RedHandDoomPlayers / RHoD-Session3Summary

Red Hand of Doom - Session 3

Day 2 (evening) - Scouting Vraath Keep

Before charging in headlong, our heroes decided that a stealthy person or two should scout Vraath Keep. (Charging in headlong could happen later.) Waywocket, with her small, nimble stature and concealing elven cloak was the natural choice, especially with the advantage of her cunning illusions. Late in the evening, she ventured forth from camp disguised as a goblin and accompanied by Murel, Vreln's elven hound, who could probably pass for a worg from a distance.

Vraath Keep turned out to be a compact structure, which may well have been sturdy before being battered to pieces by forest giants, several of whose corpses still littered the area alongside the boulders that appeared to be the main weapons of their assault. Less than 100 feet on a side, the fort was surrounded by ten-foot high walls, with a gatehouse in one side and a two-story tower on an opposite corner. There was little sign of life, but a possibility of unlife was hinted at by a mysterious glowing figure on the second story of the tower. After getting a glimpse of several dilapidated buildings in the courtyard, Waywocket headed safely back to camp to report on her findings.

Day 3 - Assault on Vraath Keep

Early the next morning, the band of adventurers prepared in their various fashions for battle, and departed their camp, leaving behind Jorr to watch their horses, which were unlikely to be useful in assaulting a guarded fortress. Several people suggested beginning the assault through the tower, in hopes of discovering more about the glowing figure, and possibly silencing a sentry before an alarm could be raised. Waywocket and Dulmir used their magic to climb the tower, only to discover it unguarded, and unoccupied except for the decaying corpse of a farmer mounted over a bucket flickering with the light of an enchanted stone. Presumably, this was a source of the rumors of haunting. The farmer would have to be decently buried, but that could wait. After Vreln and Sagamore scaled the tower through more conventional means, the party planned their next move.

Dulmir's familiar, Eard, briefly scouted the lower story of the tower, and reported an unarmored bugbear shuffling through notes in the crowded room below. Deciding to rely on Waywocket's magic, she crept down the stairs and tried to stun the creature with a Color Spray. As soon as the commotion began, Vreln charged down the stair, but was too late to intercept the bugbear as he fled from the room. Dulmir conjured a nauseating cloud in front of the door to vex anyone who entered the room by that route, and everyone waited for a few tense moments.

Vreln decided that his teammates could defend this position well enough, and ran back upstairs and leapt out of the tower window with his enchanted boots, to try to circle around behind the hopefully confused occupants or cut off any escape. His departure seemed premature, since a massive minotaur wedged its way into the room almost as soon as he had left, and it appeared unfazed by the choking cloud it encountered. Fortunately, a solid punch to the kneecap by Eard proved far more effective, and the creature slumped to the chamber floor when Sagamore followed up the attack by smashing the monster's head with his mace after Waywocket stunned it with a spell.

Meanwhile, as Vreln slipped invisibly into what turned out to be a barracks dominated by a large stuffed owlbear, he saw several hobgoblins following the minotaur into the lower tower, and was amused a few seconds later to watch them stagger back out retching and choking. Not one to waste an opportunity, he charged with his axe at the pair of hobgoblins still waking from their beds. He was joined in the melee by Eard, who burrowed through the floor under the choking cloud blocking the door, and Sagamore, who used his boots to teleport past the cloud.

Dulmir and Waywocket had no such way of bypassing the cloud, so they raced back up the tower and began clambering onto the barracks roof... just in time to witness a manticore climb from a building across the courtyard. Dulmir summoned a hippogrif to engage it in aerial combat, as waywocket blinded it with an illusionary surge of color. However, the two watched in horror as the manticore still easily bit and clawed the poor winged horse to its doom. Frantically, they slung spell after spell at it, Dulmir's fireball scorching it and pulverizing the roof of its lair, and it finally dropped to the street unconscious after a final stunning spell from Waywocket. The two used their enchanted abilities to climb down and onto the inner ceiling of the barracks in time to assist the brawl taking place there.

