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D&D 5e Into The (Keep on the) Borderlands (B1&2) #014 Hunting for Nik Nik.

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Actually, if it's a wolf it would probably be "lupine," wouldn't it?

We can both be right-

Lupine =
  • Something that is like, or relating to, a wolf (Canis lupus).
Canis is a genus of the Caninae which includes multiple extant species, such as wolves, dogs, coyotes, and golden jackals. Species of this genus are distinguished by their moderate to large size, their massive, well-developed skulls and dentition, long legs, and comparatively short ears and tails.



The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0012: The Hobgoblin Anti-Climax.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 2.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 3.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 2.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 2.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 2.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 2.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy)
Male Human Guard.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 17: Being the 17th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, around lunchtime.

So, here we are, the finale of the hobgoblin lair...

But here's the thing- the PCs maybe low on resources but now they have a few inspiration points, and... there aren't too many enemies left standing.

This was a very short session, although- levelling up, as usual, involved lots of extended chats and therefore went on forever.

Like, for... eva!

Perhaps I should have had the hobgoblins flee at the end of the last session.



Here we go...

Mohag caves the hobgoblin sub-chief's head in/off.

Then rushes to Scrubs' side and after spending an inspiration point and smashes the hobgoblin there, the beast survives.

Sir Glen follows in and slices the same hobgoblin, and still it survives.

Trebbelos adds to the mix with a Shocking Grasp, and the tiefling sorcerer ends the already badly wounded hobgoblin.


The final struggle for victory.

Sho-Rembo, the halfling druid, unleashes her last spell- a Thunderwave, alas Sir Glen is in the compass of the burst, the paladin however survives, but only just.

Another hobgoblin dies, while two others are left barely able to stay on their feet.

The halfling dodges in, and delivers a potion of healing and a cheery smile to Sir Glen, thanks to an inspiration point well spent.


After the Thunderwave.

But Sir Glen doesn't stay on his feet long, seconds later one of the newly arrived hobgoblins shoots the paladin with its crossbow, he's down and dying.

It's a bit of a mess, and by the way, Sir Glen insisted that Sho-Rembo drop the bomb (her Thunderwave). He's a very brave fellow.

Or else a little bit dim.

Krago rushes in flailing, the dwarf stands over the paladin's fallen form, guarding his comrade in arms.

They're all starting to like each other these days, back at the start of this the players were more inclined to screw each other over, or else- well, save their own skins. Now... they're all playing oh so nicely.


Sosspan takes another hobgoblin down with a Fire Bolt.

Mohag, still raging, smashes another down.

And very suddenly there's only one hobgoblin left standing, the bugger runs, screaming...

Sosspan Fire Bolts the fleeing hobgoblin dead.

The fight is over...

How's that for an anti-climax?


Victory for the Unexpected.

[A jolly big bag of hobgoblins, including Grelzenod the Render 2325 XP]

All of the PCs have enough XP for level three. Lappoy, of course, is already there.

There is cheering.

The absolute bastards.


The Unexpected take a well earned short rest, note Yor's body is beneath Wormwood's.

After the rest, and a variety prayers by Sir Glen for the fallen, the rest of the lair is searched- very cautiously.

And sure enough, not so very far away...


The missing folk are found... and a few others.

Jarvis Scutbuttle, the merchant, and his wife Llona are released, as are the two surviving member's of the caravan's guard- Corbis & Tribbits.

Which just leaves Pigbag, the Orc, and a snarling Gnoll who seems to be called something like Snarkk.

Eventually, after much discussion, Pigbag is let free, and allowed to leave- this after the orc convinces the PCs (actually very mostly just Sir Glen) that he will flee this place and try to live a happy life elsewhere, beyond the Caves of Chaos.

I rolled a '20' for Pigbag's deception check, but don't tell the PCs.

It seems the Unexpected are feeling very magnanimous.

However, Snarkk, the gnoll- seems a little more swivel-eyed, i.e. crazy.

Eventually Sir Glen throws the key to the fiend, and then once it has released itself, steps in to fight the beast- paladin versus gnoll.

The fight starts cagey- with both the paladin and the crazed-gnoll rolling low, but then Sir Glen slices the bastard with a Crit, and then a moment later cuts Snarkk down.

Not bad, cut down in only three turns.


Death to Snarkk.

[Dead crazed-gnoll 50 XP]

The ex-lair of Bad Nog the Ogre is searched, and there are lots of nice things to find here, including over half-a-dozen poorly hidden sacks of coin.

