Log Unknown Dates (sessions 1 - 14)

Session #1

Abandoned Silver Mine

The town of Silverton has hired a band of adventurers to rid it of a tribe of goblins that have been attacking the silver caravans. These goblins have holed up in a silver mine that was abandoned long ago. The group of adventurers is as follows:

Cerrac, an Elven Rogue from the city of Endhome Griff Roaringbell, a Dwarven Barbarian, from the Stoneheart Mountains Harg, a Half-Orc Barbarian that grew up in the hills near Silverton Karl (just Karl), Human Fighter from Silverton Osfrid, Crusader of Pelor, from the city of Bard’s Gate Wrath Truebeard, Cleric of Moradin, from the Dwarven city of Thunderhold X (name unknown), a Human Wizard from the city of Endhome

Day 1, 12th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Town locals led the adventurers to the entrance of the mines. A quick look at the “abandoned” mine confirmed that lots of humanoid traffic had been going in and out of the entrance. It seemed the goblins hadn’t done a very good job at concealing their hideout. The party lit lanterns, formed into marching order, and headed into the mine shaft. Cerrac easily identified the false cave-in at the end of the entrance tunnel and opened the secret door to reveal 5 goblins ready to defend their lair.

Without hesitation, Griff charged into the closest goblin quickly killing his target, and X sent one to the floor with a magic missile. Pushing past his companions, Harg charged the downed goblin and chopped off the dead humanoid’s arm.

“That’ll teach him,” Griff teased the Barbarian. “Why don’t you try one of the LIVE ones?”

Wanting a prisoner for questioning, Karl managed to wrestle one of the goblins to the floor.

One goblin ran out a far exit from the room, and although the last goblin fought well, he was no match for the party and was soon defeated.

Cerrac questioned Karl’s prisoner in goblin. All he was able find out was that the entire tribe resided in the mine, and that the chief’s name was Rezzomar. Not sure what to do with a prisoner – “I say we kill ‘em!” suggested Griff – the group decided to tie him up and have the captive lead the way.

Cocky from the easy victory the party decided to split up. Wrath explored a dark passageway hidden behind a secret door discovered by Cerrac. The elf followed the dwarven cleric to keep an eye on the wanderer. Meanwhile, Griff, Karl, and the goblin prisoner explored an empty dining hall, finding only bad goblin beer and rotten food. The two warriors moved back into the hallway about the same time that the Wrath decided to open a secret door he had discovered on the other end of the tunnel he was exploring.

For his brashness, Wrath was rewarded with two crossbow bolts in the chest as he’d walked right into an ambush. Four goblins had barricaded themselves in the room behind heavy wooden tables. Cerrac quickly yanked the wounded dwarf out of the doorway, and, in response to taunts and insults from the goblins, bluffed “Stop firing you idiots, Rezzomar sent us!” Unfortunately, the elf’s haughty nature only summoned more insults from the skeptical goblins.

Their insults were soon to stop. Osfrid’s bane spell took the enthusiasm out of his opponents. While the goblins reloaded their crossbows, the crusader charged one of the barricades pushing it back and knocking one the greenies to the floor. Running from the hallway, Harg almost reached the other table. Next, X managed to disable two of the goblins with a sleep spell; fortunately, Osfrid and the half-orc were able to resist its effects. Gravely wounded from the crossbow ambush, Wrath spent the next few rounds healing himself. The battle raged on….

…meanwhile, strangely ignoring the sounds of the their companions in battle, Karl and Griff moved away from their friends to explore more of the mine. Opening the next door they came to, Karl was viciously attacked by two Dire Rats. Faced with the choice of assisting his companion and keeping the prisoner, Griff decided to let the goblin free and charged into the doorway to attack the vermin. The fighters struggled to land blows on the rats, and suffered painful bites in return…

…back to the battle with the goblins. As his companions fought the humanoids in the barricades, a recovered Wrath decided to explore some connecting passages. This took Cerrac from the battle as he needed to keep an eye on the inquisitive dwarf. Eventually, the goblins were defeated by Harg, X, and Osfrid. But not before…

…Griff and Karl were ambushed by goblins while fighting the Dire Rats in the doorway. Their escaped prisoner had returned with friends looking for revenge. Karl had managed to kill one of the rats and continued fighting the other. Griff turned to face the goblins; unfortunately, before he could land any blows, the Dire Rat bit the dwarf and sent the Barbarian to the floor unconscious and bleeding from several wounds. In response, Karl chopped the vermin’s head off. Next round, in an amazing display of prowess, Karl cleaved the heads off of the two ambushing goblins and slammed the door before any others could attack him and his dying comrade.

By this time the others had run back from their battle to assist their trapped companions. Rounding a corner in the hallway, Wrath stepped right into the midst of the ambushing goblins. Wrath and Harg managed to slay the three goblins in front of them, and Cerrac badly wounded another down the hall with an expert bow shot. Soon, the goblins were defated in the hallway, and the party was back together. The clerics were able to heal Griff before he bled to death.

Nearly everyone was wounded and the spellcasters were about tapped out for the day. So the group decided to spend the night in the empty dining hall, and barricaded themselves inside. Despite a midnight raid by a small group of plucky goblins, the group managed to get some needed rest. “Thanks for the help, cousin,” jeered Griff at the snoring Wrath.

Day 2, 13th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Tracing a path back along the route of the ambushing goblins from the day before, the party moved through a secret door, a large barracks, and a long winding tunnel. Eventually they came to a door where Cerrac could hear squeaking coming from the other side. Ready for another fight with rats, the fighters moved to the front and opened the door.

Harg charged through the door, across the room, and over a table where he slipped and fell to the floor before reaching the vicious creatures. “Very impressive!” remarked Griff, as he ran by slamming into one of the Dire Rats. Osfrid double-timed into the room to separate the fallen half-orc from the filthy beasts. Luckily, he was just in time, as the Dire Rats struck back. Next into the room, Karl skewered one of the rats with an amazing javelin throw from 10 feet away, past Griff’s tall hair, and into melee. Eventually, the other Dire Rat was surrounded and overcome by the group, but not before Osfrid is wounded and forced to use one of his curing spells.

Once again, Wrath wandered away in search of more trouble as his companions battled the Dire Rats. Cerrac followed closely behind in case the cleric decided to catch some more crossbow bolts with his face. While keeping an eye on Wrath, Cerrac discovered another secret door but decided not to share this information with the dwarf until the rest of the party caught up.

After Cerrac “disarmed” the poison needle trap to the secret door, the group found an old chest. With the assistance of X’s detect magic spell, the party found a magic, silvered sword in a hidden compartment in the floor of the secret vault. An old message found with the sword spoke of an ancient evil deep in the mines.

Unfortunately, Griff and Cerrac’s loud arguing over who should get the sword attracted a band of zombies who snuck up behind Harg and attacked. The half-orc is badly wounded, but Osfrid was quick to jump to assistance. “Pelor’s Light Banishes You!” commanded the crusader, and the zombies quickly fled back down the hall.

At this point, the adventurers decided they need some rest and headed back to the inner barracks pushing broken crossbows and dead goblins out the door to make room for their bedrolls.

Session #2

Day 3, 14th of the month of the Crimson Dragon

On the previous day, Griff had to leave the party to attend a tribal ritual. Harvest season meant that his tribe was holding the Festival of the Cleansing, Griff’s favorite as it entailed bathing in freshly brewed ale. However, this meant that the stout barbarian would not be with the party for the next 3-4 days. Again, the party was made up as follows…

The party was not molested during the night. They had supped on the rancid food left in the goblin’s feast hall. Fortunately, Wrath was able to purify the food so the meal was adequate. During the next few hours the party explored much of the uppermost level of the mine. Torches were taken from sconces so that the humans could see as X was running low on lamp oil. Breaking into the goblin’s armory, Cerrac found a Masterwork Greataxe that was passed over to Harg. The elf’s amazing senses also located a loose stone in the wall of another room. Hidden behind the stone was another message from the past…something about flooding the lower levels with holy water to cleanse them of evil.

A shrine to a rat god was later discovered. Osfrid walked away with some mysterious scrolls, while the avaricious Wrath leaped up the unholy statue to pry loose its gem-eyes. A wry comment from Cerrac regarding the dwarf’s “resourcefulness” sent water flying out of Karl’s nose.

