For our 2nd meeting with my daughter, I was able to finally convince my wife to join us, effectively giving us a 3rd campaign. She grudgingly put on her game face but as with all things regarding this sort of matter, her attention span dies off about 8:30 PM (comes from having a job that requires her to wake up at 5:10 almost every damn day). We rolled up new characters and this time I was to take them into the Keep on the Borderlands - another perfect staple for B/X D&D.
We had a good time at the keep, learning of the environs, and getting what background and gear we needed. My wife told me that she enjoyed the richness of the descriptions of the place as well as the lands we were walking through to get to the Caves of Chaos.
We opted to go for an easy cave and it was luck that we grabbed the goblin on on the south end of the valley. We entered, turned right, and walked down to room one - where the entire party was dead by the end of the 1st extended encounter. Admittedly my daughter did say that telling the goblins to leave because she told them to was not a good plan and that if we were to do it again, (and we will) that we should be better prepared and less likely to be so pushy.
Write up follows:
At the eastern edge of Karakamekios lies the barony of Brevoy. Long has it sat on in that area the civilized people called the frontier. Degenerate goblin tribes have ran roughshod over the countryside for decades, raiding and looting at will. One by one, the walled fortresses were overrun until only a single keep remained. One keep, alone, on the borderlands of the wild.
A call has gone out, to all peoples of good heart and strong spirit to come to the keep and take up sword, bow, and spell and make safe the lands to the east.
On this day of Earthmonth 16th, 175 of the 30th age, the keep was home to three daring heroes who gathered together, answering the call to valor and bravery. Lina Enverse, Amazonian elven warrior mage from Greenholm, her doughty companion Seabreeze Sonata from the Myrinic Lake countries, and Smackey Dugood, acolyte cleric to Neptune – Lord of water and horses. They banded together as one and took up the mantle to clear out the lands of the goblin taint.
We were told by the Castellan that there was a series of caves to the east and north, situated in a bowl shaped valley of steep walls and terraced stones. According to the king’s men who had gone there before, the marking of goblins, orcs, and other foul creatures were plentiful there. The caves closest to the valley’s mouth were less dangerous than those further in. A freshwater stream known as the Goblinwater River ran from it so fresh water would not be an issue, but we should prepare before leaving.
We geared up on foodstuffs, weaponry, torches, ropes, and other manner of equipment until we were as ready as ever. It was the next day at 10 in the AM that we left the Borderland Keep and followed the trail east. Swamps and moors dogged the south of our trail while almost primeval forests ranges to the north. It was some hours later before we came upon the major valley as had been described, tracing our way by walking along the swift flowing banks of the Goblinwater River.
The walls of the ravine were high, almost 300 feet above us, and they sloped heavily after only three dozen feet. There were at least 8 caves that we could see, some of them closer to the ground, others higher up. It was a brief discussion on our part until we decided to enter the earliest caves and see what we were up against.
Seabreeze and Lina approached carefully, giving the entrance a once over with their superior vision. The inside was roughly hewn, but swiftly became cut and square, testament that someone or something made this lair their home. Smackey lit a torch from his pouch and withdrew his sling, while both elven women unsheathed swords and hefted their shields higher.
The cavern smelled of old bananas and moldy sweatsocks, a sure sign that goblins made this lair their home. It split into three directions from here and we decided to listen, hearing just faintly muttering chanting voices down to the right. We crept along carefully, senses alive and peaked.
Our caution was rewarded for after only 20 paces we beheld a larger chamber with 6 of the goblinfolk within. There were roasting some sort of possumlike creature on a skewer over a smoldering fire. Clad in filthy leather crudely stitched together and holding sharpened sticks with fire hardened points they chatted amiably amongst themselves.
We hadn’t been noticed yet and it was opted that Lina would attempt to convince the goblins to leave since we wanted to avoid bloodshed if possible. However her tone upon talking was not friendly and she almost ordered the goblins to “leave. Move one. You have to go now.”
The goblins spoke back in broken Hobgoblin that they would not leave and she should go. It was only a few more moments before we realized we had made a tactical error as the goblins lifted their weapons and stormed forward. One of them grabbed a sack of some sort and ran to the wall, knocking on it with it stick and shouting in its strange tongue. Another ran away, further down the corridor, most likely to rally more troops. But the last four attacked, three of them around Lina and one of them grabbing the skewer of possum creatures from the fire and hurling it like a javelin at Seabreeze, racing forward to then engage in hand to hand.
Lina was overmatched quickly, taking a few deep cuts and bumps that her chainmail did not deflect. But Seabreeze lifted her blade and crashed it down, dropping the first goblin with a wet thud. She slid forward, engaging a second. Meanwhile Smackey let his sling fly and a round stone thunked hard against one of the greenskin’s head’s.
The goblin hitting the wall hissed at some creature on the other side but it was rebuffed with a large hand shoving it back and then the secret door closed. One of the goblins around Lina hit the elven fighter again, causing her to stagger sideways and hold her wounded arm with clasping fingers. Seabreeze dropped another goblin, her sword cleaving the large nosed humanoid across his shoulder blade. Another sling stone hit, wounding another goblin.
The battle was turning at this point with the companions dropping the goblins one by one but Lina was hit hard and she fell to the ground, exactly at 0 hit points. Smackey and Seabreeze hit the last two goblins with all they had and even though they were wounded by spears, they brought the goblins low. The cleric checked over Lina and said that he could stabilize her, but we should get her out of the cave where she could rest for a few hours and regain consciousness.
We checked over the fallen four goblins, grabbed some silver and copper pieces from their pouches, and then lifted the shallowly breathing Lina from the floor and tried to make our way out.
We didn’t make it. The goblin that had run down the corridor had come back this time with 2 other friends. We decided not to abandon Lina and drew sword and war hammer again., standing side to side to block the corridor. The first goblin was chanting in it s gibbering tongue and slammed it’s spear so deep into Seabreeze’s side, that it punched through the gap in the back of her platemail and the Amazonian elven fighter collapsed with a groan, dead at -4 hit points.
It was all up to Smackey.
He lasted all of 10 seconds as the three goblins surrounded him and clubbed him to death, the cleric slumping over and dead at -5 hit points.
Lina awoke long enough to feel her naked body tossed into the stew pot and then she knew nothing else.