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Brindenford Campaign Notes Page 2

Page history last edited by Gillian 13 years ago

Brindenford Campaign Notes Page 1  Page 3


Session 6

During the several days following the party's return from the dungeon bearing their deer, they hung around town, resting and doing some errands. Valkrist finished her work for Sirus Craddock, and delivered the message Sirus gave her for Raston (Cord). Cord talked again to Meg (the prostitute he hired at the Bridgeman). She tells him that the girl they placed in Sirus' house has had very good luck and is now enjoying a relationship with Sirus. He tells Meg that he needs a time and location for when they will have one of their meetings.


Lydia (who had been planning to leave town) is frantically questioning everyone she can find in the matter of her burglarized room at the Bridgeman, including Raston. She knows Raston could not be the thief, since he was with her downstairs as the burglary was occurring. She tells him she's missing an item that was engraved with a stylized griffon symbol. It was made of metal, and might be repurposed into any sort of jewelry. She says she'll be staying another few days in town, and if he hears anything, to please contact her at once.


Meanwhile, Griptoe tries again to open the small box he stole from Lydia's room. With several days' study, he is able to get it open. Inside he finds a gold ring, emblazoned with a stylized griffon. He takes it to Cord, who is certain it is magical in some way. Cord puts it on, but cannot determine its function, if it has one. When asked, Elrohir says he cannot yet identify magic items. Griptoe had commissioned a blowgun earlier, and now it is ready, but he discovers that the darts do no damage; he'll need poison to make his six-foot weapon worthwhile. He tries putting out word on the street (via Juddelo at the Lost Shepherd, among other sources) that he wants some poison, but draws no response.


After a final night's rest, the PCs decide it is time to return to the dungeon. When they get there, they find the "trap door cover" thrown aside and unused. They creep down the stairs to the landing, where Griptoe finds a trap; two spear traps with a tripwire are rigged to launch up the side stairs at anyone who crosses them. He cannot disarm them, but shows the party how to step over the wires. They descend straight north this time, ready to take on the bestial host whom they have met twice already in minor encounters. When they reach the base of the stairs, Griptoe ventures into the room, searching for traps. Unfortunately, he fails his initial check, and trips over the tripwire, nearly becoming entangled in the barbed wire as it springs free of the walls. The bells sound, alerting their foes to the party's presence. Cord, the only PC to see the trap before it is sprung, casts disguise self and turns into an orc.


Two groups of Host  rush out to meet them; from the front are six goblins and four kobolds, while rushing up from the hall of Glarias (the PCs never so much as glanced past the spear traps!) came 2 hobgoblins and 6 kobolds. Because the "bad guys" spent their whole first round moving in on the party, the PCs were able to get one round of free actions in with only a few javelins coming their way from the front. In that round Griptoe throws a dagger and injures a goblin, Ulysses kills that goblin with his crossbow, Cord pretends to grapple Elrohir, and El "ducking free" of his "attacker", casts color spray up the stairs at the bad guys from behind. He manages to  catch them ALL in the spell, and puts all but two kobolds down for the count, unconscious for 7 rounds!


In the following melee, Ulysses kills many goblins with quick thrusts of his two swords, Cord tries and fails to Command one goblin, Val slits many goblin and hobgoblin throats, and Elrohir wields his longbow with great expertise. Griptoe is put down and nearly killed by a goblin, and then to the horror of the whole party, another door opens and 2 more orcs, a hobgoblin and a degenerate human charge them! Ulysses and Val step up to take them on, and again battle rages. Cord heals first Ulysses, then Griptoe. Elrohir hits several times with his bow. Eventually everyone but Bodor (the orc leader) fall, except for a few kobolds, who flee to area 7 and then eventually through area 10 and beyond. Bodor promptly surrenders aftere his last bodyguard is flamed and roasted by Elrohir's Ray of Fire.  Bodor tells the PCs they're all going to die "When Ramscorn returns". Cord at first assumes Ramscorn must be the beholder, but Bodor laughs and tells them that "Ramscorn is big big leader orc" who "went down".


After searching many of the chambers the Bestial Host inhabited (including the temple), the PCs decline to follow the fleeing kobolds through the trapdoor in the old cellars, and instead take their prisoner back to town and turn him in to Sheriff Erro Mansan for a healthy reward. In total, after selling all their loot (excluding Griptoe's ring) the party earns 50 silvers each.


Cord then investigates purchasing property in Brindenford, and finds out about an old house for sale for 100 silvers. He decides that he needs a more private hiding place than the Lost Shepherd can provide, and buys the four-room cottage. Taxes will be 10 silvers a year. He creates yet another persona, that of an old hermit, to cover the purchase. He claims to have been driven out of the woods by "too many orcs".