Eventually the party found the throne room of Rez-zomar, the goblin chief. The party’s ability to get information from the chief was cut short as Cerrac sent an arrow through the thigh of one of Rez-zomar guards, and Osfrid cast Create Water on the goblin-chief. That’s when something weird happened…cursing the party as fools, the soaking wet, Rez-zomar transformed into a half-goblin, half-rat, wet thing. His guards quickly fell, but the wererat chief gave the group a tough fight. They were able to overcome him when Karl tackled the small rat-goblin, holding him still so that the rest of the group could kill him. Behind Rez-zomar’s throne the party found a grate in the floor that covered a shaft leading far below the room where they stood. Close examination of the grate and a Read Magic spell cast by X indicated that the grate was silver-plated and warded to prevent the passage of evil undead beings. However, it was apparent that the goblins paid no attention to this dire omen as the grate was not locked and some goblins could be heard far below…

Not wanting to explore further without better preparations, the party decided to return to Silverton to re-supply and to notify Laglidden that the goblins had been taken care of. However, the Guild Leader informed the disappointed adventurers that he was sure they had not killed enough of the goblins. He reasoned that so few goblins could not have hijacked guarded silver caravans. He did, however, encourage the party to keep at it and paid for their rooms at the Silver Cup Inn.

Next the party went to see Harg’s friend Renna, the local healer, to see to a nasty bite that Karl suffered while wrestling with Rez-zomar. Renna informed the party that the great evil mentioned in the old messages referred to something that was uncovered 100 years ago in the Gannu mine. Whatever it was, it killed many miners. The Justicars were sent to battle the unholy presence. They were able to lock the evil away deep in the mine.

Day 4. 15th of the month of the Crimson Dragon

The party stayed in town. They sold the gem-eyes and Rez-zomar’s fine equipment. However, all of the proceeds went to potions, scrolls, and some silver-tipped ammunition. Karl went to see Renna who was helping him overcome a sickness that was starting to come over him…

Day 5, 16th of the month of the Crimson Dragon

Back to the Abandoned Gannu Mine. Karl went to see Renna again although he was feeling much better. The fighter’s strong immune system and high metabolism seemed to be able to stave off the feverish feelings he’d had the past few days.

When re-entering the mine, the party’s cautiousness was rewarded as Cerrac uncovered a tripwire set to alarm the goblins of their return. Instead, the elf and his companions surprised the goblin guards and quickly killed them all before they could warn any of the others. The party then retraced their steps across the deserted level to Rez-zomar’s chamber.

Wanting to sneak up on the goblins at the bottom of the shaft, Cerrac and X opened the warded grate and silently descended the ladder. However, it seemed that the goblins below must have heard the rogue and wizard as they quickly hushed their yammering and extinguished their light. With their initial plan thwarted, the rogue and wizard climbed back up the ladder to discuss with the rest of the party the best course of action.

Not able to bear the deliberations any longer, Wrath forced the issue. The strategizing came to an abrupt silence as the rest of the party watched, mouths agape, as the dwarf opened the grate, winked at the elf, and climbed down the ladder. That seemed to spur the others to action as they struggled to keep up with the dwarf who was by now standing on the lower level in dark room in the crossfire of goblin crossbows. Fortune smiled on the audacious cleric as the goblins merely scratched the dwarf as he charged one of the barricades protecting the goblins. Two rounds later, the rest of the party was in the room fighting alongside Wrath. Cerrac and X had managed to light a lantern and a torch so that they could see. Two rounds after that, the goblins were dead, and Wrath’s frontal assault had secured the party a beachhead on the second level.

Regrouping, the party began to explore the level. Karl opened the next door they came to, counted 8 goblins inside, and closed the door again. When the dimwitted goblins opened the door to attack Karl, there were 7 goblins and 1 wererat inside. Karl’s tactic of using the doorway as a choke point paid off as the goblins were forced to fight their superiors two-on-two. X sped up the development of the battle with a Sleep spell that sent 4 of the goblins to the floor. Karl easily Cleaved through the slumbering goblins, and by this time only the wererat remained. However, this wererat was not to prove as tough as the well-equipped Rez-zomar, and Harg and X were able to finish him off. Unfortunately, Karl was knocked unconscious by the wererat earlier in the fight…

…meanwhile, Wrath had wandered off again. Cerrac peeked around a corner but could not see the dwarf in the dark. A short time later, the elf heard a loud slam followed by a clanging bell coming from the down the hall. Lighting a torch and hurrying down the hall, Cerrac rounded a corner in time to see Wrath climb out of a pit trap. The dwarf looked a little shaken as he cleaned the cobwebs and dust from his beard. He then suggested, “Maybe we should head back to the others before someone comes to check on that bell”. Agreeing, the elf followed the dwarf back to the others…[Here we leave the daring adventurers until next time…]

A Cut Scene

A thin human pipes a melody on a flute. Occasionally stopping for a sip of wine and to speak softly to one of the creatures at his feet. A large goblin enters from one of the two doors leading from the chamber. They both speak in the common tongue.

Thin Man: What is it? Goblin: It seems they’re back. We heard the alarm just a few moments ago, but the pit was empty. Thin Man: Well don’t screw this up like Rez-zomar. Just kill them. We can give the strong ones to the gnome. Goblin: Yes, well Rez-zomar didn’t like to think; we have a plan this time. [pauses] About the gnome, can he do something to help? Thin Man: Never mind him. He’s busy…ahhh…replacing our losses. Besides he’s our only source of income since your people haven’t had a successful raid in a week. You have G’Zogah up there for that kind of help. Goblin: [muttering] G’Zogah is mad. Thin Man: What? Oh forget it, just take care of them or I’ll personally make sure you spend lots of time with the gnome.

Session # 3

Day 5, 16th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

After the battle with the wererat, X, Wrath, Karl, and Harg went back to town saying something about Karl needing time to recover from his wounds. Just then, Griff barged into the room still smelling from his ale bath and looking a little unsteady like he might have been drinking from his bath water.

“I could hear all yer shouting from the top of the mine shaft; you should have gotten me this morning. I told that innkeeper to make sure ye knew I was back in Silverton, bah!”

So for this session, the adventurers are…

Realizing that they had set off an alarm, Cerrac suggested throwing one of the goblin corpses into the pit so that the other goblins would think one of their own had fallen in. So Griff hoisted one of the dead goblins to his shoulder and hustled down the hall towards the pit. They seem to have gotten back before the goblins arrived, and Griff tossed the corpse down the hole. However, Cerrac could hear goblins moving closer from two different directions, as the pit was located in the middle of a T-Intersection in the tunnels. So the party backed around the corner listening for any clues on whether their ruse would paid off.

Soon the whole party could hear a goblin voice say, “Bloody hell, it’s that clumsy Ertsac. I told him to watch his arse around the pit.” It seemed that the trick had worked, and they waited for the goblins to retreat. Luckily, the elf’s keen ears detected that a group of footsteps seemed to suddenly halt rather than fade into the distance, tipping the party off that maybe the goblins weren’t so gullible. After waiting in vain to see if the goblins would eventually retire, the party decided to rush around the corner ready to attack.

As they rounded the corner, Cerrac spotted two goblin archers at the far end of the hallway (beyond the pit). The elf saw them first and loosed an arrow, which bounced off the corner where the goblins were taking cover. Another battle had begun, but this time the adventurers had to cover 80 feet of hallway with an open pit in the middle before reaching their foes. Griff and Osfrid made double moves carefully skirting the edges of the pit trap, but the goblins would get two more shots before the dwarf and cleric could close to melee range. The barbarian slammed into the goblins first but missed his target. Once he could see around the corner he discovered that the two archers were led by a goblin cleric who was standing about 10 feet behind them. Next round, Osfrid charged into the second archer braining him with his Morningstar while Cerrac fired arrows from behind his comrades. At this point the party was beyond the pit trap and the T-intersection.

The two goblins retreated back down the hallway with Griff close on their heels and Osfrid running to catch up. Just then, two arrows flew past Cerrac’s pointy ears, and the elf whirled around to see three goblins about 50 feet away moving up from behind the party. Griff continued pressing the cleric and his guard, and Osfrid turned on the three ambushers. The Cleric of Pelor managed to slay two of the ambushers smashing their helmets into caved-in skulls, and the leader of this team (The Jailor) fled back the way he came. The party would have been relieved to seem him go, but he was obviously calling for reinforcements. In any case, the elf and the cleric could not pursue him because Griff was still fighting for his life against the cleric and his sidekick. The dwarf must have still been drunk from the last few days’ bacchanal because every swing of his axe seemed to miss by a large margin. The one wound the dwarf inflicted on the evil cleric was quickly healed. Osfrid stepped in line next to the dwarf, but they were unable to defeat the pair before the Jailor had returned with reinforcements. Goblin arrow fire wounded Cerrac who moved around corner into a side passage near the melee. The situation looked even worse as Cerrac spotted a wererat rounding the corner to stand next to the Jailor.

Griff recollects: “There we was…a foul rat-priest and goblin on one side and 3 goblins and a wererat on another. We were all bleeding from wounds, and me axe was failing me. I figured we’d be pushing up the daisies when that haughty elf shouts out something in goblin that stopped ‘em in their tracks.”

