Escort Duty – Part III

Your travels with Aldern have been anything but boring. You have been attacked by a Kraken and waves of Sahuagin at sea, a peaceful ceremony you attend while waiting for your ship to be repaired is attacked by Goblins, you discover a layer of deceit and treachery in the peaceful town of Dawnpoint, you believe you found proof linking an angel to much of it, the strange snake cult ruins, the odd incident earlier on the road, the Cormyrian war patrol, and now you have come to the Farwatch towers and Bridge of Aeirluin.

These ruins were once mighty watchtowers protecting the western fringes of Aeirluin, an elven garden of such beauty as to cause even the most stoic of men to weep upon viewing it. The towers are now little more than piles of stone marking the foundations of the once grand architecture. The magic of ancient Cormanthyr must have been mighty indeed, as evidenced by the roof of the highest tower, the remains of which have stood in place for centuries, despite the fact the tower was destroyed in whatever cataclysm tore this area asunder and turned the gardens of Aeirluin into the vile Brinethorn Marsh. The area has a mystical ambiance to it, but most importantly, this marks the near completion of your journey as Alderns family estate is only a two hour ride away from the bridge.

This night was a short session, so it was restricted to just one event. Wanting ever so much to have a bridge and troll style encounter, I decided to change it to something else at the last moment as I knew I had something special planned for their first encounter with my version of a Troll.

As you begin to cross the expansive bridge, the wind and sites around a wonder to behold, you hear a primal grunt from ahead of you as an Ogre jumps into view ahead of you. Thorvalric, guiding the wagon you look behind you when you hear something, only to see another Ogre step from the shadows behind you.

This is where my little Beginner Box campaign took a turn. Not a bad turn, but one that is sure to be a catalyst for continuing change over the coming sessions. Asking the players what they do, they spurred their warhorses into a charge, mighty Morga leading the way with the elven cleric Ehlahadriel right behind her. Thorvalric was driving the wagon couch with their noble inside, whom they had come to despise by this time. He spurred the wagon forward, the rear ogre in pursuit.

This is where things ‘evolved’. Morga spurs her mighty steed into the lead ogre attacking it with mount and axe. Ok. I can handle this. A few seconds later the ogre is dead with Morga and Ehla barely scathed. Another ogre, the leader, who was sleeping in the ruined base of the nearby tower comes out issuing a roar of challenge. I expected “I hit it with my axe”; but alas.

“Can I throw my rope around his head like a lasso and try to pull him down?”

“Umm… Sure” I say, learning long ago not to say no unless it just cannot be done,  while getting up and getting my ipad to load d20pfsrd real quick and looking up combat maneuvers so I did not have to fumble through the Pathfinder Core book and grabbing my dusty Beastiary from the shelf to look up an Ogres CMD and CMB. You see we play with just the Paizo Pathfinder Beginner Box: A little edited with EdoWars class templates and a heavy tweaking of races by myself to distinguish Elven subcultures and my homebrew “Barbarian as a race” called a Volgen, which Morga plays. This is new because there are no combat maneuvers in the PFBB, which is part of my love for it. There are also no attacks of opportunity or armor check penalties or multiclassing. It is a very nice little trimmed version of a game I mostly enjoy. (I am a die hard fan of Advanced D&D second edition but play PF because I can get modern published material for it)

Of course she rolls insanely well, and snares the orge around the neck, pulling him down with her mighty warhorse and starts dragging it across the road. I forget the exact series of events but they smacked it down fast. Such it goes sometimes. The wagon had been pulled to near the tower and the spoiled noble git was whining in the carriage. Ehla (I think) decided to shut him up by backing her horse( Incredible Ride check) into the carriage causing it to rock suddenly, banging Aldern’s head and dropping him on his ass in the carriage. He shut up real quick.

The ogres dispatched, they decided to search the area and received a nice bit of treasure. Not bad for three level three characters. The bridge successfully crossed, another threat thwarted, they started down the final leg of their trek which started in the city of Westgate being hired by a whiny self-righteous noble that any one of them would enjoy killing now that they have gotten to know him.

What does the final leg hold in store? Find out next update.


Escort Duty – Part 1

So, it was finally time to escort the noble named Aldern Foxglove home. In typical form, they received a notification late in the day that he intended to start the final trek home early the next morning. The characters ran about town as best they could to secure provisions for the journey. Those who did not have horses purchased them, and they met their employer in the morning along with the wagon driver Gherart, and two others they had seen around town but did not really know; Gyiurn Hars, a local ruffian and sell-sword and Haid Beerbelly, an outlandishly flamboyant Gnome bard with a penchant for pranks and the occasional dour mood swings. (OOC- I had made a comment she was known for her ‘biting wit’ but no one caught it later)

Not long after they left Dawnpoint for the trek along the coast north towards Sembia and the Brinethorn Marsh, their charge started to whine it was taking too long when they had to stop to tend one of the wagon horses. Aldern had decided he wanted to ride through a field of flowers rather than the road and the horse took a mis-step and injured its hoof. As they were back on the road an hour later, he was demanding they slow to soak in the sites, with the wild highlands to the west and the edges of the poisonous Brinethorn Marsh directly east. It was about this time they reached a curve in the road with a shaded copse of trees off to the left and a granite outcropping to the right. Startled birds launched into the sky from the stand of trees, and when they paused to investigate, slipping towards the treeline, Haid showed her true colors in that moment, knocking the driver from the wagon and quickly slitting the throat of the bodyguard Gyiurn. Haid let fall her disguise and revealed herself to be a serpentfolk sorceress just as a Manticore burst from the woodline to attack. Thorvalric the rogue left the beast to Ehlahadriel and Morga as he closed the gap on Haid, who was on top of the wagon hissing threats of revenge. They never found out if the attack was targeted at them, or their noble charge. Through furious battle, they were able to defeat first Haid with a series of timely strikes while avoiding her spells before focusing on the vicious Manticore attacking them with spikes and claws.

During the skirmish, the wagon went uncontrolled for a time before careening onto its side down a slight slope, tossing Aldern around more than a little and damaging his precious ‘carriage’. After righting the wagon they found poor Gherart crushed during the encounter. They agreed to bury the dead driver and bodyguard before continuing the sudden somber ride. The day had started to darken not only because of incidents happening, but the threat of weather changing was starting to begin. To be continued……

This is not one of my normal posts, but I wanted to recap what had happened the last month or so since my last update. There is more to tell, but that will come in parts two and three.

Quote of the week – “Can we gag him?”