Sho-Rembo however finds a cache of much better hidden treasures, in Bad Nog's refuse/bone pile, including a bunch of arrows (later identified as +1), a Potion of Invisibility (which the halfling decides is hers by rights) and a pair of spell scrolls.

That's nice!

The search for treasure continues in the chambers of Grelzenod the Render, note the big chief had plenty of coin on his person.


Grelzenod's chambers.

Sho-Rembo, again, finds the treasure, hidden away in a secret compartment in a chest full of mangy furs- and there's a lot more coin in there, including a wedge (20+) of platinum pieces.

Last stop is an investigation of the hobgoblin's armoury, there are lots of arms and armour here, and the PCs (and NPCs) take what they need, some of them- all that they can carry.

Sir Glen picks up a suit of plate armour, the paladin is very happy.

Then, after a long chat with Jarvis and his companions, the Unexpected head on home, that is back to the Keep on the Borderlands.

They take their time (and so I get to make an extra random encounter check) because they are returning with the bodies of Yor and Wormwood, and also because they have filled a variety of sacks with a bunch of stuff to sell back at the Keep (mostly arms and armour).

I make three checks, and bloody hell- no random encounters.

They're kicking my backside.

Back to the Keep on the Borderlands, and they get there late afternoon. Thereafter the Unexpected do a variety of things- the first of which is return Jarvis and Llona to the Guild, and claim their reward- 100gp and an exemption from taxes for a year.


What's more, the freed pair are so overjoyed with their saviours they fix up the Unexpected with a slap-up meal and drinks at the Travellers Rest. At the meal Jarvis also presents the adventurers with an additional 100gp, while Llona rewards them with a magical (+1) dagger.

Soon after the Unexpected head out to sell a variety of stuff, including-

A silver belt inlaid with emeralds which sells for 336gp, they took this from Grelzenod.

A silver etched arm-guard, taken from one of the hobgoblin sub-chiefs, this sells for 81gp.

The rest of the time (and the session) is spent levelling up (again), and buying yet more stuff, mostly topping up the healing potions- subject to their availability.

Oh, and the two rescued ex-caravan guards, Corbis & Tribbits, agree to sign on immediately, they will each give a year's service to the Unexpected (FoC, save for expenses- food and lodging).

Note, all of the guards- including Scrubs, have been re-equipped, with new arms and armour (mostly courtesy of the hobgoblins).

But we'll catch up with these folks in the next session.

The pot is up to £58.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0013: Chasing Nok Nok.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 3.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 3.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 3.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 3.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 3.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 3.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 3.

Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.
Scrubs Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.
Tribbits Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 21: Being the 21st Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, around lunchtime.

So, here's the latest news- all of the PCs are level 3, that's pretty kick ass, and of course there are a lot of 'em.

I'm in trouble.

Also, between this session and the last I have been persuaded (cajoled) to put the three guards that have hired on with the Unexpected on the track to sidekick status, as in Tasha's.

Scrubs needs just 300 XP to be a level 1 sidekick (type = player's choice, but needs to be justified/RPed out), while the two new followers- Corbis and Tribbits need 600 XP each to make the same transition.

Note, Scrubs has been around with the Unexpected for a while now, so he's already earned a few stripes.

Obviously the XP is now getting split, hmm- does the maths, ten ways= seven PCs and three would-be sidekicks. So, that should slow everyone's progress right down, and give me a fighting chance.

Still, the players asked for it so who am I to say no.

And when I say- 'give me a fighting chance', I, of course, mean the bad guys as elucidated in the book. Obviously I'm not trying to kill the PCs... not me.

To make things worse the PCs have, as usual, been shopping- topped up on healing potions, and re-equipped as necessary, and the would-be sidekicks are of course all freshly armed and armoured. The latter after the discovery and ransacking of the hobgoblin's armoury in the last session- lots of stuff in there.

