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20170430 Against the Slave Lords - Setup for the Stockade of the Slave Lords

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Against the Slave Lords – Slave Pits of the Undercity – Temple Level Part 3 20170430

Cyrano (Drow Rogue – Kenji) , Raistlin (Elf Wizard – Arthur), Man-Tis (Tri-Kreen Barbarian – Ross), Gird (Human Monk – Art), Souldun (Human Warlord – Vic), (Walster (Mul Warden) and special guest team member, Spinner the Bloodguard (Human NPC Fighter – Kristy).

After rescuing Jadzea, Tuvok and numerous other slaves, looting the temple, and capturing the priestess of the orc god, Baron Baltic’s Regent and the other team leaders compare notes and study the maps, papers and log books from the old temple complex.  From the temple complex, quite a few miles inland is Stockade Drachensgrab.  Supposedly this fort is used as a way station for those merchants brave enough to attempt to cross these perilous and desolate hills.  Word from two mercenary soldiers in the group, who once served as caravan guards in this area, is that members of caravans passing by the fort can stop outside and trade with the inhabitants of the fort for; food, fresh water, arrows, horses and other supplies, but are not allowed to enter except under rare circumstances.  Since the fort is garrisoned with many orc, goblin and hobgoblin soldiers who patrol the nearby area, there is a relatively safe zone near the fort where many monsters do not dare go.  

From your captured notes, the Regent has concluded that the slavers are using the fort as a front for their operations.  Although Buyers cannot purchase slaves at the fort, slaves appear to be brought here for some reason.  One of the slaves the party rescued from the temple actually escaped from the fort only to be recaptured and taken to the orc temple.  The freed slave says that during the day, half orc, a few human, and goblin guards, are stationed on the higher walls of the fort.  From these walls, the guards can see the sloped rooftops of all the buildings inside the fortress complex as well as the ditch, ramparts, and cleared area around the fort.  At night, hobgoblins and dwarves with darkvision and infravision are posted on the walls to detect and fire upon all intruders.  

The fort is a combination of recent construction built upon an older stone fortress.  The outer wall is an earthen rampart topped by a wooden stockade.  The thirty five foot high curtain wall and gate containing the drawbridge over the dry moat are made of stone and always heavily manned.  The ground slopes upward from the curtain wall behind which is a courtyard.  The old gatehouse is massive and four stories high and can be defended from all sides.  The rampart and stockade are on the west, south and east sides of the fort and have walls about two hundred or more feet long.  The north wall has the gatehouse and the majority of the stone construction and is shorter, about a hundred feet long.  The outer walls of the fort and stockade have downward sloping spikes along the face and an overhang near the top to make climbing very difficult.  

The escaped slave said he heard from other slaves that the curtain walls are also coated with magic dust and glyphs to ward against hidden spies or invisible intruders.  The slave is not able to give much detail regarding the interior of the fort as he was held in the gatehouse and escaped after only three days.  The slave says that the northwestern tower of the gatehouse has a small collapsed area near the top so the guards do not stand too close to that area as it is open to the ditch forty feet below.  This causes a blind spot where the gatehouse tower meets the stone gatehouse wall.  The slave was able to make his way to the wall and use a makeshift rope to lower himself down from the second story of the gatehouse to the dry moat below and then crawl down a shallow dry creek bed to escape the fort.  As the slave's makeshift rope was tied to the outside of the wall, it is not visible from the inside of the fortress and since the rope is in the middle of the blind spot from the tops of the walls, it is likely the rope is still there. This may be the only way for the party to approach the fortress unseen at night and also avoid detection by the guards with heat vision.

The Regent says that the teams will initially approach the area of the fort together, and then one day before arriving at the fort, take separate approaches to infiltrate the actual fortress.  All teams will use the escaped slave’s route, but at separate times.  The party will go first, as soon as it is fully dark.  The second team will go an hour before the moon is at its full height, followed by the third team an hour after the moon’s full height.  The last team will remain a short distance away to the east, making a defensive position that the other teams can go to for healing, aid or reinforcements.

In recognition of the party’s great achievements to date, Baron Baltic and the other Barons reward each member of the party with the PC’s choice of either a single 11th, 12th, or 13th level magic item of the player’s choice, OR a small pouch of gems worth 10,000 gold pieces that the character may save to help purchase a better item at a later time.  

Regardless, each character also receives 500 gold pieces.  The party will still be 9th level for the next adventure.

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