Saturday, August 5, 2017

After Game Report: South of Adrian

  The crew returned to the very edges of the Kingdom of Seaward tonight. The party was:

Jennifer - Trixie Finespark, female gnome Cleric/Thief 1st/1st
Jack - Lenard, male human Nobleman, 1st
Alex - Gare'E Byuzee, male elven Magic-user, 1st
Sam - Ludwig, male human Nobleman, 1st
Nick - Anarawd, male human Bard, 1st

  The bishop had heard tales of a blight spreading near the border village of Oldtock. The local baron is very old, without an heir, and has few retainers; the Count says it is Adrian's problem; the Lord Mayor of Adrian insists it is too far from the city. The bishop, at wit's end, sent the brothers Lenard and Ludwig who are distant cousins.

  The party arrived near sunset and spoke with the headman of the village. The climbed the parish bell tower and could see an area just 4-5 miles away where the trees were dead or dying in a 1/2 mile circle. They also learned that a band of adventurers and mercenaries had been in the village looking for the Lost Tomb of the Cursed Chieftain. The headman had laughed them off, saying it was only a legend, but the 9 people (two professional warriors, a woman in a blue dress, and a man they called 'brother' but who did not bless their food, with 5 light lancers)had been seen in the southern hills.

  When the party asked the headman told the tale,
  "Before the kings came there was a chieftain of the Hawk Keshi that lived in a hall on Caerfach Daw, the mountain due south of Oldtock. He was a mighty warrior, but quick of temper. He raided across the mountains to the South and had become vastly wealthy from raids, and ransoms, and even tomb robbing.
  The legend is that one night the chieftain was feasting and drinking much and heard a rumor that his wife had been seen with a visiting Dog Kesh warrior. In a drunken rage he slew his wife and two sons, cursing his men as liars as they swore the tale was false.
  Horrified at the crime, his men went to a hidden place and placed inside all of the wealth he had taken from tombs, then put him inside, and sealed him in still alive.
  When I was a boy it was said that on Midsummer Night, when all three moons are full, if you looked at Caerfach Daw at midnight you would see a flash of light, and that was the memory of the feast fire in the hall the night he killed his own.
  But none have ever seen the flash, and none has ever found the treasure. I think if there was a treasure 'twas found long ago."
  The headman explained that the trees south of the village began to die in the Spring and got worse every week. Sheep had gone missing, then men. The village was careful to avoid the southern meadows and every home was locked tight even before sunset.

  The party rested, then set out at first light.

  The horses were uneasy in the blight, and grew racalcitrant as they followed a brook. Even the noblemen had to dismount to approached the 30' high rock spire on the banks of the brook in the middle of the blight. There were old Keshi runes on a nearby boulder, but Anarawd (who speaks and reads Keshi) said they were just simple prayers and such. Lenard found the body of a shepherd nearby, largely eaten with his femurs cracked for the marrow.

  Suddenly a ghast burst from its hiding place in the mud along the bank of the brook! No longer hidden, the stench affected everyone in the arty. Lenard and Ludwig, ready for anything, struck and both hit, causing grievous damage. Anarawd began chanting poetry and swung, also hitting. Gare-E cast Magic Missile and Trixie held up her silver crucifix and threw her enchanted dagger, also wounding the creature.
  Enraged by the prayer trixie was saying, the ghast charged her, but Ludwig leapt into its path. The ghast clawed him, hurting him almost to death (luckily the bite missed!) and Ludwig slumped to the ground, paralyzed. Lenard and Anarawd were flanking the ghast and both hit (!!) with even Gare'E hitting with a dagger from behind. At great risk Trixie knelt at cast a Cure Minor Wounds on Ludwig.
  The ghast whirled on Lenard, who had hurt it most, and struck, missing by a single point with each claw and totally missing with its bite. Lenard, Anarawd, Gare'E, and Trixie all hit! The ghast went down.

  Ludwig shook off the paralysis after 15-20 minutes while Trixie scouted around. She cast a Cure Light on him to get him to full health, then told of the door she found in a nook near the top of the natural granite spire. It seemed a lightning strike had melted the lead seal, allowing whatever was inside to get out.

  Trixie helped Lenard descend the crude steps into a funeral chamber filled with old coins, amber, and such. The ghast's 'nest' was in a corner. They searched carefully, then hauled the money out to their horses. Trixie found a secret trapdoor in the corner - deep below down a ladder was a cavern with an underground stream and a boat! The party resealed that, hid it, and headed back to Oldtock.

  Barely a mile away they were ambushed by the treasure hunters and taken totally by surprise! The five lancers charged and put Gare'E to 0 H.P. - Trixie was missed and immediately moved to cast her last curative spell, another Cure Minor, to save his life. Once the party recovered from surprise, Lenard set out in pursuit of the lancers while Ludwig predicted the professional warriors would follow on, hoping the party would be distracted by the lancers.
  Ludwig was correct and was in position to joust with a mounted fighter while Anarawd engaged a mounted swordsman with his sabre.

  Seeing that Gare'E was out of danger, if unconscious, Trixie slipped off to find the other two treasure hunters. Lenard jousted with a lancer, killing him, and Ludwig (using the jousting rules!) unhorsed his foe! Trixie espied the other man (a devil cultist!) and the woman (obviously a mage) hiding behind a nearby hill and maneuvered into position. Anarawd and his foe (who they nicknamed 'handsome rapier foe') continued their horse back sword duel
  Lenard engaged another lancer, also killing him; at this, the lancers broke and fled in panic. Ludwig was making passes with his lance against his unhorsed foe, who was now fighting with a battleaxe. Trixie was still skulking into position. Handsome Rapier Foe and Anarawd still exchanged blows.
  Lenard spurred his horse on and lanced Handsome Rapier Foe, killing him (in fairness, Anarawd had whittled him down a great deal). Trixie backstabbed the cultist, killing him instantly; the female mage fled. Anarawd rode her down and pummeled her with the pommel of his sabre, knocking her out. Ludwig dispatched his foe, as well.

  The party recovered 2 heavy warhorses, 4 light warhorses, and a fair amount of gear

  The party rested in Oldtock, then returned to Adrian. Everyone leveled up, some henchmen were hired, Gare'E gained a raven familiar, and the female mage was handed over to the authorities as a devil worshipper.

  Great fun was had.

  Next time - what they found when they took the boat!