It takes a few days, of course, to get things sold and bought, and so time enough for another night or two in the Traveller's Rest. This in an attempt to extract a few more rumours from the locals, and so-

(1) A merchant, imprisoned within the caves, will reward his rescuers. VERY INTERESTING.
(2) A powerful wizard will destroy all cave invaders. UNTRUE.
(3) Tribes of different creatures live in different caves. CHECK.
(4) An ogre sometimes helps the cave dwellers. BAD NOG RIP
(5) A magic wand was lost in the caves. INTERESTING.
(6) All of the cave entrances are trapped. UNTRUE.
(7) If you get lost, beware the eater of men! INTERESTING.
(8) Altars are very dangerous. INTERESTING.
(9) A fair maiden is imprisoned within the caves. INTERESTING.
(10) “Bree-yark!” is goblin for 'we surrender'. UNTRUE.
(11) Beware of treachery from within the party. INTERESTING!
(12) The big dog-men (GNOLLS?) live very high in the caves. INTERESTING.
(13) There are hordes of tiny dragon-men in the lower caves. KOBOLDS- KILLED.
(14) Piles of magic armour are hoarded in the southern caves. INTERESTING.
(15) The bugbears in the caves are afraid of dwarves. INTERESTING.
(16) Lizardmen live in the marshes. INTERESTING.
(17) An elf once disappeared across the marshes. INTERESTING.
(19) Nobody has ever returned from an expedition to the caves. UNTIL NOW.
(20) There is more than one tribe of orcs within the caves. INTERESTING.

And they're nearly there- additions are numbers 4 and 11.

There's a bit of chat about entry 11.

So, that just leaves rumour number 18 to track down.

But here's the thing, as well as asking about the Caves of Chaos, Lappoy- and a few others (once they're reminded by Lappoy) also make enquiries about the long lost lair, said to be somewhere in the region, of Zeligar & Rogahn.

How about that? They're thinking ahead.

And so, after a few bribes paid, Lappoy is told about a mad druid who wanders the Whispering Woods, this fellow knows the area incredibly well, the implication being- the fellow should know all the secrets of the region, including perhaps the location of the long lost lair.

But, Lappoy is assured, the druid is very crazy, as likely to attack as to converse or aid wanderers in the wilds.

Lappoy, of course, lets his colleagues know all of this- open and honest, it's the new policy.


The last supper, before departure in the Traveller's Rest. Note the new configuration (who sits where) somehow reflects the new hierarchy within the Unexpected.

Day 22: Being the 22nd Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, early doors.

Then off we go again, back to the Caves of Chaos- the orcs are next on the Unexpected's take-down list, and they know that their lair is one of the two caverns close to the kobold's former lair.

So, off they go, and no random encounters again, bugger.

Then after another hour or so spent watching the way to see if there's any activity within the Caves of Chaos ravine, there's not- nothing stirs. Note, every time the PCs watch and wait, or else creep into the ravine, I roll another random encounter- 1 on an a D10, and again- nothing.

Onwards, to the first cavern.


Krago and Sho-Rembo head on in, quietly- their companions are poised to attack, at the ready.

But here's the thing... things go badly from the off, and so in quick order the following things happen.

Krago and Sho-Rembo scuff and grunt their way 'silently' into the lair (best stealth check an adjusted '6').

The pair spot a gurning orc dead ahead, the wall before them is dotted with small niches each holding the decaying skull of (the pair presume) the cave inhabitant's former victims.

So, the pair spy maybe a dozen skulls and... the head of a gurning orc who is quite obviously trying to blend in with the display, a hidden watcher, the stupid fellow is not making a very good job of it.

And then, a milli-moment later, a bunch of orcs with spears sat around a fire to the east grunt and begin to holler at the PCs...

That went south very quickly.

Sho-Rembo and Krago call for their friends, and...


Initiative arrives early.

Corbis, the wannabe sidekick, is the first to react- rushing in to the cavern he shoots the nearest orc with his newly acquired light crossbow, and a Crit.

There is premature whooping.

Seconds later Sho-Rembo creeps around the corner to get a bead on the orc watcher in the wall, but...


The whooping ceases.

And is replaced mostly by hissed expletives.

Turned out nice again...

However, suddenly facing the five orcs here is a monstrous brown bear- Sho-B-Bear to be precise. The ursine, for good measure, bites the former orc watcher.

The orc starts screaming for its friends, and we're into the action.

Corbis gets stabbed, it hurts a lot.

Then, after a hefty bunch of rolling and missing, Trebbelos dashes in to play the hero, the tiefling sorcerer Shatter's three of the defending orcs- one is killed outright, while the other two are left badly wounded. The sorcerer swirls and floats out of danger, held aloft- briefly, by his Tempestuous Magic.

Krago, with a little extra damage from his Hunter's Quarry cuts an orc down, and then wounds another- he's level three now, and a Horde Breaker.

Lappoy hits the wounded orc with a Fire Bolt, it survives.

