This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Meet 92, Adv 6, 8/3/19

The group managed to get the information they needed through a variety of decent encounters on Gerry Rockbottom and eventually Ixitch Barrowman. According to all our gathered intel - Ixitch is the Drug Dealer for Scratch and it pivotal in the destabilization of Durcent Province. However, the drug manufacturer is someone we know only as Big GO - and to get to him, we need to get to Ixitch first.

We know that Ixitch is in a former manorhouse pretty close to the border of Grimyria and he has a number of guards and supporters at his fingertips. Right now though we have surprise as no one knows we're coming as of yet and hope to catch Ixitch ill prepared.

We'll see how that goes.

Write up follows:

Being that it was almost 4 and we had some time, Darius wanted a chance to try and get a name from Wantan the Smith on a possible owner and/or rider of the heavy war steed. So changing into his courtier clothes and adopting a more imperious manner he headed off to the street of smiths and found his way to the common stabler. He started off talking to some of the stableboys who were uncomfortable with an apparent lord and passed him on to the stablemaster.

There was some banter back and forth where Darius indicated that he was Isilwine Goldsmith (his younger sister Twilane’s betrothed) and wanted some information on “better steeds than what’s here.” The conversation moved about while Darius drove it towards war steeds and where could he get one. Who has one? Is it for sale? Give me a name. Eventually he got the name of Sir Berwick Ironbrand and his band of mercenaries (4 or 5 of them). Thanking the stablemaster and getting word that Sir Berwick occasionally comes to Canaslan but has had more steady work with Lord Emberwine of Emberia.

Eventually we left and after sharing what we learned, a stop at the Chamberpot Ogre named Rutus (stationed near the Farrier) then led us to getting some smaller coin. Near Whiteshadow was a money changer named Dangrel who was willing to exchange gold for us in his shop. It was a one on one basis, through locked door and under guard and ready. Taking 3% for himself, he made the swap for the party and by just shy of 5 PM, we were set and ready to go.

Heading back to the Malters, we noted that it was getting late and many places were closed for now. Gerry Rockbottom’s was the same. Following Barb’s lead, we went on to the last Malter’s, where the 3 dwarves were willing to give her some work, half a sandwich, and some information earlier. We spoke to them, they shut the doors behind us and a group of 5 dwarves, all related, of the family name Copperpot, then filled us in on Gerry Rockbottom and his operation.

The dwarves aren’t a fan of Gerry but he is a dwarf, so they did share some information with us about the man and his goings on. He does answer to an Ixitch Barrowman who is a well placed functionary on King Seljack’s Brute Squad. Seems Ixitch also moonlights as a drug dealer and Gerry is one of his pushers. So when Barb dropped Ixitch’s name, it freaked Gerry out since effectively she gave him some bullshit that his boss directed her to see Gerry to buy Scratch – a claim that made no sense and caused Gerry to close up shop earlier.

We were still being watched and the Copperpot dwarves were willing to let us go down into the sewer and crawl along to a safe area near town square. So we parted with 3 crowns and left, getting under the city streets where some foot and a half of foul water met us in the 5’ diameter brick tunnel. A box was passed down for Shim to ride in and we were told to go four junctions and then climb up, knocking 3 times and then again to alert the Chamberpot HalfOgre Segan to let us out of the building.

We made our way down after stripping off shoes, hose, and even pants, rolling up cloaks, and then walking (and pushing Shim) through the foul mess. Barb, Thalin, and Brading were choking and feeling ill but we counted off 4 junctions and then climbed up to a covered grating where it took some time to force it open. We emerged into an unused shop, some dust around. One by one we came out and taking the box with us, laid it near the returned grating. From outside we could hear faint voices and the lack of light let us know that it was now evening.

We knocked 3 times, paused, and then again. And ogrish voice answered with exaggerated care that he just needs to stretch and then worked a key in the lock and told us to come out. We hid behind his spread trench coat and then he made believe that we had all come out from his chamberpot together.

The guards nearby didn’t care and knew that Segan was lying – but let the half-ogre think he was putting one over on them and we thanked the half ogre who locked the door again, was happy to be doing work for the Copperpot dwarves, and gave us directions to a bathhouse and launder not too far from the Winsome Wench.

Leaving a trail of dirty water behind us we arrived at the bathhouse, and arranged for 5 baths – triple time for each. We even had our clothes left here for laundering with the knowledge they were to be returned to us at the Wench later. One by one we went into the narrow tub filled rooms and started scrubbing.

Barb was relaxing and then a garrote wrapped around her throat and a voice hissed in her ear that she should stop asking questions about Ixitch and her and her flunkies “should toddle back to Erylond and beat up dungeon trash” instead. A pin prick at her jugular and the voice nearby had her unmoving and waiting. The man told her she had until tomorrow and then they would get nasty. Giving her an ultimatum, he told her to not move for a count of five or the last thing she’d see would be her blood fountaining in the bath.

The pinprick left but the garrote stayed and she counted to 5..then 10. Then with slow care lifted her hand to the braided cord at her throat and pulled it away freely. A pair of wooden handles had been wrapped together and the weight let her think there was still a person holding it. She looked out in the hall…No one there.

As we all got dressed in our second set of clothes, Barb showed us the garrote and the pinprick on her neck, the group interested in that someone was looking to drive us off. We were exhausted and wanted to solve the issue sooner rather than later, so we went off to the Winsome Wench, ate quickly, and then grabbed a room. Once there we made sure to bar the door (as recommended to!) and had to suffer through a newbie thief trying to pick our door and being chased away, then some guy selling insurance to make sure no one tries to pick our door again, then the laundry being delivered but the young man dropping it off getting body slammed for disturbing our door from the insurance tough and eventually by 8 that night we fell asleep.

The next day was Spirit Month the 30th – New Year’s Eve. Tonight there would be merriment and revelry, signaling the start of the New Year and the first day of winter. Many businesses were going to be closed early today, or just closed at all. Gerry Rockbottom was most likely going to be closed and we wanted his address.

So Thalin and Darius went back to the Malter’s to talk to the Copperpot Dwarves to get the last bit of information of Gerry…and it was some serious back and forth between Thalin and Drang Copperpot who didn’t want Gerry permanently hurt. At all. He’s still a dwarf and a scumbag, but still a fellow dwarf. So we did eventually get the address and learned he had a young daughter living with him as well. There are 2 guards always on duty who watch the house but don’t live with him – so don’t screw around – or you’ll be seen and the guards are NOT pushovers.

By 9:30 we had gotten together again and made our way to the cul-de-sac that Gerry lived on – 3rd house from the right. No one seemed to be watching but we assumed we had a small window of time at best. So Shim went first, taking Darius’ “cat pillow” he had taken from his mom’s house months ago, and spoke to Gerry’s daughter through the door. Dad was sleeping, normally you have to come back when he’s up. Ooo, you’re gnome? That’s a nice pillow. Maybe a little bit. I don’t know. Maybe.

We got her to open the door and then rushed her. Gerry’s daughter, Flea…was a hellion. Twisting and biting, she stabbed at Darius’ leg, bit Barb fingers, and tried to twist, pull, and force herself back. Brading dropped a silence spell on most of the house so all her yells were for nothing and eventually we had her bound up and dumped in a large sack that Brading tied closed and Barb was holding on to.

Then two of us went back to Gerry’ bedroom where he had 2 alarm bells near his headboard. While neutralizing one, the other slipped off and was going to ring but Barb grabbed it quick. Then it was “wake up time” and questioning. Where was Ixitch? Wouldn’t tell us. Ixitch was getting upset because he owes Big GO, but Big GO hadn’t gotten in touch with him to set up exchange of funds. Darius dropped Isilwine’s name again as his own and indicated they were from Big GO, looking to collect. Where was Ixitch? WHERE?!?!?!

Eventually after some beating we got a bearing on where Ixitch was and we Gerry a sobbing broken mess with the instructions to talk to no one and to count for a long time before daring to get up.

Where did we have to go? Ixitch has a Homestead near mile marker 5 near the border of Grimyria. Ugh. It was 10 after 10 and we were going to leave town NOW and take the fight to Ixitch Barrowman.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Meet 91, Adv 6, 7/20/19

The party made their way to Paxian since being in or near Durcent Province was going to get them caught, lynched, and killed. While here they were following the clues on various things - the origin of the scratch, the name of the person with the heavy warhorse, and the trail of the 2 gnomes.

There was lots of LARPing at the table and they are proceeding accordingly to uncover the mystery and who's who in this entire mess.

Write up follows:

It was after 8 PM when we made the decision to leave Durcent Province behind us for now and get to Paxian. We assumed that Fersic and some of the vigilant mob might follow us but not too far we hoped through the Wyld. We estimated it was 9 hours minimum hard walk through the rough terrain to get to the Canaslan and we were going to be tired before arriving. According to an overland map we had, there was a large forested area between our location and Paxian and we would be pushing to get there and rest.

The night passed with slow methodical passage as the miles fell behind us. With an almost full moon and cold crisp air (it was in the high 20’s), we kept our cloaks tight about us and our eyes peeled as we traveled. Numerous innocuous wild animals abounded but it was some time after midnight that we espied some torches in the distance traveling southward and then eventually turned to intercept us. A voice from the gloom called out and asked to come and meet.

We agreed and stepped forward to see a tall thin man with a pair of zombies trailing behind him, mindlessly shuffling along. He identified himself as Karius, a “Scavenging Functionary” from Grimyria on an expedition to locate any recently fallen dead and have them animated and brought back with him. He admitted he had about a dozen at this time (we saw 2) and his two apprentices as well.

