An unconvincingly less TLDR summary of the thirteenth episode of of the Keep on the Borderlands play-through.
Character Recap Edit
Andrew’s PCs:Nymeth (Elf)Liftomancer Bluebigail (Magic-User)
Dave’s PCs: The Shadow (Thief), Rolph the Younger - (Cleric)
Hilary’s PCs: Thistle Turnipsworth (Halfling), Glasap Icli (Fighter)
John’s PCs: Chunk Flunkins (Dwarf), Serta the Somnomancer (Magic-User)
Lucky Thirteen Edit
As their battle-lust wears off, the party decide to make camp in the relative safety of the Hobgoblin armoury. Before our exhausted explorers rest, Buildo, the Halfling, supervises the construction of two sturdy barricades, improvised from the many spears, shields, and suits of armour found stored in this room. After eight hours of nervous, if uninterrupted, rest, Serta the Somnomancer and Nymeth prepare their arcane spells; but the mood is tense as our heroes finally break camp and venture forward into the short passage behind the armoury’s secret door.
Chunk Flunkins starts to open the door at the far end of the dusty secret corridor; but soon realises that after opening but a few inches, the door offers some significant resistance, as if someone or something very strong were pulling it closed from the other side. Relying on The Shadow’s expertise in skulduggery, Chunk Flunkins’ knowledge of masonry, Nymeth’s infravision, and Buildo’s awkward fumblings with a 10 ft pole, our treacherous treasureseekers identify the battering-ram style trap set to trigger when the door is opened, and fasten a length of rope to the door, so that they can open it from a distance. With everyone back in the safety of the armoury, Rolph the Younger and Chunk Flunkins heave on the rope, triggering the release of the swinging log, which slams into the door, smashing it apart into chunks of rubble and splinters.
Once the dust from the trap settles, and with no attack forthcoming, our brazen bravos proceed forwards, listening at the two doors leading from the room beyond, but hear only an ominous silence. Thistle Turnipsworth shrugs and pushing open the door to the North, she narrowly avoids being skewered by crossbow bolts fired by two of the four Hobgoblins lying in ambush in the next chamber. Reacting quickly, Chunk Flunkins drags Thistle out of the doorway, and wedging the door open with his foot, returns fire with his crossbow. The Hobgoblin arbalist’s cry of pain is cut mercifully short, as The Shadow finishes him off with a well placed arrow of his own.
But the Hobgoblins are prepared, and press their advantage, one puts a quarrel through Chunk’s beard and into his chest, as another rushes into melee, further wounding the already badly injured Dwarf with a savage sword thrust. Looking to outflank them, Rolph the Younger pushes through the Western door, into a small antechamber, but no sooner does he reach its far side than the door in front of him is flung open by a Hobgoblin warrior. In the gloomy, over-furnished hall beyond, the monstrous, plate-armoured Hobgoblin Chieftain roars “Kill the humans!”, and the five other Hobgoblin guards raise their weapons to attack. Rolph raises his shield just in time to deflect a blow from the warrior, and a crossbow bolt buries itself deeply into his hip. Hearing the commotion, Thistle Turnipsworth pushes the door to the antechamber open, and seeing the cleric tangling with a Hobgoblin, levels Crabapple at the foe and fires. Rolph the Younger catches the bolt in the back of his neck and dies instantly.
No stranger to adversity, Serta the Somnomancer strides boldly into the blood spattered doorway, and with formidable dreariness, incants the “Declaration of Feather and Down”, causing all six of the Chieftain’s Hobgoblin guards to fall to Sleep. Back behind a mortified Thistle Turnipsworth, Nymeth and The Shadow loose their bows, slaying a Hobgoblin, and saving critically injured Chunk Flunkins from desperate combat with the warrior before him. Chunk wipes the blood from his beard, and looks up, only to stare down the stocks of two more loaded Hobgoblin crossbows, pointed straight at him. Nymeth once again wastes no time, and leaping over the injured Dwarf, he sings the eerie Elvish lullaby that causes both enemies to drop their crossbows and collapse in a magical Sleep.
