D&D 5e Into The (Keep on the) Borderlands (B1&2) #032 Monster Mash.


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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #023: Whatever The Little Bastards Are I Hate Them.

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. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  5. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  6. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  7. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  8. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  9. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus.
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 37: Being the 7th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after 10 in the morning.


Oh, but before we start the title of this one- well, it got fractious a little later on- all of the players at one time another expressed the opinion offered above.

They really didn't like the little bastards in this one.

I mean, really- really.

Seriously pissed, one of them even got a little bit angry.

However, to begin with...

We're in the kobold's lair, again- it seems the Unexpected will not let a thing lie, they've cleared this lair out once already, and then... guess what, a bunch more kobolds moved in. Well, now they're gone too.

And by gone I, of course, mean dead.

There's not a lot of treasure to be had here, a nice piece of jewellery on the kobold boss (Torgo the Face-Gouger) but nothing much else. So, rested up, and after a brief chat to reaffirm values, sing the company song etc.

The Unexpected are back to adventuring, there's a hole in the ground that needs investigating.

And so... after checking the way is clear in the ravine, it is, the adventurers head over, moving from cover to cover, to- the hole...

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Krago (Darkvision) draws the short straw, he's going in.

And it's not a hole, or else not just a hole- there are a myriad very helpfully placed hand holds, and dangling tree roots- something lives down here, or at least regularly descends the space.

There's a large chamber at the bottom, it opens out, and more suspiciously there's a bunch of bones down there, and... the winner, part way down a rough curtain hides another hole- in the side of the shaft, a narrow muddy cavern passage heading deep into the dark.

Although, the muddy passage is only about three and a half-feet wide, if the PCs are going down here then some of them are going to have to crawl on their hands and knees.

So, down or across?

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I know what you are thinking, put it out of your mind- the original art that goes with this section of the adventure is just way beyond your price range. Let it go- let it pass.

So, while the decision is not being made (repeatedly and at length) a second rope is belayed down and Sho-Rembo is sent below to join her friend, the druid has a light spell cast upon her- we've gone past stealth here already.

But the pair are still trying to be quiet.

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It's like being there...

Neither of the pair can see anything much- the halfing druid notes that the narrow passage is quiet, and goes on out of sight. The dwarf ranger can't see anything but a pile of bones down below, although it's a much larger chamber.

Nothing is moving- it's empty.

Which leads to more prevaricating, it takes a while.

Eventually, a third rope is sent down and Sir Glen descends, and then with Krago drops into the bottom chamber, the one with the bone pile.

The place stinks of filth and decay, Sir Glen gingerly wades down from the teetering pile, smashing long decayed bones at every step.

It's not a very stealthy approach, which may account for the moment when a six-legged ugly hairless rodent darts out (from the Morning Lord knows where) and tries to sink it's big buckteeth in to the paladin.

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Osquip versus paladin, 1-0 to the osquip atm.

The six-legged rat creature (an osquip, identified a little later) savages Sir Glen's big toe, like for ten points of piercing damage, it damn near bites it off, even through his platemail booties.

The paladin makes naughty swear sounds.

Up until this point none of us has ever heard Sir Glen swear, or even appear mildly ticked off.

Sho-Rembo, keeping an eye on the muddy passage, and events below, calls out to her comrades above- although they can also hear Sir Glen with his mighty swears.

Then, back down below a second osquip darts out and savages Krago, for twelve points of damage, and suddenly there is consternation in the ranks.

Krago wafts his black mace at the osquip, failing to connect with both attacks (the second thanks to an inspiration point).

At which point a third osquip reveals itself, Krago however keeps the beast at bay, but now both Sir Glen and Krago are kicking up a swear-storm.

Mohag, flings himself over the edge and into the hole, and then realises that he is exhausted (after his last frenzied rage) and so duly fails his athletics check, he burns his inspiration point to re-roll that, and so rather than plummeting thirty or more feet (onto his friends) he instead manages to descend a good way down the shaft, but not all the way to his colleagues.

Lappoy descends one of the other ropes and swings into the narrow muddy passage. Trebbelos follows the same route, although the tiefling sorcerer has to spend his inspiration point to accomplish the task (or else fall down the shaft). Sosspan follows the same route, again, but like Lappoy- with ease.

Note back up top Corbis, Tribbits and Scrubs are holding and manipulating the various ropes that descend into the hole.

Sir Glen slices the osquip before him, the odd hairless ugly creature just looks annoyed.

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I wouldn't put money on this one... but no doubt help will arrive soon.

Sho-Rembo, relieved of her duties, clambers down onto the bone pile to help her friends, alas the druid's initial Produce Flame is off target.

Krago gets bitten again, he's bloodied and beyond, he stabs the nasty little creature right back (but continues to flail wildly and miss with his magical black mace), he's gasping.

Moments later the second osquip he's facing off against sees its opportunity and rips into the dwarf, suddenly the dwarven ranger is down and dying.

Sir Glen is really swearing now, Sho-Rembo joins in.

The pair are having a swear off.

But then Mohag drops the last ten feet and is straight into action, and raging (and reckless)- of course, the barbarian Crits, but somehow still fails to kill, the osquip that Krago had been stabbing.

Note, the osquip's hit points are high, everything's hit points are high in here (relatively speaking), the DM grins to himself.

Lappoy, while his colleagues have been having to spend inspiration points willy-nilly just to descend the shaft, shows how it is down. The High Magicker belays down into the opening into the bone pile cavern below, and while still clutching to the rope, fires a quartet of Magic Missiles into the osquips.

The badly wounded six-legged rodent is killed, and the one that Sir Glen barely nicked is left bloodied and swathed in scuffs and bruises.

The high elf wizard, job done, scurries back up the rope and back into the muddy narrow passage.

Easy, as it turns out all you need to do is roll high.

Back down in the bone pile cavern Sir Glen cuts the osquip before him again (although he needed to spend his inspiration point to do so). The rodent survives, but only just.

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I am colour blind, but still... it's not really an excuse.

Note, the muddy corridor, depicted on the right (just in case you weren't sure) is around twenty feet up from floor of the bone pile chamber.

Sho-Rembo gets to Krago with a Cure Wounds, and then with her inspiration points fails to beat an osquip with her Shillelagh. Krago nods his thanks, staggers to his feet and then heals himself with another Cure Wounds.

Then, back in the muddy passage, several things suddenly happen at once.

A small humanoid only three or so feet high, very primitive looking apart from its big lolling head, scampers down the tunnel- towards the PCs, and then stops and slaps at the wall.

Suddenly the floor beneath Trebbelos' feet gives way and the tiefling falls into an eight foot deep spike-lined pit.

And I roll 1d6 plus 1d8 and manage 4 damage.

Trebbelos, regardless, isn't happy.

Lappoy identifies the creature ahead, its a xvart- a degenerate evil and cruel humanoid, a worshipper of devils and the like. That's not good.

At this point we break for about ten minutes for the players to take it in turns to shout- “XVARTS!” at me, like it's a threat.

It seems no-one here has heard of them, and they're not impressed so far- and they've only seen one of 'em.

2307.jpg

I think the players are now officially not having fun with this one.

Shame, I'm just starting to enjoy it.

The xvart scampers about- pointing and making noises in the PC's general direction. It looks to be having great fun.

A second xvart rushes up to join its friends, only this one lets loose with its sling shot, a miss, but the wizards in the tunnel are very short of cover and are therefore now fretting and shouting for the tough guys to get up/down here.

Sosspan wants to know if he can get in the spiked pit with Trebbelos, he can but the action will have consequences.

Lappoy fires three Magic Missiles into the nearest xvart, it falls dead, everybody is relieved for a second. Although enemy numbers are maintained, as yet another xvart scurries along the passage to greet its friends, and then delights in scooting rocks at Sosspan.

Trebbelos, while this is going on, fails to climb out of the pit he's in, perhaps on purpose, perhaps not.

Note, there are now three xvarts taking it in turns to whip sling stones down the passage.

Back to the bone pile cavern...

Sho-Rembo thumps the osquip she is facing with her Shillelagh, it doesn't seem to mind.

Back to the muddy passage...

Sosspan, a little bit panicked, fires three Scorching Rays at the xvarts ahead, he manages to hit with two of them and delivers a grand total of five fire damage- yep, that was '1' & '1' damage, followed by '1' & '2'.

That's the kind of thing that can frustrate a player.

Tee-hee.

Back to the bone pile cavern...

Krago splats dead the badly wounded osquip with his black mace, and then stabs the last of the bastard rodents with his dagger. Now why couldn't he have done that earlier.

Back to the muddy passage...

Sosspan gets hit with a xvart sling bullet (and for more damage than the two Scorching Ray's combined).

And then again, with a second sling bullet, and once again for more damage than...

Back to the bone pile cavern...

The last badly wounded osquip scurries into the bone pile, and before any of the PCs can get to it, is out of sight.

It's at this point that the four PCs down here catch up with the fact that Lappoy and Sosspan are all shouting/swearing for help.

Mohag, in a matter of seconds is up the ropes and to the narrow muddy passage, and then slithering on his belly down the tunnel past his comrades and heading towards the xvarts, he doesn't look happy.

That's when he finds the second spike-filled pit.

Alas, the barbarian steadies himself and doesn't fall in, but he can't get to the little bastards up the muddy passage.

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Mohag is not happy...

Point of fact, none of the players are.

Mohag does however get beaned on the head by a sling stone, note the three xvarts are all just jollying it up- giggling and laughing, and making strange gurgling noises as they take it in turns to fire their slings at the PCs.

Trebbelos, at last, manages to get out of the pit.

Sir Glen, meantime, is climbing back out of the bone pit and to the muddy passage, as are Sho-Rembo and Krago (the latter after glugging down a healing potion).

The rest of the wizards/artillery in the narrow tunnel hold station, they can't fire down the passage with Mohag in the way. The barbarian therefore scurries forward down the tunnel some more, and finds the third pit there- but Mohag was expecting this and so again avoids the fall. He scrambles over the pit and into the nearest xvart- magical handaxe first.

The little bastard is left screaming, all three of the enemies are now in a panic.

With Mohag clearing the way ahead the wizards/artillery attempt to move up the passage, this goes really badly- Lappoy has to spend and inspiration point to avoid falling in the first pit, and he doesn't get any further down the corridor.

Trebbelos falls back into the first pit, and now my damage rolls are high, and the tiefling warlock is impaled and unconscious down there.

And again, this is the kind of thing (it transpires) that can piss off a player.

It gets worse, ten seconds later Sir Glen makes it into the passage and duly falls into the first open pit too, and directly on top of Trebbelos, impaling the tiefling some more- that's one auto Death Save failure.

Oh, how we I laughed.

Or at least I did.

Sho-Rembo makes it up into the narrow passage, and then to the pit in which the unconscious Trebbelos and the heavy Sir Glen are residing, the halfling tags the tiefling with a Cure Wounds, and then advances down the passage without any problems. Krago also makes it to the passage and slithers on in- no problems.

Sosspan holds station and fires Magic Missiles at the xvarts as and when he sees them, one dies, the other is left badly wounded, and so flees- that's two of the little bastards that have got away.

Then, it gets worse.

The badly wounded osquip from the bone pile, the lone survivor of the first encounter, scurries into the bottom of the first spiked pit and takes a chunk out of Trebbelos.

There is screaming, by which I mean all three of the players are taking it in turns to scream and shout (mostly at me- what can I do, I just roll the dice), this is not going well.

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They're not happy.

Mohag scurries on, around the corner- he can't get to the xvart bastard ahead and so throws his magical handaxe at the little bugger, straight between the eyes- and its dead.

There's just one more xvart down here, but the passage goes on.

Trebbelos pumps a Shocking Grasp into the osquip in the pit with him, and then tries but fails to get himself out of the dirty and painful hole.

Sir Glen stabs the osquip, but still the hairless six-legged rodent lives.

Sosspan very helpfully (= desperate) fires a Fire Bolt into the osquip in the pit (with an inspiration point so as to not be at disadvantage) and the bitey-bastard-thing is (at last) burnt to death.

[Osquips from the bone pile chamber 600 XP)

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After that xvart!

And so Mohag does.

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But it gets worse.

There are two concealed chambers along the passage, the entrances to both covered by crude dirt encrusted curtains, neither of which Mohag noticed (passive perception 11), and so the curtains are drawn aside and the xvarts start stabbing- three attacks, three hits, two of them Crits.

This isn't going well, have I mentioned this before?

Mohag has had enough, its frenzy time (and reckless rage of course), but just to say the barbarian is at present fighting with his dagger- he can't swing a greataxe, he's thrown his magical handaxe, and so...

The barbarian stabs a xvart, and a moment later takes a sling stone to the face.

Fair exchange?

Lappoy gets closer, and then fills one of the newly revealed chambers with a Thunderwave, bits of the ceiling collapse but all four xvarts within the room survive the ordeal.

Mohag gets hit by another sling stone.

And then another- this one's a Crit.

And then the osquip in one of the newly revealed chamber's bites Mohag, and that's a Crit too.

The barbarian is down to one hit point.

Meanwhile...

Trebbelos, back in the very first pit and on just two hit points manages, at last, manages to extract himself from the trap- and then to swig down a potion of healing. Which is more than can be said for the paladin, Sir Glen narrowly avoids injuring himself again trying and failing/falling to get out of the same pit.

The DC to do so is 10, Sir Glen is +4 for athletics, you do the maths.

Sho-Rembo meantime gets to Mohag with a second level Cure Wounds, but that's the only thing she can do.

Mohag gets stabbed again.

And then hit with another sling stone- another Crit.

This really isn't going well.

But Mohag is still stabbing with his dagger, and two of the xvarts fall, and that's the opening that Krago needs, the dwarf steps in and brains the next xvart in line- three of the little bastards dead in a matter of seconds.

But there are still six xvarts and an osquip packed in here.

Mohag takes a bunch more hits.

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Bloody hell!

Mohag is back down to six hit points.

Lappoy steps up again and fills the other chamber with a Thunderwave (or rather a Thunderwhimper = 5 damage, save for half) all but one of the inhabitants survive.

Mohag gets hit by another sling stone, its what he does.

And then another... the barbarian drops and sprawls.

The osquip, unleashed, rushes out of its chamber and starts snapping and biting at Krago, the dwarf keeps the little beast at bay- but now he too is screaming for help.

Trebbelos, at last, catches up with the action.

Sir Glen, at last, gets out of the bloody pit he was stuck in.

Sho-Rembo rushes in and fills the eastern chamber, for the second time, with a Thunderwave- and now there's just one xvart left in here, and another in the chamber over, and yet another further on down the passage (having fun sling time), and then there's the badly wounded osquip sitting atop the fallen Mohag.

Sosspan catches up with proceedings and fires three Magic Missiles into the osquip, it lives.

Krago stabs it, and still it lives.

Lappoy stops a sling stone, the xvart at the end of the passage dances and cavorts on the spot- this guy hasn't missed yet, he's the king of the sling, and I mean with six or seven attacks.

That must get annoying.

For the players...

A xvart stabs Krago in the back, as Mohag coughs blood and fails a Death Save.

Lappoy fires a Fire Bolt into the osquip, and at last- it dies, the High Magicker gets to Mohag with a potion of healing (and an inspiration point) and then attempts to drag the big feller away, and he does, all the way into cover.

That's Lappoy's secret- right there, roll high.

Krago gets hit by a sling stone.

Trebbelos steps up and hits a xvart with a Fire Bolt, he kills it, and now the eastern chamber is clear, the tiefling sorcerer steps out of the muddy passage, into an equally filthy and muddy room, strewn with a bunch of dead little bastards (xvarts).

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This is tough going.

Sir Glen catches up with events and goes scooting off down the muddy passage, eventually catching up with the capering xvart slinger, although out of actions, the paladin arrives just too late, Sosspan hits the xvart with a Fire Bolt and it too drops.

Krago brains the last xvart standing, and that- for now, is all she wrote.

This was the most sweary session of D&D I have DMed for several years, not bad you understand- nobody threw all of their toys out of their cots, but- boy, the players were not happy.

Xvarts are off their Christmas card lists, and osquips.

[More xvart guards and another osquip 500 XP]

Note, the Unexpected are beaten and bloodied, many of them are very (very) low on spells, I am assured however that they are far from broken.

They're determined, and that counts for a lot.

So, here's a thing- why did the players leave the three sidekicks- Corbis, Scrubs and Tribbits back up top, well... because these three were looking after the ropes, and then the chambers were really cramped, and then... well, they just forgot about them.

I just thought I'd let the players know- the two warriors, Corbis and Tribbits, they've both got very good athletics skills (needed to stay out of the pits and to negotiate the narrow and muddy passage), and, of course, the sidekick expert- Scrubs has the Helpful bonus action, to allow him to aid another with a check.

Some of these things could have proved useful.

Just saying.

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

Oh, but Lappoy has enough XP for level 4, while Scrubs has enough to become a level 3 expert. If they get out of this place alive.

The pot is up to £102.

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 #024: Still Hate Xvarts.

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. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  5. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  6. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  7. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  8. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  9. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus.
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 37: Being the 7th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after 10, after the two minutes (in game) & nearly two hours (real time) of pandemonium last session.


Xvarts!

Nobody likes them, can we just go home now?

The answer- of course, is 'NO'.

The xvarts are going to die- all of them, I have been informed by the players, and so...

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Here we go again.

So, the PCs have swigged a few potions of healing, and are back and ready for action- the big discussion before this session was about calling the NPCs (sidekicks) down, or at least some of them. Remember Corbis, Scrubs and Tribbits got forgotten about in the fracas last session, they're still up top, on the surface, holding the ropes.

But that plan is put on hold, temporarily (or so I am assured), while Krago and Sho-Rembo head forward to see what lies in store.

