Bubbawahey! Another week, another game. Here we go.
So the group was kind of scattered about the landscape around the city of Bridgefair when last we left off. Klint, Gentleman Jack, our henchmen and hirelings, an elf and a spy for Prince Gway (one of the two princes contending for the throne of the kingdom) were in the hills to the East, while The Deacon, Jantz, Kashim, and a quartet of other elves were north of the city.
Well, we all pretty much simultaneously came to the decision that we needed to head west and meet up with Prince Gway, to warn him of the impending hobgoblin invasion of Restenford.
We had two routes we could go, the road to Restenford, which was probably overrun with hobs at some point, or through the Gloomwood, past the hill with a dreadful name I can't remember. It's just a name, like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return. All the Zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. The elves were kind of bemused when we all said, yeah, sure, bring it on. Gloom wood. Hill of Death. Mangle valley? We eat that stuff for breakfast!
So out we set, although Team B, which I will refer to the team not containing The Deacon, since this is my blog, dammit, had to stop and pick up some vital papers that Roger had stashed on an island south of the city.
So Gentleman Jack went with him, sneaking along the river bank in the dark of night. There he waited, while Gway's agent stripped down and swam across the river. He had a bit of a nervous close encounter as a party of searchers from the town came down the river with torches. Mister Getz made bird noises hoping that it would warn Roger not to come out into the open, and I guess it worked 'cos the patrol went away and Roger returned with a chest he'd unearthed.
Come the morning, we all set out, from separate locations. Luckily, the group with the horses, Team B, had traveled a day in the opposite direction, so timing was right for us to actually meet each other at a fork in the road, rather than the riders shooting past us. All good, and the party wasn't split anymore.
So we kept rolling into an area that got wilder and wilder. We were entering the Gloomwood.
Toward evening time, we rounded a hill that had a ruined castle atop it. This turned out to be too irresistable a lure for the party, so we all went clambering up the hill, horses, cart, and all. Even though we *really* had to be getting along toward Prince Gway's camp. Some of the party cooked up a flimsy justification to go exploring, like maybe the castle contained conclusive evidence of Prince Hank's being switched out with a hobgoblin in his youth. *sigh*
Ah well. The Deacon's kind of given up on persuading the rest of the party to avoid a course of action. I reckon I'll just go with the flow and patch up what remains when it's all over. *sigh*
Anyway, we make our way up the hill. The elves tell us that historically this area was an elven kingdom, until a big war between men and elves pushed them back to Elfhold, where Prince Gway is camping out. And sure enough, the castle has the look of having been laid siege to, with big holes in the walls.
We spot the wreck of a catapault and go to check it out. Kashim, Jantz, and Gentleman Jack ride up, and find some large bones laying next to it. Jack gets down and touches one, and all of a sudden dem bones reassemble into an 18 foot tall undead giant, who picks up another big bone and sets about whaling on the party with it.
The Deacon spurs on his warhorse, Buttercup, and rides up to the fray, strumming his lute to try to turn the monster, but it doesn't take. So a furious melee ensues, with us hacking with our weapons and having our warhorses kick at the thing with their mighty hooves. I think it got in a few good whacks, taking I think Kashim down to zero with a case of cracked ribs. We eventually cracked up its shins enough that it toppled like a felled tree and clattered across the ground. The Deacon used a couple of cure light wounds on Kashim and Frog, I think.
Moving on, we rolled the convoy up to one of the holes in the wall and looked inside. There in the courtyard we saw a large burnt spot with a lot of bones scattered about, as if a big pyre had been made long ago. We sent the wagon and horses around toward the gates, and climbed in thru the hole to check the castle out.
We cross the big pyre area, ready for something bony to pop up, but nothing did. As we went around a corner by the main keep building, though, a couple of bugbears leap through a hole in the wall and charge us. Bugbears are bastards. For those who aren't versed in the lore, they're pretty much big hairy goblins, about seven feet tall and as mean as a hangnail.
So Kashim and Jantz charge 'em and do battle in front of the doors of the keep, with the rest of the group scrumming up behind. Things got even more intense when a couple more of the critters popped out the door behind us, sandwiching us between two groups of two, and with our more vulnerable guys now subject to attack.
I tried to cast Hold Person on the first two, but getting whacked from behind disrupted the spell and I lost it. So I was pissed, and started whaling on 'em with the ol' Mojo Stick. Sadly, it's still not charged up with extra whupass, but it's still got a +1 to hit and damage, so I can dole out a little bit o whackin' with it
It was a quick, vicious fight, with Kashim taking one in the figs from the critical chart, which he was NOT happy about, having just regrown that part of his physiology when he got raised from when he got dissolved by a gelatinous cube. Well, thankfully Amos was able to Cure Light Wounds, although I'd advise him to wash his hand afterward... Ahem...
Anyway, after we dispatched the bugbears, we went into the keep to check it out. We found an entry hall, and proceeded to haul the horses and cart inside, which made for a pretty crowded room, so we pressed on into the hall beyond.
There we found a bunch of chairs spread around, and a couple exits, so we pressed on to the west. I think there we found an empty room with a door that resisted our efforts to open it, being both locked and very sturdy, so there must be something good back there.
To the north, we found an entry to a great hall, probably with a throne if that part of it hadn't been crushed by catapult fire. We searched the south wall for secret doors, but didn't find any. There was a door to the north, so we headed toward it.
There we found a bugbear standing watch. Mercifully, he charged us, rather than raise an alarm, so we got into a brief fight with the bastard. We took him down, but were kinda nervous since our offensive line, namely Kashim, Jantz, and Frog, were lookin' a bit peaked, and we were out of Cure spells. So we rifled the bugbear's pockets, grabbed a sack of copper he had on him, and fell back to the first two rooms, where we barred the door and settled in for the night.
And that was pretty much where we wrapped.
Decent session. Mostly travel and a little dungeon/castle crawling. I guess the reason I didn't protest this diversion from our mission too much is that I find the dungeon crawl stuff plenty of fun, and what the hell. This is a sandbox. Gotta kick at the sandcastles.
Anyway, thanks again to Paul and the 10d gamers.