Ever eager to wreak her revenge, Liftomancer Bluebigail rushes past the Somnomancer, and opens the throat of a sleeping Hobgoblin guard. Unfortunately, in her haste, Bluebigail also steps on the warrior slumped in the doorway, waking him up. The huge Hobgoblin chieftain paces over to a trio of his slumbering guards, slaps two of them awake, and bellows at the warrior just getting to his feet in the doorway, to wake another of his comrades. Back in the antechamber, Serta the Somnomancer grabs Rolph the Younger’s scroll of Hold Person from his still warm fingers, intent on taking it to Glasap Icli in the next room. But with Thistle Turnipsworth blocking the doorway, Glasap has to resort to reaching over the dazed Halfling, to snatch the scroll from the Somnomancer’s hands. Chunk Flunkins meanwhile, downs a blue-glowing potion in a single draught, and breathes a sigh of relief as his wounds begin to knit together.
Surrounded by waking enemies, and with no obvious escape route, blood-soaked Liftomancer Bluebigail pulls her dagger free from the body of her last victim and leaps, blade first, onto the last still-sleeping Hobgoblin in the hall. Her wild eyes glinting in the firelight, Bluebigail drives the knife deep into her foe’s chest, ending his life mere heartbeats before she herself is extinguished in a volley of crossbow fire. Startled from her reverie by the warrior charging at her, Thistle Turnipsworth fires Crabapple at point-blank range, grazing her opponent, but earning a nasty slash across her forearms in retaliation. Chunk Flunkins throws open the hall’s Northern door and rejoins combat, slaying a guard just inside the doorway, while behind him, The Shadow surreptitiously beheads one of the two sleeping Hobgoblin arbalists. Hearing Thistle Turnipsworth’s pained cry, Glasap Icli raises the scroll and casts Hold Person on the guard tussling with our half-sized hero; the Hobgoblin roars a battle cry and shakes off the spell’s paralysing effect; but not before Serta and Thistle both take advantage of his momentary distraction to stick their daggers into him. There is little time to catch their breath however, as no sooner does one Hobgoblin fall, than another pushes into the antechamber, swinging his sword in a vicious arc that cleanly decapitates Serta the Somnomancer.
Combat continues in the Northern chamber too, as a Hobgoblin guard wounds Nymeth with a well placed crossbow bolt, and the hulking Chieftain storms into the fray, narrowly missing him with a powerful strike that sails over the head of Chunk Flunkins, instead knocking lumps of masonry out of the wall. Not one to miss a fracass, Chunk Flunkins returns the compliment, scoring a glancing blow against the Chief with his sword, as Nymeth beats a fighting withdrawl. The Shadow orders Darkwolf to take the Elf’s place, and fires a shot of his own at the Chieftain; but in the chaos of combat, his shot flies wide, and impales Chunk Flunkins, pinning the rapidly exsanguinating Dwarven corpse to the wall. Uninterested in waiting to discover the punishment for his crimes The Shadow turns tail and flees, at top speed, back through the ruins of the secret passage.
With a single mighty blow, the grotesque Hobgoblin Chieftain cleaves through Darkwolf, and closes the distance to the others. Nymeth, dances out of his way and runs, leaving Buildo, the Halfling housewright to fight the colossal Hobgoblin on his own. In the antechamber Thistle Turnipsworth draws her ancestral sword, Hambone, and butchers their attacker, avenging the fallen Somnomancer, while Glasap Icli falls back- right into the clutches of the Hobgoblin Chief, who cuts down the fiery cleric where they stand. Nymeth and The Shadow run through the secret passage into the armoury, where they start dismantling the barricade of arms and armour they constructed previously. As Glasap Icli falls, Nymeth and The Shadow make good their escape, but with nowhere left to run, a badly bleeding Thistle Turnipsworth, can only manage to hide in the terrible darkness of the Chieftain’s lair.
Rules & Rulings from this Episode Edit
- 0’30” With adequate supplies, PCs can improvise a barricade. It takes a party of eight one turn to construct, for each 10 ft square the barricade crosses.
- 1’51” A PC can exchange places with another willing character, provided neither of them are engaged in combat. The manoeuvre ‘costs’ half of the PC’s movement.
- 2’07” Firing into melee, if a 1 is rolled on a ranged attack, the shot will hit a friendly combatant who is engaged with the target.
- 2’36” A character may move through spaces occupied by sleeping foes; but there is a 1 in 3 chance that they’ll step on the sleeping creature and wake them up.
- 2’40” As an action, character can awaken up to 1d3 sleeping allies they are adjacent to.