The pair sneak around a corner or two and spy a large chamber ahead, and there are more gibbering and grouching xvarts in there.

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Yet more xvarts, a high (in comparison to the tunnel) ceilinged chamber ahead- good for fighting, or so the Unexpected think, the plan is to move up and ambush the xvarts in there.

Let's see how well that works...

But Krago and Sho-Rembo suddenly want to get back to their friends, particularly as the kindly DM has just pointed out that the halfling druid still doesn't have Darkvision, and has still got a Light spell cast upon her, so she's glowing.

There follows a scramble to retreat.

WHUMP!

That's when the ceiling collapses.

Just to note this was another xvart trap, with three trip wires- and then Sho rolls a '1' on a D6 to trigger it.

2400b.jpg

You can see the extent of the collapse, although the tunnel is still navigable- but only by creatures that are small. All others- Krago, for instance, will have to dig their way out through the collapse.

The players really hate xvarts.

Krago is also back to being bloodied, and has already spent his inspiration point to try the Dex save again to avoid the collapse- nope, two failures.

Oh, but note Sho-Rembo has managed to scramble clear, that's what a '20' will do for you on the Dex save.

It all goes semi-crazy again.

Simply put- the xvarts are coming.

Krago digs himself free of the dirt (he was also Restrained) and then scurries towards the light, which in this instance is coming from Sho-Rembo.

However seconds later the dwarf ranger feels his feet being tickled by the whiskers of an osquip.

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Oh Bugger!

Then, as it turns out, there's another secret passage in the eastern guardroom- actually just a mangy tarp the same colour as the muddy walls, this chamber is home atm to just Trebbelos.

Brace for xvarts!

The players are getting frantic (too soon), they're about to be fighting in the tunnels again- not ideal, and yet...

Do you remember me reminding the players about their sidekicks still stuck up top, on the surface, just marking time- having a fag and generally tossing it off.

Well... not quite.

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Just minding their own business.

Suddenly, a small (three foot high) big-headed drooling savage steps out of the foliage and stabs Corbis in the back.

A xvart, but this is the first time any of the sidekicks have seen one of these guys.

Then a second of the little buggers scurries forward and slams into the back of Corbis' legs, both of the little bastards shove and... the sidekick warrior only just avoids being pushed down the hole.

DM's note- xvarts get advantage (Overbearing Pack) on a roll (strength check) to shove a PC, if an ally is within five feet= xvart strength check = 11, Corbis = '1', inspiration point = 12.

Phew.

Seconds later a sling stone flies out of the nearby trees and clonks Scrubs on the head, and then a moment later a third xvart dashes out of the foliage and stabs Corbis again.

As previously, Corbis is being played by Dave, Scrubs by Pete and Tribbits by Rob.

A nice change of scene.

I'm going to try and kill me some NPCs.

2402.jpg

Get out of this one.

Scrubs grabs out his crossbow and shoots the nearest xvart, it staggers back- almost dead, the sidekick expert then encourages Corbis to fight back (with Helpful).

But that doesn't help at all- a xvart cuts Corbis down, and yet another rushes over to menace Scrubs, while the slinging xvart in the foliage climbs into the clearing and beans Tribbits with a stone.

And then suddenly there are many more xvarts in the fight.

Tribbits gets his Second Wind and then stabs the badly wounded xvart dead, and then badly wounds another with an inspiration point gifted second attack.

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One of the xvarts is stood on the dying Corbis, that's why you can't see him.

Note, there was a big discussion at the start of this encounter, remember the players are playing the NPCs here. The discussion is- should Corbis, Scrubs & Tribbits stay and fight, or should they just get down the hole. As with their PCs below, the players are all for making a stand. So, they're going to fight to the bitter end.

So they say.

They're only my sidekick NPCs after all, and I'm happy with that.

Then however another two xvarts appear out of the foliage and stab Scrubs some more, and then Corbis fails a Death Save.

It's getting serious.

Particularly so when Tribbits gets stabbed and then moments later struck with another sling stone.

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Bloody hell, these little bastards are tough, and swarming us.

Tribbits breaks ranks and attempts to flee down the hole, thanks to Scrubs' Helpful he rolls a great athletics check to barge his way through the xvarts, grab a rope and then zoop into the dark. All he needs to do is to survive the four opportunity attacks the xvarts get to make en route.

And... just one hit- but it's a Crit.

Tribbits survives, and he's down the hole and into the muddy passage and out of sight- like a rat out of an aqueduct.

He is of course screaming for the PCs, which is when they get to learn about the fracas above.

Which just leaves Scrubs facing seven xvarts.

Oh, and Corbis bleeding to death.

But forget about Scrubs, the sidekick expert follows Tribbits' lead- and is through the xvarts, to the rope, and then down the hole at speed- and with a '20' on his athletics check.

The xvarts are on their own.

Well, except for Corbis.

Waste not want not, the seven xvarts do two things- five of them head down into their lair, and after their prey. The other two- they carve up Corbis, the pair set about cutting the warrior up into smaller and more manageable pieces.

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Corbis is dead.

[The sidekick's get their arses kicked by xvarts 50 XP]

And now, we're all at the same place in initiative- two fights become one, it's about to get noisy/nasty.

So, back to the muddy passages beyond the pits...

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Trebbelos, the tiefling sorcerer, reacts as soon as the ragged concealing curtain is drawn aside and the xvarts waddle forward.

He screams long and hard- “XVARTZ!”

Then Shocking Grasps the xvart threatening him and runs back out of the chamber and to his friends, with another xvart chasing him all the way.

However...

Back at the start of the narrow muddy passage Scrubs and a badly wounded Tribbits are attempting to clamber over the spiked and open pits (all three of them). Scrubs goes ahead a little way, Tribbits watching to see how it's done.

But then one of the xvarts from above swings in and stabs Tribbits down, the sidekick is unconscious and bleeding to death.

The newly arrived xvart is, however, not hanging around, it comes racing after Scrubs, who is now screaming like a little girl. The pair are scrambling across the pits, although the xvart is doing much better because it's using the vines and roots on the ceiling of the passage.

Which the PCs spotted earlier but soon after dismissed, because the roots wouldn't hold the weight of nearly all of them.

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The second sidekick falls, top left- and that's Scrubs (brave fellow) being chased by a xvart.

Tribbits first Death Save is a '1', that's two failures- he's about to join the choir.

A second xvart swings into the narrow passage, spots the recumbent Tribbits, and... stabs him.

Tribbits' place in the choir is claimed.

That was quick.

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It's all gone very very wrong. Corbis & Tribbits are dead, Scrubs is being chased (over the spiked pits) by a bunch of xvarts. A pair of osquips and a duo of xvarts are after Krago and Sho-Rembo, while a bunch more xvarts have made use of a secret door to mix it with the other PCs.

The Unexpected are about to fighting on three fronts, it's a good job there are lots of them, although, just to rub it in- two dead so far.

Busy.

Lappoy rushes forward and lets loose his last spell- a second level Thunderwave, a pair of xvarts are blown apart, while around the corner an osquip suffers, but only slightly.

Then the High Magicker hot foots it back up the tunnel and towards the sounds of Scrubs (screaming), and with an inspiration point (his only one) hits the xvart chasing his sidekick with a Fire Bolt. It survives.

Sho-Rembo meantime gets to Krago with a Cure Wounds, she's got just one spell left now.

Mohag is back to raging (his last one for the day) and into the osquip, the creature (already wounded) is bloodied in seconds, the barbarian is now making use of his magical handaxe. Sosspan blasts the osquip with a Fire Bolt, but still it blocks the way.

Sir Glen meantime rushes all the way back to try and save Scrubs, firing up his Sacred Weapon on the way (with his inspiration point).

Krago, at last, manages to scramble out of the collapse, but not before the osquip in the tunnel with him has bitten one his feet to shreds.

Seconds later the fur-less six-legged rodent makes it clear of the collapse too, Krago is ready for the beast, but rolls a '2'. The osquip bites the dwarf ranger some more, and now Krago is back down to five hit points.

Mohag gets hit with a sling stone, there are more xvarts coming through the concealed door and passage.

The barbarian takes another hit.

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There are three fights on the go- #1 a bunch of xvarts trying to get back into their lair, through Scrubs, Sir Glen and Lappoy. #2 A bunch of xvarts and osquips making their way through the collapse to Sho-Rembo and a critically wounded Krago, and... #3 Mohag, Trebbelos and Sosspan who are defending the centre of the company and trying to push the xvarts (and another osquip) back the way they came.

Trebbelos Fire Bolts the osquip attacking Mohag, and still it survives.

Scrubs scampers across the last pit, turns and fires his crossbow at the nearest xvart chasing him ('1') and then scrambles further down the muddy passage, as far away as he can get.

Lappoy Fire Bolts a xvart.

Sho-Rembo uses her last spell slot to cast a second level Cure Wounds on Krago- and rolls high, phew. The druid then wildshapes into Sho-Wolf and tears into the xvart menacing her (with an inspiration point spent in there).

Mohag enters a frenzy (with rage and reckless), but then repeatedly fails to land a hit ((with advantage) = '2' & '3' and '2' & '4').

Sir Glen cuts a xvart down.

Sosspan hits a xvart with a Fire Bolt, as does Trebbelos- and still it stands.

Just to say the xvarts have approx. 10 hit points each, tough little buggers, particularly when the PCs keep rolling one more than minimum damage.

Krago smashes a xvart down, and then for good measure smashes the osquip menacing him too.

The fight-back has...

Probably too soon for that.

Mohag gets hit by a sling stone.

Scrubs shoots a xvart.

Mohag gets stabbed.

Lappoy blasts a xvart dead with a Fire Bolt.

The Unexpected are holding their own here.

And then more than holding their own- Mohag cuts down two xvarts in a row and presses on into the eastern guard chamber, there's one more badly wounded xvart in here, but also the passage into the xvart's lair proper.

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Mohag breaks through.

Another xvart crawls through the collapse to support the osquip keeping Krago and Sho-Wolf at bay, but then immediately gets brained by the dwarven ranger- dead.

Sosspan gets stabbed by a badly wounded xvart, Trebbelos blasts it with a Fire Bolt, and still the little bugger survives.

Scrubs scurries to Lappoy's side, shoots a xvart beyond Sir Glen and then scoots off back into hiding.

One of the xvarts back in the tribal lair chamber spots Mohag's approach- it rushes to meet the invaders, and stabs the barbarian, calling others to the cause, seconds later and the barbarian stops another sling shot with his face.

A second osquip joins the fight to keep Krago and Sho-Wolf at bay.

Lappoy Fire Bolts another xvart, but for minimum damage.

Mohag, with his magical handaxe, slaughters two more xvarts, the barbarian is really getting into the swing of things.

As you can see there's a lot going on, the Unexpected are more than holding their own, only they're (some of them) taking a few hits here and there.

Sir Glen rolls his third to hit roll under '5' in a row, only this time he also gets stabbed by a xvart.

Trebbelos steps in and blasts the xvart that was blocking Mohag's progress, once again the Unexpected are unleashed.

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Sir Glen is still holding the line, same for Sho-Wolf & Krago, but now Mohag, Sosspan and Trebbelos are about to bust through.

Scrubs moves forward, shoots- Crits, and kills a xvart, and then grinning heads back to safety. There's only one xvart left in the pit passage, still forlornly battering at Sir Glen's shield with its rusty sword.

Lappoy Fire Bolts the little bugger, it survives.

Sho-Wolf gets bitten by an osquip.

Sho-Wolf has not landed a single attack so far, in five turns.

Mohag rushes into the tribal chamber- it's a muddy filthy mess, the place is empty of enemies- there are a bunch of crates and stuff over to the north, and a hole in the ground in the same direction, the barbarian races over- there's a sloping passage down into the hole.

From it the sound of gibbering xvarts in retreat.

Mohag, still enraged and in a frenzy heads in there... and rushes into the back of a fleeing xvart, the little bastard doesn't last long with the barbarian.

Still screaming the maniac rushes on- deeper into the lair.

Just to say Pete, playing Mohag, has had enough.

He's going for it, Mohag- we have been informed, is going to kill them all, or else die trying.

Sir Glen, meantime, cuts the last xvart down in the pit corridor, and then urges his comrades onwards (actually backwards)- deeper into the lair, to where the action is.

Sosspan and Trebbelos rush into the hole and after Mohag, the pair catch up with the barbarian, the tiefling sorcerer manages to hit another fleeing xvart with his Fire Bolt.

Krago smashes down an osquip with his black mace and then goes to work on the other.

2412.jpg

Note Sosspan, Trebbelos & Mohag are rushing ahead- the passage bottom left, accessed via a hole in the xvart tribal chamber (unseen, to the far north of Krago & Sho-Wolf).

The last remaining osquip savages Krago, for twelve damage, the dwarf is back to being bloodied and broken, however he's still on his feet. Sho-Wolf manages, at last, to bite the thing and drag the hairless six-legged rat off its feet.

Mohag rushes on down the passage and flings a dagger into a fleeing xvart's back.

Sosspan dodges ahead of the barbarian and into another chamber, a throne room- of sorts; there are six more xvarts in here, one that the trio has been chasing, four more tough-looking guards (although they're still only three feet tall). The last xvart is taller, and bigger, than the rest even reclined upon its ghastly (skeleton & flesh) throne.

There are no exits from this chamber, this is the end of the road- and that's the xvart king, of sorts, sitting on his horrible chair.

Also present is a much larger osquip which darts out and savages Sosspan even as he enters the chamber, the dragonborn wizard is swiftly down to six hit points.

Sosspan unleashes his poisoned breath, choking to death the fleeing xvart that lead them here, moments later the wizard lets loose his last spell- a Thunderwave (for only just above minimum damage, 2d8 = '3' damage, save for half). The shame-faced dragonborn retreats behind the barbarian.

Krago, meantime cuts the last osquip down- the dwarf immediately starts to hustle his way back around to his comrades, although in a second he will bump into Lappoy and discover that his friends have all moved on. It's now a chase to find, and join, Trebbelos, Sosspan and Mohag in the throne room.

So, here's the thing- in the book the xvart boss has 4D6 hit points and a clutch of (1st level) spells, so I've replaced him with xvart warlock of Raxivort, and here he comes- here comes Kung Pow.

The xvart king fires three Scorching Rays at Mohag, and bugger me it's the only round the barbarian has failed (forgotten) to use his reckless, and so three attacks and the highest I roll is an '8', that's three misses. Kung Pow is not happy at all, he orders his guards to attack, while gibbering and gesticulating wildly.

2413.jpg

Kung Pow's throne room, note Sosspan has retreated to hide behind Mohag.

But then Trebbelos arrives on the scene and throws a Shatter spell into the centre of the chamber, the ceiling partially collapses, and only two of the four xvart guards survive the shock, and the big tough osquip is looking beyond battered.

Mohag steps in to the chamber, and gets stabbed by a xvart guard, the barbarian keeps swinging but the osquip and the xvart guard keep him at bay, and the corridor behind him is plugged.

Note the other PCs can't get passed Mohag into the throne room.

Sir Glen gets to the fight, and casts a Shield of Faith on Mohag, ordering the barbarian in the name of the Morning Lord to push on into the throne room.

He's trying...

Sosspan fires three Magic Missiles into the osquip blocking the way, the thing is blasted to heck and yet it survives, and that's the dragonborn wizard out of spells.

Kung Pow grabs out his wand of Magic Missiles and doesn't stop firing until Mohag drops, it takes five missiles, and three charges of the device, but the barbarian sprawls unconscious.

The xvart chief capers and dances, and then hides behind his fleshy throne.

Trebbelos launches his second Shatter spell into the mix, and that should just about do it- the two remaining xvart guards and the tough looking osquip and blown apart.

2414.jpg

There's just Kung Pow to chase down, oh and Mohag to get back to the land of the living.

Scrubs gets to Mohag with a healing potion.

Sho-Wolf catches up, at last, with the action.

Mohag staggers to his feet and immediately goes off after Kung Pow, just for info the barbarian is on eight hit points and exhaustion level three atm.

Then Sir Glen arrives and Kung Pow is surrounded, or else the xvart chief has his back to the wall- the barbarian and paladin to either side of him, and his splendid throne in front of him.

The little bastard therefore fires three more Magic Missiles at point-blank range into Mohag- and the barbarian falls again. Then the xvart maniac fires another two Magic Missiles into Sir Glen, the wand has just one charge left. Kung Pow runs, stamping as hard as he can on the fallen Mohag as he departs.

The paladin slices the xvart boss, but for not very much damage, which is the paladin's signature tune.

Kung Pow attempts to flee the chamber but Trebbelos cuts him off, and then bathes the little guy in his Burning Hands.

Lappoy rushes into the chamber, Kung Pow slices the High Magicker, and the elf wizard is suddenly down to seven hit points.

Mohag fails a Death Save, Sir Glen rushes over and delivers a Cure Wounds. The barbarian lives...

Sosspan Shocking Grasps Kung Pow, the xvart chief is surrounded but refuses to give up the fight, he's going out in a blaze of glory, or rather, blaze of gory.

Kung Pow fires off the last charge of his wand of Magic Missiles (into Scrubs), the device- according to the module handbook when depleted, explodes. The wand's destructive blast delivers five points of necrotic damage to all within ten feet.

2415.jpg

So, Scrubs collapses unconscious. Mohag is atm on four hit points (and exhaustion level three). Lappoy, Sosspan, Sho-Wolf, Krago and Sir Glen are all on either one or two hit points each. Trebbelos isn't even bloodied.

What's more when the wand exploded it triggered Trebbelos' Hellish Rebuke, and now Kung Pow is bloodied too, actually the little bugger is on about ten hit points.

But that doesn't last long...

