Session 19 (16th Feb 2015)
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.
The cold light of the early morning filters through the drizzle that fills the courtyard. An elf wearing a black wolf fur cloak, the head forming part of the hood, backs from broken double doors. Obviously unsure of whether to watch the courtyard or the dark entrance that he has just stepped through he descends the three curved stairs from the doorway swinging to try to watch the whole area. He holds an arrow nocked to the string of his bow as he blinks the rain from his eyes backing towards the sentinel like watchtower that stands against the opposite wall. Reaching the tower he takes his hand from the arrow and bangs on the door behind him, his eyes never stopping their scanning for possible enemies. After a short wait there is a hurried conversation through the door and he steps into the tower. The sound of the bar inside the door dropping back into place echoes around the empty courtyard.
A large room is lit by a roaring fire against one wall, a spitted animal turns above it cranked round by two goblins, their heads seemingly too large for their bodies and the mouths too large for even those heads. The room is crowded with goblins, warriors as well as women and children, some eating and laughing while others argue or doze. At the far end of this room a goblin child charges, breathless, into the scene shouting out to any who will listen. Instantly the mood in the room changes, warriors grab for weapons or adjust armour, women grab children and hurd them into side passages, not a single hand lies still.
Three goblin warriors run into a large chamber, its vaulted ceiling held up by four slender pillars. They stop in their tracks at the sight of the fallen, hewed bodies lying scattered around the room. One sprints back down the corridor while the two who remain unsheath swords and anxiously scan the few other exits from the room.
There is the sound of a fist pounding on a wooden door lit by the flickering of firelight. At loud grunt the banging stops, seconds later a vast shadow falls across the door and the door opens. Stood in the doorway is a goblin warrior, his face a mixture of eagerness to tell news and fear of the figure he stands before. Leaning back in order to look up into the face of this figure he quickly starts to give his news. A gigantic mailed fist lifts the handle of a vast falchion, it’s blade covered in fell runes glints in the light of the fire.
In a high ceilinged room, it’s walls daubed with eldritch symbols two figures, a halfling in dark clothes and a man wearing armour, stand the only illumination an almost too white light streaming from the human’s chest. The corpses of two dead goblins lay by an open doorway through which a dwarf, his beard singed, blood still seeping from a vicious head wound and a tall man stagger panting from the exertion of battle. The halfling stands with an ear pressed against the other door, a mixture of concentration and fear on his face…
Seeing the huge gouge in Dvadi’s head and the fatigue on his face from his ferocious battle with the goblin shaman, Hederas called on Irori to grant healing to his comrade. The divine power caused the wound to close and the blood to stop flowing. Behind him Arris prayed to Darlen for his healing light and felt his spirits lift as his wounds closed and his pain eased.
Dvadi and Arris searched through the wreckage from the altar and found some undamaged candles to light while Hederas searched the shaman’s corpse and room. Unfortunately the wand that was being used by the shaman turned out to be useless having been fully expended during the fight however the chest and table in the room revealed a cache of potions and scrolls that must have been stripped from unlucky travellers and adventures as well as a bone wand which Armitage identified as being able to cast massive webs.
A little more than ten minutes after the battle with the Shaman finished the group had put together a rough plan and felt recovered enough to risk fighting their way from the lair out to the surface.
While there had been the sounds of occasional footsteps running along the corridor outside nobody had tried to enter the room but the group knew this wouldn’t last. As soon as Dvadi confirmed the corridor was clear of goblins Armitage used the wand he had discovered to ensure nothing could follow them from deeper within the lair. This precaution attended to the group moved at high speed back the way they had come, pausing at corners to check they weren’t running into an ambush. Having skirted the large pit and webbed the corridor leading to the living quarters of the goblins Dvadi led the way back to the guardroom at a full run. As he turned the corner he spotted movement in the room which quickly resolved itself into a group of goblin warriors moving the bodies of the fallen. These were being directed by a huge figure, around nine feet in height hefting a large spear. Not slowing his speed the dwarf tore into the room and launched a huge attack on this vast foe. As several of the goblins grabbed their bows and leapt for cover behind the pillars in the corners of the room Arris bore down on one of these. As Hederas two companions reached the room he suddenly saw the room’s occupants who had been hidden from sight until that point. Raising his crossbow he shot a bolt into a warrior the far side of the cave who was not even aware of their approach.
The battle between Dvadi and the gigantic figure fully twice his height was a blur of axe and spear. As a goblin warrior drew his sword flanking the dwarf and forcing him to take some of his focus from the bulk in front of him things looked to be grim however Armitage again brought the wand into play, webbing shooting from it forming a barrier that blocked half of the room and ensnared not only this ugly giant but also several of the goblins.
Under a hail of arrows Arris cut down his chosen target before turning to take the pressure from Dvadi by engaging the goblin at his back and as Hederas drew his mace to attack one of the archers Hederas used a vial of alchemical fire to burn the web and it’s occupants.
The battle was hard pressed and chaotic, smoke and fire, mixing with the ringing of axe, sword and spear but in less than a minute all was over. The gigantic corpse of Dvadi’s foe lay blackened by fire in the centre of the room, his ribcage opened from a huge rising swing of the dwarf’s axe. One goblin had fled, that entrance now webbed by Armitage, while another had been cut down at the foot of the stairs while trying to escape. In total five goblins lay dead alongside their gigantic leader. Hederas added the head of the leader to that of the shaman that he already carried and the group moved to the bottom of the stairs hoping that they would meet no further resistance on the way to the tower where hopefully they would find Elrohir waiting for them.