Mohag, raging already, steps in and slays the brute, there's only one more orc guard left in the fight here.

Sho-B-Bear meantime is making a hell of a racket, that may be because the wildshaped halfling druid is still fighting five orcs, and has already suffered three hits, she's bloodied and beyond.

Sosspan rushes over and Fire Bolts, with a Crit, one of the orc guards attacking Sho-B-Bear.


The Unexpected are making a little headway...

Then Sho-B-Bear gets into the swing of things, the ursine rips the nearest orc in two with her claws (and another Crit) and then moments later, after padding forward, bites the arm off (almost) the next orc.

The orcs are panicking- screaming!

Trebbelos further terrifies the orc guards corralled by the brown bear, with another Shatter spell- another orc falls, and two of the remaining three orcs here are bloodied.

The 'Shattered Spear' orcs however know only one way out- and that's through Sho-B-Bear, and so they stab the ursine some more, and sure enough, mere seconds later- the great growling bear is gone and in its place a bleeding female halfling- Sho-Rembo.

Orcs are tough.

The players make a point of telling me this, and each other- repeatedly.

Go figure.

Note Sir Glen hasn't landed a hit yet, and he's already spent his inspiration point.


Sho-B-Bear has gone away.

Krago puts down the last of the four orc guards that were situated in the primary guard chamber.

Lappoy rushes around to see what's occurring in the guard chamber to the north, in which Sho-Rembo toils. There are three spear wielding orcs still trying to break out of their den. The High Magicker therefore unleashes his Scorching Blasts- two hits, but alas no deaths.


They're tough these...

I know.

But then the raging Mohag arrives and decapitates one of them.

Oh, but what's this- the sound of more orcs arriving, and suddenly Mohag (of all people) remembers to translate what's being said.

“Orcs come. Come quick- come get chief. It bad!”

Thanks for that Mohag.

Note, Sir Glen also understands the orc language.


Tribbits spots the first orc approaching, and hears the sound of many more heading this way fast from the west.

It's going to get busy, and so...

A charging orc gets in Tribbits face.

But Scrubs arrives in the nick of time to slash the furious humanoid with his longsword.

It's not enough, Tribbits gets speared.

There are at least a dozen orcs rushing through what looks to be some sort of dining hall, clambering over tables and scattering chairs as they come charging at the Unexpected.

Sir Glen imbues his Sacred Weapon and makes for the front line, singing a prayer to the Morning Lord as he goes.

Mohag gets stabbed.

Krago steps up and puts the first of the newly arrived orcs down.

Lappoy fires a trio of Magic Missiles into an orc- it too dies.

Mohag goes tonto (raging, Reckless & Frenzy) and then smashes down the last of the original orc lair guards, just the screaming horde of orcs rushing in from the west to take care of now.

[Orc guards 900 XP]

The barbarian races to get to the party.


Brace for impact!

By which I mean, of course, my poor orcs.

Sosspan's Shatter spell hits a trio of the brutes, and leaves two of them barely clinging onto life. The cavern rumbles and wobbles, part of the ceiling falls.

Sho-Rembo douses the oncoming orcs with her Faerie Fire, making a bunch of them much easier targets.

But the orcs rush in and start stabbing with their spears, raging Mohag gets skewered again, while Krago gets stabbed for the first time. Scrubs stops a flung spear with his body- Ouch! Seconds later Tribbits repeats the trick.

Tribbits, the wannabe sidekick, is down to 2 hit points.


The orc's charge has blocked the Unexpected's progress.

Seconds later and Scrubs gets hit again, he's down to 1 hit point.

So much for the NPCs.

Krago cuts another orc down, and then wounds yet another- and then with an inspiration point and a Cure Wounds spell he restores a little vigour to Tribbits.

Sir Glen steps in and slices an orc- his first hit, but its not enough to drop the furious humanoid.

Lappoy takes an orc down with his Scorching Rays, and singes another already bathed in the druid's Faerie Fire.

Mohag keeps on raging and slicing.

Then, Tribbits gets speared again, and now the ex-caravan guard is down and dying.

Sosspan's second Shatter spell leaves another two orcs dead, and two more badly injured.

The orc tide is breaking.

Moments later Corbis slices another orc dead.

Sho-Rembo kills another pair with her Thunderwave, and then with an inspiration point, and a Cure Wounds, manages to stir Tribbits from his slumber.

There are very suddenly only three orcs left in the fight...


The tide has turned.