Sho-Wolf snarls, leaps and bites, and seconds later manages to wrestle the big floppy head off the xvart chief (she rolled max damage, so why not)- Kung Pow is dead.

That was fairly titanic.

When the fight ends, and believe me there had been some glorious swearing going on for the last hour or so, then... silence, a few nervous giggles before we get to the whooping and backslapping.

[Lots of xvarts and osquips 1525 XP]

Lappoy gets to Scrubs with a potion of healing.

And we even had time for a tidy up, after a short rest for a little light healing, the rest of the lair is incrementally searched, as are the bodies of the fallen.

There are a bunch of coins down in the bone pile chamber in which the osquips were first encountered, amidst the debris. Also, a bunch of silver and copper coins on the xvarts, with a few gold distributed between the Kung Pow's elite guard (these guys all had max hit points = 12).

The chief had a few nice items on him, but then there's a hefty chest- which Scrubs gets to work on, and duly gets open about ten minutes later.

Alas, the chest, like lots of other stuff down here proves to be a trap- a viper springs out as soon as the container is opened, and bites Scrubs in the hand, eventually Lappoy with a Fire Bolt blows the angry hissing reptile apart.

[Snake in the chest 25 XP]

The chest, soon after, it is discovered contains nothing but sacks of rocks.

The Unexpected are more than a little pissed off.

That is until Krago, using his stonecunning, finds a secret compartment hidden behind a large flat rock situated in the northern wall of the chamber, behind which are a trio of sacks with all sorts of treasures within, although nothing that detects as magical. But still, more than a few items of value.

Tribbits is also stripped of anything worth while- particularly his money and one remaining healing potion.

Note Corbis' body has already been dismembered and taken away by the two xvarts that were assigned to this task, note this pair take a brief look around their former lair- spot all of their dead friends and decide to try life on the road.

So, just two xvarts survived the visit by the Unexpected.

Then... a long rest, the PCs are as close to broken as they have ever been, and the xvart lair, is an excellent place to hide-out. They think.

A watch however is maintained.

But no untoward encounters, and that's all we had time for this session.

After an extended rest Lappoy will arise a 4th level wizard, and Scrubs a 3rd level sidekick expert.

The pot is up to £106.

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 #025: The Stinky Cave.

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 4.
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 3.

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 including Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Corbis
Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  5. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  6. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  7. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  8. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  9. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus.
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 38: Being the 8th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after breakfast.


After an extended rest Lappoy is a 4th level wizard, and Scrubs a 3rd level sidekick expert.

We're in the stinking (bastard) xvart's lair, although it has proved to be a very safe place to rest.

So, the Unexpected head back up and out into the ravine, note the body of Tribbits is left back down in the bone pile chamber within the xvart's former lair, the intention is to pick it back up on their way out of the ravine.

We'll see if that happens, the Unexpected- I seem to remember, often have to flee the ravine.

But onwards, and the next spot on the list ripe for exploration is the stinky cave-

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G = Xvart bastard's nasty hole in the ground lair. I = New target, the stinky cave...

And it really is ripe in here, enough for a few of the Unexpected to cover their mouths and noses, the stench? Carrion, and death.

And now the Unexpected are a little less certain of themselves, but at least they remember to sort the lighting out before entering this place, and so here we go.

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Into the stinky cave.

But here's the thing, under the guise of other checks (mostly perception and stealth) while the Unexpected were on their way over to their present location I have garnered a whole bunch of D20 dice rolls from the players.

The cavern's foul miasma is poisonous- and so the above checks serve as the saves I need (fiendish, hardly). I'll be telling the PCs, when they need to know- i.e. when the fighting starts, which of them is poisoned, and why (possibly).

Cruel, a bit, but not a lot.

Back to the action, there are bones and the scattered remains of various creatures in here, mostly its just rotting viscera that's left.

And now the Unexpected are really not sure about this... but the sneaky pair (Krago & Sho-Rembo) quickly discover a slightly fresher smelling chamber, occupied by a pool of clear water, they sneak in.

The rest of the gang hold station at the entrance to the chamber, although the cavern certainly looks to be deserted.

However, Krago immediately spots something glistening in the crystal clear water (perception '20'), and wades in to fetch it- although cautiously, and it's a hefty jewel encrusted goblet. There are diamonds and rubies on the ancient treasure- it must be worth a mint (over 500gp the dwarf thinks).

The Unexpected are suddenly very much happier.

But then the grey oozes show themselves (and there are three of them), moments later the screaming begins.

That said, Krago spots the first of the oozes as it approaches him through the water- and attacks, of course, while screaming to his friends- too late however, the others are caught flat-footed.

The burly dwarf ranger bloodies the first grey ooze with his black mace and dagger, both of which are magical weapons.

However, seconds later Sho-Rembo and Mohag both get splatted by acid dripping pseudopods, as does Krago a moment after. Sho-Rembo suddenly finds herself on just five hit points, that hurt a lot.

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All of the grey oozes have max hit points, and some of the PCs are about to discover that the foul miasma within the cavern has rendered them poisoned, or at least I thought they would. Keep reading.

Scrubs rushes in and clubs the nearest ooze, Krago blats the one attacking him with his black mace and dagger combo, the thing splits and disintegrates- dead.

The dwarf ranger rushes over to Sho-Rembo's side, but then- after a lengthy debate (with himself) chooses not to spend his inspiration point to get an attack in on the ooze threatening his friend. The jelly monstrosity therefore smashes the halfling druid again with its caustic pseudopod.

Sho-Rembo falls unconscious, and prone in the pool- and now she's drowning.

“Get her out!” Krago screams, wishing he had spent that inspiration point.

But, again, too late- an ooze drops down on top of the submerged and dying halfling.

To better reflect this turn of events Sho-Rembo fails her first Death Save.

Mohag slashes the ooze attacking him, and the thing is almost sliced in two (max damage).

Sir Glen, the hero, rushes in and after activating his Sacred Weapon (inspiration point) the paladin cuts the grey ooze that is nestling in the water and on top of Sho-Rembo.

Lappoy fires three Magic Missiles in to the ooze threatening Mohag, destroying it, and then a fourth into the ooze on Sho-Rembo.

Trebbelos rushes in and hits the last ooze (on Sho-Rembo) with a Fire Bolt (the kindly DM ruling that there was enough of the blob on the surface of the pool).

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Kill it! Sho-Rembo is unconscious, drowning, and dying beneath the last grey ooze, the Unexpected need to kill this bad boy quickly.

Scrubs clubs the ooze, Krago blats it with his black mace, and then stabs it with his magical dagger- and yet it lives.

The dwarf ranger spends an inspiration point, and... finishes it off.

Just to say the ooze would (probably) have continued to consume Sho-Rembo, had it not been killed, and that would have been the end of the halfling druid.

Sho-Rembo, moments later, is grabbed up and healed.

[Grey oozes 300 XP]

Then, after a very quick slurp of healing- the adventurers are keen to get on, and Sir Glen has his Sacred Weapon running, the Unexpected head off again.

Note, not a one of them has noticed that their PCs are poisoned and were therefore rolling at disadvantage, mainly because the were fighting oozes and they're AC 8, and so they were hitting anyway. Also, there was a lot of other stuff going on.

After the fight several PCs swiftly discover that their metal armour has been eroded somewhat by the caustic ooze hits, also several (non-magical) metal weapons have similarly suffered in the confrontation. As I say, there was a lot going on, it was a fraught thirty to forty minutes of semi-fun.

The Unexpected haven't gone much farther into the narrow (in places) and winding cavern when Krago shushes them, there's something very large approaching at speed, and then... a HOOT!

Krago's next line starts with a very naughty word followed by “OWLBEAR!”

The line is delivered in a breathless screech.

Note my owlbear stealth check was a '1', so the thing was making a lot of noise en route, the Unexpected are swiftly braced for impact.

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I've a feeling this isn't going to end well for my poor old owlbear.

And, sure enough- waddling around the corner, and then lurching onto its hind legs comes the owlbear.

Sho-Rembo crits the beast with her Produce Flame (for '4' damage, don't fret any- it gets much worse), Sosspan hits it with all three of his Scorching Rays, Krago stabs it with his magical dagger- but its nowhere near enough damage, the hooting beast isn't even bloodied.

The owlbear started with max hit points, that's 91 from memory.

Oh, and Sir Glen at last makes a discovery, he's poisoned- he misses with his Sacred Weapon and spots (at last) that he's rolling at disadvantage.

I've been telling the PCs that are poisoned that the smell (for them) inside the cave is particularly bad, and at times has caused them to turn away or to retch, alas everyone (i.e. the players) were much more concerned with just getting on with the slaughter.

Seconds later Scrubs (as RPed by the kindly DM) also works out that he is poisoned- having just missed the great beast with his crossbow from ten feet away.

The owlbear in the meantime attempts to tear into Sir Glen (and I roll a '1' followed by a '4'), but the paladin shrugs off the attack.

Bastard!

Lappoy discovers that he too is poisoned, the High Magickist alas (shame) misses with two of his three Scorching Rays.

Mohag steps in and hits the owlbear with his magical handaxe, his greataxe has had its edge taken off by the oozes. The barbarian spends an inspiration point to repeat the trick, and hits again, for max damage ('10') both times.

Bloody hell!

Sho-Rembo hits the owlbear with another Produce Flame, and rolls minimum damage ('1').

The deadliest spell in D&D, or so Jim/Vinnie keeps telling me in another game I DM.

Sosspan hits the owlbear with a Fire Bolt, and moments later Krago Crits it with his black mace, and then follows up with his dagger.

The bloodied and broken (once beautiful) creature is left staggering- hooting forlornly, and moaning as it gushes blood, or else still burns.

Trebbelos hits it with another Fire Bolt.

There's no beauty in their lives.

Sir Glen (with Helpful on him, to counter-act the poisoned condition) misses the beast with a '1', its what he does- very regularly.

The Morning Lord bless 'im.

The owlbear, with just four hit points remaining, attempts to tear his way out of this pickle- it beaks/bites Krago, bloodying the dwarf in an instant, but the hardy ranger dodges clear and avoids the beast's follow up claw rake.

Bugger!

2505.jpg

Owlbear, just prior to its demise, no doubt.

Mohag thunks his handaxe into the owlbear's skull, as the beast bends forwards and down to try to bite the barbarian, the great (majestic? Perhaps formerly so) beast suddenly lurches upright and stands statue for a second, and then does a little bumbling jig, and then collapses.

Dead.

With Mohag's magical handaxe still buried in its still twitching skull.

That was Mohag's new Best Kill (see the stats thing, another one coming after session #30, probably- if I remember).

[Owlbear 700 XP]

The rest of the cavern is searched- there's really not much to it. This, of course, after a little more healing for Krago.

But there's very little to find, a few stray coins here and there, and... a scroll- which is later identified as a scroll of protection from undead. That could come in useful, particularly if the Unexpected are going to be heading out to destroy the undead that have invaded the Whispering Woods (one of the Bumble quests).

But here's the thing- the Unexpected want a sit down for a chat, and this isn't the cavern to do it in, therefore they make their way cautiously back over to the nearest former orc lair.

2506.jpg

Cavern F on the map.

Ensconced within the Unexpected set a watch and then settle in and around the cavern mouth, mostly- they rest and chat for a while.

The chatter is of course, and as always, what comes next?

We can RP it out, and they sometimes do, but it's a player thing, so...

Pete (that's Krago, Mohag and Trebbelos) is keen to continue (today) with the conquering of the Caves of Chaos. He doesn't want to head back to the Keep, or indeed head off into the wilds- there's 2,500 to 3,000 gold pieces to be made from the Castellan for getting all of this place cleared out.

In truth, and after a bit more chat, it is agreed- all of the PCs/players are in the mood, and have the resources, to carry on, it's really not essential they head back to the Keep.

However...

Rob (playing Lappoy) would like to go and find out what's going on with the undead that Bumble needed taking care of. The King of the Bees told them that there was a bunch of burial mounds and the like nearby, and that the undead were spilling out of this area and wandering into the Whispering Woods. The Unexpected have the place marked on their map, and it's only a mile or so away- through the back of the ravine.

Dave (playing Sho-Rembo, Sir Glen and Sosspan) is likewise keen to do some more adventuring today, but... he is, at least for a while, disinclined to pick sides.

Eventually, and I do mean eventually- after at least twenty minutes of semi-bickering it all comes down to a dice roll, as it inevitably does.

Low = Pete's plan, high = Rob's plan.

I roll a D20 and get a... '10'.

So, Pete moans and gripes for about thirty seconds until Rob (and me) remind him that '10' is LOW, and that he has won.

Therefore the next cave for invasion is selected, but... screw that- the DM has been busy while the players were bickering (and dickering).

It's at this point that the PCs become aware of two things, the first thing is the yelp and bark of gnolls echoing through the cavern passages in which they stand. Clearly the invaders are rushing through the former orc lair to close with them, basically a bunch of gnolls must have snuck into the other entrance to the conjoined orc lairs.

Secondly, and this only a moment or so later, the Unexpected spot, and hear, agang of gnolls rushing up the scarp towards them.

2507.jpg

Here come the gnolls.

So, screw you guys- I'm having a gnoll party.

But the only thing we get chance to do with what's left of this session is to roll initiative, and bugger me but three of the PCs roll '20's.

Back to kicking ass next time (who am I kidding, its the hope that kills you), and keep in mind all of the gnolls here are on 75% plus of max hit points, approx. thirty HP each- and there are lots of them.

Blood and glory, maybe, we'll see next session.

The pot is up to £110.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Oh, but just to note in the dying moments of the session we also worked out that Krago, Mohag, Sho-Rembo, Sir Glen, Sosspan & Trebbelos now all have enough XP for level 4.

And now the players have figured this out they all want very badly to survive what follows, and then get the heck back to the Keep for an extended rest and a lie down.

Funny how things can change in an instant.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #026: Gnolls!

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 4.
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 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  5. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  6. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  7. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  8. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  9. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus.
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 38: Being the 8th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 9.30 AM.


Gnolls, lots of them- a gang of the bastards have made their way through the other ex-orc lair (lead by Wheezer, a gnoll slaver the PCs encountered earlier), while a second mob rushes the entrance to the cavern (lead by a hefty armoured gnoll).

It gets very fighty, very quickly!

2507.jpg

And so it begins, and just to make clear I have maybe eighteen or so gnolls in play, all with 75% of max hit points, or more.

This is how it goes down.

Sosspan scurries forward and hits a bunch of the gnolls charging towards the cavern with a Shatter spell (but for only 7 damage, save for half, and most of the gnolls do). The shame-faced dragonborn wizard ducks back out of sight.

A moment later and Sho-Rembo fills the area before the cavern entrance with a Spike Growth spell, and all of the charging gnolls are within the compass of the plant terror.

Seconds later a screaming gnoll gets its feet ripped to shreds as it tries to make its way over to stab at Sir Glen, the paladin parries the attack and then fires up his Sacred Weapon and cuts the gnoll brute.

More gnolls rush in, although one of the fools, already wounded by Sosspan's Shatter spell- and then more so by the Spike Growth, breaks ranks and attempts to flee back the way it came. It doesn't make it out of the reach of the cutting vegetation.

Then however, back within the cavern, Krago gets shot, there are gnolls- lots of them charging down the passage here.

Lappoy patiently waits for the passage to fill up with the yapping brutes.

Back at the front.

Mohag steps in to block the cavern entrance, alongside Sir Glen- the barbarian is raging and reckless, he smashes a gnoll down with his magical handaxe.

That's two down so far.

But back in the cavern passage the gnolls keep on coming.

Lappoy and Trebbelos let loose their Shatter spells at this mob, lots of hits but more rubbish damage rolls- from both of them, best 3d8 = '7' damage, save for half, and again most of the gnolls do.

Back to the front of the cavern.

A gnoll rushing the lair suddenly realises it's legs and feet are getting ripped to shreds, it therefore comes to a halt and throws a spear at Mohag, it's a hit.

The gnolls outside of the lair however are starting to panic, and particularly when the armoured leader type gnoll quickly spots what's going on here (bad magic) and so turns tail and flees, the gnoll boss only just makes it out of the Spike Growth alive.

This fellow runs yapping at full pelt further into the ravine, the Unexpected try to keep an eye on where this fleeing gnoll is heading. While, of course, taking care of business within the cave.

Sho-Rembo's Spike Growth damage dice are on fire- its 2d4 piercing damage for each square of movement, and there have been half-a-dozen max rolls already.

2600.jpg

Two gnolls down dead & one leader-type fled. The Unexpected are kicking ass.

The Unexpected, they think (correctly), have broken this attack already, or else they're going to clear the gnolls on the outside of the lair pretty quickly.

Back to the back, and within the cavern...

Krago smashes another gnoll down, and then with his Horde Breaker (and an added inspiration point) almost drops another.

That's four dead or fled.

Back to the front.

Sho-Rembo steps up again and hits the gnolls attacking the cavern entrance with a Thunderwave, two of the badly wounded humanoids are blown apart, and the three survivors are left mewling like kittens, clutching at their ears, and looking very unhappy with the world.

These three ate also obviously now stuck within the Spike Growth.

That's six of them gone.

2601.jpg

It's a massacre at the front door.

Sir Glen cuts down another one of the badly wounded and disorientated gnolls, and then tramps north to meet the coming gnoll charge.

Seven dead or fled.

Back to the gnolls in the cavern passage.

Krago gets shot again, and then seconds later speared, he's bloodied and beyond, as usual.

The gnolls keep on coming.

Lappoy suddenly races forward and unleashes a Thunderwave directly into the pack of gnolls charging down the passage, but then rolls rubbish damage once again, the High Magicker therefore uses an inspiration point to disengage and flee back to safety.

Scrubs shoots a gnoll.