Griptoe hears from his family that two of the other nine Grippli he traveled to Brindenford with have disappeared; they went fishing down at the river the afternoon before, and never returned home. Now they've been missing nearly 24 hours, and the family are in a panic. They beg Griptoe to help them out. He agrees to investigate, but reminds them he's  looking for some poison for his blowdarts.


Session 7

Griptoe and all his friends decide to search the woods for the missing grippli. They don't have to search long before Ulysses finds a spot in the woods along the riverbank where the two Grippli were apparently searching an old log for grubs. They were grabbed by someone with booted feet (one set of large boots, and two smaller sets). They were carried off northwest. Persistent tracking checks and some common sense eventually led the PCs to a farmhouse that had seen better days (burned in a fire). There, they managed to skulk around and discover the two halflings Tom and Eddy (pickpockets from earlier at the Bridgeman Inn) in an old barn, watching the farmhouse and guarding the two grippli, who are bound and gagged. Griptoe and Cord are at the barn, while Val, Ulysses and El are out front.  The three get tired of waiting and watching, and eventually approach the house. To their total lack of surprise, Lydia steps out onto the creaky front porch to greet them. She is about to say something when Elrohir  launches an attack. He says "I always did dislike her!" He does a good bit of damage with one arrowstrike. However, she doesn't go down, pulls out her wand of charm, and successfully overwhelms Ulysses, who starts shouting at the others that "she's not trying to hurt us!". Val ignores him and shoots her own bow at the bard, getting a critical hit and taking her down without further ado.


In the meantime, Tom, having heard Lydia's shout of pain, calls a warning to Eddy. Eddy promptly kicks over a lantern (which Griptoe had not noticed) into the hay where the prisoners are. Griptoe then backstabs Tom. Cord shoots his electric bolts through a gap in the barn wall and takes Eddy down. With that, the fight is over!


Griptoe and Cord are able to put out the barn fire without much trouble, and the grippli are rescued. Everyone agrees to hide Lydia's body (bury it under the burned out house) and to leave the halflings in the barn, burning it around them; this will make their deaths appear to be an accident. They take Lydia's wand and blessed bandages, and two sets of masterwork leather armor from the rogues. Cord also loots Lydia's fine clothes...


Cord is reluctant to sell the wand in town, for fear that Lydia's gear might be recognized by someone. He suggests they take it out to Erna and Volker's outpost. El, who can't use the wand, sees no reason to be this cautious, but is willing. The others follow along without comment. It takes them the rest of the day to reach the spot on the road where they were ambushed by orcs last time; they find that the orcs have left their lair, but Griptoe manages to find a small amount of poison (contact) left behind as a trap, and recovers enough to coat ONE dart. Later, the PCs stop and visit Lora's grave. Cord makes sure there's a wind chime on the grave, but Valkrist (who hates the sound of the chimes as in her country they're a summons for the storm gods) takes it down when his back is turned.


Eventually, the group safely reaches the outpost, only to discover that the bandits have gotten bolder, and are now demanding payment to keep them from burning out the Volkers. The pcs eagerly  agree to drive the bandits off. However, Erna and Volker are unable to offer anything for the wand. They spend two days rigging some traps in the trees (falling logs) and a  rope tripline. The bandits,  who are extremely careless, are easily taken in by the traps, and make a poor showing. Val and Ulysses are both wounded, but all four bandits are easily dispatched. Cord commands one to fall prone, and they are able to take him prisoner.


The bandit describes the main bandit camp in great detail, revealing any number of things to expect; it is four tree platforms (two watch platforms, one main platform in a dead tree, and a final smaller platform where the leader, Kressel, has her personal area). Cord spends hours questioning the captive about what the dead bandit lieutenant (Happs) was like (voice,  movements,  behavior) in the hopes that he can imitate him well enough to get into the encampment with surprise.


Volker and Erna repay the party for their aid by giving them 3 potions (aid and 2 cure lights) and 50 silver pennies. The pcs know that the bandits are expected back at their camp late in the evening two days hence, so with the hours that Cord spent questioning the prisoner, they will already be behind schedule, but they hope the bandits will not be expecting problems, and won't think much of the one day delay.


Session 8:

The PCs have very little trouble following the road/path back to the bandit camp, but do have to make a couple of survival checks to avoid straying, which Elrohir and Ulysses manage to do quite handily. In two days, with no encounters, they manage to reach the area where they believe the lair is located. Ulysses scouts around, and comes back within the hour saying he's found the camp. And they didn't see him!


