CROW–a New Spell for Pits & Perils

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Otis Bramble, the hedge wizard, looked across the field at the pack of worgs. There were five of them, big ones. The wizard stroked his beard for a moment and set his burlap sack down. He had four nice-sized trout, freshly caught, and he wasn’t in any mood to share.

Raising his gnarled staff over his head, he paused a moment and then spoke the incantation. He started out softly, but the incantation grew to a sharp crescendo. All was quiet for a moment. The worgs loped towards him, black tongues hanging lazily in their slavering jaws. Then it happened.

Suddenly the air around Otis Bramble was filled with a rush of black feathers, cawing, Cawing, CAWING cries of countless crows. The murder of crows seemed to swirl forever. The yelp of startled worgs was the only other sound. When the crows flew away, two dead worgs lay at the wizard’s feet. Three more were running back into the dark woods. Otis Bramble bent down, picked up his burlap sack and headed on his way, happy to be dining alone this evening.

Notes:

CROW summons a flock of murderous crows centered on the caster. Any creature not touching the caster will take 1 hp damage per round while within a 30’ radius of the caster. All attacks within this area will be -2 to hit for the duration of the spell. Duration is 1d6. The caster adds +1 round per 3 levels gained.

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Recap

Recap from Arden and Company’s foray into the Caves of Chaos.

9 goblins killed (45xp)
1 goblin bodyguard (15xp)
1 ogre (70xp)
50xp for the elven encounter north of Keep.

180/4 = 45xp per PC

Approximately 25% of the goblins are killed.

The ogre is dead. The remaining goblins are shaken by the attacks. The hobgoblins will try to either attack the goblins or incorporate them into their tribe.

Returning to the Keep, the PCs spend time in discussion and evaluating their goals.

Arden thinks about his goals. The Caves of Chaos offer a path to riches and a comfortable lifestyle. His background is tragic. Arden’s village in Granden Vale was destroyed in orc raids and many of his family were slain. Revenge burns in his heart as well as lust for gold. The death of Jacob Scoggins doesn’t weigh on him near as much as that of Alan Dori. Alan was idealistic and wanted a better leader than the drunken Sir Arnaud. Scoggins was looking for drinking money, a common tavern rat. He was a true hireling, no more, no less. Arden will pay for a proper funeral and not look back.

To the near future, Arden will spend time hunting the bandits. They’ve taken Company property and need to be dealt with. Arden looks back at his farming life and thinks how much work it was for so little reward, much like his last trip to the Caves.

Corwin thinks about his part in the last raid. He held back the use of his FEAR spells until absolutely necessary, and he was justified in this. The attack on the Company by the bandits came as a surprise. Corwin had one spell in reserve in order to rout them. The Company would have won the day, hopefully, but with more casualties than Scoggins. Corwin had great doubts about the man. He had a dark cloud about him, more than the stench of stale ale. He was feeling better with the man gone. Yardley Muggins survived, but with a loss of nerve. Corwin doubted that the man would sign on again.

The magician’s first task was to find a suitable spell to add to his spellbook. If Florian didn’t have one, he would look elsewhere, perhaps offering the scribe at the bank more coin.

Corwin scratches Nicodemus under his chin. The cat had had a bad experience in the Caves. Corwin would reward him with a nice fresh fish from the river. He heads to the Tavern to see if they have one.

Thane kicks himself for not throwing out some caltrops. He got too busy with the goblins and then the ogre! The goblins certainly took a disliking to him. It was evident that they teamed up on the dwarf most often. Bad blood has been the part of their story since dwarf and goblin could remember. The ogre they killed weighed on Thane’s mind. He had to have had some treasure set aside somewhere. Finding it was another matter. The battle wasn’t a total loss. The goblins took a good hit and the Company got some intelligence about another faction in the Caves. Hobgoblins. The dwarf knew about them. They were disciplined, better armed, and had well-thought out tactics. They would certainly be a tougher opponent than the elves. Thane cared little for magic, but he had to laugh. He was carrying an enchanted handaxe and shield. Afraid of spellcasters? Rightly so, but the sharp axe and strong shield helped to save his bacon. Corwin wasn’t a bad fellow for a human. Thane was more in awe of the power he could summon, rather than being afraid of him.

For now, the dwarf will concentrate on getting re-stocked and sorting out what worked and what didn’t during the last outing.