Krago gets shot again by Wheezer, the longbow wielding boss of the gnoll slavers, and its a Crit- the dwarf ranger is very suddenly down to just one hit point.

But not for long, seconds later he gets hit by a thrown spear and falls unconscious.

Mohag immediately moves to stand over the fallen dwarf- and then starts swinging, smashing another gnoll down- and then moving forward again, and now in a reckless raging frenzy he slashes yet another gnoll with his magical handaxe.

Eight gnolls gone.

Trebbelos quickly gets to Krago with a healing potion, and then after an inspiration point he launches another Shatter spell into the gnolls crammed in the passage, there are seven of them here (including Wheezer) and now all but one of them are bloodied.

The sorcerer is immediately surrounded by a swirling wind that lifts him six inches above the cavern floor, and then floats him back and away from danger.

Meantime, back at the front the last two gnolls die while fleeing, attempting to escape Sho-Rembo's Spike Growth spell.

That's ten gnolls accounted for.

And now the exit/entrance to the cavern (save for the Spike Growth) is clear.

2602.jpg

It's really not looking good for my gnolls.

The newly conscious again Krago scrambles to his feet, and then bonks and stabs the gnoll still threatening him down dead, the badly injured dwarf ranger retreats rapidly, in desperate need of more healing.

Eleven.

Sosspan launches yet another Thunderwave into the pack, and this one for proper damage, the gnolls are broken.

Sho-Rembo uses an inspiration point to pump a Cure Wounds into Krago, and then she too scurries forward and sends yet another Thunderwave into the gnolls, but again rubbish damage, and just one more gnoll succumbs.

Twelve.

Lappoy delivers the third Thunderwave, and another gnoll falls- the noisy yapping buggers however are doing their best to get away now.

Thirteen.

Mohag Crits a fleeing gnoll dead.

Fourteen.

Trebbelos races after the fleeing pack and hits it with yet another Shatter spell, and another gnoll falls.

Fifteen.

Sosspan fires a trio of Magic Missiles into another fleeing gnoll, it too succumbs to the hurt.

Sixteen.

Sho-Rembo wildshapes into Sho-D-Wolf and chases down, and then bites the slowest of the fleeing gnolls. Sir Glen steps in and finishes it off.

Seventeen.

There's only one gnoll still running, and that's Wheezer, the gnoll slaver boss.

Trebbelos- in a headlong dash spots Wheezer, just, and so after a double move he spends an inspiration point to take a shot with a Fire Bolt (and at -5 to hit) and rolls a Crit.

Wheezer somehow survives the blast, and now the boss gnoll is racing through the second orc lair, and it has become a thing for all of the players- they're not letting this bastard get away.

Mohag gets to within fifteen or so feet of Wheezer, and so lets fly with his magical handaxe, and THUNK- that's enough- Wheezer falls.

Eighteen gnolls went into this encounter, only one got away.

2603.jpg

The end of Wheezer.

There follows a modicum of imbecilic whooping.

The Unexpected are however still in fairly good shape, and as of now a jubilant mood, however the players are also still very aware that their guys have enough XP to advance to level 4, and they're very keen to do so- all of them.

A hasty deal is done (you'll hear about this next time), a brief search of the fallen gnolls is made, and there's a bit of coin here and there, but nothing spectacular, and then...

They're off, and do they heck as like remember to stop off to pick up the corpse of Tribbits hidden in the bone pile in the xvarts ex-lair, not a chance, and I don't remind them because I forgot too.

The Unexpected hustle out of the ravine, and all the way along the road, as fast as they can (although Mohag is on exhaustion level three again) and all the way back safely to the Keep.

And the remainder of the session is spent levelling up the PCs, and of course re-stocking and re-supplying, oh and selling the treasures found during their last visit to the Caves of Chaos.

Here are the highlights from the stuff that got sold-

Three silver candlesticks, sold for 31gp in total.
Magnifying glass with an electrum handle, sold for 35gp.
Ivory statuette of a panther, sold for 42gp.
Cockatrice feather quill with a gold nib, also sold for 42gp.
Immaculate wolf pelt, sold for 55gp.
Gold and emerald earring, sold for 64gp.
Beautiful deep green spinnel gemstone, sold for 68gp.
Tarnished silver crown, sold for 85gp.
Gaudy silver necklace, sold for 99gp.
Chunky gold chain, previously worn by Torgo the Eye Gouger, sold for 145gp.
Gem encrusted gold goblet, found in the ooze pool, sold for 819gp.

The pot is up to £114.

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 #027: A Cave of One's Own.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Get all 20 rumours, just missing #18, keep chatting and drinking at the Keep.
  3. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  4. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  5. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  6. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  7. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  8. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  9. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus.
  10. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 43: Being the 13th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 6 AM.


So, the Unexpected are just about to head out of the Keep again, however they've been busy with a series of meetings, and now... Well, they're marching back to the Caves of Chaos, and with their own troops, and healers.

Let me tell you how it happened.

But the first thing to say is that this adventure mega-module is designed for play for levels 1 to 3, and the Unexpected are very definitely fourth level, all of them- except for the sidekick.

Therefore, the players have been warned- the DM will now be adding to or else increasing the threat of the listed encounters. All future enemies will start with 75% or more of max hit points, I further reserve the right to increase encounter numbers by a maximum of 50%, and maybe- every now and then- throw in a leader type, or something similar. Increased DCs (+2 to +5) for saves, checks, and... everything.

So, get your special dice rolling pants on, I'm going to crank up (a little) the volume.

Although, not in this one.

That done, back to business.

First up, the usual stuff- the Unexpected sell their loot (see last session), buy gear to replace stuff lost, repair damaged equipment (armour and weapons, after the oozes), fill up on healing potions et al.

For form's sake they also attempt, once again, to ascertain the last missing rumour (see quest 2 on the list above) on their list.

That's right, another night in the Traveller's Rest hard drinking and spreading the joy.

SUCCESS!

Easy really, and the patented method employed by the discoverer of the final missing rumour- simples! Sir Glen spends all evening going from person to person, buying each new face a drink, and then listing for each of them the nineteen rumours that the Unexpected have already discovered about the Caves of Chaos. Only then asking the fellow being interviewed if he or she has heard anything else about the aforementioned Caves of Chaos.

It's the paladin modus operandi. Honesty, as it turns out, is the best policy.

[All twenty rumours 160 XP]

This then is the new rumour chart-

(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.
(18) Beware the Mad Hermit of the north lands.
(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.

Did you spot the new guy-

(18) Beware the Mad Hermit of the north lands.

And now the Unexpected are a little worried, is the Mad Hermit Bumble's brother, and 'beware' is he a threat? The local person being interviewed, the giver of this rumour, isn't sure who or what the Mad Hermit is (although presumed a human), only that the fellow has attacked folk in the Whispering Woods.

Is this Tolpuddle, Bumble's brother?

The Unexpected chat a little while longer about this one, and refresh their memories- they were going to say 'hi' to Tolpuddle if and when they met him, and tell him that his brother Bumble was looking for him. Perhaps arrange a meeting between the two, that's... all.

They're maybe going to see if they can find Bumble again, when they've solved one of his quests, and then have another chat with him about his brother Tolpuddle.

Next up, well- there are lots of meetings with Darvon, the old priest of Oghma, more tales of adventure from the Caves of Chaos for the old man to write up.

Sir Glen spends a day or two with Ricky Pilchard, who is working hard at the Church of the Morning Lord, all is going well so far. Ricky's former occupation is still a secret.

Then, well, there's a long chat or two with Sir Penrith Dubourbon, Bailiff of the Outer Bailey, who the adventurers last met at the trial of Ricky Pilchard, Dubourbon is the Castellan's right-hand man. Also present, and taking notes, is Marevak- an middle-aged (perhaps) elven woman, she is introduced as the Castellan's Scribe.

So, lots of chatter- about the Caves of Chaos and what is still there to be done.

2700.jpg

The Unexpected chat their way through what's left of the Caves of Chaos, and now they know where the gnolls live (Cave L). This after they watched the armoured gnoll boss retreat, at high speed, to the cavern in question.

So, the Unexpected tell Sir Dubourbon their plans, he asks questions, and... a few days later, during a meeting within the Traveller's Rest, the Bailiff explains what he has to offer.

The Keep will provide the Unexpected with six guards and a Corporal, they will also send patrols daily to the region, and further take care of all supplies (within reason) and logistics. The Unexpected will occupy one of the caverns within the ravine (or another base close by), the guards will be employed to make safe the camp, freeing the adventurers up to go and explore.

Payment for a successful completion of the task- all caverns cleared, 2500gp (less any untoward expenses).

Payment without success, 200gp for a calendar month's employment.

Marevak has taken the liberty of drawing up contracts.

And this was the deal that Pete did with his fellow players at the end of the previous session- he's got his wish, to clear the Caves of Chaos first.

2701.jpg

The Unexpected are hired.

But here's the other thing- the Fortune's Five adventuring party, well... they've not returned from their sojourn in the wilds, there's no reward on offer (at the moment)- but, could the Unexpected look out for them. It is not unusual for an adventuring party to be late, but... the group have still got their payment to collect.

So, more than a little odd.

But again, the Unexpected have been to the Fortune Five's camp, they'll check in there.

Last bit, when Darvon (the old priest of Oghma) learns that the Unexpected are moving to a camp in the Caves of Chaos, well.. the old man begs the adventurers to allow him to go with them, aided by his two silent acolytes. Not only can he get closer to the action, but he can also provide much needed healing, an aid station- as it were.

Just to make clear Darvon is not suggesting he accompany the Unexpected on their adventures, only that he dwell close-by, with the guards in camp.

After about seven seconds discussion the players/PCs agree to this, after all- they've just been offered the services of a cleric (or three). Also many of the PCs are still keen to be immortalised by the old priest.

So, lots to go on, which is why the Unexpected leave early for the caves.

Day 43: Being the 13th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 6 AM.

There are eight of the Unexpected, a dozen guards- six of them will be returning to the Keep after helping out, Corporal Grubbins, Old Darvon and his two acolytes (Enoch & Shadrack), two carts full of supplies and half-a-dozen drovers, and a few others.

It's quite a company.

There are no encounters en route, however also en route the Unexpected pay a visit to the Fortune Fives' camp.

2702.jpg

But what's this?

The rival adventuring party's camp is a ruin (although it doesn't look too bad) but what is very apparent are the dead bodies here, all six guards- although two of the bodies are found a little away from the site.

Also present is the corpse of M'Baddah, who previously expressed the opinion that he wanted to go adventuring with the Unexpected (or else one of the earlier incarnations of the Unexpected).

The remains are not fresh, and have been significantly predated, the camp looks to have been attacked, and caught by surprise- half of the guards are out of their armour.

There are odd footprints here and there, the attackers had splayed feet, or else... appendages like those of a frog- this after a clutch of survival checks, initially not good, the Unexpected however take their time.

There's a little coin to be had, and a few more bits and pieces, but it all feels a bit wrong, taking from dead fellow adventurers (and the guard).

The only other obvious piece of intelligence is that it is clear that the missing adventurers from the group were not here for the attack, and very likely they've not been back here since. Remember the Keep is only and hour or so away from this location, therefore the obvious presumption is the rest of the Fortune's Five are still out there somewhere, and (Sir Glen suggests) possibly the prisoners of some other force.

Are there bullywugs in the Fell Fens, this could be their work? This suggestion comes from Sho-Rembo, and Lappoy who rolls yet another '20'.

Then onwards, to the Caves of Chaos, but the guards heading to the Keep will be sure to tell the authorities on their return, and collect the bodies from the wrecked camp at a later date and time.

2703.jpg

The Unexpected get moved in, note Old Darvon gets the orc chief's old room, the place is tidied up a bit, and all the new rations and supplies moved in.

Now, and this is the plan- go get the gnolls.

But this is a very short session, because it's a Friday- and we play twice on most Friday's, once early morning, and again in the evening. Ain't we sad sacks, playing D&D twice on a Friday.

The confirmed joys of semi-retirement (I only work Monday to Wednesday), and my players are mostly similarly freed up from the work-thing.

Oh, but just a last word- the gnoll bodies that were scattered about the cave and around the entrance, the last time the Unexpected were here, well... they've all gone.

I mean all gone, nothing- no predated remains, all gone.

Funny that.

I mentioned it to the players twice in session, they were very blasé about the fact, or else they just ignored it.

The pot is up to £118.

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 #028: All Gnolls Must Die!

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 43: Being the 13th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 10 AM.


It's as simple as this- the Unexpected have moved into their new cave home, sorted out the logistics, showed the guardsmen the ropes and... skedaddled, sharpish- directly across the ravine and to the gnoll cave.

The gnolls have attacked the Unexpected twice now, they are therefore the next on their to kill list.

But let me just add in advance, in my last gnoll attack on the PCs I spent over half the gnolls in my account, basically 50% of the gnoll lair were slaughtered. But the PCs are 4th level now, and this module/scenario is only designed for level 1-3 play, so- I've put the dead gnolls back.

And added a few other things, remember I said that the bodies of the fallen gnolls had gone in the last session, well... here they all are.

A better explanation to follow.

The following attack however is very well co-ordinated, by which I mean the PCs had picked their spells, cast their light spells (for those that have trouble seeing in the dark, note Sho-Rembo is making use of a Darkvision spell) and buffs, and...

They're really on it.

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Krago and the new Darkvision equipped Sho-Rembo take a look inside the lair, and roll well enough to sneak in for a peek, and straight back out again. Note the other PCs are only on the map so that they can see what's going on (and that's all the map I have to play with), they start the attack a little further back.

To remind you- all the bad guys are hit points heavy, and there are a bunch of them here, including the gaggle of gnoll witherlings (skeletal gnolls) that Krago spots.

But the Unexpected are not in the least bit deterred.

Here we go...

Trebbelos gets to the cavern opening and fires a Shatter spell into the densest collection of enemies he can spy.

Then Mohag rushes in, raging already, and savages the nearest gnoll, while Sho-Rembo fires a blast of Faerie Fire into the far chamber, and then in the same instant becomes Sho-B-Bear.

The halfling druid then expends an inspiration point to savage a gnoll, nice!

Lappoy drops another Shatter spell into the mix, and a pair of witherlings explode.

Krago smashes one of the wounded gnolls in the entrance cavern down, and then gets to work on another, and as soon as he's finished Sir Glen rushes in (shouting unhelpful things about the Morning Lord) and then cutting the second gnoll down.

He's made his point.

Sosspan hits the gnolls with a third Shatter spell (isn't that enough?) and the witherlings are decimated.

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After the surprise round.

That said, only seconds later the adventurers watch forlornly as a barking yelping gnoll high tails it deeper into the lair, screaming in its foul-tongue, it seems the secret is soon out.

Mohag however rushes into the second cavern chamber and buries his greataxe (twice) into the nearest gnoll (reckless and frenzy). A gnoll witherling races over and bites the barbarian.

Sho-B-Bear savages the gnoll she has cornered, and then she too wanders forward.

The artillery move forward, Lappoy blasting a witherling with a Fire Bolt, Krago charges forward and finishes it off.

This is a massacre.

Sir Glen jogs forward and slices a gnoll, Sosspan ends it with a Fire Bolt.

You'll note the players are pulling their punches now, they figure their through this encounter already.

And they're right.

Mohag smashes another gnoll down- there's now only one gnoll witherling left in the fight, oh- and the one badly wounded gnoll that fled the scene earlier.

Sho-B-Bear tears the last witherling in two, and then she stalks off- deeper into the lair.

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Sho-B-Bear smells gnolls.

It turns into a full on charge, the Unexpected rush towards the enemy- Sir Glen fires up his Sacred Weapon and adds a bit of Divine Favour to his attacks.

Trebbelos uses an inspiration point, after a double move dash, to fire another Shatter spell into the approaching gnolls and witherlings.

The same gnoll that delivered the news of the Unexpected's arrival, after being caught in Trebbelos' Shatter spell, then dashes off again to spread the word further into the lair.

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Charge!

But suddenly gnoll witherlings clog the passage ahead, and make it hard for our heroes (who am I kidding) to progress.

Lappoy moves forward and launches... yet another Shatter spell, and in an instant all four witherlings are turned to shattered bone and dust.

I did say massacre didn't I- earlier on?

Krago rushes forward and smashes down another two witherlings, he's a horde breaker alright.

A second later and a very irate gnoll rushes around a corner and stabs the fat dwarf with its spear.

Sir Glen steps in to help Krago, cuts the new gnoll attacker, but in the same instant spots that there's another passage here, and the sound of... yet more gnolls coming from this direction.

Gnolls come rushing...

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It's getting busy.

Trebbelos fires yet another Shatter spell into the densest bunch of gnolls, that's his third of these, four gnolls are made to suffer.

The raging Mohag cuts a gnoll down, Sho-B-Bear rips into another- Lappoy fires a trio of Magic Missiles into the same gnoll but the brute somehow stays in the fight.

Scrubs, finally, shoots the gnoll dead.

But again- it's busy.

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And more gnolls either on the way, or else firing into the throng.

Sir Glen slices a gnoll, the gnoll spears him right back- and that's the end of his Divine Favour.

Sosspan scurries forward and unleashes a Thunderwave, more gnolls suffer.

Mohag slices another gnoll down, although it takes an inspiration point for the barbarian to land a hit.

But then, another gnoll witherling comes loping down the passage, the undead gnoll is heralded by an unearthly scream.

Horse-Eater, the gnoll chief (Pack Lord) has just sacrificed his son- Crumb-Biter, he was the armoured gnoll that lead the attack (with Wheezer) on the Unexpected back in session #26. He was also the only survivor.

Crumb-Biter is reborn, all praise to Yeenoghu, as a (max hit point) maw demon, and here he/it comes.

