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D&D 5e Into The (Keep on the) Borderlands (B1&2) #025 The Stinky Cave.


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Goonalan

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

Johnathan
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.

Toodles
 


Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
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)
Scrubs
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)
Wormwood
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.

Ho-hum.

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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.

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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.

1203.jpg

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.

Gah!

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?

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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.

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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...

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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.

1207.jpg

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.

1209.jpg

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.

Nice!

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.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
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.

NPC's
Corbis
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)
Wormwood
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.

1301.jpg

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.

1302.jpg

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...

1303.jpg

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...

1304.jpg

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.

1305.jpg

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.

1306.jpg

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.

Bugger.

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.

1307.jpg

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.

1308.jpg

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.

1309.jpg

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...

1310.jpg

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.

1311.jpg

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.

Twice.

Missed by one both times.

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

The paladin is surrounded.

1312.jpg

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.

1313.jpg

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.

1314.jpg

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.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
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.

NPC's
Corbis
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)
Wormwood
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.

1401.jpg

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

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

1402.jpg

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.

Classy.

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).

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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.

And...

They're right, probably.

1404.jpg

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.

1405.jpg

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...

1406.jpg

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.

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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.

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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.

Gah!

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.

1409.jpg

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.

1410.jpg

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.

Hurrah!

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.

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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.

[Chief Nik Nik and the tribe 1950 XP]

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.
 
Last edited:

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0015: The Unexpected's Got a Brand New Pigbag.

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.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 1.

NPC's
Corbis
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)
Wormwood
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, early afternoon


So, the Unexpected have taken down both tribes of orcs- chief's Nik Nik & Nok Nok are both dead, as are almost all of their followers, a few warriors it seems (at least two) escaped from the second lair with the non coms.

Treasure has been found and distributed, but now the Unexpected want to take a look around the ravine, they've observed the place previously, but- after a little chatter, they've decided it's time for a little exploration.

Or at least for two of the adventurers, the semi-sneaky pair, that's Sho-Rembo and Krago, the druid and the ranger.

So, the pair are sent out to see what they can find, this while Sir Glen and Mohag hide within the cavern entrance to the second orc lair, not that this pair can see the sneaky duo, they're mainly there just to watch the way.

Although... two things-

The first, the PCs have been kicking arse, and why wouldn't they- there are seven of them and they're all third level, and they have three NPCs with them- Corbis, Scrubs and Tribbits, who can also hold their own in a fight. Also Scrubs is now a 1st level Expert, a sidekick, so he's even more helpful these days.

So, to continue this- the (kindly) DM has therefore advised the players that their enemies, well... they've just been granted the gift of more hit points, they're going to be harder to kill from here on in. Point of fact I maxed-out the hit points for the orc chief's Nik Nok and Nok Nok, but that didn't help me any, so- more HP for everything nasty is the way to go.

Maybe, we'll see.

Next point to make, the Unexpected are healthy and well at the moment, but... the casters are pretty much out of spells- I think one of them has two spell slots left, all the others- just one. So, there's that. Also Mohag has been in a raging Frenzy twice, the big barbarian has two levels of Exhaustion, so that's not ideal.

Just thought I'd let you know ahead of what happens here.

But let's get to the recon.

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Here's the ravine, the Caves of Chaos.

So, areas A to F have been visited previously by the Unexpected, they're therefore not subject to Sho-Rembo & Krago's investigations.

The pair however are surprised to find area G, they were heading over to spy on cavern H at the time, the sneaky pair are trying to stay hidden as best they can within the densest foliage.

Area G, well hidden within the bushes is a hole in the ground, at the base of a large tree- Sho-Rembo is absolutely convinced that at least half a dozen small humanoids passed this way- into the hole, certainly in the last 24 hours.

This is the lair of something, further investigation by Krago (using his Darkvision) and the dwarf thinks that the shaft opens up below, maybe thirty feet down, into a larger cavern. Also there are lost of handy tree roots and (possibly) manufactured ledges to allow someone/something to make their descent.

The sneaky pair therefore climb up into the tree here and to watch for a while, they're also observing, as best as they can, caverns H, I and J.

Cavern H sees a little activity, Sho & Krago hold station and stay silent as two seven-foot tall hefty cloaked humanoids emerge from the cave opening, the pair look about for a short while and then climb out of the ravine, heading up the slope and to the north.

There are also a bunch of wooden signs hammered into the wall around the opening to cavern H, but the sneaky pair are much too far away to read these.

Sho and Krago are however certain that the pair that exited the cave were bugbears.

The duo watch and wait a while, but there's no further movement spotted here or elsewhere. They move on into the vegetation close to cavern I, there they resume their watch (again climbing up into a tree) this time observing caverns I, J & K, but again- nothing stirs.

Krago goes for a closer inspection of cavern opening I- and the place stinks, of death and decay, that's a little worrying- the dwarf is further convinced that there's an animal wet-fur stink also coming from here.

The pair watch and wait for another twenty or thirty minutes but there's still nothing to see, at least not for a long while, however as the pair are about to depart they both spot a light moving somewhere within cavern J.

But, the light soon fades, and even after another twenty minute wait, it doesn't return.

Which just leads cavern opening L, again the pair reposition- as cautiously as they can, and then observe the spot from the nearest patch of dense vegetation. But... there's nothing to see here either.

Just to note all of the openings are regular caverns (G is obviously just a hole in the ground), with no doors, cavern H has a few signs on and around it, cavern I stinks, and... that's it. Not a lot of new information to take back to their compatriots, but... neither of the pair wants to take the risk, they've both just got one spell left, and they're not the toughest members of the Unexpected (although Krago would probably argue against that opinion).

Recon done, almost... because en route back to their companions the sneaky pair spot something odd, and then hear something terrifying, but we'll get to these.

So, remember Pigbag, he was the orc prisoner discovered within the hobgoblin's cavern, and freed by Sir Glen, this after Pigbag rolled a '20' on his deception check and the paladin believed the orc's promise that he would live a better life.

Well, Pigbag has got himself a better life, he's made good on his lie.

Pigbag was formerly a member of Nok Nok's tribe- the Shattered Spear orcs, but after his release he decided, while exiting the lair, that he would try to be a little more Sir Glen. Pigbag therefore grabbed himself some armour on his way out, and helped himself to a longsword and shield. He looks tough, he thinks, like Sir Glen.

So, next up- in the module there are a bunch of random encounters for the region, one of these encounters is a pack of forlorn orcs. Forlorn because their orog leader, and half their number, have just recently been slaughtered, they're somewhat at a lose end. So, imagine this gang's surprise when Pigbag the confident strides into their lives, and immediately takes charge of the pack.

Pigbag knows where there's some treasure to be had- in a bunch caves in an overgrown ravine, certainly the new orc gang can get plenty of food (the dead) and lots or arms and armour, so- to the Caves of Chaos.

Pigbag's Gang arrive in the ravine just in time to see, and then intercept the non-combatant orcs that the Unexpected escort out Nok Nok's cavern (E on the map). Soon after the gang also get to meet the pair of fleeing warriors, and a bunch more non-combatant orcs that come rushing from chief Nik Nik's lair.

Pigbag's gang just got a lot bigger, so- we have Pigbag (a max HP orc), ten more orcs from the previously forlorn mob, two crossbow wielding orc warriors fled from area F, and another twenty or so orc non-combatants.

Pigbag has a plan, and it doesn't take long to organise, and this after a good long chat with those that have fled the pair of orc lairs.

So, a little later in the afternoon, but before Sho-Rembo and Krago have returned from their snooping. Sir Glen & Mohag are taking it easy within cavern opening F when...

A bunch of orcs come rushing down the ravine, where the two watchers cannot see, and then leap into the action. Mohag and Sir Glen however hear the orcs approach and start shouting, immediately, for their colleagues.

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The Unexpected are scattered about the orc's lair, however Lappoy and Scrubs have already heard the call, and passed the message on- they are on their way to see what Sir Glen is shouting about.

Sir Glen steps in, having first used his inspiration point to fire up his Sacred Weapon, and cuts at the nearest orc, he hits and rolls minimum damage, its what he does- a lot.

Corbis arrives on the scene and fires a crossbow bolt into the same screaming orc, also for minimum damage.

Mohag stirs and that makes all the difference, seconds later and the raging, Frenzied and Reckless barbarian cuts down both orcs in the cavern entrance, and then stomps out to face the orcs approaching.

However the barbarian is exposed, he gets stabbed repeatedly, like three times in quick succession, he still however has the stones to cut a third orc down, the brute was trying to get into the cavern (opportunity attack, and max damage).

1503.jpg

Mohag is busy, and then the orc artillery start firing.

But Sir Glen and Tribbits hold the line.

The paladin slices the orc before him again, another hit- and still it doesn't fall, so dispiriting...

Mohag gets shot twice by the orc artillery, the big man is bloodied and beyond, and stood out in the open- that's no good.

The raging barbarian however is smart enough to use his inspiration point to grab out a potion of healing and swallow it down, then he starts cutting again, but now he's mostly missing...

Bugger!

Scrubs arrives on the scene and shoots down the badly wounded orc threatening Sir Glen, and then provides a little Help (and encouragement) for Mohag.

So, I bet you're thinking- where's Pigbag.

Well, Pigbag and the biggest bunch of orc warriors are at this very moment just making it to the room in which Nik Nik and Nok Nok used to meet to talk. Pigbag's gang have made their way through the first orc lair and are just about to enter the second, in which our unknowing defenders are fighting for their lives.

The Unexpected, finger's crossed, are about to get surprised.

Back to the action.

Sir Glen strides forward and delivers a critical hit to the badly wounded orc fighting Mohag, one of three, and... rolls one more than the minimum damage possible.

1504.jpg

The DM can't stop laughing.

The orc obviously survives the ordeal.

Corbis steps in a moment later and cuts the foe down, with another Crit.

Mohag gets shot again.

The second orc artillerist starts shooting at Sir Glen, but the non-reckless paladin in his platemail is a much harder target to hit.

Trebbelos gets to the action and burns another orc with his Fire Bolt.

Mohag follows up and guts the orc, there's only one warrior left in the fight, and the two crossbow wielding artillery.

Sosspan hits the last warrior with a Fire Bolt.

But... back to the orc artillery, because last turn Sho-Rembo and Krago spotted the altercation and decided to creep in as close as they can to the orcs firing their crossbows.

With a stealth of '19' for Krago and one more for Sho-Rembo, at which point the pair unleash their attacks, although the halfling druid takes a very brief moment first to assume her new shape.

Sho-B-Bear is back.

1505.jpg

Sucks to be the orc artillery.

Krago smashes the first orc artillerist down (after a '1' x2 with his first attack, followed by an inspiration point = Crit), Sho-B-Bear's would-be victim survives the ordeal.

Tribbits meantime rushes to Mohag's side and slices the last orc attacker there, the brute is badly wounded, and looking to get away.

Sir Glen is next to attack, another hefty slice and... minimum damage.

A tantrum follows.

Eventually Corbis fires a crossbow bolt into the orc warrior and... dead.

There's only one orc left that the Unexpected can see, and this poor fellow is contending with Sho-B-Bear.

The poor sod attempts to flee, at which point Sho-B rips its throat out.

Dead.

The Unexpected however are just about to deliver a series of high-fives to each other, interspersed with verbal and physical pats on the back when Trebbelos says...

“Hang on! What's that noise...”

That noise my friends is another eight or so orcs lead by Pigbag arriving very late to the fracas.

1506.jpg

Bugger, here we go again.

Trebbelos, after screaming for his companions, fires a Ray of Frost into the closest charging orc, slowing it down somewhat, then he dashes away- out of sight.

Mohag races past the tiefling as he rushes forward to meet the orc's charge- he can hear them, but- he can't see them, there are no torches in the corridor here and so the badly wounded barbarian waits to feel the pain.

Sosspan rushes after the barbarian and then forces Mohag to swig down another healing potion (with an inspiration point).

Good work.

Then Sosspan runs off too.

Krago and Sho-B-Bear meantime go racing up the slope towards their companions.

1507.jpg

Orcs! Pigbag approaching!

Lappoy Fire Bolts an orc, and then having wandered too close to the action gets stabbed by a charging orc warrior, the wizard, sorry High Magicker, is down to six hit points.

Seconds later a second orc bursts through and Lappoy is down and dying.

Mohag gets sliced again, the barbarian is really soaking up the hits.

Pigbag makes it to the fight, dodges past Mohag and slices Scrubs, the expert sidekick is suddenly on one hit point.

This one went bad very quickly.

Sir Glen (who else would it be) charges into Pigbag but fails to make a mark on the orc, the paladin- as he often does, calls the orc out to fight him, a challenge.

All of Pigbag's birthdays have come at once.

There can be only one!

1508.jpg

Sir Glen versus Pigbag!

Mohag cuts an orc down, but he's still going reckless and in his future I see a lot of hits...

And yet another orc rushes in to take the fallen enemy's place.

Sosspan fires three Magic Missiles into Pigbag, the closest orc.

Pigbag is a little less certain about his future, he's bloodied.

Scrubs stabs Pigbag, the orc leader almost falls, then expert sidekick disengages (using an inspiration point) and pushes through his colleagues and back to safety.

Mohag gets clubbed (a Crit) and Lappoy fails his first Death Save.

You should have heard it over Discord.

Rob could be about to lose his first PC.

Although he may not be the only PC that's about to end its days.

Mohag gets sliced again.

Then again.

Then again.

Pigbag meantime fails to cut Sir Glen.

Sir Glen returns the favour.

Trebbelos hits Pigbag with a Fire Bolt, the orc survives- on just one hit point.

But not for long, one inspiration point later (and another Fire Bolt) and... Pigbag's gone.

1509.jpg

Mohag cuts down a pair of orcs (and without being reckless).

It's amazing how quickly things can turn around, and remember Pigbag was the guy motivating these bad boys.