Martin prayed to Eos, thanking his god for safe return from the Caves. He would attend to the funeral of Jacob Scoggins. Martin could sense the man was a liar and he did not trust him. Catamont was a criminal and now indentured to Arden, but the young lad had more integrity in his small finger than the old Scoggins had in his entire being. He was thankful for the young Catamont, the brave Meklin, and the steadfast Handsome. These men proved their mettle in the face of death. The other archers? Maybe not.

Martin would turn his attention to building the church at Coot’s Mill. The Caves would wait.

Perils on the Borderlands, Day 30-31, Out of the Frying Pan…

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Day 30 Goblin Caves

Arden and Company move to the west. They see an empty guard chamber. No sign of the Ogre’s secret door. [The goblins are rallying with the chieftain in room 19]

Thane moves forward with Arden following and Catamont holding the lantern. The archers follow and then Corwin and Martin.

As Thane rounds the corner of a long passage, he is attacked by javelin throwers.

The goblins have the initiative, but I rule that Thane was moving down the hall with his shield up and ready for cover. His combat move is COVER and the javelins are ineffective against him. Thane retreats back around the corner and Arden and Martin come up close.

The chieftain rallies the troops to charge. As they run around the corner, Arden and Martin are waiting for them.

PCs win initiative.

Arden crits one, it dies. Martin spends a luck point and crits another one. It dies. Thane waits in the second rank to relieve one of the men.

Three goblins attack. 2 on Arden. 1 hits. [Goblins are smaller, so I figure 3 per 10′ square. Arden and Martin are both using two-handed weapons, 10′ is probably pushing it, but I have them stand side by side in their rank.]

Round 2

Arden hits, 2pts.

One goblin hits with a crit, but Arden spends his last luck point to reduce it to a regular hit. Arden takes 1 point. Martin is hit for 1 point.

Round 3

Arden kills one goblin and sweeps through cutting another goblin for 2 points. [Arden took the SWEEP combat move when he gained 3rd level.  I’m probably not playing it correctly since it says he needs 20′ of room to use this. Any readers have a comment regarding this?]

Martin misses.

One goblin gets Martin for 1pt.

Round 4

Arden kills the wounded goblin and cuts into the other for 1 point.

All three goblins hit Arden and Martin.

Goblins from east area move to join the battle, will be here in 3 more rounds.

Round 5

Arden and Martin miss. One goblin drops his weapon. The other two hit Arden and Martin.

Round 6

Arden and Martin miss.

Two goblins hit the heroes.

Round 7

Martin hits a goblin, wounding him.

Martin is hit with a critical but spends a luck point to reduce it to a normal hit.

Round 8

Thane exchanges with Martin. No hits.

Goblins get 2 hits on Arden. Archer fire on goblins to the east. One archer hit for 2 dmg.

Goblins from the east attack with clubs and handaxes against Meklin and Yardley. Yardley takes 2 hits, one is a crit damaging his weapon hand. He takes 2pts dmg.

Round 9 Arden and Thane both attack the middle goblin, Thane hits it for 1 pt dmg.

Arden is hit in the leg with a crit and another goblin hits him. Arden has 3 hp left. Thane is hit for 1pt.

Meklin takes 1 pt of damage.

 

Round10

Corwin casts FEAR! at the goblins to the west. They trip over themselves to get away. The chieftain and some of his guards are in the back and are not affected, but the sight of their men running causes them to make a morale check. Result=9 they will fight!

Catamont gets a flask of oil ready for next roud, The goblins to the east have the numbers yets and will fight on.

Yardley breaks morale and flees to the middle of the group. Goblin attacks him but misses. Meklin takes another hit.

Round 11

Corwin casts FEAR on the east goblins. All of them flee in terror! Corwin has 2 spells left.

Arden, Martin, and Thane move back and Arden tells the archers to ready to fire to the west.

Yardley cowers near the wall. Surprising the other two archers hold morale. Three goblin bodyguards and the chief come around the corner. The archers fire, Thane rushes to attack and Martin. Arden steps back to assist.

Archers miss. Thane and Martin concentrate on one bodyguard. Both hit! They do a total of 3 points on the bodyguard. Bodyguards will have 3, 2, and 1 hp plus chain armor and shield (+3). Thane is hit by a bodyguard. It is a crit but he uses a Luck point to reduce it to 1pt dmg.

