King Arthur Pendragon

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Greyhawk Campaign - Session 3

This time, two of the players couldn't make it. The party was reduced to Sidimatus (the human figher), Areth (the human ranger) and Lyrial (the elf thief). After last session, Sidimatus and Lyriel had to recover for a full week, having been viciously beaten by a band of kobolds. While at Windark Keep, they enlisted the aid of Tivor, a cleric of St. Cuthbert, and his two acolytes. They also recruited some hirelings -  a band of mercenaries. Since this is the players' first time playing AD&D, the concept of hirelings and henchmen is still a strange one, being as they are used to the more traditional model of PC group alone in the adventure.

Returning to their place where they last confronted the kobolds, east of the keep, Areth tried to follow the creatures' trail. He was successful. It was a long trail that wound through the forest, until they reached a dark wooded ravine where they could see many caves on the rock walls. Lyriel and Areth approached one of the tunnels to peer inside. The mercenaries and clerics and Sidimatus kept hidden in the surrounding forest. When Areth and Lyriel returned, they discussed what to do. After some minutes of deliberation, they decided to enter the first cave on the left.

Lighting a lantern, they proceeded inside, with Lyriel and Areth leading the group, and Sidimatus among the hirelings claiming his armor wasn't any good so he wasn't going to die this time (a bit of a trauma, after last session). Tivor and his two acolytes closed the rear. It was an unfortunate decision as you shall see.

The cave was dug into the rock, cold walls of irregular stone, but the ground was smooth by the passage of many feet. They explored a few corridors until they entered a large chamber. Inside, a group of goblins awaited spears in hand. No surprise rolls were made for the creatures but the group rolled. Alas they were successful thanks to the ranger. Winning the initiative, they decided to attack. Combat was confusing with Lyriel trying to use her sling against one of the goblins and hitting one of the mercenaries instead, Sidimatus surrounded on all sides and Areth trying to protect the rest of the group. The mercenaries fought well, but then Tivor initiated a spell. No one was expecting treason but that's what happened. One of the mercenaries, started contorting, nasty gashes opening all over his body. He dropped dead.

Confused, Sidimatus tried to speak to Tivor, while fending a goblin's attack, shouting above the clang of sword and spear against shield. The cleric just cried out something about Snarga and that the adventurers' bones would be filling these caves soon. Tivor's acolytes attacked from behind against the mercenaries. In the confusion, the group tried to outmaneuver them, but the goblins still harassed them. They were lucky. They killed some of the creatures and the rest fled in fear.  One of the acolytes was felled by a powerful blow but Tivor and his other follower were more than a match for them. Two of the mercenaries were already dead, when the group decided that a hasty retreat was wise.

Lyriel bolted for the exit while Areth covered her escape by blocking Tivor's way. This was unexpectedly heroic of him. It allowed for the rest of the group to leave the caverns. But the mercenaries were none too happy to see their leader (Lyriel) escape in haste, leaving them behind. Both mercenaries decided what they were being paid wasn't worth dying here, especially with such spineless leaders. They both ran, but one of them was struck by the surviving acolyte and died. Still blocking the way, Areth waited for his companions to leave and then ran out. They weren't pursued.

In the next session, they must cope with the consequences of their decisions. The surviving mercenary is not too happy and their reputation may be stained. There's a lesson to be learned: never accept the offer of a cleric if he readily agrees to help you without some sort of compensation. There is always a catch. On the bright side, Areth decided he wanted the plate mail the cleric was wearing. According to him, there was something fishy about the almost supernatural way the cleric evaded his blows (he rolled a 18 against Platemail + Shield and failed).
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