07 Nov

Quail Valley Session 9 (SW)

In our last session, the players had engaged various waves of hobgoblins from the ruins of Származás Keep. Further scouting had shown a small number of defenders remaining on the walls…at least the walls that had not fallen into ruin. A plan was formed but did not quite pan out as hoped. Having just found a hidden path leading to a reinforced door in one of the keep’s still standing towers, the party elected to try and gain entry through it. With Wink’s magics weakening the stone in which the hinges were mounted, Raspin had little trouble crashing, loudly, through the door to reveal a pool filling most of the interior’s tower. Claudia made an Agility roll to see if Raspin could prevent himself from splashing into the pool. That’s where we pick up below the break.

This recap is from Rachel. All players were in attendance. As usual, my GM comments are in [brackets and italics]. There are potential spoilers for The Vault of Larin Karr as well as the Crucible of Freya below the break.

After Wink loosened the hinges on the door in the stone tower, Raspin smashed it open and was just able to catch his balance before falling headlong into an algae-topped pool inside the tower. There is a narrow ledge around the pool, where Raspin advised us to step as we followed him inside. We heard horns sound as we entered.

Raspin started climbing up a ladder to a door at the 2nd level. He was not quite there when the door opened and a hobgoblin looked out and down (seeing the rest of us but not Raspin). Upon seeing us he called out “Drop it!” We heard chopping above us and suddenly the wooden floor above drops down into the pool, splashing liquid in the pool out onto my (Serena’s) legs. My pants started sizzling and smoking, then basically disintegrating from the acidic liquid. I quickly slipped outside where Cailana helped me stop the acid from spreading and causing more damage.

[The second level was pretty much gone when the party entered the tower. Just a narrow ring of flooring remained around the edge of the tower. One ladder led from the bottom level to this ledge near one of two doors in the wall at the 2nd level.]

Faelan tried to shoot the hobgoblin in the doorway but accidentally hit the ladder, damaging it. Raspin reached up and grabbed the hobgoblin, throwing him down into the pool. The hobgoblin screamed as he landed in the acid and the ladder ended up breaking. Fortunately, Raspin was holding onto the doorway and was able to pull himself up as the ladder broke. Wink was able to leap up and into the doorway with the aid of his bone ring and he formed a hook next to the doorway and attached a rope to it so the rest of us could climb up. As we climbed up, Faelan took out a hobgoblin in a doorway on another part of the tower, sending it falling down into the pool screaming.

[RJ got a critical failure while trying to shoot the hobgoblin looking down on the party. He was going to spend a Benny to re-roll, but I offered him an extra Benny if he did not. He did not. The crossbow bolt struck a weak section of the ladder, breaking one of the side rails. When Raspin was able to throw the hobgoblin down…while still on the ladder…the ladder just couldn’t take the strain.

Wink’s ring is called Stag’s Spring. It doubles the distance the wearer can jump, prevents damage from falls of 10′ or less, grants the wearer the Extraction edge, and gives the bearer the Yellow hindrance…think of the skittishness of a deer. That’s what allowed him to make the leap. That reminds me…I still need to share the house/setting rules that we’re using.

Faelan just shape changed to an eagle, flew up, and changed back.

The “hook” is becoming one of Wink’s favorite uses of his version of elemental manipulation.

As the hobgoblins were falling towards the pool, they screamed. None of the ones killed previously in the forest made much of any noise. The “pool” pulled the hobgoblins into it with pseudopods once they fell into it. For dramatic effect, I had one of the their skulls float to the top before being sucked back in. Hmm…with the pseudopod thing under the “goblin gully” that makes two such creatures along these lines. Hmm…

Why didn’t this thing attack the characters as they entered the tower? The edge around the pool was only a couple of feet wide. The thing’s pseudopods could certainly reach that far.]

Along the walkway/top of the wall, Raspin and Wink’s rock ally fought off a couple hobgoblins before the rest of us made it up there. We ended up taking out three hobgoblins on the walkway. We heard metal pounding on stone around the tower at the other end of the walkway. I spotted another hobgoblin hunkered down in a pile of rubble inside the wall and shot a couple arrows at it, but he had good coverage and scrambled out of the keep and away.