Round12

Thane wounds the bodyguard once again.

One bodyguard swings wild sundering his weapon! Martin is hit for 1pt.

Round13

Martin hits the wounded bodyguard, killing him.

Chieftain and one bodyguard attack. The other bodyguard looks for another weapon. The bodyguard hits Thane for one point.

Round 14

Martin and Thane attack the chief

Thane hits for 1pt.

Other bodyguard jumps in to attack Thane. Thane takes 2 hits. Chief misses.

Round 15

Thane hits the chief for 1pt.

Chief hits Martin for 1pt.

Round 16 Corwin casts FEAR!

all the goblins flee.

The battle is over for now. Many of the Company are severely injured. Arden makes the call to retreat to the camp. As the Company makes their way out of the Caves area, they encounter a patrol of hobgoblins. Several arrows are fired, but they do not pursue the Company.

Handsome and Egg are relieved to see the Company return. They are alive but it was a bitter fight. No treasure is returned.

Healing tea is brewed in copious amounts and the dwarven brandy is passes around. [3 belts of brandy–one for Arden, one for Martin, and one for Thane….he didn’t need it but he really needed a drink!] Martin gave Arden and himself each two doses of healing tea. They both made their saves, so no adverse affects.

Day 31

Martin also uses healing spells on himself and Arden the next morning. Healing Arden for 4 points and himself for 2points.

Question? Does the goblin chief ask the hobgoblins for help? d10 no, d6 yes. Yes!

He will also send his goblins into the ogre’s cave to collect the treasure. Do they find it all? Yes! They take the entire horde into the chief’s quarters.

He is one rich goblin. He has offered the hobgoblins much silver to guard the goblin’s cave entrance.

Will the hobgoblins invade instead? d10 yes, d8 no. Result=no. They will bide their time and see what is going on. The hobgoblin’s will station sentries (4) along the Cave entrance and have 8 hobgoblins stationed in the trees above the goblin’s cave entrance.

In the morning, Arden will take all the company to the Caves. They have staked out the horses in a secluded area east of the road and hope for the best.

Yardley Muggins had failed morale yesterday, and he isn’t too keen to go back, but volunteers to hold a lantern. Arden definitely does not want him to watch the horses.

As they walk towards the Caves, Martin uses his hunting skills to move with stealth and keep an eye for any ambush. Corwin has Nicodemus scout ahead as well. Neither of them see the hidden sentries. They sentry can’t help but seeing the Company as it moves into the valley.

Does Martin notices the ‘bird’ call the sentries use to alert the others? Result=no.

The hobgoblins ambush the Company. Three use heavy crossbows (+2 to hit, +1 damage)

Arden, Martin, Thane, Catamont, and Egg are all hit. The archers fire back wounding two hobgoblins.

Round 2

The hobgoblins charge down the slope. The Company’s archers hit two more hobgoblins, wounding them.

Round 3

Meklin takes a crit, head graze, loses next action. takes 2 dmg. Arden hit for 1pt, Jacob Scoggins takes a crit and his wpn hand is damaged, -1 to dmg for rest of battle.

Corwin casts FEAR and the hobgoblins flee, except for 3 sentries in the overlooking hills. They make a morale check. One flees the other two shoot crossbows from cover, both miss.

Round 4 the archers fire on one of the sentries. -2 due to cover, but one still hits.

Arden and Company retreat under fire. Thane takes another hit and Yardley is struck by a crossbow bolt. The Company makes it back to the camp. Dilemma die=1 Oh no! Did something attack the horses? FU die=no. PC encounter something else? Yes!

Brigands have been following them and now they attack!

11 of them. Ambush? Yes! They have been waiting near the road.

The bowmen shoot as the bandits leap from the forest.

Bowmen miss. Spearmen attack. Catamont and Arden each take a hit.

Arden misses the leader, Catamont and Meklin both hit a bandit.

Chief misses, two others hit, Catamont injured and Jacob Scoggins is killed!

Corwin casts FEAR and the bandits flee.

Are any of the groups horses gone?

Yes but not all of them. The bandits made off with 5 of them!

Some of the Company’s horses were gathered up when the bandits got ready to attack. When the FEAR spell hit them they ran for their horses and fled.

