work. Now why have you been running?” Cathal asks.
“Bloodreavers, they're coming”, Farkill nods back towards the exit, “with Brugg.”
“Then it would be rude not to greet them properly.” Cathal grins and the Knights file out of the Inn.

And sure enough the Bloodreavers are coming, over a dozen of them- Hobgoblin Grunts and Soldiers, alongside the Human Enforcers from the entrance to the Seven Pillared Hall, and following on behind- shooing them into battle- Brugg, who looks to be a formidable foe.

“KiiiiiiLLLLLL 'Em!” Brugg screams.

The Hobgoblin Grunts charge into the Knights, the Hobgoblin Soldiers form a defensive line and march forward, the Human Enforcers unleash their crossbows and fire, indiscriminate in their attacks- citizens of the Seven Pillared Hall are killed.

[DM Interlude- here follows one of those fights when, as a DM, you know you've lost from the first round.]

The Hobgoblin Grunts smash into the Knights, and are decimated- and yes I've used the word before, but here I actually mean decimated, they're all killed- not one survives, six out of six down in the opening charge.

The artillery wavers, backs up a way, while the Hobgoblin Soldiers hold the line and get into the fray, and are broken almost in an instant.

[DM Interlude- Rock crits, then Cathal crits.]

Ten seconds later and there's only one of the Hobgoblin Soldiers left standing, one of the Human Enforcers is dead, the other two fleeing, and Brugg is close to being surrounded.

[DM Interlude- and the Knights have taken two hits, not even good ones. Sometimes, IMHO, a gang of Minions are more trouble than their worth- I think I should just plough in with the nastiest bad guy rather than have the minions get in the way. I'm going to have to re-think my tactics it seems.]

Brugg however is not one to just give up, he launches himself into the midst of the Knights, initially charging in to unleash hell on Ignaran the Bear, certainly enough to make the Druid think about getting out of the fight, then the Ogre scampers into the mix, buoyed by this daring manoeuvre he seems to swell in size.

“Brugg kill. Kill good!” He declares.

And then is almost cut down in less than ten seconds.

Ignaran dashes in, swats, swipes and bites and leaves the Ogre clutching at his bloody side, moments later Cathal and Rock smash into Brugg, both deliver stinging blows.

[DM Interlude- Rock crits again. The bastard.]

Lucan finds a place behind the Ogre and slices hard.

[DM Interlude- that's another crit then.]

Causing Brugg to stumble forward, ideally placed to meet Farkill's charge- another massive hit and the Ogre is bloodied and reeling, trying hard to stay on his feet.

[DM Interlude- Brugg started the combat on 196 Hit Points, after one round he has 67 left, sh*t!]

Less than ten seconds later, with the final Hobgoblin Soldier despatched, the Ogre is on his knees and disarmed, and begging forgiveness.

“Brugg sooooooo sorrreee. Brugg goodie, not baddie. Bad Bloodreavers make Brugg angree. Brugg soooo sorrry. Brugg know stuff- Brugg help Knights. Brugg goodie now.” Brugg stutters and flounders.

“There's been enough blood.” Cathal states, and motions with his sword for Brugg to get up.

Image
The Bloodreavers are on the Critical list.

[DM Interlude Encounter #78 [2014 XP = Level 7] Hobgoblin Grunt x6 (Level 4 Minions); Hobgoblin Soldier x3 (Level 4 Soldiers); Human Enforcers x3 (Level 4 Brute) & Brugg, Ogre Enforcer (Level 8 Elite Brute).]

[DM Interlude- Farkill and Rock now have enough XP to advance to Level 5, after an extended rest that is.]

In short order the Seven Pillared Hall is taken back, the Knights and a rag-tag gang of the inhabitants of the Hall, buoyed by the Knights successes, take to the streets and search out and slaughter every remaining Bloodreaver- less than an hour later the place is Bloodreaver free.

Brugg it seems is the Knights' new best friend, the gaggle retire to the Inn- the beer flows like water, the Halfmoons are overjoyed, as is Phaledra, Halfling Priestess of Erathis, and Noristo Azaer, the Tiefling Merchant, and a multitude of others.

Brugg tells the Knights all he knows- about the Chamber of Eyes and how to get there, about Krand the 'Big Chief' of the Bloodreavers, and about Tra'ak's entrance into the Hall several weeks earlier with two dozen slaves.

The conversation takes many turns, the Knights enquire as to the whereabouts of the Mages of Saruun, the supposed protectors of the Hall, and are met with shrugs and blank faces- nobody knows.

“Then we must head to the Chamber of Eyes, take the fight to the Bloodreavers- and you shall show us the way.” Cathal points his sword at Brugg.

The cowed Ogre nods his agreement.

But for now sleep.

The next morning the Knights breakfast well and then with Brugg leading the way head back into the Labyrinth, the Knights have Terrlen in tow, just in case they have to 'deal' with Brugg at some point.

And so now we have in play-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5
Splug, Paladin of the Raven Queen Level 2

Only three hours into the journey the Knights hear odd sounds in the maze of caverns- laughter, cautiously they approach and eventually wander into a pack of Hyenas tearing and ripping at the carcass of a fallen Bloodreaver Hobgoblin. The amused hounds are not keen to share their kill- the fracas is short and to the point.

The Knights suffer some fairly minor cuts and bruises but all of the Hyenas are either killed or routed.

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Laughing all the way to the BONK!

[DM Interlude Encounter #79 [1050 XP = Level 4] Hyena x7 (Level 3 Skirmishers).]

Terrlen explains that packs of Hyenas are quite common in the Labyrinth, it seems somewhere down here there's a Gnoll lair, the Blackfang Gnolls, they employ the creatures as guards to the lair.

[DM Interlude- and all change again, Ignaran, that is Mike, has to leave to go to work- we're back down to five PCs again.]

And so now we have in play-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5
Splug, Paladin of the Raven Queen Level 2

The Knights move off, make good time, and only three hours later arrive at the Chamber of Eyes, or rather a broken chamber with a fairly formidable set of iron doors- beyond which, Brugg assures them, is the Chamber of Eyes and the remains of the Bloodreavers.

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The door to the Chamber of Eyes.

The Knights are in a large antechamber. Two fearsome-looking statues of winged demons squat on either side of a short stairway leading up to double doors. Inscribed upon the doors is an image of a great eye with multiple eye stalks, as well as a symbol of a circle with a crossbar rising out of it. Heaps of rubble are scattered across the floor, and to the north a balcony overlooks the room.

The Knights are straight into action, Lucan makes his way up and onto the balcony, this after thoroughly checking the great doors, and unlocking them of course. There's another locked door up on the balcony- it heads in the same direction, moments later it too is unlocked.

There are muffled Goblin voices coming from both doors- guards obviously, a plan is hatched.

Lucan starts by taking a quick look at what lies beyond the door on the balcony.

A few moments later.

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Peek-a-boo, I see you.

Lucan gets ready for the call, Cathal is lifted up onto the balcony by Brugg, who then moves into position, the other Knights ready themselves.

KNOCK KNOCK!

“I's BruuuGGG. Brugg got messijj.” Brugg clears his throat and receives a grin and a thumbs up from Farkill.

A few moments later the Knights hear the sound of shuffling, and hushed conversations- Lucan watching sees Goblins file out the guard chamber and head for the great door.

“It's working”, he whispers back to Cathal.

Who signals, thumbs up, to Farkill.

“Brugg got mail!” The Ogre sing-songs.

The sound of the Goblin chatter is much closer now.

“NOW!” Farkill screams and Brugg slams the doors open- smashing and sending sprawling a pair of the Goblin Skullcrushers standing immediately behind the door.

Lucan is unleashed, he dances into the guard chamber and spins a dagger into the Bugbear Warrior, the Guard Leader's, chest- the creature staggers back. The Elven Rogue leaps down into the chamber proper and into the fray, swiftly followed by a screaming Cathal.