Out of the corner of their eyes, they'd noticed two goblins burst from the keep's stables and ride into the barracks, and as they crawled along the ceiling the two mounted warriors were slashing at Vreln, Sagamore, and Eard as their mounts bit at anyone who came close. The bugbear emerged from his office and blasted Eard with several magic missiles from a wand. Recognizing a spell-caster, Dulmir conjured a figment of a monstrous bee to torment the enemy and dissuade any further attacks on his familiar, who vanished into the earth after one last swipe at a worg. The bugbear than turned the wand on Dulmir as a worg and rider tore at Vreln, who did not appear to be doing well in his fight. Still, the enemy forces were beginning to fall, and when Dulmir stunned several of the remaining combatants with a spray of blinding rainbow, the bugbear tried to flee.

Vreln stepped between his stunned enemies and scorched the fleeing bugbear with a bolt of fire, which only slightly fazed the hulking creature, who similarly shrugged off a stunning bolt from Waywocket. However, as it reached the courtyard, gulped down a potion and began to rise from the ground, Dulmir climbed back onto the roof and filled most of the courtyard with enchanted webs, which allowed Waywocket to finally enchant him into a comatose slumber. All that was left to do was to restrain the leader as a captive and finish off the other fallen fighters.

Looting the fallen produced the usual weapons, armor, and treasure as well as quite a few healing potions. However, the most interesting find was a large map the bugbear was carrying, which appeared to detail plans for an army campaign in the Elsir Vale. The other papers in his bedroom and tower study supported the conclusion. Waywocket's careful search of the tower also revealed a hidden door under the floor leading to what turned out to be the vault of Vraath Keep. Within was the corpse of the man who'd led the long-ago campaign against the forest giants, slumped against a door with a giant's arrow still stuck through his glimmering chain mail, but still gripping in his gauntleted hands a mace that steamed with cold.

After carefully searching, unlocking, and opening the various doors, chests and boxes, a variety of coins and items were found, from a dragon skull and a spiked gauntlet fit for a giant, to a pile of old documents including the deed to the keep.

The adventurers, having finished searching and looting the keep, returned to their camp with their treasure and the bound, gagged, and hooded captive. Behind them, the unfortunate farmer had been buried near the keep, and the heads of the goblinoid force adorned stakes in front of the fort. A detect thoughts spell by Waywocket greatly simplified the process of interrogating the bugbear, who turned out to be a lieutenant known as Wyrmlord Koth (although no one thought to ask why he was known as a wyrmlord). A massive army numbering in the thousands was massing a day north of Old Skull Gorge, while a small force guarded the bridge that crossed it. Ruling over the dozens of various monstrous tribes were four other Wyrmlords -

  • A goblin ranger named Savrith, on a special mission to the ruined city of Rhest
  • The hobgoblin bard Ulwai Stormcaller, whereabouts unknown
  • A hobgoblin Talon of Tiamat, Hravek Kharn, who leads the great army
  • A draconic humanoid named Azarr Khul, who dwells as High Wyrmlord in a temple of Tiamat, in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains

Having learned most of what they could from their captive, they slew him, and began journeying again to the north, burying his body in a secret spot on the way, but retaining the head if speaking further with the dead should prove useful.

Day 3 (evening) - Old Warcklegnaw

After a few hours of riding, they noticed a large figure, which resembled a bedraggled giant-sized scarecrow. After some discussion, the group decided that it was likely a tribal marker of forest giants. A nearby side trail showed tracks of a single huge humanoid, who appeared to weigh little for his size. Following the trail, everyone spied a clearing where an old giant was muttering to himself and cooking a giant boar on a spit.

The diminutive Waywocket skipped into the clearing, and quickly befriended the bemused giant. Introducing her friends, she explained the recent news they had discovered as he served them all surprisingly delicious portions of the roast boar. As everyone ate, they stirred the giants feelings towards leaving a heroic memory of the forest giants, and how they had aided the small defenseless humans of the Elsir Vale. Warcklegnaw was impressed by the gift of a giant gauntlet to aid him in combat, and the chance to return peacefully to the Witchwood where his tribe had once dwelled. After eating, everyone decided to sleep peacefully here and journey northwards in the morning to scout the enemy forces near the bridge across Old Skull Gorge, as the giant left to meet with his tribefolk in the Wyrmsmoke mountains.

Page last modified on September 17, 2009, at 12:53 PM