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Session 15 (8th Dec 2014)

For the second adventure in our Lonely Coast campaign I turned once again to Raging Swan.  This time I went to the brilliant Shadowed Keep On The Borderlands which got amazing reviews and makes for a totally different style of play from the groups previous adventure Retribution.  If you’d like to read the whole campaign’s adventure log it’s posted in order here.  The previous session can be found here and the whole of the Shadowed Keep sessions here.

Note if as a player your GM is likely to run Shadowed Keep On The Borderlands by Raging Swan please do not read any further, the adventure is one that will be wrecked by spoilers.

Silently through the shadows the squat silhouette of the dwarven warrior crept down the spiral stairs. As he neared the bottom, a landing coming into sight around the curve of the walls, a sudden clatter behind him signified where at least one of his companions had missed a step and stumbled.  The noise was loud but not necessarily loud enough to wake occupants on the tower.  The deep barking that erupted from behind one the doors on the landing however would almost certainly bring trouble with it.  Taking the decision that stealth would be unlikely to still succeed Dvadi beckoned his comrades down onto the landing.  Hederas gripped the thunderstone that the group had bought in Wolverton, opened the door from behind which the barking came, and having thrown his missile inside slammed the door shut again.

Almost before the door shut a loud percussive blast shook the tower from within the room as the thunderstone did it’s work.  The next moment, as the barks changed to howling, a massive kick from Dvadi burst the door in and he charged inside.  Ignoring the concussed figure of a man sitting on the bed he swung his axe at the wolfhound quivering in the middle of the room.  With one blow the unlucky canine expired and Arris charged past to attack the stricken fellow behind him.  The bandit fell back on the bed mortally wounded and barely concious.  Elrohir guarded the stairs as Hederas joined the fray slaying the bandit where he lay.

Wasting no time Dvadi charged from the room and kicked in the second door, shattering the hinges and locks and knocking it into the room.  Hurdling the door he surprised a half-elven woman who was in the process of donning armour.  As she reached for a heavy flail by her feet Dvadi swung his axe wounding her badly in the left arm and as Arris joined the fight the short battle was one sided with an inevitable ending.  As the combat still raged Hederas and Elrohir crept down the stairs to the first floor.

The landing here was almost identical to that above and both stopped to listen.  From one of the doors on from the landing a number of men’s voices were raised and it was obvious that more than two or three people were awake and moving.  From below footsteps on the stairs were heard and Elrohir prepared himself to repel attackers from below.

Unsure as they may have been as to what they would encounter an elven ranger, longsword drawn and swinging at them as the came into view was not what either of the bandits were expecting.  The defensive nature of the stairway gave Elrohir a massive advantage and his battle with the two unkempt bandits was definitely in his advantage.  Dvadi and Arris left the scene of bloody slaughter on the top floor of the tower and as they reached the first floor landing the door in front of them opened suddenly revealing a large half-orc woman who immediately took in the scene and swung her axe at Dvadi. While her stroke went wide the return swing from Dvadi struck home and battle was joined.

Dvadi fought his way into a large room seething with bandits, most on the floor but several still on bunks focusing their attack on the assailant of the now struggling half-orc who had given up on taking on the fight and now was simply using the axe to defend herself. Dodging blows from those who could reach him, blood boiling, the dwarf finally cut his main adversary down and stepped further into the room allowing Arris space to join the fray.

Armitage meanwhile had waited on the roof with the idea that any who tried to leave the tower would need to cross the oil soaked ground outside and this would give him the opportunity to use some of the alchemists fire they had brought with them. On hearing Arris bellow up the stairs as Dvadi was fighting his way into the room full of bandits he hurried to bring aid to his companions.

Elrohir was still defending the stairs however in an unlucky turn of fate a blow aimed at his main assailant’s head was dodged, his sword hit the wall at an awkward angle and spun out of his hand and down the stairs. Drawing his dagger as he dodged incoming blows he realised that his advantage was diminishing without a real weapon and timing his move to coincide with a momentary opening in his adversaries guard he bodily leapt at the man. Grabbing straps near the top of the man’s armour, his knees met with his foe’s guts and an bore him backwards into the second man behind him knocking both of them off their feet. Leaning back with all his weight he somehow kept his balance and rode the two falling bodies down the stairs until he landed upon them in a heap on the floor below. While he reeled slightly from a slight collision with the stairwell on the way down he was atop both his stunned and bruised adversaries. Shifting his dagger in his hand he heard Hederas on the stairs behind him coming to lend aid.

Dvardi and Arris fought their way deeper into the mass of armed bodies defending blows from those on top of bunks as well as those standing. Dvadi took two crossbow bolts in the legs but still remained irresolute, barely noticing the pain through his rage, hacking at targets as they became available. Armitage’s arrival at the doorway was fortunate, allowing his power to run through him he muttered an incantation and several of the bandits dropped suddenly and incongruously asleep.

A floor below the two groggy desperadoes struggled to disentangle themselves and shift Elrohir who grappled with the upper, pinning both beneath him. Hederas reached the bottom of the stairs and brought his mace into play, not only badly injuring the upper of the bandits but also helping to distract him while Elrohir brought his dagger to bear. As much as the bandits struggled they could not manage to budge the savage elven ranger and he and his companion rained blows upon them. As soon as he felt it was safe to do so Hederas charged back up stairs, leaving Elrohir to finish off the final and badly wounded foe.

Hederas reached the door to the bandits dormitory as Armitage sent another two bandits to sleep. Passing his friend Hederas leapt atop the nearest bunk and flinging himself to the far end swung out at one of the few remaining bandits still alive and conscious. Arris finished the last of those still fighting, the one remaining concious bandit looked at Hederas and Dvadi looming over him and backed into the corner. Arris shouted for him to surrender and with a look of terror and despair in his eyes he threw down his flail and sank onto his haunches the picture of defeat.

Less than five minutes before nearly fifteen bandits had held this fortified tower, now as Elrohir remounted the stairs and arrived at the door to the dorm only three remained. Two sleeping, one surrendered, their leaders and comrades slain – no more would they prey on unwary travellers.