Sosspan fires three Magic Missiles into an orc, the brute looks spent, and that was the dragonborn wizard's last spell.

Krago is in action, at last, moments later- smashing the newly wounded orc down and stabbing another.

Sho-B-Bear is gone, in the ursine's place the halfling druid, who scurries through her companions and to Lappoy's side, her last spell is a Cure Wounds for the wizard who had just failed his second Death Save in a row.

Tribbits shoots an orc with his crossbow.

But some of the orcs are still swinging hard, seconds later and Mohag is critically wounded (after a yet another hit followed by a Crit).

He doesn't stay on his feet long, seconds later he takes another hit and the barbarian falls...

Exactly three seconds later Mohag makes his first Death Save and...

'20'.

He's back up and swinging.

But Mohag's rage is over and he's now Exhaustion level 3.

Remarkably he's still hitting.

Krago slams an orc with his mace (and rolls minimum damage) and then stabs it and repeats the damage roll.

This could go on a while.

Mohag gets sliced and falls again.

The orc facing Krago attempst to flee, the dwarf smashes it down, and suddenly Sir Glen (with a readied action) is released.

The paladin scuttles forward and slices another orc, he goes to stand over the body of Mohag.

Note Lappoy is still on the ground pretending to be unconscious.

Sir Glen gets stabbed.

Trebbelos rushes forward and fires a Burning Hands spell down the passage, one orc is singed another badly burnt.

Mohag fails his next Death Save.

Sosspan ends an orc with a Fire Bolt, there are only three of the warriors left and they're all wounded.

Krago ends one of the orcs, and then flings a dagger in the back of another.

1510.jpg

Sho-Rembo is standing over Lappoy, while Sir Glen is also using Mohag's prostrate form to get some height.

Sho-Rembo crawls on the floor to get to Mohag, she feeds a potion of healing to the barbarian.

Scrubs shoots a fleeing orc dead.

Sir Glen slices the last fleeing orc, and... still it continues running.

It gets a few yards further and then sprouts a crossbow bolt in the centre of its back.

Corbis for the win.

The fight is over.

[Pigbag and his orcs 1450 XP]

But now the Unexpected have seen enough, caution wins out, particularly as some of them a pretty beaten up now.

An hour is spent resting and looting the bodies of the fallen orcs, the corpses are all dragged back into the cavern here.

There's only a little coin to be had from Pigbag and his gang.

That done, and a few more healing HD spent, it's time to head back home to the Keep.

And dammit, they make it all the way back home (I made three checks) without an encounter.

Oh, and both Corbis and Tribbits have enough XP for them both to become sidekicks too, while Scrubs is now level 2.

The pot is up to £70.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0016: Sir Glen and the Ankheg.

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.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

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

Day 28: Being the 28th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after dawn.


So, we're back at the Keep, but just about to head out again into the wilds once more, but- there's been a fair bit going on in the last five or so days.

This is what the Unexpected have been up to.

Scrubs is now an Expert Level 2, while Corbis & Tribbits have both also gained sidekick status, the pair are now both Warrior's Level 1.

The Unexpected tried to argue me into letting Tribbits have an acolyte background so they could make him into a clerical spellcaster style sidekick, but screw them, they're already kicking my backside here. Another healer? No, thanks.

Lots of stuff gets sold, although this takes a few days to get done, so much stuff is there, highlights include-

An ivory bracelet, sold for 58gp.
A longsword with a jade pommel, sold for 60gp.
A silver and gold belt, sold for 104gp.
And a gold ring set with an aquamarine gem, sold for 399gp.

So, the PCs are all back to being cash rich(-ish) again, although keep in mind that time spent in the Keep is expensive, usually about 2gp/day, more if the PCs are really drinking hard.

The Unexpected, of course, also grab themselves a few more potions of healing, they don't need many so this only takes two trips.

But, other things go on, first up the adventurers spend a couple of nights in the Travellers Rest, free-spending in an attempt to garner the missing rumour that they are searching for, the elusive #18.

Remember the Unexpected get a treat if they complete the rumour collection.

But... it's harder to roll an '18' than you'd think, apparently- twenty attempts and two nights drinking and spending and the elusive rumour #18 continues to evade the Unexpected.

However, there are other rumours, and offers, flying around the Keep.

First off, Darvon, the ancient priest of Oghma who is staying here with his two silent acolytes arranges a meeting with the party. A slightly strained meal takes place in a back room of the Travellers Rest, Darvon blesses lots of things- the food, the gathering, various individuals etc.

Anyway, Darvon has an offer for the Unexpected, he wishes to record their tales of adventure for posterity. He's a gatherer of knowledge, he goes on to explain, and so- he's always wanted to pen his own book, and not a dry tome but rather a rip-roaring heroic tale of adventure. Perhaps his legacy could be the story of the Unexpected, as they battle through the Caves of Chaos?

The Unexpected, or else the players, are of course grinning like chimps at the offer- fame and fortune is what (some/most) of them want. Some of them really want to be on top, even Lappoy's ego gets tickled.

The old priest is happy to sweeten the deal, he's rustled up a few (three) scrolls of Cure Wounds, to help the adventurers to stay alive during their next visit to the Caves.

The deal is done, and over the next few days the old priest meets with various members of the Unexpected to catch up on the adventurer's story so far.

Note- Lappoy knows all of the story, he's been with (the leader) of this group since its inception- he is the Unexpected, or at least that's his opening line to Darvon.

Excellent!

Next up, remember Cpl. Bamf Grubbins of the local guard, well... after a chat and a pint or two he fixes the Unexpected up with a meeting with his boss, a dwarf by the name of Gurtle Spinepecker, the Corporal of the Watch.

The deal is, the Keep hired a band of adventurers called The Fortune's Five (the Unexpected have met these guys) to track down and destroy a bunch of bandits in the region. However, the hired help doesn't seem to have come up with much, so far. The Fortune's Five's contract expires at the end of this month- do the Unexpected want the job if and when it becomes available?

To make clear.

The job is 100gp hire for a month spent scouring the area for the bandits, success- the bandits captured or destroyed (proof needed) and an additional 150gp is added to the reward. Spinepecker will further supply six guards for the adventurer's camp, and one months rations for all.

There follows quite a lot of discussion (over thirty minutes including tea break), here's the thing- the Unexpected want to rip their way through the Caves of Chaos first, they don't want to get bogged down in the wilds looking for bandits (or at least that's Pete take on things).

Although, some folk (Rob = Lappoy) think that they can do both.

Others don't care which they do (Dave).

So, the Unexpected's answer is 'perhaps/maybe' rather than a straight 'yes', Gurtle isn't particularly impressed. The Unexpected explain- they're heading back to the Caves on the 28th, they'll be back to the Keep on the 30th. So, the question, for them, is moot until then; they will however contact the good Corporal on their return, if it suits Gurtle? And, it does.

The Unexpected really want to explore two or three more of the caverns (at least)- top of their to-do list right now are a) the kobold cavern that seems to have been re-populated, their thinking is- kobolds = easy XP, b) the suspicious hole in the ground- what's down there? And c) the stinky cavern, the last one on the lower level.

Note, the Unexpected semi-believe that the higher up the ravine wall the cavern entrance is situated, the tougher the enemy within. It's a working theory, let them have it.

They also think that the further into the ravine the cavern is, the tougher its inhabitants are- so, there are competing theories.

Last up, the Guild of Merchants also grab the Unexpected for a brief meeting, they would like the adventurers to capture for them a teleporting rabbit (or two, or more). The story is, some wizard way back when, lost his magical (familiar) bunny in the wilds hereabouts, and... last tenday a patrol sergeant saw a rabbit that suddenly disappeared only to reappear ten or so feet away.

Magical bunnies exist, they think- in the wilds, the rabbit was spotted just off the main road, only a mile or so east of the Keep.

The Guild of Merchants will pay 250gp for a real live teleporting magical bunny.

The Unexpected don't know quite what to make of this offer.

Are we playing silly D&D?

Magical teleporting rabbits?

But, the info is filed away, they'll take a look on their next trip out into the wilds, maybe...

Which, of course, is now, as we catch up at last with the day, date and time all the way up above-

Day 28: Being the 28th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after dawn.

An early start today, the Unexpected are going to try to pack a lot in prior to their return to the Keep on the Borderlands on the 30th.

But the gang don't get far, and so in dawn's first light on a beautiful morning... suddenly the road buckles, twists and splits- several members of the Unexpected sprawl as bursting from the ground comes a large chitinous insect-like terror.

An ankheg, seconds later and three of the adventurers are scoured with a stream of burning acid (although I rolled 7 damage on 3d6).

1601.jpg

ANKHEG!

Mohag picks himself up and smashes the creature with his greataxe (but for minimum damage), roaring for his colleagues to come and join him at the party.

Krago is straight to it- smashing and stabbing.

Just to note, the ankheg has max hit points, so it's tough.

But the beast lurches around and spots Sir Glen sprawling, it grabs up the prone paladin in its razor sharp mandibles, then- with the screaming (like a little girl) paladin in its maw, it retreats back beneath the earth...

WTF?

Generating a few opportunity attacks, of course, and the players are made aware (by the kindly DM) that at the end of the ankheg's turn it will be ten feet back beneath the earth, and therefore most likely (subject to some real clever thinking) out of range.

Subject, again- of course, to what follows, the aforementioned opportunity attacks.

Mohag swings again, a reckless attack- and misses, and so spends his inspiration point to try over, and he misses once more (both attacks with advantage).

There is screaming around the VTT.

Mohag- missing?

Twice?

WTF?

Krago smashes the creature repeatedly with his black mace, but the ankheg is still digging itself in deeper, but then...

At the very last moment possible, just as the horrible giant insect sinks beneath the dirt- Sir Glen, with an inspiration point for advantage on the roll, manages to wrestle himself out of the ankheg's grasp.

1602.jpg

Bloody hell, that was close.

The ankheg is gone, burrowed deep back into the earth.

The Unexpected run around, briefly, Sir Glen is dragged out of the collapse, the paladin gets to his feet and dusts himself down, this after Sho-Rembo applies a little healing to him.

Sir Glen is remarkably sanguine, or else scared speechless.

But here's the thing...

1603.jpg

The ankheg's back.

Twenty-or-so seconds later the ankheg burrows back up again, and spews a second (recharged, yay) acid vomit over various members of the Unexpected. Lappoy is down and dying, several of the other adventurers are also not looking too well either.

But the PCs are swiftly into action.

Tribbits rushes in and slices the great insect with his longsword.

Sosspan drags himself away from the danger and then fires three Scorching Rays into/at the towering beast, they're all misses ('4', '1' & '1').

This isn't going well.

Sho-Rembo gets to Lappoy with a Cure Wounds scroll, it's the second one that's she's used already, and if they look back the Unexpected can still see the Keep.

Trebbelos slams a heightened Shatter spell into the ankheg, the great insect wavers, its carapace split clean in two.

Corbis slashes it with his longsword, but still the beast lives, Lappoy sees his opportunity and scrambles to his feet- the brave wizard sprints away from the beast, yelping and screeching as he goes.

Sir Glen rushes into the newly vacated spot before the lurching ankheg, and... cuts its bleeding head-off.

The ankheg collapses, its life-force spent.

And now Sir Glen finds his voice, and he has plenty to say.

1604.jpg

Well, that was Unexpected, I mean... unexpected.

[ANKHEG! 450 XP]

Note, that was a max (66) HP ankheg.

There follows a fairly lengthy debate, which continues until the end of the session- like another 20 or 30 minutes. The subject of the debate? What the hell do we do now?

Just to say, lots of folk just expended their inspiration points, and several of their high level spells, and four of the PCs are bloodied already.

The decision is, pull off the road- hide up for an hour, do some healing and then head on to the Caves of Chaos, but that'll be for next time.

Sad to say, while the Unexpected take a rest, there are no additional random encounters.

Damn!

But that's all we had time for, a very short session- not even two hours as one of us was called away, real life sometimes intrudes.

The pot is up to £74.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0017: '1'- Two & Three.

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.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

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

Day 28: Being the 28th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 8-ish.


So, the decision is the Unexpected are going to go on to the Caves of Chaos, and see what they can see. The plan is to get some action in and then skedaddle back to the Keep in time for the end of the month (at the latest), maybe pick up the contract to hunt the bandits in the region.

There's still at least two sides (at least) to the above option.

But for now, onwards.

Back to the ravine...

Although that doesn't go as planned either.

Just to say, I rolled a '1' for a random encounter as soon as the Unexpected left the Keep, and... another '1' at the start of this session.

And I have just the fellows.

So, the Unexpected take a leisurely stroll up the road all the way back to the Caves of Chaos, almost, while wending their way through the small hills and hummocks (drumlins) at the head of the ravine, well...

1701.jpg

Gnolls! And Hyenas!

And for the most part the Unexpected are surprised- only Corbis and Lappoy spot the attack before it happens, and so, this is what goes down.

Wheezer, the gnoll boss of this pack (they're actually gnoll slavers), orders the attack the moment after he sinks and arrow into Krago, the dwarf ranger is bloodied in an instant.

More arrows whiz in.

Lappoy survives a similar fate as he's able to raise his Shield spell.

A gnoll darts out of hiding and manages to snare Mohag in its net, the barbarian is restrained, and seconds later one of a pair of hyenas is also chewing on the big feller's leg.

Corbis gets bitten by a hyena, and then again- and the second bite's a Crit, the sidekick is suddenly down to one hit point, but not for long. The warrior glugs down his one and only potion of healing, and then with an inspiration point (I figure I should get these too for my sidekicks) he cuts down one of the hyenas, and with a Crit of his own.

Lappoy meantime unleashes a Thunderwave, sculpting the spell around the flailing Mohag, the gnoll with the net barely notices the blast, but both hyenas here are blown apart.

1702.jpg

The Unexpected weather the gnoll-storm!

However, a second later and Krago is netted by a gnoll too.

Wheezer, still co-ordinating the pack's attack, manages to sink a second arrow into the now restrained Krago, he's really not doing very well, the ranger.