Discovering that the side passage where the party had been trapped led to a room of goblin females and young, Cerrac shouted a threat that they’d kill all the women and children if the goblins didn’t let them retreat. The Jailor responded to Cerrac’s threat by ordering the other goblins to back off. All but one of the goblins complied with the order; but Griff hacked down the disobedient one. Still surrounded and outnumbered 2-to-1, the party quickly came up with a plan to end the stand off. They ordered the evil cleric to move past Griff and Osfrid as he was the only one barring their path of retreat, and they ordered the rest of the goblins back down the hallway giving the trapped adventurers some breathing room. Osfrid poured lantern oil on the ground; they fled down the open tunnel; and Osfrid ignited to oil to cover their retreat.

The party retreated to the room leading to the upper level and spiked the door closed. Overruling Osfrid, who wanted to try and fight the goblins, the party decided to return the Silverton to rest up. It seemed Griff needed another day to sleep off the ale, and Osfrid was low on spells.

Day 6, 17th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

After a night’s rest at the Silver Cup Inn, the three adventurers headed back to the abandoned mine determined to maintain the element of surprise. Ready to face a team of guards at the entrance, the party found only a trip wire leading to an alarm, which Cerrac disabled. Next they headed towards Rez-zomar’s room to the grate leading to the lower level.

Scouting ahead of the rest, Cerrac heard goblins down a side passage. After waiting to see that the goblins were not moving, Griff and Osfrid charged down the passage, and Cerrac stayed in the main tunnel to guard their backs. The dwarf and cleric slammed into the three goblins – it was the Jailor with two archers. Recovered from his hangover, Griff managed to kill one while Osfrid (who had earned the name Osfrid the Goblin Smasher) brained the other to death. While they were dealing with the much tougher Jailor, Cerrac was fired on by 2 goblins archers backed by the cleric of Narrimunth. This second group of goblins were advancing along the main tunnel. Osfrid left Griff to finish off the now-wounded Jailor to charge into new threat. Again the Goblin Smasher made quick work of the two archers aided by shots from Cerrac. By this time, Griff had defeated the Jailor and was running back to help Osfrid. The evil cleric was fighting well and managed to heal himself of wounds from Osfrid’s morningstar. Eventually however, Griff and Osfrid managed to flank the cleric and Cerrac sent him to his rat-god with an arrow through the eye [natural 20, Sneak Attack].

Searching the bodies, the party found a pair of ornate armbands on the evil cleric and 20 gp on the two leaders. Next they continued to Rez-zomar’s throne room to go down to level 2.

They knew there would be goblins posted at the bottom of the ladder. Rather than elaborating on a plan, they simply performed a full frontal assault with Griff in the lead. Again, the goblins at the bottom of the stairs missed by a wide margin on their initial shots at the intruders. Facing two archers and a wererat, Griff and Osfrid charged the archers. The wererat took the first round to transform to hybrid form, on the second round he charged into Osfrid wounding the Cleric of Pelor. By now Griff and Osfrid had dispatched the archers. On the next round, Griff stepped behind the wererat, and made a savage flanking attack with the silvered + 1 sword. The wererat fell without a sound cleaved in half at the waist.

After a routine search of the bodies, the group explored a different corridor than the previous day. They found a hole in the floor of a dead end hallway; above the hole was rope and tackle making up a lift or elevator. It seemed the mines had a lower (3rd) level. Across the hall from the lift, the party searched a room. This office contained empty crates that looked like they were used for shipping silver. Cerrac and Osfrid scanned through the papers on the desk where they discovered a general ledger. The ledger accounted recent silver shipments to Bard’s Gate. It seemed as if someone had reopened the mine for business. Also, no one believed that the goblins were the ones keeping accurate records of the mine’s profits.

Session #4

Day 6, 17th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

For this session the party consisted of

Note that Cerrac and Osfrid are now second level adventurers.

Cerrac grabbed the ledger reasoning that it would provide some evidence of the evil doings in the mine. With that the party left, and continued exploring. In a nearby room, they surprised 2 wererats and 3 dire rats after kicking in the door. Before the goblin-wererats had time to transform, Griff and Drogo were on them hacking them to pieces in 2 rounds. The dire rats were soon to follow.

Taking the South exit from the wererat room, they again surprised their foes (Cerrac is now scouting well ahead of the party). This time 2 Goblin Clerics were caught chanting to the Rat-god of Filth. Once again, the two Dwarven warrior charged into melee, one priest falling almost immediately. However, once they’d entered the shrine, the piles of bones to either side of the altar jumped up and 4 goblin skeletons moved to attack. The skeletons didn’t last long. Osfrid called upon Pelor and half of the undead goblins disintegrated to dust, while Wrath sent the remainder to cower in the corner. Meanwhile, the last priest was fighting for his life, only managing to cast protection from evil and get off one attack before the dwarves slashed him to bits.

X cast a Detect Magic about the room, and zeroed in on the armbands of one of the priests. Putting two and two together, Osfrid pulled out the armband they had taken off the priest upstairs, and X confirmed that it too was magical. After some experimentation, the armbands were passed to X who put them on. “Bah! These ones don’t have gem eyes,” Wrath complained. He and Drogo knocked over the statues of the evil gods smashing them to bits.

Backtracking a bit the party covered an unexplored side passage. Cerrac peaked beyond a door to see body parts and shambling corpses inside. Closing the door and calling for help, the rest of the party joined him. Osfrid stepped in and turned the zombies, who cowered in the far corner of the room. Cerrac made a quick search of the room, and finding only body parts, everyone decided to simply leave the cowering zombies where they were.

Later, Cerrac found a secret door to a room long unused. Osfrid dispatched the 8 animated skeletons with a wave of his holy symbol, and Cerrac found an ancient message warning the party to leave the evil spirit of the mine alone.

After this discovery, there was only one unexplored area on this level. Kicking open the door, the party faced G’Zogah, an insane goblin wizard. The mage ordered his servants to attack, hit Griff with a Magic Missile, and then ducked back behind a stack of crates. The dwarf barbarian went into a rage and charged after him. The rest of the battle the party picked their way though the maze of shipping crates while G’Zogah popped up to fire a magic missile from his wand. Finally he was cornered, and Griff chopped him to pieces. The battle-mad dwarf had been seriously injured by the goblin’s spells, and while still enraged he cut out the mage’s heart and ate it.

With Griff fatigued (but not hungry), and the spellcasters spent, the party grabbed two of the crates of silver ore and headed back to town. X scooped up G’Zogah’s spell book and silver dagger before leaving. Back in town they gave Lagleddin an update on their progress and cashed in the two crates of silver ore for their 25% salvage fee. Osfrid and the rest of the party tried to renegotiate their agreement with the leader of the mining operation, but better sense prevailed when they realized that the town’s livelihood was at stake, and that they’d already been given every courtesy and consideration the poor miners could afford.

They decided to spend the next two days recovering the rest of the silver ore they’d found where they defeated G’Zogah. Most of the funds were spent re-equipping the party. Griff bought a chain shirt, and Drogo bought a suit of chain mail. The rest of the funds were mostly spent on healing potions and holy water, as the party hadn’t forgotten the contents of the messages they’d discovered.

Day 9, 20th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Karl joined the party as they headed back into the mine. Their plan was to see what was at the bottom of the lift.

Descending to the 3rd level, the group took one look at the walking corpses and animated animals, shouted “We don’t need no Stinking Badgers!” and charged. Drogo and Griff slew one of the zombie badgers before Osfrid turned them down the tracked tunnel.

Out the south exit, the party rounded a corner in the hallway in time to see the retreating zombies cross the hallway in flight. Moving up to a 4-way intersection, a mining cart silently sped down the tracks at Cerrac and Griff. The elf’s reflexes saved him, but Griff only managed to stop the ore-filled cart with his face. After dusting himself off, they sent the cart onward hoping to smash some of the retreating zombies from behind.

“Which way now?” “Well, if we follow these tracks, they’ll probably lead straight to who we’re looking for,” reasoned an amazingly-insightful-even-though-his-INT-is-only-8 Karl.

So the party followed the tracks. Rounding a bend they found the cart they had pushed; it seemed it had picked up a lot of momentum as it had crashed over sideways smearing the retreating zombies into a messy pulp. Unfortunately just beyond the wreck were two Ogre Zombies. The Ogre Zombies didn’t seem to notice the party as they were busy knocking huge chunks of rock out of the wall of the tunnel. Osfrid stepped to the front of the group and turned the huge undead down the tunnel. Drogo and Griff righted the cart, refilled it with ore, and pushed it ahead of them with the idea that the cart would mask the sound of their approach.

After ten minutes of walking, they caught up with the two Ogre Zombies who had turned around and were headed back after the group. In a display of horrifying strength, the lead Ogre Zombie flung the cart off its tracks, smashing it into the wall. Fortunately, it offered some cover for the group, and before anyone was hurt, Osfrid was able to turn the undead again. Realizing that they had better defeat the Ogre Zombies once and for all, Karl, Griff, and Drogo pursued the retreating Ogre Zombies down the tunnel. They were able to take one down before they reached a large chamber lit by torches.