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Crumb-Biter reborn!

Lappoy strides forward and launches his last Shatter spell into the mix, and using his Sculpt Spell to shape the blast around his comrades- he then rolls 3d8 for sixteen damage, and lots of the gnolls fail their saves.

It's a bloody mess.

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Mohag is in his element.

Mohag's element is murder.

Krago smashes a pair of the badly wounded gnolls down.

Scrubs shoots another gnoll dead, the artillery are ideally situated at the top of the stairs and firing down into the gnolls.

Sir Glen cuts a gnoll, Sosspan hits another with a Fire Bolt, Trebbelos finishes it off with a trio of Magic Missiles.

A reckless Mohag smashes another gnoll down, but then gets clubbed by a witherling.

The maw demon rushes into melee, snarling and spitting fury, and right to Sir Glen's side; but the paladin keeps it at bay.

Mohag gets speared twice more in double-quick time.

Sho-B-Bear tears another gnoll in half.

Lappoy fires a trio of Magic Missiles into the maw demon.

Krago thumps a gnoll with his black mace.

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But there are plenty more gnolls on the way- including Horse-Eater (the Pack Lord) and his (max hit points) wives, oh and his other heavily armoured heir- Badfilth.

Sir Glen Divine Smites the maw demon (for 19 damage, one short of his best hit).

There is whooping.

I cannot stand whooping, it's so unbecoming, particularly when being vocalised by a fifty-something year old fat bloke.

Moments later Sosspan rushes forward, and ignoring the front and centre fracas, fires yet another Shatter spell into gnoll command on its way down the corridor, and then rolls really high damage, and I fail all but one of my saves.

Massacre.

Mohag keeps raging (and reckless, and frenzied) and cuts the maw demon down, the fiend didn't even land a hit, and survived for maybe two turns. The barbarian however is still taking hits, and latterly a Crit- from a spear thrown by one of Horse-Eater's hareem.

Mohag is well beyond bloodied.

Moments later and Sho-B-Bear is gone, Sho-Rembo skips in and delivers a second level Cure Wounds to the flailing Mohag, and then with an inspiration point steps on forward and delivers a Thunderwave, and then rolls one short of max damage.

My gnolls are hurting real bad.

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Look how few of the Unexpected have even taken hits.

The PCs are going through the gears very quickly, and expending all ordinance.

A gibbering apoplectic Horse-Eater gets close enough to start issuing orders- Rampage, and a gnoll bites Mohag. The pack lord then opens up with his longbow while ordering his warriors (and hareem) to feed on the foe.

Mohag gets shot by the gnoll chief, and its another Crit on the barbarian.

Lappoy dodges into the front line, unleashes his own Thunderwave (his last spell) which kills another two of the badly wounded gnolls, and blasts a bunch more of them away from the fracas. An inspiration point later and the High Magicker is back behind the front line.

Krago smashes down another gnoll, and the last but one witherling- en route to the command group. He's got big balls the lad.

Scrubs shoots a gnoll- a Crit, nice.

Sir Glen rushes to Krago's side and cuts a different gnoll, trying to get through to Horse-Eater.

Sosspan strides forward and unleashes the last of his Shatter spells.

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Massacre.

Although seconds later Lappoy gets shot, there's a loan gnoll sniper up the northern passage that needs taking care of.

Trebbelos, following Lappoy's lead, rushes to the front line, lets loose with his Burning Hands, and then employs his Tempestuous Magic to swirl and fly back behind the tanks.

Even I am happy to admit that the players are really working hard to make this one stick- lots of clever play, and they're relentless, we're only around thirteen or fourteen turns into the fight here, and the rolling fracas has almost run its course. All the way through the lair, I'm going to hate doing the maths afterwards, when I discover how many gnolls and witherlings etc. these bastards have taken down.

Mohag makes it to the front line and starts hacking gnolls.

Badfilth, Horse-Eater's heir, stabs Krago real good with his spear, the dwarf ranger is suddenly way beyond bloodied.

Sho-Rembo mooches forward and summons a Moonbeam into the densest crowd of gnolls- this is going to hurt.

Horse-Eater suffers the Moonbeam's radiant burn, barks orders and then takes a few steps back from his warriors, and then a little further back after both his longbow shots are high wide and handsome.

Lappoy hits the northen gnoll sniper with a Fire Bolt and then dodges into cover, Scrubs follows suit- only the expert tags the sniper with his crossbow. The gnoll archer is now badly wounded, and has no targets.

Sir Glen cuts a gnoll.

Sosspan steps out into the corridor, spies the gnoll sniper and fires three Magic Missiles into it, it survives- on one hit point. The dragonborn wizard scurries back into cover.

The sniper moves closer to the PCs, gets a shot off at Scrubs- a miss, and then scurries back a way.

Trebbelos fires off his last spell- another trio of Magic Missiles, yet another gnoll falls, while a second is left critically wounded.

The Moonbeam sizzles another gnoll, it's down to one hit point too.

Mohag smashes yet another gnoll down.

Badfilth radiant sizzles too, but holds his ground and stabs Krago again, the ranger is down to six or seven hit points, but not for long- Sho-Rembo steps up with a Cure Wounds (and rolls max healing).

Horse-Eater Incites Rampage again- Badfilth bites Krago, and then the pack lord fires two more arrows in to the melee- Mohag gets shot once, but shrugs it off. Horse-Eater retreats rapidly.

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We're almost done here. See Horse-Eater bottom right. There's also a gnoll sniper up the northern passage, beyond Scubs.

Lappoy steps back into the passage, spots the gnoll sniper and Fire Bolt's it dead.

Krago takes down the last three gnolls in the attack all by himself- black mace (max damage) accounts for the first, off-hand magical dagger (max damage) for the second. Then horde-breaker with his black mace again (two off max damage) and that's three.

Easy ain't it.

Pete (playing Krago) was unbearable right up until the end of the session (and then for another week or so after).

The dwarf ranger charges after Horse-Eater.

The last gnoll standing.

So, we're chasing Horse-Eater.

Sosspan fires three more Magic Missiles into Horse-Eater's rear, the pack lord is now officially bloodied.

Trebbelos hits the gnoll chief with a Ray of Frost, and now the platemail wearing bastard is even slower.

Mohag catches up with the fleeing Horse-Eater (but he's out of actions) also the barbarian is no longer raging and is exhausted.

Horse-Eater however isn't done, the pack lord- having spilled his bow during his retreat, grabs out his glaive and ducks Mohag's wild swing as he steps into his chambers. Then he turns and skewers the barbarian twice in quick succession, using his glaive's reach.

Mohag is suddenly down to three hit points.

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Horse-Eater's last stand?

Krago gets close enough to throw his magical dagger into Horse-Eater's thigh, but the snarling gnoll is still in action.

Sir Glen steps into the doorway and cuts Horse-Eater with a Divine Smite, the gnoll pack lord is critically wounded and seemingly with nowhere to run.

I make this clear to the PCs.

But they're not looking for Horse-Eater to surrender.

Mohag swigs down a potion of healing.

Horse-Eater skewers Sir Glen with its glaive, and then rolls minimum damage, the paladin survives, and continues to prattle on about the Morning Lord.

Just for info the pack lord is on eight hit points, so... to the end.

Which should be very soon.

But here's the thing, Horse-Eater is standing in the doorway, Sir Glen is stood before the beast, Mohag behind the paladin, and the rest of the artillery are trying to spot a gap to shoot at the gnoll through. Oh, and none of them have got anything other than cantrips left.

So, remarkably, it goes all the way around to Sir Glen again.

The paladin cuts Horse-Eater down, and the victory is his, and don't we get to know about it.

That was... I don't have the words.

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So, here's the total RIP- 16 gnoll witherlings, 24 gnolls (five with max hit points, one of these in plate- Badfilth), a maw demon (max hit points) & Horse-Eater (max hit points, platemail etc.) pack lord.

They just didn't stop for a second, nor did they need to.

[Gnolls, gnolls and more gnolls- all dead 3750 XP]

The gnolls, of course, have treasure, but more of this next time- because there's another secret to find here, and that changes everything...

You'll see.

The pot is up to £122.

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 #029: Discoveries.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.
Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?

*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 43: Being the 13th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about around midday.


We're in the ex-lair of the gnolls, and the gnolls are all dead- very dead.

The Unexpected have spent the last hour alternatively (short) resting and healing and then latterly- looting the lair and the dead gnolls, and ol' Horse-Eater has quite a lot of coin (just over 200gp, all told).

But then the Unexpected break into the gnolls storeroom, and within...

Cue angelic music, and glissando...

There's a longsword that glows when it is removed from its scabbard, a golden light- like the first rays of sunshine at dawn.

It's a magical longsword, and Sir Glen is having it, because, because... he's worth it.

So he says, and next up is the naming of the blade (and its attunement).

The holy avenger (not) is christened... wait for it.

It took over twenty minutes to come up with this name.

Dawnkicker!

I know. Genius.

Evoking the Morning Lord, while at the same time espousing toughness.

Twenty minutes well spent.

But that's not all...

You see, the thing is- Dawnkicker is a cursed blade, it's magical but in detrimental way, the wielder is both -1 to hit and damage with the weapon. And I'm writing this here because as soon as Sir Glen attuned the blade it popped up in his FGU action tab, and...

The weapon's to hit and damage statistics were worse than the plain old longsword that Sir Glen has been wielding thus far.

So, Sir Glen tries the blade out- having attuned it, and discovers for some reason that the blade is not to his liking, and the DM makes the paladin make an insight check- '21', adjusted, of course.

Sir Glen realises that the blade is cursed, but he is compelled to use the weapon- that's part of the curse.

Sir Glen needs the curse removing, alas none of his companions can help him with this conundrum, he's going to have to wield the sword until he gets back to the Church of the Morning Lord, back in the Keep. The High Priest there should be able to help him out.

So, that made me laugh, although I would have preferred, of course, for Sir Glen to have not noticed the discrepancy.

But the title of this one is discoveries (plural), and so there's more...

There's a well hidden door exiting Horse-Eater's lair, and beyond it an ancient corridor, and only a few feet into the passageway lies the skeleton of... well, whoever it is/was.

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What have we here?

The body is searched, naturally, and there are a dozen very nice looking small emeralds- and they're valuable, so- lots of money. A Detect Magic also reveals that the skeleton's boots are magical too, they're a pair of Boots of Elvenkind.

Krago snaffles them.

So, something for everyone there.

Then, well... there's the newly discovered secret passageway to explore, the Unexpected are keen to see where it goes.

The grubby corridor leads, via another door- concealed on the other side, into- a well stocked storeroom, and with a lit passage beyond. The Unexpected are in one of the other caverns in the ravine, and this place is clearly inhabited- and by creatures that need lights, maybe.

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The Unexpected are intrigued.

The sneaky folk take a look around, only... they're not that sneaky, and they're not alone in here.

Suddenly...

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It's rubbery to see you. Ooze yer friend?

Sho-Rembo is slammed, rather than Engulfed, by a wall of rubbery stinging viscous material- the halfling only survives being sucked inside the gelatinous cube with an inspiration point to roll her Dex save again (and a '20').

There is screaming.

“Gelatinous cube!” Just about covers it.

Panic ensues.

Sho-Rembo instantly wildshapes into Sho-B-Bear, she's not getting engulfed by that thing, if the giant ooze had even a modicum of intelligence, right now, it'd be thinking- I picked the wrong guys.

Sho-B claws at the cube, and the first one is a Crit (and for the most damage the halfling druid has ever rolled), the follow up bite is also a hit, and just short of max damage. The ooze doesn't taste good but... it's going down, Sho-B's going to eat it all the same.

Keep in mind this thing however has max hits points- that's 120, my initiative is however -2 on the adjusted roll.

Ho-hum.

Scrubs dashes into the storeroom and then shoots the cube, Lappoy blasts the thing with three Scorching Rays, all hits- all high damage, and the first one another Crit.

Krago thumps the ooze with his black mace and then stabs it with his magical dagger, and my poor ol' jelly has taken just short of ninety damage in... well, maybe half-a-turn.

Sosspan hits the thing with a Fire Bolt, Mohag (not raging- surprise) savages it with his greataxe, and then spends an inspiration point to do the same again.

Trebbelos steps in and hits the giant ooze with another Fire Bolt, and then spends an inspiration point to do that again- and another Crit.

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And that's Trebbelos' new 'Best Kill'.

The bastards.

Sir Glen, initiative '1', didn't even get a go.

Still, he beat my bloody cube with his initiative roll.

It's not been the paladin's session so far...

Well, that was less than twelve seconds of hot fun.

[Gelatinous cube 450 XP]

The Unexpected hold station for a short while, all eyes on the ten foot wide lit passageway exiting the storeroom to the north, but... nothing comes running. Sir Glen and Krago stand guard here, while the rest of the Unexpected see what's to be found, which right off is a bunch of coin that is spilling out of the rapidly decaying ooze monster.

But that's not all there is inside the ooze, what looks at first to be a bone turns out to be (best guess atm) a wand.

Some folk are very excited.

The rest of the storeroom holds supplies- food and victuals, mostly dried goods- but there's plenty of it here. Where are the Unexpected? Who lives here?

The PCs (and players) are keen to find out.

Krago leads them on, sneaky like, note Sho-B-Bear is staying around for a while.

Around the corner and a set of double doors are located, and they're bolted shut from this side, and that's the outside- that's odd, maybe.

Scrubs, with help from Sir Glen, gets the double doors open- steps lead down into... a crypt? Certainly there's a breached tomb down there.

Note, Krago discovers there are more lit corridors ahead- lots of them, seemingly, and he can hear something or someone moving about, whistling- perhaps, it's coming from one of the northern passages.

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A swift discussion follows.

The decision- check out the crypt before moving on.

Krago creeps down the stairs, his new magical elven booties are simply marvellous.

There are no lights in the crypt, obviously, and there are ten sarcophagi down here, although one of them has been smashed open.

All of the crypts have runes carved into their lids, and... the last of the Unexpected to try reading them comes good. Trebbelos understands the infernal tongue, well- he would do being a tiefling.

“It says- 'High Priest Gark Badblott, may he serve the Blood Lord as faithfully in undeath.'”

Cautiously the tiefling sorcerer scurries about and reads the inscriptions on all of the tombs, save for the name and rank, the epitaphs are similar.

Lappoy lets his comrades know- the Blood Lord is, of course, Orcus.

Sir Glen gets ansty, a short discussion follows- the topic, whether or not to open the crypts, and even the paladin is itching to get into them- worshippers of Orcus, the undead; let me at 'em is the refrain.

Therefore the doors of the crypt are pulled too, with Scrubs and Trebbelos at the top of the stirs, watching out, while the rest of the gang get situated in the crypt.

Note the already opened sarcophagi is checked over, an inamate robbed skeleton of a human (probably) lies within, nothing else is found.

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Mohag (still exhaustion level one) and Krago are doing the lifting and shifting, Sir Glen is ready to attack (with his new magical longsword) while Sho-Rembo and the artillery watch on. It's a planned operation.

And five more of the tombs are opened in less than the same number of minutes, one of them proved slightly difficult, and made a bit of a noise, but... nothing comes calling.

But now the doubts are starting to creep in, Sir Glen is beginning to wonder whether tomb robbing is the right thing to be doing.

Lappoy however is definitely of the opinion- we've started it and so we'll finish it, and so directs Krago and Mohag to continue.

Sir Glen is mid protest when the sixth sarcophagi is opened and a deathly pale humanoid (undead) creature dressed in robes, but with chain mail beneath, leaps out and attempts to stab and grab at Sir Glen, the paladin somehow manages to avoid both attacks (damn!).

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And even though this is exactly the situation the PCs have been waiting for, all of them are surprised.

Lappoy and Sir Glen, both at the same time, call out- “Wight!”

The paladin has more to say, but its just the usual gibberish about the Morning Lord etc.

And then more or less all of the PCs roll high for initiative, and it sucks to be my guy. The wight has, of course, got max hit points.

However, the wight isn't done yet- the foul undead in a hissed whisper utters an infernal prayer, the creature's voice rising to fervour every now and then- in the other sarcophagi in the crypt sinew and bone stitch together, the rest of the ex-followers of Orcus are coming to join the fight.

A robed skeleton from one of the already opened sarcophagi springs up and claws at Lappoy, remarkably it too fails to connect.

My dice, and all of these attack rolls are with advantage, of course.

Krago fires up his Hunter's Mark and thumps and stabs the wight with his magical weapons, that hurt.

Another previously interred skeleton rises up and surprises Sosspan by stabbing the dragonborn wizard in the back. And then another rises and stabs Lappoy in the back too, the High Magicker is hurting, and then a third skeleton- and its Lappoy again who suffers. The high elf wizard is quickly down to just seven hit points.

Scrubs and Trebbelos come rushing down the stairs, but they both have to double move to get to the fight. Scrubs uses his inspiration point to shoot one of the skeletons attacking his boss (Lappoy).

Note, Scrubs has always been Lappoy's man, the High Magicker pays him a little extra on the side, this since the Unexpected got unionised a while back.

The wight tries targeting an easier enemy- Mohag, and I roll a '1' and a '2' for my attacks.

BIG LOUD SWEAR WORD.

The players (my friends) take a brief moment to laugh in my (VIRTUAL) face.

The brief moment continues until the end of the session.

Lappoy, in the meantime, disengages and dashes up the stair, snaking past Sho-B-Bear, and to (relative) safety. He hopes.

Sosspan unleashes a second level Thunderwave, with Lappoy's sudden departure the dragonborn wizard was left facing four freshly risen skeletons. One of the undead is destroyed completely, two of them are left barely able to stand.

Note, that was Sosspan's last spell, Trebbelos and Lappoy are also out of magic, save for cantrips.

