The Keep on Yeoldelands – Session 24

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Expedition 24

06 Jan 2022

  • Alfredward (Dwarf 3)
  • Asher (Fighter 1)
  • Dommo (Cleric 1)
  • Rarder Brete (Fighter 4)

The characters decided that now was a good time to approach the Caves of Chaos again. Hiring a few more mercenaries to take with them back to Four Shields Fort afterwards, they set off for the lair-ridden valley.

The only survivor of the original expeditions to the caves, Rarder, led the rest of the party to the lair of the large creature which had crushed his companions months ago. It still stank but lay empty, as was much of the rest of the cave system beyond it.

The party wound their way through familiar terrain unobstructed but for a door leading out of a room from which Rarder and companions had once been repulsed. Opening the door loosed forth a tumbling pile of rubble – the passage beyond had collapsed. Wary of the noise they’d made, the group backtracked.

They were met near a cave exit by first a noise of rumbling wheels and then a pair of hulking, obese figures emerge into the torchlight with a thundering contraption of wood and hammered metal, ploughing it into the front frank. Rarder and Alfredward withstood the blow, staggering under the pain, and Rarder’s warhound Attila was crushed beneath the crude wheels. They fled the cave, Alfredward and Dommo pausing only to break a flask of oil upon the ram and set it alight.

Seeing a trail of smoke emerging from a cave opening on the other side, the party decided to try their luck there instead. Finding themselves in a room decorated with shelves of severed heads, the headed away from the smoke weaving its way to the exit, towards a cluster of voices. Dommo recognised the orcish language and, upon the creatures spotting the torchlight, tried to convince them that the adventurers were mercenary allies but after some momentary confusion blades were drawn.

More orcs came from behind the party but the adventurers fought with discipline and cut down their opponents. Pressing on, and finding that one of the severed heads obscured a sentry watch point, they located a sleeping chamber where a large number of orcs were crowded. They shot the first one to charge out, and demanded the rest surrender. Meekly, the mob did so.

As Asher tied the 40-odd prisoners up, Alfredward, Dommo and Rarder took one orcish representative and looked for the leader. They bashed down a door in time to see a large, well-armoured orc disappearing behind a tapestry. The three adventurers dashed forward and fell upon the leader and his two guards. The scuffle was shortlived but costly, Dommo perishing on a guard’s spear the instant he slew the large orc.

With their hired mercenaries helping as guards, the party led the large mob of prisoners to their work-in-progress fort, and locked them on the underground floor for the time being.

GM Notes

  • We ended up running out of time just as the last fight erupted so we tried continuing it via play-by-post using a dedicated Discord channel. With some slight changes to combat (group turn order but without specific phases, I rolled all turn order dice) it worked rather well. There wasn’t much in the way of strategic positioning necessary, so it was just a case of determining the results of dice. I think I can handle this level of PbP gameplay, but don’t think I’d want to do too much more narrative play through it. Hard enough to communicate information when there’s a map to draw on as you speak.

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