Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete
Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God & Necromancer Games
Hoder | Ogre Fighter 1 [Brute variant] | Flan
Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 1 [Death domain] | Berndt
Gunwald | Mountain Dwarf Ranger 1 [Explorer variant] | Djuro
Corian | Human Wizard 1 | NPC
Galdar | Human Cleric of Thyr 1 | NPC
Extras in the Crucible:
Lauriel | Human Fighter 2 | NPC
Jerinor | Human Fighter 1 | NPC
Hathol | Human Fighter 1 | NPC
Absent this session
The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 1 | Martin
Session Two – Smells like chicken, tastes like napalm
This session saw the première of a new character: Gunwald – the dwarf ranger (explorer variant). A well-traveled dwarf with much knowledge of both wilderness and cities (dragoman background).
Travel day 12
On the morning after the meeting with the familiar, an unknown dwarf tramples into your camp. It is Gunwald, a ranger Corian also hired for the journey. Since he was on another mission, they had arranged for him to join you on the way. Two days of travel pass. You are on a constant alert, but see no enemy activity whatsoever and the feeling of being hunted gradually fade away. The landscape around you steadily gets rockier and the steady drizzle of rain also get less frequent and everyone’s spirits improve.
In the afternoon, Gunwald spots a pillar of smoke coming from somewhere north of the road. You decide to make a detour to investigate and find a pillaged farm. The farmer lies on the yard, arm missing and some pigs are fighting over something in the corral. After searching the area you count five dead – the farmer, his wife and their three children. All butchered in an enthusiastic manner. You can’t find any clues as to who did it or from where they came, but manage to secure a big footprint from a iron-shod boot in the mud. The smoke came from the still smoldering. Nothing seems to have been stolen in the house, where you find the farmer’s meagre coins and an old military issue short sword hanging over the mantelpiece (turns out to be a magic sword +1). The smoke came from the outhouse, now reduced to a blackened pile of debris. As sundown is approaching you stand in front of the house, discussing what to do and if you maybe should make camp here. Hoder argues that they should roast a pig. Finally, they decide to make a famous dwarven dish: A cow, stuffed with a pig, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with an egg. The discussion is interrupted by a soft voice coming from the nearby treeline. Turning around you see a slim black clad man reading from a scroll in an arcane speech, a large red eyed raven perched on his shoulder. Beside him, two brutish half orc thugs have taken up position with bows, arrows nocked. As he speaks the final words of the spell, the raven lifts and while in flight it transforms into a demonic bat-winged shape with a long barbed tail. Shocked, you reach for your weapons, but the ground below you suddenly
erupt as the dead claw their way to the ground to serve their new master. The bodies of the farm family also rise and begin to shuffle towards you. Blitz, away in the barn, hears the commotion and devise a most cunning plan – to charge into battle on the draft horse in the barn.
A frantic battle ensue. The wizard stays at the fringe of the trees with his thugs. The thugs shoot arrows at anyone in range and the undead try to surround the PCs to move in for the kill. Hoder makes a circling maneuver by running around the house in full speed to get at the half-orc thugs from the side, and is followed by Gunwald (not as fast). The rest of the PCs fight the skeletons and zombies where they stand. Meanwhile, in the barn Blitz tries to climb the horse, but to no avail.
Hoder reaches the half-orcs, and in rage chops them down with some mighty cuts. The wizard, looking startled throws something in the air and vanishes without a trail. In front of the house, the demon-familiar manages to get hold of Corian’s amulet, while a skeleton wounds him badly. Galdar manage to chase the zombies away with his holy symbol, but the skeletons keep coming and stabs Corian through the chest, felling him to the ground while the familiar flies off with the amulet, towards the trees. The ogre, Gunwald and the now mounted Blitz joins the fight. One skeleton manages to smash its own head with a sword and Blitz falls off the horse trying to make a mounted attack. After some more fighting our heroes prevail. Luckily, Corian isn’t dead, but hurt very bad and unconscious. A search of the trees is done, but in the dark no tracks after the wizard can be found.
The group decide to make camp here and spend an uneventful, if nervous night in the simple farmhouse. The next morning they make a simple stretcher for Corian and round up all animals to bring with them.
Travel day 14
The fellowship travel for two more days, leaving the Tradeway for a smaller road going north, higher into the foothills of the Stoneheart Mountains. Corian has regained consciousness, but is still too weak to move.