Mohag, also restrained, rages and attempts to recklessly scupper the gnoll before him- the barbarian flails wildly and misses. The gnoll, while Mohag is struggling, grabs out its club and attempts to bludgeon the big feller into unconsciousness, that's a tough ask. There's a lot of flailing but no actual hitting going on.

Sho-Rembo becomes Sho-B-Bear, but the large ursine just waves its great paw at the gnoll attacking her friend, Krago- who, for his troubles, gets clubbed in the face by the gnoll.

Corbis slices, but fails to kill, the other hyena that bit him.

Lappoy meantime disengages and staggers back out of the melee, then with an inspiration point the wizard launches a series of Scorching Blasts, the first (a Crit) and the second into the gnoll attacking Mohag. The last to burn the gnoll attacking Krago.

Both gnolls are now badly wounded, the one holding the net wrapped around Mohag is barely able to stand.

When he's good he's great- Lappoy.

Krago, the (restrained) dwarven ranger, manages to connect with his attacker using his magical black mace (but then rolls minimum damage).

It's a bit of a brawl.

Sir Glen rushes over and slices the gnoll attacking Mohag, the beast is now critically wounded.

Sir Glen rolls a '1' or '2' (+2 bonus) for his damage almost every time.

Tribbits cuts down the last of the four hyena's, the badly wounded creature that was attacking Corbis.

Note, the hyena is Tribbits' first actual kill*, the joy however doesn't last long when the gnoll this pair are facing stabs Corbis with its spear, and the sidekick warrior is quickly back down to just one hit point.

*We have a stat engine thing on FGU which pings us when such events occur.

A gnoll up on one of the drumlins shoots an arrow into Sho-B-Bear, she's hard to miss.

Sosspan launches a Scorching Ray into the badly wounded gnoll trying to beat down Mohag, the creature (at bloody last) dies. Then another Ray for the gnoll attacking Krago, this gnoll is now heavily wounded, alas the dragonborn wizard's third attack is off-target.

Mohag, still caught up in a net, but now sans enemy (but still raging and reckless) rushes off to confront the gnoll attacking Corbis and Tribbits, the barbarian (once again) is way off target.

Sho-B-Bear bites the face off the gnoll attacking Krago, and then scrambles up the nearest drumlin and claws the gnoll with a bow up there.

1703.jpg

Shouldn't be long... just to note that's Wheezer to the far north on the drumlin.

Corbis slices the gnoll that just speared him (but for minimum damage).

Lappoy rushes over and fires three Magic Missiles into the beast, now that hurt.

Scrubs fires a crossbow bolt into it too.

Sir Glen rushes up to the top of one of the drumlins, to the gnoll archer up there, only it involves a lot more scrambling and sliding than optimal, he's out of breath (and options) when he gets to the brute.

The gnoll being threatened by Sho-B-Bear ducks clear of the ursine, slides back down the rear slope of the drumlin, and then flees into the woods.

Krago meantime has managed to wrestle the net off himself, and then fail to scramble up onto the drumlin atop which he can hear Sho-B, but now there's no enemy to be seen.

The gnoll facing off against Corbis, Tribbits and the restrained Mohag also decides that now is the right time to flee, somehow Mohag smashes it down with his handaxe- dead.

Sosspan climbs up to the top of the nearest drumlin (note the dragonborn has no athletics skill to talk about, and he managed it easily enough) and spots Sir Glen struggling with a gnoll on the drumlin opposite. The wizard fires a Fire Bolt into the creature. The gnoll rushes off- although it gets sliced (minimum damage) en route to freedom by the paladin.

Mohag attempts to run the last fleeing gnoll down (but he's still restrained in a net), the barbarian connects once with his flailing handaxe (for min damage- there's a lot of this) but the hairy brute races off to freedom.

The gnolls are gone, the Unexpected are... peeved, beaten-up, peeved (again).

More remarkably the three dead gnolls have in the region of 50gp, in a variety of coins, between them, and one of the hyena's was wearing a very manky gem-studded collar. The PCs concur however, they're the toughest buggers they have fought so far, and they're not looking forward to finding the gnoll cavern in the Caves of Chaos.

They know that there is one in the ravine, from the rumours-
  1. The big dog-men (GNOLLS?) live very high in the caves. INTERESTING.
[Gnoll hunting party 340 XP]

The decision is swiftly made, the Unexpected pull back out of the ravine and go and find themselves a place to hide in the nearby wooded wilds.

Then rest, and chatter.

The subject of the discussion, dead easy- should we abandon the Caves of Chaos and hunt the bandits like the authorities want us to?

Supplementary question- should we abandon the Caves of Chaos attack right now? Or should we have one last crack at them?

The debate rages- there's one for the Caves of Chaos all the way (Pete); one for doing the Caves until the 30th, then back to the Keep and take the contract (Rob); and another who doesn't much care (Dave).

But here's thing...

I just rolled another '1'.

Random encounter payback.

1704.jpg

And so the Unexpected find a shallow pool in the woods, and relax and chat, for a while...

It's a warm day, if it wasn't for all of the ambushes... it'd be lovely.

Speaking of ambushes...

It's a DC 12 perception check to spot the goblins closing in on the resting Unexpected, alas only four of the ten adventurers are ready when the tide hits.

1705.jpg

The goblin wolf riders arrive.

The first goblin wolf rider rushes Corbis, fails to connect with its scimitar, and has its mount slashed by the warrior as it departs at speed.

Corbis heard the goblins coming.

Bogus, the goblin boss is the next to attempt a ride-by-slashing, the result, equally frustrating (for the DM). Bogus misses his attacks and then gets his mount badly wounded by Trebbits as the pair depart.

Trebbits also heard the enemies approaching.

Just to note, Bogus is constantly shouting and screeching throughout what follows, keeping up a running commentary for his fellow goblins, he's that kind of goblin boss- also he's just swigged down a potion of speed.

A third goblin wolf rider races into the clearing and almost guts Sir Glen with a ride-by scimitaring, the paladin is left staggering.

The fourth wolf rider leaps from its mount and slashes Mohag, while it's wolf companion rushes over to bite Sho-Rembo, the druid is almost dragged off her feet.

This is going badly is the consensus around the VTT.

Lappoy to the rescue.

The High Magicker wades into the pond, figuring (he's smart) that he's less likely to get run down by the wolves there. Then he unleashes three Scorching Rays, the first Ray leaves the goblin menacing Mohag barely holding on to life. The second Ray leaves the same goblin's wolf mount yowling and still licked by flame, and now no longer snapping at Sho-Rembo.

The last Scorching Ray is for the fifth goblin wolf rider, as it rushes into the clearing, the goblin's mount is so badly singed that it shucks its rider, and is not keen to hang around.

1706.jpg

Lappoy is Magick!

But the Unexpected are still fighting for their lives, the last goblin wolf rider tumbles off his badly singed mount and slices Krago in the gut.

Corbis chases after one of the departing wolf-riders, and cuts the mount from beneath the goblin, who goes over the front of the wolf and lands hard (Dex check '1'). Alas the goblin picking himself out of the dirt, and getting ready to rush back to face Corbis is... Bogus, the goblin boss.

We'll return to this.

Tribbits tries the same trick, chasing after a different mounted goblin he cuts the wolf's flank, but the duo rush on.

Sosspan launches a Thunderwave, a badly wounded wolf and its recently unseated rider and caught in the blast, and destroyed.

Remember Bogus versus Corbis- well, the goblin boss picks himself up, stomps back over to the warrior (chatting all the while) and cuts Corbis down- no contest. Another one of the goblin wolf riders pulls up beside Bogus- at his instruction, and is swiftly kicked off his mount. Bogus sounds a hunting horn, to call in the goblin runners, and then scrambles to get on board his newly acquired wolf.

Remember Tribbits was also chasing after one of the riders- well, the enemy pair quickly turn to face the warrior, the goblin is high and wide with its scimitar but the wolf bites and savages Tribbits' leg, he's down to just one hit point.

Scrubs shoots the goblin hassling Mohag dead with his crossbow.

Note he's also giving out a little Help every turn, it's what Scrubs does.

Lappoy, he's only got one spell left- and he's saving it, Fire Bolt's the goblin chief's new wolf. Bogus has to get off the beast immediately, and he's not very happy, so he let's everyone know.

The goblin boss sounds his horn again.

Krago smashes a wolf down with his black mace, and then rushes towards the goblin boss, screaming threats- Krago hates goblins.

Trebbelos helps Krago out by firing a Colour Spray into the goblin chief, who has since grabbed another passing goblin rider, and is just about to take this fellow's less-singed wolf mount. However, the swirling lights of Trebbelos' spell cause the goblin and the wolf to screech and holler, the pair are instantly blinded.

But not Bogus.

The goblin boss is however, and once again, sans mount.

Sho-Rembo uses the distraction to get close enough to get a Healing Word into Corbis, and the warrior is conscious again, although he's lying just behind the chatty goblin chief, and his two now blinded companions.

1707.jpg

Everything is going to be okay... that's Bogus and his blind friends to the south, oh and Corbis playing doggo (pretending to be dead).

Then however the goblin runners start catching up with the riders, and in a matter of seconds half-a-dozen or more goblins rush into the clearing, firing their shortbows as they arrive.

Trebbelos gets shot, he's bloodied, however the silly bugger goblin doing the shooting is engulfed by the tiefling's flaming Hellish Rebuke, and snuffed out like a candle.

Seconds later Sosspan gets stabbed, the dragonborn wizard is bloodied and beyond, but only for a brief moment as another goblin rushes in and shoots him down.

Corbis, trying to play the hero, gets straight back up to his feet and attempts to slice Bogus down, somehow he misses the goblin boss and instead connects with the blind goblin ex-wolf rider, he doesn't even manage to kill the suffering greenskin.

1708.jpg

Busy isn't it.

Sir Glen shouts a lot, and then fires up his Divine Favour and cuts the nearest goblin- he rolls minimum damage (on both dice).

There's quite a lot of laughter.

Mohag gets to raging, and he's reckless, and in a frenzy, the barbarian wades across the pool and to the three goblins that have just cut down Sosspan, and... rolls a '1' & '2' for his first attack, but hits with his second, and then rolls minimum (6) damage.

Do you remember when Mohag used to be a stone-cold killer?

Meantime over the other side of the pool Bogus, the goblin boss, blows his horn repeatedly, and then kicks his newly acquired but now blind and mewling (badly wounded) wolf away from him. He harrumphs, and then races (on foot) after Corbis, he misses the badly wounded warrior repeatedly with his scimitar.

Remember Bogus is still on speed.

He's also yet to land a hit.

Scrubs wades into the pool and to Lappoy's side, it seems to be the safest place at present, the sidekick expert then shoots down dead one of the three goblins slashing at Mohag.

Lappoy however has a plan, he wades off- to the edge of the lake, and then hits the largest concentration of goblins (and a wolf) with his Thunderwave, his last spell- this is what he was saving it for. And, what a hit! Two goblins and the wolf are blasted into pieces, another goblin (still blinded) is left barely capable of standing.

Another fresh goblin comes rushing out of the foliage and straight at Krago, the dwarven ranger races to meet it, and then blats it with his black mace- dead.

Trebbelos, badly wounded, swigs down a healing potion (using an inspiration point) and then strides over to hit the last two goblins attacking Mohag with a Burning Hands- the pair are incinerated.

Note, the Unexpected are going all out now.

Sho-Rembo uses a Healing Word to awake Sosspan, who was moments ago sprawled unconscious.

Corbis cuts Bogus, the goblin boss, but then is attacked from behind by another fresh goblin- he fends the little bastard off.

At which point yet more goblins come rushing from the foliage- another half-a-dozen new enemies.

That's eighteen goblins, five wolves and the boss- Bogus, that are (or have been) in this attack.

But, there's lots of rolling and an almost equal amount of missing going on at times, that said- Sir Glen, who is now fighting four goblins on his own, gets stabbed. While Scrubs, still stood in the middle of the pond, gets shot.

Tribbits meantime finds a bit of cover and swigs down a potion of healing, he was down to one hit point.

Mohag, still frenzied and raging, cuts down a goblin that comes rushing at him, and then stalks off to find more to kill.

Sosspan, like Tribbits, swigs down a healing potion and gingerly gets back to his feet.

1709.jpg

That's all of the goblins in action now.

A goblin rushes over and cuts Corbis down, the warrior sprawls unconscious and dying, yet again.

At which point Bogus rushes over and grabs up the dying Corbis, and then screams to be heard, in the common tongue-

“Stop fightin'. Pay now or beard-man gets dead!”

Bogus holds his scimitar poised at Corbis' throat.

Lappoy starts up with the call- for his colleagues to cease their attacks, but... that doesn't work because Krago is already in motion, he hates goblins, and so grabs out his magical dagger and lets it fly, straight at Bogus.

The missile is high and wide.

Bogus cuts Corbis' throat (two automatic death save failures, that's one to go).

1710.jpg

We get back to fighting...

And the first thing that happens is a wolf leaps at Krago- still charging towards Bogus, the beast bites the dwarf ranger, and drags the him off his feet.

Scrubs shoots a goblin dead, he was aiming for the boss- the bastard moved out of the way at the last moment, Bogus has a habit of doing this.

Trebbelos fires another Colour Spray at the goblin boss, but alas the light show (as previously) only affects the two goblins that are supporting Bogus, the pair stagger away blinded.

Sho-Rembo races around the pool and fires yet another Healing Word into Corbis, Bogus doesn't notice the spell take effect, and so is surprised when Corbis launches himself to his feet and stabs the goblin boss in the gut.

Bogus is bloodied and beyond, and screaming blue murder.

Tribbits, meantime, rushes to defend the fallen Krago, he cuts the wolf threatening the dwarf ranger down dead.

Sir Glen Crits a goblin dead, the goblin was only on one hit point, but shhh... don't spoil his fun.