In the same instant Farkill, Rock, Splug and Brugg begin to make mincemeat of the Goblin Skullcleavers out in the corridor- the pair don't last long, and soon after those in the guardroom are surrounded- and cut down.

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Avon calling.

[DM Interlude Encounter #80 [1125 XP = Level 5] Goblin Skullcleaver x5 (Level 4 Brute) & Bugbear Warrior (Level 6 Brute).]

Silence is called for, now that the fighting is over- there's no sound, their entrance has not alerted anyone it seems. The chamber is searched, the Bugbear has a very nice belt- identified by Farkill as being magical in nature.

[DM Interlude- Belt of Sacrifice, Farkill takes it.]

After a short rest Brugg is stationed at the door, to protect the Knights back- the Ogre now seems to be genuinely enjoying his time with the Knights, particularly when Cathal passes over a portion of the gold they have found on the Goblinoids, it seems Ogres are infinitely more trustworthy than Drow, at least as far as the Knights are concerned.

Lucan is sent out to do a little scouting.

First off, the Elven Rogue discovers two Duergar eating a meal in their chamber, more proof that the Grey Dwarves are mixed up in the plot.

Silently he withdraws and continues on with his circuit.

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Passen Der Pepperen Potten! (Apologies to any who may be offended by my crass racial stereotyping.)

Next stop a huge chamber, whose door requires a little persuasion- it was locked, within some sort of great hall, a number of Hobgoblin Archers patrol the upper reaches and a Dire Wolf barely stirs in its sleep- Lucan gets out quickly and moves on.

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Dog-tired.

Last stop a noisy chamber, several groups of Bloodreavers- Goblin, Hobgoblin and Human are involved in an engrossing game of chance- Lucan spots coins on the trestle tables- he wants to start the attack here. The inhabitants of the chamber seem ill-prepared, and perhaps have been drinking.

Lucan reports back, omitting the stuff about treasure, and playing up the weakness of the last chamber he observed- with only one way in and out.

Cathal concurs- the Knights head off, back to war.

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I spy with my little eye something beginning with C, that's right, 'Corpses.'

A plan is briefly hatched, it goes a little like this-

“Charge!”

And they're in the fray, free hits all around as the Bloodreavers within the chamber scatter and attempt to grab their weapons- in the initial charge, one of the Hobgoblin Soldiers is cut down, while a Human Bandit is bloodied.

The remaining Hobgoblin Soldiers attempt to form a shield wall- keep the Knights at bay while the Goblins and Human back peddle and get themselves some room to unleash the artillery.

Alas, for them, a second Hobgoblin Soldier is cut down and the way is open. Moments later the artillery is being menaced by Lucan, Rock and Cathal- which is a winning combination- they don't last long, although one of the Goblin Sharpshooters is killed clawing at a wall, strange- that is until Lucan points out the secret door.

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The Bloodreavers game of Snap gets bloody.

[DM Interlude Encounter #79 [1125 XP = Level 5] Goblin Sharpshooter x2 (Level 3 Artillery); Human Bandits x2 (Level 3 Skirmishers) & Hobgoblin Soldier x3 (Level 4 Soldiers).]

Lucan makes his way over to the pile of money on one of the trestle tables- the pot, but not quick enough, the other Knights have spotted it too. Of particular interest is the marvellously made Longsword, which Cathal admires, from up close.

[DM Interlude- +1 Lifedrinker Longsword- Cathal grabs it.]

The Friday Knights secure the area and make ready for the next stage of their invasion.

And thus the 22nd session of play draws to a close, the Knights (in their various combinations) have amassed 16,198 experience points this session, the most they've received in a single session to date.

Next time... more Knight style brutality.

Thanks for reading.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:10 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 23 The Bloody Trail.

And so the Knights are (short) rested and ready for action, ensconced within the Chamber of Eyes, more Bloodreavers to hunt down and slay no doubt, and the Duergar to deal with.

This week in play we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5
Splug, Paladin of the Raven Queen Level 2

[DM Interlude- Farkill, that is Zoran, will be with us in a little while- he's at work. Alas, once again, Mike who plays Ignaran will have to leave us later on- more work.]

First up this week a little more exploration, in a lonely room in the Chamber of Eyes an ancient statue to Baphomet stands, has stood for centuries, the Knights investigate; and then Rock reduces it to rubble.

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Rock is having a smashing time- bring on the antiquities.

The Knights scheme a while and then ready themselves for their attack, the plan proves to be ambitious- have the Knights bitten of more than they can chew?

[DM Interlude- Farkill turns up half-way through the following fracas.]

And so Lucan and Cathal aim for a pincer movement in an attempt to take the Duergar quickly out of the fight, this is their first encounter with the Grey Dwarves, and time to learn that they are made of sterner stuff.

Particularly as during their conflict a Hobgoblin Warcaster appears from a side room and adds his weight to their cause.

Meanwhile the other Knights- Rock, Ignaran, Splug and some time after Farkill, broach the main chamber and do their damnedest to bring the Dire Wolf there low, and swiftly so.

Nothing goes to plan, all is awry.

Cathal makes his mark on the Duergar, as does Lucan, but mainly from a distance; the Grey Dwarves hold their station and trade blows with our heroes. Furthermore the Duergar are so angered with this intervention that they pull their beards from their chins, or else the poison darts concealed within, and cast them at our goodly Knights .

Poisoned!

Then the Warcaster arrives and soon after both Lucan and Cathal are bloodied and set to lose the fight.

In the central shrine the Dire Wolf is all but beaten, but now there are four treacherous fellows- a Goblin Sharpshooter and three Hobgoblin Archers, that are using the Knights present for pincushions.

The Dire Wolf dies.

The Goblin Sharpshooter is chased down and also slain.

The Bloodreavers are however swiftly reinforced- Chief Krand, Lord of the Bloodreavers takes his place- looks down on the Knights assembled and rages.

“Kill the intruders, let slip the dogs of war, harry them to their graves!” Krand cries and lurches forward- spear in hand..

[DM Interlude- sorry for the language but I've just been to see a Shakespeare play.]

Meanwhile Cathal and Lucan are still making hard work of the grey brothers, that is until one tumbles and lies upon the floor- gurgling and gasping his last.

“Ich bin Kaputt!” He whispers.

The Knightly pair redouble their efforts, while the Hobgoblin Warcaster beats a hasty retreat, or at least stumbles back a way to best effect his at distance powers.

The Knights continue to suffer for their ambitious attack, Cathal's challenge is all that, at times, prevents Lucan's too early ending.

Then the second Duergar Guard falls and the Knights' joy is unconfined- the ragged pair chase down the Warcaster, but are alas caught in his forceful invocation- both are blasted, Lucan almost finally- fatally, so.

Cathal is less affected, he tarries within the Hobgoblin Warcaster's reach and plants his sword in the midst of the beasts beating breast.

“Die foul sorcerer, the dark veil calls for you!” Cathal cries.

Back again to the shrine, reinforcements have arrived once more, this time the Knights are refuelled, nay refreshed- Brugg, the mighty Ogre, joins the game.

Soon the Hobgoblin Archers are fleeing, scampering for cover, for a corner from which to fire their bows- alas it is not to be, at least for two of the trio, they fall- by Farkill's hammer, by Brugg's club and by Ingnaran's ursine paw.

The Knights press on- match hit with hit, and thus at Krand they do arrive, and begin to mix it with the Bloodreavers' master.

Too soon the end, Cathal and Lucan lay low the Warcaster, at last, he's past.

Lucan opens a door and is met by Krand's retreat- he sticks his dagger in the foul Hobgoblin chieftain's seat.

“My arse. My arse. He's stabbed me in my arse!”

Krand despairs.

The Knights cheer.

And the last of the Bloodreavers saves his life and gives up the ghost.