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It's quite tense.

Trebbelos uses an inspiration point to disengage, and he too retreats back to the stairs.

Sir Glen uses his inspiration point to fire up his Sacred Weapon, and then stabs the wight- and does not-bad damage considering.

Sir Glen has quite a lot to say about the Morning Lord, but even his friends are telling him to 'shut up' now.

Another skeleton rises up and fails to stab a startled Trebbelos.

Mohag is raging and reckless, he's also rolling a '1' and a '2' with advantage for his attack, so nothing there.

The lid of one of the sealed sarcophagi at the far end of the crypt is suddenly dragged aside, and another robed skeleton climbs out of the container.

Sho-B-Bear mostly flails at the wight for very little (three) damage.

Mohag gets stabbed in the back by a skeleton.

Krago flails wildly, missing with three attacks.

Mohag gets stabbed again.

Trebbelos Shocking Grasps the skeleton that surprised him, and then dodges away- and back up the stairs, it's getting busy in the crypt.

Scrubs follows suit.

The wight keeps on fighting, but my highest attack roll (the first two both with advantage) so far has been a '6', with bonuses that's an '11'.

WTF?

Lappoy rushes out- Fire Bolts a skeleton almost dead, and then rushes back into hiding.

Another one of the formerly sealed sarcophagi disgorges a skeleton.

Sosspan dodges out- Fire Bolt- miss, and then dodges back up the stairs.

Sir Glen fails to stab the wight.

It's getting tense.

Sho-B-Bear gets clawed by a skeleton.

Mohag to the rescue, the barbarian enters his frenzy and then recklessly connects with the wight twice more, his greataxe tearing chunks out of the undead, and the second one's a Crit.

Note the wight is resisting this damage but Mohag rolled very high for both hits.

Mohag gets cut again.

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There's still only one undead that has fallen, although... lots of the others are only just hanging on.

Krago, the tough little bastard, smashes a skeleton down with his black mace- this after also badly wounding the wight. He tries again with an inspiration point, but... fails to connect.

Another skeleton tears into Mohag.

Trebbelos Fire Bolts a skeleton to smithereens.

The wight fails to land a hit again, but hey- I rolled a '9' this time, and another '6', yay my naughty word electronic dice.

Lappoy swigs down a potion of healing, and then heads up to watch the way at the top of the stair, remarkably there's still nothing coming.

I (Mr DM, sir) am rolling a 1d10 every turn of 'loud' combat- 1-3, and here come more bad guys, but nothing so far.

Sho-B-Bear gets clawed some more.

Sosspan- dodges in, misses with a Fire Bolt, and then dodges back out of the crypt again.

Sir Glen stabs the wight dead.

You should have heard it.

Dave is cheering like he's just won the bloody world cup, and there's a lot of... 'in yer face', in there. It seems Sir Glen was of the opinion that he had something to prove- and he's just proved it.

The fight, however, isn't done.

Yet.

Another sealed sarcophagi explodes, as yet another robed skeletons surges feet first out of the retainer, and straight into the rear of Sho-B-Bear, clawing the bear as it lands.

Mohag smashes down a skeleton.

It's over... except for the end.

Yet another skeleton emerges and claws at the great ursine, Sho-B-Bear is beyond bloodied.

And then she gets clawed again.

Sho-B swats and bites at the four undead crowding her, and slightly wounds one.

Krago rushes over to help, the barbarian smashes the first skeleton he gets to down with a Crit, and then thumps another nearly off its feet.

Normal service has resumed.

Trebbelos' Fire Bolt injures but fails to kill another of the skeletons on Sho-B, although moments later Scrubs shatters its skull with a well-aimed crossbow bolt.

There are just three skeletons left in the fight.

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Fun while it lasted.

Sosspan hits with a Fire Bolt! The skeleton survives the ordeal but Sir Glen finishes it off a second later.

Yet more news of the Morning Lord follows, and the ridiculous fellow is starting to believe that 'Dawnkicker' is the blade for him.

One of the two remaining skeletons Crit claws Sho-B-Bear back to Sho-Rembo.

Mohag rushes over and smashes the skeleton down, and then with his back-swing leaves the last skeleton tottering on just one hit point. However, the unforgiving undead rights itself and then claws the barbarian right back.

Sho-Rembo also orientates herself, and then conjures her Shillelagh and strides forward and smushes the last skeleton dead, with a Crit and for 32 damage (skeletons are vulnerable to bludgeoning, of course).

That was Sho-Rembo's NEW BEST HIT.

The Unexpected however are blowing hard, and out of most everything- spells, inspiration points, powers etc.

[Wight and skeletons in the crypt 1150 XP]

Therefore, the PCs have seen enough, for now, and while they'd like to go on this seems a good point to attempt to get the hell out of dodge without letting on that they have been here. It's clear that the crypt here hasn't been visited for a considerable while, hence the door being barred from the outside, and almost rusted shut.

The Unexpected, after a short chat, and with Lappoy still watching from the door, figure out that they should retreat out of this place, head back through the gnoll lair, and then head back to their guarded camp over in the old orc lair. Their new cavern home.

Lappoy however is for moving the PCs camp into the newly emptied gnoll chambers, so that they can keep an eye on the door to whatever this place is...

It's not a bad scheme.

But here's the thing, Krago gottsa get paid. The dwarf ranger, while the chatter is going on, heads around the various sarcophagi in the crypt, looking for treasure. The dwarf discovers that the sarcophagi that the wight got out of is different than all of the others, shallower, or else...

It has a hidden chamber within, a false bottom. Remarkably the dwarf is on the button, and just to reiterate, he was the only one that was looking (good roll).

The hidden compartment contains a beautifully adorned shortsword, a scroll (later identified as Protection from Undead, that's the second one of these the Unexpected have found) and a rather fancy looking silver helmet.

A little later all three recovered items detect as magical.

Krago does a little dance, as do several of his companions. However, back to the here and now... time to get out.

Therefore the Unexpected tidy up the crypt, a little, and then with Krago and Sho-Rembo watching the way, creep all the way back into the storeroom with the secret door.

Once there they very quickly clear up any evidence, as best they can, of them ever having been there. To be honest, the confrontation with the cube here only lasted ten seconds, admittedly the intervention of Sho-B-Bear made a mess of a few barrels and crates, but... these are shuffled to the rear of the goods.

Krago and Sho-Rembo are also doing the best they can to hide any obvious signs of the Unexpected's passing.

They're a lot more organised these days, although again- the above was mostly all Lappoy's idea/s.

Then out, and back into the gnoll lair.

And Lappoy's previous plan re moving the camp here, has been discussed and unanimously passed.

The Unexpected, bordering on the brazen, head back out of the gnoll cavern, march across the ravine- waving as they approach their comrades back in the orc cavern.

They don't however stay long, the entire company then de-camps over to the gnoll's former lair.

So, random encounters- well, I'm rolling- but the well is dry, and besides, what am I going to throw at these ornery bastards, particularly when they have an entourage.

Besides, I have some plans that I'm working on.

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

The pot is up to £126.

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 #030 Trials & Tribulations.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 44: Being the 14th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, around two in the morning, that's early.


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The PCs new home from home is now the former gnoll's lair, and everyone is moved in now.

Although, that happened some time ago, let us therefore briefly catch up with events...

The Unexpected spend a little time telling Darvon, the aged priest of Oghma- and the gatherer of their tales, all about their slaughter of the gnolls, and... their venture into the newly discovered lair. The storeroom with the gelatinous cube, and the crypt full of dead priests of Orcus- latterly returned as a wight, and a clutch of skeletons.

But here's the thing- Darvon is overjoyed.

“You found it! You found it!” And so the story to be told is Darvon's, and here it is.

Many years ago Darvon was working at a temple of Oghma as a researcher, and there- in books obscure and arcane he found a tale about a secret temple dedicated to the Master of the Undead, this foul place was situated, the old tome said, in this region, and-

“in a defile favoured by many humanoid tribes, a valley pointing towards an ancient burial ground known as the Pit of Demise...”

So, Darvon wants in- this is his life's work unfolding, the temple of Orcus must be destroyed, and the old priest wants, even if it is his final act- to be involved in the fight.

The Unexpected, except for Sir Glen- he says 'yes' to the old priest's request immediately, are less than keen to grant Darvon's (maybe) last wish.

Note, Darvon is a shuffling old man, guided in his steps by his two wordless acolytes- he's slow is the PCs main complaint, but... the outright 'no' from the other members of the Unexpected eventually softens into a 'maybe'.

So, then there's all the magic stuff that the Unexpected found in and around the crypt, and in particular- a wand (in the gelatinous cube), a helmet and a shortsword (the latter two were found in the Orcus-flavoured crypt).

The issue is... the Unexpected (Sir Glen) has already got burned once (with Dawnkicker, his new -1 longsword, still makes me laugh). Are any of these three items similarly cursed?

There follows a nearly thirty minute debate/squabble (call it what you will) in which various players express their opinions, although none of them actually come up with anything akin to a solution to the problem.

The thing is, as made clear by Google (and the DM), neither an Identify spell nor a Detect Magic will reveal that an item is cursed. Thank heavens the PCs had their phones/tablets with them, and that the wi-fi in the Caves of Chaos is so good.

We move on, and the magic items are distributed, and attuned where need be. Sosspan has got himself a Wand of Enemy Detection, Trebbelos a Helm of Underwater Action, and Mohag is now armed with a +2 Shortsword, the barbarian is also going more defensive, he adds a shield to his equipment.

Note, the Unexpected also get in an extended rest here, they're taking things real easy.

Then, well... more resting, the Dark Squad finished their last adventuring day early, and so they're going to nestle in and spend the rest of the night in the ex-gnoll cavern, waiting for tomorrow to come.

But that, of course, doesn't happen, because...

Day 44: Being the 14th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, around two in the morning, that's early.

And the bugbears in the ravine have done a deal with the inhabitant of the only other unexplored cave on the PCs map. The inhabitant of this other cave is a minotaur, a max hit point, magic weapon wielding, armoured minotaur.

His name is Korgan the Terror!

As for the bugbears, well... the entire tribe is taking part in this attack- that's 15 normal bugbears (high hit points remember), plus five tough warriors & the chief's consort (all max hit points) and the bugbear chief- Gurpz (also max HP, of course).

Here they come...

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But the first anyone knows about it is when one of the guards, Jimmy Riddle in this instance, looks up from his ham sandwich just in time to see Korgan the Terror rushing straight for him.

Korgan is a very nasty looking minotaur.

Young Jimmy R. dies screaming, but briefly, Korgan's charge attack is a Crit, the minotaur rushes on.

But here's the thing Korgan's initiative is sky high, and so the next guard along the passage, Patsy Poundcake, also starts screaming- but here comes Korgan again.

3002.jpg

Seconds later and poor Patsy is also gored to death, Korgan bellows and snorts for a moment, and then charges on- further into the lair.

Note, at this point the screaming has been taken up, and more folk are grabbing their weapons or else coming awake.

More remarkably Sir Glen is already awake, and armoured, and on patrol- talking to the men, and so the paladin also takes up the call, and of course rushes to intercept the monstrous lair invader.

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Kargon the Terror just keeps on charging, although he ran out of movement just short of the next guard in line to be crushed, and that's Sir Glen just to the right of the ferocious minotaur.

Sir Glen is, of course, the first into action- and he's in super-heroic mode (more Morning Lord babble & with his Sacred Weapon up and running).

And so... Sir Glen rolls a '2', still, one better than his usual.

Note the PCs, atm, think that the minotaur is unaccompanied, when actually the bugbear chief and his tough guys are creeping their way into the lair.

Lappoy fires four Magic Missiles into the roaring Terror, that's Mr. Terror to you, High Magickist.

Sho-Rembo becomes Sho-B-Bear, and then waddles into the fight and attempts to savage the horned bastard, the ursine is wide of the mark.

Note, Kargon is quickly surrounded, but there's a lot of rolling to hit and missing going on so far.

Sir Glen keeps on screaming stuff about the Morning Lord and keeps on missing.

At last, one of the guards shoots the minotaur, and then a second- and this one's a Crit.

Trebbelos starts screaming blue murder and also lets loose four Magic Missiles. Lappoy, seconds later, fires another three into the brute, and Kargon is left stomping and snuffling, and bloodied.

Note the wizard artillery are mostly at long range, firing down the corridor at the raging minotaur.

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Kargon is surrounded, note the bugbear chief and warriors are creeping closer, they're just at the top of the stairs to the south, and have not been spotted.

At which point however Old Gurpz, the bugbear chief, orders his warriors to attack, the first rushes down the stairs and flings a javelin into Sho-B-Bear's hefty rear, the great bear yowls in pain. The second javelin hit leaves Sho-B bloodied and beyond.

Then Kargon spears Corporal Grubbins and gores Sho-B, leaving both of the good guys on one hit point each.

Sho-B sticks with it, and claws and bites at Kargon- both hits, and the minotaur is left staggering and honking in anger, trying to get out of the spot that he's in.

But then Old Gurpz arrives and smashes Sho-B, and Sho-Rambo- almost, right down. The great ursine is gone and the halfling druid is left on just eight hit points, that was a big hit.

Chief Gurpz's second morningstar attack caves Corporal Grubbins head-in, and he's dead.

Sir Glen bravely (you decide) steps into the passage- between Kargon and the exit, and very specifically between Kargon and Old Gurpz. The paladin swings and misses, seconds later another javelin sails out of the dark and thunks into his back, the paladin is bloodied in an instant.

One of the guards cuts Kargon, the minotaur is now critically wounded.

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Between a rock and a hard place, is Sir Glen's AC (21 or 22) going to keep him safe from harm?

Well, a second later and Krago gets to the fight, and to his namesake (sorta) Kargon, and wrecks the minotaur's world- with a Crit, and with his Hunter's Quarry, and his magical black mace for something like 30+ damage.

Kargon is down.

[Kargon the Terror, the minotaur is dead 700 XP]

And with an inspiration point Krago pumps a Cure Wounds into Sir Glen, the Unexpected are suddenly back in business.

Lappoy catches up with the action and fires a Shatter spell into the five tough bugbears, now spotted, creeping down the stairs.

Moments later a raging Mohag dashes into the goblin invaders and begins stabbing with his new +2 magical shortsword, Old Gurpz takes two good hits.

One of the wordless acolytes of Oghma gets to the badly wounded Sho-Rembo and delivers a Cure Wounds and a smile.

Sosspan's Shatter spell is much more impressive, and the five tough-guy bugbears are starting to look weary, and wary, already.

Sho-Rembo launches a Faerie Fire up the corridor, making many of the enemies glow, and then scurries for cover.

Old Gurpz and his fellows get to work with their morningstars, Mohag takes several hits but doesn't even blink, not even when he gets Critted.

Sir Glen, at last, hits Old Gurpz, just for info he had Scrubs' Helpful on him (advantage to attack), his Sacred Weapon (+4 to hit), a Bless spell running +1d4 to hit, and with a Divine Smite he delivers nearly '10' damage.

Old Gurpz barely notices.

Krago's magical black mace brains the first of the bugbear toughs- dead, the snarling dwarf ranger pushes on into the scrum and stabs Old Gurpz with his magic dagger.

Trebbelos drops a third Shatter spell into the tough bugbears (& Old Gurpz), and now they're all just about sunk. Slightly contentious this one as the tiefling sorcerer also catches Mohag in the blast, but using a Sorcery Point and his Careful Spell he's able to reduce the damage taken by the barbarian. That said, Mohag is now bloodied.

Lappoy goes one better with his Shatter spell, using his Sculpt Spell ability to avoid harming the barbarian at all, two of the tough bugbears collapse- dead. The others are now very keen to get away...

3006.jpg

Old Gurpz and the tough guy bugbears have been burned, or else, thundered.

Mohag, now in a Frenzy, cuts another of the tough bugbear's down.

Sosspan fires three Magic Missiles into chief Gurpz.

At which point however the other fifteen or so members of the bugbear tribe come lurching down the stairs lead by Gurpz consort, Grim-Grim, and they're straight into the action.

Mohag keeps taking hits.

Sho-Rembo has seen enough, the halfling fills the corridor up the stairs and beyond with Spike Growth, this is going to hurt.

Alas the first creature to put the Spike Growth to the test is chief Gurpz, after disengaging the wily (he thinks) bugbear heads back to the mass of his tribe, he doesn't notice the change to the steps, and... gets cut to shreds. He doesn't make it to the tribe, and his consort, Grim-Grim watches him die.

“Good riddance, you old fool!”

It brings a tear to the eye.

But some of the bugbears in the corridor have seen the change to the terrain, and are therefore much less keen to press on...

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The rest of the bugbears are bickering, they don't want to head down the stairs- they look dangerous, and some of them don't want to head out (back the way they came) and for the same reason. Note the circle is the Spike Growth area, obviously.

However, the less observant bugbears press forward- and get slightly shredded, soon after Mohag is taking more hits, the barbarian is now critically wounded.

“Get 'EM! Are you BUGBEARS or just big goblinz?”

Grim-Grim is trying to take charge of the situation, and she does so by throwing a javelin into Mohag, and with a Crit, the barbarian is down to five hit points.

Mohag stops another javelin, with his chest.

He's on one hit point.

And then another, and this one's a Crit too.

The barbarian sprawls, he's down.

Sir Glen cuts a bugbear (thanks to all the usual buffs and bonuses) but doesn't cut it down.

Krago however does smash another bugbear down.

Trebbelos fires yet another Shatter spell into the mix, but this time into the crowd of bugbears prevaricating within the Spike Growth spell at the top of the stairs. A moment later and Sosspan follows suit.

Lappoy meantime fires three more Magic Missiles into the nearest bugbear, the casters are getting through their spell slots very quickly- its a duck shoot.