We kept it light and friendly and we all bid each other a farewell. We watched as his apprentices came up – a late teen’s thin girl with a line of 9 more assorted races zombies on a chain, and a corpulent also late teen’s boy in a set of robes too small for him, sweating even in the chill air, leading a snarling ghoul on a 6’ iron pole and chain set up that kept the carnivorous undead out of biting range.

Yeah…we were never going to go to Grimyria if we could help it.

It was another hour before we arrived at the forest and once there, spent a short time clearing the ground and gathering together for warmth. Rotating for watch we rested until the sun was peeking over the horizon and we could get moving. Shaking the cold from our bones we skipped out on study and prayer for now and were walking again by 8 AM. It was after 11 when we crossed the border into Canaslan – the temperature climbing at least 10 degrees instantly, and another half hour to reach Paxian.

We cycled through the main gates, and hit up the Half-ogre at the square to use his chamber pot as well as ask a few questions. Shim and Thalin did most of the probing, dropping hints of gnomes and where one could go to see others? We were told to go to Winterwarm, a bar on the east side of town that catered to gnomes, elves, and gnomes.

We made our way through Whiteshadow and followed directions to the smaller tavern and inn. We were treated well if a bit surprised that Barb and Brading were willing to come in. But we ordered a signature wine, ate some food, and probed the bar tenders and patrons about other gnomes and possible information.  There are two gnomish brothers, traders who do come and stay here in town for a week or so before moving on and returning again, doing some manufacturing before going out to sell their wares. Malik “Malted” Dingrel Falser, and Yultar “Uke” Dingrel Falser. And it was believed that at least one of them was Tower Trained.

Bingo.

We had some other places to look. Barb was going to go to another Half-Ogre Chamberpot warden named Maro that she had spoken to our last time here and see if she could get some information on Scratch. The rest of the group was going to go to the Greengrocer and then to the Stablers and Farriers to see if they could scare up some information from Wantan, the dwarven Farrier who most likely was shodding the heavy warhorse seen in Durcent Province – and hopefully get a name.

Barb’s visit to Maro was productive. There was a dwarf named Gerry Rockbottom who operated out of a Malters to the south west of Whiteshadown, that had been pushing Scratch as of late. When he started to talk about Scratch and some of its effects, Barb was under the impression he was going to segue into the dangers of it, but instead he had a Half-Ogre’s way of thought and suggested it was a great idea if she wanted to partake. It would give her a gravitas, a commanding presence, and with her size and ferocity, could seriously impact and influence orcish males to her way of thinking.

Ok….then! She thanked him and made her way to the area in question. There were a half dozen malters in the area and one of them had a 3 count of half-orcs working outside. She had asked for directions to Gerry’s and was told to either pay up, or hit the bricks. Not getting any closer, the dwarves next door asked her to give those guys a berth and for a small pile of coins, they’d help her out if she’d move a pallet of block stone from the back of the shop to the front. She put the effort in and was sweating it out while lining up the courses under proper direction, all the while the dwarves were advising her to just not bother with Scratch or any other drug and go on home.

For the rest of the group, they purchased a few days of travel rations and then made our way to a horse dealer and pretended to be interested in making a purchase. We were guided to many draft style horses and were shown a decent sized nag for the cost of 200 nobles. Ouch. But we talked to the proprietor (an orcish descended individual named Regahn) and let the conversation meander a bit, guiding it naturally along until we got to smiths and farriers and shoeing the horses.

We were then introduced to Wantan Smith, the dwarven farrier who would take care of our new horse purchase for us. We talked about his job, saw his forge, watched some of his apprentices work, and the conversation then turned to his master and other jobs he’s done. Knights and their steeds? He admitted he’s done heavy war steeds but in the interest of professional decorum, wouldn’t say any names.

We let the conversation end and thanked him, promising Regahn we’d get back to him and then started making our way out of the Farrier district and towards the Malters to meet up with Barb.

Barb meanwhile had finished her work, got paid and thanked by the dwarves, and was told that Gerry Rockbottom was in the Malted shop next door (where the half-orc toughs were hanging out). She went there, stared down the mouthy one who had bothered her earlier, and was guided back to meet with Gerry Rockbottom. Gerry was a thin strung out looking dwarf with poo hygiene and a furtive look about him. Two brutes with flatbows and axes were guarding him as Gerry and Barb were talking.

Gerry was loathe to just sell Scratch to Barb. Who was she? How did she know his name? He wanted some questions answered and didn’t know or trust her. Not wanting to the half-ogre Maro’s name involved, she thought about who she could mention and on the note we found from the gnomish Satchel that Ranger Thog had gotten for us before his death, and said Ixitch Barrowman had guided her to him, as it seemed to be the name of the person who owed Big G O money.

This set Gerry off who was freaking out, claiming that he was NOT getting involved with this. Barb was trying to back pedal the conversation when Gerry slammed his travel case closed and stormed out the back door of the malters, the two guards blocking her from going after him. She could hear Gerry through the alleys cursing and complaining and she was informed by the guards that “Gerry was not interested in doing business at this time. Leave.”

She left and realized that she was being shadowed and watched from various alleys as she left the malting district and joined up with her friends. They all eventually went to the Winsome Wench where they shared what they had learned, ate and drank a bit, and were thinking about their next move. It was a quarter to 4 at this time on Spiritmonth the 29th and we were thinking of heading back to the Malters and see if Gerry had returned and maybe try talking to him as a group.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Meet 90, Adv 6, 7/13/19

The adventure has moved on to the next phase where the group is REMOVED from the location as they have been implicated in the murder of the Province's Ranger and the rule of Mob has been taking over more of the people's way of thinking.

They are on the path to hunt down either the drug supplier OR whoever has been poisoning the people of Durcent Province - and it might be the same group.

Write up follows:

For the rest of the group, we woke up around 7:30/8ish and milled about as Thalin returned with breakfast he had gathered at the Tavern. There was a problem in Durcent Province and it was growing. Most of the populace had heard about last night’s orc raid and our actions during it. They also learned about the prisoners taken and the fact that 4 of them were led out of town early.

Fersic had been about, talking long and loud about his efforts and those of the groups. Some of the naked racism of the people was coming to the forefront that this had gone on long enough and if the orcs weren’t going to be swayed by talk and treaties – then maybe hanging 5 of them would do the trick.

This was swelling larger and a bit out of control as most of the people headed back to their homes to get rope and scythes, let their neighbors know, and then head off to the Manorhouse and try to get Sir Durcent to give up the orcs to face a speedy public trial and hanging. By the time Thalin returned with the information and we had eaten, there was already 30 or 40 people milling about the walls of the Manorhouse of which the gates were uncharacteristically closed.

We arrived and tried to talk the crowd down having partial success. Fersic was alternatingly our biggest cheerleaders and working at cross odds against us. In front of much of the townsfolk, Darius grew cross with Fersic and his rabble rousing and PUNCHED the acting Sheriff in the face, telling his to know it off. Fersic Gregson gave the fighter a wary gaze and eventually led the remaining hanger ons away to the tavern – looking back often at the group with a grim grin.

We had an audience with Sir Durcent who had called out his entire staff, guardsmen, maids and valets to help man the grounds and try to keep the people from rushing the gates and getting in. We went to see the Fire Champion and other 4 orcs who were being watched by the half-orcish scullery boy since everyone else was out trying to keep the townsfolk OUT. To the Wolf Skull Orcs credit, they made no attempt to escape and spoke only highly of the simpleton’s skill at keeping them imprisoned, making his smile happily.

We went up to the main room and talked at length about the situation and eventually Ranger Thog Ranswaller, Sheriff Thurbarn Greensward, and our own Barb returned from their meeting with Chief Glamar and the Wolf Skull Orcs. One everyone was caught up we discussed options and we wanted to let the 5 orcs go, but not until tonight and not until the cover of darkness had fallen. The group would help squirrel the 5 orcs out of the Province and once returned to the Wolf Skull Orcs, they treaty would be in place of no raids and the orcs gone to follow the caribou herds within a 6 day period.

Thog and Sundar were going to look at possible places the mysterious rider on the war steed had gotten off to and if they found anything would let us know. As for the rest of us – the morning was just about gone and noon was around the corner. Thalin was going to stay here and go over the Tradesmaster’s journals to see if he can find anything and the rest of the group was going to head to the Tradesmaster’s house and see if they can find anything there.

As for the Tradesmaster’s House – it was in good repair, decent furnishings, and had the air of a place where a well to do tradesman would live and stay. We looked over the desks, lofts, cellar, living room, kitchen, and outside. One thig we did not was that the chimney did not taper as it ran up the wall, instead staying almost 4 and a half feet wide the entire length, although the flue section was a mere foot and a half. It took some exploring but we did find a section of stone that slid out and revealed a pocket drawer.

Within was a velveteen bag filled with silver and some gold, and a half dozen sheets of paper. Looking the paperwork over it was a trade set up with a smithy in Stivil for 30# of 10 penny nails to be produced and delivered to an Ixitch Barrowman in Paxian, Canaslan. The Tradesmaster and Deacon Burquin of Durcent Province were equal cosponsors of the trade and arrangement of the payment and material went through Durcent Province and happened almost 2 months ago.

30# of nails was 150 nails 10 penny sized give or take – and was a significant cost. We mulled it over and also came to the realization that most building was done with dowels, pegs, and mortar – nails were not a common item. But Scratch was administered with nails and we have what we thought was a link in the chain of it all. It also fell in with what the original Sheriff Auganus had been possibly following when he went to Stivil 2 months ago to look into possible smuggling – and then died of a mysterious heart attack that evening.