“Fie, less I die. The fight is out of me, you have chivvied me enough- I end it!”

[DM Interlude- I think the Shakespeare thing has passed, read on...]

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A Tale of Two Fights.

[DM Interlude Encounter #82 [1900 XP = Level 7] Goblin Sharpshooter (Level 3 Artillery); Hobgoblin Archers x3 (Level 4 Artillery); Dire Wolf (Level 6 Skirmisher); Hobgoblin Warcaster (Level 4 Controller); Duergar Guard x2 (Level 5 Soldiers) & Krand, Bloodreaver Barbarian Chief (Level 5 Elite Soldier(Leader)). For a moment I thought I'd got them- Farkill and Lucan were just not connecting, or else doing little damage, and were getting beaten soundly for their endeavours.]

The Bloodreavers are destroyed.

The shrine, dedicated to Torog- Farkill and Cathal confirm, is examined. Torog is some ancient Underdark deity, the King that Crawls, the creeping doom that haunts the nightmares of mortal men. The Knights are somewhat stumped by this revelation, they thought that Orcus, as in the Keep on the Shadowfell, would be the object of their ire.

Then Ignaran's eyes flutter, he stutters and fumbles, crumples and swoons to the cold stone floor- the Rod of Ruin, once again, grasped in his hands.

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The Shrine to Torog, gift shop not shown.

Ignaran looks again at the shrine, only he's not Ignaran any more, he's more powerful, stronger, and more arrogant- the Rod of Ruin however is still firmly grasped in his hand. Waves of dark power cascade down upon him, whispers of victories to come, he feels- unfettered by the fear of failure, his dark heart soars.

And he remembers...

Glimpses...

The shores of some roiling black sea, in a huge black cavern, the place where it all started- when the Creeping King found him in the dark.

3-2-1

Ignaran is back in the room, Cathal before him- the Rod of Ruin in the Warrior of Kord's hands.

The Druid tries to explain what he has seen, although the words do not come easy.

The feelings are harder still to express.

The Knights take their time, next step is the interrogation of Krand, this after the newly discovered chambers are ransacked- a healing draught and some exceptionally well made chainmail are found.

[DM Interlude- Potion of Healing & +2 Delver's Chain, the armour goes to Farkill.]

Krand turns out to be easy, although the methods of interrogation used at the outset do much to loose his tongue, figuratively and...

It seems the Duergar are to blame, and there's evidence to support the Bloodreaver Chief's assertions. Krand- he states - is just a villain, before all of this he was content to ply his trade on the highways and byways of the Nentir Vale- a robber, perhaps a little worse, but the lure of gold- Duergar gold - made him the tyrant the Knights see before them.

His job simply to get slaves, to supply the Murkelmoor Grimmerzhul, Duergar Lord.

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Proof enough- next stop, the Duergar.

Krand also tells the Knights that Tra'ak, the Hobgoblin Chief the Knights first encountered and fought in the Keep on the Shadowfell, has gone in search of a place called the Forgotten, or Forbidden, Forge. He knows little of this venture as the orders were sent by the Duergar directly to Tra'ak, a slight he brooded over for quite some time.

The Knights are polite enough to thank Krand for his candour.

Then Rock kills him- hammer to the back of the head, most efficacious.

The Knights close the doors to the Chamber of Eyes, set guards and rest up for the evening and beyond. Brugg is given a number of rousing cheers and retires for the evening a little worse for wear and with more than one tear in his eyes.

An ancient Minotaur tome, found in the earlier search is thoroughly examined- the book slowly gives up its secret,

Tells of the Minotaur Priest who discovered the shrine to Torog in the depths of the Labyrinth, his conversion, the building of the Chamber of Eyes. Also mentions the Throne of Bones? The Palace of Zaamdul? The Bronze Singers and the Song of Breaking? Odd.

Fully rested the Knights, with Terrlen and Brugg, make their way back to the Seven Pillared Hall, this time there are no untoward encounters en route, they all arrive home safely.

Gendar, the D-word (Drow) is sought out, it seems several of the Knights wish to place orders- this time for some of the magic items he is said to be able to get his hands on.

[DM Interlude- in our game Magic Items are available for sale, however everything has to be cleared via me, and the players may only attempt to purchase items up to their present level in power. It works well, particularly as there are a limited number of outlets that can supply magic items- the PCs have to find them.]

Needless to say our heroes are a lot more polite on this visit, almost business-like, funny that.

From there it's straight back to the Halfmoon Inn, the jubilating goes on to the wee small hours, at which time in dark whispers the next target of the Knights is named.

“Them damned Grey Dwarves are for it!” Cathal declares.
Farkill and Rock hold their own counsel.

Mid next morning, after a lie-in, the Knights are pretty much alone in the Inn, working out what exactly they need to do next- Vadriar the Sage, who's been invited to the meeting, halts proceedings- he has some sort of fit.

Vadriard had earlier promised the Knights directions to the fortress of the Duergar, the Grimmerzhul, alas when he is put on the spot... well, that's when he has his petit mal.

The Knights are quickly on the scene, the Sage is made comfortable-

“Strange, I can't seem to remember where the fortress is... I mean I know where the fortress is but... It's not there, my mind keeps going blank- it's as if...” Vadriar flusters.

Phaeledra, Halfling Priestess of Erathis is called for, Farkill is also called on to consult, together the pair discover that Vadriar's mind has been tampered with- the Sage is cursed, of a sort.

Which rings a bell with Vadriar, he begins to remember a different encounter, with a hooded creature that stank, in the Labyrinth less than a week ago- he describes the incident, seemingly innocent, and does his best to describe where it took place- another scrap of information for the Knights to connect at a later date.

The target, then, is closer to home- the Grimmerzhul Trading Post within the Seven Pillared Hall, the Knights figure they can fill in the gaps with the help of a Duergar hostage, all they need to do now is to take the Trading Post.

“Lucan.” Cathal calls, five minutes later the Elven Rogue is on his way, apparently there's a back way in to the Trading Post, Cathal meanwhile heads for the front door.

Five more minutes and Cathal is at and in the Trading Post, Lucan likewise- and unseen by its inhabitants.

Image
“Have you got Kord in your life?” Cathal rattles his collection tin.

The inhabitants of the Duergar Trading Post are a stern and unfriendly bunch, they try their best but...

“Vot ist du vanting?”
“I'm here to spread the news- Kord's in town and he's recruiting.” Cathal states with a wholesome grin.
“Vot?”
“Vord?” The other Duergar pronounces.
“No, Kord.” Cathal corrects.
“Vord, zat is vot ich sprecken.”
“Du bist ein dummkopf.”

And on it goes, see below for a picture of the cheery fellows manning the store.

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“Vor za last time, vee do not sell Veels, Vorter or Vinscreen Vipers!”

It gets testy, and by testy I mean wiolent.

Charging in after Lucan at the back door is Rock, and Rock don't care much for bad Dwarves, be they Grey or otherwise- it's clobberin' time.

To coincide with the screams now coming from the back rooms of the Trading Post, Cathal leaps over the counter and gets into the mix, rushing in after him are Ignaran and Farkill, oh and Splug- who's giving it large and waving his rusty shortsword about, “Benat'ass”, but staying away from the fight.

Initially Cathal, Farkill and Ignaran have two Duergar Guards to contend with- which quickly becomes one, then the Duergar Theurge turns up- fires a Vile Fumes into their midst, blinding Splug and Farkill. He follows it up with a Wave of Despair which leaves Cathal spinning. Ignaran, now in Bear form, is taking out his aggression on the Duergar Guard left standing.

In the back rooms Rock and Lucan quickly combine to see off one of the Duergar Guards, there's another still standing- actually stumbling out of his quarters where he was sleeping. Then Kedhira appears, a Duergar Swordmage- she calls out Rock, who arches his eyebrows, then pouts- a lady Dwarf, and steps up to meet her.

