The Red Corsairs Ride Forth

Session 6
Return of the pin-cushion

Play date: 17/4/10

After resting up in the secret room they found earlier, our heroes move on from the kruthik’s lair and enter a labyrinthine area where strange runes adorn some floor areas. They adroitly avoid these and wonder around for a bit, eventually heading south. Straight into a bunch of Zombies, who they quickly dispatch. They then dispatch the group of zombies that come up behind them. Things are looking pretty straight forward for the Red Corsairs at this point.

Bolstered in confidence after the straight forward conflict they have just strolled through they keep moving south into a mausoleum, it’s walls lined with sarcophagi. Having noticed a scratching sound coming from within the nearest one they discuss trying to break into it, and the possibility of destroying them. ‘Something’ gives them the feeling that this might prove fruitless. They move down the hall.

As soon as Matasia and Thom pass through the final pair of sarcophagi all ten slam open, each disgorging a skeletal warrior. Matasia and Thom find themselves separated from the rest of the party by the presence of two slightly healthier looking specimens, and battle ensues.

At the rear of the party Sky gets set upon by many skeletons, and suffers heavily at their cadaverous hands, but Darrow fairs no better as seven of the skeletal legion manage to land arrows in his body, turning a sneer about the minimal damage each presents into concern as his health become depleted. The fight is vicious as sarcophagus after sarcophagus disgorges further skeletons into the fray. Only when our heroes enter the brightly lit temple of Bahamut found at the end of the hall, and Darrow prays at an alter in His honour, do the skeletal legion return to their coffins.

Our party examine the two altars found in the temple, and after some poking around find that the southern altar holds a secret compartment in which they find five dragon statues of silver and platinum. They move on through the double doors at the end of the temple and enter a tomb.

Lifting the lid on the coffin sat on a raised dais in front of them elicits a surprising response from it’s occupant. The heavy coffin lid explodes in a flurry of dust. A humanoid skeleton girded in plate armor rises from the cloud. Its breast- plate is emblazoned with a stylized dragon’s head, and the skeleton holds aloft a longsword. “The rift must never be re- opened!” it croaks. “State your intentions, or prepare to die!”

There follows a short Q&A with the skeletal being, during which our party manage to persuade him that they are not grave robbers and that they are here for good reasons. Lord Keegan, for this is who the skeleton is, holds quite a civilised conversation with the party, during which he conveys the following answers:

Matasia: “Who are you?”

Sir Keegan: “I am Sir Keegan. I was commander here in Shadowfell Keep. It was my charge to keep the rift sealed, lest Orcus’s unholy powers once again seep into the world.” Thom: “Why is Shadowfell Keep ruined?”

Sir Keegan: “I failed in my responsibility. I allowed the influence of the Shadow Rift and my knowledge of the crumbling empire to distract me from my sworn oath. The corruption that lies on the other side of the rift touched me and triggered disaster.”

Thom: “What disaster? What happened?”

Sir Keegan: “Orcus’s vile taint soaked through the rift and into my dreams. A madness overcame me. I was possessed! In a rage, I drew my sword and slew my wife and children. From that bloody deed I moved outward, attacking my captains, one by one, killing them even as they stared in shock. I had become a murderous fiend!”

Matasia: “How can we destroy the rift? Can you help us?”

Sir Keegan: “I wish I knew. It was not in my power to destroy the rift. I now pay the price.” Thom: “Why are you down here?”

Sir Keegan: “Finally the alarm went up, and what remained of the legion banded together against me. Even in my rage, I knew I couldn’t best them all, so I fled into the crypts to hide from vengeance. Only then did the madness lift. I realized what I had done and despaired. I had killed my love and broken my oath. More than that, I had done so with my sword, Aecris, an implement given to me by King Elidyr when I was knighted.

“The remnants of my legion sealed the passage and trapped me here. I selected this as a fitting place to spend eternity.”

Darrow: “What can we do to help you?”

