Return to the Keep on the Borderlands

Session 2: Exploring the Caves of Chaos

AUGUST 17th - Not wanting to waste daylight, the party press into the crevasse that was the Caves of Chaos.  Deciding to follow the southern wall, they soon found an opening leading under the earth.  With Natalia holding the torch, the party started into the cave.  Finding themselves at a four-way intersection, they looked ahead and saw a dead end.  Looking to the left, they saw the corridor go into darkness… and beady eyes staring back!  The goblins cried Bree-Yark!!! and battle was soon joined with Sir Stannis leading the charge and Hammerfist and the men-at-arms following close behind.  Six goblins flung javelins and swung with their clubs but one by one they were felled. Sir Stannis having taken the brunt of their attack lay on the ground unconscious, but with Hammerfist's divine influence and his own tenacity was soon back on his feet.

As the party regrouped, Sir Stannis was the first to sense trouble headed their way – BIG trouble.  Ordering the party to take position where they would be able to have maximum advantage, they braced for what was to come – and they did not have to wait long.  An ogre barreled around the corner with goblins in tow cheering him along.  The hulk wasted no time – crashing into the hastily assembled line and Sir Stannis' trap was sprung!  The party swarmed the ogre while its bulk kept the goblins trapped behind it.  Blow after blow was landed by the party but the brute seemed to just ignore them as it brought down its great club and knocked one of the retainers senseless.  Natalia focused her magic energies to damage the beast as the party closed ranks on the ogre and still it would not fall!  The goblins roared with evil laughter as the ogre swung again striking a mighty blow knocking Hammerfist to his knees.  Undaunted, the party closed ranks again and one of the men-at-arms caught the ogre in the jugular – its eyes rolled back in its head and fell backwards.

The goblins laughter quickly went silent as they saw their champion felled before them.  After a brief moment, they threw their javelins and started running.  Sir Stannis rallied the men-at arms and gave chase while Natalia revived Hammerfist and the other retainer regained his senses.  The goblins kept throwing javelins as they retreated past the entrance and Sir Stannis had his men take cover in the side passages – forcing the goblins to come back out into the light.

The goblins tried another hit and run attack only to lose one of their number and they fled deeper into the caves.  Once the party regrouped at the entrance, they decided to press their luck and press deeper into the caves.  Finding themselves outnumbered, the goblins fled deeper still into the caves leaving behind what passed for a guard room… and a massive door in the back corner wide open.  Thinking that this might be a good place to hole up, they moved into the room beyond and stumble across a sleeping bear. Seeking to take the initiative (and figuring their best bet was to strike it while it was sleeping) the party laid into the bear…  only to find it was merely a bear pelt upon a massive pile of leaves.  The ogre's bed perhaps?  

Spiking the door behind them in case more goblins were to come, the party quickly surveyed the ogre's den and found a number of bags most of which contained treasure!  Some searching among the bone piles of past victims turned up some arrows and a scroll case as well.  Hearing the goblins making a commotion in the tunnels beyond, they decided discretion was the better part of valor and grabbed their loot and headed back to The Keep.

SESSION REWARDS: 112xps for battling goblins and the ogre.  There was some adjustment because the retainers participated in the battles to varying degrees.

LOOT: bag 1 – 250gp, bag 2 – 287 sp, bag 3 – a hard cheese, bag 4 – 182cp & 91ep, bag 5 – 289gp, bag 6 – 303cp, bag 7 – looked like 241 gp, but turned out to be gold-painted lead worth only 1cp each.  Also a keg of brandy of unknown value.

6 – arrows +1 and a divine scroll of cure wounds and find traps.

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Session 1: Exploring the Keep and Finding the Caves of Chaos

AUGUST 14th – Our brave adventurers traveled east for many days from the realms to find themselves at the borderlands where the only bastion of civilization was The Keep.  Confronted by the men-at-arms at the gate, each was asked to declare themselves and their intentions:

Thomas Hammerfist (Bob) – A human paladin who rose up from nothing and has become something of a folk hero in some parts.

Stannis of House Gable (Jeff) – A human fighter that fancies himself a knight because of his noble background.

Natalia, companion to Sir Stannis and Advisor to House Gable (Doug) - A human witch with an unease presence about her.

Having been duly noted by the scribe, they were escorted into the Keep proper and directed to see the smith about stabling their horses.  While the stabling of Natalia and Sir Stannis' horses went cleanly enough, when asked about the Caves of Chaos, the smith warned Natalia that none that sought the caves had ever returned.  After speaking those words, he grew very pale and shaken at Natalia's presence and warned the party off once more.

Afterwards, the party made their way to the Sleeping Quail Inn and Golden Goose Tavern.  Thomas was very generous with his money and bought a round of food and drink for the party and an even more generous tip for the bar keep, Ozgood.  When asked about the Caves, Ozgood cautioned Thomas that nothing but trouble could be found there, but if he was going regardless, he should bring help.  He then pointed out a table where five men-at-arms were drinking – they had come in on a previous caravan but stuck around seeking fame and fortune.  Emboldened by this news, the party approached them with an offer of employment – and they took the offer with enthusiasm.  Plans were drawn up to leave the next day.  While everyone else turned in early, Sir Stannis stayed up late to pursue… other entertainment.

AUGUST 15th – The party set out from The Keep in search of the Caves of Chaos.  Believing them to be in the hills to the east, they opted to make time on the road.  Camping near the river, Sir Stannis believed he heard inhuman noises coming from the marshes on the south side of the river, but otherwise the night was uneventful.

AUGUST 16th – The party continued their trek along the road.  While they were originally planning to search the hill to the east, upon getting closer they decided it was far too small a hill to hold such dangers and continued to follow the road as it turned north.  As night approached, Sir Stannis got a feeling that they were getting close as the party entered a gorge.  Feeling that they would be better off searching in the day, he called for camp to be made – though Thomas urged for there to be no fire lest it draw unwanted attention.  While the night passed quietly, Thomas reached out with his divine connection and felt that he was indeed close to the object of his quest.

AUGUST 17th - In the brightness of a new day, the party began an earnest search of the area for signs of the caves.  Thomas' keen eyes picked up tracks – non-human tracks leading into the woods.  The party followed the tracks deep into the forest until suddenly they stumbled across the vast opening of the Caves of Chaos.

SESSION REWARDS: 25xps for discovering the Caves of Chaos, 25xps MVP bonus for Thomas for exceptional tracking skills.  

Addition 25xps for players registering on the website.

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Welcome to the Borderlands!
Session 0 - Creating characters and setting the foundation

We assembled the group for the first in a very, VERY long time to roll up characters.  After some deliberation, they opted to go for the old-school method of roll 4d6, drop lowest and rearrange order.  While Bob and Jeff were able to roll respectable characters, Doug's first effort was written off (by my merciful decree) as 'torch bearer #1' and he rolled a 2nd set that proved to be a bit more suited for the adventuring life.

Doug and Jeff had not played 5th ed, so there was a fair bit of reading / explaining some of the finer details and the table opted for humans all around.  Bob settled on playing a paladin folk-hero, Jeff on a noble fighter and Doug has decided to try his hand at the 5e magic system with a warlock with a sage background.

Plans before the next session:

  • Get everyone to register / join the website
  • Get characters written up on the website
  • Flesh out some stuff about The Keep (map, notable NPCs, etc) 
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