At the far end of the chamber they discovered a dead warrior on an altar with his arms and legs hacked off. The three fighters continued to battle the cowering Ogre Zombie, while the rest explored the room…except X and (oddly) Wrath who refused to enter the unholy place. Just then, 4 zombies burst through the door, but before they could attack Cerrac, Osfrid sent them back out the door in flight.

At this point, Cerrac saw a gnome with sickly pale skin crawl with amazing speed down one of the columns in the chamber. The gnome stopped eating a severed arm long enough to inform the party that they were about to die, then scurried back up to the ceiling. This must be Narzy, the gnome necromancer they’d heard about.

While the battle with the Ogre Zombie was drawing to a close, Narzy summoned 2 Skeleton Zombies into the room who attacked but missed Cerrac. Quick to respond, Osfrid disintegrated the large skeletons with the power of the Sun God, Pelor. Next, Karl stopped fighting, and started pleading with the rest to stop attacking the “kind gnome”. He then proceeded to climb the nearest column in order to reach Narzy.

The rest of the battle was fought between Narzy, Cerrac, Wrath, and X. Cerrac’s arrows kept missing the gnome, as he was able to dodge across the ceiling amongst the columns. However, X’s Magic Missiles delivered from G’Zogah’s wand were taking their toll on the Gnome. Wrath summoned a Celestial Owl and sent it up into the ceiling where it pecked and scratched at the crazed necromancer. Realizing he was losing, Narzy headed for the door, but before he could leave, X finished him with a flask of Alchemist fire. The gnome’s little body fell crisply to the floor.

Relieved, the victors searched the room and Narzy’s remains. X pocketed another spellbook, and Cerrac removed Narzy’s leather armor, which didn’t look at all like it had been on fire. The group then decided to head back to town for some rest.

Session #5

For this session the party consisted of

At this point, I’ve made a change to the campaign world. While you are still battling the forces of evil in the abandoned silver mine, I’ve moved that mine to the Wilderlands campaign setting. So the following changes went into effect in session #5:

Silverton was changed to Anvil, a silver mining town along the Rorystone Road between the Dwarven city of Thunderhold and the City State of the Invincible Overlord (CSIO). Lagledellin the Mining Guildmaster is now a dwarf called Gani (easier to say, anyway). Your reward is the same, you just deal with Gani now. Renna moved with the campaign since she was the only significant non-hostile NPC. She is now a priestess of Athena. All of the PCs (except Harg) are from Thunderhold, which is two days march north of Anvil. Day 10, 21st of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Since the DM had fleshed out the town, the party decided to explore the town of Anvil. Over the course of a day (game time) they accomplished the following:

Seeking information and possibly a buyer for the scrolls recovered from the temple of evil Rat-god Narrimunth, the party discovered that Renna knew nothing about the scrolls. They entered the Temple of Thoth the Terrible, and made an appointment with the high priest, Fladhal, for the following day. Being a priest of a god of Knowledge, it was a good bet that Fladhal would be interested in the scrolls. At the Keep of the Winter’s Light, a wizard school, they met Terai, a student and daughter of King Nordre of Thunderhold. Terai agreed to purchase the scrolls if the party would help her retrieve an ancient amulet she had learned of in her esoteric studies. Given that the royal daughter offered them more gold than they had seen in their lives, they agreed to head out the next day.

On to other business…

Osfrid, tiring of carrying around the head of the Gnome Necromancer, Narzy, went to see Gani at the Miner’s Guildhall to see about shipping his “package” to Brother Kaak in Thunderhold. [Brother Kaak had sent Osfrid on a mission to track down Narzy, way back in episode #1.] Gani was happy to see the group and introduced them to Fisk Hardseed, Regional Director of the Vonmolke Shipping House. Fisk agreed to ship Osfrid’s package. Fisk also mentioned to the group that he was impressed by their progress with the Gannu Mine problem and would like to hire them as caravan guards. Fisk said that he had caravans leaving in all directions, but the two that passed through Anvil most frequently were:

Byrny Loop: South from Anvil to Byrny, village of master smiths, pick up iron, and board barges to take down the Stillring River to Dwarfport. Add goods from overseas, and then travel north overland to Thunderhold. Fisk mentioned problems with pirates along the Stillring as well as hostile humanoids around the fortified town of Dwarfport.

Rorystone Shuttle: This caravan ships goods between Thunderhold, the CSIO, and the few settlements between the two. From Anvil it is 2 days to north to Thunderhold, or 16 days south to the CSIO due to stops along the way.

Back at the Silver Cup Inn…

Grindan Redling, the Innkeeper, warned the party to watch out for a warband of Gnolls around Birch Grove when the party mentioned that they were headed up there the next day.

Gildas Knifethruster, a member of the Border Warders from Thunderhold, was in the inn looking for information on the Gnolls. She said that she was headed up to Birch Grove the next day to check on things. She also wouldn’t dance with Griff.

Brother Cynric, Acolyte of Mitra, delivered this message to Osfrid:

Brother Osfrid, I hope that your search for the necromancer goes well. I urge you to return as soon as your work in Anvil is finished. I have news that concerns the Shrines of Thyr and Muir. The demon cult profanes these shrines, and I fear that the evil ones will soon possess the holy weapons and scripture that are rumored to be contained there. I believe we must recover these items before they fall into the wrong hands, or we may never hope to regain access to the Burial Halls.

Brother Kaak Temple of Mitra Thunderhold

Day 11, 22nd of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

The party traveled north from Anvil and skirted the woods north of Birch Grove to the line of cliffs that marked the southern extreme of the Nalrak Hills. Among the rocks of the cliffs, Cerrac discovered the entrance to the ruins that contained Terai’s amulet. The party fought off a powerful winged ape, and quickly entered the concealed ruin entrance before more apes arrived.

The ruins were a strange underground structure that served some long forgotten purpose. The architecture and contents were unlike anyone had seen; even the dwarves could not explain how the place had been constructed. The party eventually found Terai’s amulet. The following are some highlights of the exploration of the ruins:

Vanquished a gelatinous cube Nearly perished fighting an assassin vine Figured out how to pass a strange force field that did not permit the passage of metallic objects Cerrac and Drogo temporarily swapped bodies; that is, Cerrac was trapped in Drogo’s body and vice versa Found a magic shield. Found a set of clothing made of an unknown cloth. Fought a swarm of Stirges. Discovered another exit from the tunnels so they could avoid passing a pack of winged apes. Discovered a strange new race of humanoids, long extinct, perhaps the creators of the ruins?

Having explored all of the tunnels, the group spent the night inside before returning to Anvil. Also, Cerrac wouldn’t leave without getting out of Drogo’s body and back into his. Fortunately the strange effect had worn off by morning, and the two adventurers found themselves back in their own bodies.

Day 12, 23rd of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

The band of adventurers returned the next day without encountering any trouble; they had fought a pair of Gnolls on the way to the ruins the previous day. Terai thanked them for the amulet and paid them for its retrieval and the scrolls of Narrimunth. When they returned to the Silver Cup Inn, Grindan gave them the message that Fladhal was sorry to have missed meeting them yesterday, and was looking forward to seeing the scrolls that Osfrid had wanted to show him. It seemed that the party had forgotten all about the high priest of Thoth (and arguably the most powerful and important person in Anvil) in their rush to earn Terai’s gold.