Tribbits struggles to his feet and then fires a crossbow bolt into the nearest orc.

Scrubs, same method, finishes it off.

Just two orcs left in the fight.

Both of which are swiftly bathed in Trebbelos' Burning Hands.

They survive, but now they're both keen to be elsewhere...

The first orc retreats to the north, up a set of shallow stairs- there are more orc noises coming from this direction.

Seconds later the retreating orc is over taken (and turned around) by the orc chief- Nok Nok, who is heading down the stairs and straight for the Unexpected.

The last orc warrior in the room rallies when it hears the chief, and stabs Sho-Rembo, the halfling druid is very suddenly bloodied and beyond.

Krago dives to his friends side and stabs the orc brute.

While Lappoy strides forward and fires three Magic Missiles into the screaming orc chief.

Mohag cuts the last warrior in the chamber down (still Reckless and with Frenzy) and then races on towards the orc chief.


Get Nok Nok.

Sir Glen races ahead of the barbarian, but a screeching female orc warrior intercepts the pair- Sosspan hits the hollering harridan with a Fire Bolt.

Sho-Rembo finds somewhere to hide and swig down a healing potion, she was down to just four hit points.

Another orc warrior comes screaming down the stairs and straight into the melee, followed swiftly by yet another screeching female orc in a frenzy- Sir Glen narrowly avoids getting stabbed.


Missed by one both times.

Note the screaming female orcs are chief Nok Nok's warrior consorts- they're tough.

The paladin is surrounded.


Rescue Sir Glen?

Nok Nok smashes his black mace into the paladin, and it hurts- it hurts a lot (and with an extra pinch of necrotic damage).

Krago to the rescue, the dwarf ranger slices an orc down with his hand axe, and then Crits a second with his magical dagger.

Lappoy climbs onto a table, the High Magicker is mostly directing traffic, but he also finds the time to finish off the just wounded orc with a Fire Bolt.

[Orcs in the second wave 1200 XP]

Mohag cuts another orc down- one of the screeching female warriors, but alas his Frenzied attack on the chief is deflected by the brute's chain mail armour.

Corbis shoots the last screeching female orc warrior, it survives- and keeps up the horrendous noise.

Scrubs meantime takes aim and shoots a crossbow bolt into chief Nok Nok.

Trebbelos clambers on to a table and aims his Shatter spell up the stairs, and then employs a few Sorcerery Points to guarantee that chief Nok Nok has a hard time avoiding the spell (Disadvantage on Save). The thunderous burst destroys the last of the screeching female orc warriors, and leaves the chief badly wounded- and suddenly on his own.

Nok Nok runs...

And in doing so gets sliced again by Mohag.


Chasing Nok Nok.

Lappoy puts on a burst of speed and then with an inspiration point slams three more Magic Missiles into the quickly retreating Nok Nok.

That, however, was the wizard's last spell.

Nok Nok is now critically wounded.

But here's a thing...

Three seconds later Sosspan performs exactly the same trick- chase, inspiration point- Magic Missile, and... he rolls '5' damage for all three of his force attacks.

Nok Nok stumbles and falls.

The lair is taken, although it takes a few more moments to confirm this.

[Chief Nok Nok and his warrior consorts 650 XP]

But then there's the small matter of the rest of the tribe.


Orc non-combatants.

The Unexpected corral the non-combatant orcs while they search the fallen, and then the rest of the lair.

This takes a little doing- mostly Mohag making threats in orcish kinda fixes it.

There's some gold, electrum and silver coins, and... some more surprising items.

A Detect Magic ritual reveals that chief Nok Nok's shield and black-as-night mace are both magical.

After a short rest, which includes a very aggressive chat with the captured non-combatant orcs, it is discovered that the cavern next door is home to yet more orcs, and that the second tribe is lead by chief Nik Nik, big-brother of... but you've guessed the rest.

A little later a secret way through chief Nok Nok's lair is discovered- and a bunch more treasure, including a scroll of Fireball- immediately 'yoinked' by Lappoy, but more of this next time...

The pot is up to £62.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0014: Hunting for Nik Nik.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 3.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 3.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 3.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 3.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 3.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 3.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 3.

Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.
Scrubs Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.
Tribbits Male Human Guard & wannabe Sidekick.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 22: Being the 22nd Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after 11-ish.

So, the Unexpected are in the former lair of chief Nok Nok of the 'Shattered Spear' orcs, the orcs are all dead, or at least the fighting ones are.

