[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaost 19 (B/X Mystara); The Storming of Fortress Haradraith.

And so it was on the bloody 6th, our heroes fled from the Fortress Haradraith and gathered together in the shade of the surrounding hillside, watching warily whilst the few defenders closed and barred the gates behind them. As the sun travelled across the horizon Rallo, Sarah and Hummingbird scaled the cliffs surrounding that ancient bulwark and watched its desolate courtyard, now turned into a charnel field. The corpses had been piled up in the barracks, and nary a sign of motion was spotted from within. They debated whether to attack and instead moved back to their camp, to deal their banewound in the morning.

It was the morning of the 7th when they set out for one last time, to break the ramparts of Haradraith, and deal the banewound to what remained of its defenders. Its walls were unmanned when they came upon them, its courtyard empty, only a single door to the barracks flapping in the wind. Came Rallo, Hummingbird and cunning Sarah, to scout the premises and unbar the gate. Cautiously they snuck forward, Sarah manning the walls, heavy crossbow covering the alleyways between the barracks, whilst Rallo snuck forward to listen at the door of the Hobgoblin barracks. No sign. They opened the doors and the rest marched forward.

Cautious Shing did barricade himself inside the Hobgoblin barracks, to stay out of sight of possible ambush. The rest marched forward, checking the Orcish barracks and finding it empty aswell. Perhaps the foe had fled, they thought, as they travelled in the eastern alleyway. Rallo listened at the door of the chieftain’s quarters, and finding no sound within opened it, only to be met with flashing steel. The Hobgoblin chieftain, bedecked with silvered skulls and his most trusted thanes, fell on them howling, and the doors of the mess hall and barracks opened to disgorge the remaining defenders.

In the barracks were Skrakkbakk of the Splintered Skull, his neck bedecked with skulls on silver chains, and in his hand the shield Alwyffn, reaped from the tombs of Halavs champions. With him were Hurgha, Klothir, Morgha and Jagnir, all of them loyal thanes.
From the mess came Klossarek, garbed in wolf pelt and skull helm, wielding a fearsome great sword and still limping from the wound Niffa had dealt him yesterday. With him only his last son Angrath, with sword and gathered hides. The rest had perished in the fighting.
From the quarters came what few fighting men remained. First out was Slobad, a cattle thief, destined to die before he crossed swords with the foe. Next was Merov, a cutthroat, who would suffer much the same. Last before his master was Helgi, a hard-eyed northerner, who was the only one to have faced the band before, and with curses on his lips he went to them. Last out of the barracks would be Merkull, a skilled swordsman, with many dead fighting-men to his name, garbed in impenetrable Mail of enchanted bronze, and wielding the sword and shield of long lost heroes. With him his bed-companion, the Conjurer Tarrayo, a wicked woman of keen intellect and great beauty but a cold heart, with dagger and a ring of protection.

Against them were arrayed Rallo the Bastard, a throat-cutter and boaster of great power, wielding enchanted Thyatian Steel and guarded by an enchanted ring. With him Ioric the Hunter, a Thyatian, once fallen, in impenetrable mail, with a shield of Halav’s champions and the Blade Perilous to vanquish all who stood before him.
In the ranks behind stood Niffa of the Vyala, perhaps more fey then most of her kin, with harsh jaw and strength like an ox, ensorcelled scimitar and a shield of the chaos champions to ward off any foe. Next to her proud Hummingbird, who had escaped death many a time, and returned from it but once, wielding a simple sling, and only his fists and feet besides. In the rear was Edmin, a stranger from distant lands, perhaps Ierendi or beyond Minrothad even, garbed in plate and with enchanted Sling. Mighty Shing, a conjurer, slow, craven, but sharp and cunning beyond all other men, was behind.  

Quick thinking Rallo and Ioric fell back, the rest behind them, parrying blows while Sarah struck one of the bandits in the side. A slingstone from Edmin struck Klossarek in the eye, and back rushed Hummingbird and Niffa. Hummingbird to rain stones upon them, Niffa guarding their flanks. In his quarters, great Shing conjured forth the Shield spell, to ward him from hidden attackers.

