Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #11: The Hobgoblin King

20 HepDec 1070 - Abandoned Monastery of Akana Outside of Lansluck
Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar
Kane: Student of Eastern mysticism, controller of water.
Ashe - highly skilled elven ranger
Maloran Alberhold - human fighter, ladies man sans charisma.
Talis Makolin - a rakish bard avec charisma
Echelon - a pigeon loving priest of an eastern god of the sea, escorted by his charmed wolf, Pathfinder.
Velandro - a pious priest of Akana with a kobold following (The Dag family is currently back at home.)
Kannex of Cymril (NPC) - Mysterious sorcerer from parts unknown with a penchant for fire.
Wrath - Young Holy Warrior with a an ego bigger than his ability.

The party successfully navigated their two boats across the river towards the base of the monastery's hill.  The initial scounting done by Velandro and the Dag family's allowed to group to avoid some of the issues that infested the hill, but they still needed to make one fighting retreat from new digging around a giant ant hill.

They were surprised to find "friendlies" on this side of the river, as they came upon a small cottage, inhabited by two women, Rosabelle and Rosalina.  They provided delicious lemonade and quicker directions to the ruins of the monastery.  No one really thought that strange.

Right before the monastery, they encounter two large ogres that had curtailed Velandro's initial expedition, but with the help of his fellow adventurers, they were slain.  Much of the monastery was in total ruins, with either undead or "wildmen" hiding in the crevasses and piles.

Working their way into the first sub-level of the ruins, they immediately encountered a stiff resistance of organized hobgoblins and bugbears!  They continued to persist, freeing a few prisoners, including one foul individual, Cullen DeFinch who to party armed to fight back, then proceeded to run out of the dungeon... with Talis' back-up parrying dagger no less!  The nerve!

The party pushed through the level, meeting and slaughtering wave after wave of hobgoblins, but it was a lone cleric, worshipping some eyeless statue of Akana that unnerved everyone, especially Velandro.  Hobgoblins were inherently evil.  Men worshipping desecrated statues of Akana.. and pulling immense evil magicks from it were far more terrifying

The further then ventured, the tougher and better organized the hobgoblins were, until they finally reached their great hall, where their King held court!
Quick!  All of you charge the intruders and get yourselves killed, before my lackey triggers the trap door in the floor.
Dozens were slain in the room, possibly even the king himself.  Wrath, Kannex, and Echelon fell from wounds. The rest of the party quickly fell as well, as something dropped the floor out from under them and they tumbled down a wide chute, until they were all deposited in a strange octagonal room, with a door on each wall.   They did their best to barricade the doors, posted a guard at the bottom of the chute, and most passed out from exhaustion.

DM Notes: And there you have the first half of module B5: Horror on the Hill, or as the whole scenario is titled in B1-9: In Search of Adventure, "The Hobgoblin King."  Looking to avenge the deaths of civilians in Eding by killing Spider-People in their secret lair isn't working out as well as they thought it would.   They didn't add two and two together that the strange evil cleric might be a go-between between the spider-people and the hobgoblins, but they were having too much "fun" hacking and slashing.  

With the party constantly engaged while on the floor, so they did little in searching rooms/bodies. The major magic item obtained in this episode was an Elven Cloak to Ashe the Ranger.

Many of the towns in the campaign world have randomly generated names.  Lansluck  is one of those that's changed over the years.  For the first three campaigns, this was a never-visited spot known as Rurik's Fort.  

In my fourth campaign in the World of Georic (the same one that generated the ghost in the basement of Caldwell Manor), that party managed to make it to Rurik's Fort, but took no action on the obvious news of hobgoblins mobilizing across the river.   They left as soon as they could without investigating anything.  When the next session came, a new player with a new character, Lan the Ranger, appeared in Eding, claiming to be the lone survivor of the hobgoblin attack that otherwise wiped out Rurik's Fort.  My newbie players became quite wise, and decided to inform the King of the attack and get actual military forces to take back the town.  

Lan's story was embellished quite a bit, and once the army kicked the hobgoblins back across the river, the new town was renamed Lan's Luck.  Not bad for a 1st level ranger.

NEXT #12 - The Horror in the Hill

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