Session date: May 19, 2013
We started our first session of Western March today. We started off the session with everyone rolling up new 1st level characters, and ended up with the following party:
- Matilda Fletcher – 1st level Bladedancer
- Angus McPherson – 1st level Explorer
- Dwomor Gorthson – 1st level Dwarven Vaultguard
- Taffy – 1st level Thief
The group arrived in Westholme having already known each other and immediately checked the town post for notices. In the market they found the post with the following notices:
- Count Barojin offers a reward of 10gp for each goblin slain, with a right ear being used as evidence.
- Count Barojin offers a bounty for the capture of the bandit Kariac the Bloody, 200gp if alive, 100gp if dead
- Batava Sirod is willing to pay 2,000gp for safe passage to Redwich
- Sir Rappan Ustek is seeking adventurers, though no reason or reward is posted.
The group initially considers Batava Sirod’s offer, since it is the biggest up there, but after looking at the map and seeing that they have to go through ogre and giant lands to get to Redwich, they decide to follow up with Sir Rappan.
They meet Sir Rappan Ustek, who is one of the wealthiest men in town. He takes them to his garden and first says offers them 10gp for their discretion. He explains that by taking the 10gp, they will agree to never speak of what he says again regardless of whether they take his commission or not. He says that if they speak of it, he will consider it a breach of honor – and he takes honor very seriously and very personally. They all agree and take the 10gp. He explains that Count Barojin’s father, Baro, was given the country 54 years ago after the prior count died without heir. However, Rappan’s family had the stronger claim, but not the evidence to press that claim. He says that a family ring exists in a nearby barrow that will prove their claim, but it must be recovered. He offers the group 400gp each to do so. The group negotiates him up to 2,000gp and free lodging to recover from injuries. With the agreement made, he gives them a map to the barrow.
They follow the map to the barrow (in hex 3313) and encounter no difficulties. Then they find the barrow and discover, contrary to what Sir Rappan had said, it is not the only barrow, but rather there are a lot of mounds. Nevertheless there is a trail that leads to the main mound, and this mound has a circle of stones around it, so they know where to go. They decide to circle the mound before entering, however, and are surprised by a group of 6 giant toads.
The group fights bravely, but then Dwomor is injured and tries to flee. Seeing a nearby open barrow, he runs in there – only to find himself waist-deep in water and attacked by two other giant toads. The group never sees him again.
Then Taffy goes down. Angus, seeing the way the battle is going, scampers up a tree and pulls out his bow. Matilda at first considers continuing the fight, but at that point realizes that she is facing 6 giant toads more or less by herself. She grabs the unconscious Taffy, tosses him over her shoulder, and runs as fast as she can – surprisingly outrunning the toads. When she finally stops, she tries to help him, but it is too late (the player rolled poorly on the Mortal Wounds table). Matilda and Angus burry Taffy at the mounds, then return to Westholme.
Safely in Westholme, Matilda and Angus meet up with two new brave adventurers, Borgun Harfist (1st level Fighter) and Roland (1st level Elven Spellsword). But they decide that perhaps this isn’t enough, so they decide to recruit henchman. In the first week, Angus finds two who are interested, but despite his offering a sign-on bonus of 3gp, they turn him down. In the second week, Matilda gets two henchmen who enthusiastically join her (Bobbard and Herbald), while Angus gets one of his own, Sigmund. All are 0-level henchman, and come equipped with leather armor and swords.
So outfitted, the party heads back to the barrows. They encounter no resistance traveling to the mound, and since it is near dusk they decide to camp in the woods a little ways away. During the night, however, while Angus and Sigmund are on watch, the group is attacked by 5 skeletons. Angus, on watch in the trees, immediately dispatches one, and Sigmund, Matilda, and Borgen quickly take care of the other four, without any serious injury.
In the morning, the group enters the main barrow. They find the stone door already broken and inside is a hole in the floor and a wooden tripod with a rope going down through the floor. Matilda looks down and sees a 30×30 room with a door, and then Borgun goes down to check it out. He listens at the door, but hears nothing. At this point, Angus decides to put half of the barrow’s stone door across the bottom of the entryway to form a barrier. This takes the group, so Borgen is left in the room below. While he waits, the door suddenly opens and 8 tomb raiders, beaten and bloodied, come through. Borgun, alone, talks to them and finds them surprisingly cooperative. They just want out. The leader is named Ruming. Borgun informs Ruming that they are looking for something, but he won’t tell him what, and that they would be willing to pay for it. Ruming doesn’t like the idea of these strangers just peering through their treasure (fearing that if they see too much they may try to kill them) and declines. The two sides agree to let the tomb raiders up the rope. When they get to the top, Matilda says that they are looking for a ring, Ruming shows them the one ring they have, and it is not it. The raiders head back to Westholme.
The group descends the rope and goes through the door, seeing a corridor with many offshoots and doors. Taking the first one, they find a door to a 20×20 room. Borgun and Angus enter first, and immediately behind them a stone slap comes down blocking the doorway. Then the other door opens and 7 skeletons come out. On the other side, Roland and Matilda think fast, and he and one of her minions lifts the stone slab. Matilda steps in, turns 3 of the skeletons, and then the group makes short work of the other 4. Sigmund and Angus are both seriously wounded, but not out. In the small chamber where the skeletons came from, the group finds 150g, a sword +1, and 3 clerical scrolls of Cure Light Wound. The Bladedancer uses these to restore Angus and Sigmund.
The group continues on until they find a room with a lone skeleton face down in the center, and pottery scattered about the floor. At first they encounter a poltergeist, but the bladedancer turns it. They then start searching the pottery. While they are doing this, two skeletons wander in (it’s the session for skeletons, apparently). Angus and Borgun, not surprised like the rest of the group, kill these quickly before they can do any damage.
The group does a bit more exploring, but encounters nothing else, but as the night is getting late (IRL not the game), they retreat to Westholme.
In-game time: 3 weeks