[Actual Play] Keep on the Borderlands Pt. XII; Reconnoitre in Force

And so it was that in their struggle against Chaos, Father Bell and the magicians Diggory Bell and Chinning Poofter forged a scheme to further enlarge the fortunes of the band, and with four hired fighting men of the region that they had equipped in suits of mail and armed with great bows, they set out for the Necropolis of Nuroman by Horse, and made good time indeed. In the meantime Father Bell sent a missive to the city of Thanehold, wherein the Holy Church of Law was seated, and asked of the Archdeacon for any aid he might pledge.

On the way they came across a band of goblins of the Red Eyes tribe, and wasting no time parlaying, smote them with arrows and sleep spells, and robbed them of their electrum. By evening’s fall they had reached the Necropolis, and there made their camp.

At the rising of the dawn they searched the area for signs of the bandit’s trails, and for a halfday combed the surrounding forest for signs of habitation. They encountered six giant bats, having come upon them and roused them from their slumber, and, regarded sleepily by the vicious predators, they made their hasty retreat. They returned to the Necropolis in the afternoon, leaving behind one man to guard the horses.

Wanting to waste no time, they descended the rope into the limestone caverns, and made their way to the banquet hall, and the southern corridors beyond. They found there several doors, and two rooms, their only contents the faded furnishings. As they explored the walls of the eastern room, searching for secret passageways, through the door blundered seven of the outlaws they had been searching.

Nary a word was wasted in negotiation, and with a cry of ‘ready swords’ the Champions attacked. The bandits beat them to the punch, and rushed forward, and with precise sword strokes, struck down one of the legionaires. Diggory was mouthing a Sleep spell when a sharp-featured bandit threw a dagger at him, and struck him across the cheek. Only heroic fortitude allowed him to finish the spell.

Five of the bandits fell. The last two fought on bravely, screaming heathen oaths. Sword blows rained down on them. One of them drove his sword through a mercenary’s neck. The last remaining man cried out in fear, as father Bell faced off against one of the attackers, and the magician Chinning rushed forward, dagger bared, to do battle with the other. Their fate poised on a knife’s edge, with the bandit’s sword descending down upon him in a lethal arc, Chinning got off his sleep spell also, and ended the fight. They cut the throats of all but one of the sleeping men, bound the last and hurried back, stripping the banded mail off one of the fallen fighting men.

In the evening, they interrogated the outlaw, but he merely stared sullenly, spitting on the ground, resigned to his fate. They bound him to a stout pole, and in the morning, to a horse, and hurried back. By evening’s fall they had travelled all the way across the elven road, and entered the Keep’s gates. They gave up their captive to the Corporal of the Watch, who had him brought to the dungeon for interrogation. They waited for two days, and Chinning drank with the two remaining mercs, and helped them grieve their fallen friends. A reply from Thanehold had arrived in the meantime.

To Father Bell,
Praise be to the Lords of Law. The Archdeacon was greatly moved upon hearing of your noble quest, and has directed several of his prayers to the Lords of Law, beseeching them to aid you in your every efforts. He was most pleased that you would send a fifth of your earnings and pledge it to His Holy Church. I believe there is a member of our order in the Keep, on whom you can bequeath this donation. W.r.t the sending of acolytes to persue the crusade against the Vile Beastmen, let it be known that, though we have no members of the order that are currently available for such a task, I have been directed to spread the word, and I am convinced that the Lords of Law will inspire those who hear of your plight to join you forthwith.
Lords of Law be with you.
Theodesius Cadmus, Secretery to His Holiness Archdeacon Tiberius Heraclitus Magnus

On the morrow, the Champions set out for the Caverns of Chaos. There they attached a piece of paper to an arrow and shot it into one of the Orc Caves. The message read as follows.

“I am Diggory the Daring, Mage of great Renown and Power. T’was I that slew the minotaur in […] other caves, his headless corpse still lies there if you doubt my power. I seek allies in my quest to fight the hobgoblins of the caves opposite […] and I have heard of your tribes great might. Help me in this endeavour and I will help you against your foes as well. Meet me at the hermit’s oak in two days.”

They returned to the keep, and there learned of the bandit’s interrogation. Though he had revealed that they had taken two suits of armor off the dead in the keep, he gave contradictory accounts of the location of the bandit’s hideaway. He was hung by the neck until death followed at the next dawn.

Two days past, they met four orc warriors and a great female wearing an ivory bracelet. She introduced herself as Daghra, wife of Torok Headcrusher, Chieftain of the Demon’s sons. Diggory, who was well versed in the language of the Orcs, spoke at length with them, and promised them half the Hobgoblin’s spoils, and victory in battle, if they would agree to attack the Hobgoblins from the rear while they themselves would assail the front. Swearing a blood oath on the Blood Gods by a moonlight, Diggory made his pact with the Demon’s Sons.

The attack would take place in a week’s time. So it was done.

The Tally
5 Goblins
7 Bandits

The Price
[A] Otso (MU 1, 3 hp) – Slain by Treachery
[B] Hardroc Sansaxe (Dwr 1, 4 hp) – Died on his feet against the Goblin Foe
[C] Buddy (Fm 1, 6 hp) – Died in the rearguard against Kobold treachery
[D] Valen (Thf 1, 2 hp) – Felled by Kobold arrow in the Battle of the Warrens
[C] Brother Buddy (Clr 1, 3 hp) – Felled by a bandit’s spearthrust
[E] Quinton RumbleBreeches (Hal 1, 6 hp) – Felled by a bandit’s arrow
[B] Sazar Thistleborne (Thf 1, 4 hp) – Ripped apart by a Mountain Lion in the Perilous forest
[C] Brother Buddy Jr. (Clr 1, 4 hp) – Drained of life by monstrous Stirges
[F] Hardy the Dwarf (Dwr 1, 6 hp) – Clubbed to death by Ogre
[B] Zed Fauxgivvin (Hal 1, 4 hp) – Fell to a hobgoblin sword, but he did not go alone
[G] Colemeier Stonesaw (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Fell to hobgoblin sowrds
[E] Father Kane (Clr 1, 6 hp) – Fell to Hobgoblin swords
[H] Ludwig Andros (MU 1, 4 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[I] Derek de Chitsville (Ftr 1, 8 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[J] Vinnie Jones (Ftr 1, 10 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[K] Johhny Longfingers (Thf 1, 4 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[L] Vitus the Southron (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Eaten by Harpies
[I] Father Theodore (Clr 1, 6 hp) – Struck down by skeletons

One thought on “[Actual Play] Keep on the Borderlands Pt. XII; Reconnoitre in Force

  1. This is delightful.

    Not sure if I would have allowed the orc alliance without some (tangible) good faith gesture or token…a castle-forged blade or axe for the chief or a piece of jewelry for his head wife. But blood oaths are good…so long as they are enforced by the Dark Gods of the setting.
    ; )


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