RNC’s Campaign – Keep on the Borderlands
Report contributed by AKW
January 22, 2011 5:15pm – 8:45pm
RNC / DM
AKW / Narundis / Half-elf / Clr3
CMS / Hanja / Human / Ftr3
JFV / Arrinnor / Elf / Ftr2
ZK / Maglor / Elf / Rng2
NPC1 / Larry / Human / Ftr1 / Controlled by ZK
NPC2 / Darryl / Human / Ftr1 / Controlled by JFV
NPC3 / Harold / Human / Ftr1 / Controlled by CMS
NPC4 / Curdgeon / Dwarf / Thf2 / Controlled by AKW
The tired band of adventurers returns to The Green Dragon Inn at Garmel’s Keep after a long, ugly, bloody, fiery massacre at the Caves of Chaos during which they lost a valued party member in Dirk the elven thief. Rest comes first on the menu, followed by the parceling of the plunder. The party must then face the fact that a thief is essential to an adventuring party and a new one must be recruited. A dwarven thief calling himself Curdgeon fits the bill, and he will join the party in exchange for an equal share of the spoils. The core party members agree to his terms and he joins the team.
As the companions settle in for some ale and a hearty meal, a tall elf with a two-handed sword strapped to his back enters the tavern. He strides up to the bar and delivers a stern message to Lon, the barkeep, concerning Lon’s unpaid debts to a “certain someone”. Lon appears to not know what he is talking about, and the elf stalks away. Hanja, in good spirits, orders another ale and has one sent to the surly elf as well. He rudely throws it back in Sandy’s face when she serves it to him. Maglor tries to pull the fellow elf over to their table in order to figure out what the problem is, but is met with resistance and a brief scuffle ensues. Maglor breaks off, mutters that the burly elf has “bad breeding” and sits back down at the group’s table. Incensed at the remark, the elf begins to pick up a chair. Seeing this, Narundis quickly casts a spell on him – Hold Person. He shushes his riled companions and proceeds to talk some sense into the immobilized troublemaker. Narun attempts to calm him and extends an invitation to sit down for food, drink and conversation. Officer Duncan and a couple guardsmen have arrived by this point, but Narun lets them know that all is well in hand. The holding spell wears off and the now composed elf introduces himself as a thug for hire named Arrinnor. With a promise of a fair share of the spoils, Arrinnor joins the party’s ranks.
Narun makes a quick trip to Mallory’s jewelry shop that afternoon, looking to sell the great golden chain with large diamond which was found in the boss kobold’s stash. Mr. Mallory’s wife, Chessa, answers the door in a slinky gown and escorts Narun to Mallory’s lounge. After some bartering back and forth, the price is set at 950 gp, which a giggling Chessa brings forth from the coffers. Narun gives his thanks and exits.
Maglor spends some time communing with the animals immediately outside the keep and then heads back to The Green Dragon Inn. There, he meets up with the rest of the party and asks Lon for any news or advice on the Caves of Chaos. Lon relates how his grandfather used to say lost persons in the Caves should “beware the eater of men”. Old Wally imparts another useful tidbit, via his pappy, who would say that “breee-ark” means “we surrender” in goblin.
A couple group members make some quick purchases around town (Narun – 3 Cure Light Wounds potions; Maglor – 2 Bless potions, 2 Cure Light Wounds potions and an expensive earring). The group makes plans to leave in the morning.
The Caves of Chaos:
The company sets out the next day and has an uneventful hike, up until the ravine is in sight. Five orcs appear out of the trees and strike aggressive stances. Hanja tells them to surrender or die… they choose the latter. The orcs are quickly dispatched and looted, with only minor injuries to the party members. After they hide the bodies in the underbrush, the party doubles back along the outside rim of the ravine, hoping to stealthily enter one of the upper caves from above.
Maglor and Curdgeon scout ahead along the upper rim and peer into one of the caves. They don’t see anything and signal to the rest of the group to come ahead. A marching order is set, the adventurers enter the cave mouth and creep down the first tunnel. The tunnel opens up into a larger room and four large, dog-faced creatures are seen at a table, playing cards. The knolls spot the party and jump up, snarling and ready to fight. Arrinnor cuts down the first knoll in a single blow and Hanja takes down the second in like fashion. One of the final two knolls stands and fires his longbow as the other runs further down the tunnel. Arrinnor cuts down the third as the last one escapes around a bend. As Narundis, Curdgeon, Arrinnor and Hanja run forward to get a glimpse of the fleeing knoll, Maglor and the henchmen loot the bodies and keep watch on the cave entrance. The knoll isn’t in sight down the next length of tunnel, but the floor appears to curve downwards before heading off to the left. The group advances along the sloping passage, Curdgeon leading the way, and discover that a side tunnel juts out to the right about halfway down. A door in this tunnel swings open to reveal the knoll clan’s common room. Six male knolls with ranseurs and broad swords and eleven female knolls with fauchard-forks and long swords fill the space to capacity. The knolls are ready and quickly swarm Hanja, scoring a hit with a ranseur. The party decides to take advantage of the narrow passageway, consolidating, and thus allowing only a small number of knolls to attack the two party members at the forefront. The strategy would work, if no more knolls were to show up on the opposite side. Unfortunately, this is what happens, and the group is flanked by fresh reinforcements. The companions take many hits during the next few minutes and Narundis is quite busy healing the resulting wounds. Narundis also takes the opportunity to cast hold person on a pair of polearm-wielding enemies, blocking the door to the common room. Larry is knocked out cold, but the party brawls on. A door creaks open from further down the side tunnel, and it is only a matter of seconds before even more knolls filter in. The party is no longer able to hold their position, defending in three directions, and Narundis calls for a fighting retreat up the main tunnel. The death knell to the raid is sounded as a large knoll in full plate mail appears down the side tunnel. Narundis quickly casts Charm Person on the boss and he falls deeply under the spell. Although no one speaks knoll, Narundis is able to communicate his desire to leave the cave to his new “friend”. The party retreats out of the tunnel and begins the trek back to Garmel’s Keep, just happy to be alive.
On the way back, Harold suddenly blurts out his displeasure with the party and the tactics it employs. Hot-headed Arrinnor takes offense and threatens to lay him low. Swords are drawn and Arrinnor takes the first swing, pummeling Harold into unconsciousness. Darryl rages at what the fighter has done to his brother and attacks, scoring a minor hit. Narundis attempts to cast Hold Person on the crazed elf, but he shakes it off. Cooler heads eventually prevail, and the two comatose brothers are hauled up the trail to the Keep. It’s an ignominious end to an ignominious adventure, but at least all party members survived.