“I vill kill du.” Kedhira mouths.
“Slowly I 'ope.” Rock mouths back and blows Kedhira a kiss.

The two only have eyes for each other, and large pointed weapons- they dance a while.

Meanwhile Lucan settles the beef of the second Duergar Guard, Ignaran does the same for the Guard he's facing- which just leaves the two Duergar officer classes.

And lots of Knights- all no longer blind.

The dancing goes on for a little while longer, Cathal gets bloodied, as does Rock- however the Duergar Theurge is finally knocked to the floor and quickly surrenders, Kedhira does the same a little after.

“Ve are surrenderink.”
“Tayk me too zer leader.” Rock tries to shape the words.

The Duergar Trading Post is taken.

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Bad Dwarf! Bad Dwarf!

The Knights complete a thorough search of the Trading Post, find a little treasure and a note, see below, yet more evidence.

[DM Interlude Encounter #83 [1300 XP = Level 6] Duergar Guard x4 (Level 5 Soldiers); Duergar Theurge (Level 6 Controller) & Kedhira, Duergar Swordmage (Level 6 Soldier).]

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That's a critical fail on the not attracting anyone's attention then.

And there endeth the 23rd session of play, the Knights have clocked up a respectable 15,540 XP between them in this session.

Next week... I think some people may get hurt, just a guess.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:20 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
The Friday Knights

Session 24- In search of the Grimmerzhul.

This week in play we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Eruan, Eladrin Wizard Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 5
Ignaran, Human Druid Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5

[DM Interlude- that's right, check out the shiny new Mage. After many conversations with Paul who plays Aeolace it is decided that we should look for a new player, no matter what night we play on etc. a familiar story. And so, at the drop of a hat, Bob appears- another Serb, and Zoran's (Farkill) friend- he's heard about the game and...]

[DM Interlude- Lucan is missing presumed... well, missing.]

Last time we visited the Knights, they had themselves a pair of Duergar to play with, Kedhira, who Rock has taken quite a shine to, the Swordmage; and Fred, a Theurge- that's Mage to you.

“Ve vill say nuffink.”
“Go on then.” Farkill states.
“Vot?”
“Say it.” Farkill states again.
“Say vot?”
“No, not 'vot', say 'nuffink', it's funny with your accent.”
“You are taking der viss?”

[DM Interlude for those that are aware of the UK TV series 'Allo! Allo!', that's what I was aiming for in game, for those that are not aware of the phenomena then brother you have lived through dark times- a masterpiece.]

The Knights alas cannot keep a straight face, the interrogation isn't going well.

“Vot iz zer problem?”
“Vy are zay laffink at uz?”

Eventually the two Duergar are dragged away, to the Custom House this time, and there put under lock and key by a reformed Brugg, who is happier now than he has ever been. No more Bloodreavers, no more Mages of Saruun, he's in hog-heaven, and completely in awe of the Knights.

And still the Knights do not know the way to the Grimmerzhul, although now they know the fortress is called the Horned Hold and is ruled by Murkelmore Grimmerzhul, the Duergar Chief.

Unsure of which rock to look under next the Knights make for the Inn, they generally have all their good ideas when they've got a drink in hand.

There's someone waiting for them-

“I am Eruan, I have been sent here to meet with you- it is very important, can we talk?”

Cathal bites his beard, looks around the bar and shrugs at a quiet table.

“You are the Friday Knights, I have heard much about you- the things you have accomplished, you are to be congratulated.” Eruan bows to each and every one of the Knights.

Still suspicious the Knights gawp a little.

“What are you selling?” Farkill finally asks.

“I'm not, that is... Myself. My name is Eruan, I am beholden to the Crown of Fellscarp, I have been sent here to meet with you, to work with you if you will accept me- I have been charged to ensure that a certain item... a shall-we-say, ruinous rod, does not fall into the hands of our enemies, if possible to see it destroyed.” Eruan states.

[Fellscarp, have I mentioned Fellscarp before... I guess not. The Feywild and the Shadowfell are mirrors of the Material Plane, and so a Fey and Shadowfell version of Fallcrest and the Nentir Vale exists in both of these places. Fellscarp is Fallcrest, only in the Feywild, obviously it's a very different city but you get my drift... Eruan's from Fellscarp, more of this later, actually much later.]

“Ruinous rod?” Farkill looks puzzled.
“The Rod of Ruin.” Cathal unravels the conundrum.
“Ohhhhh.” The penny drops for Farkill.

Eruan it seems has papers- from the Crown of Fellscarp, and from the Markelhays in Fallcrest- he looks to be legit, it's not enough for Rock however, who's had a few.

“Anuther laydee Elf- wherez the sense in that, I bet he can't even drink.”

Suitably insulted Eruan takes up the challenge- a drinking competition, it draws a crowd.

Five minutes later and the only loser is Ignaran, he decides at the last moment to enter the competition also- the already inebriated Rock, and Eruan the Eladrin, go head-to-head, drink for drink. The Druid however gets half his second glass of Plumtree's Olde Nubbins down him and yacks all down his robes, and then passes out while trying to do his elephant impression, which is almost impossible to do wearing a robe.

Ulthand, of the Deepgem variety, is in the Halfmoon also- he searches out Cathal.

“Please sir, please Mr. Holy-Knight sir. Find my Mr. Slash sir- I miss him so. I MISS HIM SIR. I REALLY DO MISS 'IM. OH DO SAY YOU WILL?”

By the end of the speech Ulthand is screaming, and sobbing- very emotional the Dwarves, obviously.

The whole bar waits on- desperate to hear if Cathal will take the quest.

“Alright.” Cathal states and stomps off, clearly unmoved.

The final encounter of the evening is with Vadriar the Sage, informed of the Knights' predicament, their not knowing the location of the Horned Hold, he has since their last meeting grown a back bone.

“I will take you.” He states, when he finally catches up with the Knights.
“What? I mean, Vot?” Farkill enquires.
“I'll take you to where I met the hooded being, the one that stole my memories- you sort him out and get my memories back and then I'll know the way the Horned whatsit...”
“Hold.” Cathal finishes, and nods, “we leave early.”

[DM Interlude, for those that need to know- whose number includes me, the date is Loonday, the 2nd day of the month of Marpenoth, also known as Leaf-fall, the 10th month of the year 2008, the Year of the Returned Knight. Sorry but we've got a calendar now- did you know the Knights have been adventuring for 34 days in total, less than five weeks- makes you think doesn't it... No, oh well, I'll move on.]

And so the Knights rise early, and with Eruan, and Vadriar the sage in tow- head once again into the Labyrinth, progress is slow- very slow, with intermittent stops.

“Was it... It all looks the same.” Vadriar shrugs, closes his eyes, spins around- mumbling something under his breath 'eenie-meanie purple-weenie', or some such- and stops, near enough, pointing at an exit from the cavern, “this way”, he declares and dashes on.

This madness continues for some time- about three hours to be exact, when the Knights find what they have been looking for.

At least one of the things they have been looking for.

“Bow down to me you scurvy Human dogs, and varied elves, for I am Thane Cardanas, Clan Chief of the Cardanas clan and Thane Under-The-Mountain.”

And sure enough, perched on a ledge, actually a walk way that runs around the cavern the Knights traverse, is Thane Cardanas- a stout and hiccuping Dwarf with the reddest face the Knights have ever seen. He's not finished.

“Mongrels pay homage to your mighty King, bow before me else my rough underlings will make merry about your craven coxcombs.” He sways and staggers.

The Dwarf has a battered looking unremarkable iron crown balanced precariously on his head, and a tapped keg under his right arm, a tankard in his left hand.

Four inebriated members of cursing humanity stagger into view, they're on the lower level of the cavern, the same elevation as the Knight, they grin and gurn- dumb from booze and lack-of-brains.

