B2 The Keep on The Borderlands

Sessions 9 and 10 - What's the difference between a 1/4 CR and 1/2 CR Monster?
Oh, about 1 near-TPK I would say...

Characters:
Eron – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Anthon – Gnome Druid
Jarvis – Human Wizard/Cleric
Ap-Maddock – Hireling Human Warrior

The party set out once again for the caves, deciding to try the northern caverns this time. After running afoul of a clever hidden Kobold pit trap, the heroes sought their revenge by slaughtering the entire tribe with little effort!

After dispatching the Kobolds with ease the party headed up the hill to the next cavern for some more easy pickings. They were dissapointed to discover an alert and very warlike tribe of Orcs. The battle was fierce and furious near the entrance to the Orc lair. Many times it seemed as if the Orcs would prevail and stock their larders with fresh Advenurer, a meat this band of humanoids particularly relish! In the end the party was able to prevail through skill, a little luck and the ultimate sacrifice of the loyal Ap-Maddock. Poor, poor Ap-Maddock, we hardly knew ye!

The party managed to take the last two members of the Orc tribe alive and ponders what to do with them while binding their rather significant wounds. True to the callous and heartless PC stereotype, not a single tear has been shed at the loss of faithful Ap-Maddock…

NPCs:
Lots of dead Kobolds and Orcs, including one Orc that looked very familiar…

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Session 8 - A Hero Falls!
Well Gerhart dies anyway...

Characters:
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Anthon – Gnome Druid
Roland – Hireling Human Warrior
Ap-Maddock – Hireling Human Warrior

After resting in the wilds following the bandit attack, Anthon and his faithful wolf pick up the tracks of the fled highwaymen heading south. In another trademark left-turn, the party decides to abandon the trail of the Skeletons believed to have kidnapped Miranda von Drachen and pursue the Bandits.

The trail leads South, back toward The Keep. Along the way the party spies an odd and unkempt man fishing at a small lake. The man is clearly touched in the head but the party tries to reason with him anyway. Surprisingly the verbal sparring match actually yields some valuable information in that the old man claims to have seen about a dozen ‘dead men’ dragging an attractive female captive to the East.

Just as the party is about to bid farewell to the hermit, the old man attacks Gerhart. Noticing something is amiss but too slow to stop the sneak attack of the old man and his pet Puma, Gerhart’s throat is slit and he collapses, his life blood quickly draining out.

The rest of the party reacts with rage and slays the old man and his pet. Shugosou taking down the Puma with a dead-eye crossbow bolt, Anthon summoning a magical Wolf that savages the Hermit, and Roland finishing him with a critical thrust he must have learned from the skillful Gerhart.

The Hermit had a small stash of treasure, including a Magic Dagger and a Magic Ring.

Mournfully, the party licks their wounds, ties Gerhart’s body to his horse and returns to The Keep. Shugosou finds out that Father Janos Brightsun has taken up residence in the Inner Bailey and is now an adviser to The Castellan (I forgot to tell you guys that in the session).

NPCs:
Mad Hermit – Now Deceased

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Session 7 - Tonights special: Red Herring with an Improvised demi-glaze and Random pepper coulis.
Think fast DM!

Characters:
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Anthon – Gnome Druid
Roland – Hireling Human Warrior
Ap-Maddock – Hireling Human Warrior

Meanwhile, back at The Keep, the party learned of some new developments. A noble named Theodrik von Drachen arrived at The Keep with an entourage of Knights and Servants. They posted a reward for information on his lost daughter, Miranda. She went missing in the Borderlands area several weeks ago.

The party followed several clues to her last known whereabouts about a day’s ride north-west. Buying and renting mounts and provisions. It looked like Miranda’s party was attacked by Skeletons and the party is hot on the trail of the culprits, making some astronomical guesses and skill rolls along the way to keep the DM on his toes…

Heading east into Fellgrim Forest the party was ambushed by some Bandits, whom they easily defeated.

NPCs:
Theodrik von Drachen – Earl and distraught Father
Alaric the Herald – Servant to Theodrik von Drachen
Miranda von Drachen – Missing Hottie

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Session 6 - A Friend in need is a Friend indeed
Hobgoblins Shmobgoblins!

Characters:
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Eron – Human Fighter
Jozan – Human Cleric
Roland – Hireling Human Warrior
Ap-Maddock – Hireling Human Warrior
Krayd – Half-Orc Barbarian
Anthon – Gnome Druid

Having successfully returned Gareth the Merchant, his wife, and their retainers to The Keep, the party set about spending their hard earned treasure on food and drink in a farewell party to Tom the Bard. During the celebration, a Priest of St. Dimitruis arrived at the Tavern and immediately fell in with the party. After hiring and equipping Roland and Ap-Maddock, the party set out once again for The Caves of Chaos.