Mohag decapitates yet another goblin, and then rushes to Sir Glen's side, just in time to be stabbed by one of the three remaining goblins facing off against the paladin.

Sosspan staggers into the centre of the pool, and then fires three Magic Missiles into Bogus, and it takes all three.

The goblin boss falls.

The rest of the goblins attempt to flee the encounter, all five of them, of those- Corbis cuts one down, Sir Glen another, and the last three- all wounded, get away.

The fight is over.

[Bogus' Goblin Gang 1200 XP]

The Unexpected are spent, and now they have a decision to make, this after searching the goblin's bodies, and a little more healing.

Do they really want to go back to the Caves of Chaos, because right now they're broken.

Decision next time.

The pot is up to £78.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0018: Four & Five, and the start of Six.

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.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

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

Day 29: Being the 29th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about two in the morning, too early to be getting up, and yet...


But a little backtracking, just for a second, the Unexpected have decided to stay out in the wilds, they figure- we're tough enough, and I believe them.

They were heading for the Caves of Chaos but en route have fallen foul of the DMs random encounter dice, I keep rolling '1's. So far- an ankheg, a bunch of gnoll slavers, followed by a pack of goblin wolf-riders.

Sucks to be them.

So, the Unexpected have pulled back from the Caves of Chaos ravine and decided to make camp out in the woods- they need to rest up a bit before braving the Caves again. Here's where they are on the big map-

1801.jpg

Where's Lappoy- bottom right, that's the Unexpected's camp for the night. The Caves of Chaos are to the north, you can see the ravine, and the Keep on the Borderlands far to the west (actually, it's about four or so miles away from the PCs present campsite).

So, a night out in the wilds, and I've already rolled to see if there's another random encounter for the Unexpected's retreat through the woods, but nothing doing, so I'll try again for the overnight.

Bingo!

And here we go...

1802.jpg

It's 2 AM, and only Sir Glen & Trebbelos are awake and on watch.

At which time Grimphart, the wandering ogre, in search of treasure or a new lair, spots the Unexpected's camp and tries (he's not bright) to sneak up on the PCs.

Then I roll an adjusted '15' for Grimphart's stealth.

That's not bad, could it...

1803.jpg

Grimphart leaps out of hiding having just achieved a gold star for his leopard crawl, and then leaps to his feet and attempts to smash Tribbits to pulp, and doesn't do a bad job of it- the warrior is down and dying.

Then, well- there's only two PCs awake, and so those sleeping need to make a DC 10 perception check to rouse- and the funny thing is, only two other PCs manage this.

Here goes...

Trebbelos is the first to react but the tiefling sorcerer has next to no spells left, so he uses his Thaumaturgy to shout out to his companions in a very loud voice-

“AWAKE! To Arms. We're Under Attack!”

Very official sounding.

And then with his inspiration point he attempts to Fire Bolt the ogre brute, and that's a hit.

But Grimphart has all of his hit points, I maxed him out, and as in the book his greatclub is studded with tail spikes taken from a manticore he fought recently, so there's a little extra damage from these.

Grimphart takes a stride forward and slams his greatclub into Mohag, and the barbarian- just waking, is bloodied in an instant.

But Sir Glen is the hero, the paladin is on his feet and at the ogre in seconds, with an inspiration point to activate his Sacred Weapon, and then his last spell slot for a Divine Smite. The holy warrior of the Morning Lord almost guts Grimphart (for 20 damage).

He also starts up with his annoying shouting and fretting about the Morning Lord.

So, dull.

Then Mohag struggles to his feet, and he's already raging and reckless, Grimphart gets sliced some more.

Sosspan awakes, leaps up, and fires a clutch of Magic Missiles into the ogre.

Grimphart is bloodied and beyond.

And then all of the other adventurers awake, after Trebbelos' yelling.

Krago thumps Grimphart with his black mace, Sho-Rembo uses her last spell to pump a Healing Word into Tribbits, Scrubs fires a crossbow bolt into the ogre, and Trebbelos tags it with a Shocking Grasp.

1804.jpg

Grimphart is screaming, and yelling, he wants out of here, he runs...

And is sliced by Mohag, and while tottering and flailing about is finally brained by Krago.

Grimphart is dead, and as Lappoy stated at the time, and while still situated in his bedroll-

“I told you we were tough enough to be out here for the night!”

[Grimphart is dead 450 XP]

There follows a little emergency healing for Tribbits and Mohag, then the rifling of the dead ogre, and then... re-set the watch and sleep some more.

They figure the dead ogre wont start stinking the place up for a while.

But, because of all of the shouting and the noise I thought I'd roll another encounter check.

Another '1'.

Is that my fourth or fifth today?

I've just been for a count-back, that's my fifth successful random encounter roll (out of about eight) in the last twenty four hours of the Unexpected's life.

So...

The encounter indicated is far too nice.

Therefore we move on to Lappoy and Tribbits, on the last watch for the night, the pair are the first to hear the strange buzzing sound, no... that's not quite right.

They are the first to hear someone close by, and it's light now, saying the word 'buzzing', repeatedly, a long drawn out drawl- 'buzzzzzzzzzzingggggg', and as I say repeatedly.

The pair spot an old stooped man leaning heavily on a stout staff, the strange human seems to be surrounded by a swarm of bees.

He's the one making the noise.

The odd fellow looks up and then waves at Lappoy and Tribbits, who don't quite now what to say.

“Who are you?” Is Lappoy's opening offer, followed by an explanation of who the Unexpected are and what they're doing here, by the much more polite Tribbits.

1805.jpg

“I am Bumble”, the old man states, “they call me the king of the bees...”

“Who does?” Lappoy asks, somewhat testily.

“Why the bees of course”, Bumble earnestly replies, and with a broad smile.

A little later and all of the Unexpected are in on the conversation, or at least lots of them- certainly they have all taken the time to introduce themselves to Bumble.

Bumble's bee friends, he seems to be constantly surrounded by a lazy swarm, cause a little consternation, but Sho-Rembo, and a few others are particularly delighted by the cheerful and pleasant old man.

So, the chatter goes on for some time, and for a variety of reasons, firstly Bumble has honey to sell, and several of the PCs are buying- it tastes good.

Furthermore Bumble has some royal honey (a curative) which he is willing to give to the adventurers, or else trade with them, but only if they prove themselves useful.

Bumble has three doses of royal honey, these can be earned by-
  1. Helping the water spirits of the Goblinwater River.
  2. Culling some of the spiders in Spiderwood, the place is over run with them.
  3. Stopping the undead attacks in the Whispering Wood.
Keep in mind that all of the above comes out in slow stages, Bumble is rambling and distracted, but very pleasant with it.

But, that's a lot of things to do for just three doses (Heal 1d4+1) of royal honey, however the Unexpected- all of them, like Bumble. They donate over 30gp to the wandering druid, Sho-Rembo contributing half of this.

Note, Bumble didn't ask for money, or anything else (except see below) the PCs just started donating.

But there's more, because back in the Keep the PCs (actually Lappoy) learned (in Session #13) that there was a 'mad druid' who wanders the Whispering Woods, and who knows the region like the back of his hand. The implication being that the 'mad druid' would know where the former lair of Zeligar and Rogahn is located, remember this is the PCs ultimate goal.

They just don't talk about it a lot, mainly because up until now they're been having fun in the Caves of Chaos.

But, the 'mad druid' as it turns out is not Bumble, it's his brother- Tolpuddle. Tolpuddle, Bumble warns, is a little 'nervous' around folk, and he inhabits the Whispering Wood north of the road, he thinks.

Note, Lappoy- who is doing quite a lot of the talking (its what he does) doesn't use the word 'mad', he's very polite.

However, the High Magicker enquires- does Bumble know where Zeligar and Rogahn's former lair is? Alas, no- but his brother might. Tolpuddle has lived in the wilds here for almost all of his life, Bumble has been in the region- and searching for his brother, for just a few years now.

The Unexpected are desperate to help the nice old fellow, and to locate his brother Tolpuddle, and to earn the three jars of healing honey.

Furthermore, after more questioning, they learn that the water spirits that need help lair somewhere 'in' (the operative word) the Goblinwater River. That the Spiderwood is within the Fell Fens (see the map below, arrow to the SSE) and Bumble fears there's something particularly nasty in there. And lastly, they learn that the undead terrorising the Whispering Woods have escaped from a bunch of old cairns and burial mounds located near the Caves of Chaos (to the WNW, see the map below).

The adventurers further explain to Bumble that they are going to be spending the next month or so looking for a bunch of bandits in the region (Bumble doesn't know where these folk are), so they'll be scouring the wilds hereabouts. Bumble explains right back- that he can always be found in and/or around his present location, tending to his bee followers.

[Meet Bumble 200 XP]

1806.jpg

Note, I've shifted Lappoy on the map so that more of the area can be illuminated and therefore seen. Spiderwood in the Fell Fens, see the south arrow- it's that-away, and that's the Goblinwater River there too. The northern arrow is pointing towards the source of the undead problem that is affecting the Whispering Woods.

Then, the Unexpected say their farewells and head back into action, back to the Caves of Chaos.

You'll note from the above exchange that the PCs have clearly decided to take the bandit hunting job, news to me when it happened.

But here's the thing, it's a half-hour walk back to the Caves of Chaos, but I had to, I just had to...

I had to roll for random encounters.

I rolled a '1'.

Yet another one, and so...

1807.jpg

En route to the Caves of Chaos.

The Unexpected are travelling along the main road that heads out of the region, which at this point snakes between high (about thirty foot) ravine walls.

There's an odd something in the road, a circle made from stones, only small stone- just pebbles, but very neat, and very obvious.

Then...

A voice shouts down from the crags above.

“Stay where you are!” And when the PCs stop, the voice (male human, best guess) comes again.

“Leave 10gp on the ground- in the circle, 10gp each- and then, when you've made your donation- clear off, up the road- and as fast as you can.”

“Why should we?” Krago (and a variety of other folk with varying degrees of indifference/surliness) shout back.

“Because in ten seconds we're going to start shooting, and when we start we ain't stopping, less we see a pile of money in the circle. Ten, nine, eight...”

There follows what could best be described as a kerfuffle as a variety of PCs all attempt to do a variety of things, or else try to discuss a variety of things; and all at the same time.

So, time for another picture...

1808.jpg

Runaround, NOW!

So, here's a summary of what you are seeing, the smart folk (maybe)- Lappoy, Mohag (INT 7?), Scrubs, Trebbelos & Corbis have all either run into the nearest area of dense vegetation, or else are en route to the same.

Tribbits, Sho-Rembo and Krago are trying to hide in the shadow of the cliffs, although Krago is already climbing, but he's only ten feet up so far.

Sosspan simply ran out of time, he's standing in the middle of the road, just gawping- doing nothing really.

Sir Glen, of course, is doing the same- only with a lot more shouting about the Morning Lord and the waving of his longsword.

Nobody has left any money in the circle, not even a few coppers.

The attack begins moments later.

But that alas, is where we end it for this one- hard to believe but the above was nearly three hours long, although- lots and lots of chatter, and some of it to do with the game.

The pot is up to £82.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #019: B&B (Bunnies and Bandits).

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.

Sidekicks (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Clear out the Caves of Chaos- kill the evil humanoids and take their stuff.
  3. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  4. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  5. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures.
  6. Take up the search for the bandits (see Gurtle Spinepecker, Cpl of the Watch).
  7. Capture a teleporting bunny for the Guild of Merchants.
  8. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  9. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  10. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
*I've been asked to put this here because the players keep forgetting some of this stuff, also they have lots of quests on the go right now.

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

Day 29: Being the 29th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about nine thirty in the morning...


The Unexpected are in a ravine, and are about to get shot- or so they've just been told, unless they leave a 10gp donation each, for the bandits with the bows in the crags above.

The Unexpected have left squat for the bandits, most of them have run off- heading for the woods (and cover).

Here we go...

1808.jpg

Here's where we were at, the bandits are out of sight on the ridges above (possibly on both, the Unexpected think).

Then however...

1901.jpg

There are a trio of bandits on the southern ravine top, all three of them are firing their longbows at Krago who is climbing up (the thirty or so feet) to meet them, and with two hits, and the second is a Crit.

Hang on!

Each hit necessitates an athletics check (DC 10 + damage done) to cling on to the rock face, Krago passes both checks- DC 14 and then DC 20, he's a tough bugger.

Note there are more bandits firing bows from atop the northern ravine, but they're shooting (at Krago still) and then scurrying back into cover, and out of sight.

All misses so far.

Sir Glen, the fool (maybe) races to the northern cliff and climbs almost to the top, its easy- the paladin peers over the rim (as he's out of movement and actions) and can see that there are about four or five rough looking human bandits up here.

Note, the normally mouthy paladin chooses to stay silent at this point, he didn't think he was going to end his turn clinging to the face of the cliff.

Krago, meantime, scurries up the rest of the cliff (with an athletics '20') and pushes his way into the mix and starts swinging, he brains one of the bandits (down to one hit point) and wounds another, both with his black mace (and an inspiration point).

Trebbelos rushes back into the road (he was heading for the trees) at the same time calling his comrades back to the attack, he then wings one of the bandits perched on the lip of the southern cliff, and wounded already by Krago. He hits it with a Fire Bolt, the foul fellow alas survives.

The bandits and Krago are fighting on the very edge of the southern cliffs.

Sho-Rembo becomes Sho-B-Bear (with a climb speed) and the great ursine charges (relatively) up the southern ridge, the bandits up there are suddenly screaming in fright- and seconds later bleeding.

1902.jpg

The bandits on the southern ridge are terrified, that was Unexpected!

Sho-B-Bear claws a bandit to death, the foul fellow's broken body is swatted off the ridge.

Lappoy rushes out and fires three Magic Missiles into another of the wounded bandits, it too is killed, and plunges off the ledge.

Meantime more of the bandits on the northern ridge are in action- Sosspan gets shot. While back up on the southern ridge- Krago gets stabbed.

