We picked up where we left off, but since two of the players couldn’t make it, and another that wasn’t there to start with was here, we decided they headed to the cave entrance and swapped out people to guard the wagons outside the Caves of Chaos.
Before we started I let Kenan-Tal’s player roll up his reserve character. Waaaaay back I decided that since the party had brought the dwarven sword back to the family it belonged to instead of keeping it, that one of the Dwarves would agree to follow the PCs, giving KT’s player a follower as well as the opportunity to make up a new class. However, the player usually shows up late and we don’t have time to roll the character up. This time he was the second to arrive so we took advantage and got on the dice.
I have a couple of ways to roll PCs and he went with the one involving 4d6 in order, drop lowest. His (my) dice were on fire (just like when Rage Claw got rolled up). His lowest stat was Charisma at a measly 10. Other than a Con of 12, everything provided a +1 or better bonus. KT was happy that this paragon of dwarfiness had sworn himself to the priest of Talia. KT only had 200 or so xp in his reserve pool so the paladin is firmly level 1.
Since there has been such a long break in the game (thanks to my around the world trip), we glossed over the introduction of Klangor Ironfist (he was with me all along…) and the fact that Klangor has not seen Alfric’s traitor brand (thanks to his helmet). That’ll be fun when it happens.
So, the party explored and found a room with some zombies that they made short work of. Cleave is really grim. Have I said that already?
They head north and found two doors. Alfric bashed down the eastern one revealing a stairway down. This also alerted the nearby acolytes who readied themselves for an attack. When Alfric bashed down the northern door, they surprised him, chucking spears (one of which managed a measly one point of damage on him). The party charged and got mixed up fighting these guys. They were fierce fighters but Alfric dropped the front two and called for them to surrender. Rolling high on their morale they cried out a guttural war cry and continued. Klangor took some damage, but nothing serious, and when Alfric got to act, he butchered the remaining four. As the last one moaned and bled to death on the floor, Alfric looked down and said, “You should have surrendered.”
Upon investigation, they found some coins and 8 pointed star symbols, clear indicators that they worshipped chaos. The room was set up for habitation and they had obviously been there awhile, but they no idea who they were or what they were doing so they stripped the guys of their armor and decided a trip back to the wagons was in order. This seemed odd, but I guess it’s the first time in a while they’ve fought people with resalable gear, and they were intent on getting everything they could out of the dungeon.
They returned to the ravine, avoiding wandering monsters, until they nearly made it to the treeline. Then some orcs burst out of one of the caves and charged them.
This was in an interesting fight because it was one of the first times most of the party could get involved (thanks to it being outdoors). The fight went fairly quickly with the orcs learning why it’s a bad idea to charge set spears.
Back at camp, they decided to rest and recover their spells. I rolled for the various watches but the monsters never found them. Meanwhile, they had to listen to the sound of drumming and screams all night. Basically the cult leader, Bone Shaker, had discovered the invasion and exhorted the tribes for their failure to kill these invaders. He sacrificed some goblins to some of the bigger orcs, which he then animated the remains and took the brutally large champions as his direct body-guard in the temple. The war champion (mechanically a minotaur) is unconvinced, at this moment, but given time, he too may relocate to the heart of the temple to help protect the chaos priest.
When they traveled back in the light, they found the dead bodies of the goblins and the orcs they’d left behind, who animated and attacked them as zombies. They put them down quickly and went back to the temple cave. This time they explored the stairwell door, missing all the surprises the priest had in store for them.
As they traveled down a twisting tunnel, the guards in the rear heard a cry coming from behind them and they turned to see several lizard like creatures who walked upright charging towards their light. These things were not like the lizardmen they’d already met nor even the Nar, but something more fish like, with bony spines and a viscous slime coating their body that reeked horribly. The rear of the party took a beating, but they held until Alfric threw one of them out of his way (opening the poor henchman up to free attacks by one of the creatures). At this point they discovered that these things were tougher than a lot of creatures they had faced…. When one suffered a massive blow from Alfric (11 points) and kept coming, they nearly wet themselves.
Luckily Anika slept them and they quickly slit the creatures throats and loot the strange jewelry off the leader. We had to end it there though.
Not a lot got done this session, we only had about two hours to play unfortunately. But I suppose we made it through five encounters in those 2 hours which is monumental by later edition standards, so that’s pretty cool. All that with a new character getting created as well, so that’s pretty sweet.