“Thane Cardanas?” Rock enquires.
“Yes.”
“The Thane Cardanas?” Rock tries again.
“YES!”
“The Great Thane Cardanas?” Rock goes again.
“Yes, what is it?” Cardanas preens a little.
“I've got a letter for you.” Rock holds up a folded piece of paper.

Cardanas has nowhere to go with this new information.

“You'd better come up then.” He signals.

Rock makes his way around and up, still holding the folded piece of paper above his head.

Gets up close and then hands over the missive, with a bow.

Thane Cardanas examines the paper, it's blank, both sides.

“There's nothing on this.” Caradanas growls.
“Are you sure?” Rock muses.

Cardanas carefully examines both sides of the paper again- blank.

“Yes, I'm sure.”
“It had a letter on it- just one.” Rock is insistent.
“One letter?”
“Yes.”
“What was it- I mean which one, which letter?”
“I can't... That is... Y'know, I'm not sure.” Rock scratches his chin, then swiftly smashes the Thane in the back of his head with his hammer- causing the drunken Thane to tumble off the ledge.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhh.” The Thane lands.
“That was it.” Rock follows after- leaping down hammer first.

The Human Berserkers, tanked up on a foul mix of fungal juices, are swatted and battered till they lie still. The good Thane Cardanas is also quickly killed- the crown retrieved.

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Thane down.

[DM Interlude Encounter #84 [1200 XP = Level 5] Human Berserker x4 (Level 5 Brutes) & Thane Cardanas, Dwarf Bolter (Level 5 Elite Artillery (Leader)).]

The Thane's temporary camp site is searched- lots more of the foul fungal brew, some rotten meat and nothing of worth.

The Knights head on, Vadriar using his patented spin-the-bottle technique to determine the way to go. And just when Cathal finally reaches the end of his patience with the mad Sage.

“Do you actually know...”
“Shush.” Eruan motions for silence, “there's something ahead.”

Silence.

The Knights creep forward.

Or as near to silence as the Knights can manage.

Which is a sort of noisy silence.

A clanking silence.

With heavy footfalls.

Creaks.

And groans.

The odd whispered 'sorry', when someone treads on someone else's foot.

That kind of silence.

Thank Moradin for the chanting then.

“Yewonleegettan...”
“Oooooooooooo...”
“Widty...”
“Phooooooooooo...”
“Yewonleegettan...”
“Oooooooooooo...”
“Widty...”
“Phooooooooooo...”

And on it circles- around the corner the Knights spy a drop off, that is to say a short ledge with a set of carved stone stairs leading down to a lower section. The sounds come from there, they creep forward, suddenly part of the wall opens one huge yellow-ish eye, then detaches itself and unfolds into a tentacled monstrosity- a Grick.

Below, in the depression, a clutch of Troglodytes and a robed figure stand within a crudely carved magic circle, the robed figure leads the chanting, the Trogs provide the Ooooo's and Phoooo's.

There's also a crude stone altar down there, the robed figure spots the Knights' disturbance, casts off his hood and reveals.

Oh, just another Trog.

But not just any old Troglodyte, a Curse-Chanter.

“That's the fellow.” Vadriar cries.

The Knights get to work, first up- the Grick.

Ignaran goes Beartastic, starts clawing at the tentacled beast, Rock adds his weight and between them the pair manage to back the Grick away from the rest of the Knights.

Down below the two Troglodyte Marauders head on up the stairs, illuminated briefly by Eruan's Scorching Blast.

[DM Interlude- same trick, different Wizard- and 'no', not at all boring- I remember the Magic Missile days of D&D.]

Cathal rushes down the stairs to meet the pair and is hit by a Poison Ray en route, he coughs and splutters but gets into the action, his blows have no strength behind them however- he's weakened. The Marauders aren't though- they hit hard.

Farkill follows the Knight of Kord down and is soon holding his own- the Knights are fighting out a stalemate, with Eruan for the Knights, and the Curse Chanter for the Trogs using their ranged powers in an effort to tip the balance.

Finally something breaks, in this instance it's the Grick as it's finally sent tumbling off the ledge, landing below with an echoing-

SPLAT!

It ceases thrashing, Rock follows after- finding, just, a semi-soft spot in which to fall. Somewhat winded, the Dwarf gets up and moves to menace the Curse Chanter.

Suddenly one of the Troglodyte Marauders vanishes and reappears next to the Curse Chanter.

Cathal, Farkill, and now Ignaran crush the lonesome Marauder left fending them off, the Knights converge on the Curse Chanter, with Eruan's Magic Missiles peppering the foe.

It's soon over.

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Troglodytes Troglodytes Latin name for the... oh hang on, that's a Robin.

[DM Interlude Encounter #85 [1350 XP = Level 6] Grick (Level 8 Brute), Troglodyte Mauler x2 (Level 7 Soldiers) & Troglodyte Curse Chanter (Level 9 Controller (Leader)).]

The place, and its former inhabitants, are searched- a few gold and some trinkets are found; nothing of great worth; which just leaves the Magic Circle and the altar to deal with.

Look away now...

Twenty minutes later Vadriar has completed his map showing the route from the Seven Pillared Hall to the Horned Hold, the Grimmerzhul Duergar lair.

Of the altar and Magic Circle there is not a trace, save some rubble.

The curse is lifted.

The Knights head back to the Hall, at a steady pace, but with no further interruptions- a pleasant day out for all.

Excursion over, back in the Hall the Knights pay yet another visit to Gendar the Drow, receive payment, argue a little with the Merchant- he's a D-R-O-W remember, and then grudgingly retire to the Inn for the night.

Although that doesn't go quite to plan- the Halfmoon Inn is in uproar, try saying that when you're drunk- two confused looking Drow, yep more of 'em, are being shoved about by an angry Dragonborn- Surina, the Knights have seen the Dragonborn around the Halls, she's known to have a short fuse.

It gets ugly, and racist.

The Knights step in.

On the side of the Drow.

Surina is quick to draw her weapon but the Knights are in the mood for placating, it takes a while but eventually they spy the light at the end of the tunnel, Surina slopes away- biting off curses.

Which just leaves the Drow to contend with.

“We ar ear tew see de Ordinatore. Yes, pleez? De Ordinatore- e ow yew say, er... Magnifico.” The Drow doing the talking mimes... I dunno, your guess is as good as mine- explosions perhaps.

Cathal looks nonplussed, Farkill giggles a little and joins in, not helping matters.

“E iz Magico!” More Drow mime follows.
“The Wizards. Mages of Saruun.” Cathal cuts to the chase.
“Si, si, si.” The Drow nods enthusiastically.
“THE WIZARDS... EL MAGICO THEY-O GONE-O.” Farkill helps out.

And suddenly there's one more person in the conversation.

The crowd in the bar draw back instinctively, the robed fellow who has just appeared within their midst looks like he means business.- by his dress but most of all his demeanour.

“I am the Ordinator Arcanis, I speak for the Mages of Saruun. Halfmoon- drinks for everyone in the bar.”

There's a kerfuffle, people trying to get to the bar, Rock saunters over- with a drink already, it pays to be at the front of the queue, and wielding a Craghammer it seems.

“I thought you lot had done one?” He asks the Mage.
“Done one?”
“Yer, scarpered; cleared-out; high-tailed it...” Rock continues.
The Mage looks down at himself, examines his robes carefully- checking to see if he's actually standing there.
“Doesn't look like it does it?”

Rock looks a little put out, the temperature rises.

“And yet we have noted your actions, both here in the Hall and further afield- within the Labyrinth. We applaud your efforts, we thank you for your bravery and your honour.” The Mage of Saruun quickly continues.

The Ordinator Arcanis bows a little to each of the Knights.

“We were still formulating our attack plans on the Bloodreavers when you managed to sever their hold on the Hall. We will however attempt to offer you any assistance you need in the future, subject to available resources. Once again I thank you. And now...”

