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

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

We can both be right-

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



The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0012: The Hobgoblin Anti-Climax.

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

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

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

Like, for... eva!

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



Here we go...

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

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

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

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


The final struggle for victory.

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

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

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


After the Thunderwave.

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

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

Or else a little bit dim.

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

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


Sosspan takes another hobgoblin down with a Fire Bolt.

Mohag, still raging, smashes another down.

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

Sosspan Fire Bolts the fleeing hobgoblin dead.

The fight is over...

How's that for an anti-climax?


Victory for the Unexpected.

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

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

There is cheering.

The absolute bastards.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

It seems the Unexpected are feeling very magnanimous.

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

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

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

Not bad, cut down in only three turns.


Death to Snarkk.

[Dead crazed-gnoll 50 XP]

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

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

That's nice!

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


Grelzenod's chambers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

They're kicking my backside.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pot is up to £58.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0013: Chasing Nok Nok.

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

I'm in trouble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There's a bit of chat about entry 11.

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

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

How about that? They're thinking ahead.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Onwards, to the first cavern.


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

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

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

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

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

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

That went south very quickly.

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


Initiative arrives early.

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

There is premature whooping.

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


The whooping ceases.

And is replaced mostly by hissed expletives.

Turned out nice again...

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

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

Corbis gets stabbed, it hurts a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Unexpected are making a little headway...

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

The orcs are panicking- screaming!

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

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

Orcs are tough.

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

Go figure.

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


Sho-B-Bear has gone away.

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

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


They're tough these...

I know.

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

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

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

Thanks for that Mohag.

Note, Sir Glen also understands the orc language.


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

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

A charging orc gets in Tribbits face.

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

It's not enough, Tribbits gets speared.

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

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

Mohag gets stabbed.

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

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

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

[Orc guards 900 XP]

The barbarian races to get to the party.


Brace for impact!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

So much for the NPCs.

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

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

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

Mohag keeps on raging and slicing.

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

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

The orc tide is breaking.

Moments later Corbis slices another orc dead.

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

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


The tide has turned.

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

Scrubs, same method, finishes it off.

Just two orcs left in the fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Get Nok Nok.

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

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

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


Missed by one both times.

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

The paladin is surrounded.


Rescue Sir Glen?

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

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

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

[Orcs in the second wave 1200 XP]

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

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

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

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

Nok Nok runs...

And in doing so gets sliced again by Mohag.


Chasing Nok Nok.

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

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

Nok Nok is now critically wounded.

But here's a thing...

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

Nok Nok stumbles and falls.

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

[Chief Nok Nok and his warrior consorts 650 XP]

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


Orc non-combatants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pot is up to £62.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0014: Hunting for Nik Nik.

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Thank heavens he passes his poison save again.

Sir Glen is on less than 10 hit points.

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

That's how it's done.

[Giant centipedes 100 XP]

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


They're right, probably.


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

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

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

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

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

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

The orc takes in the scene and begins screaming.


Stuck in the middle with you.

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

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

This will turn out to be a very poor decision.

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

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

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

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

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


Krago needs a way out.

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

Where have I seen that before?

There is screaming.

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

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

Mohag hits big all of the time.

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

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

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

More orcs keep coming, and...

Krago gets sliced again.

For five points of damage.

You should have heard the player's squeal.

Krago is on one hit point.

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

Me and my big mouth.

The paladin comes good in the end.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mohag steps in and smashes another orc down dead.

Its what he does.

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

The tables have turned.

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

Mohag soaks up a Crit.


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

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

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

And then another...

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

There is cheering.

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

The bastards.

And yet another orc dies in the Moonbeam.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

And slices him with...

Another Crit, and rolls just short of maximum damage.

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

Nik Nik is suddenly in a very bad state.

But this is to the death.

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

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

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

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

Chief Nik Nik is on three hit points.


The death of Nik Nik?

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

The ranger is still too close to the fracas.

Krago cuts his attacker down.


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

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

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

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

Mohag swings wildly but fails to connect with the chief.

As does Sir Glen.

There is squealing in the players ranks.

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

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

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

The players are really groaning and grousing now.

Everything/one is against them.

More orcs make it to the fight.

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

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

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

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

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

Then, at last...

Scrubs shoots chief Nik Nik dead.

