Thursday, September 27, 2012

Averlorn Campaign: Dungeon Module B2 The Keep on the Borderlands

Recap from 11/4/2011 

The Brotherhood of the Black Crowes had a new mission for our young group of warriors.  Vizier Melkot, the master in charge of affairs of an arcane nature for the Crowes, needed us to escort one of his associates to a keep on the edge of the God King’s realm along the border with the wicked realm of Malithorn.  The Kingdom of Raegeleth on the island of Rhaghaera where the God King reins supreme had been in a near constant state of war with the forces of the Kingdom of Malithorn, part of which was also on the island.  Malithorn was ruled by their evil and most likely undead leader Ravishar the Undying.  For as long as anyone can remember the God King’s country and army has been at war with the minions of Malithorn.  Some of the combatants are humans of Volkyr or Thugee descent but a large percentage of his army is comprised of evil humanoids of various types sworn to serve him.  The last full blown war was merely three years ago, though most of the regular and more recent incursions have been on a much smaller scale.  These incursions usually consisted primarily of small scouting and raiding parties sent forth by both sides to test the strength and gather information about the enemy.  On both sides of the border there are arrayed a number of baronies and dukedoms granted by the two rulers to these petty Dukes and Barons for the sole purpose of guarding their border outposts against incursions by the forces from the other side.

One such border outpost was a rather large fortress or keep and a small town by the name of Orcwald.  Our orders were to escort one Rallemon of Illimus to the outpost and town of Orcwald safely, wait for him to conduct his business there, and then to escort him safely back to Caursetti.  Rallemon was an arcane spellcaster of some sort and he was known to have many enemies, particularly among the forces, assassins and spies of  Malithorn who would like to see him dead.  Therefore, Vizier Melkot explained, it was of the utmost importance that we escort him safely to and from the border outpost in order to protect him from his many enemies.  As we were leaving Caursetti, we had to travel through the Grimward district of town after leaving the Iron Keep of the Brotherhood within the city.  Grimward is a rough neighborhood in Caursetti adjacent to the dock districts.  As we were travelling past the many ships moored along the docks we couldn't help but notice that one of them was a Thugee privateer by the name of the Demon’s Echo and Captained by one Titus Blackwell.  The Demon’s echo was flying a black flag with a skull and flames that day as we walked past her mooring.  It is rumored that the ship and crew are of questionable origins and are thought to be pirates by the common folk.

As we were passing the area where the ship was moored, we were accosted by a rather large group of Thugee sailors that were most definitely crewmen of the Demon’s echo out looking for trouble.  We told them we didn’t want any trouble and tried to warn them off but they attacked us anyway in broad daylight!  We did our best to protect Rallemon, for it was pretty obvious that he was the one they were after, and a fierce battle ensued.  In the end it took a sleep spell to take down the remaining group of pirates that weren't killed in the struggle though several of our comrades were wounded as well.  So with this abortive attempt to leave the city disrupted, we returned to Iron Keep to seek healing for our wounded and to give the brotherhood our captive Thugee pirates to be ransomed back to their people for attacking us and causing an armed altercation in the city of Caursetti.  The proper authorities were also notified about the altercation of course.

So finally, we had all of that taken care of and left town post haste since it was getting late and the fight with the Thugee had delayed our departure.  When we arrived at a travelling Inn in a small hamlet along the way, the innkeeper tried to warn us away by saying he was closed, but we insisted that we were paying customers and soldiers in the service of the God King, and urgently needed accommodations so he let us in.  His mood was improved when we offered to pay him double his customary rates for a stay at the inn.  During the night, we heard a loud noise downstairs and Viktor the Thugee went down to investigate, sword in hand.  It appeared that we had been followed as more Thugee, probably from the ship, were asking to be let in to stay the night.  The Inkeeper was trying to tell them it was too late and they would have to wait until the next day but they were pretty persistent and wouldn't take no for an answer.  When they saw the large Thugee come down the stairs wielding his weapons and ready for battle, they thought better of the idea and left the inn post haste.  We never heard from or saw them again but our guess was these were the enemies of Ralleman that the Vizier had warned us about and were likely spies of Malithorn as well.  So we did our job and kept Rallemon safe.

After another day of journeying along the road, we finally arrived at Dungeon Module B2 the Keep On the Borderlands!  Once there, Rallemon went off to take care of his business and we started investigating our new environs at the keep and the small town of Orcwald.  We immediately went to the tavern and ordered drinks and accommodations and started hearing rumors of a series of Caves nearby called the Caves of Chaos from which no adventurers had ever returned!  This piqued our interest and then we heard another rumor that said “If you get lost, beware the eaters of men”!  This was followed by yet another rumor – “Beware the Mad Hermit!” and yet another rumor that “a magic wand was lost in the caves”.  We were very interested in the caves at this point since we had some time to kill while waiting for Rallemon to take care of his business, so we decided to buy some provisions and adventuring gear and seek out adventure and wealth at the Caves of Chaos!

We followed the well worn trails as best as we could from the descriptions we received from the bartender at the inn and soon enough we entered a box canyon with a multitude of caves at different altitudes all around the canyon.  So we decided to go into the first cave on the left and shortly after we entered, we were greeted by an avalanche of spears and javelins and heard shouts of “Bree Yark”.  This was followed by more shouts to the right of us from another passageway, and it was apparent that we were about to be attacked from two sides simultaneously.  To make matters worse, we heard something very large and angry coming from the direction of the goblins on the right hand side with the goblins urging it on and shouting words of encouragement.  We returned a volley of missiles after a number of our group had been hit and the spellcasters prepared to cast their sleep and color spray spells – but then the rest of the group thought that discretion was the better part of valor and withdrew from the tunnel leaving the wizards standing there all alone to take on the onrushing goblins!  Seeing their protection flee before them the wizards and the illusionist aborted their spell casting and fled as well to avoid being killed or captured by the goblins.

It was apparent that we made the right call to fall back especially with reinforcements coming from the other side to flank us and hem us in.  Had we tried to tough it out in that fight, we probably would have all died so in the end it was the right call.  We returned to the keep having located and ventured into the Caves of Chaos and boasted upon our return that we were the first adventurers to ever return alive from the Caves of Chaos!  Of course once back, we found out that that was really a jest and that plenty of adventurers had in fact returned with loot and stories of all of the evil humanoids that they had had to fight there, though a number of them had not returned.  Based on our recent experience, we were well aware of the dangers, having narrowly escaped the caves inhabitants to fight another day.


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