The plan they finally decide to use is as follows: Cord (disguised as the bandit leader Happs) and Ulysses (wearing a bandit's cloak) ride horses, with dead bandit bodies on them, and Valkrist as a "prisoner". Elrohir spends an hour slipping around the camp to the far edge (not far from the 2nd watch post and horse pen). Griptoe drops off the horse where he was hiding under a cloak, and climbs a tree near the first guard platform. The mounted PCs ride boldly into camp, trusting to their disguises. They get most of the way to the horse pens when one bandit hails them, and "Happs" uses his "I'm wounded in the throat" voice to claim that they were nearly killed by "mercs". The bandit only half thinks something odd is going on, and sends two of his fellows over to "help with the horses" while he goes to alert Kressle, their leader, that Happs is back.


At this moment Griptoes attacks the guard on the forward platform, but misses with his poisoned dart. He tries again with his shortbow a round later. He hits the guard and badly injures him, but does not kill him,  even with a sneak attack. The guard blows his whistle and alerts the camp. Elrohir acts next, getting off a bowshot at the guard on the back platform, again injuring but not killing him. The two guards who were nearly to the horse pens draw weapons and charge to the attack. The three in the main tree platform start grabbing gear but take two rounds to get into combat. The "alert" bandit drops off the ladder he was climbing and runs back towards the horse pens. He'll be able to fight next round.


A brisk melee begins, with the PCs handily slaying several bandits, but then Kressle arrives, from her own platform. She is much tougher than the rest, and when she and a bandit team up on Ulysses, things get bad fast. The valiant but not-too-bright ranger goes down to a brutal critical hit. Valkrist tries to come to his side, but Kressle lays into her as well, knocking her down and out. Things are looking grim, and Cord is forced to retreat. However, the timely arrival of Griptoes (who spent four rounds frantically hopping down the path to reach the combat) distracts Kressle from pursuing him. Between Griptoe's and Elrohir's arrows, they manage to take her down just before she lays into the frog.


This ends the battle, with all the bandits  slain. Searching the bodies turns up a number of very nice treasures: Kressle's armor, handaxes, and a magic ring, several crates full of furs, a potion, eight bottles of an unusual green liquor, and all the armor and weapons of the bandits (for what they're worth). In all, with the horses and wagon, they end up clearing a healthy profit. Some they sell to Erna and Volker, the rest they take back with them to Brindenford. Ulysses is buried at the Outpost, with honors.


In Brindenford they take care of a number of small tasks. They give Ulysses' family over 300 silver pennies, as well as all his gear and belongings. Cord examines Val's mentor Torsten, and discovers that he is indeed cursed. With this information, Mother Iris is able to cast remove curse, and he begins to improve at once. Elrohir visits a very unusual hobbytlan wizard and trades his (unusable) wand of charming for a wand of enlarge person (50 charges). Both feel they got a good deal! They start recruiting another henchman (Cord pushes for another "female"), but don't turn anyone up, immediately. They tell the sherrif about the "Stag Lord" rumors they've heard, and he says he's heard them, too. Until seeing the medallion, he had not put too much faith into them, but now he's getting worried. Is there really someone trying to build a bandit kingdom out there somewhere?


Session 9

Now back in Brindenford, the PCs take some time to conduct personal business. Griptoe investigates acquiring some poisons; without Ulysses to help him gather plants from the wild, he can only find a smattering of leads, but eventually comes up with three products that he might be able to buy; at the moment they are priced out of his range.


Elrohir interviews two candidates for the once-again-vacant position of party henchman. Given a choice between Tordok, the dwarven fighter, grim and dour, or Adenarith, snobbish half-elf ranger, Elrohir would hire the dwarf, but the rest of the PCs prefer to take the prettier, more easily harrassed half-elf. Cord in particular seems to revel in the idea of provoking her to rage by groping her at odd moments and then protesting his innocence. Arith threatens to cut off his hand the next time he tries it.


Cord takes the time to attempt to embarras Sirus Craddock by arranging that he get caught (by his wife and many other witnesses) in a moment of passion with his current mistress at the Bridgeman Inn. Cord then tries to ensure that Mother Iris at the Temple of Elanora hear about this bad behavior, because he is sure it will improve his reputation with her (why two wrongs would improve his reputation, I don't know?). Then again, Cord's thinking is pretty twisted. He also starts looking for other young women who might be vulnerable to his manipulations.


