the Goblin King and the Lord of Werewolves have renewed their ancient alliance beneath the Howling Tower;
and the secret treasury of the ancient Bronding Kings is said to lie somewhere behind the Brokenbrand Falls, haunted by enchanting naiads ...
Baby Face (thief 2) with dogs and hireling:
Jimmy the Snitch (NPC lion dog)
Thin-Faced Tim (NPC armored mastiff)
and Barth (NPC normal man, plate armored, everyone kept calling him "Barf")
Harambe (man-ape 1)
Unga Dunga (halfling 1) with the other war dogs and hireling:
Marmaduke (NPC lion dog)
Cletus the Brutalizer (NPC armored mastiff, 2 hp--clearly the runt of the litter, sold unfairly as a war dog)
and Valana (NPC normal woman, mail armor, hp 1)
Lead (cleric 2)
Aria (elf 1)
Blackleaf (elf 1, a reference to Jack Chick's wonderful/awful tracts--I mean, they're awful, but in a funny way)
and Rendorsheeg (elf 1, I'm sure I spelled the Russian name wrong, showed up at the last minute)
plus the pack animals Sparkly (Lead's mule, a sparkly d12) and Ramses the Great (Unga Dunga's camel)
All the elves happen to have 1 hp, which amuses me beyond reason.
The player of Baby Face the thief showed up before everyone else, and he bought the dragon tooth that was available in town, spending 200 gp bartering for it.
Then everyone filtered in over the course of an hour or so. A couple characters were rolled (Harambe and Aria), and dogs were bought (by Unga Dunga and Baby Face--they also hired the two hirelings).
Before heading out to the dungeon, Baby Face planted his new dragon tooth on a hill near town, hoping for a new follower; alas, when the earth-born warrior sprang out of the earth, fully armed in plate armor and with a spear, he reacted violently (with a "2" reactions roll) and attacked Baby Face immediately. The party spent two rounds attacking together before they could kill him, and when all was over, his plate armor was too badly mangled by a war dog to be salvaged--but he had a shield and a spear to be looted.
Disappointed by 200 gp spent on a berserk earthborn warrior, the party considered which dungeon entrance to approach and decided on the Glimmervaults (like the last party). Nothing molested them over 3 days in the wilderness, and they arrived to the same two entrances, one to the east set with heads on pikes outside, the other, 200 feet to the west, entering a stone grotto to a cool cavern.
This party elected the eastern entrance, reasoning that orcs were sissies who were trying to scare people off with a scary display. The entrance led south into the hillside about thirty feet and opened west, southwest, and southeast into different corridors/chambers. Orcish muttering was heard to the west and southeast, so the party headed southwest.
They found a door that also had orcish muttering behind it; opening it, they found an orcish guard post with 6 orc guards. Rendorsheeg cast ventriloquism on an orc head taken from the entrance and commanded the orcs within to surrender, which they did summarily. Baby Face wanted to slit all their throats, but was admonished by the party to slit one throat to encourage "talking". He did so, and the orcs pointed to a southwestern door as the direction to their chief and his treasure.
Information well in hand, the party foolhardily decided to kill all their prisoners before taking any precautions to tie them up, and created a small scale riot after killing a second prisoner, as the last four living orcs fought against their imminent doom. They were ultimately subdued (slain), but not before drubbing Baby Face some for his murderous proclivities.
Heading through the southwest door, the party found a corridor to the north and a door to the south. Through the southern door they entered a kind of audience chamber with a great dais and a stone throne, with a shaft in the ceiling that let some light in from above and two more doors, one on the north wall, one on the south. Inspection revealed nothing more than the orcish decorations already present (more heads on spikes, etc.), but listening to the northern door resulted in the hearing of orcish voices taunting something that sounded like a bird.
The party burst into the room and found the orc chief and his bodyguards tormenting a disheveled eagle shackled to a poorly made post. A melee ensued, rather quickly resolved when Blackleaf slept five of the six orc bodyguards, while the last bodyguard and the chief were quickly slain. The chief orc was wearing a helm winged with hawk's wings and carried 6 low value gems; the 6 bodyguards each carried a wineskin of good wine (25 gp each!).
Each of the Elfin party members approached the eagle, talking to it in Elvish, giving it rations, promising it aid; through Rendorsheeg's attempt at conversation in Elvish (the eagle's answers badly accented through its beak) they learned that his name is Kaaraak, and that he serves Jaer the Windlord on the mountain above, and that Kaaraak was captured by the orcs and thence tormented due to an ancient feud between orcs and eagles. Aria the Elf promised to nurse Kaaraak back to health, and thereby gained his friendship (as he stepped onto her shoulder).
|Kaaraak responded to Elvish, ignored Common and Ape, and snapped|
at Orcish and Goblin; Aria the Elf eventually won him over
There was nothing else of interest in the room, other than a ring of three keys on the orc chief's belt. The first of these was used when the southern door in the throne room proved locked, and it opened onto a treasury full of silver, a scroll, a potion (which when sipped seemed to be a potion of ESP), and four more barrels of wine. The wine was strapped to the pack animals, two barrels per mule/camel.
Next, the party explored the nearest north-leading corridor and found another locked door; this opened with another key onto a room full of shackled prisoners looked after by a single orc guard. The orc immediately surrendered; but when Aria asked the eagle if the orc was familiar, and Kaaraak replied yes, he was part of the hunting party, she began to torture him. Well, he didn't appreciate that, and initiative was rolled. Combat ensued; the worst of it was merely that Aria broke her shield rather than taking a hit from the orc's fist, and then he was slain.
As to the prisoners, they included 11 humans and 9 orcs; the humans included merchants Anath and his wife Ilera; Eric and two other mercenaries under his leadership; Johann, Amish-bearded leader of 4 other farmers; and Torin, a squire who was more concerned with returning to the naiads of the Brokenbrand Falls than returning to town. The party equipped the mercenaries with looted equipment and gave the safety of the other prisoners over into their hands (and they all returned to town safely ...).
As for the 9 orcs, they were all either from a rival orc tribe (the Yellow Hands, as opposed to the Black Tooths), or seen as "traitors" who had backed another would-be chief who had been defeated. The Chaotic part of the party convinced Lead (who is Chaotic Good, and so opposed to slavery) that they would take the orcs back to town to take part in a halfway house work program, but actually just meant to sell them into slavery.
It was getting late (for the players, not the characters), so we decided to end the session, and the characters made their way back to town without being molested (my wandering monster rolls cooperated not). Unga Dunga distracted Lead with drink while the orc prisoners were sold as slaves (orcs make poor slaves, but they still made 5 gp per orc, i.e. 45 gp). All the wine and other loot was sold. Some carousing followed, but the only "mishap" was that Baby Face the thief had a religious experience and now professes himself as Evil as well as Chaotic (altogether not unsurprising given his earlier actions, and yet honestly rolled).
We shall see what the addition of Evil brings to this campaign.
On a note of local color, a new inn is under construction in the local town (Brakeridge is the town). It's base drinking room will be ready by the next session (whenever I manage to get that organized), and then drink will readily flow thereafter, I should hope. Until then ...