Monday, April 26, 2010

Garham to Greyhawk Campaign: Session Two (pt. 1)

Garham to Greyhawk Campaign
Session Two – April 24, 2010 (Planting 13, 610)
Kevlamin Serpenthelm human (Suloise) shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Kevin)
Clair, halfling shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Megan)
Daphne, half-elf acolyte of Ehlonna (1st-level cleric)(Joyce)
Ruben Soot, human (mixed race) shield-bearer (1st level fighter)(Ruben)
Manga, human (mixed race) medium (1st-level magic-user)(Pablo)
Seth, human medium (1st-level magic-user)(Tyler)

What had gone before: the five friends made a pact to, within two months' time, experience an adventure so great as to win them sponsorship into the Adventurers Guild of Greyhawk. To do so, they set out into the Greenridge, west of the Town of Garham, looking for goblin or orc raiders. With them came a large company consisting of 13 Hobbits, a cleric named Thelonius, a guide named Archippos, a hireling named Nodwick, and two fighters named Garnet and Tirzah – some fighting for equal shares of any treasure and some working for a small percentage of it. To the force of Hobbits was named a larger prize – the raiders' lair, should they clear it. After much scouting through the wooded hills of the Greenridge and hunting and killing a bear and some wolves, they found a ravine and some caves at the north end of the Greenridge

That was all before. A week has passed since. Smaller scouting parties kept a watch on the caves in the ravine and parties of goblins were observed coming and going into the two caves on the west side of the ravine at dusk three times, always numbering between eight and ten.

Other things have been learned. One of them is how hard it is to feed a company of 23. With the bear meat sold to the local woodsmen, the company had to continually hunt. At least 7 of their 23 were always busy hunting just to feed the rest.

Another thing they learned was that Daphne was right to be suspicious of the woodsmen and how much they paid for the bear meat. After camping every night between their cabins for safety and talking to them in the day, they learned the woodsmen were also poachers. Hunting in the Long Forest that runs across the Greenridge was illegal without paying a hunting tax, which meant the company were also poachers for killing the bear.

They also learned more about their new companions. The leader of the Hobbits was named Fredegar. He seemed to be a good and honorable leader, but interested in little beyond the welfare of the company of Hobbits under him. Archippos revealed that he was not just a hunter and guide, but a ranger – wandering fighters knowledgeable in the ways of druids. Thelonius, who had impressed them with his blood-thirstiness in the fight with the bear, also revealed that he was an acolyte of Hextor and Daphne finally remembered what she had once learned of Hextor – that he is the evil god of war. Despite that, Thelonius seemed to be an able warrior and loyal to the company. If only that could be said of Garnet and Tirzah. The pair of them had, just this evening, revealed they were secretly thieves. As everyone was eating an early dinner of rabbit stew, the pair of them made off with the armor of both Thelonius and Daphne, the only two suits of chainmail armor in the company, no doubt intending to sell them back in town.

While the rest of the company waited back on the Greenridge, the five friends and Thelonius pursued Garnet and Tirzah back into Garham to the very doors of the Feral Dog Alehouse. Inside, they had to deal with Miles the Kennel Keeper, who claimed the armor had already been sold to the alehouse. After Kevlamin warned he would summon the authorities, Miles suggested a wager – a fight to the death in the dogpit for the armor. Kevlamin and Claire accepted and were lowered down into the pit with Garmet and Tirzah. Kevlamin took a serious stab wound almost right away (his 3rd so far of the campaign), but still helped Claire kill Tirzah. Miles decided to up the entertainment factor for the alehouse patrons betting on the fight and had a dog released into the pit with them. Luckily, the dog chose Garnet to attack and mauled him to death. Daphne through a knife into the pit at the dog.

Meanwhile, Seth had been wandering around the marketplace, bored with his life, when had spotted some of his old friends go in. Following them, he saw them lowered into the pit and fighting for their life. Seth jumped into the pit and started stabbing the dog with his dagger. The dog mauled Seth until he was unconscious, but with his last act of consciousness, Seth killed the dog. Manga won 3 sp on the fight. A brawl broke out in the alehouse over whether the fight was fair, but the friends avoided it, taking their armor and their fallen friend and leaving.

Returning to Fester's Hostel just after midnight and coaxing Fester into letting them in that late, the friends rested well into the next day while Daphne and Thelonius performed their long healing rituals. After healing Kevlamin and Seth, and accepting Seth as one of their own, they skipped dinner and headed out of town back to the Greenridge. They gathered half the halfling slingers and went to spy on the ravine, arriving right around midnight. While planning an ambush, they heard goblins approaching from outside the ravine. It was a force of 11 goblins, but the twin sleep spells of Manga and Seth took down all 11 of them. They killed the sleeping goblins and took their weapons and armor for treasure.

On the morning of the 15th, they talked to Robertson, leader of the woodsmen-poachers, and learned that they had a visitor. In the cabin of a woodsman named Dilber, they met Zimik, shaman of the Roaring Wolf Tribe of goblins. Zimik told them how his tribe had fled from the Lorridges years ago, chased out by the elves, and was content to hide out here in the Greenridge with just occasional raids on the neighboring humans. But now a gang of bugbears led by a bugbear named Kraglut had taken over the tribe and was preparing them for more daring raids on the mines worked by the people of Garham. Zimik was willing to sacrifice some of his own people to be rid of Kraglut, so he came to find the people who had killed his scouts last night and offered to help by arranging for the goblins loyal to him to be out of the caves on a night the company chose to attack. He would loan no goblins to help fight, for he said when goblins fought goblins, they would not be able to stop until they were all dead. Nor would he share his caves with the halflings, except for one lone cave on the opposite side of the ravine. And he asked that the company take no treasure except the magic ring Kraglut wore, that allowed Kraglut to walk on water.

The friends recognized at once that this arrangement with Zimik was not going to sit well with the halflings and talked to Fredegar. Fredegar was incensed that his company of slingers would lose the goblin lair which had been integral to their bargain. The friends waffled for some time over whether or not they should bribe the halflings by offering them Kraglut's magic ring, but decided instead that they would sell the ring to a wizard in Yggsburgh when they had it. At last the friends convinced Fredegar to accept payment of 80 gp to stay on without getting the goblin lair. The friends returned to Garham to sell the armor and weapons, netting 22 gp from the weaponsmithy in town and trading the armor for a writ for 77 gp from the town militia (the sergeant was quite impressed with their tale of killing 11 goblins). Tidwoad the Gnome Jeweler traded their writ for gold after taking only 10%, which left them with more than enough gold to pay off the halflings to stay.

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