On the road to The Caves, the party encountered upon a strange sight; a fight was in progress on the road. In a confusing melee the party saw a Gnome on a wolf, a huge Half-Orc bristling with weapons, and a whole nest of Lizardmen hacking away at each other. Not sure who to kill first, the party decided to go after the Lizardmen as their ears were worth (much more than) their weight in gold.

After the fight, the Half-Orc and Gnome introduced themselves and decided to accompany the party to The Caves. Once at The Caves the party decided to, predictably, enter the same cave and assault the Hobgoblin’s lair from the same direction. The Hobgoblins were ready and waiting with a bolstered breastwork, caltrop minefield and a Scorpion bolt-thrower trained on the door. All was for naught as the party hacked their way through the Hobgoblins in short order, with great contribution by both newcomers. The Hobgoblins attempted to rally but even the reinforcements were scattered with little effort. The party saw the backs of the rest of the Hobgoblin tribe as they fled the area. Taking a moment to collect ears and breath, the party now debates what to do next…

NPCs:
Roland – A man-at-arms
Ap-Maddock – A man-at-arms

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Session 5 - The Death of Heroes (well...okay, 2 NPCs)
Over the River and through the Woods to an ancient grave mound we go...

Characters:
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Eron – Human Fighter
Tom – Human Bard
Nigel – Hireling Human Warrior
Monk – Hireling Human Warrior
Shagar – Human Barbarian

After defeating the Ghouls in the Old Watchtower, the party decided to press their luck and cut through the forest to reach the Keep. Without a guide (or anyone even remotely skilled in woodlore) the party got lost and ended up on the road near the large hill. To make sure they had their bearings correct, the party decided to traipse up the hill to potentially get a view of The Keep.

Once near the top sharp-eyed Shugosou saw a glinting in the grass. Upon closer examination it appeared to be a metal shield. Shug cast a Detect Magic spell in the hopes the shield was something special, what he determined is that the entire hill radiated with a moderate power of Necromancy! This was confirmed by the 5 silent skeletal warriors who clawed their way out of the burial mound and began an assault. The party was nearly wiped out, only Gareth remaining conscious after the brawl. Poor Monk and Nigel expired on the spot. The rest of the party clung to life by the tiniest of shreds while Gareth tied them all together like a bunch of raw meet to drag back to The Keep. It was a close run thing, with Tom and Shugosou nearly dying of the ill treatment before a contingent of cavalry from The Keep rode to Gareth’s assistance.

Once back in The Keep, the party recupperated with the help of Father Janos, who once again gently and politely pried them for information of their adventures. The party rebuked him and became diffident, but still remained to care for them. What a Saintly creature is our poor misunderstood Father Brightsun!

Once healed, and nearly penniless, the party headed back to The Caves of Chaos to tackle the Hobgoblin defenses. This time they enlisted the aid of a Shaggy Barbarian named aptly “Shagar”. This time the party was prepared mentally for the spikey breastwork and made amazingly short work of the skilled and disciplined defenders. So quickly, in fact, that no word was sent deeper into the lair of the party’s intrusion. This allowed the adventurers to get the drop on 2 burly Hobgoblin jailors in a prison room. The party freed an Orc, who grabbed a sword and ran off to kill Hobgoblins. They killed a crazy-eyed Gnoll who was foaming at the mouth, and freed 4 human prisoners for escort back to The Keep (a fat merchant, his beautiful wife, and two wounded men-at-arms). The Merchant’s wife rewarded the party with a heap of gold and a magic dagger upon reaching The Keep.

NPCs:
Shagar – Human Barbarian
Gareth the Merchant – A Merchant…duh!
Aecilina – His Wife
Roland – A man-at-arms (now available for hire)
Ap-Maddock – A man-at-arms (now available for hire as well)
Nigel – DEAD and left to rot…
Monk – Equally DEAD and equally rotting…

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Session 4 - In which the party gets a painful lesson in tactics
Kick 'em while they're down!

Characters:
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Eron – Human Fighter
Tom – Human Bard
Nigel – Hireling Human Warrior
Monk – Hireling Human Warrior

The brave party ventured forth once more to The Caves of Chaos to further explore the Goblin cave. They found the previous lair of the Goblin’s utterly deserted and proceeded to climb a short flight of steps upward to a closed wooden door. On the other side of the door was a well prepared breastwork of spiked obstacles and a very organized group of Hobgoblins in a shield wall, with a Goblin levy in front to act as fodder.

