[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaos 38 (Mystara B/X); The Cleansing of the Wolfskull Goblins

With captive bound they made their way back through the dark woods of the Dymrak. Avoided by all the predators of that ancient place, who had learned to fear the bite of their swords and arrows, and the chanting that brings oblivion. Two days hard riding, through tangled paths, to the accursed place of stone. Only 6 stirges barred their way, and these were easily vanquished.

Near the petrified forest they rested, and by night were set upon by a scouting party of the Khlossluk. 3 of them managed to escape, but one was captured and bound. And in the morning they worked their enchantments upon it, and charmed it so it became tractable, and was willing to guide them to the camp so they could talk to the King.

When they wandered into the deathly silent darkness of the Petrified Forests, the Khlossluk already knew they were coming. An hour in, they were set upon by 5 Giant bats, but these were swiftly dispatched, with no casualties.

Heeding the Wolfskull’s warnings, they circled round the den, and came upon a reserve force of the Wolfskulls, that was waiting to flank their attack upon the stronghold. Now they crossed blades, a line of steel and shield against 10 braves and three monstrous Dire Wolves. Merkull’s great destrier was hewed out from under him by the awful beasts, and though he fell hard, he extricated himself, and tore into them with vengeance. With the wounds of the Lame Ones mounting, Shing broke his invisibility and unleashed upon them the Sleep Spell, and soon the patrol was undone, the last survivors falling with arrows in their back.

From the Den, sounds of alert, and battle chants and drawn swords, and growls could soon be heard.

Now it was the Lame Ones concocted a cunning stratagem. Shing wrapped himself once more in invisibility, and drinking the Animal Control Potion, was among the first to cross the black stream circling the den of petrified wood. The Goblins shrieked as one of the great wolves turned upon the other, some of them fleeing to unleash the rest of the tribe’s Wolves, the first defenders were smitten down by a Sleep spell from Niffa.

Howling and laughing, the Lame Ones crossed the river and made for the Wolves’s den. In the back, Thorwin the Dwarf patiently and with relish killed the slumbering goblins. Once more, the initiative was with the Lame Ones. Only two of the Wolves had fully broken loose, the rest yelping and tearing at their bonds, as the Lame Ones formed a shield wall and pelted them with missiles from a distance. As one of the Dire Wolves fell, Shing soon took control of another, and attacked the huddled masses from the rear. A third Sleep spell took down two more, and soon all was murder and silence.

Hummingbird, mounting the stone walls between the petrified trunks, could see the huddled hordes of King Khlossluk assembling in his hall, chanting their murderous chants, the braves in front followed by a hardened band of veteran warriors. Thinking quickly, he and Sarah climbed the wall of the throughfare. As the goblins poured through the hallway in a shrieking tide of spears, axes and daggers, met by precision fire of bow, sling and grim-faced fighting men, Hummingbird did wrench his great staff between the unmortared stone, and heaved mightily, and buried the spearhead under piles of rubble, leaving only a weakened advance to face enchanted steel and enchanted plate.

Cursing, old King Khloss and his thanes retreated into their hall, to make their stand amid mouldering pelts and looted gold. Casting spears at the Lame Ones mounting the walls, they clashed in honest melee, Khloss himself joining the fray, screaming for the head of the howling Elf, who all this time lamented the death of the Wolves, but cared nought for the lives of men or goblin. Though hard fighters, the Wolfskull were no match for the Lame Ones, of whom it is said that each has killed over a hundred of the beastmen by their hand, and that twofold while they were lost in enchanted sleep.

When a dominated wolf joined the fray, and King Khloss’s head was struck from his shoulders, the last defenders fled wailing into the forest, one making it over the wall, leaving the rest to lie dead on an ashen soil, now turned quagmire with goblin blood.

But the battle was not yet won.

The Tally

3 Boars
4 Shadows
2 Mountain Lions
1 Goblin Leader
9 Viper Goblins
3 Rock Pythons
5 Giant bats
36 Wolfskull Goblins
11 Dire Wolves
6 Goblin Bodyguards
King Khloss

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

5 thoughts on “[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaos 38 (Mystara B/X); The Cleansing of the Wolfskull Goblins

  1. No James Bond style deaths in the piranha pool? Shame. If the goblins manage to get all the Dire Wolves in play
    at the same time, the PCs are in trouble. However, potion of Animal Control, nice one! A magic item used at the right time. There are a few guardians left, but an excellent effort from the party thus far.


    1. They have just entered Xitaqua where I am at. I have good hopes Gothar might be able to off end a handful of them. They have been growing a bit too formidable for B10. They did lose a controlled dire wolf to the trap in the log leading to the Hobgoblin lair afterwards. Those thouls should really fight with their bare hands, there is no reason to wield swords if you have 2 paralyzing claw attacks.


    1. The average level is around 4 so some overperformance is expected at this stage, especially given the strength of some of their henchmen. I expect the last encounter in Xitaqua to put them to a serious test, possibly even cause a fatality or two, and after this the encounter difficulty ramps up. What can one say? +2 plate mail and +1 shield is as effective as it ever was and their play has only improved.


      1. yep, currently finding out how effective armor/shield is in older editions first hand.


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