Chief Nok Nok's magical black mace has been passed over to Krago (he's the only PC that employs a mace), while the orc chief's magical shield has been donated to Sir Glen.

The paladin of the Morning Lord is AC 22 atm, he doesn't hit much but... he holds the line.

Lappoy has taken possession of a scroll of Fireball, you should see his grin, and the rest of the orc's lair has been searched.


The orc's storeroom, nothing much worth taking here.

However, chief Nok Nok's chambers are full of surprises.


Including a hidden treasure chamber (behind a curtain) and a concealed door (behind the same curtain), and beyond the portal- another secret room.

But here's the thing, what to do about the non-combatant orcs? The Unexpected want to get on and go adventuring again, and so... after a five minute chat the decision is made to let them go.

The non-com orcs are therefore ushered out of the lair, and from there out of the ravine, their final warning- “No coming back now. Or else we'll kill you!” Mohag, who speaks orcish, is all heart.

Then, that done- and without incident, the Unexpected reassemble for part two, just to say best guess is- this route (through the secret chamber) is going to lead them into the lair of Nok Nok's big brother, Nik Nik's lair. The home of the 'Bloody Blade' orcs.


The PCs, and the players, are of the opinion that the orcs really needed to hire a marketing team- the Bloody Blades, and the Shattered Spear tribes, the alliteration is nice but the names need a bit more oomph!

But first, and as quietly as they can, the Unexpected make an investigation of the secret and seemingly long-time unvisited concealed chamber, it's like a meeting room.

There's a bunch of stuff to find in here, but first there's a pair giant centipedes to deal with, Sir Glen locates these two angry large insects the hard way- by kicking over the bucket they were happily living beneath.

Only one of the little bastards bites the paladin, and the poison doesn't stand a chance against Glen's holy blood (or else he makes his save by miles).


Note this picture shows the glowing Glen- Sosspan cast a Light spell on the paladin, he's not making stealth easy.

Sho-Rembo smashes a centipede down with a whirl of her sling, while taking a few steps back to let the cavalry in.

Sir Glen slices the other but fails to kill it- so embarrassing.

The paladin, having just been talked down by his colleagues for suggesting he use an inspiration point to finish the job, or at least to get another crack at the centipede, well... he gets bitten again, and this time its a Crit.

Thank heavens he passes his poison save again.

Sir Glen is on less than 10 hit points.

Krago rushes over and slams the big insect dead with his newly acquired magical black mace.

That's how it's done.

[Giant centipedes 100 XP]

But then the rest of the room is searched, and there's a few gems and some coin to be found, but more importantly there's another door beyond, and best guess is... this is going to lead into the second orc lair.


They're right, probably.


Sturdy door to the north, passage continues on- and there's a torch in here, so... inhabited.

Krago & Sho-Rembo head off for a minor sneak about, or at least to the end of the passage to see what lies beyond.

And what's beyond is... a short passage south that heads directly out of the cavern, an equally short passage to the west that leads into a smokey, filthy orc common chamber, rammed full of the brutish humanoids. Lastly, to the east, a longer passage leading to a guard room, perhaps, certainly there are a bunch more orc warriors that way.

In short- the exit, and two caverns full of orcs.

Then however the less than stealthy folk get into action. Mohag and Sir Glen (newly healed) clamber into the corridor and somehow conspire to fall over each other, stealth rolls = '1' x2.

The door in the northern wall of the passage is wrenched open by an chain mail wearing orc, the angry brute is just short of eight feet tall.

The orc takes in the scene and begins screaming.


Stuck in the middle with you.

Krago rushes over to block the hefty orc in the doorway, and then with an inspiration point he stabs the bastard.

Then... for some inexplicable reason he decides at the last moment to step aside from blocking the doorway.

This will turn out to be a very poor decision.

More orcs come running from the south and Sho-Rembo is very quickly facing off against a pair of them, the halfling druid gets sliced.

Another orc, a nasty-looking female warrior, races out of the northern chamber (actually Nik Nik, the chief's, chambers) and smashes Krago with her morningstar, the ranger is hurting.

Sho-Rembo has seen enough- and there are yet more orcs coming from the south, easily half-a-dozen of them, possibly twice as many, she disengages and runs back to safety, dodging through the longsword armed orcs as she goes.

Lappoy scrambles forward and fires three Magic Missiles in to the female warrior orc, she doesn't fall, she looks irked.

Then out of the door comes big chief Nik Nik, the platemail wearing goon slams his handaxe into Krago, and suddenly the ranger is doing real bad...


