A 10 Hour Gaming Session Of AD&D

2nd Edition (Spikehelm Campaign World)

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
There have been a few other games that I didn't really feel merited write-ups -- the players really didn't do anything with my plot devices and just wandered the lands -- but that was probably my issue as I can be a bit obtuse at times.
Because of this, I decided to go back to simpler, more obvious plot devices in the hopes of getting things back on track.  Since we also have so many combinations of characters, I'm trying to get them all around the same area, so that no matter who shows up at a game night, I can run the same main campaign instead of having ten of them to juggle!
Therefore, this game was a continuation from two other games -- using two PCs from each, and I as the DM made declarations as to why the other PCs did not accompany them.
Nikigga and Norak have returned to the Monastery Fortress to await their comrades who had business they did not care to involve themselves with.  Maldis and Rading also returned -- both wanted to discuss personal matters with the Priests there.
During their first three days, the four of them met each other and found that they had many things in common -- they were all roguishly independent individuals with many similarities.
The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Maldis Thief (Scout) 4 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Nikigga Thief/Mage 3/2 Male Albein (Elf) N/A
Norak Bard (Blade) 4 Male Half-Elf N/A
Rading Bard 4 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Session Start: Sunday - 3:00 pm
Location: Four Towers Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 17th day, in the of month of Warming, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: New Moon
At dinner on the third day, the Loremaster of the Monastery, Darkmaer, took his meal at their table.  They chatted for awhile, but they all notice that he was disturbed about something -- he was not his normal talkative self.  Rading turned the conversation towards this and Darkmaer looked around -- seeing that no one else seemed interested in the table -- he told them that a distant farming outpost had not made their scheduled trip to secure their food stores at the Monastery.  He was worried for them.  The Orc raiders started much earlier this year -- and they were intense and brutal -- something had stirred them up.
He asked if any of them could make the 3 day journey to the outpost and either help bring in the food stores or the survivors.  They talked a bit, asked him a few more questions, to get a better idea of what they might be walking into and then all agreed to go. Darkmaer was pleased and as payment he would give each of them one favour on top of supplying them with supplies for the trip.  Nikigga asked him when they should head out; Darkmaer suggested that they leave at first light tomorrow.  He would meet them at the main portcullis and provide them with the directions and a sealed Writ of Introduction -- to gain entry to the outpost.  Darkmaer took his leave then, wishing them a good night’s rest.
Maldis spent the rest of the night in the smithy -- building a small device he'd thought up during his last trip into an underground lair.  Norak made a few coins playing his lute for a group of caravan guards while Nikigga and Rading spent their night gathering the components for spells from the stables, kitchen and stores.
Maldis took the lead, as he was their only outdoorsman.  He kept them from running afoul of Orcs or worse all day.  When they made camp they talked over who should take watch when and Rading got first watch.  It was very quiet that night and Rading -- remembering other times when the camp was attack -- stayed hyperaware, so much so that he heard something sneaking at the edge of the camp.  Forgetting to wake anyone else – although Nikigga was still up, studying his spellbook -- and keen on ambushing their ambusher, he snuck out and followed the sound.  Moments later, a bucket sized ball of claws and teeth hit him in the legs.  It was too dark out, so he really couldn't see what it was as he pulled his sabre and tried to strike it off him.  That's when the badger's claws found the top of his boot and started tearing into his calf.  Dropping his sword, he punched the thing and managed to get in two good shots that knocked it off him -- in pain they both turned tail and stumbled in opposite directions.  Rading made it back the short distance to camp and when he sat down blood poured from his boot!  Not wanting anyone to know that he was almost done in by a small animal, he fumbled through his pack himself as his vision blurred from blood loss.  He managed to find the jar of magical healing ointment and slather it over his mangled calf and knee.
Almost immediately he felt better -- except for being hungry enough to eat a horse.  That was the one thing about magical healing, the more damage it healed the hungrier you were after the wounds closed -- and since the badger had almost torn his leg off, he was starving!  He ate almost 2 days of rations while the rest of his watch passed.
