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20170610 Recap Against the Slave Lords - On the Road to the Stockade of the Slave Lords

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Against the Slave Lords – Road to the Slavers Stockade 20170610

Man-Tis (Tri-Kreen Barbarian – Ross), Raistlin (Elf Wizard – Arthur), Gird (Human Monk – Art), Souldun (Human Warlord – Vic), Bannor the Bloodguard (Human Fighter – Brendon) and Walster (Mul Warden).

From the intelligence gathered at the temple complex, the party learned that 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 friendly to Baron Baltic, who once served as caravan guards in this area, say 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.

After gathering their gear, the group is on their way along with several other teams of infiltrators working for the Baron and other lords allied against the slavers. In order to avoid detection and the small chance of all the teams being eliminated at once, each team takes their own path on their own timeline. Other than a few other travelers, some merchants, and groups of soldiers or mercenaries who don’t seem interested in the party, the vast majority of the trip is uneventful. The party is about a day and a half from Stockade Drachensgrab and are camped in the ruins of an old hamlet. Just before dawn, a hungry pack of ghouls descends upon the ruins. Perched on a high point of a ruined house, Gird spots the approaching undead and alerts Walster who is guarding the doorway leading to where the others are asleep. Gird hurls a dart at Souldun and wakes him up. Others start to awake as ghouls start clambering over the walls, landing among the sleeping party members. Bannor and Souldun wisely take the time to don their armor while Walster buys them the time, cleaving through one, two and then a third ghoul but more fearless undead move in to take their place. Mantis moves up to support the Warden holding the doorway and Mantis cuts down a couple and delivers crushing blows to two more. Gird and Raistlen each down one of the undead who made it inside the ruined walls. About this time, two human adventurers call out to Walster, asking him if Mantis is an enemy or ally. They also tell Walster that the Ghoul leader is wearing the Crown of Grignir a local hero and Warrior Monk. Bannor and Souldun down the remaining ghouls that made it inside the walls and Mantis and Walster down the last ghoul that is outside. Upon striking down the last attacker, it shrieks and in the peace of the early morning, an answering shriek is heard to the west. Gird puts on the crown.

After a short rest, and after hearing the story of Grignir from Tam and Clippard, the human adventurers, the group decides to head toward what they think may be the crypt of Grignir. It is not long before the group finds a hidden crypt and Bannor spots two huge undead two headed dogs that lunge to the attack. Mantis, Bannor, Gird, and Souldun swarm over the first dog and Walster toward the second. Gird lands a heavy blow, striking the first head of the first dog a serious wound, hitting it with his staff and a reverse side kick at the same time. Mantis, and Bannor each hit it but are forced back a bit by the remaining head. Souldun and Bannor team up to strike an open flank as the first dog clamps down on Gird, holding him fast. Gird manages to spin out of the crushing jaws and then uses an extra effort to deal a devastating jumping back kick just as the dog was moving forward. Clearly stunned, the dog bites wildly down on Souldun just as Gird brings down his staff on the dog’s remaining head, putting it down for good. Everyone now maneuvers to mob the second dog. Blow after heavy blow find their mark as the dog uses both its heads to good effect, injuring several of the party. Finally, Bannor and Souldun team up to strike the mortal blow, downing the second dog. After a quick breather, Mantis and Bannor lift off the lid to an entrance to an underground crypt. The heavily armored Bannor and Souldun make their way down the tunnel but the unarmored Gird is hit with some poison vines but recovers quickly. Mantis cuts the rest of the vines down so everyone can pass safely.

At the bottom of the tunnel, the party is challenged by the ghost of Grignir, corrupted over the decades. Grignir’s three henchmen, also ghosts, lead the charge, howling with fury, dazing the party and pushing them back. The party surges back and finds that their weapons are doing minimal damage. Gird and Raistlen find that they are doing good damage. Souldun heals several wounded team members while Bannor downs the first ghost. Mantis moves toward the leader while Raistlen’s missiles down the second ghost. Walster strikes several solid blows in a row, and aided by some direction from Souldun, Walster downs the third ghost. Mantis and Bannor combine on Grignir, landing many blows that would have slain a living soldier but due to his ghostly form, much of the energy merely passes through. Finally, Mantis and Bannor combine to down the leader. Gird finds some beautiful Ki Straps on the dust of the ghost of Grignir and Souldun picks up a bottle of oil he nearly stepped on. With no other way out, the party heads back toward the surface.

Back on the road, the party nears the stockade and comes across a destroyed caravan with several dead human soldiers and one merchant survivor named Gothwald who Souldun heals. Gothwald tells the group that half orcs and mounted goblins attacked his wagon train and after most of his guards were dead or fleeing, a group of mounted Bloodguards drove the humanoid raiders off. The party moves on, with Gothwald with them, and then spot a half dozen goblin riders watching the road from a distance. The party moves toward them and they run off. The party follows their tracks to a small village and as they enter the village, they are assailed by more than two dozen half orc raiders. Raistlen teleports up to the relative safety of the nearby roof. Bannor, Souldun, and Gothwald find themselves in the middle of the town surrounded by a swarm of enemies. Gird and Mantis are on the southwest side of town with Walster who creates a magic zone around himself and then heads toward the center of town. Although the raiders are hitting hard, all the party members are succeeding in downing them quickly. In the confusion of battle, Walster and Bannor each take a swing at an ally. Soon, there are only a handful of raiders left and the remainder decide to flee. Bannor hears noise from inside one of the houses and finds a half dozen beautiful slave girls whom he decides to rescue. The villagers, who were warned of the half orc’s approach, return and host the party and rescued slaves, as well as a party of Bloodguards, to a find banquet as thanks for saving their village. One of the slave girls tells Bannor that Breeda, Bannor’s sister was heading toward the slaver’s stockade in another caravan. In the morning, after an appropriate celebration, the Bloodguards escort the rescued slaves back to the coast, allowing the party to continue onto the stockade.

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