Krago needs a way out.

But then Sir Glen steps in and uses an inspiration point to fire up his Sacred Weapon (+ Cha Bonus to hit). The paladin Crits the badly wounded female orc warrior, and rolls... minimum damage ('1' + '1').

Where have I seen that before?

There is screaming.

Sir Glen is hard to hit, but harder still to land a significant hit on an enemy.

Mohag is swiftly raging, Frenzied and Reckless. The barbarian heads over and smashes the female orc warrior down, that was the chief's consort- Nik Nik isn't happy, therefore the barbarian smashes the chief too.

Mohag hits big all of the time.

More orcs come rushing from the southern passage, Krago gets skewered by a longsword, and the dwarf is down to six hit points, and cut off from his friends.

So, no picture for this bit but imagine- there's a wall of orcs approaching fast, then Krago on his lonesome, then some more orcs, then the rest of the Unexpected.

Sosspan rushes in and tags the platemail wearing chief Nik Nik with a Shocking Grasp, the dragonborn is putting his body on the line.

More orcs keep coming, and...

Krago gets sliced again.

For five points of damage.

You should have heard the player's squeal.

Krago is on one hit point.

The eight foot tall chief's guard attempts to wrestle himself into the melee, but Sir Glen stabs out and... kills him.

Me and my big mouth.

The paladin comes good in the end.


Krago needs to heal, or better still- get the hell out of dodge.

But there's nowhere the ranger can run to, he's therefore forced to guzzle down a healing potion, and stay put.

Tribbits shoots a crossbow bolt into chief Nik Nik, and its a Crit.

Another orc comes rushing around the corner and straight into the fracas- Krago gets stabbed again, and he's back down to just two hit points.

Sho-Rembo gets a good look ahead, and then launches her Moonbeam into the densest bunch of orcs further on down the corridor, they burn, although none of them fall.

Trebbelos flings a Fire Bolt into the chief (and it was a hard shot -5 to hit, with lots of bodies in the way), and for max damage.

Nik Nik is bloodied, and screaming at his warriors to kill the Unexpected.

So pissed (and hurt) is the chief that he disengages, takes a step back into his chambers, and then slams the door shut, leaning hard on it to keep it wedged.

Lappoy fires three more Magic Missiles into the nearest orc that he can see (fighting in corridors- not easy at times), wounding it badly- it's all he can do through the crowd of bodies blocking the passage, and... that was his last spell.

Mohag steps in and smashes another orc down dead.

Its what he does.

Sir Glen follows the barbarian forward and gets to Krago with a Cure Wounds.

The tables have turned.

The orcs at the front of the press are now stuck in Sho-Rembo's Moonbeam, and they're being radiant toasted, they're still cutting and slicing however.

Mohag soaks up a Crit.


Note chief Nik Nik is on the other side of that door, praying that his guys are going to dig him out of this hole, and swigging healing potions, of course.

Sosspan launches a Shatter spell into the wedge of orcs- they suffer, but only one of the brutes succumbs to the thunder.

Another orc receives radiant death courtesy of the Sho-Rembo's Moonbeam.

And then another...

Krago uses his last spell for another Cure Wounds (on himself) and then staggers back to his friends.

There is cheering.

Oh, they're all playing so very nicely together these days.

The bastards.

And yet another orc dies in the Moonbeam.


Sho-Rembo sends her Moonbeam shinning forward, down the corridor, illuminating a bunch more orc victims.

Lappoy, still far away from the action, manages to take another orc down with a Fire Bolt, yet another Crit.

Mohag decapitates an orc warrior, but gets sliced right back by another.

Krago flings a handaxe into an already badly radiant burnt orc, it dies.

Trebbelos ends an orc with a Fire Bolt, but there are still more orc warriors ahead- including at least two that keep dodging out into the passage to fire their crossbows at the PCs.

But this pair are not getting too close to the slaughter (or the Moonbeam), and are also staying out of sight as much as possible.


At which point however a much rejuvenated chief Nik Nik (having swigged down a pair of healing potions) flings open the door and lays into Trebbelos. Who is very surprised to see the chief, as he (Pete) said at the time- “I forgot there was even anyone in there.”

The tiefling sorcerer is sliced, triggering his Hellish Rebuke, Nik Nik gets singed, but only a little. The orc chief therefore follows up with a handaxe attack that leaves Trebbelos gibbering and on just three hit points.