With the notes in place we went back to the Manorhouse to see what Thalin had found. The grey elf had noted that the Tradesmaster had been having a rough last 6 weeks according to his logs as many trades that had been set up had been marked as canceled or delayed due to the orcish raids. But on looking back and having the rest of the party come with their finding – it seemed that Deacon Burquin was cosponsor of 8-12 other trades during the course of the last year or so. All after going through the Tradesmaster.

Which had the group come to the conclusion that the Deacon would get information during weekly meetings and confessions with the various people, and if it seemed he could capitalize on it, would let the Tradesmaster know – who would set them up getting a cut of the profits and giving a finder’s fee to the Deacon.

With the poisoning deaths being Deacon, page, Deacon, Woodward, Tradesmaster, Constable – we think whoever was involved with either end of the last trade that the Tradesmaster had kept out of the journals regarding Scratch, was “cleaning house” of anyone who might know about it.

By 3ish we wanted to get some rest, knowing we were going to go out about 10, 11 or so tonight. So we went back to the crofter’s hut and rested.

Until there was a knock at the door @ 6:30. Sundar, Ranger Thog’s apprentice, was there, travel worn and dirty. Said that Thog needed to see the group and now, and needed it to be in a public place with lots of people. Found something about the rider and was at the Tavern right now. We gathered our things and joined the young man until we arrived there.

It was the height of dinner and the Common Room was packed, well over 100, maybe 120 people crammed together. Just about every seat was taken but through the crowd, Sundar pointed to the back two booths where Thog was sitting at one of them, waving at us to come join him, the half-orc looking around the room with exaggerated care.

As we pushed our way through the crowd, Darius leading the way, we were given the odd look, nod, smile, and grimace. We could hear Fersic talking loud, regaling some hanger ons with tales of the raid. As we got closer to the table, Thog seemed relieved to see us and waved us closer. Just before we got there, Shim thought he heard a gnomish voice in the crowd. Then there was the sound of broken crockery and everyone looked at a nearby press of people. Thalin felt something was amiss…but the distraction was enough to drag everyone’s attention for a split second.

Just in time to turn back and see Ranger Thog Ranswaller fall over dead right in front of Darius who still had his hand extended in greeting – Darius’ distinctive “D” ring dagger sticking out of the back of the Ranger’s skull.

The crowd grew ugly real fast, shout of shock and dismay. Shim and Thalin thought they heard hoofbeats out the back door, and ran down the short 6’ cramped corridor to emerge outside, stepping near a distinctive mess of thrown sulfur. Sulfur, in a pattern that the Sorcerer and Wizard identified as being part of a Push spell.

As they looked outside, in the gloom of the night to the east they could just make out a tall figure on a large war horse riding away and then gone.

Meanwhile inside the mood was getting ugly and Fersic was telling the group that they’ll just have to take Darius in “just to figure out what’s going on here” – giving the fighter the same rictus grin he gave him this morning right after Darius punched him in the face.

Fuck.

Sundar, taking the initiative, opened a potion vial from his waist and let it fall – filling the entire Tavern with a dense fog cloud and the crowd was yelling. Snatching the messenger bag off Thog’s table, he shoved Darius, Brading, and Barb ahead of him and out the back door to join Shim and Thalin and we all RAN off to our house – expecting to only have a few minutes before the angry townsfolk find us and take their anger and frustrations out against us for the wrongful death of the Ranger. And with Fersic, charismatic as he was, leading the mob – we expected no justice.

We grabbed the last of our belongings and ran to the east for 15 odd minutes until we were out of local Durcent Province and told Sundar to go to Sir Durcent and Sheriff Thurbarn – and let them know what happened. We decided to head south east to Canaslan and Paxian to hunt down the possible farrier there who would have shod the warhorse – and according to the messenger bag we had gotten, there was a person there named Ixitch Barrowman who was involved in the entire Scratch issue.

According to Sundar, he and Thog had come upon a homestead that was supposed to be empty but was being squatered by two gnomes who ran as Thog tried to apprehend them. One of them lost this bag with the intercepted note and Thog was convinced one or two of the gnomes was a spellcaster of some skill.

There are lots of moving pieces to this entire mess but the group is narrowing the issues down. The problem with the orcs is now out of our hands and we have to leave it behind and go to Paxian, find out what’s going on with the Scratch there and who is supplying the Orcs – and then use all that information to clear our name.

But we have to travel 8-9 hours through hostile territory at night with little cover and do it with what little food and water we have on our person as it is.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Meet 89, Adv 6, 7/6/19

The group had a chance to talk to a number of the orcs this game and had the chance to hear about the barbaric hunter/gatherer way of life from their point of view. Its things like this that I like and adds to the depth of the game. Almost 40 years in and there are still facets of this game that cam be turned over and explored.

For those that say a typical game has a short shelf life or they aren't getting anything out of it - I say bullshit.

Write up follows:

The group charged to the east but before getting through the middle clearing, they slowed down, the sound of orcs looting was fairly loud. We crept near the tree line and looked out. More orcs were here, many with flatbows scanning the woods, some inside, the cover of the woodshed and corner of the building being used. And STILL the whistle was blowing from the east. Time was of the essence.

The thought was Thalin and Shim would creep a bit closer and start firing spells, and when able, Brading would run off and provide a melee distraction. Barb and Darius would travel a bit further south and try to get in line with the buildings and make their attack there. However, while getting into place, Darius was spotted and flatbows started to sing out. Glancing at first, they continued to fire as Thalis was seen next. The elven fighter/wizard took a terrible shot and hid back behind the trees, Shim hanging behind Thalin for extra cover. Darius let a large chunk of spent crystal go fly, smashing one of the orcs in the hand. There was more calls from inside the house and MORE flatbows fired from inside!

Shim dropped a globe of darkness and Brading charged out into the globe in a straight line, hoping to close with the orcs there. Most bolts and stones sailed back and forth. The thwacking sound as they hit trees was like the steady beat of pounding stones and Darius kept waving his hands around trying to make himself the target.

Some of the orcs were filing out of the house but one of them jumped from the loft area, hit the ground at a roll, and ran towards Darius..REALLY fast. Barb tried to run up to intercept but the orc (we know guessed was the High Runner) closed the impossible distance in no time and swinging his hand axe, smashed Darius in the hand – breaking two of his smaller fingers. Barb was there, angry and raging, long pole swinging and the High Runner barely ducked in time. Magic Missiles weaved about, hitting orc flesh and from inside the crofter’s hut, an orc was telling everyone to go, go, go. Coup collected.

The orcs within combat let go and went to flee, Brading hitting one of the orcs hard and tripping him up. The orc then turned and grappled with Brading, the two of them rolling around. Other orcs were making a run for it and the High Runner broke free from his combat and ran, Darius and Barb giving chase but losing ground. From inside the hut came the strongest and largest orc we had seen, who stopped long enough to see that everyone else was making the run before turning to help the orc Brading was fighting – who had grabbed the dwarf by the beard with his teeth…and tore.

This infuriated Brading who was trying to break the orc’s spine with his hand axe. Thalin called a trio of stirges who arrived and started to assault the strong orc (the Fire Champion?) and was ignoring most of their attacks.

The battle ended, the Fire Champion happy his people got away. As he batted the stirges aside and crushed them without care, he agreed to come with us, immediately getting into words with Darius who wanted him tied up and the Fire Champion promising to feed the fighter his coil of rope. Instead we went off to the east to the fire where Fersic and his crew had two huts on fire – one being consumed, the other getting under control. One orc was here, dead, and the younger adjunct Sheriff was proud of their efforts.

We all helped put of the flames while Thalin tried to get the Fire Champion to understand what they did was wrong.

The Fire Champion believed differently, as did most of the orcs. This was a raid in retaliation to a dead orc in Durcent Township, slain their while under the flag of truce and parley. As with every raid, there was to be no loss of life – but trophies, blood, and tokens taken – to remind the humies that they exist at the orc’s largess – not the other way around. Thalin tried to get him to understand that to the humans, this was a real raid with life on the line – and not a series of gathered trinkets and points to establish standing in the tribe and maintain honor for the fallen dead.

It was a cultural divide at this point and Fersic didn’t help the situation, being racist as it was and crowing about the dead orc. Eventually was all reconvened and the Fire Champion was NOT going to let the dead orc touch the ground and once again promised great bodily harm on Darius if he dared to bind him. Barb offered to carry the body which was accepted and the party headed the 30- 40 minute trip back to Durcent.

Once there we went to the manorhouse where we were met by Sir Durcent and his staff. The orcs were placed in the dungeon (we had 8 raiders, the Fire Champion, and the dead orc). For our side most everyone was wounded and the Constable was dead. This was going to be a nightmare as the townsfolk were going to want blood for this raid and the orcs would want their people back without issue.

It was decided that Thurbarn, Thog, and Barb would head off to the Wolf Skull Tribe home and return HALF the captured prisoners with an agreement hopefully eventually to release the rest. With the Sheriff and the Ranger out of town for some time, Sir Durcent turned to Fercis and asked him to be acting Sheriff until Thurbarn’s return – which had the big Viking looking man grinning and happy to help out. There was lots of talk about our skills and Fersic seemed to think that he and Darius had a tighter bond that the fighter believed – but we made it through the very late night meeting without any further issue, went back to our house, and fell asleep.

