Our heroes race to save the hostages of Black Haven and discover a foul secret on Bremen.
Episode 2 “Meat Wagons”
July 23, 2011. San Juan, Metro Manila
Mon Macutay, Dungeon Master (modified D&D 3.5ed rules set)
• Alex Mena as SkyClad NimbleWind, Kender Rogue, Level 3
• Nil Caruncho as Findar Hammersonn, Dwarven Cleric of Dumathoin, Level 3
• Chase Gosingtian as Stark the Blaze, Human Bard, Level 3 (DM controlled NPC today)
• Keith Morales as Daemon Frost, Half-Elven Ranger, Level 3
• Meng Morales as Clytie, Elven Sorceress, Level 3
Gimos, the messenger/scout, arrives in Targos and informs everyone that around 60 or so men, women and children have been abducted by an Orc raiding party from Black Haven. The town was burned and pillaged to the ground. Three Orcish Meatwagons (pulled by Hill Giants) carry the hostages and are on their way (presumably) to the orc-held town of Bremen, north of Targos across the Shaegarne River.
Emma Moonblade orders the party to lead a rescue mission and intercept the band of humanoids. Thorin Seeker volunteers to accompany our heroes.
Before leaving at first light, our group of heroes ask Thorin to cast Speak With Dead on one of the slain goblin warriors during the warehouse/hole encounter. They gain very little information from this plan.
Meanwhile, Emma asks the party to prepare and outfit themselves for the journey and the mission at hand. She suggests that they visit the shop of Oswald Dweebwinkle, a Gnomish Artificer (DM note: see Magic of Fearun prestige class) at Targos and hands them an official note to give to the gnome.
Oswald is happy to meet our heroes and lends them a few “gadgets”
- Belt of Feather Fall
- Oswald’s Mark II – a gun-like weapon which propels incendiary-like devices up to 44o feet. Ammo includes Greek Fire (3D6 damage) and Thunderstones (sonic attacks)
- Oswald’s Starlight googles – allows the wearer to have Dark Vision up to 60′
SkyClad manages to “borrow” Oswald’s “Undead Bling-Bling”, a device that Detects Undead.
They also question Gimos, the messenger. Gimos informs them about the situation in Black Haven and tell them about the raid. He informs them that the orc warband number around 20 or so, are led by a half-orc barbarian.
Before leaving, Ezra mentions to Clytie that “your spells will not work tomorrow night”. When Clytie asks about it, the boy doesn’t seem to recall ever saying it.
After buying gear and magic items, the party (with Thorin, Emma, Gimos and 10 mercenaries) ride full gallop to intercept the Orcish Warband.
Emma and Daemon Frost ride ahead and attempt to track and locate the warband. The rangers deduct that one of the giants has a limp and that there are 2 Warg Riders included in the warband. They locate the warband and see that one of the giants is indeed old and senile (a possible non-combatant). The rangers find the group camped in a clearing with patrols on the edges. They return and report to the Targos task force.
RESCUING THE HOSTAGES
The plan would be thus; Stark would set a distraction from the rear with Thunderstones while Thorin leads the infantry warriors from the flank. The rest of the party would attack from the front and make their way to secure and free the hostages. SkyClad’s job would be to sneak around and unlock the meat wagons.
The ensuing battle is fierce and deadly. Thorin meets one of the giants head on and engages in melee; the targos infantry militia engage the Orcs from the flank; Emma Moonblade unleashes her Orcbane swords and slices her way towards the Hill Giants. Daemon Frost uses his bow to pick out Orcs and Clytie uses Oswald’s Mark II rifle to attack the giants while Findar makes his way to the other flank and head for the other meat wagon.
In the ensuing melee, Emma’s Moonblade sword “flickers on and off” and, much to her dismay, found out that she was fighting an illusion of the half-orc barbarian leader. Findar spots the culprit, an Orc shaman from one of the tents.
Clytie fumbles and drops Oswald’s rifle and it misfires… killing poor Gimos (who was beside the Sorceress and burning him to kingdom come! (he had 12 kids. Sigh)
SkyClad fails to pick the locks on the meat wagon, a Hill Giant sees this and hurls a boulder towards it; killing 11 innocent people in one hit.
Clytie hurls one of the beads from her Necklace of Lightning towards the Hill Giant that aimed the boulder at the wagon. It sputters and fails. The entire clearing is in a state of Wild Magic (see Forgotten Realms Campaign rules)! Ezra was right!
SkyClad is knocked unconscious (and bleeding to death) by a massive blow to the chest from the giant.
Deamon Frost leaps into action. The ranger hurls himself at the old Hill Giant, thrusts his dagger to its throat and threatens the last remaining Hill Giant. Distracted, the Hill Giant finds himself in a bind. His grandfather’s life is in danger. (DM note: Frost gets a ‘notch’ for this). Seeing the distraction, Clytie manages to (luckily) get past the confines of the Wild Magic area and casts Mage Hand to dislodge the giant’s club (Clytie gets a notch! Her first. Woot!)
The other characters and the militia defeat the remaining orcs (one Targos archer finally silences the Shaman for good) while Emma Moonblade quickly kills the half-orc leader with her Orcbane weapon (favored enemy at that!).
The 2 giants are taken prisoner and the entire party heads back to Targos.
BACK AT TARGOS
From the party’s investigation, the following information are gleaned:
- The warband’s destination is a bridge crossing the Shaengarne between Black Haven and Targos
- Deamon Frost learns that the raiding orcs seem to be looking for a boy (possibly Ezra) since all the young boys were taken to the Shaman before being bound and placed in one of the Meat Wagons.