Five riding horses were stolen. Using the remaining mounts, 7 of them, and riding most the day, the PCs make it back to the Keep. Jacob Scoggins is the only casualty. He was the one wanting to deal with the evil priest so it was a blessing in disguise.

[This was one tough slog. The goblins wore the Company down and then the Hobgoblin’s ambush was the last straw. Defeated, but thankful for their lives, the Company will return to the Keep and plan for another day. So much treasure slipped through their hands. Needless to say, it will be more difficult to gain it next time.]

 

 

Perils on the Borderlands, Days 29-30, Look, There’s an Ogre!

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Day 29 Back to the Caves

Arden and Company are…

Arden (fighter)
Corwin (magician)
Martin (cleric)
Thane (dwarf)
and 8 men-at-arms

Martin the cleric, stops into the chapel in the early morning to buy some healing herbs. The curate is not there but one of the priests gives him 3 bunches of herbs for 10sp. Cheaper than the market.

After a hearty breakfast, the Company makes ready to depart once again for the Caves. Arden has purchased 1 week of rations for each man and oats for the horses. [Rations are 5sp per week = 60sp. Horse feed purchased yesterday.]

The skies look cloudy today and threaten rain. Arden’s skills include farming. He makes a weather check Result=8 It looks like heavy storms today and windy. The thought of traveling in the poor weather makes Arden want to stay in the warm and cozy Inn for the day. Tomorrow may provide better weather for traveling.

During the day, a jovial priest enters the Tavern and strikes up a conversation with Arden, Thane, and Corwin [rolled randomly to see which PCs are there]. Martin is not there at the time.

The priest speaks of his hatred of evil and his willingness to join the company on their next mission. Martin has kept his feelings about the priest to himself so far. The others do not know about him.

The jovial priest is named Daros Albert

Question-Does the priest impress the PCs?

Arden and Thane seem to buy his story and are in favor of him coming along. Corwin is not sure.

Question-do they wait to ask Martin?

d12 yes d8 no, result=yes. Arden thanks the priest for his offer and says that he will need to speak with Martin and think on it.

Does the evil priest attempt to bribe one of the men-at-arms?

d12 yes, d8 no, result=yes! Which one? During the evening at the tavern he watches to find one of the men-at-arms with the least moral character. He speaks with Goat Bently. Goat is a craven coward and susceptible to influence of the priest. Rolled a reaction to the priest, result=6. Goat listens to the priest and rebuffs his attempt to gain information. Perhaps the priest did not make his intention clear or offer enough coin.

The priest next speaks with Jacob Scoggins. It was Scoggins who was thinking of stealing from the company early on but didn’t have a good chance to do so.

Scoggins reaction to the priest’s offer=9. Scoggins will gladly listen to the priest and take a few silver pieces in exchange for information about the company’s plans. The problem is  that Arden and Company are not forthright with information with the archers yet. Arden and Co. are starting to trust Catamont, Meklin, and Handsome due to their bravery in battle. Not so much the archers yet. The priest makes his inquiries quietly and away from the view of the PCs. He is planting the seeds of discord and will find the best time to take advantage of the group.

When Martin returns to the tavern later, Arden speaks to him about the priest. Martin tells him that he has a bad feeling about the man. Arden trusts Martin’s judgement and will leave things alone for now.

Day 30 Better Weather

[pay for 2 nights at Inn and food at Tavern, 48sp total]

After a hearty breakfast, Arden and Company ride out of the Keep to once again test themselves in the Caves of Chaos.

The weather is partly cloudy and windy, but no rain. The road is muddy but all are thankful for mounts and they make good time. [In the module, riding is 6 squares per hour, speed on the road is 12 squares for 1 hour with an hour rest after, or 8 squares per hour for 6 hours with a 2 hour rest.] Arden decides to travel for 6 hours and they are close to the Caves. Not wanting to picket the horses right near the Caves, they leave them in the woods on the east side of the road and walk for 2 hours towards the Caves.

Not wishing to leave the animals alone, Arden leaves Handsome Brune and Egg Barkley behind to tend to the horses. If they are attacked, they are to ride off.

Arden trusts Handsome but is not certain yet of Egg. Arden will attempt to return by nightfall. It is mid afternoon.

The others move through the woods towards the Keep.