Barb got up very early and left with the Sheriff and the Ranger and 4 tied up orcs. Even though the guards had been asked the night before to say nothing – there had been too many who knew about our efforts and the orcs we returned with. And too many early risers saw the group of 7 leave Durcent Province and head off to the orc lands.

The meeting with Chief Glamar, Sub-chief Fintok, and us went average at best. The orcs were ready to leave their “summer” home – seed had been planted and earth folded over. The caribou herds were about 2 days north of here and the tribe was anxious to be gone by week’s end. Just return our people and it’s over. The raid was authorized because the humies let an orc die in their town. During the raid a humie died and an orc died. It sucks, but it’s even and fair – so handshakes all around and move on.

Yeah…that wasn’t going to fly with the people of Durcent who were going to want blood and to make an example of the orcs who were captured. Glamar was adamant just release them. The best we could come up with was IF we release the 5 remaining orcs today – she will make sure there are no more coup raids for the rest of the week and they’d be gone in 5 or 6 days anyway. Best we could expect.

Sounded good to us so we left and headed back to Durcent Province hopefully with a deal for Sir Durcent.

Not to try and pull it off without the townsfolk getting wind of it and causing any problems.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Meet 88, Adv 6, 6/29/19

The party learned more information about the deaths today, getting their investigation moving along. However, we also are hitting the first of the some of the planned combat portions of the adventure and the goal is to meet the orcs and do so without killing any of them.

Write up follows:

The Orcs made their way back to the home they had been using and being watched by the citizenry, loaded up their ponies and war wolves and rode away to the north. Many of the townsfolk were glad to see them go, angry curses following them, others had a pensive look.

Through it all, Sundar and Thog were finding the best three hoof prints they could find and were going to make plaster molds. Many farriers have a mark of design to their shoes and we are hoping to eventually use a mold to identify the farrier who shod the heavy warhorse. And then use that information to find the person and where he might be.

We went back to our house and made sure the window and door were sealed, deciding to at least follow through with our plan by heading off to the Woodward’s cottage at the northern end of the province and talking to the two wards he supposedly had living there. It was a bit after 4 when we arrived on Spiritmonth the 27th and eventually the dutch doors were opened by a 20ish year old thin human male. He identified himself as Nagaf and motioned the other person in the hut to come out – an attractive blond young woman named Fain.

Nagaf became the Woodward’s ward about 4 years ago when his parents had died suddenly from a fever and he was alone with no one to help support him. Having no marketable skills, the Woodward took him in and over the last 2 years, officially apprenticed the young man to follow in his footsteps.

Fain was a similar situation as being helped by the Woodward. Some 9 months she was been beaten and left for dead in the woods by her lover/boyfriend. Nursed back to health, she has been here ever since cooking and cleaning for the Woodward and Nagaf.

They were aware of the Woodward’s predilections both sexual and deviant and even though they sometimes participated, it was never expected of them nor encouraged – in fact most of the time it was pushed aside to maintain the harmony of the Woodward’s home and keep the drama to a minimum. They do know that we had two visitors that night and neither of them participated nor interacted with the visitors. It sounded like the Woodward knew at least one of them and it was sometime after midnight that the liaisons left. The thought was he had washed himself from the basin in the kitchen and then went to sleep. He was been poisoned – lesions and sores and burns were about his genitals and anus area.

At first we thought he might have been introduced the poison directly but now we assumed it was added to the water or the washcloth – and when he “cleaned” himself up, got the poison that way. Brading did a detection and found a faint trace coming the basin – which led us to believe our theory.

It was after 5 and we had nothing new we wanted to ask, so bidding the two of them farewell after taking a short tour of the northern border of the Province, we headed back to the main part of the village and Tavern to get some dinner and a drink.

We talked to Fantil, the half-orcish proprietor and he gave us his thoughts on the situation being a half-orc and having some feels for the issue from both sides of the banner. He speaks for other similar like-minded people in Durcent province – there is sometimes a naked racism that most populace doesn’t even know they participate in. And although things with the orcish tribes have been peaceful – too many people are just willing to laugh at them and relegate them to “greenskins” and nothing more.

By this time one of Sir Durcent’s pages had come to the Tavern and was looking for us to head to the Manorhouse. Once there we were escorted to the meeting room where Sir Durcent, his Chancellor, the Sheriff and his pupil, Sheriff Thurbarn, Sheriff in Waiting Fersic, the constable and two of his men and Sir Durcent’s guard captain and two of his men.

It seems that the orcs on their way out of the Province had been talking long and loud about the death of one of theirs and had been pressuring the Chief Glamar for a retaliation for this death and insult. The chief had been quiet about it but enough townsfolk did overhear the Chief give the approval for a raid and that it would happen tonight at midnight.

There was talk of mustering a defense for this and calling up the militia. Durcent Province has about 500 people living there, Maciles a bit let and the Ostlerson Demesne perhaps 300 total. Mustering a proper militia was going to be difficult and most likely not going to be more than a small deterrent. This raid was not going to be from farmers, but young orcish raiders and the estimation was 50 of them.

We needed a response team and we needed it to be in place to head off the raiders and at best bloody their nose. So for a short mustering Sir Durcent wanted us to be involved and we were going to number: Our 5 party members, Thog, Sunder, Thurbarn, Fersic, The Constable, 5 militia men (2 of them with flat bows), and 5 of the lord’s own guardsmen (again, 2 of them with flatbows).

We knew the area closest to the orcish encampment on the northern border of the Province had three large natural clearings and orcish raiders typically ride in a wide line to terrify their targets. So the thought was to go to those three clearings, clear out the crofters that might live there and send them back south to the Manorhouse, and then lay in wait for the orcs to arrive and meet them head on.

No matter what, we wanted there to be NO loss of life on either side and the plan was drive off and deter – not slaughter.

The clearing of the peasantry went without much issue and by 10 pm the homes had been cleared. We guessed the middle clearing was the best choice for use and we decided to split our forces. Fersic, 1 guardsman, and three militia men would head to the eastern clearing and hide in a home there. The Constable, 1 militia man, and 3 guardsmen would head to the western clearing and hide in a home there, and the party, Thog, Sundar, Thurbarn, and the last militia and guardsman would stay here and we would do the same. Everyone was given a signal whistle and blasting it meant the orcs were there and the groups should race to help out. Estimated jog at night through the trees was perhaps 2-3 minutes in between each clearing and another minute or so to clear each clearing as it was.

We were set up in place and time passed. Eventually we were sure it was midnight and then some. No whistles, looking out the windows showed nothing. The Sheriff went up to the loft and using his sword, slit the thatch up there and looked out. In the distance to the east was a slow line of torches, 20 or 30 in number and they moved with slow care to the clearing and were gone from view.

As we were deciding to run east and help out, we then heard the whistle blast coming from the WEST clearing, calling for help! And then the east clearing was blowing as well. Shit. We made a fast call to split our forces, taking our party and Thurbarn to the west, and leaving Thog, Sundar, and the two other men to run east and help out.

We ran through the trees until we arrived at the clearing. At least a dozen orcs were here, three with flatbows that we could see, and they were beating the militia and guardsmen terribly – the Constable standing toe to toe with three of them keeping them off his man.

Magic Missiles and other spells were fired back and forth as we made a showing, the difficult terrain of the fields making our run a bit slower than we’d like. But the Orcs did a bit more looting before one of them had said that they had done what the needed to do and should run. A sleep spell fired off, dropping 4 of the orcs and making those remaining more interested in running away with their ill-gotten gains.

The Constable was holding a trio of orcs off his fallen man but eventually dropped from his wounds and the orcs took out their aggression again him until he was unmoving. We struggled to finally get in melee range as the orcs were pulling away but between our arrival and the standing of the last two militia men, we managed drop three of the orcs.

We fired off a Stabilize spell which brought everyone back from the brink except for the Constable who had taken terrible wounds from the fight and succumbed to his injuries. As we were tying up the 7 Captured orcs we ran back to the east where the blasting of whistles continued to call for help, Sheriff Thurbarn arranging to bind up the orcs and get the weakened and fallen men back in shape.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Meet 87, Adv 6, 6/15/19

The party is still gathering information and walking around. However the next set piece occurred during this meeting - a theft in their home and a fire set at the granary - which resulted in an orc's death.

And that is going to cause tons of problems for the party to come.

Write up follows:

After wrapping up breakfast with Sheriff (acting) Thurbarn, we knew we wanted to talk with at least 2 others: The Watcher for the Dead Curio and the former Sheriff’s widow, Hula. There was some discussion about charging the Province for our work or getting another reward from them but Brading and Darius were keeping the group more to the “lawful” side of the equation with the knowledge that our charter say we have to resolve the issue – and we had Sir Durcent sign off on that as well. Since the mandate is so broad and the local lord signed off on it, it sort of prevents us from charging a fee to the Province at this time. Darius did promise to shelve the conversation for now as we have more important things to do and upon our completion, if we even can, we can revisit it later.

We went to the Watcher first – a larger crofter’s hut and small altar situated near a rise dotted with tombstones and markers. The Watcher for the Dead Curio was a human male, just past his 40’s. A bit taller and considerably wider than most of the local populace, he was wearing a simple shirt and breeches, only a cloak colored with Hel’s marking gave any sign to his badge of office.