About two hours before arrival, the PCs spot the silhouettes of three humanoid behind a hilly ridge beside the road. They hardly have the time to take cover before a volley of black arrows cut into the soil beside them. The main group of PCs take cover and shoot arrows back, but Hoder and Blitz (on the horse) charge around the hill to flank the enemy. The flanking maneuver works and soon the three ambushing orcs are running for their lives with a crazy ogre on their heels with an even crazier riding dwarf by his side. Hoder, gets a bit overconfident and manages to throw away his sword, but Blitz bashes down two orcs with a warhammer to the back of the head. The last one is split in two by the ogre’s sword. The plan was to take a prisoner for interrogation, but the warriors got a bit overzealous in their task…
The village of Fairhill
As the PCs approach Fairhill from the south they are halted by a grim one-handed warrior named Baran, head of the guard, and interrogated as of their business in Fairhill. Lauriel, Baran’s second in command looks at them disapprovingly.
The PCs are directed to Freya’s temple to pay their respect. On their way there, they pass the market and decide to make a stop to sell the animals. It takes some haggling, and sour words from the local merchants as they have no license, but they manage to sell the livestock for a decent sum of coin. The horse they keep, however (stabled at the Three Kegs tavern). The PCs also see a finely dressed man in a luxurious booth and goes over to talk with him. This turns out to be Arlen the magistrate with whom they discuss selling some gems. After the market they pass the smithy and visit the smith. Voril the smith is clearly depressed and they learn that his daughter Arialle has been missing, having not returned from a trip to the nearby village of Crimmor. The PCs promise Voril to look into the matter. Blitz also borrows some money from Hoder and Gunwald to afford a new chain armor.
They then visit the Temple of Freya and meet Shandril, the very hot elven cleric of Freya and leave after a short but positive discussion on matters both divine and mundane. All the dwarves are in love and would do anything she asks of them. Shandril also works some magical healing on Corian.
The PCs finally get boarding at the Drunken Cockatrice Inn (run by Glarian the half-elf), where they feast on the excellent food and drink. All take an early night except Gudmund the dwarf, who has an ale in the tavern. There he meets the Dwarves of the Shattered Axe – a gang of obnoxious dwarven heroes (or at least they claim they are) and learn some rumours. When Gunwald disbelieve the pompous claims of their leader Durgis, a test of strength is called for, but Durgis says that he has a lot of important stuff to do and backs out. As Gunwald leaves for his room he sees them move to another table and start their stories again with some other guests. Gunwald also notice a depressed-looking peasant sitting in a corner, drinking ale after ale, staring at the wall.
The Crucible of Freya
Just before dawn, Blitz is awakend by a commotion in the streets. He quickly wakes up the others and they arm themselves. It turns out that orcs have raided the village, stolen the Crucible and set fire to the temple. Standing in front of the blazing temple, Shandril asks the PCs to help. She and Baran suspect that this was a decoy raid to draw the guards from the village so that the orcs can attack when the soldiers are away. The PCs agree and get horses to speed up the pursuit. The orcs went away on foot so there is a chance of getting to them. Shandril offers her longsword Valkyria to the most able fighter, which is Hoder, and he accepts the honor. The sword is to be used to hunt down and punish those who defiled Freya’s temple. Lauriel and two guards (Jerinor and Hathol) go with the PCs as guides and to guard the horses.
At the river ford they find tracks that indicate that the orcs went over the river here not too long ago. When reaching the forest, the spot the secret path and search it. They find a few silver trinkets recognizable as coming from Freya’s temple and decide to use the path. Lauriel objects, but is voted down. After about two hours of fast travel on foot along the path, the PCs hear guttural laughs. The overconfident orcs have stopped and have taken a break. A black leather flask is passed around and their leader, Kren, keeps defiling the crucible by spitting and urinating in it, to the great glee of the other dwarves. The PCs decide to ambush the orcs by surrounding them. First, they loose a volley of missiles from all directions. A few orcs fall with arrows in their throats, and then the PCs attack, cutting down the orcs without mercy. Kren dies by a blow from Valkyria, sending his head flying and having him drop the urine-filled crucible over himself. This is not a fight as much as a slaughter. One orc is saved for interrogation and the PCs learn that many orcs, led by Nagrod and the Boss is holed up in a Keep nearby. The prisoned is then neutralized (=killed). A discussion ensue: Lauriel insists that they bring the crucible back immediately, but the PCs argue that this might be the best time to scout and/or attack the keep as the orcs are off guard and on top of that, it is day.
