The first game with my daughter took place 5 minutes after character creation and like all good Basic D&D campaigns, took place at the guard tower in the back of the rule book. Ran it as written except for the prisoners located in the basement. She did not clear it out but that's ok.
She was most proud of the green slime and EVERY where we went, she wanted to search for traps (after hearing the normal game for years she had picked up on that trope very quickly). She also had only 1 spell and after going through the list of 12 available, she wisely chose sleep without any input from me. I will admit she was very close to taking Charm Person but opted to go for the better choice instead.
All told we got the mission done, a pile of coin, and immediately got hired for the next one - leading us back to the gatehouse of the keep and to the next level down.
Write up follows:
The old keep on the edge of Brevoy had been rumored to be haunted over the last 2 decades, strange sounds echoing from within, odd lights now and again. Most of it had fallen to ruin but a few of the outer gate towers still stood. Lord Rasmus the Fifth had made noise over the years to have it razed but nothing had ever come of it.
There have been strange sightings in the streets at night, cowled and hooded figures skulking about, the stinking rotten banana reek of unwashed golbinflesh redolent in the air from their passing. And as of this morning, there were 12 counts of missing persons. The baker’s daughter, two pages, old man Jenkins the well house guard, two journeymen cobblers, a dairymaid, the bell maker’s wife, Squithic the elven puppeteer, and two beggars – all disappeared between 6th hour and morning walk.
Lord Rasmus the Sixth (newly lorded and running the lands since his father’s passing two months ago) was beside himself and a call went out for daring personages who would risk investigating the old keep. And it was here that Lina Inverse, Elven warrior mage from Greenholm and her Halfling companion, Thimble Mooserider, stout and doughty fighter from Erylond took up the quest from Lord Rasmus. He promised them 100 crowns total if they were able to find the lost townsfolk and bring them safely back.
Mounting up on their steeds the two adventurers rode to the edge of Brevoy where they dismounted, made sure there was feed and water for their horses, and tied them up at the edge of the keep’s perimeter. Up close the keep looked just as bad as people had said. They took the time to explore the area around and the two of them did find numerous goblinoid tracks near the eastern guard tower. Lina dared to creep up to the door and peer through the crack, her elven sight allowing her to see the cooler interior of the keep’s short entrance hall.
Pressing her shoulder to the portal she shoved hard and the heavy door slid with a scrape to the right, lodging itself open against the dusty floor. A plume of grit and dirt billowed in briefly, showing a short hall maybe 15’ long. There was enough light filtering in for now to show the corridor all the way to the opposite door frame. Lina held Thimbles back and eyed the floor critically. “We should check for traps,” she said. The two companions carefully probed ahead, thimbles with the butt of his short bow, Lina with the edge of her boot. And sure enough, they felt a gap in the floor.
With a firm stomp, they opened the 5’ pit trap that went down about 10 feet, old bones and bits of scrap metal on the bottom. The Halfling uncoiled his rope and hook, set it on the edge of the pit, and climbed down, the elven fighter-mage followed. At the bottom they goosed the grapple off and flung it up to the other side, climbing out of the pit again.
At the door the two companions checked it out carefully, hearing nothing on the other side. It seemed stuck so Lina once again forced it opened. There was a hall running to the right and the left, both short, both ending at a closed door. On the left side there was also a turn to the right. We hissed some ideas back and forth, deciding to check out both doors first. Thimbles lit a torch from his pack and the two friends moved on.
The right most door opened up to what had once been a barracks but had now flooded. The floor had dropped away and the ceiling bulged downward, resulting in a pool of murky water in which a single bed floated serenely along with the rusting hulk of an iron statue showing a female warrior. A door was on the opposite of the chamber but the two companions opted to go and investigate the other door from the main hall first.
Lina shut the door behind us and we walked quietly down the hall. A look over the door showed no obvious traps and they once again heard nothing. There was some pushing and we looked in on another room, some sort of sleeping chamber. Two beds, couple of chairs, a table. A layer of fine dust was sitting on everything.
The two friends went in and looked around, carefully checking over the entire chamber but found nothing. Once satisfied of the situation, they ventured back in the hall and thought about their options. Option 1: continue north from this hall or Option 2: go back to the sunken chamber with the pool of water in it and skirt around to the other side. They opted for the 2nd choice.
Once here the two friends gave the room a once over, avoiding stepping in the pool but having no problem with shining a torch down near the surface or probing the depth with the tip of their swords. Thimbles noticed the torch was guttering out so he withdrew a new one and lit it.
They found nothing so went across the chamber to the other side, gave a cautious listen and look at the door here and then dared to open it. A short hall ran to the left where at the corner there they had a door on the left, a door on the opposite wall, or a turn to the right. Strange sounds seemed to echo in the distance, setting the two of them on edge.