Through a variety of questioning and getting a handle on what the Watcher saw and his opinions on the recent (and former) dead. The 6 people who died over the last 8 days all dies from cyanide poisoning. Blistering, vomiting, sores and irritation. 4 died at night during their sleep. First was one of the 3 church deacons, found poison in his mouth. Then a 16 year old page died at night, poison in her ear. Then the second deacon died, also poison in his mouth – he died during the day. Then a few days later the tradesmaster died, poison introduced to his eyes. Then the Woodward died in his cabin, at the north end of the province – poison was introduced to his penile and rectal cavities (he was known to be a buggerer, a poorly kept secret around town). Then finally, a day before the party arrived, one of the 2 constables died on the streets while walking near the smithy, poison had been introduced to his ear.

We talked about Scratch – the orcish drug. Outside of it being derived from Lion’s Leaf, it only started showing up a few months ago, maybe longer. One of the Champions, the Hunt Master, was known to be a seller of it – buying a large amount and selling it to others who might want it.

Its effects are different between the races. For orcs it gives younger orcs a barbaric high for a short while before ending with a sense of euphoria. Half orcs get a similar sensation except they run hot, almost feverish. For other races, humans, it does elevate your heart rate and gives the person a low grade fever, but you feel terrible when it’s over and are exhausted.

Auganus, the former Sheriff, died at 51 from a heart attack he had suffered during the night. He had come back from a run he had made to Stivil and Curio was convinced at that time there was no foul play. However, now, 2 months later with Scratch being about the Watcher wonders about the exact parameters of Auganus’ death.

We then went to the widow Hula and spoke with her. She was a no nonsense woman, strong, well aware of her former place in society, and exactly what her husband did as Sheriff for the 14 years he held the position. He was a man of passions and in good health, and yes, he was known to push himself if need be, complaining good naturedly about his advancing years and aching knees now and again.

As for Thurbarn, he is an able and capable person and should not have had any problem being sheriff. Auganus had good relations with all three of the nearby orc tribes and thought often of Chief Glamar as a friend – even going to a number of the clan’s festivals now and again. Something is driving the orc to take such a stance. Yes, younger orcs always think wildly of the long forgotten days and wool gather and wish for a return of glory – but by the time most orcs hit their 20’s or later, they realize that it’s a long time ago and move on.

But not now, and Hula is concerned. Something has to give and give soon – pressures are mounting high throughout the Province.

As for Auganus’ trip to Stivil, he didn’t give her any particulars but did say he was looking into some smuggling and it might have something to do with Canaslan. No, he took no deputies with him but that wasn’t that odd – often liking to gather information before committing his men. We thanked her and left.

Before going to the Tavern for lunch, we wanted to head to our house and drop off and swap some equipment when we noticed one of the shutters had been forced open. We took care, examining the area. No one was inside; the shutter looked like someone worked at it with a crowbar. We dispatched Brading and Barb to go get the Sheriff Thurbarn most likely at the Manorhouse.

Looking inside, it seemed some our bags had been pawed through and returned sort of the way we had them. But an inventory of everything showed that one of Darius’ “D-ring” daggers was missing. The sheriff showed, but also had the Ranger Thog Ranswaller and his 16 year old human apprentice Sunder Longwalker arrive. They looked over the place with great care.

Someone had been here, human sized or a bit smaller – boots, and moving with little worry. They also smoothed out their tracks making details difficult to find and follow. They had forced the shutter and lifted the window inside. Only 1 person had been here. They had then ridden away. The hoof prints showed the person had ridden east and then was lost in a field. Darius wanted to give Thog his remaining dagger for the Ranger to hold when we heard a distant bell ringing and cries of fire. It was at this point that Thog let the group know that there were two gnomes in the area, short like Shim, and he had seen them around furtively travelling. Smuggling? Doesn’t know.

Looking west, we could see black smoke rising from the granary as people were gathering close to try and put the fire out. We joined the run, until there were 50 or so of us combating the blaze with buckets and wells and troughs of water. Shimlagesh, being a gnome and small, found himself watching at first and then wandering around. Just near the granary was the cordoned off fenced in area of the temple grounds.

In the back was a maintenance shed and lying in front of it was a figure partially hidden. He watched but the figure was lying still and he thought trying to hide. Convinced it might be the arsonist, he fired off 2 magic missiles which had a hard time of twisting through the air and striking the target. The figure didn’t move. He then dropped a globe of darkness on it – again no movement. He thought perhaps the figure was dead instead.

The fire was mostly under control by this time. About 1/5th of the gathered crops had been burned and the talk amongst the gathered was that this was going to make more problems for the Province. Throughout all this, the local orcs had come out and were watching the fire, cheering it on and making snide comments to the villagers and their efforts to extinguish it.

By this time someone had come back to the Temple area and noticed the body. Shimlagesh made it his business to bleed back into the crowd while the ranger Thog was called forward. The Sheriff tried to hold most of the people back, Sir Durcent, and a few others being allowed past. The figure was an orc of the Wolf Skull Tribe. His throat had been cut and he had old scratches on his arms. Thog was convinced the orc was slain by a mounted man on a war horse armed with a broad or long sword. The hoof prints were deep and long and the horse was shod with a fancy heeled shoe. Chief Glamar had seen the body and was screaming furiously at Sir Durcent who was also getting fed up and yelling back. The group noticed besides the chief and sub-chief, the 3 orcish champions were here as well and their furious expressions and beetled brows coupled with the tightening grip they were squeezing their weapons with did not bode well. The local populace was also growing angry, buckets, hoes, picks, and shovels were no longer angled down but raised over head and fury continued to rise amidst the stink of burned grain and the coppery scent of spilled blood.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Meet 86, Adv 6, 6/8/19

The party wanted to have a war chest of coins before going back to the Terror Dungeon so was looking for a surface adventure they can do and make some money in. So here they go off to some back water Province in effort to help solve the problems going on up here and get the trade good flowing back to Erylond.

Of course its not that straight forward.

Write up follows:

For 2 weeks the group looked for some sort of employment around Erylond. There was plenty of labor jobs to be had paying a few commons a day for 10 hours of hard work, but anything more material just wasn’t there. If we were willing to take on apprenticeship roles at smiths or scriptoriums that would help. With no journeyman papers to our name and only our good will and badges from the Greater Rand Sellsword and Adventuring Guild to attest for us – there was a lack of honest well paying legal work.

Which is what most of us knew years ago which is WHY we became mercenaries in the first place.

We wanted a stipend of coins at our back before descending back into the Terror Dungeon to help outfit us properly and that meant finding some sort of well paying work that would be suited to our skills. Pha-iyr Carom promised he would help us out if possible and spent many days looking over what jobs might come ibn that would be a fit for us.

And eventually on Spiritmonth the 26 with the onset of snow already here, some good news came our way.

We met up with the Guild Facilitator at his office that morning where he was entertaining a middle aged human woman identified as Vespia Neast, Chancellor and Speaker for the Wizard-Lord Celeste Firesworn from the Tower of Eternals here in Erylond. She had come to Pha-iyr a few days ago looking to have a matter resolved for her superior in a far flung province to the north and end of Erylond’s direct control.

There is a province to the north called the Durcent Province run by a local lord named Sir Durcent. It is composed of three steads run by the Durcent family, the Maciles family, and the Ostlerson family. For the last decade plus, Celeste has been commissioning birch bark from an ancient stand of trees that is found on the Durcent Province. These trees are old and their offspring are all descendant from an infused tree that was supposedly ensorcelled at one time in the past. The bark is superior to most other bark and Celeste uses it often when possible for her commissions on books and grimoires that she makes for her clients. There is other birch that can be used but her clients have gotten used to this superior product and she is loathe to use some inferior if at all possible.

About 6 weeks ago the order for birch bark she made from the Durcent province failed to come in – some 40 sheets she had requested and had committed to using. Never having a problem before in getting the material She had sent some letters out to the Province hoping to speed the material along and getting back that there has been some issues with a local orcish tribe making trouble and preventing the harvesting of the not only the birch bark, but other material throughout the province.

More strongly worded letters went out all coming back without the material and Celeste was now forced to refund part of her commission funds to her clients as well as use lesser quality material to complete what she can. This has aggravated the Wizard-Lord who then about 2 weeks ago sent Vespia Neast and a team of 4 to head 8 miles out to the Durcent Province and see if they can fix the problem and resolve it.

According to Vespia, orcish raiders were running wild across the province and the local sheriff had dies some 2 months ago – with his replacement being ineffective as there was a power struggle between the new sheriff appointed and another sheriff who was also appointed a few days later by the Ostlerson portion of the province. This has made the deputizing of locals difficult at best since thoughts are running high that this needs to be resolved but no one wants to stick their neck out too far and potentially piss off the “wrong” sheriff in this matter. So Vespia and her people returned the Celeste and gave her the bad news. A further trip to the Hall of Nobles has shown that the matter is a local matter and the sheriff can handle it – meaning no one from Erylond’s court is going to get involved on a matter that is so far from the seat of power and no one has died – so they’ll just wait for it to be fixed locally.

Celeste had since put up 500 nobles and gone to the GRSAG to have the matter handled by professionals and that’s where we come in. 60 nobles up front and the remaining 440 upon completion which is resolve the issue with the Durcent Province and bring the perpetrators to the problems there to justice. The job called for 5 to complete the mission and besides the reward listed, 10% of ready coin and treasure found is to be given to the GRSAG and the rest is ours to keep.

We signed the paper and decided on Thalin, Barb, Shimlagesh, Brading, and Darius to best handle this mission. Returning to the house we geared up, left the rest of the material with the party still behind and started our walk north up through the Thakian Gate and on the way to the Durcent Province.

