I JUST LEARNED HOW TO TURN ON COMMENTS FOR ANYONE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF GMAIL OR BLOGGER TO LEAVE A COMMENT. ALWAYS WILLING TO READ OTHER'S THOUGHTS, SO DON'T HESITATE TO COMMENT PLEASE.
The group hadn't met for two weeks and there was many emails about the "fight in the privy" that we had left at. In addition, Mike, the person who played Zoltan the thief/bard, was not here either.
The group had already had a love of setting things on fire, and let's be honest, most early D&D groups resort to oil and torch at low levels to help maximize damage and get an edge. But I had to admit, the group really pulled it all together and surprisingly for this meeting AND the next, they used the fire to their advantage to funnel, guide, and set the tone and pace of the fighting in Fulgore Keep to their advantage.
Plus they found their most favorite weapons: Blessed Bolts of Sutur. Good times.
Write up follows:
It is Firemonth the 2nd, some time around 8:30 PM when we retreated to the dubious safety of the privy in Fulgore Keep - the rainbow shielding of Heimdall's Bulwark the only thing keeping the Castellan's orcish forces at bay and from overrunning us.
Zoltan is badly wounded and unconscious, Karis is beaten and hurt, Smokey the bear (as he was finally dubbed) is covered with numerous fine wounds, and Detheron and Puck have used quite a bit of their finite number of spells. The party is covered in drying fecal matter and other filth and there is a despondency that is infusing the group that maybe this is beyond their skills.
Hastily the group pooled their resources and ideas are thrown out with rapid fire acumen until we have a defined and specific goal - GET OUT OF THE PRIVY AND CARRY THE FIGHT TO THE ORCS.
Zoltan is hit with Detheron's staff - snapping the comatose thief awake and closing most of the horrendous wounds across his form. He staggers to his feet, but being so close to death, he will be useless in the upcoming fights and is given only simple tasks to do while he shuffles behind the group. Karis draws his war axe and turning to the plastered wall of the privy along the east side, begins hacking at the interior wall with his great strength in order to carve us a second way out of the lavatory.
Gwynhywver takes one of the last two oil lamps from the privy wall and readies himself to throw it on the prepared oil soaked carpet in the hall but the Castellan's wizard summons a small cloud of stinging gnats to appear and they surround Gwyn's face, choking the dwarf is struggles to escape them. In his haste, he drops the oil lamp which now spreads a small burning pile IN the privy. Damn - that can't be good. The dwarf staggers blindly to the shower and washes most of the gnats away.
Zoltan tiredly splashes his waterskin on the small fire, diluting the oil and eventually putting it out and Puck has a scroll given to him from Detheron which should take the mage out of business. The Castellan is ordering his forces forward but the rainbow ward is still holding.
The plaster coating is torn away revealing planked wood beneath which Karis continues his assault on and Detheron then heals the half ogre with another precious use of Heimdall's Bulwark. Puck reads the words from the scroll and he casts his spell NOT on the orcish wizard - but on one of the wizards' retinue instead - silence 15' radius. The wizard’s chanting is silenced instantly - and half the orcs are yelling but nothing comes out. The mage disheartened retreats, his retinue coming with him. Part of the hall is clear.
Gwyn grabs one of the orc’s thrown axes from the floor and helps Karis hack at the interior wall - the two of them breaking into the next chamber. Detheron calls upon Frey and an unnatural cloud of mist pushes from his fingers into the hall, filling most of the area with seeming vapors and killing vision beyond a few feet. The Castellan is going nuts ordering his people to retreat and regroup. And then Zoltan sets the carpet on fire with the last oil lamp in the lavatory and the hallway is ablaze.
We push into the next chamber - a sleeping room where five persons could rest if need be. We ignore most of the interior and emerge into the hall, Karis leading the way. The hall here is now mostly clear except for two orcs in chain with longspears guarding the stairs further down the hall. The half-ogre roars out a challenge and charges to the attack. Gwyn comes next, following close behind Karis.
The rest of the group follows - the hall behind them is cherry red in the roiling mist and the crackle of spreading flames as it crawls across the carpet drowns out any sounds the Castellan might be making. There are a number of doors between where they are and where Karis is and the group carefully checks them out one after the other.