Lina led the way, inching down to the corner where she looked right. The corridor went a short distance and turned to the right again. Many footprints littered the ground here as well as some damp drag marks. We felt we were on the right track. However, the two companions did not want to risk leaving the two doors here untouched so they opened the one on the left first after verifying it was not locked or trapped.
The room beyond was dull and gritty in the torch light. Before entering they looked around with care and this time Lina’s concern was rewarded with a revelation. The ceiling had some foul muculant greenish slimy mass adhering to it, just on the inside of the door. Drips of ichor fell from it, hissing on the floor where they hit.
Neither one wanted to enter the room but they didn’t want to leave the slime just hanging there. Taking Thimbles torch, Lina held it to some of the small drips and was satisfied to see them hiss and pop, turning from fibrous green to desiccated brown. She stood up and held the torch to the mass of the slime and it began to burn, dropping from the ceiling in wet chunks where the smaller pieces were also burned.
Once satisfied we had done what we could, we checked out the room only to be dismayed on finding nothing of value within. The two friends went on to the 2nd door and performed the same actions, only this time the chamber did not have a green slime on the ceiling.
They were growing hungry so they went into the room, shut the door, and ate what dinner they had packed with them: salted pork, noodles, fresh vegetables, and dried fruit. It was at the end of their meal that they heard voices in the hall getting closer. Lina felt it was reminiscent of hobgoblin but the dialect was all wrong. Most likely was goblin. She drew her stout sword and Thimbles backed up a few steps with his short bow out, an arrow nocked and ready. Just as the voices were outside the portal Lina tore the door opened and sliced down at the lead goblin.
It screamed as he was hit, the pale greenish creature twisted away as it fell. The goblins stunk of old socks and rotten bananas, their skin was covered in strange lumps and sores, and they wore what seemed to be scavenged bits of clothing and armor. Thimbles shot past the goblin at the 2nd and although the Halfling did hit the creature, it was a glancing wound and did not fall down.
The two goblins remaining entered, both plying their crude spiked clubs against Lina, but the elven warrior’s platemail and shield were more than enough to turn aside the greenskin’s blows. A few more arrows were shot and then Lina got a lucky strike, dropping the 2nd goblin and then the third in short order.
Our elven warrior-mage was lightly wounded, more likely just winded from the short fight, while Thimbles was out of the direct melee. They checked over the 3 enemies finding 12 gold crowns for their efforts which they split and pocketed. Then they dragged the goblins into the room, lit a 3rd torch from Thimbles’ pack, and shut the door behind them. The idea was that if there were a patrolling trio, their presence would be missed sooner rather than later so it was best not to waste any more time.
The two companions continued on their way up the hall, following the drag marks on the floor. The corridor came to the end and turned left and left again. There were two doors here, one close and the other at the end of the hall. Some faint noise was heard from the nearest door and Lina confirmed it was goblin voices, only this time a lot of them.
Since we still had not found the prisoners yet, we decided to do the same as we had done last time with Lina ripping the door opened and Thimbles right behind with his bow. It was the sight of the barracks room with 6 bunk beds and home to 12 goblins within that gave the two friends pause. Most of the goblins were asleep but the closest 4 were staring at the two with shock and growing hatred. We had to act now – attack or flee.
Lina took matters into her own hands. Calling on her elven heritage she recited the arcane words of a sleep spell and put all the closest goblins still awake right to sleep! Then the two friends entered quickly and using their swords they one by one dispatched all the sleeping goblins until they were all slain. Huzzah!
It was a few minutes afterwards that they had gone through the bodies and found almost 50 more crowns which they split and pocketed. Feeling very bold from their endeavors, the two friends readied their weapons and went on to the next door in the hall.
Thimbles thought he heard something down the hall but it seemed to have been nothing since no one became visible. Outside the last door Lina’s keen hearing finally picked up some voices a few moaning in Common and a handful snarling in Hobgoblin. Alright – this should be it!
Our tactics had been working so far so it was a quick pull on the door and we attacked, Thimbles getting the first shot this time and pegging a Hobgoblin in the shoulder. The Hobgoblins were taller than the 5’ goblins, almost 6 and a half feet tall, still greenish cast to their skins but they all sported thick wiry orange hair on their heads, arms, and chins and to a one they each had almost baboonish like flattened blue noses. Holding their spears and sword up high, the 4 hobgoblins stepped forward to attack.
Lina took a nasty swipe on her arm and then a 2nd one across her stomach. She returned the blows by hitting one of the hobgoblins so hard that he crumbled across his torn up thigh and went down with a silent wail. There were now only 3 and Thimbles pegged another one, wounding the tall monster and causing it to hiss in pain.