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Mohag's passed two Death Saves so far, none of the PCs have had a chance to get to him with a heal.

Sho-Rembo does however get to Sir Glen, who is also about to drop, the druid heals the paladin.

Krago gets smashed by a flailing bugbear tough's wild morningstar swing.

But the call is, back at the top of the stair, for the bugbear tribe to retreat, Grim-Grim has seen enough- time to flee the encounter.

Sir Glen (again, with all of his bonuses) cuts a bugbear down.

Krago smashes down the last of the tough bugbear warriors that accompanied the chief.

[Bugbear Chief Old Gurpz and his elite warriors are all deceased 1700 XP]

There are only two bugbears left in the fight, the rest have fled, or are in the process of doing so.

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Grim-Grim leads the remainder of the tribe to safety, attacking the Unexpected has proven to be a spectacularly bad idea.

Trebbelos lets loose another trio of Magic Missiles, and another bugbear falls.

Lappoy follows suit, and now the last bugbear left standing in the bloody staired passage is badly wounded, and looking to flee.

Sosspan hits it with another trio of Magic Missiles and the big goblin is struggling to stand.

It attempts to flee, only to be stabbed in the side by Sir Glen, shot in the back by Scrubs and then ripped apart by Sho-Rembo's Spike Growth- it's no way to die.

Sho-Rembo cancels her Spike Growth spell instantly and then rushes to Mohag, who has in fact stabilised- he passed three Death Saves in a row, the halfling druid fires a Cure Wounds into the barbarian.

Sir Glen pumps all of his Lay on Hands into the barbarian too, and then races off after the bugbears, they're getting away.

Cue more Dawnkicker waving and the usual mumbo-jumbo about the Morning Lord.

This kind of thing wouldn't be so bad if he actually brought a bit of fun to it-

“The Morning Lord will have you for breakfast!”

That kind of thing, although... actually, I can't think of anything else vaguely funny.

Sir Glen says stuff like-

“For the Morning Lord, onwards!”

It needs a bit more zip, pep- call it what you will.

Then...

It quickly becomes a foot race, the bugbears fleeing, the Unexpected in hot pursuit.

The deal is the Unexpected are not doing half-a-job, they're going to kick the bugbear's arses while they've got them on the run.

The first of the chasers to emerge into the moonlit ravine is Scrubs (with his Dash option), he fires off a crossbow bolt but at this range, and in this light...

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That's all of the bugbears that are left, just eight of them, and keep in mind twenty two went in with a minotaur, and lots of them with max hit points. It took just thirteen turns to get to here, and for the first three or four of them 90% of the PCs weren't even awake.

Sho-Rembo becomes Sho-B-Bear (again) and she too takes up the charge.

3011.jpg

The 2 AM moonlit dash across the ravine continues, Scrubs is on target with his next crossbow bolt- a straggling and badly wounded bugbear gets shot in the back, and dies.

And moments later, as the chase continues, the expert sidekick shoots another bugbear- its critically wounded, but it survives, just... for now.

Because Sho-B-Bear is catching up with 'em.

And then... the ursine bridges the gap, but Sho-B is out of actions and so Grim-Grim, effectively the new chief of the gang, turns to defend her subjects, but fails to land a hit with her morningstar.

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Sho-B catches up with the bugbears.

But the other bugbears join the attack, and the second hit is a Crit, and suddenly Sho-B is mewling like a bairn, and on just one hit point.

Then, when the another bugbear turns and attacks, and Crits... well, Sho-Rembo is down and dying.

That was enough damage to end her Sho-B wildshape, and reduce the druid below zero hit points.

The bugbears under Grim-Grim's instruction rally, all of them turn to face the rest of the quickly approaching Unexpected.

Trebbelos blasts the nearest with a trio of Magic Missiles, the tiefling sorcerer is still some way behind in the chase.

Lappoy gets a little closer and fires his last trio of Magic Missiles into Grim-Grim, and the new bugbear chief is now critically wounded.

Then Sosspan double moves, and spends the last inspiration point any of the PCs have, to send a Shatter spell into the thickest part of the bugbear pack, and three of the four creatures caught in the blast (including Grim-Grim) are destroyed in an instant.

Panic ensues.

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There are only four bugbears left.

Scrubs dashes to the fallen Sho-Rembo and glugs a healing potion down her, the halfling druid staggers to her feet, helped by Scrubs, and then spying bugbears in the vicinity dashes out a Thunderwave of her own, and yet another bugbear dies.

There are just three of the brutes left, Sir Glen in a mad dash (and then out of actions) positions himself between a pair of the great ugly goblins and draws their ire.

“Thou art scurvy knaves, and have bad posture!”

That's better, he's learning.

Two of the three remaining bugbear's flee, neither aiming for the lair, just for off the map- anywhere, as long as they survive.

The last bugbear, wondering what to do next gets blasted by three more Magic Missiles, courtesy of Trebbelos again, and then hit by a Fire Bolt (Lappoy). The foolish big goblin tries to fight its way out of the situation, not a smart move.

Sosspan hits it with more Magic Missiles, and then a still wobbly Sho-Rembo steps in and brains it with her Shillelagh.

Dead.

That just leaves two bugbears fleeing, the first out-runs Mohag and Sir Glen, and races off, up the ravine and into the woods, it's gone.

The second, that's odd- it dives into a densely vegetated area and... there's another cave in here...

The bugbear disappears within.

[Grim-Grim and the rest of the bugbear tribe 2800 XP]

3014.jpg

M= yet another unexplored cave?

But that's all we had time for in this one, except to say that Scrubs now has enough XP (after an extended rest) to become a level 4 expert sidekick.

The pot is up to £130.

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 #030 SUPPLEMENTARY: Stats Attack!

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*
  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

There are no pictures in this one...

Day 44: Being the 14th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, around two in the morning, that's early.

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 now played thirty (mostly short= 2 to 2.5 hour) sessions. Here's the results, stats wise.

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

Note, there's only one NPC left alive- Scrubs, he has made 50+ attacks, so- he's in the mix.

So, the stat counter on FGU says-

Note = in brackets (number after 20 sessions).

MOST SUCCESSFUL TO HIT ROLLS:
133 Mohag (74)
132 Krago (62)
80 Lappoy (63)
66 Sir Glen (37)
60 Sho-Rembo (32)
50 Trebbelos (30)
45 Sosspan (29)
37 Scrubs (NA).

MOST CRITS:
12 Mohag (7)
10 Krago (4)
9 Lappoy (7)
6 Sir Glen (5) & Trebbelos (3)
5 Sho-Rembo (3)
2 Scrubs & Sosspan (1)

MOST MISSED TO HIT ROLLS:
75 Krago (30)
54 Mohag (32)
48 Sir Glen (32)
45 Sosspan (29)
44 Sho-Rembo (29)
42 Scrubs (NA)
37 Lappoy (30)
36 Trebbelos (30)

MOST FUMBLES:
13 Krago (7)
7 Sir Glen (4)
6 Trebbelos (3)
4 Scrubs (NA), Sho-Rembo (4) & Sosspan (4)
2 Mohag (1)
1 Lappoy (1)

TOTAL DAMAGE DEALT:
1646 Lappoy (871)
1484 Mohag (858)
1393 Sosspan (556)
1297 Sho-Rembo (457)
1218 Krago (497)
1127 Trebbelos (418)
502 Sir Glen (269)
262 Scrubs (NA)

HIGHEST DAMAGE WITH A SINGLE HIT:
32 Krago (20) & Sho-Rembo (20)
22 Mohag (22)
21 Lappoy (17) & Sosspan (17)
20 Sir Glen (20) & Trebbelos (20)
16 Scrubs (NA)

TOTAL KILLS:
86 Lappoy (59)
70 Mohag (42)
54 Krago (25)
48 Sosspan (23)
45 Sho-Rembo (22)
37 Trebbelos (21)
24 Sir Glen (13)
16 Scrubs (NA)

TOTAL HEALING GIVEN:
307 Sho-Rembo (163)
162 Sir Glen (112)
121 Krago (61)
56 Mohag (31)
45 Lappoy (19)
33 Sosspan (26)
32 Trebbelos (14)
24 Scrubs (NA)

TOTAL HEALING RECEIVED:
249 Krago (128)
187 Mohag (68)
97 Sir Glen (74)
51 Lappoy (31)
37 Trebbelos (14)
35 Sho-Rembo (8)
34 Sosspan (27)
25 Scrubs (NA)

TOTAL DAMAGE TAKEN:
410 Mohag (177)
401 Krago (203)
333 Sho-Rembo (124)
200 Sir Glen (152)
104 Lappoy (66)
87 Sosspan (59)
85 Scrubs (NA)
69 Trebbelos (62)

MOST TIMES KO'ED:
6 Mohag (2) & Sho-Rembo (1)
4 Krago (1), Lappoy (4) & Sir Glen (4)
3 Sosspan (3)
2 Trebbelos (2)
0 Scrubs (0)

TOTAL SPELLS HIT:
72 Lappoy (26)
57 Sosspan (17)
51 Sho-Rembo (21)
46 Trebbelos (15)
1 Sir Glen (1)

TOTAL SPELLS MISSED:
62 Sho-Rembo (28)
35 Sosspan (11)
33 Trebbelos (13)
22 Lappoy (14)
1 Sir Glen (1)

MOST SAVES PASSED:
3 Krago (3), Scrubs (NA) & Sir Glen (3)
2 Lappoy (2) & Sho-Rembo (1)
1 Sosspan (1) & Trebbelos (1)
0 Mohag (0)

MOST SAVES FAILED:
2 Lappoy (2) & Mohag (2)
1 Krago (1), Scrubs (NA), Sho-Rembo (0), Sir Glen (1) & Sosspan (1)
0 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 (Torgo the Eye Gouger, Kobold Boss).
Yor (Hobgoblin).

CR 1
Lappoy (Tonka, Kobold Chief).

CR 2
Scrubs (Nik Nik, Orc Chief).
Sosspan (Nok Nok, Orc Chief).
Trebbelos (Gelatinous Cube).

CR 3
Krago (Korgan the Terror, Minotaur).
Mohag (Owlbear).
Sho-Rembo (Grelzenod, Hobgoblin Chief).
Sir Glen (Wight).

Still loving it.

Just to note we've not played a game for at least two (nearly three) weeks- half-term holidays and other real life interference. We play again (probably twice) tomorrow, back on it.

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 #031 Unexpected Allies (sorta).

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.

Sidekick (played mostly by the DM).
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*

  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 44: Being the 14th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about ninety seconds after the last session started.


Note, we've just had a two-and-a-half week break in play, real life (and holidays, and work, and a wedding, etc.) got in the way. The first thing we did before getting back to it was read through the last couple of sessions in full. Don't get old- we had collectively forgotten almost everything (significant).

Further note, the two-and-a-half week break described above happened about a month or so ago, we've got issues- but I'll get to them in a bit- not this session/write-up.

So, we're back...

The Unexpected are out of breath, out of spells, but... and this is the clincher, they're pissed.

But first thing's first, it's two in the morning, and they're out in the Caves of Chaos ravine, and so... they head back to their new home from home, the ex-gnoll cave, to have a chat about what comes next.

So, the situation is- three of the guards they brought with them from the Keep on the Borderlands are dead, including Cpl Grubbins, who has been a friend to the Unexpected for quite a while. Note this information does not provoke greater caution within the adventuring group, quite the opposite, the Unexpected want revenge all the more.

But, even after a short rest, and healing- with a little help from Darvon, priest of Oghma, and his two wordless acolytes, well... the wizards have maybe five spell slots to spend between the three of them, this after Lappoy & Sosspan use their Arcane Recovery.

Although none of the arcane casters have their Mage Armour running any longer, and they don't like the idea of going out without it- none of 'em.

The druid, ranger and paladin each have one or two spell slots left, and... screw that yellow talk, we're going back in, but the question is where are the Unexpected going to attack/explore next.

The venture into the Orcus-flavoured undead caves with or without Darvon is put on hold.

Which just leaves three choices- the bugbear's lair- are their more of the big bastards in there, the PCs suspect that there can't be many, but the DM isn't giving any hints.

The minotaur lair, which must be cave J, see below.

Or the newly discovered cave M, into which a bugbear fled last session.

3100.jpg

H= the bugbear's lair, which must be badly/barely defended the Unexpected think. J= unless there's another hidden cave then the minotaur must have come from here, unless... it was laired in cave M, which is where one of the bugbears fled to. K= this must be the main cavern entrance to the Orcus style undead temple.

Note the above is what the PCs have put together for themselves.

I'm not telling them if they're right or wrong.

And so the question still remains, where next- bugbears (H), minotaur (J) or the unknown (M)?

Consensus takes fifteen seconds, if that.

The bugbears, however many of the big bad goblins are left, are going to pay.

REVENGE!

However, before the Unexpected head back out adventuring they search the fallen bugbears they've accounted for so far for loot, and in particular they grab what they can from the old bugbear chief and the dead minotaur.

And so, a fair amount of coin- including a bag of gold (mostly on the bugbears) and a bunch of platinum pieces (courtesy of Old Gurpz, the bugbear chief), some gems, a pair of gold earrings (on Grim-Grim, the bugbear chief's consort), and a trio of keys (distributed between Old Gurpz & the minotaur) and...

A magical hand axe (Old Gurpz) and a magical spear (the minotaur).

Krago takes the former, while Mohag grabs the latter- they're both +1 weapons.

Nice!

And now the Unexpected are very much up for the fight, and so all the way across the ravine and...

Day 44: Being the 14th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about four in the morning, that's late- or else early.

3101.jpg

Sho-Rembo and Krago go for a sneak about, and here's the thing- the place is as silent as the grave...

Only the crackle of the fire dying out, and guttering torches on the walls here and there.

3102.jpg

The Unexpected, as best as they can, do a little sneaking about- first left is an abandoned guard chamber, with nothing of interest to be found here- unless skewered burnt meat is your thing.

But there are a pair of closed doors to the north- interesting.

3103.jpg

And soon after, well... there's a lot to find.

A (formerly) locked storeroom to the east (a key taken from the bugbear chief fits the lock) and within the bugbear's supplies, with very few items worth taking. That is until Lappoy completes his Detect Magic ritual a little later and discovers that an old upturned shield, being used as a large bowl, is actually magical. A +1 shield.

Mohag takes this, the new defensive-ish barbarian.

The room across the way is clearly the bugbear chief's chambers, and there's plenty to find here, including a heavy chest mostly full of silver coins, but also some saleable silk swatches, and a pair of healing potions. And... another secret door.

This one heads into a series of natural caverns, but the Unexpected don't explore far- they figure this is the minotaur's lair, the cave next door, and so give it a miss for now. They shut the door and do the best they can to lock and secure it.

At least until the rest of the bugbear lair is searched.

Note, the Unexpected are all being very careful here, but... there seems to be just no-one about.

3104.jpg

Another empty chamber, with a little treasure to be found.

But then.

There are noises ahead, or at least...

3105.jpg

The prisoners of the bugbears.

And there's another room just like it not so very far away.

3106.jpg

Prisoners of the bugbears part two.

But here's the thing, and so the human prisoners, after a brief chat, are released almost immediately, but for the others, the humanoids...

Well, Sir Glen (played by my mate Dave) has an idea, which may or may not have been gifted to him by the sneaky DM ahead of time.

“These folk should be given the chance to save themselves, and to fight our enemies here for the glory of the Morning Lord!” The paladin states.

Then after several WTF moments, and then about thirty minutes of discussion between the aforementioned sneaky DM and the players well, this is what happens-

The humanoid prisoners, to wit- three kobolds, a goblin, four orcs, three hobgoblins, two gnolls and a rebel bugbear are given a series of re-education lectures, conducted (of course) in a variety of languages.

The gist of the lectures are-

a) The Morning Lord is great (although its only Sir Glen that's promoting this one), it takes first spot here because he does so repeatedly, and vociferously.

And more specifically-

b) The humanoids can earn their freedom by clearing out one of the nearby caverns for the Unexpected. They can even keep any treasure they find.

Note, part b) is expressed in many different (more or less) appealing ways, and by a variety of individuals, from Lappoy's suggestion that any experience gained and riches found would give the newly released prisoner a leg-up in life. To Krago's much less sympathetic- if you survive, you live!

A series of skill checks follow, and here's the thing, I want the PCs to do well because I'm going to get to kill some of these new fellers (that's a certainty). So, six of the PCs make various rolls, and the lowest unadjusted is a '14' (+1 = 15 adjusted) and I set a DC of 15. So, six out of six successes.

The humanoids are buying this horse manure.

The discussion between the players and the DM continues for quite a while, as does the distribution of the humanoids, which goes as follows-

Humanoid Adventurers (in alphabetical order)
Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc
Gary (Rob) Male Orc
Great Wurley (Pete) Male Hobgoblin
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold
Limp Bizkit (Pete) Male Bugbear
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold

So, the above are going adventuring into the cavern into which the last bugbear fled, and they'll be fully equipped(-ish) as the Unexpected (and the newly recruited humanoids) are going to do a sweep of the caves that have been cleared/abandoned, there's lots of stuff still lying around in many of the ex-lairs.

And... if any of the humanoids survive, and in the process generate 500 XP, then they can be a PC, and have a class level, if we can find a way in Fantasy Grounds Unity to make this happen, and I'm pretty certain there'll be a way of doing it.

However, it took a hell of a long time to get all of the above done, over twenty minutes just to name the buggers, and another twenty minutes spent with the players spit-balling about the various classes their prospective humanoid PCs are going to take up. This after they had a chance to look at their stat blocks.

But, that's for next time, possibly this gang will have a name by then, although that too may provoke a few arguments.