Through a hail of javelins, the party advanced in a ragged fashion. Met with an initial failure to breach the obstacle by leaping over it, Eron did manage to finally throw the spiked wall back on the Goblin line, but by then the party had suffered too many casualties to press home. Leaving the Caves with their proverbial tails between their legs, the party set out to return to The Keep.

Sensing weakness, two Lizardmen ambushed the party from the Swampy area south of the road on the return trip. Luckily, Gerhardt and Nigel were able to dispatch them without further casualties. The party limped back to The Keep to lick their wounds. With the help of Father Janos, all members were able to recover quickly. Tom also learned that Sergeant Bonegrinder is offering double money for Lizardman ears, as he has a particular hatred of those creatures. It seems that Sergeant Bonegrinder was with the force that (supposedly) eradicated the Lizardmen threat in the area 15 years ago.

Finally recovered, the party decided to explore some of the surrounding countryside, with an eye to collect more bounties on the bandits operating in the area. The party did not find the bandit camp, but did find an old watchtower in the woods, about 2/3 of the way from The Keep to The Caves of Chaos. It was mostly empty, apart from 2 Ghouls interred in the basement who made an attempt to paralyze and eat the party to little success.

The party decided they would like to make the Watchtower a base of operations at some point in the future.

NPCs:
None new

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Sessions 2 and 3 - Did I mention there was an Ogre!
Goblin Galavanting

Characters:
Harkin – Elf Ranger
Gerhart – Human Fighter
Shugosou – Elven Magic User
Eron – Human Fighter
Tom – Human Bard
Nigel – Hireling Human Warrior
Monk – Hireling Human Warrior

After hearing several rumors about the Caves of Chaos in the Keep, our intrepid band of adventurers set out to find said Caves posthate. Harkin was able to navigate the party through the intervening wilderness with little trouble, arriving at the blighted valley of the Caves of Chaos.

The party decided to enter one of the lower caves on the South side of the valley first and stumbled upon a napping Ogre! Taking quick advantage of the situation, the party set upon the snoozing monstrosity to good effect, but not quite quickly enough! The Ogre rose and smote (is that a word?) Eron mightily about the head region with his giant club, felling him in one blow! Luckily the rest of the party was able to put the Ogre down before he could swing again.

After defeating the Ogre the party found a secret door in the back of the cavern that lead further into the Caves. Apparently they had stumbled upon a squalid Goblin lair and a running battle ensued in which the party worked reasonably well together and was able to take the ears of 24 of the little beasties, including their over-sized Chieftain.

Afterward the party headed back to the keep where they met a few more interesting inhabitants.

NPCS:
Borus Bonegrinder – Sergeant of the Guard – Giving bounty of 5 GP for the left ear of small humanoids and 10 GP for their larger cousins.
Father Janos Brightsun – Travelling Mendicant Priest
Guildencrantz and Rosenstern – Father Brightsun’s Acolytes
Father Benedict Krynn – Curate of the Chapel to St. Gregor – Has healing spells available for sale
Malcham the Trader – Deals in random goods

Total XP Gained: 583

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Session 1 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Keep
Bandit Bashery!

Characters:
Gerhart – Fighter
Eron – Fighter
Shugosou – Wizard
Tom – Bard

Our small group of intrepid adventurers joined forces to travel to the Borderlands to seek their fortune. On the road, they were ambushed by a group of desperate bandits just out of sight of The Keep. The group managed to trounce them, unfortunately suffering some pretty serious wounds themselves. Limping to The Keep, the party was admitted by the Corporal of the Guard, Hagis MacFearson, who they turned over one captured bandit. Hagis said the bandits were probably working for a local Bandit leader named Healfdane who has been a thorn in the side of the Castellan for some time.

Hagis then gave the party a brief tour of The Keep, leaving them in the square outside of the Hog and Thistle Tavern and Traveller’s Inn.

NPCs:
Hagar Patris – Taverner of Hog and Thistle
Delbert Prin – Innkeeper
Shamgar Berg – Blacksmith
Hagis MacFearson – Corporal of the Guard
Beauregard – Provisioner
Jacob – Scribe
Petra – Serving Wench at Hog and Thistle
Nigel – Mercenary Man-at-Arms
Monk – Mercenary Man-at-Arms

Post your comments on Session 1 here!

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