Session 1 (17th March)
Note if as a player your GM is likely to run Retribution by Raging Swan please DO NOT read any further. Retribution is one of the most superb adventures, very far from a standard dungeon crawl and would be truly spoiled to play by the information contained below. If you’re a GM I really recommend buying and running Retribution.
The party were hired separately at the Taran’s Arms on the outskirts of Wolverton by Daveth Faull who wanted them to guard a shipment to Tryfena’s Trading Post at Swallowfeld. While the suspected bandit attacks near Horsford didn’t occur, the journey passed without incident and Tryfena was happy with the shipment they had barely finished their evening meal when their rest was disturbed. Caja Keast’s husband Adan was badly hurt while mending one of the fences on his field and due to some form of poison in the wound was beyond the healing of Father Dobell. While Father Dobell could keep Adan comfortable overnight it was imperative that he was taken to the Priory of Cymer the next day where the curate and clegy could hopefully heal him, the party were the obvious choice for the job.
Early the next morning, through wet and windy weather, the party left carrying the unconscious Adan on an old tired donkey. Several miles later as the sleet and wind increased the party reached a barricade across the path. Quietly tying up the donkey carrying the injured villager they were successful in sneaking up on the three half-goblins guarding the barricade. Dvardi Anvilbeard snuck around and launched a terrifyingly effective attack on two of the three while Elrohir Angharad caught Barsala, the half-goblin ranger in charge of the group, in a hail of arrows. All three half-goblins were dead or dying before either Armatage Shanks or Hederas Baradin had even got to the barricade.
As the weather took a turn for the worse, with the sleet changing to snow and the wind rising, the party barely paused to search the bodies and throw them into the undergrowth before retrieving the donkey carrying Adan and pushing on for the Priory. The weather continued to worsen and although Elrohir used his survival skills to help his comrades to keep their strength up hypothermia was already becoming a real danger when three hours later the party was attacked by two wolves that were scouting for their larger pack. Only Armatage’s quick and decisive use of a sleep spell stopped what would have been a desperate fight in the snow. As the rest of the pack announced their presence Elrohir didn’t even stop to skin the wolves they had killed and the party again pressed on. As the storm approached its zenith and the party were starting to seriously wonder if they would make it to the Priory they heard the bells in the distance encouraging them to make one last push. As they entered the priory they could make out the forms of the pack reticent to leave the cover of the forest behind them.
It was obvious to Hederas when Malvenos allowed them entry that beyond not being the most friendly of people the gatekeeper also had some concerns about Elrohir’s presence with the group. Malvenos led them to the curate Ruan who greeted them warmly and offered the hospitality of the Priory to them. Concern for Adan and the need to care for him took priority and curtailed longer introductions so Malvenos and Ythel helped Hederas get Adan into the infirmary while the rest of the party warmed themselves by the meagre fire in the frater. While the aging Priory was not all they could have hoped for simply being out of the wind and snow was a relief. While Ruan and Ythel tended Adan, Hederas stabled the donkey before Malvenos showed the party to the guest quarters. Armatage, who had struggled through nearly waist deep snow at points, threw his bedroll onto the nearest bed, crept under his blanket and was almost instantly asleep.
The rest of the party explored the faded grandeur of the Priory meeting Tomas in the Justicar Hall, admiring the murals while thanking him for keeping the bells that had helped them stay on course ringing. Tomas declined their proffered help with the bells but was very helpful in suggesting where they could find brooms, brushes and clean straw to make the guest quarters more comfortable. Meeting, as they returned to the guest quarters, Ythel on his way back to the kitchen they enquired after food and Ythel promised to find something for them to sustain them until the evening meal. As we leave our still chilled adventurers Armatage remains sleeping, Hederas is meditating, Dvardi is checking over and maintaining his and Elrohir’s weapons while Elrohir is cleaning the quarters to make them more comfortable.