Session/Game: ACKS Gatavia3 #5 Date: October 27, 2013
Episode 5: “Gone Shopping? No, Gone Shopping”
Campaign Date: April 17 to June 12, 1430 AY
Rotwang the Battle-lover, neutral, barbarian-3 (Bob)
Ulrich the Torchboy, human, neutral, level-0 (henchman)
Brother Punchy the Norrisite, neutral, mystic-3 (Chuck)
Wilhelm the Warlock, human, warlock-1, neutral (henchman)
Murderface Jack, neutral, dwarven fury-2 (Jason)
Father Amico, human, cleric-1, lawful (henchman)
Stupid Marco the Pack Hauler, level 0, human, neutral (henchman)
Crethassus, neutral, lizardman gladiator-1 (Robert)
Split-tongue, elf, enchanter-2, neutral (Marlon).
Tavish Furley, half-elf, shaman-1, neutral (henchman)
Louise Impetuous, human, level-0, neutral (henchman)
Prologue: After securing the first level of Skull Mountain, the Skull Collectors realize that they are in dire need of a visit to a proper town to re-supply and recruit. Since Portchester is closed off to them because of their outlawry, and Bastardville is no presumed to be hostile, their only option is to travel the whole way to Orchester, 120 miles, or so, to the south.
Encounter 1 April 17, 2013: Scoutings and Preparations
The Skull Collectors explore the ruins of an Ardean manor house south east of the Mountain. They find that it is in excellent condition and decide to use it as a base. They decide to leave their wagon there and ride their horses first to Badaxe Hold and then onward to Orchester in the morning.
Encounter 2: April 18-19: Visit to Badaxe Jack
Without a wagon to slow them down, the ride to Badaxe Hold is fast and uneventful. Once there Murderface proposes to visit Badaxe Jack, the dwarven craftpriest master of the hold to inquire about having his leg re-grown by his magic. However, he finds himself surrounded by a crowd of a few dozen admiring teenage dwarf fans, who won’t give him a moment’s piece. Leaving the other Skull Collectors at the inn, Murderface attempts to enter the hold proper, but the door guard refuses him entry and slaps him. Murderface knocks him back, and the mob of teenagers drag him to the ground and tie him up. Murderface and the teen posse enter the feasting hall, and after a long negotiation, Badaxe agrees to heal Murderface’s leg (and incidentally his massive face scars) in exchange for 1000gp. He accomplishes this, and even agrees to heal the shattered arm of the Crethassus, the Lizard-Guy for an additional 1200gp. The two healed guys needed about a month of bed rest to recover from extreme regeneration.
Encounter 3: April 20-May 20: Sleepy Interlude
While Crethassus and Murderface rest, the rest of the Skull Collectors lay in some baseline supplies (barrels of pickles, sailor sausage etc) at the manor house, and attempt to hire henchmen at Badaxe Hold. Their only choice was a dwarf cook and etiquette specialist named Fancy Jack, but they turned him down.
Finally, Crethassus and Murderface recover, to the delight of the Badaxe Hold teen fan club. The crew is rounded up and they immediately ride off to the south, outdistancing the admiring teenage crowd.
Encounter 4: The Trail South to Orchester May 21-May 22
The Skull Collectors spot a reptilian monster on the trail and decide to avoid it, giving it a wide berth (wisely done, for it was a dreaded basilisk). They are later ambushed by 4 angry White Apes, who do some damage to Rotwang and Split-tongue, but are quickly killed.
Finally, on the last approach to Orchester in the hills north of town, they find a bridge over a chasm. Wilhelm carelessly rides across it and is ambushed by 3 stone giants. The giants scoop Wilhelm up in a bag and one of their number strides onto the bridge. He demands all their treasure as a ransom and toll. Rotwang defies him and swings his sword and misses. The giant smashes Rotwang, knocking him within an inch of his life. Then Brother Punchy charges the giant and injures him mightily. Crethassus follows up with a mighty sword stroke for massive damage. Then Rotwang finishes the giant with his sword. The other two giants are immediately struck with panic at the incredibly unexpected swift death of their comrade and they flee. Wilhelm manages to cut the bag open from the inside and roll to safely. The party discovers the giants’ lair and plunders a fair pile of coin and gems.
Encounter 5: Shopping and Invisible Jerks: May 23-June 7
Vowing to behave themselves and do nothing to anger anyone in the one town left where they can get properly supplied, the Skull Collectors spend two weeks shopping and recruiting henchmen and mercenaries. While no one seems willing to work for a Lizard-Guy, and Brother Punchy is grumbling that Wilhelm alone will bankrupt him and wants no more henchmen, the others all hire new men. Split-tongue hires a shaman named Tavish Furley, and a tracker name Louise Impetuous. Murderface hires a cleric named Father Amico and Stupid Marco the Pack Hauler. Rotwang hires Ulhrich the Torchboy. The Skull Collectors as a whole also hires 10 light footmen and 5 crossbowmen to serve as guards for their campsites and for their manor house back home. Brother Punchy, meanwhile spends 1200gp to endow a stone building to serve as shrine and dojo in honor of Chuck Norris. Split-tongue returns to his alma mater, the Mulfando School of Wizardry in town where he pays some of his stundent loan debt (250gp) and consults with the sages there to identify the various magic items they had discovered. These proved to be:
The Dagger of Stinky McNasty: a +1 dagger that gives its owner an aversion to bathing and causes him a -2 on reaction rolls from decent folk. Split-tongue gives up the dagger, handing it over to Crethassus, whom nobody reacts well to anyway.
The Mighty Ring of Flavius Sabinus: a +1 ring of protection which also makes the wearer seem like the coolest guy ever to all teenagers he meets. Murderface has been wearing this ring, and notices that’s mobbed by teenagers in Orchester, just as in Badaxe Hold.
The Holy Ring of Gramlef: another +1 ring of protection, which however causes the wearer 1 point of damage for each round he spends in a Chaotic Shrine or temple. Split-tongue has been wearing this, and continues to do so.
The Sword of Kinslaying: a +1 sword taken from Romanan the Blade-dancer by Rotwang. It gives increasing damage bonus when used to kill members of the same species in the same fight, but may have dangerous side effects.
Later, Murderface, again surrounded by adoring teenagers, is attacked by an invisible creature of some kind who beats him into unconsciousness. The fight was all the more awkward for Murderface because the teens kept getting in the way. After Murderface collaspes, the creature departs, and Brother Punchy’s laying on of hands helps prevent any permanent injury to the dwarf.
After Murderface is recovered, the now large column of Skull Collectors begin a slower march back North
Encounter 6: The Mercenaries Practice Murdering on their Way Home: June 8-12
The trip back to Skull Mountain is largely uneventful except at one point 5 centaurs cross the trail in front of them. The new mercenary crossbowmen fire a volley and kill one of the centaurs, and the other 4 ride off. A giant hawk flies overhead, but does not interfere with them. They find a wandering pack mule and take it along with them. Finally, on the 12th of June they reach the manor house and take up residence.