Session #6

For this session the party consisted of

Day 13, 24th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

The party spent most of the day taking inventory of their prizes and making purchases around town. X tried to get appointment to meet Tavel, Master of the Wizard School, in order to get some items identified. However, Alf and Brogan, two of the King’s Guard watching the gate to Tavel’s keep, rebuffed X and Osfrid. Later, back at the Inn, Grisha confirmed the group’s suspicions concerning the rogue guards as Bralan is having discipline problems with them. Gani shows up at the tavern and mentions about slow progress in the mines, so the party sets out the next morning. Day 14, 25th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon Back to Level 3 of the Gannu Mine where the party defeated Narzy the Gnome Necromancer. All in all, the floor seemed deserted since Narzy’s demise. However, in their search for a way to the fourth level, Cerrac found a chute in the ceiling of a storage room that led to an undiscovered secret room on the second floor. Climbing alone up the chute, Cerrac found an amulet and a treasure map to the Stoneheart Dungeon on the long-dead body of a Halfling. Eventually, they discovered the ladder down to 4th level. They battled 2 wererats at bottom of ladder, and killed a goblin that appeared to be sick in the next room over. A little uneasy after seeing the condition of the sick goblin, the party happened upon Hogah in his lab. Griff ignored Hogah’s shooing and charged the wizard. Fortunately, Drogo barreled into him disrupting his lightning bolt spell. Next X, cast a sleep spell that did nothing but put Drogo to sleep right in front of Hogah, and Griff’s charge missed its mark. On the next round, the old goblin backed up and cast a lightning bolt; Cerrac and X made their saving throws, but poor Drogo was unconcious and bleeding once the ozone cleared the room. By the end of the round, Osfrid and Griff had finished him off. Osfrid quickly revived Drogo, and checked on the health of his comrades. The rest of the party looted Hogah, walking off with his Amulet of Natural Armor, and a silvered dagger. X loaded up on spell components from the jars in the lab. A little shaken, the party pressed on. Defeating 4 dire rats in the next room encountered. Finally the party came to a gilded door, and beyond this they encountered Lawrence Gannu, the Rat King. He was sitting on his throne playing a flute to 2 pet Dire Rats. Following a quick introduction on Lawrence’s part, the party charged. Lawrence played his pipes to summon more rats and, using a feather from his hair, summoned a magical whip [who is this guy? geesh] that attacked Griff without success. X and Cerrac fire magic missiles and arrows at the Rat-King while Griff pressed closer. Drogo and Osfrid dispatched one of the rats. On the next round, Lawrence created another whip, but neither of the animated weapons had any success attacking the PCs. By this time, Lawrence had taken a bit of damage from more magic missiles and arrows, and Griff finished off the Rat-King with a blow to through the clavicle. The Rat-King lay dead, and the PCs had hardly broken a sweat. Not wanting to push their luck, the party moved back to Hogah’s lab, and held up for an 8 hour rest. Nothing molested the PCs during their rest since they where the only beings left in the mines. Day 15, 26th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon Beyond the throne room, the group searched through Lawrence’s library. Cerrac discovered some notable texts: Decline of the Thracian Empire which hinted at vast treasures still undiscovered and left behind by the Thracian emperors after losing their kingdoms at the hands of the cult of Thanatos and their rebellious, beastmen slaves. Legend of Rappan Athuk which described the origin of the Dungeon of Graves, and main stronghold of the priests of Orcus. Cerrac picked the lock to the vault beyond Lawrence’s bedroom. Next the party thief earned his keep as he successfully foiled the traps on the three of the four treasure chests contained in the vault. Fearing that he may have missed something on the fourth coffer, Cerrac had Drogo open the final container. A sharp blade came swinging out of the ceiling at the dwarf who managed to avoid losing his beard (or worse). All in all, the party had discovered the following loot: * 1050gp * +1 Light Mace * 6 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds * 600 pounds of stolen silver ore. Next they headed back to town to claim their reward from Gani. He was happy to pay them, and also bought back the recovered ore at the agreed rate. Fisk Hardseed beamed at the successful adventurers, and again offered them a job as escorts for his next caravan out of town. Upon hearing that Dwarfport was offering bounties for dead goblins, Griff signed on as caravan guard. Osfrid agreed to go as the caravan would eventually get back to Thunderhold where he wanted to speak to Br. Kaak regarding the Shrine of Thyr. Before leaving town, Griff decided to throw a party for the village. He paid Grindan handsomely for his catering and brewing services. Osfrid turned his reward money over to Renna to build a shrine to Mitra. The priestess of Athena agreed as the two gods are known to be friendly to one another. Well, the group thought they had everything wrapped up, but an acolyte from the Temple of Thoth arrived and invited the party to a meal with Fladhal. Day 16, 27th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon Not wanting to rebuff the high priest again, the group was punctual at the next day’s meeting. Fladhal asked what had happened to the scrolls the party was seeking information about, but was extremely interested to hear more about their reasons for leaving town three days before. He graciously accepted the gift of Lawrence’s library from the group, but kept bringing the subject back to the strange complex hidden in the nearby hills where the group had retrieved the “singing necklace”. Based on this interview, Fladhal learned and inferred the following facts: - An undisclosed Client sent the PCs on a mission to retrieve a “singing necklace” from a mysterious underground complex in the southern cliff line of the Nalrak Hills. - This complex was hidden by a strange illusion making its entrance look like the rest of the cliffs. - The Client provided a device to the party that foiled the illusion. - The PCs retrieved the singing necklace and returned both devices to the Client. - The PCs discovered a strange mind-switching device within the complex. - The PCs found a set of white clothing of unknown manufacture or material in the complex. Fladhal seemed to recognize the clothing and was more pleased to accept it as a gift from the PCs than Lawrence’s library. - There is another entrance to the complex that is not hidden by the illusion. Well, that closes the first chapter of the campaign. Congratulations on defeating the Rat-King, and say goodbye (for now) to Anvil.

Session #9

The Caves of Chaos

For this session the party consisted of

NPCs

Day 28, 7 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

Last session we had a ”stop time” ending. The party had just defeated two tribes of Orcs living in adjacent cave complexes. They had come to the Caves of Chaos seeking to kill goblins and gain some treasure; each dead goblin would earn the party a bounty when presented to Frowler the Paymaster back in Dwarfport.

Griff sawed an ear from each Orc corpse. The rest of the party searched the chieftain’s quarters and rifled through the bodies scattered about. Not wanting to be burdened with the chief’s plate mail, Osfrid decided to have Cerrac stash it in the thicket outside the cave entrance. While outside, Cerrac decided to scout the nearby entrances to other caves in the ravine. The next entrance he spied had a sign posted in many different languages (kobold, orc, goblin, common, etc.) that said

“Safety, security and repose for all humanoids who enter - WELCOME! Come in and report to the first guard on the left for a hot meal and bed assignment.”.

Skeptical of the hospitality of the inhabitants, Cerrac returned to his companions who decided that they should continue to scour the now-vacant Orc warrens for any loot they might have missed.

They found some quality provisions as well as a two suits of chainmail in the remainder of the Orc warren. They then decided to rest up in the secret room linking the two caves. An Orc prisoner they had captured last session had not known about this room so they reasoned they’d be relatively unmolested sleeping there. The only problem was that the suit of plate mail Cerrac had stashed outside was gone when he went to retrieve it. Day 29, 8 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

Deciding to postpone the exploration of the cave posted with the friendly greeting, the adventurers marched down the ravine to explore a cave entrance surround in thickets. Cerrac sneaked in some distance; the elven thief detected a covered pit that was trapping a four-way intersection 30 feet into the cave. His pointy ears also detected shuffling and muttering from just beyond the pit; peeking around a corner he saw several kobolds leering back at him from across the pit. Backing out he summoned Griff who charged right into the middle of the kobolds skipping over the corner of the pit as he went. The battle was on.

Griff and Yuri were making short work of the kobolds, and Osfrid was approaching to help finish them off when Bellinus, who was standing with Malakin at the cave entrance fell to the ground bleeding to death from three arrows in his back. Malakin turned to see more kobolds moving in from outside the cave…the party was caught between two forces of kobolds. Malakin wasted no time abandoning the dying Bellinus and retreated into the cave partly down the west corridor so as to stay as far from melee (and bow-armed kobolds) as possible. Osfrid, turned back to try and save Bellinus. Over the next few rounds, the Cleric of Mitra managed to revive Bellinus (cure light wounds), and, with the help of the revived Illusionist, hold off 8 kobolds. Meanwhile, it seemed Malakin had stirred up more trouble as dozens of Giant Rats poured out of the piles of trash in the room near his hiding place. Facing a writhing pile of yellow-eyed vermin, the party was now fighting a three front battle. Luckily it would only be another round before Griff and Yuri had killed the last of the first band of kobolds. To hold off the swarm, Cerrac lobbed a flaming flask of oil into the rats which kept most of the giant vermin contained in the room from which they were attacking.

The next round. the Dwarven barbarian went into a Berserk Fury and charged across the flames and into the middle of the disease-ridden swarm. Yuri stepped into the west corridor to block any rats charging past Griff. Cerrac and Malakin backed down the east corridor to keep a distance from the two melees underway. However, it seemed the adventurers had truly stirred up a hornet’s nest as Cerrac caught site of six more kobolds approaching from the east corridor. Once again the party was fighting on three sides. Talk of retreat was quickly quashed as they realized they couldn’t abandon the berserk barbarian.

Thinking quickly, Malakin invoked an illusory wall separating the party from the new threat. The kobolds failed their save, and would be confused for several turns before they could puzzle out the Illusionist’s ruse. Malakin spent the next several rounds maintaining the illusion with Cerrac keeping close guard over him and watching for anything moving through the illusory wall.

Meanwhile, Griff raged on. He and Yuri managed to kill all of the giant rats, but at a cost. Both warriors were low on hit points having taken numerous scratches and bites in melee. Furthermore, the barbarian’s rage had worn off and the dwarf would be unable to run for the next hour. Osfrid and Bellinus managed to defeat the ambushing kobolds. Bellinus put several to sleep with two Color Spray spells, and Osfrid clobbered the rest virtually impervious to their attacks after enhancing his armor with a Shield of Faith spell.

