The Keep on Yeoldelands – Session 16

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Expedition 19b

30 Sep 2021

  • Boots (Dwarf 1)
  • Caradog (Elf 1)
  • Harry (Halfling 1)
  • Percival (Halfling 1)
  • Relf (Elf 1)

    Looking to rescue:
  • Alfredward (Dwarf 1)
  • Amos (Cleric 2)
  • Dalgarn (Dwarf 1)
  • Peach (Fighter 1)
  • Rarder Brete (Figher 3)

Hats, a loyal party retainer and the only member of the group to have not been charmed, returned to the ruined castle from Redwood with a collection of adventurers in tow. They quickly descended into the depths and through the cold, misty cavern to reach the brass doors beyond which lay the sphere of light which had enchanted and trapped the original adventuring party.

Forcing them open again, the group slowly edged in one by one, tying ropes around those first venturing in. Whether it was that these adventurers were made of sterner stuff or that Hats’ warnings had suitably prepared them, but the warmth of the glowing sphere did not overwhelm their minds. Boots, Harry and Percival all retained their wits.

Still out in the cave stood Caradog, Hats and Relf, and they found themselves confronted by something coming out of the mists – a hovering, near-skeletal figure shrouded in a dark aura and a great bearskin cloak. Relf stepped forward and swiped at the creature, but his weapon passed straight through it. It clapped its hands to his cheeks and his horrified allies saw his very essence seem to shrivel away, leaving a prune-like husk collapsed on the floor. Percival slammed the door shut from inside the sphere room, leaving Hats and Caradog stuck outside with this horror. The dwarf fled into the mists while the elf selflessly tried to draw the creature away from the door.

On the other side, the party went into the next room to find Artzua, Dama and the other five adventurers feasting away at a long table with glazed expressions. Just to the side stood a skeleton chained to the wall. In the midst of slapping the captives to their senses, Boots and Harry tried to slay, damage and then communicate with the skeleton but, although it seemed to acknowledge their presence, it seemed unable to be hurt or to communicate effectively.

Now back in their right minds, the rest of the adventurers started searching the room and pilfering anything of value. There was a book full of arcane writings amidst the ruined tomes on a shelf. The banquet table also had a platter, goblet and bowl which produced food and wine which was mouth watering to the taste but did not fill up or provide any nutritious benefit to the eaters. The once-charmed adventurers felt like they hadn’t eaten or drunk in two days. Those went into a sack, along with all the silver plates.

There were no other obvious exits, so the party braced themselves and flung the door back into the misty caverns, hoping to be able to make a dash back to the surface. Alas, the dark creature stood before them, the shrivelled corpse of Caradog lying a little way off in the cave. As it reached forward for the front rank, Amos prayed to the Sacred Locks and the creature reeled back, beams of light streaming from its eye sockets. As it flailed around, Rarder hefted his silvered axe at it more out of hope than expectation, but it seemed to do some damage to the figure.

Emboldened, the rest of the party charged forward – two vials of holy water were lobbed ahead, and everyone else filed past Boots, the dwarf opening his sack and handing out the silver plates. Blinded by the holy light, and drenched in blessed water, the deathly figure succumbed to the axe and crockery and dissolved into the air.

Crockery – the true weapon against Chaos.

Leaving the two shrivelled elf corpses. the party raced back up to the surface and back to Redwood, picking up the sheepish Hats along the way.

Heartened by surviving another close brush with calamity, the group tried to flog the magical platter, goblet and bowl to Baron Grellus. Much as he enjoyed their most recent tale of failure and success, he was less inclined to give out gold for what were clearly his own family’s heirlooms. Instead, he proposed a smaller monetary reward for their return and, should the adventurers agree to enter into his service on a more formal basis, he would grant them a legal right to secure and manage an old outpost in his name.

The group agreed to his terms, minds whirring with the possibilities for profit and intrigue.

GM Notes

  • Having yet to recover their lost magic items, it was a good thing that the party had silvered one of their weapons and stocked up on holy water – the plates were a fun addition but probably weren’t necessary. The fact that the immune-to-non-magical figure was blinded by Light meant the party could swarm it and take it out before it had a chance to escape. Good use of a solitary spell.
  • For the record, Hats’ inconsistent behaviours are due to being the first choice for players who’ve lost a character. When managed by this GM, he is a sterling warrior WHO FAILS AT NOTHING.
  • We’re potentially moving to the point where we’ll start needing some domain management rules. My intention is that the baron’s offer is a step or two below the character level rewards where each gets their own keep / tower / chapel / whatever, making them vassals to the baron but giving them a base to run and defend. Then if the rules work, we can scale them up. The Forbidden Lands rules have been suggested, and I’ve got a few other options lying stashed away on my hard drive somewhere.
  • The idea was floated that capturing this outpost might mean players could start characters at level 2 to represent a higher calibre of recruit, but on reflection I decided against it. Instead, should they take and hold the outpost, they will have the option of selecting the Knight class from the Advanced OSE rules as soldiers from elsewhere in the barons realm come seeking their fortune in reclaiming their liege’s lost lands.

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