- From the Speak With Dead spell on the Shaman they learn that “The Frost Maiden commands it” when asked if they were looking for boy
- Findar’s Knowledge: Religion skill confirms that the title of “Frost Maiden” is given to high priests who serve the goddess Auril (goddess of Winter, Frost and Ice).
- Uncle Lars tells the story of how Ezra could seem to predict the future and how his parents were killed and how his brother wanted him to take the young boy as “far from the North as possible”
- Clytie shares her rumor about Oswald’s airship and Skyclad convinces the gnome to come with them on their next adventure
- Bremen, now home to a massive orc army, is possibly preparing for a major campaign against the Ten Towns, beginning with an major offensive aimed at Targos.
- The 2 hill giants are part of a larger group camped at Bremen and employed by the humanoids to attack Targos.
The party agrees to scout the bridge and then Bremen using Oswald’s ship and report back to Targos officials. Oswald gives SkyClad his new invention, a gadget he calls the E-Pad (Enchanted Pad), which can send and receive text messages (with a chance to explode every time it is used since it was still a prototype).
Findar confesses his doubts about his dwarven religion to Thorin Seeker. “From a cleric to another, my friend. I respect your views. I will not ask you to disown your god. That is a grave thing to do. Ultimately, the decision is yours. But today, after I train you how to Cleave with the waraxe, we drink and be merry!”
Thorin also gives a gem scrying device to the SkyClad. The party’s mission starts to unfold: drop the halfling thief in the middle of Bremen, plant the gem on the officer’s building so they could spy on them, determine the orc army’s strength and return to Targos to report.
They buy invisibility potions for the halfling, Oswalds gives SkyClad a jar of Magic Resistance Salve. The halfling will be “dropped” at the city (while wearing the Feather Fall belt) and his mission is to plant the gem successfully.
Oswald is shocked to hear about the death of Gimos (the gnome was a godfather during Gimos’ wedding). They name the airship, “Gimos” in loving memory.
The Gimos is prepped to leave at the crack of dawn.
Aboard the now legendary Gimos, our heroes spy on the bridge. Due to Findar’s natural dwarven engineering knowledge, he discovers that the humanoids are building and widening the bridge to bear the brunt of the load of the Hill Giants and the massive army plus possibly siege machinery that they might possess. They take notes and head on to Bremen.
At Bremen, they find out that the humans of Bremen voluntary put their ships to the torch to avoid a water landing attack at Targos should the humanoids get hold of their boats. Through the air, our heroes are also able to ascertain the strength of the humanoid army – more than 1,200 orcs, goblins and giants about to make their attack in week’s time.
They finally locate the main HQ of the officers, right smack in the middle of the town: a two-storey building with orc guards on the roof. Findar casts Detect Magic, he senses the presence of powerful, cold-type dweomers in the building.
Skyclad is dropped to the roof, invisible.
He avoids the orc guards, goes to the second floor and hears something that shocks him. It the voice of Uncle Lars behind one of the doors “release me! Let me go back. I have to find my nephew!”. Uncle Lars is bound in chains and guarded by 3 Orcish Elite.
He opens the other door and sees The Frostmaiden giving orders to the Orcish Chieftain (supreme commander of the ground units). “We must finish the bridge at once! Our plan has been set into motion. The Mother of Winter will be pleased. My agent has done his task. The boy will be ours!”
The Frost Maiden senses a disturbance.
She casts Detect Magic. SkyClad begins his race back towards the roof and flings the scrying gem under the table.
The Halfling Rouge gets past the sentries and returns back to The Gimos.
Oswald floors it! They make their escape!
The real Uncle Lars is in Bremen! Obviously, the one in Targos is a Doppleganger.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this storyline next week.
What would our heroes do now?!?
- Gimos the rider: “Aha! I see him now m’lady! Fire at will! Wh-wh-what’s that?!?” (last words)
- Oswald: “Poor Gimos. He had 12 kids…”
- Gimas (brother of Gimos): “Well whadya know. The heroes have arrived. Where is my brother?” Frost: “He was a hero. Bards will sing great songs about him…” Stark: (singing) “And he died a fiery death/ a fiery death / a fiery deathhhhh!”
- Findar: “Thorin, it is sunrise.” Thorin: “Right you are, my dwarven friend. And do you know what time is it?” Findar: “Time for what?” Thorin: “It’s BLOODLETTING TIME!!!”
- Deamon Frost: “Stand down or I kill this old fart!”. Giant Number Two: “Do. Not. Touch. My. Grandpaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!”
- Emma Moonblade: “Laugh all you want half-orc. You forget, my sword is Orcbane!”
- Oswald: “It’s an experimental device, Skyclad. I call it the ‘E-Pad’. Made by a company called Pear”
- Thorin Seeker: “I propose an elaborate plan”. Findar: “Let’s hear it then” Thorin: “We rush and attack them. Now!” All: (blank stares)
- Thorin Seeker: “Findar, I tell you. Emma is such a bitch! A cleavage is always better than two weapons”. Findar and SkyClad “Rawwwrrr! If you put it THAT way. Yes”
- Uncle Lars: “Just between you and me, halfling… Ezra predicted how his parents died.” SkyClad (screaming): “Oh my god! He predicted how his parents died?!?”
- Oswald: “Excuse my cat. He loves to fart. Get away, Gargamel! Shoo!”