Another bandit on the northern ridge top is just about to fire at Sosspan with his longbow, when he spots Sir Glen clinging desperately on to the scarp. The foul fellow immediately drops his bow and grabs out his scimitar, and then races to the spot to slash at the climbing paladin, Sir Glen's plate armour saves him.

Sosspan spots Sir Glen's predicament and fires three magic Missiles into the bandit cutting at the paladin, the enemy survives, but he's not healthy.

But the secret is out, and a second bandit rushes over to slice at Sir Glen's hands with its scimitar, and hits, the paladin lets go... and falls thirty feet back down , luckily landing in thick vegetation (3d6 falling damage = 7). The holy warrior however is bloodied.

Back on the southern ledge a bandit threatened by both Krago and Sho-B-Bear attempts to cut and run, Krago beans the fellow with his black mace- dead.

Tribbits (foolishly, my bad) climbs the northern cliff- having not seen Sir Glen fall, he makes the ascent easily and then races in and cuts the nearest bandit, at which point however he realises that he's alone up here and with a total of five bandits in the near vicinity.

Tribbits screams for help.

1903.jpg

Bugger!

The bandit Tribbits cut drops his bow, grabs out his scimitar and cuts the warrior right back.

Sir Glen gets back to his feet, grins up at the bandit that just cut him down (right down) and then rushes over and starts climbing back up again. Corbis dashes out of the foliage he's been hiding in and follows suit- the pair are racing up the cliff face.

Krago smashes the last bandit on the southern ledge down, and then takes a moment to see what's going on, before finally shouting down to his companions to go and help Tribbits, like they didn't know this already.

Trebbelos Fire Bolts (with a Crit) the bandit on the northern ledge that cut Sir Glen down, the miscreants still burning body (alas) plunges straight down and onto the paladin, who- you'll remember, is on his way back up.

More remarkably the tough so-and-so sticks up an armoured arm and swats the falling dead bandit to the side.

“Thank you!” Sir Glen shouts down to a now sheepish looking Trebbelos.

Mohag, meantime, darts across the road and clambers up the northern cliff like a spider monkey (admittedly a very big spider monkey) he gets to the top and then charges for the nearest bandit. Although at this point he's out of actions, and having spent an inspiration point already this turn.

The cavalry has indeed arrived.

Sho-B-Bear scurries down the southern cliff and then rushes to start climbing to the top of the opposite ridge.

But Lappoy is shouting something from down below-

“Take them alive! Take them alive! We want to find their lair!”

And truth be told no-one else had mentioned this as of yet, these are probably some (or perhaps all) of the bandits that the Unexpected (and the Fortune's Five adventuring party) are searching for. Maybe.

All the action now is on the northern ridge.

A bandit flees into the woods, gets away real easy, another tries the same trick but is cut down in an instant by Mohag's greataxe (the big barbarian forgot to pull his blow).

1904.jpg

There are only two bandits left alive, both on the northern ridge.

Tribbits thunks the flat of his blade into the guy he's facing and calls for him to 'surrender', the bandit's reply is unrepeatable.

The bandit flees, and THUNK!

Tribbits, again with the flat of his blade, knocks the fellow unconscious.

Sir Glen scrambles the rest of the way up the cliff and sees that the last bandit is off and running, the paladin climbs up onto a large boulder and then launches himself down upon his foe. He hits- the bandit collapses beneath the weight of the heavily armoured paladin. Moments later the enemy is being threatened at either side by Corbis and Mohag, and is being sat on by Sir Glen.

The bandit surrenders.

[Bandit attack thwarted 200 XP]

The two human male miscreants, the Unexpected learn, a little later- are called Ricky Pilchard, and Ornery Jackson; they're career criminals it seems.

Although Ricky, he says, is fairly new to this game.

But will they play ball?

So, first up- after getting everybody safely back down from the ridges, is a little healing- including a little for the unconscious bandit. Then the Unexpected retreat a good way out of the ravine, and back into the woods, almost back to where they spent the night previously.

Then...

Well, here's the thing- some of the Unexpected are pretty keen to get rough and tumble with the two bandit captives, but the voice of reason is strong- Sir Glen and Lappoy insist that violence is not the way.

In contrast Sho-Rembo and Krago want to hang the pair.

It takes a while (over two hours), but eventually, Ricky and Ornery start talking- once one starts (Ricky) the other joins in. A deal is done, and again its very mostly Lappoy and Sir Glen that secure the agreement.

Although... see later.

Note, I allowed each player to pick one or two of his PCs to do their thing (RP) and then make a roll. Dammit but all five of the PCs selected rolled good to high (lowest Krago's intimidate '14', and with three persuasion checks 20+).

The bandit prisoners agree to tell (or show) the Unexpected where the lair of their boss, Dee Dee Raven, and then rest of the bandits dwell. But, only if the adventurers swear to let them go, and to give them a little money to make new lives with.

The deal making goes on for some time, but just to say that all of the Unexpected are happy with the negotiated outcome (above) except for one- Sir Glen, the paladin wants to hand the pair over to the authorities back at the Keep.

The Keep, everyone in the conversation knows, will try the pair- find them guilty, and most likely hang them.

So, we circle for a bit.

And I enjoyed this bit immensely. Sir Glen, as played by Dave, is adamant. There are dozens of options, and/or versions of the deal explored. But no, Sir Glen is not for shifting- there's to be a trial.

But eventually, two hours later- in game, the deal is done.

This after Sir Glen takes the hog-tied bandits aside for a little chat with them all on his own, and a '23' persuasion check is rolled.

Ricky and Ornery will tell all, and draw a map, and right now- because the Unexpected are suddenly in a big hurry.

The pair will pay for their crimes, although Sir Glen has sworn that he will represent the duo at their trial.

So, there's that to look forward to.

After a little more chatter the Unexpected learn from the now forlorn pair, that there are another dozen or so bandits in camp at present, as well as Dee Dee Raven and her right hand man, a fellow simply known as 'the Lieutenant'.

“Right, screw the Caves of Chaos, let's get the bandits right now!” Lappoy, every now and then, is for the win.

And there's a consensus.

We're off to get the bandits.

1905.jpg

So, here's where the Unexpected are, all the way over on the right hand side of the regional map, where Lappoy is. See Mohag, just to the south of the Keep on the Borderlands (about 4.5 miles away) right there, apparently, is a secret way across the Goblinwater river. The second arrow pointer to the south of the crossing indicates the location of the bandit's cavern home.

The hills where the bandits are laired are in the Ravenwood, makes sense- Dee Dee Raven, in the Ravenwood. Obvious, really.

So, off we go- and at speed, along the main road, the plan is to drop off Ricky and Ornery with the guards at the Keep, it is, after all, on the way.

But here's the thing, and I ain't kidding, or lying- or making this shizz up- I rolled a '1'.

That's yet another random encounter.

And so...

1906.jpg

The Unexpected suddenly become aware that they are surrounded (sort of) on both sides of the road by rabbits. Scratch that, rabbits with unicorn style horns.

Then...

One of the odd looking bunny's teleports away, or else... BLINK! And it's gone!

“CATCH ONE!”

A third of the Unexpected all scream at once.

A few of them (who am I kidding- all of them) with added swear words.

And the scramble is on.

These are the rules- on its initiative an al-mi'raj (blink bunny) that is not being held by a PC will teleport away, off the map, and to safety.

It's gone. Escaped.

To prevent this from happening a PC needs to grab (requires a successful roll to hit) and hold on to the al-mi'raj (DC 20 acrobatics or athletics check). However a captured al-mi'raj's next action will always be to teleport away.

Note captured bunnies teleport to a space within the range that can be seen from the blink bunnies present location, and thus NOT off the map.

NOTE, all blink bunnies start the encounter with their teleport charged- ready to BLINK away. On rounds when the al-mi'raj's teleport ability is not yet charged the rabbit simply seeks to move away from any nearby PCs- it CANNOT exit the map.

The likelihood is then a PC will grab a bunny, it will BLINK away (but remain on the map) continuing to evade the PCs until its teleport recharges, at which point if it is not being grabbed it will BLINK off the map.

An al-mi'raj's teleport recharges on a 3-6/1d6.

The PCs are going to have to be quick.

To capture an al-mi'raj a PC needs to hold it in his hands for a complete turn, at which point the beast is either calmed enough to stay, or else knocked unconscious, regardless for game purposes it is captured.

Note, happily none of the PCs attempt to kill the bunnies- they all go along with the rules above, remarkably. I would have allowed Trebbelos to blind a bunch of bunnies with his Colour Spray spell, but he didn't think to do so. The wizards used to have Sleep spells, but both of them, it seems, swapped them out- that would have worked too.

Throughout what happens next Sir Glen & Trebbelos hold station on the road, maintaining their grip on the prisoners- Ricky & Ornery. Sir Glen isn't enamoured with the idea of chasing magical bunnies, it is beneath him. Trebbelos would try his hand but the paladin (sternly) orders him to stay.

So, there are only eight PCs playing the game, although three of these are sidekicks usually played by the DM, but in this instance the three- Corbis (Dave), Scrubs (Pete) & Tribbits (Rob) are being manipulated by the players (as indicated) .

Here we go...

There are ten blink bunnies in play to begin with.

At the end of the first turn six of the teleporting bunnies have already made it to safety, they've BLINKed off the map.

Four left, bugger- this is difficult.

Sho-Rembo and Krago, as happens repeatedly in these adventures, are working together. The dwarf ranger somehow manages to grab up one of the blink bunnies, briefly- BLINK- and it's twenty feet away.

The pair scurry around for a short while in the chosen bunny target's wake, Krago mostly grabbing- always just too late, while the halfling druid attempts to befriend/charm/cajole the thing in to her arms, but... Twenty seconds later... BLINK (again) and it's gone, out-of-sight, off the map. SAFE! The blink bunny has teleported away.

There are just three blink bunnies left in play.

Scrubs (played by Pete) is also immediately after a bunny, and... he grabs it, but it of course instantly teleports away, and so the expert sidekick puts his head down and chases after it, and just seconds later grabs it up again.

This is easy.

Scrubs has the bunny in his grasp, all he has to do is to hold it still for a turn (to capture it).

But... he doesn't, the bunny almost immediately teleports away again.

Bugger!

Scrubs is after it again- but not for long- BLINK- and the bunny is gone.

There are just two blink bunnies left in play.

Mohag and Lappoy meantime, conspire to grab up a different blink bunny- the big barbarian has a hold of it, that is until it teleports away.

The pair race off again, and seconds later... Mohag scoops it up once more, he just needs to keep hold of it for a little longer this time.

He doesn't, of course, the bunny immediately teleports away again

Only this time Lappoy gets to it and grabs it, and seconds later and Mohag is there too- the pair have got one!

They're both clutching it.

But...

Nope.

BLINK.

Gone again.

And off the pair go again, the odd couple continue their odd pursuit for a turn or two, until- BLINK, and the bunny is gone.

Last bunny...

Corbis (Dave), Tribbits (Rob) and Sosspan- working as a trio manage to chase down and grab hold of a blink bunny. The beast is briefly in the hands of Sosspan, before blinking away.

Corbis immediately rushes off and grabs it again, while Tribbits and Sosspan conspire to run into each other.

But Corbis keeps a tight grip, and, simple as- got it!

The al-mi'raj fails to teleport away, while Corbis maintains his grip on the beast, and it's captured!

And a gentle tap to knock it unconscious.

We have a winner.

DM Note, in reality the above didn't happen in the order it is presented. Corbis had his bunny calmed and captured while the other three chases were still playing out.

But while all of this is going on Ornery, who only has his hands tied, decides to make a break for freedom, and even though Sir Glen is watching and waiting for just such an activity... Ornery breaks free, avoids the paladin's grab and is off and running.

At which point Trebbelos is after the bandit, the tielfing sorcerer soon catches up with him- and in his infinite wisdom he tries to tag Ornery with a Shocking Grasp- to knock him out cold, at least that's his explanation at the time. He rolls a Crit, and then just one off max damage.

Ornery had just one hit point, and so...

“Guys! I think I broke Ornery.”

Ornery is dead.

Ricky is, of course, very unhappy about this, and keep in mind this all happens when the rest of the PCs are still chasing the blink bunnies.

However, Sir Glen is immediately on hand to talk Ricky down, with another incredibly high roll ('20' = '25') on his persuasion check.

Ricky, it seems, is consigned to his fate.

1907.jpg

One blink bunny captured, one bandit broken, and the other bandit ready to confess all.

[Bunny captured 250 XP]

But that's all we had time for this session.

The pot is up to £86.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 



Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #020: The Ravenwood Bandits.

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.

Sidekicks (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Clear out the Caves of Chaos- kill the evil humanoids and take their stuff.
  3. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  4. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  5. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures.
  6. Take up the search for the bandits (see Gurtle Spinepecker, Corporal of the Watch). IN PROGRESS.
  7. Capture a teleporting bunny for the Guild of Merchants.
  8. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  9. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  10. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
*I've been asked to put this here because the players keep forgetting some of this stuff, also they have lots of quests on the go right now.

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

Day 29: Being the 29th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, early evening.


Note, Corbis & Tribbits both have enough XP to become Level 2 sidekick warriors, all they need is an extended rest. But they're probably not going to get that for a while- the Unexpected are after the bandits, and on their trail- they know where they live.

So, the Unexpected have been up to stuff- after capturing an al-mi'raj, or as their more commonly known- a blink bunny, the adventurers have made their way back to the Keep on the Borderlands, and the gates are still open.

Therefore, after an extended chat and the paying of a few bribes (but not a lot, the Unexpected are getting a reputation as the good guys in the Keep) the PCs have had a brief chat with Corporal of the Watch, Gurtle Spinepecker, a surly dwarf- much of the time, but not atm. The dwarf's mood is improved considerably when the Unexpected hand over Ricky Pilchard, a member of the bandit gang that the Keep have been looking to put out of action for quite a while.