Just as their exit was clear, a few kobolds began charging through Malakin’s illusion. Cerrac and Yuri managed to kill these, and it seemed the humanoids had had enough for the day for no more seemed willing to engage the adventurers. Feeling lucky to have the exit clear, the adventurers retreated out the way they had come moving as fast as the fatigued Griff would allow. Luckily they made their way back to Cicero’s cabin without encountering any trouble.

Session #10

For this session the party consisted of

Day 30, 9 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

After running from the kobold lair the day before, the adventurers decided to spend the day resting and recovering at Cicero’s cabin. Having nearly died at the hands of the kobolds, Bellinus bid the party farewell and went back to Dwarfport. Before he left, Malakin gave him a scroll of Detect Magic in exchange for a chance to transcribe Darkness from the illusionist’s spell book. Yuri also left, unhappy that the PCs had disregarded his advice and charged into a lair of kobolds.

Day 31, 10 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

Returning to the Caves of Chaos, the party decided to leave the kobolds alone and try their luck on the southern slope of the ravine. Scouting the first cave at the ravine’s entrance, Cerrac snuck up on 6 goblin guards that were lounging in a room past a 4-way intersection. Cerrac went to consult the rest of the party, and plan was “quickly” formed. Malakin re-entered the caves with Cerrac, unfortunately before the pair could execute their scheme, a goblin came to investigate sounds made by the unstealthy illusionist. Cerrac quickly fired an arrow at the guards and retreated towards the cave entrance, Malakin cast a Darkness spell into the guard room delaying the goblin pursuit and providing enough time for the two dwarves to come up to attack.

After a round of battle, the adventurers were attacked from two other tunnels that Cerrac had not scouted. Also, an ogre emerged from the Darkness of the guard room to attack the dwarves. Drogo and Griff backed up to prevent one of the new groups from cutting them off from the exit. Meanwhile, Cerrac threw a bag of caltrops on the floor and Malakin cast an illusion of the giant lizard that he had seen a few days ago; these combined measures slowed the third group of goblins and prevented the entire party from being cut off from the cave exit.

Surrounded but confident, the adventurers meted out punishing damage to the goblins. The ogre was ineffective as the dwarves ducked and dodged the swings of his huge club. Even the newcomer, Ishkreshalda, managed to brain a goblin to death with his quarterstaff. Eventually, all of the evil humanoids had been slain excepting the ogre who retreated back into the Darkness.

After the adventurers re-grouped, Malakin dismissed the Darkness spell to reveal the guardroom. The PCs had heard a door slam when the Ogre retreated, and so they expected to find a secret door in the guardroom since there were no other doors in sight. Cerrac found the secret door and opened it to reveal a natural cavern. Daylight was pouring around a corner of the cave and sour stench permeated the chamber. Cerrac moved through the first room and found the cornered Ogre in the room beyond. The two dwarves charged in and quickly finished the large humanoid.

Unfortunately, the sounds of battle and the scent of a fresh kill attracted six giant tiger beetles. Not wanting to give up the spoils of victory, the party chose to fight off the beetles rather than retreat. Soon, however, Drogo and Griff had taken some brutal wounds from the bugs’ razor-like mandibles, and the party was having second thoughts about their decision. Osfrid stepped up to help Griff casting Aid to sustain the wounded barbarian. Cerrac and Malakin heaved flasks of flaming oil at the beetles which killed one and scared another away. Inspired while watching one beetle feast on the Ogre’s corpse, Ishkreshalda cast a Prestidigitation to enhance the stench of the Ogre which lured another beetle from battle to feast on the dead flesh. Now that the dwarves were no longer swamped by the ravenous beetles, they made quick work of their opponents, and soon the fight was over leaving a crisply burned beetle in one corner of the cave and several others dead, black ichor pouring from their bodies.

Cerrac rummaged through the Ogre’s belongings and recovered quite a few coins. He also picked a bone scroll case and arrows from a refuse pile. Meanwhile, Griff and Drogo searched the dead goblins and harvested ears for the Paymaster.

The party returned through the secret door and continued exploring the goblin caves, deciding that it was better to keep the pressure on the goblins and to prevent them running off with any treasure. This time, Drogo decided to lead the search and he was quickly surrounded by goblins and a goblin chief who were alerted by the young dwarf’s loud shouts and hasty march in heavy armor. Drogo took some serious damage from the chief and his guards, but soon Griff and the others stepped in, and the third battle of the day was over.

While the dwarves searched the dead, Cerrac and the two spellcasters examined the chief’s quarters. Stuffing an exquisite tapestry into his pack, the elf handed out the rest of the dead goblin chief’s valuables. At this point the party decided that they had exhausted their resources. Indeed, many of the group felt that they had pushed their luck too far and would have trouble returning to Cicero’s cabin safely. This time, however, the Fates smiled on the audacious group, and they returned unmolested to the mysterious ranger’s cabin.

Session #11

For this session the party consisted of

Day 32, 11 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

Last time the adventurers had limped back to Cicero’s after a rough fight with the goblins. The next day the returned to Dwarfport to stock up on equipment, consolidate their loot, and possibly recruit some temporary help for another foray into the Caves of Chaos. Drogo paid Frowler to register as a bounty hunter, and cashed in his goblin ears.

Malakin found Yuri nursing a beer at the Blue Frog Saloon, and managed to assuage his complaints about the decisions the party had made in the past - the group had attacked a lair of kobolds, ignoring Yuri’s objections. In any case, Yuri was back in the adventure.

Drogo then visited the Chapel of Rosmerta, Dwarven Goddess of Wealth, and made a pathetic attempt at recruiting the acolytes to go adventuring with him.

Learning from the dwarf’s failure, Malakin approached the acolytes and fabricated a tale of a long, lost, dwarven artifact of incomprehensible value. The acolytes liked Malakin’s enthusiasm, but they weren’t buying his tale. They thought he was honest, just confused. So they referred him to a jovial priest that was staying in one of the temporary apartments as a possible adventuring companion.

Ishkreshalda went to meet the jovial priest, Lucan. He was greeted by mute acolytes, and treated to fine brandy and snacks. Barely letting Ishkreshalda finish his proposition, Lucan agreed to join the next raid on the Caves. Not expecting to take on a share of the treasure, so eager was Lucan to smite evil. Day 33, 12 Harvestime 4433 BCCC The next day the group went back to the Caves of Chaos. They checked in at Cicero’s on the way, but the mysterious man wasn’t home. Referring to their map from the raid on the goblin lair, the party decided to explore that cave further. Cerrac scouted down the south east passage to find a set of stairs that ended at a closed door. Deciding to leave the door for now, Cerrac backtracked and explored the tunnels beyond the Goblin Chief’s room. It seemed that all of the goblins were either dead or had fled during the last two days.

While Cerrac was searching through a store room, a small group of Hobgoblins, walked in using a secret door that Cerrac was busily trying to open. Elf and Hobgoblin stared at each other for a brief second, and then the thief was retreating back down the hall to warn his comrades.

Once again, the battle was on. Drogo and Yuri charged past Cerrac to stop the Hobgoblin pursuit. The adventurers made quick work of the Hobgoblins, allowing only one to escape back through the secret door. Not waiting for him to alert all of his tribesmen, the party quickly followed. As they pressed into the hobgoblin lair, the party followed sound tactics. Drogo would block the door or the hallway with Yuri close by. The spell casters and thief would attack from the rear.

However, they couldn’t seem to completely overwhelm the hobgoblins. The disciplined goblinoids performed several fighting withdrawals when they were overwhelmed by the adventurers. As the party pursued deeper into the caves, the hobgoblins picked up reinforcements and their numbers grew. Fortunately the adventures were able to attrit their enemies so that they couldn’t rally a counter attack. Unfortunately, the Hobgoblin Chief escaped every engagement.

Out of spells and low on hit points, they discovered that they had battled a circuitous route that lead to an unexplored cave exit. Not wanting to risk an ambush should they try the new exit, they backtracked along the bloody path they’d carved through the goblinoid hordes. One last engagement before they exited, and they managed to return to Dwarfport without losing a man.

Although the chief got away, they didn’t return empty handed. They were able to loot the chief’s quarters finding a magical wand, and Drogo returned with a shoddy set of plate mail he discovered in the armory.

Session #12

For this session the party consisted of

“You are a liar and thief!” shouted Drogo Steelhelm.

He was standing on a table in the Blue Frog Saloon indicating a large handsome knight, Kell Blackthorn. Kell had been busy entertaining the barmaids and regular patrons of the Blue Frog with tales of bravery, tales that described how he and his companions were wiping out the hordes of humanoids from the Caves of Chaos. He had been doing this most every night for about a week, and the locals never seemed to miss a story. Good looks, grand tales, and a generous purse, Kell was well liked.

