(Note: If you are one of my players, you should stop reading now.)
We didn’t get a whole lot accomplished this week in terms of progress into the caves, but there were some interesting developments.
Firstly, a new player has joined the group and decided to take over the role of Brother Jaeric, the priest of St. Cuthbert that I had been playing up until this point. He and the other players also realized that this character is “Jaeric the Cleric,” and this unfortunate rhyme may end up replacing the more stately moniker of “Brother Jaeric.” At any rate, this leaves me in charge of only one NPC adventurer now, Tim the Conjurer. Rumor has it that we may soon have another player joining the group who will take this NPC off my hands as well.
As I said before, the party didn’t make much more headway in terms of clearing out the Caves of Chaos, but here is what they did accomplish: Upon returning to the caves, they decided to re-enter the goblin caves that they had nearly cleared out on their last foray. Not far into the caverns, they were greeted with the sight and smell of the goblin corpses they had left in their wake a couple of days earlier, as well as a large carrion crawler munching on the remains of one of those goblins. Rather than making the intelligent decision to back out of the cave or try and sneak around the creature, they opted for a headlong attack. Garwin the dwarf and Enmetius (a fighter and a human barbarian respectively, just to recap) charged into action and were heroically paralyzed in the first round of combat. Enmetius, to his credit, dealt a substantial amount of damage to the creature with his great sword before succumbing to a barrage of paralytic tentacles. Were it not for this fortuitous attack, someone would surely have been carrion crawler food.
After this, the party explored some more of the goblin caves and determined that any goblins they hadn’t killed already must have fled, along with their treasures (They didn’t face the goblin chieftan on their first run through the caves, so upon their return they found his chambers vacant; nothing but the outline of a tapestry and some drag marks from a chest full of loot being hauled from under a goblin sized bed remained.) Further exploration, however, led to a cave deeper in the complex that was inhabited by hobgoblins. The group made short work of these foes, dispatching seven hobgoblins in three rounds. They wasted no time delving further into the caves and they came upon a torture chamber, where two hobgoblins watched over six prisoners. The jailers barely had a chance to react before they were dealt with, leaving the party to decide what to do with the prisoners. Four were humans: a merchant, his wife, and two men-at-arms. These they released after some debate. The other two prisoners, a crazed gnoll and an orc, were killed while still in their chains (the dwarf tried to speak with the orc in its native tongue, but this went…poorly).
Things got a bit heated when an almost unscathed group of adventurers seemed reluctant to allow two unarmored, beaten, and half-starved men-at-arms to equip themselves with the weapons of the fallen hobgoblins; these proud men would rather face the caves alone than be treated like dogs. The merchant seemed torn by whether to follow his men-at-arms out of the caves or stick with the adventurers. Thankfully the situation was diffused by Tollman Butters, who sparked a conversation with the men and quickly offered some food and drink. After some questions and apologies from both sides the men were allowed to arm and armor themselves in what could be scavenged from the hobgoblins. The party was led out of the cave through the main entrance by the men-at-arms, and on their way down the mountainside they discovered the hitherto undiscovered entrance to the ogre’s cave. They noted this on their map but decided to make all haste back to the keep.
After a bit of roleplaying back in town, the party were rewarded by the merchant’s guild to the tune of 100 gold pieces and honorary guild membership. At least one of the men-at-arms may return to the caves with the adventurers to seek his revenge on the hobgoblins.
Overall I felt like this was another good session, if a bit abbreviated. Players are developing the personalities of their characters more and the group dynamic is starting to take shape. The party also walked away with more treasure than they have previously, between the reward from the guild and a silver armlet that one of the hobgoblins wore (for some reason) that was worth 135 gold pieces. Finally, the group earned enough experience points to make it to second level, so we spent some time leveling up at the end of the adventure.
- Keep on the Borderlands Session #1, in which our intrepid heroes make it to the keep, and not much else. (theroleplayingrambler.wordpress.com)
- Keep on the Borderlands Session #2