Lord Ordin's keep

GAME ONE: September 25, 2004

Mmm Mmm, That's good golem


We begin in the Manor of Lord Ordin, a Baron, who wants to enlist our aid. He explains to us how we will go to a keep with which he has lost contact and check it out. We will be given supplies and a few items that may help us restore the keep to working order (Mostly food and water storage goodies). Unlike the monster campaign, when he tosses something onto the table nobody leaps for it. Ultimately Joe "Pretty Boy" winds up with it. He is also given a letter of credit for the city we are headed to that will give us 1k GP for the group to spend on supplies.

We all agree easily to make the trip. Curiously nobody wants to be the leader. The leading candidates are Joe, because of his high CHA, and Terry, because he's a Cleric of Cuthbert (But I can't blame Terry for not wanting to be leader of a group of players he's never played with before; I've been playing with them for 4 years and I don't want to be leader either!).

Incidentally, we have no serious outdoor survivalist types. But we expect a wave of them in the "second character" bunch as nearly everyone has said, "My backup will be a Barbarian!"

We journey, sleep one night in the forest. During this sleep, we are assailed by... wait for it... yes... a Single Skeleton. Yes. A skeleton. Or should I say: A skeleton who tries to do the party!

It seems said skeleton has a paralyzing ability tied to it's tongue! Now how a skeleton has a tongue, I dunno. But anyway, when it hits successfully it paralyzes folks. This means that at least 4 of us wind up paralyzed during the fight (Including but not limited to Paul and Me). He had an exceptional armor class, due to a magic necklace; thus he was quite fashionable for a dead man.

We reach town and make contact with the right people. It is hit upon by some that maybe we should visit the local sage/alchemist duo and see what they have to say about our newly acquired magic items (The magic necklace and a spiffy pair of shoes). Upon arrival at the Sage's place a hideous odor fills the air. The scent of burnt tomatoes and scorched bread, but in a sickningly overpowering intensity. Thus that brings us to the most comedic sequence of the night. Sent back to town to gather the troops, Terry's Cleric and Alan's "Assassin" meet up.

Completely paraphrased just to give you the gist:
"There's trouble at the sage's."
"What kind of trouble."
"The kind that requires us to be there."
"Can you be more specific."
"How do you know that there's trouble."
"There just is."
"Was ANYONE else there who can tell me WHAT is going on?"

It seems that the local sage and alchemist have had problems with... Their Pastry Golem! Weighing in at several hundred pounds, the carb-riddled monstrosity known as CALZONE is made of bread and filled with spicy hot bubbling tomato sauce. Attacks upon the golem have resulted in scalding tomatoey blood burning the attackers. Additionally, it lets out a fart-like blast of hideous stinkage that debilitates those who fail saves. Meanwhile, a fire elemental tha works the kiln is extinguished by a set of Fiendish Hawks sent up the chimney by Joe's Sorcerer.

And the cause: An imp sent by an enemy of the alchemist and the sage has been fooling with their experiments. He caused Calzone to go insane and nearly kill them. In fact, he locked it in the basement with the bound duo, like some horrible Batman & Robin deathtrap set by the Pie Man.

Imp, Elemental, and Tasty Villain are destroyed by teamwork and an appetite for victory. So the rescued folks do the identify for us. The Monk (Me) gets the AC bonus necklace (YAY TEAM!) and Alan gets the shoes (which give bonus to sneak, and likely look cool if you could ever actually see them. Ah, irony!)

We head up to the keep. During the night we set up camp at a cave. Now it seems that we're very good at picking places that monsters frequent. Because tonight we get a visit from an Umber Hulk (Looking a little diff in 3e than I remember).

It proceeds to cause confusion on many. This creates the sequence in which the team alternately fights the beast and each other. Those who stay out of it's radius and don't look into it's eyes are fine. The rest of us (Me, the dorf, the assassin) are not so lucky. But the assassin gets to attack it successfully, doing lots of damage. Additionally, the casters do some damage, especially Jim's war mage who pets it with snowballs or magic missiles or something. But the fun doesn't stop there. What follows after the beast falls is a chase sequence in which the Dwarf attacks the Assassin and the Monk attacks both the war mage (who gets away) and the sorceror (who does not!). In the end we all recover, some a few hit points worse for wear.

The keep, it seems, is victim of orcs. We send in the surveillance team of sneaky folk who get some minimal info. Later we send in the Assassin who stumbles through the rubble but gets us some reliable reconnaissance. Then we set up the trap: The cleric casts silence on a stone. The sneaky folk seige one of the towers with the stone so that nobody hears the fighting (or us coming). When that's done we give a signal and the war mage creates a diversion/explosion by exploding the fire light in one of the other towers. The Monk & Rogue slit some throats enroute to the front gate where they let the rest of the part in. The other two move across the grounds and engage others. In the end it's pretty much a route. We have control of the courtyard. Inside the buildings are a number of humanoid slaves.

Strangely, there are few complaints when we proceed to eliminate the prisoners in calculated fashion, keeping one kobold who can speek Goblin for questioning. From him we discover that the Dead run the mines and that they use the goblins & kobolds as slave labor.

That is where we end... not far from the mines, having performed a perfunctory search of the stronghold.