However, it seemed that Bear Tellanson, one of Kell’s comrades, had caught Drogo’s attention. Bear was wearing a suit of plate mail that Drogo thought he recognized. This was very unusual, because Drogo had never actually seen this suit of plate mail before. His buddy Osfrid, a Crusader of Pelor, had told him that he had lost a suit of plate mail a few days before. Cerrac had stashed it for Osfrid before it was lost and had confirmed to Drogo that, yes, Bear was wearing the same suit of armor. Drogo was outraged, his lawful sensibilities afire with thoughts of meting out righteous justice. When Kell started bragging that he and Bear had wiped out a tribe of kobolds, a tribe of orcs, and a tribe of goblins, Drogo decided that he had to set the record straight. Surely the people of Dwarfport would rather hear the truth from an honest, plain looking, rather loud-mouthed dwarf than to continue to be treated to free drinks and captivating narrative by a handsome knight.

Kell turned to face his accuser. He recognized the dwarf as the one who had beaten Bear arm wrestling the week before. The current incident confirmed his suspicions that the young dwarf was a hot-head with something to prove. Well, Kell would beat that out him.

The two belligerents exchanged the typical insults and challenges; they then repaired to the street for a battle of honor. Ishkreshalda started taking bets on the outcome, while Cerrac cased the onlookers for bountiful purses. Griff, on the other hand, demonstrated some loyalty to Drogo, and acted as his second in the duel.

All but Cerrac were disappointed. It was a good fight, but in the end the knight stood bloodied over an unconscious and beaten Drogo. Ishkreshalda passed counterfeit coins to cover his wagers; Cerrac snuck a peek at a handful of gold coins he’d lifted from the mysterious blue woman; and Griff hoisted Drogo over his shoulder to carry his comrade to the inn to recover.

The crowd seemed pleased. Their champion was vindicated, and what’s more, Bear was buying another round to celebrate Kell’s victory.

Our adventurers decided it was time to start planning their next raid on the Caves of Chaos. Dwarfport suddenly seemed as it would be better from a few miles away for the next day or two.

While Drogo slept, the rest of the party bought up provisions for the next foray to the Caves. Ishkreshalda and Cerrac purchased all of the pearls that the local Jewel merchant had on hand. With these necessary components, Ishkreshalda was able to identify a wand they’d taken from the Hobgoblin’s Chief’s quarters as a Wand of Paralyzation and a bundle of arrows found in the Ogre Cave as +1 Magic Arrows.

Griff returned to the Blue Frog later that evening to see if he could hire some extra muscle. He managed to hire 3 veterans; another mercenary refused to join, hinting that he didn’t trust Lucan, the jovial priest, that had joined the group a few days before. Griff thanked the old soldier for his candor and decided to get some sleep.

Day 35, 14 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

The next day the party set out for the Caves. Griff was drilling his 3 men-at-arms, and Lucan and Yuri had joined the group. This brought their total number up to 9. On the way to the Caves, Cerrac spotted four men standing in the trail facing the marching adventurers. It seemed Kell was not through with Drogo and his companions.

“Halt right there, and come no further,” commanded Ishkreshalda.

Kell, Bear, and their two mercenaries complied, then Kell announced “We were content to share the spoils of the Caves with you, but after that insult yesterday, we’re charging a toll for access to the Caves. We demand 10gp from each of you before we allow you to proceed.”

“The hell with that, prepare to Die!” responded someone from the adventuring party, and the fight was on. Soon Griff and Drogo were engaged in melee with Kell, while Lucan charged Bear. Mercenaries from both sides squared off at one another. Cerrac had spotted an elven archer and the blue sorceress in the wood; he fired on the sorceress but missed while Ishkreshalda hit her with a magic missile. She responded by charming Ishkreshalda. Most attacks from Kell and his cohorts were ineffective.

Next round a charmed Ishkreshalda pinned Cerrac to the ground in order to protect the blue sorceress. Griff landed a mean blow on Kell, and Lucan dropped an enemy mercenary with a Cause Wounds spell. Yuri and one of Griff’s man-at-arms charged into the woods and engaged the enemy Archer and the blue sorceress in melee. Again, Kell’s side made no effective response.

Kell was having a bad day, and it was to be his last. He stepped awkwardly and lost his balance, as soon as this happened, Drogo swung his catching the knight in the side of the head. The axe never stalled as it separated the knight’s cranium from his jaws, spilling brains and blood on the earth. Kell stood with a confused look on his face, staring wide-eyed at Drogo for a few seconds and then crumpled to the ground.

With that mighty blow, the mopping up began. Bear tried to escape, but couldn’t move fast enough to get away, encumbered as he was by his “stolen” plate mail. The Archer and the blue sorceress, however managed to flee the scene with their lives.

While searching the dead, Cerrac noticed that the bodies of the enemy men-at-arms were shriveled and unnaturally aged. When asked about this, Lucan muttered something about how their “souls must pay for their evil deeds” or something and largely ignored the elf’s queries.

Griff and his men stayed behind to guard the loot they’d won, while Yuri tracked the Archer and blue sorceress leading Cerrac, Ishkreshalda, and Drogo in pursuit. The ranger skillfully followed their bloody trail, but he was unable to anticipate the ambush they’d set for their pursuers. Yuri took and arrow in the chest, but soon the rest of the pursuit team had killed the Archer. The blue sorceress surrendered; the party agreed that if she threw down her possessions they’d let her go. She did so, but would not drop the defensive spell she’d cast to save her life. For this, Cerrac and Drogo attacked her as she tried to flee. Yuri refused to track her further, admonishing the party that they’d reneged on the surrender arrangement. Gathering up the Archer and sorceress’s possessions they returned to Griff.

The party then spent the next hour arguing loudly as to what their next move was. The noise and smell of freshly butchered corpses attracted a half-dozen Giant Oil Beetles. Most were immediately drawn to the dead; unfortunately, one beetle mistook Ishkreshalda’ Haggis lunch for a dead body and attacked the wizard. One mighty slice of its mandibles and the magic-user was on the ground bleeding. The rest of the party stopped arguing to administer aid and fight off the monstrous insect. Griff managed to revive Ishkreshalda with a healing potion, and the wizard was ready to continue if a bit shaky.

The party decided to press on for the Caves of Chaos aiming to return to the Hobgoblin lair to haul off the contents of the humanoids’ armory. They returned to the caves and entered the lair from a different direction managing to surprise some hobgoblins. After dealing with the first group of goblinoids, the party pressed on to discover a rooms containing prisoners shackled to the walls. The party charged in, defeated the torturers, and release a few of the prisoners. Their exit was then blocked by a large party of hobgoblins. Fortunately, the narrow corridors worked in the party’s favor and the hobgoblins could not take advantage of their superior numbers.

Having several infirm prisoners under their care the group decided to return to Dwarfport.

Session #13

For this session the party consisted of

Day 34, 15-16 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

The adventurers decided to stay around Dwarfport for the next two days healing their wounds and refitting their gear. Drogo had Kell’s suit of Field Plate resized and repaired. He also purchased equipment for Hogni and Samson, the two men-at-arms they had rescued the day before. Griff outfitted his hirelings and rebalanced his equipment deciding to get Spike (his mule) from the stables and working for him again. Ishkreshalda and Malakin poured over Asteri’s spell book; Ishkreshalda managed to transcribe Shocking Grasp to his own spell book. Osfrid sent a letter to Br. Kaak updating him on his recent activities. When he interviewed Lucan, Osfrid discovered that jovial priest was a charlatan and no servant of Mitra; he told Lucan that the party would no longer need his services while adventuring. Lucan graciously accepted Osfrid’s declaration, and hinted that maybe the junior cleric did not understand the full mysteries of Mitra.

Yuri left town for parts unknown. Although grateful to have a full coin purse, the ranger had had enough of the wild adventurers. Attacking kobolds in their lair, attempting to murder an opponent who had parleyed a cease-fire, the list of misconduct went on and on. It was time to leave before the gods decided to correct those fellows.

Bjorn arrived in Dwarfport eager to seek battle and glory for his goddess, Athena. The young acolyte purchased armor and spear for his first assault on the Caves of Chaos.

Day 34, 17 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

The adventurers left the next morning for the Caves. They stopped by Cicero’s cabin on the way, and, as always, the old man snuck up behind them. He seemed sort of pleased to see them, as if he actually missed them eating his food and sleeping on his porch. He had finished tailoring Drogo’s wolf-pelt into a fierce looking cloak which he presented to the Dwarf. He was also able to corroborate the rumor that a Troll was prowling the area.

The group continued to the Cave. They left two men-at-arms hidden in the brush outside the cave entrance to guard Spike, Griff’s mule. Resolved to solve the mystery of the cave entrance with the welcome sign, Griff and Drogo marched into the Bugbear’s cave, and reported to the first room on the left for their “free hot meal”. They were offered roasted meat by the three bugbears in the room; unfortunately, it was a combo-meal that included razor sharp skewers. The two dwarves quickly defeated the bugbears as the rest of the party moved into the cave to reinforce them. One of the three bugbears fled. The party pursued, and Cerrac finished him with an arrow in the back.