They enter the first cave (D) on the map. As the Company sets watch outside the cave enterance. Arden and Martin keep an eye on any creatures in the trees. Corwin asks his familiar, Nicodemus, to scout the entrance to the cave.

The cat quietly slips into the entrance. Corwin can see through the cat’s eyes as he moves.

Question-does the cat move quietly? Result=4 No! Nicodemus gets about 60′ into the cave and a group of goblins spy him! 6 goblins. 2 try to catch the familiar. One has a 10! Nicodemus is caught! The familiar bites the goblins hand. [+1 to hit for this.] Nicodemus tries in vain to bit the goblin’s hand. He is shoved unceremoniously into a burlap sack for later.

Question-do the goblins think there are more raiders? d12 yes, d8 no, result=yes, they move out to the cave entrance.

Initiative 6, 6, simulateous.

As the goblins move out of the cave, they squint at the afternoon light…it is overcast but still hurts their eyes a little. [no penalties].

The windy conditions still present? Yes, -1 to missile attacks outside.

Goblins throw their javelins and the Company shoots their arrows.

Arden spends 1 luck to get a hit!

Corwin throws a dagger, spends 1 luck to hit!

Thane fires his crossbow, miss.

Martin misses with his sling.

Catamont fires an arrow, hit!

The 4 archers fire their arrows, all miss!

Three goblins are hit. The goblins are wearing leather armor and carrying shields. Each will have 1/+2 hp.

All the goblins fire their javelins and miss!

The Company moves to melee!

Arden strikes with his greatsword, miss.

Thane attacks with his axe, hit!

Martin misses. Corwin stabs with his dagger, miss. Meklin with his halberd, miss. Catamont with his handaxe, 12! Goblin dies.

The archers move to one side of the cave to fire at any more goblins coming out.

The goblins attack with daggers and handaxes. Arden and Thane both take 1 hit.

Arden kills a goblin. Martin hits one wounding it. Goblins all miss. 4 goblins remain.

Round 3 Arden is hit by a goblin, and then kills the goblin. All others miss. Three goblins flee into the tunnel and the four archers have a chance to fire at them. They miss.

The sounds of Bree Yark fill the tunnel.

Corwin lets the cat out of the bag.

Catamont lights the lantern, and Arden leads the archers into the tunnel.

The goblins in rm. 18 are now alerted. They will throw a sack of silver to the ogre in rm. 22 and he will come out to fight. He will be at the PCs location in 1d6+3 rounds. Result=8 rounds starting from now.

Round 1 Goblins move in from 17 and 18 to attack. 6 goblns from each side.

Arden and Meklin will meet one group on west side. Martin and Thane the east side.

The four archers will attack any stragglers. Corwin will be in reserve with his spells.

4 archers fire at east goblins.

1 arrow hits for 2pts damage!

Goblins on both sides stand and throw javelins. East side goblins miss! West side goblins. One goblin from west side gets a critical hit! Roll randomly to determine target. One of the archers is hit. Yardley Muggin’s bow take the hit! The bow cracks and is useless. Yardly pulls his handaxe and curses.

Round 2   3 archers shoot at east group. One hit! Another goblin takes 2pts.

The goblins close with daggers and clubs.

Arden, Thane, Meklin, and Martin attack…

Meklon hits a goblin on the west side for 2 points. Thane is hit by a goblin club for 1 point.

Round 3

Arden with a crit! Kills one goblin! All other PCs miss.

Goblins strike back…two goblins ganging up on Thane both hit! 2pts.

Round 4

Thane hits a goblin for 1 pt.

Arden and Thane are battered by goblin clubs, 1pt each.

Round 5

Arden hits one wounding it. Meklin fumbles and loses grip on his halberd -1dmg next time.

Martin wounds one.

Arden is hit twice! He spends a luck to keep one gob from getting a critical. Takes 2pts.

Martin and Thane are each hit once.

Round 6

Meklin hits a goblin but due to the crit, does only 1 pt.

Thane wounds a goblin.

Martin is hit by a goblin.

Round 7

Martin kills a goblin.

Thane, outnumbered, takes a hit.

Round 8

A loud roar comes from the west tunnel accompanied by the heavy footfalls of an ogre! The goblins flee to get away from the front line. Arden and Meklin take a strike at them but miss. The ogre rushes in to fill the gap. The goblins on the east side also fall back, retreating to room 17. Thane kills one as they flee.