We had been given a healing potion each by Lord Rasmus before we had left and Lina was sweating very heavily as she tried to keep the hobgoblins from surrounding her, her sword whistling about like a scythe. When he had the chance, Thimbles stopped firing long enough to open his own healing potion and pour it down Lina’s throat, the magical elixir closing up all of Lina’s many scratches and breathing new life into her swings and blows. She thanked her Halfling companion and her every waving sword struck the wounded hobgoblin and ended his life.
Lina tried to convince the Hobgoblins to give up and their lives would be spared but the two remaining monsters wanted nothing to do with her words and commenced their attacks. But it was for naught for in a few short minutes the last two were slain and Lina was sheathing her sword once more. Thimbles had fired about half of his arrows but only a few of the feathered shafts were still salvageable.
The two friends shut the door and went to the 2 prisoners on the floor. They rummaged around the Hobgoblins and found a ring of keys, a fancy necklace, and a box of gold and silver coins that we pocketed for now. As for the keys, one of which opened the manacles. The prisoners said that they had been brought up for sport (pointing to a capped area of the floor where a ladder went down to a basement) with the other 10 townsfolk still down there. There were supposedly other goblins and hobgoblins down there and they were waiting for someone called “the General” who was going to come and take the prisoners somewhere else.
We talked about what was to happen next and Lina wanted to go down into the hole and rescue the other 10 down there. We helped up the two that we had saved and instructed them under no circumstances were they to open the door. She then took one spear and one sword from the fallen Hobgoblins and armed the two townsfolk.
We went to the stairs and Thimbles opted to go down first. Holding his torch with one hand and picked his way down the 20 feet to the basement where we reported to Lina there was a room here about 30’ square with two doors, one on the north leading to some 11 cells and the one on the south was dense heavy wood with bands of iron running across it.
She climbed down and the two friends made their way to the north door where another key on the ring opened it. There were cells here and moaning prisoners that we freed one at a time until we had way too many townsfolk milling about. Lina instructed them all to be very quiet and to climb up the ladder rungs to the floor above, making no noise to the goblins that might be nearby and could hear them.
We were lucky and the two friends knew it as they were the last out of the basement and commenced their way back up to the main floor. Once here we gave the last two swords to the strongest looking of the prisoners and then listened to the door back into the hall. And Thimbles this time heard goblin voices.
Lina wanted to make this quick as most of the prisoners were not going to be able to help in a fight. So we opened the door and hit the three goblins there with all we had. Arrows flew and swords sliced and even two of the prisoners helped out with wild spear thrusts and swings of their own weapons. Lina took another crack on her shin for her efforts and her shield was getting very dimpled but the three goblins went down at long last.
Thimbles lit a third torch from his pack and handed it to one of the prisoners, telling Lina to lead them out and he would take up the rear. The group now numbering 14 snaked their way out of the guard room, past the barracks, around the corners and through the sunken pool filled chamber.
It was past here that things did not go well as Lina was surprised by a pair of goblin scouts walking. She was hit but unwounded and the elven warrior-mage pushed and shoved and hit the two goblins, her mighty strength more than enough to drop a single goblin in one blow. The 2nd one was surprised at this, took a look behind him, and ran with shouts echoing ahead of him.
Most likely getting help.
Lina urged the prisoners to go fast through to the exit, the townsfolk bottlenecking as they picked their way along the edge of the pit. She called for Thimbles to hurry as goblins were most likely coming, the Halfling at the end of the line of prisoners and unable to push his way past yet.
As she had feared the goblin had gone and gotten two of his friends who came back down the hall in a mad dash to hit the elven fighter. She set herself up near a corner so that she could only face one of the three at a time and made her stand to protect the fleeing townsfolk. She traded blows with the first and he fell, getting a slice across her shoulder from the 2nd as she struggled to hold him off. When she had a chance she took her own potion of healing out and drank it down, smiling as the enchanted fluid restored her vitality again.
The 2 goblins were dismayed at this but even more so when Thimbles arrived and shot arrows past Lina, killing one of the two still standing here. It seemed like the last goblin was going to break and run but he didn’t and he was slain as well within the next few seconds under sword and arrows.
Not wanting to get caught they left the fallen foes here and Lina and Thimbles ran out to the waiting ex-prisoners and mounted up, urging them to move quickly back towards town. It was around 7 that night that the tired troupe arrived back at Brevoy. Lord Rasmus the Sixth was very pleased and awarded the two friends the 100 crowns as promised. He heard their tale and that of the captured people and then asked Lina and Thimbles if they would seek out this “General” and bring him in for justice; offering them 150 gold crowns if they succeeded.
The two friends agreed they would do so and expected to leave on the morrow after a good night’s rest and some shopping at the trading store for some more goods.