Nik Nik retreats into his rooms, and around the corner and just out of sight.

Mohag smashes the last orc he can see down, with another Crit, and then rushes into the northern chamber in search of the chief to kill. The big barbarian has an inspiration point to spend- and so he does, he runs Nik Nik down.

And slices him with...

Another Crit, and rolls just short of maximum damage.

And that's just short of maximum (2d12) with a greataxe.

Nik Nik is suddenly in a very bad state.

But this is to the death.

Sir Glen rushes after Mohag and makes his way to the fight with the chief, he attempts to cajole the orc brute into surrendering (with a '2') but that doesn't work.

Nik Nik screams all the louder, calling for his warriors to rush to his side.

Corbis follows in and shoots Nik Nik with his crossbow, and, yep, another Crit.

Seconds later Sosspan hits Nik Nik with a Fire Bolt, and still the orc survives, and still he screams for his warriors to rush to his side.

Chief Nik Nik is on three hit points.


The death of Nik Nik?

And the Bloody Blade orc warriors are really trying, several of them rush through the Moonbeam (that hurt) trying to get to their chief, one of them slices Krago.

The ranger is still too close to the fracas.

Krago cuts his attacker down.


But then just moments later is shot by one of the two crossbow wielding orcs, still dodging in-and-out of the passageway.

Back in the northern chamber Chief Nik Nik cuts and slices Mohag some more- the barbarian is bloodied.

Meanwhile back in the corridor yet another orc warrior launches itself through the Moonbeam and... slices Krago.

The dwarf ranger falls- he's down and dying.

Mohag swings wildly but fails to connect with the chief.

As does Sir Glen.

There is squealing in the players ranks.

There's a lot of rolls getting made, but no hits- from both sides.

Seconds later the second crossbow wielding orc sinks a bolt into Tribbits, the wannabe sidekick, and now he's down to just one hit point.

Back in the chief's room and the Unexpected are desperate to take down Nik Nik, but... Corbis misses the chief with his longsword, and then Sosspan does the same, only with a Shocking Grasp (and he had advantage on the roll).

The players are really groaning and grousing now.

Everything/one is against them.

More orcs make it to the fight.

Trebbelos Shocking Grasps an orc warrior, Corbis slices another- and yet both enemies stay on their feet and in action.

Chief Nik Nik keeps on slicing Mohag, the barbarian is now heavily wounded.

Lappoy Shocking Grasps an orc that is threatening the High Magicker, and then when it doesn't fall he spends an inspiration point to do it again, and he does, and it dies.

An orc warrior cuts down Trebbelos, the tiefling collapses unconscious. The orc rushes on attempting to get to Nik Nik's side.

Sho-Rembo goes after it and bludgeons it to death with her Shillelagh.

Then, at last...

Scrubs shoots chief Nik Nik dead.

Just to say that the orc boss lasted just short of three turns with just three hit points left.


At last!

The other orcs are very mostly dead too.

Mohag ends his rage, and then gets to Trebbelos with a healing potion.

Sir Glen gets to Krago with a healing potion too.

The crossbow firing orcs keep on dodging back into the passage and, well... firing their crossbows, but Mohag and Sir Glen eventually clear the pair off- the barbarian yelling threats while the paladin parades the corpse of chief Nik Nik.

The rest of the Unexpected having dodged into the chief's room to stay out of the firing line while this is going on.

A short while later, Sho-Rembo with the last moments of her Moonbeam probes the way ahead- further down the passage, the adventurers are just in time to see the last of the orc non-combatants escape the lair, lead away- it is presumed, by the few orc warriors left (just two of them).

The war is won.

The rest is, well... a well-earned rest, and mo-money.

And the treasure... a few more coins, including a hidden stash of platinum in Nik Nik's chambers, a rope of climbing to tie this sack shut (taken by Mohag) and a magical handaxe, which Mohag also takes. The chief and his consort also had a few nice pieces of jewellery.

The lair is fully explored and then... well, that's all for this time except to say that the Unexpected have decided not to head on back to the Keep. They're going to spend a night here in the Caves of Chaos, occupying the two orc lairs- taking an extended rest, but also keeping an eye on nocturnal activity within the ravine.

At least that's the plan.

Scrubs has enough XP to become a Sidekick, the plan is he's going to be an Expert- so the Unexpected have someone to help out with locks and things, skills the mercenary picked up during his previous jobs.

That's nice.

The pot is up to £66.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.

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