And within one of them comes an orc with filed teeth and a short sword, hoping to skewer Karis from behind - but Smokey lurches forward and rips the orc's back to ribbons. The orc staggers a moment and then flips his cloak around him which surrounds his body and draws in - until he DISAPPEARS! Smokey rips through the air - but there is no one there! Detheron goes into the room the orc came out of with his two animals and sees another one there - dressed similarly - who throws a pair of daggers at the druid's head. Both miss - barely - but they come close enough for Deth to recognize the scent of an herbalistic poison on the flashing blades.
The battle in the hall continues against the two guards and then there is a flash and the orc with the cloak reappears on the other side of the fight! He is hit almost instantly by Puck's magic and his vision gets screwed up. Between Smokey, Fodder, and Detheron - the last orc in the room is getting beaten badly and eventually dies. Puck spell blasts the cloak wearing orc again and he staggers around and then falls down the stairs. Group finishes off the last two orc guards and have a choice - go down stairs, go up stairs, or check out the last three doors on this floor. The fire is crawling behind them - roughly 5' every minute so going back they way they came is not an option and they are running out of time to bicker and decide. There is talk about "what next" and frankly - group admits they didn't think ANYTHING past the "get out of the privy" problem as that was kind of the pressing thing on their mind.
They need to get the records and most likely they think it’s in the room where the Castellan came out of. Karis suggests we go forward and try the double door at the end as it MIGHT lead us back around since the Keep is square shaped. The party checks out the last two rooms other than the double door (more sleeping chambers - one of them where the femal orcish warriors sleep - and yes, they quickly took the perfume and clothes). But Karis found the last chamber to not be another hall - but a small temple to Sutur - the Jotun god of fire and rage.
Unholy pictograms were on the wall and there was an altar, statue, and a few thin pews. A curtain cordoned off the back of the temple and Karis ripped it down - revealing a nave where the priest most likely lived and slept. A desk with a par of drawers was here and Karis had to smash and shake them until the wooden stays snapped. He grabbed a pile of the priest's paperwork, a trio of silver candelabras - and THREE potions! One marked healing - the other two marked draughts. Alright! He drank the healing one now and tucked the other two draughts into his pouches for later.
The fire was much closer now and the heat was growing - party had to go UPSTAIRS or DOWN. They chose up - but not until Karis smashed the Sutur altar to bits and set the curtain and bedding in the room on fire. Take that Orcs!
Party went upstairs where they encountered a lone guard who set his spear and tried to shove Gwyn down the stairs, but the sturdy dwarf refused to budge - holding his ground. Karis was able to get close enough and the orc went down after that. They were in a wide area with some couches and tables and cards and checker boards - orcish lounge maybe? But there was another hall here with 3 doors on each side AND a double door at the end. The group HEARD a door slam down the hall - but not sure which one it was.
Karis charged down the hall to the double door - ignoring the other 6, but the group went slower and didn't want to be caught between orcs again so opened the first door - and WHAM - Gwyn took a hand axe to the chest. Damn it! Orc came out and tried to SPIN the dwarf into the room to make short work of him (haha - short - dwarf - punny! Bah - I'm not a bard - ask Zoltan for jokes) but the dwarf instead grabbed the orc and spun IT out into the hallway! Surrounded by his friends - the orc was cut down quickly. Another one emerged from another room but the group was ready for it and it was taken down too.
With now four doors checked and no other orcs in here - group continued on with THREE choices left: Double door - door on right at end of hall, or door on left at end of hall. And ONE of them made a slamming noise - so there is something down here. Party chooses "right" and we go in. Much larger chamber - obviously after a moment looking it is the Castellan's private chamber. Group fans out and begins searching it.
We find no real treasure at first - but some things of note. Paperwork about something called Raven's Perch Demesne - which doesn't sound like anyplace the group knows of. Clothing and boots that are real nice and ogrish sized (Karis gets a wardrobe enhancement!), the armoire has what is thought of as a hair shirt - but is actually 6 dwarven beards skinned and stitched together, a large brass key, and on the desk carved into the wood is the numbers "451". But it was behind the couch that Karis and Gwyn find the biggie - an iron potion box with two potions: Regeneration and Restored Health. Nice find.