Sir Keegan: “I am past redemption. But perhaps I can grant you aid. I cannot leave this crypt, but Aecris can. Perhaps this elegant weapon, unlike me, can be redeemed. I give it to you that you might purge Shadowfell Keep of those who work to open the rift. Seek Baha- mut’s boon at the altars outside and perhaps he too will grant you aid.”

Our party gains another artifact from Lord Keegan, together with the knowledge that the statues they ‘found’ in the altar outside may help them in the trials to come. Lord Keegand also tells them that the entrance to the second level of the keep is in the North-Westernmost corner of this level.

Here we leave our party.

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Session 5
How to fall down holes.

Session date: 6/3/10

Our party explore the rooms and offices of Balgron the Fat, finding nothing but a few smelly beds and a couple of barrels filled with sand.

They proceed south, travelling down a long flight of steps into some rough hewn caverns. Cautiously they start to explore the cavern, and it soon becomes apparent that they are not alone. 30 feet above them, amongst the many stalactites, roam giant rats apparently waiting for their chance to strike.

Our intrepid adventurers come across a double door which they bravely go through, despite the sign which clearly tells them not to. Twice.

They enter a cavern which appears to have once offered up a water supply to the keep. Now it holds a large pool of brackish water which surrounds a small island upon which appears to be a pile of bones and goodies, which makes Matasia’s eyes light up in delight. Our team approach the water’s edge, and discuss what to do next.

They agree that Sky will use his spectral hand spell to lift the goodies off the island in the middle, bringing it across to them. As they reach this agreement a rushing, bubbling, gushing erupts from in front of them and battle is joined with a Blue Slime.

The battle is hard and long, mainly due to a rather inept show of force, or lack of, from Darrow and some appallingly bad attempts to hit by many of the group. However they manage to rally together eventually, and in a final push dispatch the gelatinous menace.

The group loot the successfully transported pile of junk that came from the island, and find a nice shield for Thom, and a fair bit of cash. They also find a couple of missives and a map in a document tube. One of these seems to pertain to the proposed sale of slaves.

Our adventurers leave the cavern, heading back into the cavern above, and get set upon by some Giant rats which appear to have been sniffing around the door. They quickly dispatch three rats, and the rest flee into the cavern. The group continue to explore, and after finding a very exciting secret room (which holds nothing but a smelly bed roll and some odds and ends) proceed to walk straight into an Ochre Jelly. Battle is joined again, and Sky, having moved back to get range, suddenly finds himself being kept busy by a whole swarm of Giant Rats. Our heroes manage to end the fight fairly swiftly, killing the rats and the jelly, and finish exploring the immediate vicinity.

They head south deeper into the cavern system and come across a pit in which lies the dried corpse of an insect like reptile. Sky casts his shadow snake to have a look further down. The snake reveals that the corridor-like cave is riddled with very narrow fissures which seem to wind between the different parts of the corridor. The party progress a flagstone at a time, checking each as they go, and fairly quickly discover another trap near the first. They continue round the corner of the corridor, checking as they go, and manage to get to a point where the corridor opens up into a larger cavern. Gary moves forward into the gloom and plummets in to a ten foot pit, falling through the stone she has just tapped with her hammer.

In the cave ahead, a clutch of kruthiks guard their hoard, and all turn to the incoming party drawn by the strangled cry of a falling Gary. Matasia and Thom move forward whilst the adult kruthik hisses it’s matronly warning. Gary struggles to climb out of the pit whilst the remaining party members get down to it. The ensuing battle is harrowing for the party – flanking kruthik young cause headaches for Sky and Darrow, whilst Thom manages to vanish down a trapped pit at a key point in the battle. Towards the conclusion of the fight, Matasia ies dying whilst Gary states (in a matter of fact tone), “Let her die a bit more, I want to have a go at that one.”

They finally finish off the last kruthik and here we leave our intrepid band of adventurers.

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Session 4
Exploration and Murder

17/10/09

Play date: 18/09/09

Our party of adventurers start to explore Shadowfell Keep.

They explore the immediate vicinity, ensuring that there is nothing of use in the barrels in a nearby store room. A couple of the barrels contain sand, and nothing else.

