[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaos 37 (B/X Mystara); Jaggadash

And so it was that on the 16th of the Eyrmont our heroes left Rugalov behind, gazing sourly at its plastered walls, ornate balconies and tiled roofs. With backpacks full of supplies and quivers filled with arrows they sallied forth into the Dymrak, to claim the heads of the Jaggadash.

The road through the Dymrak was not easy. The inhabitants of the forest seemed to sense, with preternatural accuracy, the coming of our band of killers, and fled quickly at the first snapping of a branch underneath a shod hoof. Nevertheless, some did try their luck. On their first day the found their passage barred by three ferocious boars. A ragged line was barely formed when the behemoths charged forward. It was then, as the Lame Ones met them with missile fire, that Mardek the tracker’s courage faltered, and his arrows, not true at their best, flew wild. Their tusks found no purchase on mail and plate or fire-hardened spear. Into the fray charged Merkull and Niffa, riding great chargers, and the beasts were trampled into the soil. One of the horses had been gored, but could continue, and so they went on.

It was Hummingbird who took apart the Trapper and berated him scornfully. ‘Pull yourself together man, we have hired you for your martial prowess!’ At which Mardek started weeping piteously and begging for his position until Hummingbird desisted and promised to retain him, slightly disgusted. Mardek blubbered his profuse thanks and continued, their tracker still.

The next day they encountered the edge of the Cursed Place, a petrified forest, site of some terrible magical calamity centuries past, and mouthing uncertain prayers to the Immortals, circumvented it, and built their camp several hundred metres away from its periphery. In the night came 4 of the Shadows, their shapes those of loved ones and absent friends, to claim Edmin’s soul to join them in their cursed half-existence. Narrowly extricating themselves from the ambush, the Lame Ones dispersed them with magic and enchanted steel. They slept poorly that night, and none mentioned the creatures after they had perished.

Once more, on the 4th day before they arrived at the lair of the Jaggadash, they were attacked by two mountain lions, but these managed to inflict little more then scratches before they were felled by the Sleeping Spell, and skinned. On the 20th they had arrived at the lair of the Jaggadash, and wasted little time in besieging it.

Set in a hollow hill, surrounded by a brook, they espied its entrance, seemingly abandoned, and trusting it not, they walked around, finding another entrance, poorly concealed, after half an hour of searching. Leaving Mardek behind, they crept forward in the darkness, Niffa in front, narrowly avoiding a cruel pit trap, to come upon the Jaggadash from the rear.

The most cowardly and scrawny of the tribes in the Dymrak, they are reviled for their treachery and evil even among their own kin. Pale, sickly, deformed, marked with the symbols of the serpents that they worship, the Jaggadash were a stain, a sickness in the forest to be expunged. It was the Lame Ones who would unwittingly serve as the hand of Destiny.

In the heart of their lair, a cave crudely hewed out of the packed earth and fortified with rough timbers, the Jaggadash held their feast in a den, filled with painted carvings of snakes. The Sleep spell fell upon them…and left the goblins curiously untouched…

Onward the Lame Ones thundered, as hails of daggers, arrows, bolts and sling stones flew back and forth in the cramped confines, and drew hissing breaths of pain from both parties when they struck unarmored flesh or soft spots in their armor. The chieftain himself, some lone surviving champion of their Dead King, flung live serpents at the Lame Ones, finding to his consternation that they had been ensorcelled. Niffa, Lucius, Hummingbird and Merkull broke their line, and a Sleep spell from Shing ended the melee. Two of the Goblins escaped deeper into the tunnels, warning off what fellows awaited near the front entrance, who filed out in good order.

In good order, our heroes recoinnoitred the now abandoned place, finding it mostly devoid of treasure until they examined the serpent carvings. Finding one hollow, they found within 3 magical potions, along with a decent quantity of platinum. The other measely treasures of the Jaggadash they divided among themselves, thoughtless, already intent on the true reason for their visit.  

One of the Vipers they kept alive, and awoke him. He was greatly afeared, and revealed to them the location of their foes, the Wolfskull Goblins. Deep within the Dymrak, in an Accursed place avoided by other tribes, was the lair of the Khlosslunk.

They gathered themselves and moved on, eager to see the end of their long ordeal.

 The Tally

3 Boars
4 Shadows
2 Mountain Lions
1 Goblin Leader
9 Viper Goblins
3 Rock Pythons

The Book of the Living.
[B] Niffa (Elf 3, 19 hp)
[E] Shing the Golden (MU 4, 12 hp)
[F] Hummingbird Twiceborn (Mys 4, 11 hp)
[G] Edmin Os Traytor (Clr 3, 12 hp)
[NPC] Sarah (Thf 4, 16 hp).
[NPC] Merkull (Ftr 4, 25 hp)
[NPC] Lucius Sulla (Ftr 2, 13 hp)
[NPC] Mardek (Ftr 1, 5 hp)
[NPC] Thorbin Stonefist (Dwr 1, 5 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
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 4, 24 hp) – Throat ripped out by a Cave Bear
[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
[NPC] Aziz the Impetuous (Ftr 1) – Struck down by an impostor’s hand
[NPC] Hyacinth the Fair (Ftr 1) – Felled by an Arrow
[NPC] Kellhus (Mys 1) – Drained by Stirges

The Rolls of Honour:
[A] Egil Soft-pate (Ftr 1, 18 Str) – Long may he Reave!
[C] Sir Ioric (Ftr 3, 17 hp) – Retired in glory, long live the Duke!
[NPC] Erren (Thf 3, 10 hp) – She wanders the roads, looking for who knows what.
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 5, 25 hp) – Refused to leave the tavern and preferred to keep drinking


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