Once these bits of activity are taken care of, the PCs headed back to the dungeon for a nice simple day of killing things... with no encounters on the way to the dungeon, they arrived early in the morning, with their new ranger in tow. Descending the stairs, they took a left, and then a left again, down the long twisty tunnel to room 11. Here they briefly explored the guard rooms, interacted with the brass faces on the landing doors, but spent much of their time on the three southern doors. Being very suspicious, they avoided the two rooms that stank of the muck, and investigated the third room. Griptoe made a listen check, and heard something scraping around inside. Cautiously, the PCs took up positions on the narrow stairs to the landing, or on the landing itself. Then Val wrenched the door open. Inside, a giant scorpion was revealed. Elrohir, Cord and Griptoe all shot at it, and mostly hit. It lunged out of the room and ran towards the landing, but was unable to reach anyone. Val struck from behind, and Arith got off a very penetrating shot. In the next round, Elrohir (with the scorpion nearly in his face) cast color spray, and stunned it for a round. Further hits from the PCs, and a dual-strike hit from Arith left the scorpion dead, without ever delivering a single blow.This is when Cord groped Arith, and threats of death or dismemberment were issued.


Continuing to explore, the PCs soon found a 30' square chamber with a lion's head mounted in the ceiling. The agate eyes lured them into closer investigation. Remembering the beds and other furniture they had seen earlier, they quickly built a rough ladder to allow Griptoe to climb up and pry out the eyes. He also discovered that the lion's mouth moved, and found 4 lantern-light panels within it.


Backing up, they next decided to investigate the stinky doors. Griptoe dealt with the doors (unlocked and untrapped) and found the refuse shaft behind them. Daunted, they almost didn't explore the pit; even when they did, they found nothing within it. Instead, they threw the giant scorpion down the shaft. After that, Cord got curious about the brass faces again, and went back to examine them. After a long session of bickering about possible meanings for the verses (Cord was fixed on Mikar as the answer) Griptoe accidentally spit out the answer of "Darkness". This led them into a long narrow room  a lantern hanging from a chain in the center of the room. They investigated it at once, realizing that their lantern-light panels from earlier must belong here. Lighting the lamp as it was already caused them to discover the secret door, and then they found the shadow map indicating the stairs down to level 2. They were unable to relate it to any area on their map at this time, but are certain they'll figure it out soon enough.


Going through the secret door, they found the room with the bluesteel door and the pit in the floor, and the knight-statue. Considerable exploration led them to realize the "keyword" to the bluesteel door was nowhere to be found; they lowered Griptoe into the pit, but he declined to explore the passage leading off by himself. Val suggested that they examine the knight-statue first. As soon as she looked at it, she tried flipping the visor, and to her surprise, not only did it move, but it triggered the opening of a secret door! That passage led to another door, behind which they heard some sounds of movement, and breathing. Val threw the door open, and Griptoe almost threw himself into the room, only stopping when they realized their "foe" was an ordinary-looking villager from Brindenford! He demanded to know who they were, but did not attack (with a honking big battle axe). Considerable exchange of near-pleasantries ensued, and eventually Val and Griptoe managed to convince Chasmal (as he named himself) that they meant him no harm. He said he lived down here because he wanted to, but nobody believed him, and eventually he admitted that he had a little "problem", but not what it was. He agreed to tell the PCs everything he knew about the dungeon (not a lot!) in return for messages from and to his family.


At this point, the PCs decided to return to town, investigate Chasmal, and then come back with his messages. It wasn't hard to discover that Chas is actually a werewolf, who probably killed at least six people, but who is now (barely) in control of himself; he only kills bestial host members in the dungeon instead of helpless farmers and woodsmen... Val and Griptoe really do want to help him, but it will cost at least 800 sp to get a remove curse cast, and they just don't have the cash. Dressa Drave, his sister-in-law admits it is far beyond their means to afford it.


Returning to the dungeon, they revisit Chasmal, and he tells them his secrets (including the bluesteel door password) and warns them about "more scorpions" down the hallway from the pit. He says he's sure their shadow map connects up to the hallway north of his room. He also says that no matter if the PCs have killed most of the Bestial Host, they'll be back in greater numbers again. His last warning is "don't drink the water" on level 2. He claims he "heard that rumor" from other adventurers, and doesn't know what it means. He also tells them about Glarias' chapel, which they have still not been through. Eventually the PCs decided to finish off the 4 way intersection area past the lion-face room. Chasmal tells them one way connects up to the Pit passage, the second way goes to a single "weird" bedchamber that used to belong to a wizard or something like that, and that the third unexplored passage leads to some stairs going up...

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