The Ordinator motions for the Drow to follow him out of the Inn.

“Is that it?” Cathal asks.
“For now, yes.” The Ordinator Arcanis states, and over his shoulder, “carry on.”
“Dick.” Rock declares.

A short conversation later and the Knights are somewhat reassured, it seems the Mages of Saruun always act this way, although they haven't been seen in the Halls for quite some time of course.

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The Knights defend the Drow- ahh context, I get it.

[DM Interlude- Mike, who plays Ignaran has to leave to go to work.]

And so in play now we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Eruan, Eladrin Wizard Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5

The next day Terrlen leads the Knights out of the Halls, the guide is following Vadriar's map, which turns out to be amazingly accurate. It's an easy journey, although they have at least eight hours travel ahead.

Only three hours in things go awry.

For Farkill.

One moment he's there.

The next he's not, or else.

The Knights hear an odd sound.

SQUISH-SLUUUUUUUUUURP!

Where's Farkill gone?

They peer around a rock column and spot the Dwarf, seemingly floating in the air.

“Mmmmm Mmmm MM MMMMmmmm!” He says.

The Knights blink- not sure what they are seeing.

“Gelatinous Cube!” Eruan screams, and sure enough.

Inside the Cube Farkill waves frantically, and burns.

There's a scramble for weapons, which gets all the more frantic when three ragged outlines of humanoids waft out of the dark and straight for the Knights- Wraiths.

What they need now is a Priest who can turn Undead.

Farkill waves some more from inside his gelatine prison.

Eruan teleports to safety and starts with the fire, a Flaming Sphere appears behind the Gelatinous Cube and begins to melt the creature.

Cathal and Rock pound the Cube in an effort to extract Farkill before the Wraiths arrive on the scene. They manage to bloody and batter the creature, but it's not enough- Farkill still suffers within. The Cube however lashes out at Rock, stings him a little with its pseudopod, and immobilises the Dwarf.

The Wraiths leap in, Cathal breaks off to hold two the creatures at bay, he's quickly weakened by their Shadow Touch, he flails and screams for Rock to extricate Farkill.

He needn't have bothered, Farkill gets himself out, ripping the fast dissolving Cube open with his bare hands, and with the help of the Flaming Sphere of course- the Cube is battered, and tattered, and broken.

It lurches off- trying to escape the Knights, alas it now has a Flaming Sphere for company, and where it goes, the sphere follows- less than twenty seconds later it's reduced to a pool of bubbling mess.

“By Moradin's beard!” Farkill screams and presents his Holy Symbol- the effect is dramatic- one of the Wraiths dissolves to nothing and the other two are sent flying backwards- thump into the cavern walls and sag, all the fight gone out of them.

“Shall we dance?” Cathal adds, twitches his moustache and lays into the immobilised Wraiths, Rock winks at Farkill and follows on, Farkill bringing up the rear.

The Wraiths are destroyed in short order.

Terrlen the guide, a little later, climbs out of the hole he's been hiding in and leads the Knights on.

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Gelatinous Cubes- fun for all the family.

[DM Interlude Encounter #85 [1250 XP = Level 7] Wraith x3 (Level 6 Lurker) & Gelatinous Cube (Level 6 Elite Brute). Close... but no cigar.]

And so the Knights head on, in search of the Horned Hold, and here endeth the 24th session of play with the Knights having clocked up 11,962 XP between them in this short-ish session.

Next week... Rock's sister is pregnant.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:01 pm 
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The Friday Knights

Session 25- Into the Horned Hold.

This week in play we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Eruan, Eladrin Wizard Level 4
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5

[DM Interlude- Zoran will be with us when he's done with work; and Bob, who plays Eruan, will not be with us at all- he's on holiday, but because we have missed the Mage so much we've decided to 'bot' him- besides three PCs is not enough.]

Terrlen leads the Knights on, another five hours on- they're getting tired, although...

“Moradin preserve us...” Farkill exclaims.
“Wheeeoooow!” Rock whistles.
“Dwarven craftsmanship.” Farkill beams.
“Grey Dwarves!” Cathal spits and sneers.

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The Horned Hold, sounds like a blast!

“Lucan!” Cathal orders, the Elven Rogue tuts a little and mooches forward, disappearing completely into the shadows.

The path winds on to a portcullised guard chamber, no way in, save through the portcullis- which is quite definitely guarded, large orcs- solid black in colour laugh and tell bawdy tales, in Orcish. Lucan creeps closer for a better look, the portcullis is locked on the inside, however the lock is accessible, sort of... He returns to the Knights to deliver his report.

A plan is hatched- a new plan, it resembles the old plan- Rock's Postman routine but has a little twist, several moments later...

Rock rattles the gate, which causes the Orcs, there's four of the lumbering brutes within, to grab for their weapons and present themselves front and centre.

“Watcha wan'?” The first Orc growls.
“I've come to see Murkelmore.” Rock snaps and looks testy.
“Wha' fur?”
“I've come to tell him that my sister's pregnant, and he's the father- he needs to do the right thing by her.” Rock looks googly-eyed, like 'no' is not an option, lets this new information hang in the air.

The Orcs have nowhere to go with this, they blankly look from one to another, finally one grunts and whispers something in Orcish.

“Get Murkelmore”, Rock snaps off and rattles the gate hard.

An Orc scurries off, the Orcs watch on- not getting too close to the gate, Rock looks to be less than pleased with the Duergar Chief, and he's armed and looking very dangerous.

Throughout this charade Lucan, concealed to the side of the gate, has been examining and then with the use of some specialist lock picks, doing his best to fathom the lock on the gate, so far he's been lucky- none of the Orcs, who have eyes only for the angry Dwarf, have spotted him.

A Grey Dwarf arrives.

“Vot is goink on mit du?” The Grey Dwarf barks.

At which point Cathal, concealed on the other side of the portcullis, kicks the now unlocked gate open and slices and cuts the Duergar Scout open.

The rest of the Knights rush in, but not before Eruan has planted a Scorching Blast amidst the defenders.

“Play time...” Cathal growls.

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Murkelmore is going to be a daddy!

The Duergar Scout disappears, that is goes invisible, which is a new twist on the Knights, meanwhile Rock and Cathal have already reduced two of the Blackhand Orcs to mush, the last three are fighting hard but are being backed into a corner.

Eruan continues to offer artillery support- making it very difficult for the Orcs to get away.

A pair of well made double doors on the opposite side of the guard chamber open, seemingly of their own accord, Lucan guesses right and spins out a dagger- it connects and the Duergar Scout reappears clutching at his side, very bloodied.

The Grey Dwarf's scream is cut short as he's hit by a Magic Missile and Lucan's dagger again- dead. The Orcs don't last long, save the one who is knocked unconscious, the chamber is taken, and by the sound of things the fortress has not been alerted. The Knights search the chamber and the inhabitants- find a few coins on the Duergar, the Orcs have nothing- and look to have been treated roughly- clearly they are not on an equal footing with the Duergar, a piece of information the Knights file away for later use.

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Cathal arrives uninvited.

[DM Interlude Encounter #87 [1500 XP = Level 8] Orc Berserker x5 (Level 5 Brutes) & Duergar Scout (Level 5 Lurker).]

The captured Orc proves his worth, alas none of the Knights speak the Orc tongue, and he has only broken Common. Via charades the Knights come to understand that the Orcs are really not that keen on the Duergar- they're slaves, of a sort, to the Grey Dwarves.

The Knights have an ally, it seems there are more Orcs present- it bodes well for the Knights. The Knights also notice that the Blackhand Orcs do not actually have black hands- that is to say while their skin colour is a dull ebony colour their hands, where the pigmentation has worn away, are actually quite pale- odd, but not remarked upon at this juncture.

[DM Interlude- except by the DM who is foreshadowing something, wink!]