The ogre attacks Meklin with his club. It strikes the ground near Meklin wth a heavy thud!

Round 9 The archers fire at the Ogre as Arden steps back to form a line with Martin and Meklin.

Three archers attack. One hits! 2pts damage. One misses! One gets a critical! Precise strike for double damage. It was Goat Bently! Goat does 6 points! Yowzah! The orge roars in pain!

The ogre lashes out in anger with his club at Meklin again! This time his club connects! The module gives the ogre extra strength so I add 1 point in addition to size. The club cracks Meklin hard for 4 points! He is lucky to have his chain mail. Meklin has 1 point left.

Round 10

Arden yells to Meklin to retreat. Thane moves up to take his place. Arden attacks…miss! Martin swings his mace…hit! 2dmg. Thane misses.

The ogre misses Martin.

Round 11

Martin hits for 2 pts. Thane gets a critical for 2pts of damage. The ogre’s hand has been cut badly. He will be at -1 dmg for the remainder of the battle.

The ogre attacks Martin…

Round 12 Thane strikes the ogre and adds 1 luck point to make it a critical! The weapon is sundered. I rule that he drops the club instead. Fearing his death for the first time, the ogre turns to flee. Arden cuts at the retreating figure…+2 to hit.

The dying ogre bellows in pain as he is cut down.

 

There is a lull in the battle as the goblins hear the creature die. Martin tends to the wounded. Arden commends Goat for the excellent shot.

Martin heals Meklin for 6 points. He is fully healed. Martin also heals Thane for 7 points! Thane is also fully healed. Martin is now out of spells.

Arden and Catamont search the ogre. The ogre has no items of value on him.

Thane gives Arden a belt of his dwarven brandy, He regains 1 hit point.

The company rests for 1 turn, having the archers stand guard.

Arden decides to go west, past the ogre.

Thane takes the lead.

I rolled morale for the east goblins and also for the west goblins. Neither of them are ready to attack just yet. The west goblins have sent a messenger to the chieftain in his room to the west.

More soon.

 

Perils on the Borderlands, Day 27-28

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Day 27

[Upkeep need to deduct 16sp for men-at-arms. 4sp for PCs to stay at the Inn.]

Arden and Corwin go to the Trader to purchase mounts.

Does he have enough riding horses (needing 12)? No, but he has some mules. I randomly roll for 4 mules. Therefore Arden will bargin for 8 riding horses and 4 mules. Thane wants a mule anyway. Total cost will be (8 riding horses x 40sp and 4 mules x 10) total 360sp. Arden will let Corwin haggle with the trader. Corwin makes his merchant roll. Result=8 I figure that 7=success. Corwin will be able to get a little better deal on the mounts. Random roll= 30% off. So all the mounts will cost 252sp. Not bad.

Corwin does not get a discount on the tack (saddle, bit and bridle, saddle bags). Arden buys some tack for each mount. Check if there are any used tack? FU die=1, Result is “No, and” I interpret this as no used tack here and prices are higher than normal by 30%. 10sp for bit and bridle, 5sp for saddle, and 10sp for saddlebags. Arden will buy 12 saddles and 12 bit/bridles. Cost will be 180sp plus 30% for total of 334sp. 4 saddle bags, total 44sp. Altogether the mounts and gear are 630sp. Arden makes arrangement for payment. Approximately 158sp per PC for this.

Thane buys another flask of dwarven brandy for 5sp. Thane makes 5 more caltrops at the blacksmith’s shop.

Martin, Arden, and Catamont take a ride into Coot’s Mill to scout an area for the church.

The people of the small village are wary of the cleric, but Arden’s charisma wins the day. He tells of some of the exploits of Martin in the Caves of Chaos. Also Catamont is no stranger here. He is greeted by some of the villagers. The three spend time looking over the village and having a drink at the run down tavern. It is more of a lean-to than a building–tent roof and slab boards for a bar. The ale isn’t bad but could be better. Martin decides that a brief visit is enough for the moment. He will return later to discuss building a church.

Corwin seeks out Florian the elf, to meet regarding spells. Florian appears aloof and busy. Corwin gets to the point and asks if Florian would allow him to learn a spell or two from his spellbook. Florian tells Corwin that he has no time to for an apprentice, but will ask for some minor magic item found in the Caves, a potion, or a scroll for access to his spells. In addition, Corwin shall loan his spellbook for the same duration as he has use of Florian’s. Corwin reluctantly agrees. He produces his Firebolt scroll and also remembers that he has a potion yet to be identified. Florian opts to take the Firebolt scroll.

