This session began with a recap on the last few months for players (for your own recap, that is the post before this one). The characters have spent the last few months cleaning out their new Keep and once or twice defending it from a few rag tag armies that wanted to claim it for their own now that the small contingent of the Defenders of Vlades has been ousted. They have gotten rid of just about all the furniture and loose debris and used some of the stone lying about to repair the walls of the Keep. The Keep is of dwarven design and manufacture so the stonework is of high quality but in desperate need of some TLC.
Most of the fighting over the Keep happened in the first month of their occupation but since they now own the base of power in this small region, many of the surrounding towns and villages have also revolted against the occupying Defenders of Vlades and the area has stabilised over the last few months. After the occupying forces retreated, the characters began to move to have some of the run away slaves of the Defenders return and ask for legitimate work which they were given. While this provided staff for the Keep, it has made the character’s gold supplies dwindle steadily and they are becoming desperately in need of gold to keep their Keep running.
While a mission to a nearby town to buy the last of the food they can, a man representing all the farmers in the area asks them “Why they all look so dower? They’re heroes” They tell him of their money troubles and he asks why they don’t go after the Atona treasure in a ruin about a day’s travel away. They have already proved themselves more than capable of fighting and there is rumoured to be lots of gold there. The Atona Keep was also a Dwarven Keep like Slavegoal which they now own (horrified faces all ‘round after finding out their keep is commonly known as ’slave-jail’, sharing the name of the abandoned mine nearby). After the Calamity the Dwarves withdrew into their mountains leaving the outlying forts behind. One of these, Atona, did not manage to finish clearing out their tunnels under the fort which contained the worldly wealth of Baron Bondil Glover. They had to leave some treasure and gold behind but before anyone realised this, an unknown number of critters moved in and made a home there.
The old man tells them that all they need is mayoral approval to take whatever they find and it is theirs. They duly go to the mayor who tells them that, since his mayorship began about 15 years ago, they are the fifth group to ask for permission to go after the treasure. All the groups previously were young men seeking to prove themselves and they have done so already, they are welcome to try for it and are given permission to slay any creature they find there as many of the surrounding villagers have been losing livestock at night and they would appreciate it if that ceased. The characters return to their keep with their food and decide to go after the treasure but first things were first, to rename the Keep. After a lot of debate and suggestion including Evals Peek, they settled on the name Bad Wolf Keep in honour of WinterBreeze, the Winterwolf that has taken up residence in their keep and agreed to guard it in exchange for shelter and food.
They decide to rest for a night and then set off in the morning so that they will be there by nightfall. Orah the Soaring Bear (cleric 5 of nature) who has had her hair turning green for about a month now discovers that she is in fact growing various herbs in her hair as well. Oddly not perturbed by this fact…0.0…, everyone continues with the plan for the day. The characters ask WinterBreeze to accompany them to help transport whatever they find back to their Keep. He agrees in exchange for 2 full roasted Rothe and a real bed as opposed to ground. They agree and set off.
It took the characters most of the day to travel the distance between the two Keeps but the journey was pleasant enough, they did not get attacked by anything but had an unnerving feeling of being watched. They arrived at the Keep at dusk and hid in the trees as they surveyed the ruins. In amongst the stone, they saw 4 bugbears on guard and 2 goblin scouts up on ruined tower walls.
Trying to discern if there are any illusions at work, the rest of the characters retreat as Sandra decides to throw a stone and see where it lands. Rather unexcitingly, it does exactly what is expected and clatters through a large gap in the wall onto the cobblestones. What they do learn form this though is that there are Kobolds inside as well as one runs over, picks up the rock and runs away with it. The characters rejoin Sandra and as they are discussing what to do next, an arrow with a screaming pink fletch slams into the ground from fairly near by. They all turn and look for the threat when they spot Alice in a tree nearby and she greets everyone with a hug. She has been missing from the Keep for the last month but heard about their expedition and was given permission to join them.
They continue to discuss battle plans and decide that the easiest thing is to get all of the critters out into the open so that they could see how many there were. Deciding to go along with this plan, Ormsby disguises himself as a young woman and takes Damien in the guise of a small boy down the hill as a lure. He/she manages to look sufficiently lost and frightened as the 5 Bugbears come hustling out of the ruins. As they are walking, Orah and Alice snipe the 2 goblin scouts out of existence which cause the 3 remaining Goblins and 10 Kobolds who are inside to come charging out as well.
As the bugbears come running, Alice and Orha loose another volley and injure 2 as they are running. As the Bugbears arrive at Ormsby, who had a spell readied from when they began to hustle, he released his Burning Hands explosion and killed 1 Bugbear while blasting the other 4 where they stood around him. Looking down he was glad that Damien, who was hiding from the battle in his cloak, could see nothing.
The paladin and the rogue who had been charging down the hill joined the fray, the paladin managing to cleave through 3 bugbears and the rogue dispatching the last one. The victory here is short-lived as the Kobolds and Goblins arrive and swarm them. Orah, who also left her perch to join the fray, cleaves a goblin in two with a well-placed scimitar blow. In retaliation, the goblins attack in full force injuring Tilfid and Sandra. Seeing his friends hurt and enemies swarming him on all sides, Ormsby casts Fire Burst and manages to kill 1 goblin and 6 Kobolds in one fiery blast.
Heartened by his friend’s victory, Tilfid finds heart enough for a blow that decapitates 2 of the Kobolds attacking him. Orah also swings at her attacker but the the quick little pest jumped over her blade and cackled manically. Seeing this and knowing that the goblin was about to attack his injured friend, Damien who was peeking out of the cloak opened his mouth and fried the goblin, using his breath weapon for the first time to the amazement of all who see. Unfortunately, due to his distraction, Ormsby did not see the little pest on his other side and felt a dagger slice into his leg. He turned on the offending creature and blasted it in the face with a magic missile, killing it instantly. Distracted by both the little dragon and his comrade’s sudden death, the last Kobold was unaware as Orah severed it’s head from it’s shoulders.
Standing at the entrance to the ruins and catching their breath as darkness falls, the characters part take in a little healing magic before entering the cave ruins… (Don’t judge the melodrama, I was very tired when I wrote this…)