A shorter session, as new characters needed to be rolled up.
- Greg, a Barbarian
- Krombopulos Michael (“KM”), an Elvish Ranger
- Brother Pele, a Mage
- Dayman, a Paladin
- Crispin, a Zaharan Ruinguard
- Maximore, a Thrassian Abomination*
*Thrassian 4 / Hit Dice 3 / Fighting 1 with armor selection downgraded to Broad in exchange for Shapeshifting. Probably overpowered. Maximore spends most of his time in settlements as a hawk on Crispin's arm because his monstrous countenance horrifies all sane men and impels them to violence
In recent months, beastmen attacks have ravaged the fertile farms of the Borderlands. Lacking the manpower to stop them himself, the stern and proud Legate of the mighty fortress Türos Tem has put out a call for brave (or foolhardy) adventurers. They will risk their lives and stop the attacks for gold and glory (and XP, obviously). Six such would-be heroes answer the call and make their way to Türos Tem to halt the beastman tide.
At the gates of Türos Tem, the adventurers were told that, should they wish to fight the beastmen, they should seek out a man named Audarius. A previous group of adventurers had come to a bad end while fighting the beastmen, and he, the only survivor, might know something of value. He had not fared well since the slaughter and could normally be found at the traveler's inn, severely inebriated.
Inside Türos Tem, the party noticed a number of wounded soldiers spread throughout the grounds. According to a nearby legionary, another group of adventurers, the Fierce Brethren, had successfully slain most of the beastmen that laired in the buried temple. Thinking their victory imminent, they had heard from a prisoner that a notorious band of bugbears was en route from Old Zahar, with the intent to reinforce the other beastmen at the buried temple. What had summoned them was yet unknown. The Brethren had notified the legate of Türos Tem, who had gathered what forces he could spare. A fierce and desperate battle was waged on the banks of the Krysivor River. There had been few survivors on either side, and the Borderlands' garrisons were now tragically depleted.
The group also learned from this soldier that there was a new bandit king in the region. Peleos Methori, former subaltern of Türos Tem, had abandoned his duty to lead an army of brigands in a war against society. No one knew what had prompted him to act so, but he had been acting peculiarly ever since the Fierce Brethren had slain Drusus, the former bandit king, and brought his head to the Legate.
The adventurers headed over to the tavern, where they found Audarius, surrounded by empty steins and mugs. After repeatedly disparaging the skill of his former employers, he revealed he had a collection of the notes and maps they had made while exploring the buried temple. He would gladly give them to this new group...in exchange for a hundred gold pieces. The adventurers deliberated, negotiated, and made the trade. Then they cannily waited for the former soldier to collapse in a drunken stupor and took back their money.
Augmented by the past's discoveries, they ventured to the buried temple. The temple's entrance was guarded by a group of goblins, with whom peaceful contact was made. The goblins claimed to be servants of two great bugbears, Maul Killig and Cresher Bulbnak, who were both unbelievably rich. The bugbears and their goblin underlings had taken up residence in what had once been the kobold king's lair, the original goblin portion of the temple still considered haunted. There were currently no bandits in the area; having quarreled with Maul and Cresher, Peleos had taken his men and left.
The adventurers decided it was time to mount an assault. They cut through the newly arrived goblins with ease, and they soon made the acquaintance of Maul and Cresher. The two bugbears adeptly got the drop on the party, and Brother Pele surely would have fallen to a bugbear morningstar had Greg not bravely stepped forward and slowed the beastman advance. Yet bugbears' goblin minions were only goblins, and, although Maul and Cresher brought down Maximore with skillful teamwork, they too fell to the adventurer's fury. The Thrassian proved to be no worse for the wear, losing only an unessential front tooth. In these fights, KM proved himself an exceptionally talented archer. Yet he also demonstrated that he had little concept of ammo conservation, and he had to go beg Greg for some of the barbarian's arrows after only two battles.
Although the goblin guards had exaggerated the power of Maul and Cresher, they had not overstated their fabulous wealth. The two bugbears' stash totaled almost 10,000 gold pieces. Knowing that such a bounty was now theirs, they must not have been overly saddened by the deaths of their fellows in battle against the Aurans. Maximore drooled profusely upon seeing all this money, although it may have only been an aftereffect of his wounded mouth. Getting such a hoard back to civilization would be quite a struggle, so the adventurers first took it to the abandoned bandit camp, where they spent the night. While on watch, Dayman acted on a hunch and detected evil on the door in the bandit camp that lead to the temple's second level. That level was known to be filled with undead, so perhaps the door itself might have some fell properties. It did not.
With the help of KM's woodman knowledge, the party made it to Türos Tem without issue. Greg and Crispin presented the heads of the bugbears to the keep's legate. They had slain what were clearly bugbear royals and hoped to claim a great reward. Yet the legate was unimpressed: “These bugbears were leaders of goblins, not leaders of bugbears. Bugbear kings would never demean themselves so.” Yet this setback meant that the adventurers were merely “rich” instead of “absurdly rich”, and few tears were shed.
Cyfaraun was hastened to, as the bugbears' trove was begging to be spent lavishly. Dayman decided to be reasonable, and he purchased a comfortable townhouse. Crispin followed his example and bought a cottage. Maximore debated with himself whether a statue promoting Thrassian-human friendship or an urban bird sanctuary would be more appropriate. Unsure what red tape he would have to go through to have the former displayed in a public place, he ultimately decided on the latter.
Feeling as if they were invincible, the adventurers planned their next move.
Mortal Wound Count:
- Maximore, lost a tooth after getting hit by bugbear's morningstar