It also helps that Ricky, full of remorse (Sir Glen put it there), is singing like a canary- he confesses to the lot, and has a little cry.

Note, the Unexpected have also brought back with them the body of Ornery Jackson, another of the bandits.

So, Ricky is put in a holding cell, and Sir Glen makes it absolutely clear, the bandit prisoner is not to be touched, no acts of revenge, no violence. Spinepecker gives his word.

Next up the bagged and unconscious blink bunny is to be delivered post haste to the Guild of Merchants, and... well, the PCs will be back in a bit with a few others (perhaps) from the bandit gang, or else some proof that they're dead and/or gone.

Note Spinepecker offers to lend the Unexpected a few guards, but the DM makes it clear to the players that they have ten N/PCs in play already, and I'm not botting any more of them.

Then, the Unexpected depart, they're going after the bandits right now, before it gets dark- and they have a comprehensive set of instructions (and a map) given by Ricky and Ornery, so they're confident of the route (subject to a few successful survival checks to keep on course).

Off we go...

1905.jpg

Just to remind you this is the route, from the Keep south, across the Goblinwater River (there's a shallow spot) and then into the Ravenwood hills and up to the bandit's cave.

So, less than twenty minutes later and the Unexpected run into a problem, and apologies but there's no map to go with this one.

The PCs are at the exact spot, they think, that Ricky told them that the Goblinwater River runs shallow, and that it was safe to cross, but... the river doesn't run shallow anywhere that the Unexpected can see. Point of fact it looks deep, and treacherous.

So, here's the thing, the area is actually covered by an ancient (and more powerful, maybe) version of a Hallucinatory Terrain spell, so the river does run shallow here, and if you know that- like Ricky does, then you can see the terrain as it truly is.

But the obstacle is easily overcome, its a test of faith, or else bloody-mindedness; after listening to their companions bicker and fret for about twenty or so minutes both Sir Glen (in his platemail) and Krago just step out into the seemingly deep river... and discover it is indeed a very shallow stretch of water, just like Ricky promised.

The Unexpected cannot find an explanation for the fact that their eyes are deceiving them, this after a trio of really low arcana checks. Therefore, they don't question it, only wade across the shallow stretch of the river.

The rest of the journey to the bandit's cave is just over an hour of walking, accompanied by three great (aided) survival checks (including '20' x2). The Unexpected find the quickest route to their quarry.

But here's the thing back at the bandit ambush in the ravine, one of the buggers got clean away from the Unexpected. So, there's a bit of me (your kindly DM) that thinks that I should have the bandit lair be empty. Dee Dee and pals having got the word have shipped out, moved on. Thus leaving the PCs with the task of discovering the bandit's new abode. But there's a bigger part of me that's saying- let's get on with this, and besides the PCs played smart and rolled good to great, let them have their reward for capturing and convincing Ricky and Ornery to spill the beans.

The compromise, of course, is to have the bandits know the PCs are coming and set up a little welcoming party for them, or else, well... here's what happens.

2001.jpg

The cave is quickly and easily found (once you know where it is), it's quiet inside but the play of shadows make the Unexpected think that there's someone in there... also, every now and then a low voice comes from the far chamber, perhaps.

Sho-Rembo and Krago sneak in, cautious like... but the Lieutenant and four other bandits are waiting to spring their trap.

The Unexpected were spotted en route to this location, both at the river crossing and on their way up to the cave, at no point did the PCs try to be stealthy.

Note, Dee Dee Raven, the bandit leader is waiting with her guys for the screams to start, they're positioned a little further up the hill, above the cavern entrance and watching the PCs from up high.

Also note, every bad guy in this has max hit points, and the kindly DM has given all of the bandits +1 to hit & damage, they're defending their lair, livelihood & lives. Also, why not?

And so the stealthy pair (although as it turns out not that stealthy- Krago) get a little further in before the ambush hits.

A bandit archer steps out from hiding and thumps an arrow into Krago, the bandit scurries away again- back out of sight, in the same instant a second bandit rushes forward shouting and spears Sho-Rembo in her side.

Then the Lieutenant steps out from hiding and sinks another arrow into the dwarf ranger, but again, the bandit boss steps back out of sight as yet another bandit charges in with its spear, but Krago dodges back just in time.

Alas just in time to turn away from the bandits before him, but not the third bandit archer who steps in (briefly) and sinks a third arrow into the dwarf.

Krago is down to nine hit points and hurting bad.

2002.jpg

Ambush Part One. Note the artillery are firing from the north west chamber, although now they're back out of sight.

The Unexpected are not having that... the call from Sir Glen is, well... something about the Morning Lord, and... CHARGE! The adventurers (and players) are all in.

There's a lot of swearing here.

Sho-B-Bear suddenly puts in an appearance, and then claws the now screaming bandit that stabbed her right back.

Then a raging and reckless Mohag rushes in and hits the bandit trying to stab Krago (although for minimum damage).

Krago however takes control, using an inspiration point to grab out a potion of healing and swig it down, and then clobbering the bandit with a '20', the backstabbing bastard is the first to die.

The dwarf ranger is not content- hollering a very sweary battle-cry he rushes forward and spots, then stabs, one of the formerly hidden bandit archers.

“There's a bunch of 'em through here!” The dwarf shouts to his companions.

Tribbits is the next into the lair, rushing over to cut down the bandit facing off against Sho-B-Bear.

Sir Glen, always playing the hero, double moves all the way into the farthest chamber of the cavern- eventually catching up with Krago, and then using an inspiration point (with a little Divine Favour) cuts down the bandit archer the ranger wounded with his blade.

“They're in here!” The paladin confirms, and then some more blather about the Morning Lord.

Lappoy is also on the charge, double move followed by an inspiration point to fire a trio of Magic Missiles into yet another one of the formerly hidden bandits.

However, the now wounded bandit shoots the wizard right back, with its longbow, and not even Lappoy's Shield spell can save him. The High Magicker is suddenly down to five hit points.

2003.jpg

The Unexpected are cutting through the bandits. This is easy- “I thought there'd be more of them”, Pete (prophetically) states.

Just to say, no-one has thought to take any prisoner as of yet, or else inflict subdual damage.

However, it's a this point that a whole host of bandits, who were poised to follow the Unexpected into the lair, drop down from above the cavern opening and unleash whatever attacks they have.

In short order Sho-B-Bear takes four hits in quick succession, one of them a Crit with a thrown spear, the wildshaped druid is on just two hit points.

At the same time, within the lair, another half-a-dozen bandits spring from their various hiding places.

As Pete said at the time- “naughty word! There are more!”

Lappoy gets speared, the wizard is down to two hit points.

Krago gets speared again- and he's not well again, Trebbelos gets speared for the first time- although the bandit who dared the tiefling suffers from the sorcerer's reaction Hellish Rebuke.

2004.jpg

C'mon! Let's see if I can mess up a few of the Unexpected.

Too soon.

Sho-Rembo is suddenly back in the cavern, the halfling druid unleashes a (second level) Thunderwave on the bandits blocking the exit, at the rear of this bunch is Dee Dee Raven. Only Dee Dee fails her save, and... 3d8 = 6 Thunder damage, half for those that saved.

Bugger!

Sho-Rembo runs away a little.

Smart cookie, as moments later Dee Dee Raven dances in and stabs Scrubs repeatedly, and the sidekick expert is suddenly on just one hit point.

The raging Mohag steps in, now with added frenzy, and cuts Dee Dee twice with his greataxe- and both big hits.

Krago gets speared in the back again, and its a Crit, the dwarf ranger is down and dying, seconds later he fails his first Death Save.

Tribbits steps in and cuts the bandit threatening Trebbelos (for minimum damage) but the foul fellow keeps on fighting.

The Lieutenant keeps moving, spots Lappoy flailing and sinks and arrow into the High Magicker, Lappoy drops unconscious.

2005.jpg

Krago and Lappoy are down, Scrubs is on one hit point.

It's getting a little frantic.

Sosspan hits the bandit menacing the fallen Lappoy with three Scorching Rays, the miscreant survives, but not for long. The dragonborn steps in and bathes the same bandit with his poisonous breath. Dead.

Scrubs meantime disengages from Dee Dee and flees to relative safety.

Trebbelos gets stabbed again.

Sir Glen pumps all of his Lay on Hands into the fallen Krago, the dwarf stirs, the paladin- hero of the hour, then casts a Sanctuary spell on the ranger.

Lappoy meantime fails a Death Save.

Trebbelos tags the bandit trying to stab him with a Shocking Grasp, and a Crit, he fries the poor bugger. Dead.

Corbis charges into the Lieutenant, and another Crit, the bandit boss is yelling and swearing.

Mohag gets speared, and then again- the second one yet another Crit.

There's a lot of them about.

Mohag is surrounded, but he's the damage soak, and I reckon anytime very soon his friends (the rest of the Unexpected) are going to get their arses in gear.

2006.jpg

It was good while it lasted... I think I'm about to get stomped, maybe.

Sho-Rembo gets to both Lappoy and Scrubs with a Cure Wounds and a Healing Word (and an inspiration point). The pair are in a little better shape.

Dee Dee slices Mohag three times (although two of them for only minimum damage).

Mohag cuts right back, although he's now concentrating his efforts on the three other bandits that are attacking him. The raging barbarian cuts one of the trio down dead.

The bandit that stabbed Krago into unconsciousness ignores Sir Glen's Sanctuary spell on the fallen ranger, and therefore stabs the prone dwarf again- and with another Crit, Krago is back down to one hit point, but only for a second- the ranger swigs down a healing potion, but can't get away from the fight.

Tribbits rushes in to help Mohag, and cuts a bandit with his longsword.

The Lieutenant drops his bow, draws his shortsword and cuts Corbis down, with one stroke and... yet another Crit.

Sosspan fires off three more Scorching rays- two hits, both for the Lieutenant, who dies in flames.

Scrubs scrambles over to Corbis with a healing potion.

Sir Glen slices another bandit, and then rolls minimum damage on both dice (longsword plus Divine Favour). The bandit, of course, survives the ordeal.

But there are not many bandits left in the fight, just Dee Dee and five of her men.

Lappoy staggers to his feet and then goes in search of enemies, discovering Mohag surrounded by bandits in the main entrance to the cavern. The High Magicker shapes his Thunderwave to wash around the barbarian, he destroys another of the bandits, and wounds Dee Dee and her companions some more.

At this point Lappoy also remembers that it wouldn't be a bad thing to take a few of these bandit's prisoner, he screams this seemingly 'new' information to his companions, who then begin to castigate themselves for having forgotten all about this option.

Trebbelos tries to help out with a Colour Spray, but Dee Dee just ignores it, although one of her bandit companions is left blinded by the light show.

Corbis staggers to his feet, spots the nearest bandit and stabs it in the back- dead.

So much for taking prisoners.

The Colour Spray blinded bandit still however manages to stab Mohag (he's reckless remember).

2007.jpg

I think I did okay, although it may be time for Dee Dee to do one.

Sho-Rembo lights a couple of the bandits up with her Faerie Fire (including Dee Dee) and then fires a Healing Word into Krago (thanks to an inspiration point).

That's enough for Dee Dee however, the bandit leader dodges the raging Mohag's greataxe opportunity attack and then flees the lair, at full speed in seconds.

Her last words to her bandit companions- “Get out! Save yourselves!”

Mohag stands station and cuts another bandit in half (with a Crit).

Krago has had enough of sitting on his backside, he gets back on his feet and then brains the bandit that has been previously stabbing him repeatedly; this with his black mace, and rolls just short of max damage. Seconds later the combined shouting and haranguing of Sir Glen and the dwarf cause the critically wounded and terrified bandit to surrender.

Seconds later the last bandit standing in the lair surrenders too, having just been persuaded to do so by three Magic Missiles in the midriff courtesy of Sosspan, also the poor fellow is also facing off versus an enraged Mohag and Tribbits.

The fight is won, although...

There's the small matter of Dee Dee, and so we're in a chase sequence, but I'll save you the endeavour, by the time the Unexpected get their act together Dee Dee has had two clear turns on the next chaser. Who, as it turns out, is Mohag- and he's not a clue in which direction the bandit leader went (perception '1'), even though Dee Dee is still lit up with Sho-Rembo's Faerie Fire.

Dee Dee gets away.

[Bandits 600 XP]

Bugger.

The Unexpected do however have two more bandit prisoners, and a host of dead bandits- including the Lieutenant. So, not a bad evening's work.

The two bandit prisoners are interviewed briefly, the lair searched- there's actually not a lot to find here, perhaps Dee Dee fled with all the loot.

The Unexpected get in a short rest, and a little healing.

Then, with Mohag carrying the body of the Lieutenant, and with the two bandits roped and restrained, the Unexpected head back to the Keep, they'll get there- all being well, just before the sun sets.

But not if there's another random encounter...

That's all we had time for in this session.

The pot is up to £90.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 
Last edited:


Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #020 SUPPLEMENTARY: Stats Attack!

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.

Sidekicks (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 1.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Clear out the Caves of Chaos- kill the evil humanoids and take their stuff.
  3. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  4. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  5. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures.
  6. Take up the search for the bandits (see Gurtle Spinepecker, Corporal of the Watch). IN PROGRESS.
  7. Capture a teleporting bunny for the Guild of Merchants.
  8. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  9. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  10. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.

*I've been asked to put this here because the players keep forgetting some of this stuff, also they have lots of quests on the go right now.

Yeah, yeah. But not that, not now...

Stats, I don't know why I do this, oh yes I do- it's because there's a Stat Counter thing on my Fantasy Grounds Unity, and I'm mesmerised by this stuff.

Here follows an Unexpected stat attack, we've played twenty (mostly short= 2 to 2.5 hour) sessions. Here's the results, stats wise.

Oh, and I've only included PCs that have made 50+ attacks.

None of the NPCs have made 50+ attacks.