[The clanging sound had ended by the time the PCs made it over to this part of the keep. The tower door was also open.]

Two large spiders emerged from the tower door into the courtyard and quickly climbed up the wall and onto the walkway. We were able to take them out pretty quickly. We moved to the door in the next tower, looking for a way down. The door was padlocked, so Wink’s rock ally broke the lock and Raspin looked in, quickly closing the door and recommending we not go in there. The tower appeared to be filled with large and thick webs, and some regular sized spiders were visible. Though Raspin did not see additional large spiders in there, we did not want to hang around the tower to find out if there were more.

Without a ladder or stairs to go down, Wink had his rock ally hold a rope off the walkway down to the courtyard—all of us except Faelan climbed down. I closed the door in the tower where the spiders came out, just in case. We checked behind the long ridge of rubble in the middle of the courtyard to make sure no one was lying in wait—there was no one there, just an open area. Cailana spied tracks going to and from the 3rd tower door off the courtyard—it looked like hobgoblin tracks plus some very large tracks.

We approached the intact building that Faelan (as a hawk flying overhead) had previously seen a hobgoblin and an orc enter. There was no visible lock on the door but it would not open, suggesting that it might be barred on the other side. Wink sent his rock ally burrowing under and into the building but it was quickly destroyed. Wink summoned a second rock ally to burrow under and into the building—this one was able to open the door but was promptly thrown out towards us [as something large bellowed out a roar inside.]

Wink walked to the gatehouse/front wall and it collapsed into a pit, just like the trap in front of the keep that Cailana narrowly avoided. Wink was not so fortunate and fell into the trap to the sound of breaking glass and felt liquid around him. It appears that oil flasks were in the pit and broke Wink’s fall. Raspin climbed down into the pit to help Wink get out. Faelan still remained up on the walkway where he could cast spells into the courtyard as needed.

[The flasks of oil were actually attached to the covering over the pit…a covering rigged to collapse. This would ensure that they would break in the fall…perhaps in preparation for some enterprising hobgoblin shooting a flaming arrow. Wink suffered, I believe, two wounds from the fall as the pit was 20′ deep…too far for the Stag’s Spring to protect him.]

After letting out a bellow, an ogre emerged from the building. Cailana and I had stayed back from the building with our bows ready, but our arrows did not faze the ogre. He quickly got in between us and attacked. Faelan entangled the ogre in vines several times but it broke free quickly each time. Once Raspin helped Wink out of the pit, Raspin came over and got some good hits in and Wink got an attack in as well. The ogre knocked out both Cailana and Serena, breaking Cailana’s ribs and injuring Serena’s eye. Raspin finally took out the ogre out though he too was wounded in the process.

[That’s where we ended the session.

It was a tough fight for the party even though the ogre was an extra and not a Wild Card. The brute’s high toughness, of course, made it difficult to damage. I have my thoughts…that I’ll likely share at some point with the group…as to why this single opponent was so hard to defeat and left more than half the group hurt…two incapacitated. It wasn’t a case of crazy rolls swinging things wildly one way or another or anything like that.

I was tempted to hide the damage of Raspin’s last attack and leave that as the cliffhanger for the session. Claudia is heading home to Connecticut again and won’t be playing for a couple of months. I didn’t want to take away the gratification of defeating the ogre from her. 😉

More than once, there was speculation as to why the hobgoblins had not yet attacked Presov. If the hobgoblins had good numbers–numbers still not known to the party–why didn’t they attack? If they were allied with an ogre, why didn’t the attack? I’m certainly not going to say why.

Beer Log: Beers shared this session using, as always, our hit, miss, crit, and fumble rating scale.

  • Proof Get There Faster: Another New England IPA from our favorite local brewery. Nice floral and grapefruit flavor…very pithy. A solid hit in my book.
  • Cascade Sang Rouge: This one has been sitting on our kitchen shelf (away from light) for a few years now. It kind of got lost in the crowd of beer scattered about the house. The Sang Rouge did NOT suffer from the neglect. Tart, fruity, puckering, and woody. Good stuff…another solid hit.

That’s all…plus the leftover Halloween candy that Forest and Claudia brought and the fermented salmon that Muse brought and made.

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