We passed other larger farms and holdings as we went, come castles and keeps, and then eventually as we travelled the holdings grew smaller and the places less grand. Eventually we left the trade road to one of the smaller roads heading east and 8 or 9 miles from Erylond later arrived at the Durcent Province. Many of the homes were simple land-crofter’s huts and the land showed signs of being harvested but strangely still incomplete at this time.

The Main center of the province had 5 larger buildings – the Manorhouse, the Smith and Farrier, the Granary, the Temple, and the Tavern and Meetinghouse. There was a village square that was cordoned off as well but at this time of late afternoon was mostly empty. As we came to the Manorhouse was had the opportunity to check in with the Castellan and leave our weapons.

We could see the manorhouse stables and besides a few riding horses and a nag or two, there were almost a dozen shaggy haired stout ponies and two large silverbacked war wolves each with a modified saddle on them. The Castellan let us know that orcs from the Wolf Skull tribe were here and having a heated conversation with Sir Durcent. They had been at the Province for the last 8 days and things have gotten tense. How so?

6 people who worked for the Province have died via poison since the orcs have crossed the border.

Shit.

We were escorted inside the manor house and led outside the meeting room/dining room where we  could see the local lord and maybe 8 of his people sitting around along with a half dozen liveried and armored guards – while almost 20 orcs of considerable size and ferocity were lambasting the lord.

The orcs were screaming that this was traditionally orcish land and they wanted the sovereignty to ride across it at will and to use it as they see fit. Sir Durcent said that those documents were well over a century old and this Durcent Province has been here and established shortly after the fall of the Randari Ympyr. The orcish chief, a huge woman named Glamar, was telling Sir Durcent that as of now no one has gotten hurt but she cannot keep the Wolf Skull Orcs from eventually coming to blows if things don’t change.

Then the poisoning was brought up and the Chief was furious saying that poisoning was HUMAN thing to do and no member of her Clanar would ever poison – if things were to be decided by killing – then it would be with tooth, hand, and weapon. There was a speaker, a thinnish orc, who was being run over verbally by the shouting at the table and then the meeting broke up and we quickly moved to the side while the orcs left.

Barb and Thalin, both capable of understanding the language, heard the Chief Glamar talk to her sub-chief, a male named Fintok in Orcish and although they were trying to be quiet, spoke differently. Apparently they had until the last 2 months great dealings with the Durcent Province and the former Sheriff was a good friend of all. She is not happy with the way things are going and wants it to be resolved in a way that saves her tribe and appeases the new Champions of the tribe.

From here we then had a chance to meet with Sir Durcent who was exhausted over what had happened. Sir Durcent is in his 50’s and has been running the Province without issue for a while. There was a page, a constable, the lord’s ranger and his assistant, the master at arms, the reeve, and finally the untenured Sheriff – Thurbarn Greensward.

We got caught up on the local issue. The former Sheriff, Auganus, had been sheriff for 14 years and had a heart attack about 2 months ago after a one day trip to northern Stivil. His passing was a loss to everyone and his wife, Hula, was gifted their homestead of 2 acres for the remainder of her life as thanks for the Sheriff’s efforts.

Sir Durcent then went to his people and picked one of Auganus’ deputies, Thurbarn, and submitted his name to Erylond for vesting and appointment. There are typically 4 orders of law officers. The constable is in charge with maintaining order and investigating crime in any city/town portion of a locale – answers to the local lord. The Marshall is in charge of any standing army/military/or mustered militia body should one be called – and if there is no Marshall, the Sheriff takes over that duty. The Sheriff is responsible for the law and order of anything that takes place in a bordered province regardless of city/town limit – and answers to the local lord. The Ranger is responsible for maintaining the larger laws of the greater lords – whether it’s by poachers, timberthieves, smugglers, or the like – and their reach is not limited to a province. Inside a Province the Sheriff’s word holds sway, outside the Ranger of King’s Man’s word is law.

Thurbarn was well liked and capable of doing the job – having been a deputy for 4 years already and having a militia background before. A local who was known and liked, his name was presented and sent down to Erylond, knowing it would take 2 weeks to get it through the courts and ratified before it would come back up here.

Apparently another name had been presented by the Ostlerson Province as Sheriff – Fersic Gregson. Fersic is also a local person who was not a deputy, but had spent the last 3 years as caravan guard for the Reetersbeard Caravans and was also liked in his own province. Taller, broader, more handsome, and having 70 odd pounds on Thurbarn – his paperwork had been sent to Erylond 2 days after Thurbarn – presenting an issue.

Thurbarn had until the end of 90 days to show he was capable of doing the job and if so – would be tenured as Sheriff and that’s it. If he had a vote of no confidence, then Fersic would get a shot for 90 days as well – and if HE had a vote of no confidence – the Thurbarn would get ANOTHER 90 days – until one man withdrew their name or someone was ratified.

With the orcish issue though, the province was in turmoil – no one wanted to risk getting ostracized by accepting a deputy position from either acting sheriff until they know who was the better choice. So Thurbarn has been trying to go about this alone.

It hasn’t been good. And it’s not necessarily his fault.

The orcs every fall have their Fall Harvest Festival where for three days they harvest what they want from their summer home and prepare to follow the herds for hunting in the winters followed by feats of strength and other contests. There are three new champions: The High Runner (fastest in the tribe) the Fire Champion (Strongest in the tribe) and the Hunt Master (best hunter in the tribe). These 3 new champions sit on the orcish council for the next year and help dictate policy.

These 3 are rather hot headed and are some of the loudest voices about taking back ancestral land. This has been a bone of contention for a long time – but only recently it’s gotten worse. The former Sheriff was very good at diplomacy and policy and the situation has gotten out of control. The Orcish Speaker is a thin wiry orc called Scrato and many of the people of Durcent Province say he’s been poisoning the people.

What people?

Durcent Province has lost 2 of its 3 deacons, a page, a tradesmaster, the woodward, and the head constable to date. All died from poisoning – the smell of bitter almonds noted along with blistering. The Watcher for the Dead, a man named Curio, presided over all of them.

As for the orcs- the chief is correct – although the orcish toughs and riders have not actually hurt anyone yet – they have spent the better part of 6 or 7 weeks scaring off the villagers from the fields and harvesting meaning things will be tight this year in the Durcent Province since the snows have started to fall and there is still turnips, winter wheat, and potatoes in the fields to be brought in.

The younger orcs have also been taken to a drug called “Scratch” which gives orcs a barbaric high for almost an hour followed by a gentle euphoria. It also makes their prone to violent outbursts and bouts of rage. There is a similar drug, Lion’s Leaf, that until recently was the drug of choice for hunters and warriors of any race – but the orcs have taken to this scratch and the thought is, it’s part of the problem.

There was some thought that it might come from Canaslan, as a Canaslanian peddler was through here some weeks ago trying to sell it.

After getting all this information, Sir Durcent was pretty much exhausted and understand the Wizard Lord Celeste is angry but he cannot get her birch bark harvested until this matter with the rocs is resolved and now all the unexplained poisonings is stretching the Province’s capabilities thin. He did sign his name to the charter we had, giving us more authority to handle the situation from the locals without needing the Sheriff involved.

He gave us a place to stay near the manor house – a crofter’s hut that wasn’t being used, and one of our meals would be comped at the Tavern – rest of it was on us. We went to the house, it was secure and well maintained, dropped off our items, and then went to see Speaker Scrato – the speaker for the Wolf Skull Orc tribe.

Scrato had 2 pages/apprentices – each roughly 14/15 years of age. As barbaric orcs they did have their letters and numbers (a rarity!) and were earnest if simple in their doings. Scrato was … nothing like an orc. Eating a salad, talking with his hands and voice at a higher octave, he was well dressed and clean – also some 80 lbs lighter than typical orcs. Dark hair with an asymmetrical cut hanging over one side of his head, our immediate thought was – wow – this is a guy who can poison people!.

But after talking to him and his pages – and the 4 orcs charged with guarding him – we started to discount that. He was eloquent, honest (seeming!), and forthcoming. He had until this entire mess a good relationship with Sir Durcent and truly missed the old Sheriff. He doesn’t like the new crop of champions and blames Scratch for the recent antagonistic views the younger members of the tribe have taken.

As for who is poisoning? He truly believes it’s the local Ranger, Thog Ranswaller. We had met him briefly with Sir Durcent – a half-orc of mid 30’s age, quiet and not well liked. To Scrato’s way of thinking – with enough of Sir Durcent’s people being killed and their positions not being filled – the Ranger could have more control of the Province and shape it the way he might want and prefer. The people were all poisoned in their homes, and the Ranger a secretive man, can come and go at will and no one would think twice about it.

We left Scrato with more questions and returned to the Tavern to have a drink. While there Darius made his way to the man identified as Fersic Gregson, the alternate sheriff, while the party spent the time with the barkeep, Fant Ralinson – half orcish proprietor whose family has run this place for 4 generations. Most of the beverages were either beer or ale, identified as “left beer”, center ale and right ale – as placement of the barrels behind the bar.

Darius did talk to Fersic who although younger than Thurbarn, was earnest in his want for a better province. He wanted Thurbarn to just forego his tenure and if so, Fersic would hire him as first deputy. Thurbarn apparently feels the same but the other direction. No one is happy with the orc issue and Fersic did admit he had some of them followed for a few days and let Darius know that one of Scrato’s guards was at the scene of each poisoning earlier in the day before it happened. He is convinced Scrato is the poisoner and is playing everyone off against each other.

We eventually got some sleep and in the morning had the chance to sit with Sheriff (acting) Thurbarn. He verified much of what we had learned and had his own thoughts on what was going on. The orcs are a part of the poisoning, but he doesn’t believe they are actually the cause and culprit.