So, the stat counter on FGU says-

MOST SUCCESSFUL TO HIT ROLLS: Mohag (74).
Honourable Mentions: Lappoy (63) & Krago (62).
The rest: Sir Glen (37), Sho-Rembo (32), Trebbelos (30) & Sosspan (29).

MOST CRITS: Lappoy & Mohag (7).
Honourable Mentions: Sir Glen (5).
The rest: Krago (4), Sho-Rembo & Trebbelos (3) & Sosspan (1).

MOST MISSED TO HIT ROLLS: Mohag & Sir Glen (32).
Honourable Mentions: Lappoy, Krago & Trebbelos (30).
The rest: Sho-Rembo & Sosspan (29).

MOST FUMBLES: Krago (7).
Honourable Mentions: Sho-Rembo, Sir Glen & Sosspan (4).
The rest: Trebbelos (3), Lappoy & Mohag (1).

TOTAL DAMAGE DEALT: Lappoy (871).
Honourable Mentions: Mohag (858) & Sosspan (556).
The rest: Krago (497), Sho-Rembo (457), Trebbelos (418) & Sir Glen (269).

HIGHEST DAMAGE WITH A SINGLE HIT: Mohag (22).
Honourable Mentions: Krago, Sho-Rembo, Sir Glen & Trebbelos (20).
The rest: Sosspan (17) & Lappoy (15).

TOTAL KILLS: Lappoy (59).
Honourable Mentions: Mohag (42) & Krago (25).
The rest: Sosspan (23), Sho-Rembo (22), Trebbelos (21) & Sir Glen (13).

TOTAL HEALING GIVEN: Sho-Rembo (163).
Honourable Mentions: Sir Glen (112), Krago (61).
The rest: Mohag (31), Sosspan (26), Lappoy (19) & Trebbelos (14).

TOTAL HEALING RECEIVED: Krago (128).
Honourable Mentions: Sir Glen (74), Mohag (68).
The rest: Lappoy (31), Sosspan (27), Trebbelos (14) & Sho-Rembo (8).

TOTAL DAMAGE TAKEN: Krago (203).
Honourable Mentions: Mohag (177), Sir Glen (152).
The rest: Sho-Rembo (124), Lappoy (66), Trebbelos (62) & Sosspan (59).

MOST TIMES KO'ED: Lappoy & Sir Glen (4).
Honourable Mentions: Sosspan (3).
The rest: Krago, Mohag & Trebbelos (2), Sho-Rembo (1).

TOTAL SPELLS HIT: Lappoy (26).
Honourable Mentions: Sho-Rembo (21).
The rest: Sosspan (17), Trebbelos (15) & Sir Glen (1).

TOTAL SPELLS MISSED: Sho-Rembo (28).
Honourable Mentions: Lappoy (14).
The rest: Trebbelos (13), Sosspan (11) & Sir Glen (1).

MOST SAVES PASSED: Krago & Sir Glen (3).
Honourable Mentions: Lappoy (2).
The rest: Sho-Rembo, Sosspan & Trebbelos (1), Mohag (0).

MOST SAVES FAILED: Lappoy & Mohag (2).
Honourable Mentions: Krago, Sir Glen & Sosspan (1).
The rest: Sho-Rembo & Trebbelos (0).

And finally, all of the PCs, and NPCs*, best kills- by CR and Monster.

*Not just the PCs & NPCs with 50+ Attacks, all of them.

BEST KILL:

CR 0.125

Afton Barr (Giant Rat).
Estra Zo, Tassit & The Mystical One (Kobold).

CR 0.25
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Kobold Chief's Guard).
Tribbits (Wolf).

CR 0.5
Corbis (Orc).
Trebbelos & Yor (Hobgoblin).

CR 1
Lappoy (Tonka, Kobold Chief).
Mohag (Hobgoblin Torturer).

CR 2
Krago (Bad Nog, Ogre).
Scrubs (Nik Nik, Orc Chief).
Sir Glen (Ankheg).
Sosspan (Nok Nok, Orc Chief).

CR 3
Sho-Rembo (Grelzenod, Hobgoblin Chief).

That's it really, loving this game- it's not a whole lot of RP, although at times the players take it on- or grab it where they can (everyone loved Bumble), but it just makes us laugh. A lot.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #021: Back to the Keep.

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.

Sidekicks (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Clear out the Caves of Chaos- kill the evil humanoids and take their stuff.
  3. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  4. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  5. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  6. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  7. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  8. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  9. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
*I've been asked to put this here because the players keep forgetting some of this stuff, also they have lots of quests on the go right now.

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

Day 29: Being the 29th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, approaching sunset.


Note, Corbis & Tribbits both have enough XP to become Level 2 sidekick warriors, all they need is an extended rest. But, we'll get there this session, probably...

The Unexpected are on their way back to the Keep on the Borderlands, having just routed Dee Dee Raven and her bandits, they have two prisoners and the dead body of the Lieutenant, Dee Dee's, well... lieutenant.

Dee Dee alas has escaped, she wasn't even bloodied when she gave up the fight and sped off, so think on that PCs, maybe she'll be back.

Anyway, en route to the Keep, although at the end of the last session I said, or rather wrote-

...the Unexpected head back to the Keep, they'll get there- all being well, just before the sun sets.

But not if there's another random encounter...

That's right I rolled another '1', and I wasn't even trying- by which I mean I rolled the electronic die on FGU, and then went about my business- looking something up for Pete, I didn't notice the actual dice roll for a minute or so later...

So, that's a nice surprise.

The Unexpected are wending their way through the Ravenwood, back down the hill to the Goblinwater River crossing, they're only thirty minutes from the bandit's cave. When... gliding in silently, launched from a nearby tree, come a small squadron of ugly winged things...

STIRGES!

Lappoy is slapped and clawed in his face, and then THUNK the little beast spikes him and drinks his blood.

Another stirge repeats the trick, lands on Sho-Rembo's back and then sticks its proboscis in the halfling's neck.

Two more stirges pick the same unfortunate victim- one of the newly captured bandits, and the screaming fellow's hands are tied, the blood-sucking beasts both skewer him, and he's down on the ground- and dead before he gets there.

The next stirge crashes into Corbis, and POOP! Ram's its proboscis in the warrior's face, with a Crit, Corbis falls unconscious.

Mohag suffers the same fate as the others above, the only one of the Unexpected to keep the flying bastards at bay is Sir Glen.

2101.jpg

There is lots of screaming, and some of the players are being less than complimentary. Why does no-one have a good word for stirges?

I love 'em.

Corbis passes his first Death Save.

The stirge settled on Lappoy continues to drink the High Magicker's blood (a heady elixir, no doubt) and the oldest swinger in town is suddenly on just two hit points.

The one remaining restrained bandit (he has his hands tied) decides to run (gibbering) alas the movement provokes the stirge that is failing to get passed Sir Glen's defences. The exsanguinator thumps into the bandit's back, and spikes him- it begins drinking the fellow's blood.

Note this guy, right now, is a screaming maniac.

Tribbits rushes forward, and with his blade decapitates the stirge sucking on Lappoy, a moment later (after an inspiration point) he rushes to the fallen body of Corbis and slices the stirge there in two.

Great work!

Sho-Rembo manages to use her magical Shillelagh to lever and then whack the stirge formerly on her to death.

But not all of the stirges are here yet...

As Krago finds out when one of the little buggers thumps into him and starts drinking his blood.

In seconds the dwarf has one stirge sucking him dry, and two more trying to join the party.

Krago, armed with his black mace and magical dagger in his off-hand, and with an inspiration point, and still he cannot manage to make a mark on any of the stirges threatening him.

Yet another stirge swoops down out of the canopy and onto the screaming, fleeing bandit- seconds later the poor fool collapses.

Yet another stirge swoops in to join the swarm attacking Krago.

Scrubs shoots an approaching stirge out of the darkening sky with his crossbow.

Mohag is still getting exsanguinated.

Sir Glen, all action, rushes off to help Krago- although en route the paladin skewers the stirge drinking Mohag dead.

“Tanks!”

I think that's pretty much the first time we've heard Mohag speak.

The paladin then spends his inspiration point to start singing about the Morning Lord- a Bless for himself, Krago and Mohag.

2102.jpg

Everyone loves stirges!

Lappoy let's fly three Magic Missiles, the stirge sucking on Krago is blasted to pieces, as is another of those threatening the dwarf. Then for good measure (inspiration point) the badly wounded High Magicker sinks a healing potion.

Sosspan blasts the last two stirges bothering Krago to pieces- with more Magic Missiles, and then breathes his poisonous breath on the two stirges feasting on one of the very dead bandits.

Both stirges fail their saves, Sosspan delivers minimum damage = 2 poison, therefore both stirges survive. It is for this reason I maxed the stirges hit points, that's right- four hit points each. These are some bad ass stirges!

Yet another stirge descends from above and latches on to Krago, it must be his aftershave, or lack of it. The dwarf is getting his blood drunk again.

And yet another stirge swoops in- towards Krago again, but the ranger keeps it at bay.

“Guys! A little help! Again! Pleeease!”

Krago calls.

Mohag rushes over, he's raging and reckless, and smashes both the stirges off Krago (with an inspiration point).

While Trebbelos incinerates another pair of stirges with his Burning Hands.

Moments later Sho-Rembo gets to Corbis with a Cure Wounds, Tribbits cuts the last but one stirge down, the bloated fellow having gorged on one of the fallen bandits.

Krago, at last, manages to land a hit and swat down the very last blood-filled sated stirge, as it to tries to depart.

The battle is won.

Lolz.

2103.jpg

The Battle of Bloody Ravenwood.

[Stirges 375 XP]

The Unexpected spend ten minutes healing, and making sense of what just happened, the two fresh bandit bodies are carried- one by Sir Glen, the other by Krago (note Mohag is carrying the Lieutenant's body) and... then they head home.

There's a brief moment when they're crossing the Goblinwater when Krago drops one of the dead bandits, but the corpse is quickly recovered.

The Unexpected make it all the way home safely, although torches and lanterns are required to be lit, back to the Keep on the Borderlands.

It seems lots of folk want to talk with the adventurers, however- the Unexpected really do need to rest. All meetings are put off until the morrow, although there's a short explanation of events for Corporal of the Watch, Spinepecker.

Then, to the Travellers Rest, to their rooms, and sleep.

First thing's first- Corbis and Tribbits awake Level 2 Warriors.

So, over the following days a lot of stuff gets done.

The Unexpected top up on gear, and buy a few more potions- they got through a lot of them in the last two days. It takes a couple of trips to get this done.

They also sell what little treasure they found on their last journey out into the wilds, highlights include-

Cask of good wine, from the bandit's lair, sold for 8gp.
Dented copper bullseye lantern, taken from Grimphart the ogre, sold for 13gp.
Gold nose ring, taken from Bogus, goblin boss, sold for 42gp.
Gem-studded collar, on one of the hyenas with the gnolls, sold for 67gp.

Then, well... a fair few meetings, as follows-

A long chat with the Corporal of the Watch, Gurtle Spinepecker, and after a three day delay, time enough for the surly dwarf to send a patrol out to check on the shallow crossing of the Goblinwater River, and to investigate the bandit's lair in the Ravenwood, and... Evidence suggests that things played out exactly as the Unexpected told the dwarf. He's happy-ish, he'd be happier still if Dee Dee Raven was brought to justice.

Eventually, at a second meeting, the Unexpected get to meet with both the Sergeant and Captain of the Watch. The former Delbron Huston is a fat, although also very tough-looking, middle-aged human; while the Captain- Mebros, is a slim and grizzled human- with a bark like a bite.

The Unexpected tough out their interview, and say all the right things, it helps that Sir Glen absolutely cannot tell a lie, and is therefore happy to tell this pair everything that the Unexpected have been up to.

The Unexpected are given their 250gp reward.

Although the Watch pair make it clear, there's a 100gp bounty still on Dee Dee Raven's head, and they'd very much like our guys to claim it.

Which just leaves one final matter (from this strand of the plot), the trial of Ricky Pilchard, which will take place in the next session.

Ricky Pilchard, you'll remember is the turncoat bandit that has latterly seen the light, thanks to Sir Glen's ministrations.

But, we'll get to it.

Then there's yet another meeting with the Merchant's Guild, although not so much a meeting as a pay day, the Guild are very happy with their blink bunny, here's another 250gp, and the promise of more money if another bunny can be 'located'.

Although, Sho-Rembo, cautions (at last) that the balance has been restored, there was one magical bunny lost all those years ago, and one given back- the halfling druid figures the rest of them should be left alone in the wilds.

Obviously she doesn't mention any of this until the Unexpected have said goodbye to the Guild.

Note, both the Guild and Watch have made it clear- they may have more tasks suited to the Unexpected's skill-set sometime in the future.

So, that's nice.

Meantime, of course, the various PCs are also meeting with Darvon, the old priest of Oghma, to tell him their story. The old man seems to be very pleased with the Unexpected's adventures, but... the Caves of Chaos, that's what he wants to hear about.

Which is just as well, because that's the subject of the next meeting, which takes place in the backroom of the Traveller's Rest, the only folk present- the adventurers.

The subject is, of course, what comes next- after the trial of Ricky Pilchard, and as before there are three options being promoted. They are as follows- back to the Caves of Chaos (Pete), into the wilds to help Bumble (Rob), and... whichever (Dave).

But here's the thing, at last, there's a consensus, of sorts- the agreement is the Unexpected will head back to the Caves of Chaos- reinvestigate the kobold lair, check out the strange hole-in-the-ground lair, and also the stinky cavern.

Then, when these three areas have been taken care of, its into the wilderness for a while- either north to check out the barrow mounds that have been spewing undead into the Whispering Woods. Or else south to the Goblinwater River, to look for the water sprites, and then on into Spiderwood.

Basically, all the stuff that Bumble wants doing.

Compromise, and everyone's happy.

But that's all we had time for in this session.

The pot is up to £94.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #022: The Trial of Ricky Pilchard.

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.