Cerrac inspected two doors they found in the hallway, and Drogo kicked in the door of one. He was greeted by a flying axe and spear. Behind these stood two large bugbears, the chief and his consort. Drogo, Griff and Bjorn were through the doorway hacking and stabbing at the two bugbears. The leader blew a horn to alert the rest of the tribe. The bugbear leaders were soon beaten, but before this happened more humanoids rushed to attack the party from an unexplored passage. The group was ready for this: the men-at-arms held back the onslaught and Malakin blinded several with a Color Spray. When the battle was over, the passage was littered with dead bugbears, and a fallen man-at-arms [edit: what was his name?? redshirt?].

Searching the leader’s chambers while the two dwarves removed the ears from the dead bugbears, Cerrac spotted a large chest high on a ledge. With the help of several other party members, the elf managed to get the chest to the floor. Inside they found a pile of silver coins, two healing potions, and a large black statue.

Meanwhile, Malakin found a secret door, the second exit from the leader’s chambers. The party closed and secured the door they had come through, and explored the passage beyond the secret door. Cerrac scouted ahead into a natural cavern containing several Fire Beetles. After he reported back to the group, the party decided to leave the beetles, and continue their assault on the bugbears.

Drogo moved out front again, clanging and clinking in his plate mail. Rounding a corner at a T-intersection, he caught 2 arrows in his chest. Four bugbears were using a corner down the passage as cover to snipe at the dwarf. Drogo charged into the bugbears revealing a total of 7 bugbears waiting to attack. Osfrid cast Aid on Griff, boosting his effectiveness and hit points. After this, Griff went berserk and charged into the fray. Bjorn moved up behind the two battling dwarves to cast Shield of Faith on the berserk barbarian before attacking the bugbears.

At this point, a group of bugbears charged from the other direction of the tee. The spell casters were alert and ready. Ishreshalda paralyzed two of the humanoids with his wand. Malakin and Cerrac held most of the humanoids back with a combination of an illusory bonfire and a flaming oil grenade. Osfrid and Drogo (who had countermarched to assist against this attack) blocked the passage. The spells and oil grenades were punishing, and the surviving bugbears fled. Meanwhile Griff had cleaved his way through the bugbears; now exhaustion had overtaken him, and the bloodied barbarian slumped to a knee to catch his breath.

Everyone had pretty much spent all of their resources fighting off the bugbear attack. So the party quickly gathered up the ears of the dead humanoids, and packed up to return to Dwarfport. When the group returned to their cache, they found blood and gore splattered across the brush. Spike had been partially eaten and the only sign of either hireling was a single severed arm. It’s bone had been snapped like a matchstick. Oddly, all of the gear that Spike had carried was still lashed to the poor mule. Whatever it was that had slaughtered the hirelings seemed to be hungry…or maybe just evil…

Session #14

For this session the party consisted of

18-19 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

Following the assault on the Bugbear lair, the adventurers spent the next 2 days re-equipping and healing. Osfrid and Bjorn cured Griff and Drogo of the many cuts and broken bones they’d sustained battling the bugbears. Ishkreshalda spent much of their time continuing to unravel the secrets of the captured spell book; both arcanists learned new spells from their efforts.

Malakin spent the remainder of his time talking to the locals trying to find any clues about the mysterious cave at the head of the ravine or about Lucan the jovial priest. He visited the Chapel to Rosmerta seeking audience with the Curate, but was unable to convince the acolytes to disturb their master.

20 Harvestime 4433 BCCC

The party set out for the Caves once again; this time they decided to investigate the “cave of evil” at the head of the ravine. They had been avoiding such a venture after Osfrid detected a great evil emanating from that location. However, after exploring many of the other dungeons in the ravine, the party reasoned that this last location was somehow the key to the whole Caves of Chaos. Perhaps defeating what lay there would defeat the whole, “Kill the head, and the body dies,” stated Griff.

On the way, Drogo insisted that the party stop in to see Cicero. The dwarf wanted to know what magical qualities were bestowed upon the cloak that he had been given. There was no sign of the mysterious old man; indeed the unnaturally huge bear that slept on the cabin’s porch was gone. The rest of the party decided that it was time to stop procrastinating and urged Drogo on to the Caves.

The group halted in a stand of short thick trees about two hundred feet from the cave. Cerrac, moving as silently as he could, advanced along a “worn path through the copse of obscenely twisted and oddly bloated trees” to the wide cave entrance. Peering in, the elf could see a 20-foot wide passage that ended in a T-Intersection. The crossed passage was also 20-feet wide. The party’s favorite tactic of blocking up corridors with the heavily armored fighters wouldn’t work in such wide halls. In addition to creating tactical problems, the place was creepy…”red strata intertwined with bulging black veins [ran] through the hewn rock walls beyond the entrance. The wide corridors and chambers were deathly still [except for] a faint groaning sound and a shrill piping [that was] barely perceptible.”

Cerrac returned to the party and spliced spools of twine. He returned to scout the evil cave alone, but played out the twine behind him. Tugs on the line would be his signal to the party that he needed help. He spent the next 30 minutes combing through the halls alone. He found a room with a profane tapestry and altar that looked as if human sacrifices were performed regularly there. Down another corridor he observed a gem encrusted throne placed on top of a dais. Skeletons wielding scimitars stood inert along each wall of the chamber. In another passage he saw the party’s old hireling, Byrtwold who stood with a blank, lifeless stare, a rotting corpse lined up with other undead waiting for who knows what errand.

Once more Cerrac returned to the group with a report. Ishkreshalda drafted an amazingly accurate map based on the elf’s expert and precise descriptions. From this the group formed a plan. Cerrac returned to the room of zombies and fired an arrow at Byrtwold. Stirred from their stupor, the zombies pursued the elf as he retreated back to his companions. There followed a battle in which several zombies were turned away by Osfrid, some were chopped up by Drogo and Griff, and others were burned to ashes by flaming oil grenades thrown by Cerrac and Malakin. Ishkreshalda cast sleep on 4 evil priests knocking them out of action. Searching their bodies Osfrid recognized the seal on the amulets that the priests wore. They were priests of Orcus, the Demon Prince. Unable to learn anything more from the captured priests, the group pressed on sure that their presence was known by the caves inhabitants.

While scouting ahead, Cerrac was surprised by another group of zombies under the control of more evil priests. One of the priests cast a Fear spell on the elf, who fled at top speed from the caves. The rest of the group stepped up to battle. One more sleep spell from Ishkreshalda’s wand and a successful turning by Osfrid left only a single priest and zombie in the ambushing force. They too were quickly defeated. Cerrac returned to the assembly, and the party moved on.

The clerics entered the chapel containing the bloody altar. A Detect Magic spell confirmed the group’s suspicions that the sacrificial implements were inured with magic. Elias and Cerrac took them in order to see them handed to a safer custodian. Once he had the goblets and pitcher in his pack, Cerrac felt a hot oppressive pressure come over him, and his mind and will seemed to be slipping from his control. He quickly dropped the evil things. Oddly, Elias seemed content to keep the bowl he had gathered. While discussing what to do, a large group of zombies started approaching down the long corridor towards the fighters who were guarding the groups exit path. Acting quickly, Osfrid cast a Bless spell on the items as Cerrac smashed them with Osfrid’s mace. The three containers flashed a bright, bloody light and seemed to boil away leaving no trace other than few wisps of dark smoke. As this was done, a deep, tolling of a large bell sounded from the north end of the great hall. It seemed that they had triggered some kind of magical alarm by destroying the evil, magical items.

Meanwhile, Drogo, Ishkreshalda, and the hirelings were pressed back to the Chapel’s entrance. The clerics and the rest reinforced the fighters and the group fought their way back to the intersection leading to the way out. The clerics were unable to turn back the zombies, and although some undead fell to their blows, the party realized they would soon be overcome.

At this point the group’s cohesion broke down. The group attempted to fall back towards the exit while fighting the zombies; however, they were unable to cope with the wide corridors in the face of superior numbers, and Elias fell to the zombies. Two of the walking corpses had overcome the young priest of Odin. With no choice but to leave their fallen companion the group continued the retreat. At the entrance they were faced with three more zombies approaching from the south, also the group of undead in pursuit had just been bolstered by the arrival of countless skeletons. Some of the adventurers had achieved the exit, but Bjorn was caught between two zombies. He attempted to flee and was cut down. Osfrid attempted to save the young priest, but realized that he would be surrounded, cut off and overcome by the hordes of undead. Sadly, he left Bjorn to his fate and fled with the rest of the group.

The party returned to Dwarfport. Faces grim at the loss of their companions, but their jaws were set. Although they had taken no profit in this last assault on the Caves, surely they had struck a mean blow at the forces of Chaos.