The Knights, lead by a stealthy Lucan, head on in.

A number of chambers are cursorily investigated including- an armoury, two barracks- one for Orcs the second for Duergar and a chamber with a well in it.

Of note however is the racket coming from a chamber to the west, the Orc mimes a forge- actually on the third guess the Knights get what the Orc is miming, first guess, from Rock, is a pizza parlour.

A plan is formulated.

[DM Interlude- with only three players in game, and me not reducing the difficulty of the encounters the players present are doing a lot more in the way of planning ahead of the encounters, forced to be resourceful they have come up trumps.]

Eventually the Blackhand Orc plays his part- slams into the chamber beyond and calls for the two Orc Berserkers within to follow him, the Duergar within grumble but do nothing to prevent the pair from leaving. Nonplussed, the wary Orc Berserkers step outside- and meet the Knights, the revolution of the Blackhand Orcs begins here.

The Knights explain their situation, the toothy Orcs, after a few dicey moments, come round to the Knights' way of thinking.

The Knights, with Orcish reinforcements, take positions and then drift into the chamber- a workshop in which a Duergar Scout aids a heavily muscled Duergar Master Smith at his forge.

“Put down your weapons- you are our prisoners.” Cathal states.

Urwol, the Duergar Master Smith, is having none of it- he knocks into the Duergar Scout- waking him from his stupor, the Scout turns invisible, and retreats. En route he takes a dagger to the back courtesy of a previously hidden Lucan.

Urwol begins screaming in Orcish- it doesn't sound pleasant, whatever it is he says it has the desired effect, the two new recruits to the Blackhand revolution switch sides and begin laying into the Knights. The Knights original Orc captive ducks out of the chamber, not supporting either side for now- content to see how things stand in a few bloody moments.

A fiery light bathes Rock, Lucan and Cathal- their weapons glow red hot and burn their hands, Urwol's Fire of the Forge power leaves them struggling to connect, and still burning, and yet the three grip tight to their blades.

The Scout reappears ideally placed to plant his hammer in Rock's back- which he does- the Dwarven Fighter spins round and engages the new foe, delivers a devastating Crushing Blow which is made worse when Lucan slips his dagger in to the Duergar's back- the Scout is dead, and moments later Cathal with a little help from Eruan takes care of the first turncoat Blackhand Orc- the other fights on.

Rock and Lucan, the pair now moving towards Urwol, are caught in a blast of Vile Fumes- Lucan left blinded, gagging and retching while Rock, unharmed, rushes in to smash the Smith.

Moments later reinforcements arrive as the final turncoat Blackhand Orc is dealt with- it's suddenly five onto one, the first Blackhand Orc to join the Knights gets in on the act, siding with the Knights.

Urwol attempts to flee, alas he has to get through the Knights to get to anywhere worth fleeing to.

“Pimmelschleckers!”

He doesn't make it.

The workshop returns to silence, save the crackle and the hiss of the fire in the forge.

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Mr. Smith takes a beating.

[DM Interlude Encounter #88 [850 XP = Level 5] Orc Berserker x2 (Level 5 Brutes); Duergar Scout (Level 5 Lurker) & Urwol, Duergar Master Smith (Level 6 Controller).]

The first tower within the Horned Hold is taken, a thorough search is undertaken, with their new found Blackhand Orc friend leading the way.

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Tower #1, now Knight territory.

The Knights, well mostly Lucan, locate some cash, and on the wall in what looks to be Urwol, the Duergar Master Smith's, bedroom an ugly looked Skull-topped Rod, which rings a bell. The Blackhand Orc looks suitably impressed with the device- actually he bows down before it.

The Knights have located the ceremonial rod that Gendar (the Drow) spoke of- their Orc companion vows (in mime) to serve the Knights in their holy crusade to kill the Duergar, he also mimes some more about there being other Blackhand Orcs in the largest of the fortresses three redoubts to the north.

A seemingly unkempt, and therefore unused, stone bridge leads from the tower to the redoubt to the north, the Knights take no chances and barricade the door their side- preventing the Grey Dwarves from attacking them from the rear.

[DM Interlude- and then Farkill, that is Zoran, arrives from work; let's pretend he's been here all along, but in an advisory capacity only, yeah- that'll work.]

And so (ahem) this week in play we have-

Cathal, Human Fighter Level 6
Eruan, Eladrin Wizard Level 4
Farkill, Dwarven Priest of Moradin Level 5
Lucan, Elven Rogue Level 5
Rock, Dwarven Fighter Level 5

Another wide passage leads on to the second Tower within the fortress, the Knights head down it, once again Lucan ahead scouting the way.

The Knights wait up a while, allowing Lucan to do his thing.

[DM Interlude- Lucan, that is Jack, hates scouting, at least it sounds like he's not that keen, then again Jack does laconic like it's going out of fashion. Lucan's rules of scouting are as follows- 1. Find enemies; 2. Find unguarded treasure before the rest of the Knights arrive. He divides his time 20/80 on these two pursuits.]

The Elven Rogue heads in and discovers- an empty Hall which ends in a double door which obviously leads into a guard chamber, Lucan can hear Duergar quietly chatting within. A storeroom which contains absolutely no treasure, Lucan takes ten minutes to check it over- thoroughly, he's very disappointed. Another set of double doors that leads into some kind of mess hall, more Duergar within. Lastly a rough looking bed chamber, once again with no treasure, with a door that seems to lead into a very warm and occupied room- Lucan spies within, it's a kitchen.

Disappointed he reports back.

Once again a plan is formulated, Lucan and Farkill are to take out the guardroom; while Rock, Cathal and Eruan storm the mess hall- the Knights split their forces. Eruan however will be on call should things go awry for either group.

Initially the plan goes well.

Rock and Cathal swarm into the mess hall- there are only two Duergar present, Eruan provides Magic Missile support and the defenders connect with some good hits. Unaware that the Duergar they're now trading blows with is Rundarr, the Duergar Champion. A door crashes open and a third Duergar, another Guard crashes into the chamber- that makes the odds even, three onto three.

Meanwhile Lucan and Farkill get the drop on the two Duergar Scouts in the guard room, concentrate fire on one of them and bloody the Grey Dwarf, a moment later the Duergar pair disappear from sight.

Image
The Pincer Movement, favoured by crabs.

“I forgot they did that.” Farkill states swatting everything, and nothing, before him.
“Me too.” Lucan adds with a grin.

A moment later- when the fighting has completely stalled, the Scouts have not reappeared, the pair share a long look then in unison scream.

“ERUAN!”

Meanwhile in the mess hall a servant, one of the Human Slaves the Knights are looking for, steps out of the kitchen bearing a tray full of steaming plates of food; he takes in the situation.

“I'll come back when you're less busy.”

And scampers back inside the kitchen and cowers.

The first Duergar Guard has fallen, the second is engaged with Cathal, Rock is trading blows with Rundarr, the pair are wearing each other down, although if it continues this way Rock will be the first to fall.

Seconds later they're both bloodied.

“Har-har. Veel zee about zis.” Rundarr proclaims, and suddenly gets much bigger.

Image
Rundarr is engorged!

The fight is evenly matched, perhaps even a little lopsided, in favour of the Duergar- a nail biting finish to follow.

Or at least you'd think so.

The much large Rundarr smashes his hammer into Rock- hard.

[DM Interlude- critical hit for 19 damage, Rock is on 6 Hit Points.]

Rundarr attacks again, Rock is done for- or so it seems - the Duergar Champion is winning the fight, not even with Cathal's help can the Knights expect to win through. Particularly as Eruan is now being menaced by the remaining Duergar Guard, and Farkill and Lucan are still alone in the dark, as it were, with no enemies in sight.