They conclude their meeting with intention to begin spell research in the next few days.

Day 28

[Deduct 20sp for men-at-arms and PCs room and board]

Rolled dilemma die. Result=1

I roll on a random city encouner chart [Dungeons and Digressions] Result= a palm reader offers to read someone’s palm for a ‘discount’.

The morning breakfast at the tavern is quite good. The party shares a tray of eggs, thick slices of ham, and warm buttered bread. Washing this down with ale.

A strange woman approaches their table and asks if anyone would care to have their fortune told. She starts to ask Corwin, but notices he has the look of a magician and instead looks towards the dwarf. Thane agrees and holds out his calloused palm. Roll=11, the women smiles and says that great fortune awaits Thane in the near future. She sees a hay cart in her vision [random roll of Rory’s Story Cubes] and tells Thane that this may be important. Arden chuckles, Martin retreats back to his ham and eggs. Thane thanks the woman and gives her a silver piece!

Today the company will ride out to survey the countryside on their horses.

Martin is the hunter of the group and leads them due North for the morning. North of the Keep they find a logging trail that heads into the woods. Following this into the woods for about a mile. Suddenly arrows fire out of the forest!

Corwin is hit (a critical) for double damage. He takes 6 points! Yowzah! He spends 1 luck point to take the hit roll down to 11 and spare him the crit. He still takes 2 points.

Arden is hit with a 12! Another critical! He is struck in the leg (-1 to hit for remainder of the battle). Thane is also hit for 2 points. Martin tells the company to move ahead to get out of the ambush. No other arrows are fired at the group as they gallop along the logging trail.

They come to a logging camp. In it are 7 woodsmen. Instead of working, they are clustered around a couple wagons. Axes and crossbows in hand. They aim their weapons at the company, but lower them when Arden calls out to them. They’ve been under attack from an unseen enemy in the forest all morning. The attack happened after one of the woodsmen cut down a copper skinned tree. It wasn’t much more than a sapling, but he thought it looked unique so he chopped it down and brought it back to the camp. None of the men are dead but several have been wounded by arrows.

Question-are any hurt seriously? Yes, but stable.

Martin brews some healing tea (3 doses for the three injured men and tends to their wounds. Thane and Corwin look at the tree the woodsman brought back to camp. Corwin is not certain about it, but Thane has seen one before. It is a species of tree that is considered sacred to the elves. Thane doesn’t know the elven name, but recognizes it all the same. [Thane made is Int roll, Corwin no.]

Some of the older woodsmen had a bad feeling about the tree when the younger man brought it back into camp. The PCs decide to have the young woodsman bring the tree back to where he cut it accompanied by the four PCs. As they reach the place where it was cut, they hear a voice in the woods calling out to them. A wood elf appears from behind a tree. He tells them that he and his companions will no longer fire upon the humans. The woodsman is nervous. The elves tell him to leave it lay here where it was cut and to tell the other woodsmen not to disturb it. One final thing, they will send scouts into the forest and watch to see if the young woodsman ever picks up an axe again. If he touches a woodsman’s axe ever again, they will cut him down just as he has done to their sacred tree. [It looks like the man will need to find a new job.]

Thane offers some consolation to the lad. “Don’t feel bad, the elves don’t care for us dwarves much either. Have you ever considered mining?”

The men return to the camp unharmed.

At the camp, the woodsmen discuss the situation. The foreman tells the young woodsman that he will be hauling timber by wagon instead of cutting.

The rest of the day goes on uneventful and the company returns to the Keep for the evening.

Note–this was an interesting side adventure. I rolled a random encounter when playing and used the Pits & Perils wilderness encounter list. Elf came up and I wanted it to be something with the potential for conflict. I liked how it turned out. The PCs used their INT ability to glean some clues about the tree. It was a fitting end of the conflict, in my opinion, and fun to solo play.

More to come….

Perils on the Borderlands, Day 26 Feast

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Photo by Lou Levit on Unsplash

This being a continuation of my Solo adventure of the Keep on the Borderlands, using the Pits & Perils Rpg.

