Sunday, 12 November 2017

Unlikely Allies

July 19, 3430, Age of Kings

DM's Note: Due to life being busy it's been nearly a year since we've played, but I'm hoping to get back at it soon. There's one more update that I neglected to post, so I'm going from an almost year old memory on this one!  

As the battle continued in the bottleneck, the guards eventually began to see things weren't going their way, so the wounded captain yelled out to fall back. As the remaining guards ran from the party, Ander managed to fell a few more with well placed arrows, only to see them turn around a corner and out of sight, but the party gave chase fearing they'd come back with a larger force.

Audrey led the charge after the guards, but as she turned the corner she was met with the blade of a guard's sword (a critical hit, if I recall) that dropped her to the floor, bleeding out on the flagstones. As the rest of the party caught up they were greeted by the last of the guards with captain unlocking a set of doors. By the time they party had cut down the rest of the guards—and Broak had heroically dodged passed swinging swords to stabilize the gravely wounded Audrey—the captain had snuck away and locked the doors behind him. Grabby immediately set to trying to pick the lock but was unsuccessful.

Knowing they couldn't catch up to the captain any time soon, they turned their attention to strange sounds they heard coming from beyond a set of double doors where they had just battled the guards. They went through the doors and came to a hall lined with cell doors, four on each side of the hall, and ending in a set of double doors marked with black gunk on the floor around it.

The first door they inspected had a ravenous ghoul swiping his clawed arm at the party through the small barred window in door. The next had a man rocking back and forth babbling—he had clearly lost his mind. They came to an imprisoned bugbear who engaged them, introducing himself as Grakk (a name they heard two other bugbears mention outside on their way to the keep) and telling them how he was imprisoned for murdering two guards, but if they were willing to release him, he'd lead them to a hidden treasure beneath the keep, and he'd take his band of bugbears far away from the keep—he doesn't like working for the "pale skins, doing their dirty work."

This conversation got the attention of another prisoner, a mongrel man—with the head of a bugbear, one leg like that of a giant bird, and a tentacle for an arm—named Ora-Tok (goblin for "bad smell"), he warned the party not to trust the murderous bugbear, and how the bugbears slaughtered his people deep in the caverns beneath the keep, all the while Grakk warned them not to trust Ora-Tok as well. Not totally trusting either one, the party was willing to release both prisoners to help them find their way beneath the keep, but keeping their eyes on both of them for any treachery...

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Into the Depths of Cauldron Keep

July 18 to July 19, 3430, Age of Kings

(DM's note: quite some time has past since we played these games, and this is two sessions combined, so I'll be keeping it short)

 Once everyone manage to get inside the sentry tower, they found a lone guard eating a bowl of pottage down below, unaware of the party. The group was also aware of a guard patrolling the top of the tower, as well as at least two more walking the walls.

Quietly descending the stairs, Grabby unsheathed his sword and Mr. Shiney, once he was half way down the stairs, he quietly mounted the banister and leapt off, landing on the guard below—sword first, killing him instantly. The rest of the group move down to meet him and found a single way out: a locked door. After several attempts to pick the lock, Grabby abandoned the task as they thought of another way to move around the keep unnoticed.

A guard entered above from the wall, calling out to the now dead guard, to tell him his shift was to begin (it had just turned midnight). As the guard came down to see why his ally wasn't responding he was quickly dispatched by arrows and bolts.

The party decided to have an illusion created to fool the guard on the roof of the tower, but as Grabby's spell was quite limited, and he had no line of sight to where the guard was (and Boots tried to mimic the guard's voice) things didn't go as well as planned as the guard called out for another guard to enter the tower.

Eventually two more guards entered the tower and the party attacked them from the floor level, but unable to kill them, the guards fled and raised an alarm.

Now that the keep was alerted to their presence stealth wasn't much of a concern, so Audrey picked the lock on the door with a sledge hammer.

The group ran down a dark staircase to first level below the keep. They entered a well stocked kitchen and servery and tried to barricade the door behind them.

Quickly moving into a hallway they came across three closed doors, the sounds of sleeping men could be heard on the other side of each. Accidentally waking the guards by opening a squeaky door, the party engaged the drowsy, and ill-equipped guards, killing them with little difficulty.

 (DM's note: the following is from the next week, when Boots' player wasn't available)

Moving down another hall they came to a room that was a dead end and housed some tables, chairs and decks of cards—sort of a gambling den for the guards.

Before the could backtrack, the sound of several footsteps were heard coming their way. Quickly peeking around the corner, a large group of guards was coming towards them. When the guards realized where the party was, they called out to them to surrender, informing them they were greatly outnumbered.

Naturally, a battle ensued, with the party hanging back in hopes of bottle-necking the guards, with Grabby and Ander hanging back to provide covering fire, while Audrey, Broak and Lorentz engaged them hand-to-hand, and Brother Shamus healed the wounded. (At one point Ander accidentally shot Broak with an arrow, and Grabby tried to duck and weave between Lorentz's legs, only to trip him up).