Session/Game: Northern Marches 3e #1 Date: August 20, 2000
Campaign Date: Sau 1-14 Imperial Year 468
Rannos, human, fighter, level 1, CG Bob LaForge
Malaiki, human, cleric of Bor, level 1, LN, Jonathan Clark
Bayne, high elf, ranger, level 1, CG, Matt Diguglielmo
Whitefire, human, rogue, level 1, CN, Charles Fleurie
Sir Malcolm of Old Fort had pulled together an expedition consisting of his personal chaplain, Father Lucas, 10 mercenary footmen, two scouts (Bayne, an elf ranger, and Whitefire, a human rogue),:Malaiki—esquire in the order of St. Hugo—who hated banditry in all forms, and Rannos a mercenary axe man. They had left Old Fort on the first day of Sau to track down a roving band of kobold raiders who had wandered into the area and were causing havoc.
At a point where the trail to the Storm Wood Monastery passed through a small wood near a small hill, Sir Malcolm halted the column, fearing an ambush. He sent Whitefire and Bayne ahead to scout the path. They discovered that there were kobolds in the woods, so they returned with the news. Sir Malcolm and Father Lucas took 7 of the men-at-arms to encircle the woods from the left, 3 men-at-arms were left on the path to prevent escape, and Bayne, Rannos, Whitefire, and Malaiki were sent to seize the hill on the right and then circle around the wood from that direction.
When they reached the base of the hill, Whitefire was sent to scout ahead, while Bayne, Malachia and Rannos waited at the base. Bayne however heard the noise of Sir Malcolm and his column coming under heavy attack and immediately ran off to help them. Whitefire discovered there were 12 kobolds at the top of the hill, singled the others and fired a few arrows at the raiders. Rannos and Malaiki eventually reached the top of the hill, and Rannos had to be healed because of severe arrow damage. Among them the party killed 5 of the kobolds and drove the rest off.
Meanwhile, Bayne had arrived at the site where Sir Malcolm and his column had been attacked. The kobold position along the forest path had been a decoy, set up to make enemies move around the forest into the real ambush site. 24 kobolds there had killed Father Lucas and 4 of the men-at-arms, the other 3 had fled, and Sir Malcolm was lying wounded and unconscious on the ground. The kobolds, however, had fired all their crossbow bolts. Bayne rushed to Sir Malcolm to bind his wounds, but one group of 12 kobolds rushed up to stop him. Bayne killed 5 of them, drove the rest off and rescued Sir Malcolm.
The entire force then returned to Old Fort, where Sri Malcolm was tended. When he regained consciousness he asked Bayne, Malaiki, Whitefire and Rannos if they would track the kobolds to their lair and destroy them. He offered them some up-front money, and a bounty of 2 gp per kobold killed. They eagerly agreed and set off that very night, arriving at the ambush site just after dawn.
Bayne easily tracked the kobolds back to their lair, killing 3 who had been left as a rear-guard. Although he did throw away 25 gp worth of tobacco the kobolds had dropped. They approached the kobold’s lair, where they killed three more kobold guards who were guarding a stone throne surrounded by cheap offerings near a cave entrance.
Entering the cave, they rushed forward and killed 5 more kobold guards and a Dire Rat who were protecting the entrance, one guard escaped to warn the others. The party then worked around and entered one barracks room, where the kobold guard had just awakened the 10 sleeping kobolds there. The party attacked and killed all 11 enemies, although Rannos was grievously wounded and had to be healed by magic. Bayne began to relentlessly mock the Rannos for the ineffectualness of his “Great Axe”. Through blind luck the party then stumbled forward and found the leader of the kobold band—A lizardman druid who has set himself up as “god of the kobolds”---and his three elite guards. After some hard fighting the “god’ was slain and the party retrieved the treasures from the nearby treasure room, although Bayne was whacked on the head by a falling rock trap. Feeling exhausted, wounded and out of spells, the party returned to Old Fort for the night.
In Old Fort they had their wounds healed, bought some healing potions from Father Brewster, the village priest, and gave a report to Sir Malcolm. Bayne went to a local weaver and had her embroider a surcoat for Rannos which said “I have the Great Axe” and had a target on the back. Not wasting any time, they returned for the lair the next morning.
When they arrived, they found that the kobold band had departed, since they no longer had their great god to guide them. The party recovered a few human-sized pieces of armor and weaponry that the kobolds had left behind, and they collected the left ears of the kobold and lizardman corpses left behind (for Sir Malcolm’s bounty).
But, they discovered there were two sections of the underground complex where the kobolds did not go. In one section they avoided a trap filled with giant centipedes, which Whitefire and Malaiki killed. Then they killed a few stirges, who had managed to suck some blood from Whitefire and Malaiki. In the stirge room they searched through a large pile of old junk. They found some small useful items, except for Malaiki who only found an old boot, a wad of old soap and a sack full of maggots.
Another room contained a trap, which Bayne triggered with his head again. Inside they found a secret panel hiding some masterwork arrows and a valuable gem. Finally, they fought a pair of giant ants who opened a can of hurting on them, but were killed at last. Bayne climbed up the wall and inched down an ant tunnel, finding the rotting corpse of a halfling. He told the party that there was nothing of value on the corpse.
On the opposite end of the dungeon, they found the way blocked by a small horde of animated kobold-sized skeletons, all charred black. Malaiki turned them and the party proceeded onwards. They then entered a room with 8 more skeletons, whom Malaiki also turned. There were 4 treasure chests in an adjacent alcove. Whitefire detected traps on the 1st and 3rd. A large argument then broke out because Whitefire, although skilled in finding traps and opening locks, refused to learn anything about disarming traps. The party called him a useless sack of shit, and he countered by saying disarming traps was for suckers. Whitefire opened the locks on chests 2, 3 and 4, dodging the fire trap on chest 3. The other three muscled open chest 1, and Bayne was hit by an arrow trap. They recovered some valuable gold and gems, an elf statuette (which Bayne claimed as part of his share), and 260 pounds of copper. The next room contained an evil looking black stone, which they avoided. The big horde of now 20 skeletons were covering before the last room, Malaiki arranged for them to move down the hall, and the party examined the door to the final room.
The turning effect, however, had now worn off and the 20 skeletons returned, trapping the party at the end of the hall in front of a door they could not easily open. Bayne and Rannos held the skeletons at bay, eventually joined by Malaiki when Rannos had pushed open some space. It was the Great Axe of Rannos that hacked the greatest number of skeletons to pieces in this fight, although he was at last forced to pull back. Whitefire was making a feeble attempt to bash in the door with a mace, until Rannos pulled back and he entered the fight at the very end. The exhausted party had triumphed over the skeletons, and recovered some strange treasure from the room beyond. They found a crystal blue key, a strange silvery scroll, a masterwork elf chain shirt, and a silvered masterwork rapier.
They then returned to Old Fort with the kobold ears pack in the box of salt they had found in the lizardman’s lair (ruining 20 lbs of salt, which was worth 100 gp). They received their bounty and spent 10-12 days resting, training and recuperating. All four characters reached 2nd level. Rannos becoming Fighter 2, Malchai Cleric 2, Bayne Ranger 2, and Whitefire Rogue 1 / Wizard 1.