Day 26 Arden receives a two healing spells from Martin to hasten his recovery. All debts are paid to the men-at-arms and to the inn keeper.

Today’s events–

Does the Castellan wish to meet the PCs yet? FU die=5 yes! The captain of the guard will seek out Arden and Company and invite them to dine at the keep fortress this evening.

Corwin will use this opportunity to speak with the Advisor to the Castellan. He has heard that this person is an elf and also a magician. Corwin desperately needs to gain new spells.

Thane spends part of the day repairing and sharpening the company’s armor and weapons.

The dwarf enjoys working with the metal and it is relaxing to him.

Martin seeks audience with the Curate in the Chapel. The Curate commends him for his deeds at the Caves of Chaos, and warns him that greater dangers may yet lie ahead. The Curate declares that the money Martin has given to him will be used to build a new church in the village SW of the Keep. This is not listed in the KotB module, but it would make sense to have some nearby settlements. The Curate asks Martin if he will make this his mission. Martin does not hesitate to do this. He promises the Curate that he will do all he can to build a new church in the village. Martin will keep some of his treasure for the building of the church and give the Curate a portion as well. He gives him 200sp.

Arden and his comrades inquire with the Trader regarding suitable clothes for meeting the Castellan. FU die=1 No and he doesn’t know of anyone in the keep that sells courtly clothes.

Corwin has the INT ability and rolls to check if he may have an idea. Roll=3 nothing!

Thane also has INT and considers the problem for a moment. Roll=10 He suggests that Arden speak with the merchant guild in the keep to see if suitable clothes may be purchased or even rented.

The Guild House in the Keep is a two story building that provided lodgings for merchants and artisans travelling to the Keep. The Guild Master has heard of the exploits of Arden and Company. Arden uses his CHARISMA to impress the Guild Master. The Guild Master has no clothes to sell, but he is willing to loan some clean and fine woolen shirts and cloaks to the party. He reminds Arden to return them undamaged…no wine stains nor blood stains. He also wishes to thank Arden for attacking the bandits outside of the Keep. If Arden and Co. wish to earn some silver, the Guild Master would like them to look for the bandit’s camp and scatter them once and for all.

The company prepares for the dinner at the Keep. Armor would not be worn nor would any large melee weapons be carried. Martin will go unarmed, Corwin will carry his staff as befits a magician. Arden and Thane will carry their daggers at their side. It wouldn’t be out of the question for them to do so.

The men-at-arms are instructed to stay at the inn and guard the party’s belongings. Catamont, Meklin, and Handsome will be rewarded extra to do this…so no drinking for them tonight.

Does the dinner go well? Arden makes a Charisma roll. result=7 so the Castellen is favorable to him and the party. Corwin speaks with the Advisor and makes an arrangement to learn some new spells from him…all for a suitable fee of course.

The Curate is a guest and also the Castellan’s wife, the Captain of the Guard, and the Advisor.

The Castellan is interested in information about the Caves of Chaos. He would like for Arden and Company to report back to him after their next foray. He wants details of the kinds and numbers of humanoids there and if they plan on mounting a raid on the Keep. The Castellan does not offer any resources this time. Rolled a 2 on the FU die. Perhaps next time he will be so inclined.

The subject of Sir Arnaud does come up. The Castellan has already been briefed by the Bailiff and Arden was cleared of any wrong doing. Sir Arnaud will be spending a month in the dungeon and forfiting his armor and sword as a fine for attacking the Keep’s watch. Luckily none of the guards were killed. Then he will be sent on his way, banned from the Keep.

Notes: The PCs are all 3rd level now. Growing in power and reputation. I look forward to returning to the Caves with this company and seeing how their improved abilities will serve them.

More to come…

License to Slay

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Hello everyone,

In addition to the Damn Elf Press blog I am writing, I’d like to share with you another website, the Bureau of Dragons.

At the Bureau we are issuing a License to Slay Dragons. You might be surprised to learn that dragons are real. This organization safeguards those dragons that pose no danger to humanity. Secretary Louis Baston has been instrumental in creating sanctuaries for dragons to live, free from interference by humans that would do them harm.

Your License to Slay authorizes you to slay any dragons that meet the International Hunting Regulation Code. Also, your License helps protect those dragons that are peaceful. The Bureau of Dragons has more information and details on how you can help.