We wanted to go visit the Watcher for the Dead Curio as we were concerned about the old sheriff’s death and the timing of it – and also to see his widow, Hula, and find out what she might be able to reveal to and for us.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Meet 85, Adv 5, 5/26/19

Wow! Missed updating this for a bit.

This was the clean up meeting for the end of adventure 5 and preparation for the summer. The 6th player was not a good for us so we are back to 5, and one of my long term players takes off the summer to ostensibly take care of his home and sundry issues - but never has enough time to actually get caught up. Se after this meeting we'll be at 4 at the table - until I go through the trouble to find a replacement player.

Write up follows:

With the prospect of being in town for a long period of time, the group had approached the Greater Rand Sellsword and Adventuring Guild about finding them a possible house they could rent/lease for some time.

A number of prospects were brought up, but a block of homes on the south section of town not too far from the original Mage’s Ghetto and the trade gate was offered up as a good choice. The neighborhood wasn’t the best or worst, and being close enough (3 blocks) to the local militia station meant the area was patrolled and often even if the quality of the homes were is less than stellar repair.

The house was single story, with a full basement. Access to the well was less than a block, there was a small cordoned off yard and outhouse, and the roof was slate not thatch, which was something less for the party to worry about. No obvious leaks, the doors were square, the shutters in good repair. The main floor had a large living/dining area and a kitchen, and then 6 rooms as well as a pantry/closet. The downstairs had a single larger chamber and then 8 smaller rooms and a 6’x6’ root cellar. No furnishings, the place needed some cleaning and repair, paint and whatnot – but the price was well within our budget and we could move in early – paying for a full season now with the understanding that a month before the lease was up, they’d come to us again to review and then another payment.

We bought brooms and buckets, ran water and spent time cleaning up for a day or two. Most of us had petered about wondering if the local guilds were going to be able to train them, when we decided to look about for furnishing. Dizzy used his contacts that he had made with the local thieves guilds and they turned the party on to a warehouse they had of furnishing that had been repossessed for poor loan repayments in lieu of coin.

The majority of us them spent the rest of the day talking to the warehouse manager and his adjunct where they purchased beds and mattresses and linens and table, lockers, chests, pots, pans, chairs and anything they thought they might need in the near future to make their home better.

The furnishings were delivered the next day and we spent the majority of that day and the following night putting the material away and cleaning up the locale even more.

But we were going to need to find some employment and the GRSAG had been informed that we were looking for a local job that would pay well and be within our wheelhouse of skills. Four of us were going to train (Negan, Merica, Dizzy, and Darius) so for the next 2 weeks, the group was going to haunt all the local crafters and tradesmen and see what work could be rounded up to add some coin to their pockets.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Meet 84, Adv 5, 5/11/19

This pretty much wrapped up the tail ends of the Crackling Terror - introduction for the party to the lands around Erylond and how the Terror Dungeon operates. Xp was light and on purpose, with the group most likely training, realizing what they need to buy and equip on a going forward, and how the future delves should go.

However, for the first time in a long time (like 15-20 years), we had a person at the table that just didn't fit in with the rest of the group and I had to let him go. He was an earnest player who really wanted to fit in, but his play and conversation didn't mesh with the rest of the table. It sucks, but it does happen, and a good DM and Player recognizes this and without rancor or hard feelings, move on - because as we've all known, there will be other games and other tables and other adventures and the sweet spot will come around at another time. He was decent in his acceptance and we both parted as men without problems.

So I am going to NOT look for someone for a few months to give the party a break and just play - maybe July we'll look for the 6th player again although I have been told by a former player that he strongly anticipates returning to us before the year is up - so we shall have to wait and see.

Write up follows:

The Delving group emerged from the Terror Dungeon exhausted and low on hit points and spells, making their way wearily out of the antechamber and through Bork Keep to the Visitor’s Hall. Once there they removed what armor and filthy clothes they had and then made their way to see if Lord Corface Bork would be willing to meet with them. We were granted a short audience with the aged lord and caught the nobleman up with our exploits in the dungeon.

The larger reason for our conversation was to comment on the issue we had spied in our travels. There was a section of the ceiling that showed a crack in it, 60’ below the ground, in which a small but constant single drip of water was coming through and into the place. Since the Dungeon was not able to be entered anywhere else but the one entrance, this made the group concerned that there might be another way in or out.

Pacing estimated the crack to be north of the keep in the fields beyond, and although there were some wells there, nowhere was there a way in. In fact over the last 15 years, samples of digging and driving of long shafts showed no possible way to breach the dungeon itself – except for the place here within the keep. Lord Bork did inform us that there were at least 3 other small defacements to the dungeon that had appeared over the last year: one that had a bit of smoke coming through, one that had a faint movement of air as if from a breeze, and another ceiling crack that smelled faintly of soil and tilled earth.

By 4 we were done, checked in with Percy and Hjalgrim, and decided that on the morrow, Spiritmonth the 11th, we were going to have out walk back at long last to Erylond.

As for the Surface grouping, when they left Bork Keep on Spiritmonth the 8th, it was with Avulstein, Darius, Barb, Thalin, Merica, and Shim – with the necromancer keeping up a long litany of his anger at the situation, and his constant harping that going into the dungeon was foolhardy and stupid and we shouldn’t do it. What gain? Where is it? We’ve been bleeding health and equipment left and right with nothing to show for it except possibly dying at an inopportune time.

He was rude and condescending to most everyone save Thalin and Barb. The jibes were going back and forth and it was getting heated until at one point he was isolated and hit with a sleep spell while near Thalin (who was immune to it) and knocked out. Picking the half-orc up, we walked with him some time slung across Barb’s shoulders while Darius and Shim had a long conversation with Salarahadra about the fire mephit and her current ties to Avulstein.

She was not happy and wanted Avulstein to change his ways back to the way he used to be some months ago or get out of the bonding between the two of them. After the necromancer woke up, befuddled as to why he fell asleep and accepting of the fact that he was exhausted and worn out from being so emotionally charged, we continued on our way, the conversation not picked up again until we were near the walls of Erylond. Avulstein announced that he was going back to Sorton to train under Speaker for the Dead Payrlis and was contemplating what would occur after that.

We wanted him to reconsider, there is the Arcane Academy here AND 6 different Wizard Towers not to mention other untowered wizards who might want someone to apprentice under them. He was belligerent and suggested strongly we do the same. In the interest of keeping the peace we let the conversation linger and agreed to getting a room at the Flying Pegasus and discussing it tomorrow.

Once in the town we let Avulstein go while we took a circuitous route away from him and around the city to get to the Greater Rand Sellsword and Adventuring Guild. Once there we had audience with Pha-iyr Carom and presented him with the signed Letter of Credit from King Seljack. We discussed with the elven fixer what had happened, why we were delayed, and Seljack’s demeanor during the exchanges we had with him.

We did touch upon the issue that the “blow up” in the warehouse was possibly a plant and executed by one of Seljack’s people for the purpose of embarrassing the GRSAG, getting them to pay Seljack a large stipend (which we did), and more importantly – show a bit of strength and back and forth between the GRSAG and Canaslan’s newly formed adventuring group. In further discussion Pha-iyr conceded there was no clear path to winning for him no matter what tack he tried, and any solution would give King Seljack some sort of leg up over him.

We discussed sleeping here in the common room, and what the cost of a flat would be or a house that the GRSAG might own somewhere in Erylond. We were informed of a place on the south end of town that would most likely suffice for us – and at 45 nobles for the month rent – seemed cheap enough all things considered.

We opted to stay here tonight, avoiding the Flying Pegasus and Avulstein, and just relaxing after a week plus of back and forth non-stop frantic moving. At the end of our conversation Pha-iyr did want to know what our thoughts were concerning Peris and how he performed for the party. The group was…mixed. The grey elven wizard has been difficult to meld with the group and many times his statements and action were seen as grating and at odds with what we would have expected of the potential applicant. We decided to hold off on our final decision until the Delving Group returned from the Dungeon and gave a field report on his last actions down there and with them.

We rested and the next day, split up with Thalin standing online outside the Adventuring Guild to possibly buy some healing potions from Nythil, and the rest of the group heading to Julian the Sage to get some information from him. We learned a few things – Nythil’s potions always heal the same amount every time they are drunk and he was ANXIOUS to sell a case of TWENTY to Thalin for only 150 nobles. Excuse me?

Turns out they were addictive – and if hurt – you would want to drink one to feel better. The first case is really cheap – but after that the price does go up.

Ugh.

And Julian shared some information with the group about possibly a silvered steel weapon – and they can be found in the Terror Dungeon behind one of the Glyph Gates near Entrance 1 – and it has something to do with Lathandar, the elven god of the dawn and champion against undead. Nice – we want to do that.

He was a bit secretive and had locked up his house and on conversation learned that he was visited by an Ambassador from Emberia and Lord Emberwine who was searching for some relic and Siggurd’s father had been mentioned. Julian realized the being was a powerful psychic and got some information out of the sage before his own personal defenses and ward had kicked in and protected him from further prying. Since then he’s been keeping himself ensconced in his home for now and avoiding outside meetings if at all possible.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Meet 83, Adv 5, 5/4/19

The party finished up the "Chime" part of the Glyph Gates which will allow them to no longer worry about the 8 hour limit before the exits move - and should let them explore a bit away from the local rooms near the exits. There are 20 Glyph Gates in the Dungeon and some are common, others less so, and a few rare. They all require different material to open them and once opened, a smaller side dungeon and quest and reward is there.