They move on to a large room which has been excavated by goblins trying to find buried treasure. A fight ensues, during which they take some damage, but emerge victorious.

The party then heads west and north, discovering a torture chamber in which they fight and defeat a group of goblins and a Hobgoblin torturer. They free a miserable wretch, Splug, from imprisonment, who promises to lead them through a secret passage to the living quarters of the head honcho.

Matasia escorts the hapless creature out from the group, and as they pass the rat pit she slits his throat, pushing him down the pit to be consumed by rats.

The party enter the quarters of Balgron the Fat, utilisin Sky’s magic eye to check the area first, and one of the party attempts to slaughter hjm in his sleep. Unfortunately Balgron awakens and runs for help. The party manage to kill Balgron, and his attached guard, and then they hold up behind the double door in his quarters where they proceed to slaughter the remaining 12 goblins in the area.

Here we leave our party.

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Session 3
There's a Keep?

Play date: 27/6/2009 Brief notes version:

Our party of five decide to press on to the excavation site where Douven Staul was last reported to be heading.

They reach the excavation site.

They have a scrap with a Gnome Skulk and his little gang. A halfling dies pretty darn quickly.

They recover both a +1 amulet of health and a slightly annoyed dwarf – Douven Staul. He reclaims a picture of his wife from the amulet, and let’s the party keep it as thanks.

The party levels up.

They head back to town, and notice that all are a little more nervous now. They endeavour to get to the bottom of this, speaking to Valthrun the Prescient and several other members of the town residence committee, but don’t get to the bottom of it. They do, however, get a little bit of information about the Keep on the Shadowfell, which lies almost a day’s march to the north.

They head to the keep.

They have a scrap with some goblins, and Simon falls into a pit.

OOC I’m ready to admit here that this was very much a cock up on my part, owing to my confused reading of the description. Have a read of the sentences yourself, and I think you may see where my confusion came from:

“Any PC moving into or past the trap falls in.”

I’m assuming this should be read as ”...over the trap…”

They thrash the pants of the goblins (they are now level 2 after all) and here we leave our intrepid adventurers.

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Session 2
Through the Curtain

Game date: 5/6/09

Our heroes awaken to a hearty breakfast given to them as thanks for their efforts by Silvana, landlady of Wrafton’s Inn. Whilst at their meals, they notice a slight scuffle way over in the corner where someone, or something, is trying to escape the clutches of a particularly tenacious gang of table and chairs. Lurching from out of the wooden brawl comes a disheveled and apparently drunken dwarven character. A beard belies the apparent fact that this is a woman, but the voice that screeches out in call of beer gives our heroes the eveidence needed. This is Gary. Gary Catface.

After a brief chat where they discuss Gary’s background, and her possible role as cleric for The Red Corsairs, our party of five move out of the tavern to savour the delights of market day.

A short while later we find our party heading south east from Winterhaven in search of the den from which the kobolds are emerging, intent on putting and end to their pilfering and murderous ways once and for all. They encounter a group of kobolds in a clearing outside a waterfall, whom they dispatch in relatively short order, following one through the waterfall after a short rest.

They are immediately swarmed by over a dozen kobolds, who Sky washes down with a burst of fire, killing a good number. They set to, and are soon fighting a fierce battle with the remaining kobolds. They manage to dispatch the few remaining minions, and are just getting down to the business of finishing off the skirmishers when they hear the blast of a horn from deeper inside the cave, from whence come a thuggish goblin and two flanking dragonshields. Irontooth, the goblin, shouts back into the cave a phrase that only Sky understands (as his decision to learn Goblin at school pays off), ‘Be ready’.