We decide we are done here and the middle door is locked (maybe the key we have?) but we want to take care of the Left door next - so Karis opens it and is hit full in the face with a spell bolt - that has him suddenly laughing and laughing and laughing uncontrollably. Unable to defend himself - the two orcs drag him into the room and he is stuck with a spear in the abdomen. The fight begins. Orc on one side chops his scimitar into Karis, another one axes him badly. Karis can't defend himself, laughing all over the place - he is losing hit points fast. Smokey comes in and engages one of the orcs and Puck forces the Kuluk ring to life - pain bolting the oricsh wizard. Wizard drops and can't cast spells.
Gwyn charges in and takes on another orc - leaving still one of them to stab Karis again. Karis is getting his laughter under control and the spell is ending. Detheron heals the half ogre (another precious use of the staff - we have now used it 5 times) and Puck is struggling to get into the room fast enough.
Fight takes down another orc, then one more - Gwyn and Smokey taking some wounds from the battle. But then Karis is no longer laughing and beats the crap out of the last orc with the spear. Puck throws his AC to the wind and charges the orcish wizard - getting punched in the face for his efforts - but lays his hands on the orc and SUCKS a spell from his memory! Way to go spellthief! Group is like - WTF is that!?!? And Puck was all proud - ha has stolen a spell from the wizard - and it is Charm person. :) And he HAS to use it next round!
Karis offered to smack the wizard on the skull to knock him out and Puck is shouting “don't kill him, don't kill him” - and the orc is trying to get some room to cast his OWN spell - but Karis fumbles and smashes his face on the ground, stunning himself for a few minutes and Puck goes first and the wizard gets a face full of "charm person" - and suddenly Nyrex is Puck's long lost friend. :)
We get lots of information from the talkative orc wizard:
* A number of kobolds were captured near here, are in dungeon, and talked to Castellan about some slaver named "thudor?" from some organization that spoke of Fulgore Keep and was captured and taken by manlings.
* The double doors is the Castellan's seal room - where he keeps slaver records as well as dozens of bronze seals he uses to make illegal slave documentation. He has the only key though - it's either on him or in his room.
* Treasure? It's in the dungeon! Castellan has the code though - won't tell anyone it. There is a magic sword down there though.
* My spell books? Sure - here they are! Enjoy.
* I don't have potions - but the priest Grgich might in his temple (we already got them).
* Magic items? A few throughout the keep - but the best would be the "Blessed Bolts of Sutur" which the keep assassin's have - two orcs named Makles and Volvent. One of them also has a magic cloak. Hmmm - we've met them!
* Here's all my stuff on herbology - you can have it. :)
* Sure I'll come with you - what are friends for?
We ransack the Seal room and take about 180 seals from all over Sedaria of towns, guilds, organizations - everything the Castellan uses to facilitate illegal slave trading. The records are not here - most likely in the conference room on level two that we couldn't get to.
It's time to go back down (there was talk of holing up here and resting quietly - but it is discarded as too dangerous). Group wants to go for treasure and magic sword - Detheron wants to go for Ringo's body. There is rapid discussion and we decide - Ringo's body and records FIRST. Then treasure and Castellan's heart if time afterwards.
The 2nd floor fire is now out and the plaster is hot but not exploding. Hall is empty - noises downstairs, and a few orcs at the end of the other leg of the "L" where the conference room is. We use Nyrex, the orc wizard, as a diversion to sucker one orc towards us and the group takes him out - but 4 others come after us and one of them blows his horn - which alerts the orcs on the FIRST floor. Fuck - we're screwed again maybe?
Not at all! We have found the 4 Blessed Bolts of Sutur and both Gwyn and Puck have two - Nyrex has "greased" the stairs, and Detheron and Karis and the animals take out the last of the orcs swiftly. Ringo's body is found, lashed to Detheron's pack - Karis finds LOTS of records - but it is TOO much for us to take. So decide to leave it for now and finish the Castellan off and then walk out safely with them
Orcs are coming up the stairs but it is not easy with greased steps and then the grease is ignited and the fire (it always comes down to fire!) spreads and the first orc is at our position.
We are BACK on the second floor- with lots of orcs ready to charge us- but this time we are in a better position and ready for it - plus we've killed 12-18 of the orcs already and are still holding our own. Biggest threat? Castellan and the Orcish Priest.
That was where we left it.