Saturday, May 28, 2022

SESSION 13: Friday the 13th Mayhem!!!

The thirteenth official session on a Friday the 13th? Pretty damn cool man! So what happened? The players, along with Wirrow Warrens, decided to go back to the western mine and try to defeat Caln and his brood of vampires. They loaded up on garlic, holy water, silver weapons, and even managed to recruit some of the knights from both the Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor and the Knights of Chickfalar. Ten from each, along with each set being led by a ranking brother. Brother Took, a level 5 cleric for the Knights, and Paladin Michael for the Knights of Chickfalar. Wirrow brought thirty hobbits along for the ride. Over sixty in number once the players and their henchmen were counted. To keep things simple on my end, for each group of knights, and every ten hobbits, I simply counts as 1:10. Meaning I would only roll once for each group. To hit, saving throws, etc. Simple. After arriving, the plan was simple. Set some large mirrors along the main shaft to let the afternoon sun shine through, while keeping some of the party at the entrance to make sure nothing escaped, and to send most of the force down to the second level to draw Caln and his daughters, so they could possibly be killed with the sunlight. And with the large force. It didn't take long before everything went to hell.

They never made it to the second floor. Nearing the steps that led to the level below, the main force came across four wolves. These were easily dispatched, but did bite Brother Took. He was healed soon after. And then party began to hear children laughing and talking in the dark. The party realizes that they will now have to deal with vampire children. The two clerics are unable to turn the hell-children, but manage to make them cringe. Using their overwhelming numbers, the party grapple two of the children down and put a stake in their hearts and remove their heads. Due to the grizzly acts, I roll loyalty checks for the henchmen and the other npcs involved. Two of Laughing Fox's hench runs off. They chase the other two children down the hall, back into the fountain room from their first visit. Inside the see another vampire, this time a woman. She attacks, but it is forced into a cringing state from the holy symbols. Some of the party manages to grapple and dispatch the two children. The female vampire cries out. She's held down by some of the knights but she manages to charm them and get out of their grasp. Laurnetius's level one paladin hench is charmed, and was left behind. Ten of the hobbits are charmed as well.

Coming down the hall, the party's former, fallen companion Longshanks makes an appearance along with twenty skeletons. Most of the skeletons are either turned or are destroyed. But Brother Took is brought to near death from several of the skeleton attacks. While forced to stay put due to the holy symbols, Longshanks and the female vampire taunt the players. The party realizes they're in over their head and make their way back down to the entrance. 

While this going on, the remaining party at the entrance, including Boldvay, Mark Tarvar,  and one of Laurentius's hench, are confronted by a large force of undead and giant bats make their way down the main hall. Boldvay uses his staff of wizardry twice, each time a cone of cold is unleashed. He manages to destroy the evil force. About twenty skeletons, five wights, nine zombies, and three giant bats are destroyed.

As the party heads down, Longshanks summons three bat swarms that attack the party in the hall. Saving throws against Spells (swarms of bats can cause confusion) are made, and while some make it, others do not. Paladin Michael fails, and accidentally kills one of Laurenitus's henchman Weab Weabson. Down at the entrance, Boldvay casts passwall to help make a shortcut for the players and for the remaining sunlight to shine through. Wirrow failed his saving throw against the swarms of bats, but Laughing Fox once more comes to the hobbit's aid and grabs him as the rush down the hall. Many of the knights are left in the hallway. The survivors get back to the entrance and the two pursuing vampires are forced back due to the sunlight.

Out of a party total of sixty-seven, thirty-three made it out alive. And it could've been a lot worse. You see, after the first encounter with the vampire Caln, a wagon train of families that had managed to get off course made their way to the mine. Caln's daughters invited them in. And over the next few days, all forty-six succumbed to vampirism. And Cahn became a patron as well. So yeah, this could've have been really, really bad. I'm genuinely surprised as many made it out alive as it did. Great session!

Total XP:

(0%) = 795 XP

(5%) = 835 XP

(10%) = 875 XP

No treasure.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Session 12: Ruthless Bill on Trial!

Last session ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Ruthless Bill had seemingly changed his ways and was hellbent on helping our adventurers kill the demon boar Trudge that had begun to terrorize the land. Even though they were successful, during celebrations Bill and his surviving men were drugged and chained. And soon the players made their way to Woodshome to turn Bill in and to collect their bounty. And Bill and his men would be place on trial and very well executed for their crimes. 

