Friday, April 5, 2013

The Heroes Travel South

Strom, Ghul, and Memnoch leave Larani on the road to Shem in the Iron League to try and locate the Lute of Harmonious Order. The following is the transcription from my preparations for the game...

CHAPTER TWO

1. The ruler of Larani grants the PCs the use of Anduin the Quiet, a longsword +1/+3 vs banshees and ghosts with the ability to cast silence, 15'r 1/day. It also makes no sound when it clashes against other weapons. It must be returned to Larani when the characters complete their quest.

2. There are joined by an NPC named Schmee, a Human Monk sent by his monastery to investigate strange visions the brotherhood have had. Schmee has a map of the north...

3. Shortly after the PCs ride out of town, they are confronted by a road block of bugbears and hobgoblins led by a large armored warrior on a black warhorse, Greyore the Undying...

Stand fast, heroes. You are in the presence of one who has fought on the battlefields between Law and Chaos for centuries. The prize in the coming battle is more valuable than you can know and I shall not loose it. I offer you a chance to withdraw from your path... No mortal may enter into a conflict between Law and Chaos and emerge unchanged.

No? You leave me no choice. The battle is joined. I will offer no quarter again. Your courage is admirable but born from a lack of wisdom. You do not know your enemy and sadly throw away your lives for a cause you do not understand.

The monsters surge forward at a gesture from Greyore...

4. Merchants (?) some kind of caravan - either traders or pilgrims. Role playing encounter to trade information on the road.

5. Lamia, an ally of Greyore - Actually a group of Irongate Keep soldiers, with their leader charmed and suggested by the monster into believing the PCs are dangerous criminals. The Lamia will not confront the characters at this time, but observe from a distance. Give the PCs the impression that all of the soldiers from Irongate Keep are hunting them. There are no other known routes through the mountains, but there are rumors that the dwarves of Marzabul guard secret paths...

The actual play for this session resulted in three events that we still talk about when waxing nostalgic...

I envisioned Anduin the Quiet going to one of the fighters, but Strom favored a bastard sword and Memnoch preferred a battle axe. The weapon fell to the freakin' thief Ghul D'Khat.

I felt the party was a little too small at three members so I added an adventuring NPC... interesting how we did not feel the need to include a cleric back then.

In the initial encounter as the monsters started forward, my brother (Strom Coldsteel) asked about the terrain. I replied that this region of Modria was open grassland and gentle hills. 'We ride around them and head south...' LOL. Bugbears and hobgoblins could not keep up with horses. As the DM I loosed a few arrows to save face, but the players outsmarted both me and Greyore (he was furious).

The third fight launched a legend. Ghul D'Khat, an Arcturan Illusionist/Thief had a series of rounds where he rolled nothing but 19's and 20's, dropping every opponent he could reach (while the fighters were missing every round). In later adventures Strom often introduced Ghul as 'the greatest swordsman on Quindia' and after a time the moniker became common knowledge in the north...

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