[Actual Play] B2 Keep on the Borderlands (LL) Pt. XXIV: Dogs

And so it was our heroes continued their war against Chaos. This time around they were but 3 who ventured out for the second expedition. Snorri the Dwarf had grown queer of thought, never taking off the strange dragon helm they had found, and refused all entreaties to join the expedition. Skeines was lost in perusing the Tome of Nuroman. Siriroco had lost himself to his ravenous appetite. It fell to Cork the Cleric, Gal Gadont the Elf maiden and the enigmatic Fox the Elf. Equipped with rope, torches and oil, they made their way to the Caverns once again, accompanied by 3 legionaires, and the corporal of the watch.

They haggled and muttered and eventually moved into the Shrine of Evil Chaos, venturing north, up the ramp, Fox checking all corners with a mirror. They cast a stone into the northern corridor, flinching at the unnatural reverberations and the terrible silence of the place. When they arrived in the accursed shrine to chaos in the south, warily eyeing its hideous tapestry and blood-splattered ritual implements, they were beset by 4 priests.

The battle was over swiftly. Though each priest was endowed with spellcasting power by the obscene power of chaos, dressed in plate and guarded by amulets of protection against the forces of good, a legionaires arrow killed one of them before he could get off a spell, and the rest was smitten by the Sleeping Spell of Fox. They slit their throats and stripped them of their purses and bronze chains with bone clasps, and returned to the shrine of chaos. They tore down the tapestry, but finding no secret door therein, moved further north.

Bypassing two doors, they continued on, discovering a great hall with a vaulted ceiling, and walls hung with drapes and tapestries. Fearing its evil power, the band retreated, venturing southward instead. Down the corridor, burning many torches, the party went, finding a passageway blocked off by stone, a guardroom filled with zombies dressed in quilted uniforms of red and black armed with cleavers, and a further passage east. They left the zombies and ventured north, only to be attacked in their rear.

8 of the dead, armed with great axes like meat cleavers, fought them in the broad hallway. They responded sluggishly, Gal cooing and following elven whims, Cork attempting to call upon the powers of Law but finding no purchase, and Fox firing slingstones. The legionaires drew swords and rushed forward, hacking into the living dead. Soon they were overwhelmed, and two legionaires fell to the axes of the risen dead. Cork shouted an order, and the group reformed, spreading out to form a straight line across the broad corridor, so each man faced a single one the living dead. Two of the dead had fallen already. Fox threw a flask of oil, and ordered the torchbearer to ignite the puddle of oil with the aim of stopping the onslaught, but the cast was off, and the dead easily marched around the puddle, and now they had only the burning pool of oil for light. Axes fell, Gal cut down one of the dead with her halbeard, and was herself cut down with a fell blow, to fall insensate on the polished stone. Ordering the two remaining legionaires to cover their retreat, the Champions picked up their fallen comrade, and rushed north, through the door and into the narrow passageway. The legionaries followed, and closed the door behind them, miraculously avoiding all injury.

The dead started chopping through the door. Our heroes quickly healed their wounds with the Staff of Healing, and prepared a puddle of oil behind the blocked door. The legionaires stepped back, the dead poured through, and with a cast torch, ignited the mixture. The risen dead died quickly.

Gadont was gravely wounded, and the rest was rattled by the loss of two of their men. They beat a hasty retreat, and arrived only late in the evening. After a gloomy evening’s drinking, by morning Fox visited the Castellan, and using his elven mischief, and his eliptic way of words, he convinced the Castellan to lend him more men, and that the defeat of chaos was all but certain. The Castellan, desperate for a victory after his rivals in the Imperial Capital had gotten wind of his failure to find the horn Skraldr, assented, and nervously sent him on his way. In town, the party sold off their meagre treasure, took their findings, and after inquiring about dogs, learned of the farmer Holmar Kurreg who sold wardogs 1 week’s travel from the keep. He would not sell to the Legion after his son was killed in a drunken brawl. On their way, they encountered Lucifur, a pelt-wearing degenerate that had been pestering the local farms and causing general mischief. As he knew the location of Holmar’s steading, they reluctantly accepted his aid.

For a week they travelled past farmsteads, some of them burnt, past the roads, dark forests, and hilly terrain, and slept in ditches. They fled from a band of marauding orcs that had ventured into civlian land, and on their way to the farmstead of Holmar Kurreg, they witnessed great plumes of Smoke behind them.

Holmar was a foul-smelling and drunken sort. He refused Cork entry to his farmstead, and only after Lucifur had told him he was a devotee of the heathen god Kharodain, Lord of Dogs, would the farmer allow them egress. The mystic further proved his worth by divining which of the unreliable heathen’s dogs were trustworthy, and which ones were likely to fall in battle. They paid the farmer handsomely, so he would offer them shelter against the Legions should they need it, and departed with 4 dogs of war.

On their way home they met, in the evening, on an seldom travelled trail, two hermits, dressed in animal skins. They asked for food, but Lucifur told them off, and insulted them, and the hermits grinned and came forward, shedding their manform, and revealing themselves to be were-kin. Fox unleashed on them the sleep spell, but the hounds they released sprang upon the creatures, and though their teeth could not harm them, it did awaken them. Swearing, our party made a retreat, the hounds scattering in terror, with Lucifur remaining behind, and attempting to affect a distraction by blathering nonsense. The Skinchangers would have none of it, and devoured him limb from limb.

After the end of the second week, the party returned to Castellan’s Keep with 4 wardogs, ready to continue the fight against the obscene worshippers of Chaos, and see it through to the end.

The Champions

[R] Cork the Cleric (Clr 1, hp 6)
[S] Gal Gadont (Elf 1, hp 6)
[S] Lucifur (Clr 1, hp 5)
[Aleph] Fox the Elf (Elf 1, hp 5)

The Tally
4 Acolytes (greater)
8 Zombies

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 (Ftr 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
[J] Box the Fighter (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Struck down by Valgard, breaker-of-horses-and-men
[A] Diggory Class (MU 1, 4 hp) – Slain by Poisoned treasure
[M] Pajeje (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Slain by poisoned treasure
[B] Chinning Poofter (Mu 2, hp 6) – Rent asunder by furious Griffon
[N] Grog (Ftr 1, 10 hp) – Drowned in armor in the bay of the Flooded Temple
[Retainer] Father Bell the Octogenarian (Clr 2, hp 12) – Devoured by the Basilisk
[M] Father Paisisco the Blessed (Clr 2, 6 hp) – Turned to stone by the Basilisk’s Gaze
[P] Roger (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Rent asunder by the Chimera
[P] Bali (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Incinerated by the Chimera
[R] Brandt (Dwr 1, 9 hp) – Ripped apart by Troll
[S] Lucifur the Cleric (Clr 1, hp 5) – Devoured by Werewolves

5 thoughts on “[Actual Play] B2 Keep on the Borderlands (LL) Pt. XXIV: Dogs

  1. Are you no longer using death at zero hit points? How does Gal fall insensate but survive?

    Other than that, sounds like a rough excursion, though the war dogs will surely come in handy.


    1. I have one on an envelope somewhere, part of it is obviously in Forsaken Wilderlands Beyonde (that I should review), but I can draft some sort of example. I have yet to master proper hex mapping so it will be a draft.


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