A week after the killing of Trudge, the trial was held and the public invited. Before we go further, it must be noted that during that week two groups of knights arrived in the area. The Order of Chickfalar, bearing a white rooster on a red field, whose mission is to serve God, feed the hungry, and bash heads in. The other knightly order is The Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. The flag is black bible with the letters KJV embolden in gold and with a sword behind the Holy Book on a purple field. Both groups have come to seek the Old Bastard to cleanse the foul place, and to bring the Word of God to this part of the Red Frontier and to strike against whatever deviltry abodes here. Back to the trial at hand. Lord Commander Rogget presided over the trial as judge. Rotho Boon served as the prosecutor. And defending Bill was...let's see here...Berg Goldstien.

I'm sure Berg is reputable.

Before the trial started, Lord Commander Rogget informed Bill that at any time he could forgo the trial and opt for a trial by combat. Why? Well, Bill stood accused for the kidnapping, ransom, and torture of Byrne Drover, the son of the cattle rancher Bran Drover. He was rescued by the party awhile back. Unfortunately, neither survived the wrath of Trudge. And neither did any of Bran's men. And while the party manage to "get" information out of one Bill's men, he's dead too. So that pretty much left Laughing Fox's word against Bill (the other members from Byrne's rescue were unavailable for the trial). And with only his word to go on, despite Laughing Fox being a well respected member of the community, it might not prove to be enough to convict Bill or his men. Still, Bill decided to let the trial run it's course for the time being.

But Laughing Fox has a surprise witness against Bill. He had been in contact with Rotho about this "witness" and even had him protected in the local Chickasaw village in case any of Bill's remaining men on the outside came to pay a visit. So who is he? Rotho called Bill's own horse to testify against Bill! Shocking!!! The crowd was shocked! The cleric Brother Took, who served for the Knights of Jim the Pastor, was called up. He himself didn't know Bill, Laughing Fox, or of Bill's horse. He was asked to see if he could use his Speak to Animals spell. Brother Took obliged the court. After casting the spell, Took asked the horse if he indeed belonged to Bill. The horse answered yes. He then asked if was there when kidnapped the young boy Byrne and when Bill went back to terrorize Bran and his ranch. The horse neighed yay. The crowd was once more shocked!!!

Bill was outraged at this betrayal! He demanded a trial by combat! And he got it. So how was I going to pull this off? Simple. I ripped off The 13th Warrior. In it we have a scene where two men face each other in combat. Each has three wooden shields and a sword. Once an opponents shields are broken, he must be executed. This was going to be between Bill and Laughing Fox. Except Laughing Fox isn't much of a fighter. Instead, he let his friend Dogbreath take his place. ACKS has sundering rules about breaking shields with a forceful blow. Once a hit is made, the opponent must make a saving throw against paralysis. If he fails, his shield is broken. A pit was formed and Dogbreath and Ruthless Bill entered. Bill proved to be no slouch at fighting, neither did Dogbreath. Back and forth their strikes went. Sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. In the end, it came down to each having a single shield left. And then an arrow flew past Dogbreath's head! Bill's remaining men came to bust him out! 

Wait. What now?!?! During the week before Bill's trial word had reached his handful of men at their hideout. I decided to roll for their loyalty, to see if they would try to rescue Bill or abandon him. They proved loyal to a fault. The three men and four hobgoblins made themselves a plan. Once trial was underway, they would set fire to some of the buildings around Woodshome to make a diversion, and during the ensuing confusion, would swoop Bill and any of their companions up and head out away from the law. With smoke and fire burning through the town, and the crowd running in confusion and chaos, the three men and one of the hobs made their way to the pit to get Bill out. Bill declined and told them to surrender. They refused. Soon, they were engaged in combat with the party and some of the knights. Three were eventually killed and the other was commanded to surrender by Laughing Fox when he cast Commanding Word on him. 

Afterwards, the town was brought back to order, but not before eighty-five causalities were counted from the stampede of people trying to escape, with many dead, and several of the buildings, including that of Lady Sally's Red Lace & Pearl having being burnt down. The trial resumed. Bill, while admitting to not knowing anything about the rescue, took responsibility for what had happened. Lord Commander was thinking that a hanging was in order. Brother Took, at the last moment, decided to try and persuade Rogget in letting Bill and his men pay off their crimes by joining his order. Laughing Fox was for execution. The other players that were present, because they weren't their for the session where Byrne was rescued, were for Brother Took's option. I decided to do a charisma check, Bill's against Laughing Fox's. Bill won. So now Ruthless Bill is known as Punished Bill, until he will work off his crimes while in the Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. God speed Punished Bill! 