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


At last!

The other orcs are very mostly dead too.

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

Sir Glen gets to Krago with a healing potion too.

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

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

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

The war is won.

[Chief Nik Nik and the tribe 1950 XP]

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

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

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

At least that's the plan.

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

That's nice.

The pot is up to £66.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
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The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

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

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

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although... two things-

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

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

Maybe, we'll see.

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

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

But let's get to the recon.


Here's the ravine, the Caves of Chaos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

But Sir Glen and Tribbits hold the line.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Back to the action.

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


The DM can't stop laughing.

The orc obviously survives the ordeal.

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

Mohag gets shot again.

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

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

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

Sosspan hits the last warrior with a Fire Bolt.

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

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

Sho-B-Bear is back.


Sucks to be the orc artillery.

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

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

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

A tantrum follows.

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

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

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


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

“Hang on! What's that noise...”

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


Bugger, here we go again.

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

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

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

Good work.

Then Sosspan runs off too.

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


Orcs! Pigbag approaching!

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

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

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

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

This one went bad very quickly.

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

All of Pigbag's birthdays have come at once.

There can be only one!


Sir Glen versus Pigbag!

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

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

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

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

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

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

You should have heard it over Discord.

Rob could be about to lose his first PC.

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

Mohag gets sliced again.

Then again.

Then again.

Pigbag meantime fails to cut Sir Glen.

Sir Glen returns the favour.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tribbits shoots an orc with his crossbow.

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

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

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


He's back up and swinging.

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

Remarkably he's still hitting.

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

This could go on a while.

Mohag gets sliced and falls again.

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

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

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

Sir Glen gets stabbed.

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

Mohag fails his next Death Save.

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

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


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

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

Scrubs shoots a fleeing orc dead.

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

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

Corbis for the win.

The fight is over.

[Pigbag and his orcs 1450 XP]

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pot is up to £70.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0016: Sir Glen and the Ankheg.

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

This is what the Unexpected have been up to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

To make clear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are we playing silly D&D?

Magical teleporting rabbits?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Krago is straight to it- smashing and stabbing.

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

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


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

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

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

There is screaming around the VTT.

Mohag- missing?



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

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


Bloody hell, that was close.

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

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

Sir Glen is remarkably sanguine, or else scared speechless.

But here's the thing...


The ankheg's back.

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

But the PCs are swiftly into action.

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

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

This isn't going well.

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

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

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

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

The ankheg collapses, its life-force spent.

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


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

[ANKHEG! 450 XP]

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

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

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

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

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


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

The pot is up to £74.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.


The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

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

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

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

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

Dead NPCs (in alphabetical order)
Male Human Guard.

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

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

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

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

But for now, onwards.

Back to the ravine...

Although that doesn't go as planned either.

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

And I have just the fellows.

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


Gnolls! And Hyenas!

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

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

More arrows whiz in.

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

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

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

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


The Unexpected weather the gnoll-storm!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's a bit of a brawl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Scrubs fires a crossbow bolt into it too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then rest, and chatter.

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

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

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

But here's thing...

I just rolled another '1'.

Random encounter payback.


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

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

Speaking of ambushes...

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


The goblin wolf riders arrive.

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

Corbis heard the goblins coming.

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

Trebbits also heard the enemies approaching.

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

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

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

This is going badly is the consensus around the VTT.

Lappoy to the rescue.

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

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


Lappoy is Magick!

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

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

We'll return to this.

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

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

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

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

Scrubs shoots the goblin hassling Mohag dead with his crossbow.

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

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

The goblin boss sounds his horn again.

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

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

But not Bogus.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Busy isn't it.

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

There's quite a lot of laughter.

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

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

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

Remember Bogus is still on speed.

He's also yet to land a hit.

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

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

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

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

Note, the Unexpected are going all out now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


That's all of the goblins in action now.

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

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

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

Bogus holds his scimitar poised at Corbis' throat.

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

The missile is high and wide.

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


We get back to fighting...

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

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

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

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

Bogus is bloodied and beyond, and screaming blue murder.

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

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

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

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

The goblin boss falls.

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

The fight is over.

[Bogus' Goblin Gang 1200 XP]

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

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

Decision next time.

The pot is up to £78.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.

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