Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Expedition to the Keep on the Borderlands session 2

This session was played on June 28, 2014 at Titan Games. Session 1 can be found here. Unlike that first report, this one was written by Peter Fröhlich, the DM!

The party (initially) consists of Melvin the Magnificient (male wizard), Wandra (female fighter, Melvin's bodyguard), Nayla (female fighter), and Alsador (male cleric of Tyr); Jax and Gorinka said they need to rest their weary bones.

Chronic financial difficulties make Melvin spend his last few gold pieces on 12 flasks of oil to smoke out the bugbears. The party returns to the bugbear lair and mounts their fiery assault. Sadly the bugbears don't seem to take the bait but ring a gong to alert the entire tribe.

After a few minutes the party decides to enter the dungeon ready to spill blood and more flaming oil. However, they eventually end up caught between two bugbear forces and they also set themselves on fire twice by accident. Wandra is killed by one of the huge Bugbear flails.

The bugbear chieftain offers the party their lives as captured slaves, but Melvin won't have it. In a last desperate attempt to win the battle he throws his entire sack of oil flasks at a fire close to the chieftain. Sadly nothing happens and the party is taken prisoners.

Cut to the road south of the monastery of Oghma. The (second) party consists of Burl (male halfling), Roos (male cleric of St. Cuthbert), Aera (female fighter), and Raph (male fighter).

These four had been sent south to contact baron Akar about a week ago. When they finally had a meeting with Akar's advisor they were told that the party of Melvin the Magnificent had been dispatched north to take care of all these troubles and that everything was being handled. They proceed to the keep and have a meeting with Gilda who cannot seem to remember anything about a Melvin and his party.


However, they find out from Marut the stableboy that he had led the other party to the bugbears two days ago and that four of them had set out this morning to attack that lair. Marut agrees to show them where the cave is, and so the party sets out to investigate the fate of Melvin and his companions.

Although they take a much more stealthy approach with Burl scouting ahead carefully, they are ambushed by three bugbears at the entrance to the lair. Luckily their brief melee doesn't seem to attract more attention, so they continue to sneak into the darkness.

After lots of careful scouting they decide to launch a surprise attack at a room where Burl heard monsterous giggling. They stumble right into the love nest of the bugbear chieftain and his mate and a chaotic melee ensues. Luckily they are able to overcome the giant monster fairly quickly. Searching the room reveals some treasure as well as a key to a store room across the way where they end up finding a magic shield covered in catnip and other goodies.

Encouraged by their exploits the party ventures down a steep flight of stairs only to get ambushed by two bugbear guards throwing spears. However, as luck would have it, they once again succeed in overcoming these two guards fairly quickly.

As they investigate the lower section of the dungeon they realize that they have stumbled into the bugbear's prison. They find prisoners of all kinds of races, kobolds, orcs, even a bugbear! But more importantly, they recruit the help of two human guards from Kendall Keep who were captured on patrol as well as a dwarf and an elf. And of course they find Melvin, Alsador, and Nayla! Crates are popped open and sacks ripped apart, revealing most of the equipment that was taken from the prisoners (minus all the valuables they were carrying however).

Thus bolstered to an "army" of eleven (!) they decide to attack the final bugbear stronghold, a big community room on the upper level of the dungeon. A keg of lamp oil is taken from the store room they found earlier, and they decide to surprise the remaining bugbears by rolling this giant "Molotov Cocktail" into the big room.

Over the elf's objections most of the party also decide to rush into the room when the keg fails to explode but keeps rolling toward a huge fireplace at the end of the room. Melee is joined, bugbear heads are cracked, and everything seems to be going well until the keg of oil finally decides to blow. All the remaining bugbears are taken out, however the flames also engulf Burl and Aera who end up being burned to a crisp.

The remaining nine decide that taking down one monster lair is enough for a day's work and head back to the keep. With a very excited stable boy I might add: He was promised a platinum piece and he did get it. :-)

At the keep the captain of the guard is very appreciative that the party rescued two of his men. However he doesn't have any way to formally reward them without Gilda opening the keep's coffers. So everybody retreats to the tavern for some well-deserved rest.

However, there they once again encounter the priest of Vana, and this time he's talking with a somewhat dubious character who shares new information about the lairs of the gnolls and kobolds that he and his "merry men" supposedly uncovered in the woods to the south and west...

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