Oh, and last thing- all of the N/PCs et al retire back to the gnoll cave and take an extended rest.

The pot is up to £134.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unforeseen in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #032 Monster Mash.


NPC Humanoids who want to be PCs (in alphabetical order)
Bad Pudding
(Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc.
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc.
Gary (Rob) Male Orc.
Great Wurley (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc.
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold.
Limp Bizkit (Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

PCs (in alphabetical order) NOT IN PLAY ATM
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 4.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 4.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 4.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 4.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 4.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 4.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 4.


Sidekick (played mostly by the DM) NOT IN PLAY ATM
Scrubs
Male Human Sidekick Expert (Soldier) Level 3.

Dead PCs, NPCs & Sidekicks (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Corbis Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
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.
Tribbits Male Human Sidekick Warrior (Soldier) Level 2.
Wormwood Male Human Guard.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

QUESTS (and stuff to do).*

  1. Find Zelligar and Rogahn's former base, explore it and steal its treasures.
  2. Find Tolpuddle, the 'mad druid' or 'mad hermit' of the Whispering Woods, he may know where Z&R's base is (see #1 above), also say 'hi' from his brother Bumble.
  3. Tell Darvon, Priest of Oghma, about the Unexpected's adventures. ONGOING.
  4. Track down and kill/capture the former bandit leader- Dee Dee Raven (see Mebros, Captain of the Watch).
  5. Help the water sprites of the Goblinwater River, for Bumble.
  6. Clear a bunch of spiders out of the Spiderwood, for Bumble.
  7. Stop the undead attacks in the Whispering Woods, for Bumble.
  8. Clear the Caves of Chaos for the Castellan of the Keep on the Borderlands, reward 2,500gp plus. IN PROGRESS.
  9. Find the rest of the Fortune's Five adventuring party- Bullywugs?
*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, we now read this list at the start of each new session, that's what it's like to get old- your memory just stops working.

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

Day 45: Being the 15th Day of Kythorn, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about midday, a late start after a busy night.


So, here's the set up, the Unexpected have just rescued a bunch of humanoids from the empty bugbear's lair. Then, after much chatter, convinced the newly released prisoners to fight for their freedom.

The humanoids have gathered up enough stuff (from the empty lairs and caverns nearby) to equip the humanoids as standard in the 5e Monster Manual.

Phew, that'll save me some work.

Each player has five humanoid NPCs to play with, that's a lot- but we're not in a rush and besides I have a feeling that not all of these fellows are going to make it out of the cavern alive.

Oh, the humanoid adventurers are exploring the cavern into which the last bugbear standing fled.

They can keep any treasure they find, or else share it out amongst themselves- let's see how that works.

The humanoid NPCs need to earn 500 XP each to gain a class and level, and become a PC.

The XP of any of the humanoids that die in this adventure will be added to the monster XP to be distributed amongst the living.

Did you get that?

It means if you kill your fellow humanoid adventurers then you get a share of the XP, a reward.

The humanoids adventuring NPCs are calling themselves- The Unforeseen, although that may be temporary.

Got it, good- here we go.

A trio of humanoids head into the cavern, alas the two very sneaky types- Pancakes (gnoll) and Limp Bizkit (bugbear) are somewhat hindered by the fact that Hebold is the third of the squad.

Hebold is an immensely fat human, loud and waving a torch about.

The natural cavern revealed is large, and with a high-ceiling, and home to a dozen or more cave crickets- large ones, each of these creatures is about three feet long. They scatter, trying to get away from the light and noise.

3200.jpg

Alas in trying to get away one of the giant cave crickets manages to kick Pancakes, the gnoll's not happy and so attempts to stab at the beast (a miss), moments later and Limp Bizkit is also in action (yet another miss). But combat only causes more panic, the crickets scatter some more, while the humanoids on the outside of the cavern want in on the action.

In the following confusion Great Wurley (hobgoblin) gets slammed (Crit) when a giant cave cricket jumps into him. Drongo (orc) charges in and almost manages to kill one of the critters with his greataxe- alas the startled cave cricket attempts to leap to safety, and in doing so breaks the neck of Kroke the kobold.

This event causes much much laughter.

So, first humanoid to die- Kroke the kobold (played by Dave) in the second turn of combat.

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc.
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc.
Gary (Rob) Male Orc.
Great Wurley (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc.
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

Hebold goes crazy ape barmy and starts laying into the cave crickets with his greataxe, he too gets kicked in the face (and another Crit) as the insects attempt to flee some more.

Blurt (orc) smashes another cave cricket dead with his greataxe.

Limp Bizkit (bugbear) kills another one, seconds later Gary (orc) ends another, the Unforeseen get into the swing of things- Halfpint (orc) cuts yet another of the annoying hopper's in two.

Hebold gets kicked in the gut again as another cricket hops away, Limp Bizkit slaughters it.

3201.jpg

The raging Hebold swats another cave cricket, and again gets kicked as it departs.

Kilminster (hobgoblin) slices a giant cave cricket in two with his longsword.

Blurt (orc) crits with his greataxe but fails to kill another, the cave cricket in question kicks Halfpint (orc) in the unmentionables as it hops off.

Hebold gets kicked again.

Halfpint (orc) smushes another cave cricket.

Boring... boring!

Keep in mind I'm only reporting the hits here, there's a lot of swinging and/or cave cricket kicking going on- and almost as much missing.

Suddenly screaming Burt (orc) shoots up into the air, the orc flails momentarily- something seems be stuck to his back- a rope, or else, he cannot turn to find out- he is being hauled up. That is until he comes to an abrupt halt- a large chitinous pincer clamps down on him. The now screaming and cursing orc is facing a strange lobster/crab like creature, whish is situated on a (formerly) well-hidden ledge above the action.

Later the cave fisher will get identified.

Pop Tart & Pancakes (gnolls) react immediately and fire arrows into the hard-to-hit predator, just to say they needed something like a '17' to hit it with concealment, which both of the buggers managed to roll.

Blurt (orc) eventually gets himself situated, and facing his cave fisher enemy, seconds later the orc somehow manages to swipe at the beast with his greataxe.

Bad Pudding (goblin) also manages to shoot the beast with his shortbow, Limp Bizkit (bugbear) flings a javelin into it.

Halfpint (orc) attempts to climb up to the cave fisher's ledge, he doesn't even get started.

3202.jpg

Tik-Tok (kobold) hits the cave fisher with its sling- and a Crit, the beast is bloodied.

But it's not enough, the cave fisher hits and Crits Blurt (orc) with its pincers, decapitating the orc and snipping of its limbs to consume later.

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo
(Dave) Male Orc.
Gary (Rob) Male Orc.
Great Wurley (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc.
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

Blurt (orc) is dead, and his fellow orcs, and the assorted humanoid crowd below, are showered in blood and viscera.

They're not happy.

Pop Tart (gnoll) sinks another arrow into the beast, while Bad Pudding (goblin) shoots another one of the fleeing and badly wounded cave cricket's dead.

Gary (orc) manages to scramble up onto the ledge with the cave fisher, and then start hacking at beast with its greataxe.

A confused cave cricket, heading in the wrong direction, slams into Hebold, the human berserker takes another Crit-hit (he's bloodied).

Note, Hebold (played by Rob) is mostly voiced in slow german, and oddly, I think I remember him shouting (and forgive any spelling mistakes, and lack of umlauts)-

“Wie spat ist es, Uli?”

While attempting to smash another cave cricket to pieces.

3203.jpg

Tik-Tok & Panko (kobolds) both ding the cave fisher with sling stones, the beast is critically wounded and wants to get away.

Note, I bet you are thinking that these guys are on fire here- they're not, if I was to write up all of the missing going on then this text would be three times as long.

The cave fisher grabs up Gary (orc) in its pincers, crushes the humanoid a little, and then starts spider climbing its way towards the high ceiling of the cavern.

It doesn't get far, Pop Tart (gnoll) slams yet another arrow into the beast, which instantly detaches from the wall (dead) and with Gary (orc) still in hand/pincer it falls forty feet to the cavern floor, bouncing off the ledge on the way down.

Remarkably Gary (orc) survives the ordeal, although he's really not very healthy (on approx. four hit points). Alas Drongo (orc) is now also in the same dire situation (down to four hit points), as the cave fisher (and Gary) fall on him, but he survives- just.

3204.jpg

Hebold is in his own private hell, the big berserker cuts down two more giant cave crickets (Crit & roll max damage on both dice- why not).

“Hast du ein hansaplast, mein bein is gebrocken?” He screams.

Pancakes (gnoll) shoots another cave cricket dead.

Kilminster (hobgoblin) following after the gnoll gets to the end of the passage only to discover there's a deep but narrow ravine, and another larger bare cavern chamber over the other side of it, in which there are yet more giant cave crickets. The hobgoblin shoots the closest of the giant insects, which immediately starts off another hopping panic.

Littlehampton (hobgoblin) rushes down the passage and just (DC exactly) leaps across the ravine to stab at the cave cricket- alas a miss.

THUNK, a stalactite falls from the ceiling narrowly missing Littlehampton (hobgoblin)- it's a piercer!

A badly wounded Gary (orc) also attempts to leap across into the newly revealed chamber, he fails to do so and falls forty feet to the bottom of the ravine, neck broken and he's dead.

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo
(Dave) Male Orc.
Gary (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Great Wurley
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc.
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

3205.jpg

Halfpint (orc) leaps the chasm, again- just.

Meantime the piercer that just failed to impale Littlehampton (hobgoblin) rights itself and starts crawling away- heading back for the wall.

A cave cricket leaps/slams into Halfpint (orc) who is now also very heavily wounded, alas the impact is enough to send the orc spinning backwards and... into the ravine.

Halfpint nestles at the bottom of the crevasse with Gary- dead, also.

Just for info here's the rota-

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo
(Dave) Male Orc.
Gary (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Great Wurley
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Hebold
(Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

Both Dave and Rob have lost two of their humanoid NPCs each, Pete is replete- he still has all five of his.

Then, inevitably, Drongo attempts to leap the chasm and... that's another orc dead, Dave has only got his two gnolls- Pancakes & Pop Tart left in play.

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Gary (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Great Wurley
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Hebold
(Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin.
Pancakes (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

Hebold, in the mean time- accompanied by Tik-Tok (kobold) and Bad Pudding (goblin) is still chasing two of the cave crickets down that fled from the very first chamber. He keeps hitting and then rolling '1' damage.

Kilminster (hobgoblin) meantime, is still on his own over the other side of the ravine, he heads forward to chop the slow-moving piercer to pieces, and even though he's taking every precaution a second piercer silently falls and spears the armoured brute. Kilminster goes from full to one hit point left only.

3206.jpg

Limp Bizkit (bugbear) leaps the ravine and gets into action, or rather misses his attack on one of the piercers here, this is getting ugly- yet another piercer falls and impales the now screaming bugbear.

To make matters worse another of the cave crickets in a panic jumps and slams into him, and then another falling piercer slams into the ground just to the side of Limp Bizkit (bugbear).

This isn't going well.

And yet another piercer slams into the cavern floor only inches away from Littlehampton (hobgoblin).

Note the various remaining hobgoblins and gnolls are taking it in turns to take pot shots at the various piercers (and the last three cave crickets) in the cavern across the chasm.

They're not leaping over there.

There are piercers- lots of them.

3207.jpg

Hard rain!

Littlehampton (hobgoblin) cuts down a fleeing cave cricket.

Hebold barrels past the other humanoids and leaps the chasm easily, and then starts swinging still in a frenzy- he keeps on missing.

Meantime at least three of the fallen piercers have made it to back to the walls of the cavern and scooch away, to safety.

Kilminster (hobgoblin) however takes a piercer down, that's the first of the stony little protrusions to fall, as it were.

Littlehampton (hobgoblin) takes down another of the scooching piercers.

Great Wurley (hobgoblin) takes down the last fleeing cave cricket with his bow.

The cavern falls to silence, well almost, just the sound of one last piercer scooching back up the wall over the far side.

The encounter is, at last, o...

Another piercer falls, hits & Crits, as it impales itself in Limp Bizkit (bugbear) the big lad is almost broken (on 2 hit points) and in a frightful bate.

Seconds later a second piercer falls and misses Littlehampton by inches, the hobgoblin is wavering on just one hit point. Hebold's greataxe cuts into the little spikey bastard.

Pancakes (gnoll) shoots it, as does Kilminster (hobgoblin) and that's a Crit- another piercer is spent.

There's just one piercer left trying to snail its way to the nearest wall and freedom (and none still on the roof of the cavern, I promise). Littlehampton rushes over and slices it, Panko (kobold) slams it with a sling bullet.

But the lone piercer is getting away (at 10 feet/turn), it's halfway to the wall- the amount of swinging and missing here is just... comedy. Littlehampton cuts it again (for minimum damage- that's not helping), Hebold slices it with his greataxe- and the thing is almost spent.

Moments later Hebold catches up with the thing again and crushes it...

The fight is over...

But no, it really isn't, because the magnificent sweating Hebold has now entered the ultimate state of frenzy, he cannot stop fighting.

Hebold decapitates Littlehampton (hobgoblin) and now there is trouble.

Hebold the Berserker has, well... gone berserk. Who would have thought it.

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Gary (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Great Wurley
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Hebold
(Rob) Male Human Berserker.
Kilminster (Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin. RIP
Pancakes
(Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

Let's just take a moment.

Hebold, played by Rob, has gone crazy- I primed the player that this might happen before the game, Rob was okay with this- funny that.

No-one even suggests subduing or else talking down the maniac.

3208.jpg

Pancakes (gnoll) makes his decision, and then quickly fires an arrow into Hebold, and its a Crit, the sweating berserker is now heavily wounded.

Kilminster (hobgoblin) follows suit, although no Crit- minimum damage.

Limp Bizkit (bugbear) rushes forward and slams his morningstar into Hebold, the big man is now critically wounded.

Tik-Tok & Panko (kobolds) both hit the berserker with sling stones, and still the brute stands, just to say Hebold started with 70-something hit points.

But then Great Wurley (hobgoblin) sinks an arrow in to the back of the man-monster's head.

Game over!

Or at least that's the fighting over, although the new rota for the Unforeseen is looking a little threadbare, here's the present line-up-

Bad Pudding (Pete) Male Goblin.
Blurt (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Drongo (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Gary (Rob) Male Orc. RIP
Great Wurley
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Halfpint (Dave) Male Orc. RIP
Hebold (Rob) Male Human Berserker. RIP
Kilminster
(Pete) Male Hobgoblin.
Kroke (Dave) Male Kobold. RIP
Limp Bizkit
(Pete) Male Bugbear.
Littlehampton (Rob) Male Hobgoblin. RIP
Pancakes
(Dave) Female Gnoll.
Panko (Pete) Male Kobold.
Pop Tart (Dave) Female Gnoll.
Tik-Tok (Rob) Female Kobold.

So, that's right- there are eight NPC wannabe-PC humanoids left, and five of them are Pete's, Rob only has one kobold left in the game, Dave has a pair of gnolls.

There was some talk about redistributing the party members, but Pete wasn't having any of that- I believe his response was something about sex & travel.

The humanoids retire to the first cavern to take a rest, and to spend some healing HD, we're going to use them like PCs do so a 2d6-2 kobold has two 1d6-1 healing HD to spend. Note, I didn't plan to do this, the situation dictated, or else I'm just all heart and I want to give them a chance.

Then XP distribution, the session isn't finishing until this gets done, all of the players want to see how far they are to PC status, remember they each need to earn 500 XP.

So, first off- dead party members, remember I said the XP for these would count, and so-

Kroke (kobold) 25 XP
Blurt, Drongo, Gary & Halfpint (orcs) 100 XP x 4 = 400 XP
Littlehampton (hobgoblin) 100 XP
Hebold (berserker) 450 XP
Total 975 XP

Monsters killed-

Giant Cave Cricket 25 XP x 11 = 275 XP
Piercer 100 XP x 4 = 400 XP
Cave Fisher 450 XP
Total 1125 XP

Grand Total 2100 XP/8 = 263 XP each.


The NPCs are only just over halfway, we'll do the rest of this cavern (fingers-crossed) next time, after the short rest and healing et al.

And that's all she wrote, it took us over three hours to get the above fight played out, and nearly twenty turns of action. The players are less impressed than they thought they would be, the reason, the monsters are so underpowered, from what they are used to with their PCs.

They just keep on missing.

Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun when it was a lot of fun, but- lots of rolling, lots of missing.

The pot is up to £138.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected/Unforeseen and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
GAME OVER MAN!

Or maybe not.

In truth the last two updates I posted were from way back when... they took place more than two or three months ago.

The reason?

Well, Dave is unwell, and has been unwell for a while- in hospital type unwell, he's back to the real world now but... he has a way to go yet, and wont be back in game for a bit, if ever.

So, after a suitable period of mourning we decided to continue with the game, but just Pete and Rob in action.

But then Pete dropped his bombshell, he had accepted a contract to go and work in... Africa, and so would be unavailable to play D&D for the next six months or so.

Then, about ten days later- Pete departed.

So, game over- or else we're on hold until Dave's back on his feet, and Pete gets a good internet connection, and has the space and time (zone) to play.

I've got a new game though, I may write that one up.

Thanks for reading, sorry about the hiatus/full stop- life!

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers goonalan.
 

Richards

Legend
Thanks for reading, sorry about the hiatus/full stop- life!​
1656847245575.jpeg

Seriously, though, as disappointing as this news might be to those of us who have been enjoying your writeups, life does have a way of continuing to do what it's going to do, despite whatever plans we might have made otherwise. Here's hoping a speedy (full) recovery for Dave and safe travels for Pete.

And I'll just keep an eye out for your next Story Hour thread, because I have little doubt it'll be equally entertaining.

Best to all!

Johnathan
 


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