[DM Interlude- from here to the end of the fight is a further eight rounds of action, Rundarr attacks twice per round with his hammer, and has an Action Point to spend- which he does, on another two attacks. He needs a 10 to hit Cathal, an 11 to hit Rock. He misses every time- he dies on the seventh round, that's 16 rolls of nine or below, actually there's one roll of '10' in there but he was attacking Rock that round. Remember this takes over thirty minutes to play out- I'm not laughing. Rock survives the battle on 6 Hit Points- still.]

[DM Interlude- I'm not describing the rest of the action for this fight, it still irks me to this day.]

The Knights are victorious.

Big deal!

Woohoo!

Have a biscuit!

Fuckers!

[DM Interlude Encounter #89 [1400 XP = Level 6] Duergar Guard x2 (Level 5 Soldiers); Duergar Scout x2 (Level 5 Lurkers) & Rundarr, Duergar Champion (Level 7 Elite Brute). Like I care.]

[DM Interlude- Lucan now has enough XP to gain Level 6, after an extended rest of course, the smart arse.]

The Knights eventually get into the kitchen, and discover the first of the slaves they have been sent to rescue. There's much rejoicing, particularly by the now former slaves, they get a little too excited and have to be calmed down.

The second tower is thoroughly searched, as are the former inhabitants, a heap of coin and a set of magical Dwarven Greaves, formerly belonging to Rundarr, Cathal takes these.

Image
Tower #2, the Knights expand their holdings.

The Knights take lunch, it tastes like chicken whatever it is- the Underdark KFC is open for business.

“Mmmm. Chicken!” Farkill tucks in.
“How many legs does a chicken have?” Cathal asks.
“Two.” Farkill repies, after a little thinking time, then looks at the platter before them, the segmented body has maybe three-dozen legs, is perhaps four feet long, and thin- not at all like a chicken, it also lacks wings.

“I'm full...” Farkill states and pushes his half-finished dinner away from him.

The slaves meanwhile have a story to tell- about Framath, the terrible Duergar Chief Theurge and the Slave Pits to the north in the third tower- where the rest of the captives from the Nentir Vale reside. Then on to Murkelmore, the Duergar Chief of the Grimmerzhul, who also resides to the north, and lastly that one of the bridges across the chasm to the north is never used, the chambers abandoned.- said to be haunted.

Which gives the Knights an idea.

After dinner both of the bridges are observed for a while- nothing stirs, eventually a decision is made and the the Knights re-open the unused bridge.

Lucan crouches below the low parapet of the bridge and crawls over- unobserved seemingly.

Image
A bridge too far.

Lucan breaks in to the long abandoned chamber, the door was locked, but now... it swings open, it's a real mess within.

The Elven Rogue searches through the broken rubble, listens at a door and hears voices beyond, clearly another Duergar guard chamber- locates another door heading in the same direction, hears nothing from within and so opens it to see what's beyond.

And comes face to face with a Duergar Theurge, who's not that pleased to see him.

“Mailman?” Lucan mumbles.
“Vot!” The Duergar Theurge replies and then screams at the top of his lungs- other doors begin to open and more Duergar appear.

Lucan screams like a little girl, throws his dagger and slows down a Duergar Guard before legging it back to the bridge, and out- he meets the Knights in full tilt heading in the opposite direction, waits till he's at the back of the queue, and then follows them back in, after first waiting a few seconds.

The Knights smash into the chamber, en masse, save Lucan of course, and are caught in the Theurge's Hail of Brimstone, which leaves Cathal and Eruan on their ass, and singed.

Rock charges into the guard room proper and finds himself facing two Duergar Guards, both uninjured, and two animate Arbalesters which...

Thwong!

And Thwong!

Fire huge metal-tipped arrows-cum-spears into him- he's bloodied in an instant, nevertheless he fights on, with Cathal arriving a little while later in an attempt to even up the fight.

Meanwhile Lucan, Eruan- who is in combat (?) and Farkill have a third Duergar Guard surrounded, not one of them heads for the Duergar Theurge, who unchallenged blasts away at the trio.

What's worse they make hard work of the lone Duergar Guard, and before the three-on-one fight is over it's two-on-one, Eruan clutches the rubble floor unconscious.

[DM Interlude- Bob, who plays Eruan, has been with us one session, he's not even here this week, and it seems he could be the first Knight to die in action. The players take it in turns to make the Eladrin's death saving throws. He fails two in a row, of course.]

At last Rock and Cathal have the two guards down but not before both are bloodied and sporting horrendous wounds courtesy of the animated Arbalesters.

They press on and smash into the strange devices, the steroid-abusing crossbows are no match for the pair in melee- and are soon reduced to flinders.

Meanwhile Farkill and Lucan kill the third Duergar Guard and make it over to the Duergar Theurge, who in trying to escape merely runs into Rock and Cathal- it's quickly over.

At which point Farkill remembers that he's a Cleric and goes and heals Eruan.

[DM Interlude- that's what happens when the players are so wrapped up in their own characters actions that they forget that the 'botted' PC is still lying on the floor dying.]

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Oh look Crossbows on wheels- that's a good i... THWONG!

[DM Interlude Encounter #90 [1250 XP = Level 6] Arbalester x2 (Level 5 Artillery); Duergar Guard x3 (Level 5 Soldier) & Duergar Theurge (Level 6 Controller).]

The Knights conduct a thorough search of the Duergar and their quarters, more coins and number of low value gems, all the same...

After a short rest the Knights press on.

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The final redoubt- the easy bit done.

A set of reinforced metal doors ahead- Lucan hears... the sound of Orcs. The Knights' new Blackhand Orc friend is brought forward, Rock rehearses his lines and grasps the Blackhand Orc skull-topped Rod in his hand- and marches in.

“Go free you Blackhand Orcs- the Friday Knights are here to save the day”, Rock declares, and waves the Rod about a bit for good measure.

Which leads to silence.

Eventually the Knights' Orc friend jabbers away in his guttural tongue, seemingly very excited- which leads to smiles all round, at least from the Orcs, the Ogre present is not so sure- where does he fit in?

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Fat Reggie worries where his next pay packet is coming from.

“Wat abart Reggie?” Reggie the Ogre enquires, and flexes his muscles.

The Knights stand about- a little crestfallen, the Blackhand Orcs stop jabbering, waiting to see how this is all going to turn out.

“I'll hire you.” Farkill states, the other Knights gawp.
“You'll be my bodyguard here in the Horned Hold.” Farkill declares, fishes out a bag of gold coins, and then folds his arms.

Reggie capers and giggles, then gets his axe.

Cathal is not so happy.

The Blackhand Orcs however are free to go, the Duergar have no right to hold them, their duty is done. Before leaving the Orcs tell tall tales- about how the Duergar decimated their tribe, chased their women and children through the Labyrinth, slew them in order to convince the Warriors of the tribe to serve them. The threat of further killings enough to keep the tribe loyal.

The Blackhand depart, in search of the remains of their tribe, set to wander the Labyrinth in their quest.

Fat Reggie is keen to get on with things, he tells the Knights what lies ahead- Murkelmore next, and then Framuth and the slaves, the Knights ready themselves for further fighting.

Then kick the door down and head on in- “Murkelmore, you're next”, Cathal barks.

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Murkelmore awaits the Knights.

And then the 25th session of play draws to a close, the Knights have clocked up 14,962 XP between them this session.

Next week... Hammer time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:12 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:40 pm
Posts: 21
I'm really missing these updates! I need a fix.

Thanks Goonalan for all the great write-ups... it's been like I was there! I hope my group enjoys the adventures as much as your group has.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics).
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:41 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:05 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Grimbo
Alas due to work-related activity everything is on hold at the moment- even the game, the chance of updates any time soon is incredibly slim.

Sorry to disappoint.

Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: The Friday Knights in Thunderspire Labyrinth (with Pics)
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:15 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
Posts: 2258
Location: Chicago suburbs
Looks like all of the pics are down. :(

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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