Into the narrow alleyway rushed the attackers, blows raining on Edmin as he was enveloped on three sides. With dented steel and cracked shield he fell back and into the gap rushed Ioric and Rallo, and Klothir fell to their swords. A bolt took Slobad in the throat, and his companion rushed past him, sword drawn. From the barracks rushed Shing, guarded by the shield, and Niffa and Hummingbird mounted the rooftops and cast stones at the foe.

A third time the foe closed ranks, but no sword would touch Rallo or Ioric as they held back the foe, and now Merkull and Tarrayo had stepped forth, rushing for the western alleyway, seeking to cut them off. Eagle eyed Sarah fired one shot, and struck the Sorceress in the chest, and she fell in the mud and expired, never getting off a single spell. Shing unleashed upon the bottleneck the mighty sleep spell, and all but the Hobgoblins fell to the might of the enchantment. Hurgha’s nerve broke and he only trembled as Ioric and Rallo rushed for Merkull.

Now in the courtyard Merkull faced them, spitting curses as he parried them with deft skill. They kept their distance and leaped in, as stones and bolts bounced off his mail. A lucky shot by deadly Sarah injured him further, and soon he was breathing hard, and his sword trembled in his hand. With disgust he surrendered.

From the courtyard rushed great Skrakkbak, kicking and bellowing Jagnir awake. Arrows rained around him but he blocked them contemptuously. As his thane tended to the sleeping Goblin King, he charged at Niffa and Edmin, prayers to his evil queen upon his monstrous lips. The Charm spell struck him as he was mere paces from the Elf, and he became ensnared and was unable to fight on. An arrow of the elf ended the reign of Klossarek, and what Hobgoblins remained were set upon by Hummingbird, dropping from the roof like a great cat. As they attempted to awaken the slumbering bandits Rallo fell on them, and dealt the bane-wound to Helgi. The rest surrendered.

They questioned them, and soon Merkull bargained and bargained well. Though many among the company sought him put to death, for one share of the treasure he would tell them all he knew of the dungeons below, and offered his sword hand for his life. They accepted and let his remaining man go. The hobgoblins they had put to death, even the Chieftain they had ensorcelled.  

They took with them all the gold and silver and knickknacks they could carry, and all but bulging with loot, with dyed cotton, with rolls of silk and enchanted steel and one of their horses laden with spoils they returned to their camp, and set out for Penhaligon.

In three days riding they came upon the river, haggling for the price of the crossing, though they were wealthy indeed, and rode into Penhaligon, to spend their hard-earned spoils, to learn new enchantments and return to put the sword to Queen Ilyana and her remaining host.

The Tally
19 Hobgoblins
4 Hobgoblin lieutenants
Skrakkbakk the Chieftain
15 Goblins + Klossarek the Chieftain
3 Human Veterans
3 Human Warriors
Merkull the Sword master [turned Retainer]
Tarrayo the Conjurer

The Book of the Living.
[C] Ioric the Reborn (Ftr 3, 17 hp)
[B] Niffa (Elf 2, 9 hp)
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 3, 19 hp)
[E] Shing the Golden (MU 3, 6 hp)
[F] Hummingbird Twiceborn (Mys 3, 7 hp)
[G] Edmund Os Traytor (Clr 1, 6 hp)
[NPC] Sarah (Thf 3, 15 hp).
[NPC] Merkull (Ftr 3, 20 hp)

The Book of the Dead:
[A] Ilyanka Pjottrsdöttr (Clr 1) – Beheaded by Giant Chameleon
[B] Liliath the Elf-maiden (Elf 1) – Skull-split by the horrid Bugbear
[C] Cold-Souled Fenrig (Thf 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[D] Balan the Lame (Dwr 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[B] Earendil (Elf 1) – Struck down by vile Orc Sorcery
[G] Azalesh Slyly (Clr 1) – Shanked by common robbers
[NPC] The Wardog Biter (Dog) – Cut down by the Orc Menace

The Rolls of Honour:
[A] Egil Soft-pate (Ftr 1, 18 Str) – Long may he Reave!
[NPC] Erren (Thf 3, 10 hp) – She wanders the roads, looking for who knows what.


One thought on “[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaost 19 (B/X Mystara); The Storming of Fortress Haradraith.

  1. Capturing and turning one of the opposition? Well done. And they finally have a bit of insurance with 2 decent fighters. I look forward to the battle in the dungeon level.


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