Punished Bill

XP from the Three Bandits and One Hobgoblin:

(0%) = 7
(5%) = 8
(10%) = 9

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Session 11: The Hunting of Trudge

So a few weeks back I dropped a hook about a demon boar that had terrorized and demolished a lumber mill in the Grey Woods. It and its brood managed to kill most everyone, with only a few survivors making it out to tell of the grizzly tale of the demon boar Trudge and his porcine spawn. The players decided to go boar hunting. They weren't the only ones. One of patrons, Ruthless Bill decided to take on the task as well. He came out saying that he was framed for the kidnap, ransom, and torture of young Byrne Drover, and that he wanted to clear his name. You know, he just a good ol' boy who dindu nuffin'! In fact, Bill (now going by the moniker Peaceful Bill) agreed to do this without pay and he would even team up with our adventurers to accomplish this deed. He agreed to meet them just north of Wirrow Warren's Bloated Badger. After gathering supplies, our players met up with Bill and set off to the Demon boar haunted lumber mill.

During the night, on their way there, they came across the smoldering and demolished ruins of the cattle rancher and father to young Byrne, Bran Drover. Searching the place, they found dead cattle, horses, and even men. And fresh boar tracks. Some of them large. Larger than your average giant boar. Unfortunately they were unable to find Byrne or his father Bran in the wreckage. 

"Peaceful" Bill

The group stayed there for the night and kept watch for any signs of the possible pack of razorbacks returning. The night proved uneventful. Setting out in the morning, the large party managed to get to the destroyed lumber mill by that afternoon. Spotting three boars and two giant boars, the party engaged in combat. Laughing Fox was soon attacked and nearly killed by one of the giant pigs, but managed to use his animal control ring successfully on one of the giant hambeasts. It couldn't have had happened at worse time as Trudge, hearing his brood fighting, emerged from the only building standing and made his large bulk towards the players. 

Bill and eight of his men were on horse back and flanked the demonic pig, but did no damage. They circled about to attack him once more. Laurentius, I think, threw a flask of holy water on Trudge, dealing some damage. Trudge even tried to charm some of the players, but failed. Despite his immense girth, and horribly large tusks, Trudge was made into short work by the party's new mage Boldvay. You see, before the party set off before meeting Bill to slay Trudge, Boldvay, through a successful use of his magical engineering proficiency, manage to identify a goldish green staff the party found back in session five. I decided to roll on the staff and wands table and got a Staff of Wizardy! And rolling some more, it was determined that it had eleven charges. Nice. The first round against Trudge, Boldvay used the staff's first charge to summon a fire elemental to keep Trudge at bay. The elemental proved to be a worthwhile opponent and did a good bit of damage against the demonic boar. The next round, Boldvay cast Fireball against Trudge. This took us a few minutes to determine how large of an area this affected, and how many men of Bills would be caught in the ensuing blast. Once cast, the fireball engulfed not only Trudge, whose flesh and muscle was burned away, but also two of Bill's men. The battle was won.

Looking through building, the party found a chests full of coins and other treasure. This along with the brilliant gems found amongst Trudge's smoldering bones, made a pretty good haul. Laughing Fox decided to celebrate. He had brought barrels of ale, some of really good quality, and some of cheaper make for him and his Chickasaw warriors. A few his fellow party members became suspicious, but drank away with Bill and his surviving men. I made them roll save versus poison. You see, Laughing Fox didn't trust Bill one bit, and with the bounty of 10,000 gold on Bill's head, didn't want to take any chances of him betraying the group or running off. He laced the "good ale" with some Valarian Root, a Chickasaw healing drug. Basically, he was gonna try to xanax Bill and his gang. And in order to make sure Bill didn't find out, Laughing Fox decided not to let the other party members in on the secret. Some of the party failed their throw, and with one exception, Bill and his men succumbed to the drugged ale as well. The one that didn't was quickly subdued by the party. They soon had Bill and his gang chained and roped and made their way back to Pottsfort. To be continued...


Laughing Fox, Shaman

Dogbreath (Laughing Fox's henchman)

3 Chickasaw Warriors (Laughing Fox's other henchmen)

Boldvay, Magic-User

Mark Tarvar, Thief

Laurentius, Cleric

Hazzik, Dwarven Delver

Total XP:

Base XP: 3835 XP

(5%) XP: 4027 XP

(10%) XP: 4219 XP

Happenings and Going Ons in the Red Frontier Part 2

These events took place during August thru October of 2022 While the Urgak and Wier were preparing to fight against the forces of Law, the p...