Session Three – May 8, 2010 (Planting 22, 610)
Kevlamin Serpenthelm human (Suloise) shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Kevin)
Clair, halfling shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Megan)
Ruben Soot, human (mixed race) shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Ruben) - deceased
Flex, human (mixed race) shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Ruben)
“Manga” Rex, human (mixed race) medium (1st-level magic-user)(Pablo) - deceased
What had gone before: the battle with the bugbears in the Roaring Wolf Caverns had been
inconclusive, with the two sides disengaging – your side because the Halfling slingers had fallen back after four of their members went down, leaving you with no backup, and the bugbears chose not to pursue because they were all injured. Retreating to the ravine outside the caverns, a serious argument ensued between Claire, who wanted to continue pressing against the bugbears before they could regroup, and Kevlamin, who felt their fallen friend Seth deserved a proper funeral. Fredegar, leader of the Halflings, agreed with Kevlamin. Two of his slingers would recover, but two of them – Gerontius and Merimac – were dead and needed funerals as well. Leaving the Hobbits to care for their own in the forest, the friends returned to Garham with Seth’s body and quickly had two more decisions to make – how much to spend on Seth’s funeral and whether to keep Seth’s things or find family to give them back to.
It was formally decided at that point that all decisions for the group would be made by majority vote of all members due an equal share of the treasure ((which included the NPC Thelonius, whose votes were determined randomly)). After much consideration of what to do with Seth's remains, and some negative opinions expressed by Claire and Kevlamin of his value while alive, it was decided to save money on a funeral and burn his remains themselves out in the forest. For at least some appearance of decorum, they brought all his possessions to his cousin Setch ((the name chosen by Seth's player for his next character, though he was not playing this day)). Setch vowed revenge against the bugbears, but was still in training and could not accompany the friends until his training was over ((when he next attended)).
Late on the following day, on the 17th, the friends rendezvoused with their whole party and trekked north once more across the Greenridge towards the ravine where the Roaring Wolf Caverns waited. It had been two weeks to the day since the friends had taken the offer of Lilyana Ortiz to go on an adventure in exchange for her sponsorship into the Adventurers Guild of Greyhawk.
The entry caves still seemed deserted at first, so the company returned to the caves where they had left off. After surprising a lone goblin and overrunning a party of six goblins armed with javelins by force of superior numbers (during which, a Hobbit slinger named Seredic proved himself a noteworthy fighter), all seemed well for a rematch with the bugbears.
It was not to be. An initial encounter with two bugbears led to being boxed in with three bugbears sneaking up from behind. The slingers were drawn into melee with the bugbears at their rear. Two more Halflings – Odovacar and Hamson – were killed and two more knocked unconscious. In the front ranks, Ruben, Claire, and Manga did most of the damage to the bugbears, with Manga emerging seriously injured. Worse yet, the bugbears seemed to be targeting the two people in the best
armor, perhaps mistaking them leaders. Thelonius was knocked unconscious and Daphne was killed by a bugbear who brained her with a morning star. Three bugbears were killed before the last two fled.
Unable to carry out so many dead and injured quickly, the decision was rest up in a cave, turning it into a stockade surrounded by the sharpened wooden stakes found throughout so much of the complex. Guards had to stay alert, for the bugbears would return with bows and arrows and fire on the stockade before fleeing.
Once Thelonius was awake, he recommended staying here long enough for his healing ceremony and then make a run for the exit. Scouting parties found the entry caves were being infrequently patrolled so it just came down to timing their run for the exit just right. On the morning of the 22nd, with goblins and bugbears pursuing them, they managed to run out into the morning sunlight-bathed ravine with their dead.
The first decision that was made was to retreat from the ravine. Then the friends decided they should find Archippos and Nodwick, who had been left outside in the ravine four days earlier and were now missing. Backtracking towards town, they soon found the two missing hirelings at a new campsite. Archippos reported seeing goblins coming and going from the ravine almost every night.
On the way back to town, the friends saw Attloi wagons parked in the poachers-woodsmen's camp. The friends decided not to investigate.
The friends then returned to Garham to restock on equipment. Clair traded in all their fishing gear (since they had decided never to pursue Old Whiskers on the lake) at the Bigfish Trading Store. Torches and lamp oil were the highest priorities, since they had used up all their light sources in the caves. They still planned to rely on poaching in the forest rather than buying rations in town. Kevlamin spent 7 sp to secure two rooms for them at Fester’s Hostel for the next five days.
Because Daphne had proven invaluable to the party, it was unanimous that she be given a more proper funeral. At the expense of 10 gp, she was given a wake at the Garham Chapel, to be followed by a funeral pyre set adrift on Diamondfish Lake that Godsday evening. Her possessions were given to the church, which would use them to outfit any adventuring clerics ((read: future PCs)) in the future.
Ruben was very interested in acquiring a horse when marketday came around on the 24th, hoping to find one cheaper than they were sold for at the stables in town, but found even a pony there beyond his means. The horse-trader promised to still be in town on the 26th, when the market reopened after Godsday.
Ruben also took it open himself to find out more about the mines that the bugbears threatened. He decided to go straight to Balabar Smets at home and ask for information, even though Kevlamin warned him about the surly guards at his manor. Sure enough, the guards were uncooperative and mocked him. Manga, growing restless from this prolonged stay back in town, had followed Ruben and decided to attack the guards. Ruben joined in. Though they managed to knock down and hurt one of the guards, Manga was knocked out by the other and Ruben fled when outnumbered. Later that day, the friends found Manga, instead of being killed or arrested, unconscious and naked, left up in a tree. Kevlamin bought him new robes and a dagger, but after Manga woke up there was much scolding and slapping to be had.
On the morning of the 26th, the friends set out early, met up with their squad of Hobbit slingers along the Woodsmen's Trail, and returned to the caves. Ruben volunteered to scout ahead while the others reset stakes in the entry cave to turn that place into their fall-back stockade.