Finally, they send Corian back to the village with the crucible and to get reinforcements. Hathol is guarding the horses at the entrance to the secret path. Lauriel agrees to scout the place, but not to attack. Blitz, Gunwald, Hoder, Lauriel, Galdar, Hathol and Jerinor proceed to the Keep.
After an hour the PCs arrive at the back door and manage to scout around the place, hiding in the forest. They detect very low activity. To the south they see a rotten elf carcass nailed to a great oak with a metal spear. Apparently, the orcs have some heavy ordinance in the form of a ballista. They also spot the orc in the clock tower and manage to shoot him dead without the alarm going off. Using the large metal key found on Kren the open the back door, and fortunately spot the green slime in the center of the room. The group proceed up the stairs to level 2, keeping away from the rotten floorboards. From the curtain walls (south and east) at the nortwest tower they have a good view of the inside of the keep. There are 2 orcs patrolling the inner courtyard and 6 at the outer courtyard. Our heroes decide to ambush the two inner courtyard orcs when they are out of sight from the others. Gudmund and the NPCs position themselves at the nortern curtain wall while Blitz, Hoder and Galdar sneak down to the courtyard and hide behind the chapel. As the guards enter the killzone, the three archers at the curtain wall loose a volley of arrows. One guard falls and the other is cut down by Hoder. Unfortunately, Gunwald fumble his shot by slipping and manage to shoot young Hathol in the crotch, killing him.
Suddenly an orc from the outer courtyard starts yelling, looking for his 2 buddies. The door to the Chapel opens, and Herr Vortigern steps out, telling orc to shut it. Hoder’s ogre blood shows and without thought he attacks the wizard from nowhere. Vortigern didn’t see this coming and has no active battle spells. He is cut down fast. The fiendish familiar also joins the fight, and manages to sting Blitz, but the dwarf manages his save and is unaffected by the poison. This is also the point where the outer courtyard orcs sound blow the alarm horns and the battle is on!
Six orcs emerge from the palissade parts of the wall, shooting arrows from a range. The six outer courtyard orcs charge towards the PCs on the ground. After a few rounds of combat the door to the southwest tower opens and eight orcs plus Nagrod the über-orc charges out screaming their fierce battle cries. After them an even bigger creature follows – Grosh the Ogre, armed with a gigantic spiked club.
The PCs fight well, but it’s an uneven battle. On the ground, Blitz, Hoder and Galdar take on the orc horde from the outer courtyard. The ogre, Nagrod and Vortigern’s familiar also fight here. The other orcs from the southwest tower storm the stone stairway to get access to the curtain wall so that they can clear out the 2nd floor of the gate tower where Gunvald, Lauriel and Jerinor have taken up defense, shooting arrows from the narrow window slits. The orc archers on the palissade concentrate their fire on the gate tower.
During the battle, a sinister black clad figure exits the Chapel, surveying the battle. Sure of victory, he leaves the fight to his minions and retreat to the chapel with his guards. The PCs catch a glipse of a weird star shaped symbol on his chest.
Despite uneven odds, the PCs manage to slay many orcs, and when Nagrond and the ogre falls, the remaining three archer orcs on the palissade break and run for it, but not before shooting young Jerinor dead with their black arrows. The fight at the gate tower is fierce and very close. Lauriel shoots arrows at the assailants, while Gunwald lobs flaming flasks of oil at the curtain wall and stairway, delaying the orcs and setting some on fire. At this point several of the PCs are down to 1-2 hp. The last group of gate tower attackers try to shield bash their way into the tower, but are held back by Gunwald. Despite his heroism, Gunwald finally runs out of luck and is stabbed through the chest by a sneering orc warrior. The brave dwarf dies on the gate tower floor. Just a few rounds later, the last orcs are defeated.
The battle for the courtyard is over, our heroes stand wounded, drenched in gore, barely able to move because of their multiple cuts and bruises. Two of them are dead. And the battle is not over. Not yet…
Total defeated enemies this session:
5 zombies (3 child zombies)
2 half-orc warriors
Orc raiding party
1 orc boss
1 orc boss
1 evil wizard