The dragon shields move in on Thom, who has already taken a battering, and Irontooth is not far behind. Sky, thinking on his feet, casts sleep on the new arrivals giving our heroes the time needed to gather their wits about themselves to prepare for the fight ahead. Matasia, helped by Gary’s essential healing abilities, is kept very busy ensuring Thom stays alive whilst fierce fighting erupts, with all of the affected kobolds recovering from the debilitating sleep spell within a round. Eldritch blasts from Darrow ensure that the remaining kobolds from the first wave of the battle are reminded or their mortality. Some luck, a floating sphere of fire, and a lot of sweat and blood gives our heroes the victory in battle, but a couple of the kobolds cause nuisances of themselves for quite some time before falling to our the Corsairs’ blades and spells. Not least the Wyrmpriest who emerges from the gloom to almost erase Thom from the battle, before realising that a d20 is not the same as a d10, and who continues to deal large amounts of damage to Gary until being finally dispatched by Darrow, shortly after dodging an incoming sword hurled at him by the fast approaching Thom.

Our adventurers stop to catch their breath, and to loot the corpses for information and treasure. A chest is found containing a good amount of gold, presumably from the persistent raiding on the merchants coming to and from Winterhaven, and a rather nice piece of dwarven mail which Gary is delighted to receive. Found on the corpse of Irontooth is a not from his apparent lord, Kalarel, which reads:

My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days I’ll completely open the rift. The Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding. Kalarel

Here we leave our intrepid party.

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Session 1
Baptism by fire (albeit illusory)

Play date: 17/4/9

The Red Corsairs are a band of adventurers formed a few months ago (game-time), initially consisting of four heroes: Sky Steelman, a fire obsessed male human wizard of great intellect and wide reaching knowledge; Thom, a quiet male human fighter who likes to ‘take the hits’; Matasia, a proud female tiefling Warlord, struggling to be accepted by a society that seems not to care; Darrow Hornsgood, a dangerous male tiefling warlock, who does not hesitate to destroy his enemies, and is a strong and dependable friend.

Our intrepid party travelled to Winterhaven, a village in the foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains. Two of the party members had reasons to visit: Thom had been tasked by a distant relative in the Church to look into rumours of a death cult – and to destroy it if found for a substantial reward. Sky was concerned about the whereabouts of his old mentor Douven Staul, a teacher who had left a lasting mark on the obviously impressionable Sky.

Not far from Winterhaven the group were set upon by a band of kobolds. They dispatched the miscreants, and proceeded to Winterhaven, where they arrived the day before market day, meeting several of the townsfolk and making new friends. Included amongst their new acquaintances were Eilian the Old, who was very ready with many pieces of information – relevant or not. They also met Salvana Wrafton, the proprietor of Winterhaven’s only inn, and Ernest Padraig, the village’s hereditary Lord (and owner of the inn), who had a very stout chin. They explored the town, meeting an elvish woman who had turned up to market a day early with her basket of flowers, and made a small profit from selling the gear they took from the fallen Kobolds at Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe. Bairwin was apparently from Westcountry – a seldom visited province far to the west of Winterhaven.

Having met with Lord Padriag that evening, and agreeing to rid Winterhaven of the kobold nuisance for the sum of 100 gp, they retired for the night, eager to start market day with a foray out to find Douven. Eilian had sketched them a map to the location of a supposed dragon’s burial site where he mentioned Douven had headed out to some time back. Sky was keen to follow this up, as the potential fate of his closest mentor was obviously burning in his mind.

The following morning they headed south towards the promised burial site, having decided to claim to have slain the kobolds. On their way there they were jumped by a group of slightly pre-emptive kobolds, apparently annoyed at the loss of the comrades from the day before. A vicious battle ensued, but our heroes won out, with a most savage Eldritch Blast knocking a hole clean through an as-yet un-blooded kobold skirmisher. Had the blood not been quite so pervasive, a round of applause would surely have been forthcoming.

A dragon necklace, carved from obsidian, that they found around the dispatched Wyrmpriest’s neck had a carving of a ram’s head on the base.Through the use of his extensive knowledge Darrow managed recognised this as an abstract representation of the demon lord of the undead, Orcus.

They survived the fight but it was tough, and they determined that the Red Corsairs might do worse than to recruit a Cleric. They returned to Winterhaven to rest up, and here is where we leave our brave adventurers.

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