Write up follows:

Looking into the chamber not one person in the group wanted to actually step in. Created from a dozen or so bipedal creatures all melted together, the figure was a piteous mess of moans and sobs. The smell was rank and it was sitting in a slurry mess of its own waste product. The cancerous wooden lump upon its combined backs and skulls was the zebrawood we would need to “harvest” and hack away – and it would require stepping in and getting close and personal with the beast.

The biggest relief was that the size of the beast made it impossible to step out of the room since the door, sizeable at 8’ by 4’, was still too small for it to navigate through. We tossed bits of food, some of it soaked in blood, and the figure at the offerings disgustingly and with obvious relish. Threats with a spear had it cover away, the beast moving in a wave of barely conflicting flesh. At one point we even managed to see it devour part of its own anatomy, sucking the flesh off its fingers in an orgiastic display of contentment.

We went through our options and the best bet was to have Dizzy and Negan alternate the summoning of creatures and hope we could get one that was capable of wielding one of Brading’s axes to do the job. We ended up with a kobold first, clad in leathers and seeming to be an engineer of so sort. With the axe in his hand he went in and began to hack at the beast.

The chimera sobbed and wailed and cried piteously. Each axe blow cause fresh blood to run down the carbuncle and even though the kobold was making good progress, as it was finishing up the second part of its cuts, it began to cry and sob, moan and wail. It staggered out of the room and curled up into a fetal position, begging not to go back in. We sent it in and it failed to finish the job, dropping its axe and lying on the ground in misery. Gryg stepped in to get the axe and the psychic miasma was almost too much for the dwarf who started to weep as well.

Connal then stepped in and dragged Gryg out before he was affected, the axe coming with them and the kobold was dismissed. Taking stock of the situation the cutting need to be finished and we would need another creature, hopefully one that wouldn’t be as mentally affected by the chimera’s cries. Another summoning occurred and this time – a clad skeleton appeared! Practically perfect!!

Giving the skeleton the axe, we sent it into the room and it had zero compunction in hacking the rest of the zebrawood out of the chimera’s back. Coming out it handed it to us and then, we sent it BACK in to get another chunk! It succeeded a second time and then the chimera finally reared up and tried to smother/absorb the skeleton. We had it toss the wood and axe to us, gathered them up, and then dismissed the creature, letting the door close.

Following the gnomes advice, we loaded the zebrawood into the machine, clamping it place. There was another clunk and the stones on the far wall fell off. The newest stone showed an “R” to go along with the C, A, V, and E we already had. The gnomes were pointing to the north wall and saying, “Per…Fec…Sea…”

A quick look of the letters gave us Carve, so after getting the hint “Cut”, we placed the letters and the last secret door opened. The smell of flowers and fresh earth came out. There was a hall area covered with increasing dirt and loam and wines until it opened to a larger room 30’x 20’ where lots of plants filled the floor and walls. There were firefly looking creatures flitting about slowly – at least a dozen, definitely more. And it seemed like a few pedestals barely a foot and a half tall were on the floor.

Bit by bit we looked around with light stones and tossing food. The fireflies ignored the light but did take what food we tossed in, dragging them slowly through the air and out of sight. Getting closer down the hall but NOT into the room (none of the fireflies ever made it into the hall even once) we could tell they were inch and a half tall naked male and female fairies, each of them illuminating light from their skin. All we heard were strange tinkling when they would get close and they did not seemingly reply to anything we said.

On the pedestals, five we could see, were bells – each of them of differing sizes, composed of brass and with zebrawood handles. We wanted to get a better look at the bells and Connal and Peris both entered with shields at the ready. But the fairies drew closer and eventually got close enough to sit on their ear – and this close, the two adventurers could actually understand them! One was Rose, the other Chrysanthemum, and they wanted the group to pick up the bells and ring the perfect “C”.

We looked under the two closest bells and one had a “3” on the underside, the other had a “4”. A look around the room at this point showed 2 other pedestals buried in the foliage also with bells. So we had 7 of them, which was the right one?

According to the fairies, the right one would have them all be fantastically happy and cause the birth of NEW fairies – the wrong one would drive them all deranged and they would whip around the room in a frenzy of flying burning bodies and some would die. Which is the right one? They don’t know – but they know it when they hear it.

We were leaning towards the 3rd bell since there were 7 musical notes, but we wanted the perfect C and what if they were octaves instead of notes? The only hint we had was the bells were VERY dissimilar in size so the party thought it was octaves instead. Which meant the 4th bell would be the Perfect C – the one in the middle. The gnomes weren’t looking for C, but Perfect C.

So with great care Connal lifted the 4th one and rang it. And it was correct. The room grew with new life and more flowers, the fairies all whipped around in graceful loops and song, and from some of the pods, 4 more fairies were born and were greeted to the room! We left the chamber with the right bell, the fairies remaining behind, and the door closed.

From there we added the bell to the tray and there was more clunks and the stones fell from the wall. The gnomes were now saying “Ack..Tih..Vate.” again and again, pointing at the north wall. Looking at the base of the machine, two more letter stones appeared and “A” and an “I”. We had C, A, R, V, and E already and we were stuck on the word until we touched the machine and the gnomes added the hint “Want” to their repetitions.

AVARICE.

With the letters placed on the wall, the room vented and cooled off a bit and the machine trundled and twisted and ground until there was a series of chiming noises and we had a wire wrapped wound set of chimes on a zebrawood handle that upon taking, had a faint flash of reddish light and we were back in the hall right outside the room of the Glyph Gate. Awesome!

We had Brading give us a guess of 2:30 as to the time (almost 3 hours so far down here) and we decided we were going to go back to the steps and out of the dungeon. Sybil and Dizzy were on point and as we came close enough to the south passage, our two scouts stopped the party and backed us up quick. At the extreme limit of their infravision range, they saw two almost 9’ tall heat sources down the hall. They think they moved back fast enough to avoid being seen but we have a problem – if the party tries to get to the south passage, they WILL be within infravision range of the assumed ogres.

We needed a distraction.

So once again, we summoned a monster and this time a giant rat appeared. Negan gave it explicit instructions to RUN at the Ogres and then if possible, KEEP running. The rat took off and within a few moments we heard excited calls in Ogrish as they tried to hit the rat, missed, and then ran after it giving chase.

Our chance and now.

We booked around the corner and kept going. Sybil thought at the side passage leading to the trashed furnishing room before the portcullis she saw the heat signature outline of a Grue but our approach and torches scared it off. We kept going, getting closer, and closer – close enough to see the portcullis was down.

And 4 goblins armed with light crossbows were on the other side, lying prone, and unloaded on a surprise round on the party. Sybil was missed, Dizzy fell, Peris fell, and the rest of the group was struggling to get out of the way. While they were shooting, the goblins were crying and shouting in their language, “Here! Here! They are here!!”

Crap.

As they launched more bolts at the party, withering more hit points and knocking hit points south, Gryg and Sybil tried to return fire with their own missile weapons, mostly ineffective as the goblins were lying prone and the bars were providing cover. We crept forward trying to close but with the gate down, whoever was going to work the chain was sitting duck.

And then we heard the Ogrish voices from behind us echoing back in our direction as the diversion we did earlier had apparently played out.

And then whipping around the corner came two goblin warriors clad in heavy armor and spinning battle axes into the group. Sybil, Connal, and Dizzy were at the front line as this combat was spiraling out of control. And then the Halfling let us know that MORE goblins and the FUCKING GRUE, with a bag tied to it head, were coming towards us from the furnishing room.

Negan called out for more summoned monsters and shot off THREE giant rats back down the passage to head off the Ogres and slow them down. Magic missiles stabbed out and weaved through the bars burning one of the goblins while missile fire took another. Connal was at the bars knocking aside bolts and trying to stab the goblins who were just outside of range. Brading shot off more healing and the group was trying to get a handle on the combat before the Grue was in the fight.

Peris used his scroll of Summon Monsters and got a hobgoblin…clad in platemail and shield, sporting a wickedly sharp long sword. Directing the militant warrior INTO the furnishing room it assaulted the two goblins their leading the Grue and cut the ropes dragging the blinded creature forward. No longer being guided the Grue sat down and tilted its head.

We needed the damned gate open NOW so Negan charged forward and hit the gates full force. The squealed under his impact and he bent low and LIFTED the 420 lb metal gate straight up WITHOUT the use of the chains, just about 6’ off the ground, arms quivering as he dared to stand in place.

The way clear we all tried coming down the hall, battle axes flailing, sling bolts flying, voices raised and screaming. Negan felt a pop and let us know we had only two giant rats left holding the ogres back. The prone goblins were unable to rise up in time and were dispatched quickly while the hobgoblin spun wildly about and slashed the bag OFF the Grue’s face.

Who went wild from the light and SMASHED one goblin, killing it, and then turning SMASHED another goblin, killing it…before running off into the gloom. Negan lifted the gate HIGHER, and pulled himself under it while he felt another distant pop, we were down to one giant rat slowing the ogre’s down. Peris called for the hobgoblin to RUN and it whistled around the corner and joined the rest of the group just in time for Negan to let the portcullis fall behind him and crash to the ground in a shrill clanking boom.

No longer delaying, we ran for our lives as the goblins and Ogres (last rat popped away!) were giving chase. We hit the stairs and climbed up swiftly, Peris letting the hobgoblin return, and emerged at 2:55 PM back out of the Terror Dungeon and safely once again up top and out of danger.