Sidekicks (played mostly by the DM).
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Scrubs Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.

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)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Clear out the Caves of Chaos- kill the evil humanoids and take their stuff.
  3. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  4. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  5. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  6. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  7. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  8. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  9. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
*I've been asked to put this here because the players keep forgetting some of this stuff, also they have lots of quests on the go right now.

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

Day 35: Being the 5th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, midday.


2201.jpg

The Trial of Ricky Pilchard.

So, we're straight into it, and Sir Glen (played by Dave) has been given homework- I want a speech, and anything else he wants to give, minimum five minutes of chat.

The trial is a fairly subdued affair, this because the entire procedure has been kept under wraps, the inhabitants of the Keep have been told that the bandits are no more, although Dee Dee is still out there. There's a reward poster for the ex-bandit leader on the noticeboard in the Keep.

The fact that a bandit has been captured alive has been kept a secret, it seems Corporal of the Watch Spinepecker is as good as his word, Sir Glen made him promise to keep Ricky safe from rough justice.

Just to make clear, Dee Dee Raven and her bandits have accounted for a dozen lives in the past six months or so during their activities in the region, every person in the Keep knows someone that has been killed by these terrible folk. They're not popular with the citizens here.

Also, the expected outcome of this trial- Ricky will be found guilty and hang.

Sir Glen is on a hiding to nothing, but... he has the floor.

The paladin makes a number of speeches over the course of what comes next, he has about fifteen minutes of chat for us. He takes a while to compare his own privileged upbringing to that of Ricky Pilchard's, the young man's trials and tribulations, his lack of role models et al.

Sir Glen goes on to tell the court about Ricky confessing his sins, and of the help he provided in the Unexpected's successful attack on the bandit's lair.

His finale-

“I am aware that the test of a man is the truth he keeps in his heart- Ricky Pilchard has seen the light, his heart is true, and the truth will out. From this day forward, I am certain, that this young man, given the opportunity, will give his life, and his strength, and dedication, to put right all that he has done wrong. He will fail- as we all do, but to be afforded the opportunity... That would be a very courageous thing to do, it would also be the right thing.”

Or some such nonsense.

And overseeing the trial are the Castellan, Lord Bouchard- the big boss of the Keep, and also Sir Penrith Dubourbon, Bailiff of the Outer Bailey.

Much chatter follows, and more than a few rolls.

Ricky Pilchard is, of course, found guilty.

But here's the thing- his sentence is commuted, or else held over until a later date- Ricky Pilchard will be released immediately into the keeping of the Church of the Morning Lord. There will be a limit placed upon his freedoms, he will not be allowed to leave the Keep for the foreseeable future, and on pain of death.

Furthermore, his future good name (and freedoms) will not only depend upon his good behaviour, but also upon the actions of his sponsor- Sir Glen, and the band of adventurers he leads.

Note, Lappoy interrupts the proceedings at this point- the High Magicker is in the very limited audience (as are the rest of the Unexpected). Lappoy makes clear, the Unexpected are his party.

But that's enough for now, the court is cleared, although the Unexpected are asked to hang around, the Castellan would like a further word.

2202.jpg

The Castellan wants a word.

So, an extended chat- with a little Q&A, it's clear the Castellan has been appraised of the Unexpected's activities- he knows everything.

The task the Castellan sets, simple- clear all enemies from the Caves of Chaos, too long has this place proved a lure for terrible humanoids. Clear the place out- once and for all, and- all of it.

The reward- 2,500gp.

To this end the Castellan asks the PCs, actually- very mostly he talks to Sir Glen throughout, much to Lappoy's chagrin, regardless- he asks the Unexpected to reconnoitre the Caves and to discover what still is left to do.

After this is done, and a report submitted (oral or written) tactics (and resources) for the conquering of the Caves will be discussed and agreed.

Just to make clear, the Castellan is offering the Unexpected a selection of his troops to lead, or else to employ as guards if the PCs wish it. Obviously, the Keep will fund this and future expeditions- food etc.

If however the Unexpected are content to take on this task without need of the Keep's resources, than another 500gp will be added to their future reward.

Then after yet more chatter, the Castellan further makes clear, success in this task will also bring other benefits, not the least of which will be a title for at least one of the company before him, also land and rights for all.

The Unexpected, of course, take the job- Pete, who wants more than anything to rip through the Caves of Chaos, is particularly jubilant.

And so, after a few more days in the Keep, the Unexpected are back on the march again, back to the Caves of Chaos.

Day 37: Being the 7th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, early morning.

To the Caves...

Only I just rolled another '1', and so it's random encounter time.

And so a quiet country road, bandit free these days, and the adventurers with the sun on their backs make their way to adventure...

2203.jpg

Boar attack!

The giant boar lurches out of the foliage and attempts to tusk Scrubs (with advantage) but my dice are seemingly broken.

Scrubs dodges aside and thunks his hand axe into the beast, calling for his companions to rally to him.

Krago follows up with his black mace and magical dagger, and both hits- the latter a Crit, the beast however doesn't bat an eye-lid, it seems to be unnaturally enraged.

Tribbits cuts the beast with his longsword, Sir Glen (with a '1') fails to connect, Corbis shows the paladin how it's done.

Sho-Rembo attempts to use her druidic knowledge to find out why the beast is attacking (but rolls a '2'), nor can she make the boar cease its frenzy, although it is still unable to stick its tusks in any of the folk that are slowly cutting and beating it to death.

Trebbelos, Sosspan & Lappoy hit the beast with a trio of Fire Bolts, the giant boar is screeching in pain, but still not giving up its frenzied attack.

Although two of those hits were for minimum damage (that's '1').

Krago stabs the beast again, Tribbits slices it, and Sir Glen- cuts it down.

My max hit points, raging (effectively) with advantage on all attacks Giant Boar never landed an attack. That was three turns of very one-sided combat.

2204.jpg

Well, that was disappointing, I figure it wasn't going to be much of a challenge but I did think I would have landed a few hits and put a crimp in someone's day.

[Enraged giant boar 450 XP]

Note, after the fracas is concluded it becomes obvious to Sho-Rembo that the giant beast was suffering from some malady, an infection, one side of the boar's jaw is rotten. Further investigation, which takes a little time, and the druid is certain- the creature was recently attacked by something undead.

This makes sense, there are reports of the undead in the Whispering Woods, which is where the beast had most likely just come from.

Something must be done about this...

However, so quick was the above encounter to play out that we still have time this session for a little more, so that's nice.

The Unexpected make it to the ravine which holds the Caves of Chaos, and then watch a while- but only for a short while, then- all the way back to the kobold cavern, first on the right.

And...

2205.jpg

Bloody hell, the kobolds are back.

Just for info the pack in here are a bunch of wandering kobolds, described at a different location in the wilds of the region, they have taken their opportunity. Although, there are only twenty something of the little guys, plus Torgo the Face-Gouger, their somewhat underwhelming chief.

I have, of course, maxed all of their hit points, and doubled Torgo's, and... well, given all of them a little more help.

Back to the lair assault.

Happily Krago and Sho-Rembo have not been heard, or spotted, by the inhabitants of the cavern, the pair therefore lead the attack.

And just to make clear, five minutes earlier Lappoy reminded his fellow adventurers- watch out for the pit trap in here.

The attack gets going- Corbis dashes in and cuts the nearest kobold, Tribbits follows him in and finishes the little bugger off with a Crit.

Alas the rest of the enemies are a little further into the lair, and beyond the pit.

A raging Mohag burns an inspiration point to double move rush in- leap the pit, and then bury his greataxe in the back of the nearest kobold. The kobold survives the ordeal- they're all max hit points, remember.

Obviously, I didn't tell the players this at the time.

Sosspan dashes forward and casts an emergency light spell on Mohag, the barbarian was having trouble seeing within the cavern.

The players forgot about light sources- I didn't (& neither did FGU).

Scrubs rushes into the cavern entrance and shoots a kobold dead.

However, it's at this point that Sho-Rembo races forward, attempts to leap the pit- or where she believes the pit to be (she's correct) and... falls in, an inspiration point later- a second check, and, still... Sho-Rembo stumbles into the spiked pit. Moments later Krago narrowly avoids the same fate by using his inspiration point.

It's a DC 10 acrobatics or athletics check to either wriggle around the pit, or else leap a corner of it.

Lappoy rushes in (double move including inspiration point) and leaps the now open pit, the High Magicker lands almost perfectly (9.5, 9.5 & 9) and then pumps three Magic Missiles into another kobold- dead.

Then Trebbelos falls in the pit too, the tiefling sorcerer's first check is a '1', then an inspiration point to try again, and... '1' again.

It's a real mixed bag with regard to the surprise round here...

2206.jpg

Remember this place... Yep, we're back here again.

Corbis leaps the pit and stabs another kobold, the little creature starts screaming and runs away- heading deeper into the lair, and avoiding all attacks en route to elsewhere.

But not for long, a now frenzied Mohag runs the fleeing kobold down, and then cuts it down, and then goes on running further into the lair- and remember he has a light spell on him, and he's not silent about things.

The raging barbarian is coming to getchya!

Sosspan leaps the pit and chases after Mohag.

Scrubs shoots another kobold, only a scratch.

Sho-Rembo, shame-faced, climbs out of the pit and then throws a Produce Flame at the last kobold in sight, the puddle of flame hits- it dies.

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At which point a formerly hidden kobold, over in what was the rat chamber (to the west), emerges from hiding briefly to fire its shortbow at Sho-Rembo, but a miss.

Sir Glen leaps the pit (thanks to an inspiration point for a re-roll, his first attempt – '1') and then heads off deeper into the lair.

Note, some of these brave buggers are chasing after Mohag because the barbarian is the light.

Krago races off in the same direction, even out-sprints the barbarian, and then something snags the dwarf's foot- a trip wire- FOONG, and a crossbow bolt buries itself in the ranger's chest.

Torgo's kobold mob have had a few days to install a couple more traps, that's nice.

Trebbelos meantime also manages to pull himself out of the pit, and then is directed to go and discover the kobold in the former rat's lair, he spots the little bastard and shoots the miscreant with a Fire Bolt, but the creature lives.

Corbis goes racing forward, catching up with Krago, and there are the sounds of more kobolds ahead, and a lit chamber- with shadows moving within it.

A sling stone flies past the rushing warrior, and then another, and another, and a few arrows too. Mohag stops one of the later, but the barbarian is unconcerned, he just wants at the enemy.

But then Sosspan catches up and drops a Shatter spell on a corridor full of kobolds.

The effect is of course devastating, the entire passage shivers and shakes, clods of dirt fall and kobolds die.

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The Unexpected are clearly in a rush.

The kobold formerly hiding in the ex-rat chamber attempts to flee the fire flinging Trebbelos, alas en route to the exit it stumbles and also falls into the pit- dead.

[New kobold entrance guards 150 XP]

Lappoy continues to stride forward- deeper into the lair, sending out a trio of Magic Missiles to slay the three kobolds that survived Sosspan's Shatter spell.

And yet there are more kobolds in the larger tribal chamber ahead- and more sling bullets fly, and Mohag takes a hit, and then another.

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The Unexpected are pretty strung out, that's Trebbelos over to the west- taking his time to get back around the pit trap- he's already fallen in once. Meantime Mohag is about to rush into the kobold tribal chamber.

Note, Krago (on the picture above) has gone the northern route, he remembered that's where the kobold chief was last time, and there are more guards in this direction. The dwarf ranger is soon shouting for a little help from his friends.

Corbis dashes to help Krago, but then realises ahead of the dwarf is only darkness...

Corbis cannot see what's ahead, there's no light here.

Krago gets shot, and then hit by a sling stone.

He shouts louder for his friends.

Meantime Mohag rushes into the tribal chamber, there are only three kobolds in here, the rest are dead.

Scratch that- the raging, frenzied and reckless barbarian cuts another two kobolds down- there's just one of the little buggers left.

Sosspan casts Light on himself and rushes up the northern passage, so that his friends there may see, but Sir Glen rushes on ahead of him and seconds later is swept up and off his feet. A concealed net trap bundles the paladin up, and leaves him dangling three feet of the ground (and restrained).

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The frontal assault is going well- the 'new' kobolds, the players (and PCs) note, have set up a few more traps. The dirty little cheating bastards.

The kobolds start shooting their slings et al at the bundled paladin, whatever they launch just DINKS off his armour.

Krago rushes forward and stabs a kobold.

Trebbelos meantime falls back in the pit again, this after using his second inspiration point to make that check again- and another failure, the sorcerer is bloodied, and having a bit of a swear-storm.

Fortunately none of his colleagues are around to either see or hear him.

Krago gets hit by another sling stone, the dwarf is suddenly down to just seven hit points.

Corbis gets shot- and it's a Crit, and the warrior is down to just four hit points.

Tribbits and Mohag, meanwhile, are chasing a single kobold around the former tribal lair- the little bastard is rushing around whirling his sling- firing, and dodging behind a variety of obstacles (fire pits etc.). Eventually Mohag ends the game by cutting the kobold in two.

[New kobolds in the tribal chamber 250 XP]

Sosspan catches up with the action, and his second Shatter spell destroys four more of the kobolds, these were the fellows that were peppering Corbis, Krago and Sir Glen.

Scrubs shoots another of the kobolds down, and suddenly- somehow, there's only one kobold left in the entire lair, and that's Torgo the Face-Gouger, and he's as mad as heck- the kobold boss therefore launches himself at Corbis.

Torgo comes snarling and spitting from the dark, blade in hand, and misses by a mile.

Lappoy Crits him with a Fire Bolt.

Sir Glen wrestles himself out of the net.

Krago brains Torgo with his black mace, and then stabs him in the gut with his magical dagger (and a Crit).

Torgo survives.

For one more second then Corbis cuts him down.

[Torgo and his guards 175 XP]

The kobold lair is taken, again.

Treasure clear up et al next time, because that's all we had time for in this session.

The pot is up to £98.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 


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