As detailed in the e-mail "The Adventuring Circle of Life"

So you’re a dwarf, hanging out at your mountain stronghold, making magic items. A bunch of orcs not only show up and kick your ass, but then they move in. After being there for decades, a group of heroes (mostly human) show up and kick your ass. I’m guessing that if we move in and set up shop, we’ll eventually draw minotaurs or something bigger on the food chain.


Now I said to myself, “Self,” because that’s what I call myself… “Self, here’s your opportunity to remember Alan’s character name.” I then repeated it a few times mentally. But it seems these things have a shelf-life (Brain life?) of about six hours. So I don’t recall his character name. I’ll get it right some day.

So for this recap, let’s call him… I dunno… Mr. Healy.

We shall make a journey into the mountains to investigate an old dwarven stronghold that had fallen to orcs. So we bring our camping gear and orc repellant (which would be what? Soap and water?). But before we go there are some things to do…

First, a market coming through town yields some supplies and knickknacks. One of them catches the eye of marcen. It’s some sort of mask, which he proceeds to obtain via 5-finger discount. Seems he feels some kind of connection to the object, though I don’t believe he’s expressed that to the group.

Next, there’s a musician who plays the recorder. Pox is present when the man is playing and he instantly has a vision of a cave with a gem and a prismatic rainbow of light. He feels a connection to the recorder. After trying to shoe-horn him into the group in some convoluted attempt to stay close to the recorder, he finally ends up bargaining for it by trading some money and a magic horn for it. Of course that wasn’t the only vision. Seems Rayson had a strange “waking dream”. Also, Mathius did a card reading for the coming adventure and drew two identical cards (one upright the other inverted); of course he keeps no duplicates in his deck. And the card that was extra vanished later on. (I’m looking your way, Marcen!) Copan rolled the same prophetic die roll two days in a row.

And Mathius, Copan, and Pox take a side trip to investigate a problem the locals have. Seems a small family working a farm have had their crops go bad. They don’t seem diseased, merely overwatered. An underground river likely runs right beneath where their crops are. (I’ll have to check in with them while we’re in town.)

We finally hit the road and do some travelling. Some hunters were on a similar track ahead of us, but they won’t be much of an issue. You see, we eventually find them one at a time in some state of dispatch. One was likely killed by the local wendigo, whom we would encounter. Another may have been ripped up by stirges or some other flying creature.

Now that wendigo introduced himself to us. He basically charged the group one night and a fight broke out. He was killed but not before he took a bite out of Copan.

We set up a nice safe camp one night off the mountain road leading up to our goal. During the evening patrolling orcs come by. Two are entangled on the path to keep them from running away. Another cuts down Marcen (because we’re 2nd level and they’re carrying great axes). Mathius discovers his new love, the crossbow.

I should of course point out (since I’m sometimes accused of making these fights sound too easy for us) that every encounter we had was very dangerous. All fights for 2nd level characters are tough. So take any statement of “we kill them and move on” as equaling “after nearly dying many times we kill them and move on”. This is evidenced by last game when we were nearly taken out by goblins and wound up basically in a draw.

When we reach the top of the path, our advance man tells us there are two guards outside the entrance. We work up a convoluted plan involving putting on orc armor in order to get closer before attacking them, and it’s hard to tell how well that works. Disguise rolls worked on everyone except Mathius, so that likely gave it away, but as all things do it escalates to a fight and we kill the two men up front.

Around the corner are stairs, but anyone taking those is shot at by arrows through well-disguised murderholes. We do our best to keep to one side and stay away from them, but that still leaves most folks subject to shots from one particular hole. Once the massive doors are broken in, the group enters to discover that the next area is a ledge alongside a large pit. On the other side of the pit are two orcs who are using cover and shooting arrows. Strung between is a rope bridge, which they proceed to try and cut, but a fear spell from Mr. Healy helps stop that guy, and an arrow with a light spell cast on it helps light up where those orcs are. The trip across the bridge is not easy, but once Marcen makes it (barely) and the bridge, the opposing guys are slain in that area, and the bridge is re-secured, we cross.

Through the door here is a three way path. First path we choose leads to an empty cell of some kind. The opposite tunnel leads to a waiting group of orcs. While they are being engaged, some enterprising characters (Mr. Healy, Copan, and Mavin) go down the third tunnel suspecting it will swing around behind them. Turns out Bob Lee was right and it does in fact come up behind the group of orcs who are assaulting the party. We fight and fight. Once we’ve gained some access to that room, more orcs show up. And eventually, while fighting those orcs, some more orcs show up, led by a half orc/half ogre. Now he’s got quite the HP, as we cut and cut before he finally goes down. A few orcs way down the hall run away. We secure our area as best we can and rest because there’s lots of injury and few remaining spells among the casters.

During the evening we hear some orcs outside the door, but they do not intrude. Next day we investigate and see that they’ve vacated. In fact, they had a secret escape path that leads them out without use of the rope bridge. We mount a search party because all we have so far is the ring we took off the leader, and there are a bunch more items to gather. We fear they may have left with loot. Turns out they didn’t, and when we track them down the few who remain allow their loot to be searched.

We return to the place and do a more elaborate search. We find only some stairs (down this time), a door shaped like a dwarven head (which skeletons scattered around it, which keeps us from investigating it too closely), and we know that the bottom of the pit with the rope bridge features some water (can’t see it, but we hear it).

There’s lots left to search on other levels of the place.

NEXT GAME: I was only half listening when they discussed next game. So I’m going to presume that 6/20 was discussed.

I think you’ll be happy to know that I took the “Extra Music” feat out of the Complete Adventurer, which means instead of giving you a +1 only once per day, I can do it 5 times now, which should cover the vast majority of fights that we can do at this level. So that’s going to be my first act in most encounters from now on. If I keep rolling high initiative this could work out well.

Prophecy Interpretation Specalist
Krestible, Perrenland