The next two days gratefully passed without further incident and they found the outpost intact, albeit damaged.  They approached, Maldis went in first to show their Writ and assure the output that they were allies -- quickly signalling the rest to come forth once all was confirmed.  It seemed that they had been attacked only the day before, so they were preparing to move their food stores to the Monastery today.
Location: Farming Outpost, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 20th day, in the of month of Warming, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
As the others got three quarters of the way down the valley, they felt the thunder of charging horses.  As they turned to look for the threat, they found four lines of Orcish raiders moving on the outpost from behind them.  As the first dozen crested the hill, they turned and ran for their lives -- on foot, against cavalry, in the open, they were dead.  Their only chance was to make it to the outpost.
Two of them made the walls, but Norak missed his footing and tumbled.  The last Maldis saw of him was watching the horses trample the place where he fell.
"We've got to hold the gate until they get the wagon horses unhitched!" cried Maldis as his friends came to a halt at the gate -- there stuck half-way through the gate was a giant wagon stuffed to the gills with sacks and barrels drawn by 8 heavy draft horses.
They waited as the raiders approached and Maldis was the first to let loose -- the lead horse went down as his rider died with an arrow through the eye and the crash that ensued took out six more.  Nikigga fired right on his heels, but the Orcs were already spreading out, so his shot only took down three.  The Orcs split then, with the rear guard angling wide around the rear -- forcing the outpost's defenders to spread themselves thin.
The men working to free the horses from the wagon were making headway, but the Orcs were almost upon them, and in their haste they panicked the animals.  Maldis looked back and saw the token that had been contained in the Writ laying in the dirt under the wagon -- The Writ had said to break the token if the outpost was in trouble, and he figured that this qualified -- so he dove under the wagon and snapped it in half.  Nothing happened.
The remaining Orcs started their charge.  Rading remembered all the fear that the Orcs had caused him during his own brief enslavement and he wanted to them to feel that fear as well.  Then he remembered a time he had seen one scared.  Wolfen!  In the last few months he had picked up an illusion spell that could be of use.
Rading tried to recall every nuance of Cindus the Wolfen during that first fight in the ruins and multiplied him five times, adding slight differences to each copy.  Once he had that image as firmly in his mind as he could, he unleashed his spell.  Five snarling Wolfen came loping around the far wall and placed themselves in between the Orcs and the outpost.  The Orcs’ charge faltered, but the Krigare roared and they renewed.  Rading had the Wolfen surge forward and leap -- that made 8 of the Orcs turn tail and run.
A Krigare could never show fear in front of other Orcs -- and this one had killed ogres -- so it met a Wolfen with a fierce upward slash of its giant sword and nearly threw himself off his horse as it passed through air.  The Wolfen shimmered and continued on its bounding way after the fleeing Orcs.  This Krigare had also fought spellcasters -- it looked for who was controlling the phantoms and found Rading staring after them.  He moved his horse and charged, keeping clear of his direct line of sight.
Norak was still alive, but he had remained in the ditch to recover.  When the fleeing Orcs almost crushed him, he figured he would have to risk another attempt at running for the outpost.  He made it just in time to take an Orc from behind.
Nikigga and Maldis had continued their barrage of arrows against the remaining Orcs and Norak joined them and protected their flank with a furious display of spinning blades.
Things were looking up -- there were so few Orcs left on the field -- that was until the rear guard came around.
Nikigga saw the Krigare's charge but when he went for the shot, he was flung off his feet.  Chest smoking, he turned -- saw wicked glee in eyes charged with power -- and screamed "Shaman!!!!" as he pointed at his attacker.  Rading barely managed to get his sword out as the Krigare barrelled into him.  With only time for instinct, he thrust his sabre up as the Krigare slashed down.  Nikigga watched Rading go down, a sword imbedded in his skull -- the Krigare also toppled from his horse, the hilt of a sabre peeking out from under his chest plate.  He rolled to his feet and went to help Rading -- there was nothing to do, he was dead -- but as he turned to leave, Rading croaked "Orcs! Kill Orcs!", so he picked him up as gently as he could and staggered to the gates.
Maldis was busy killing raiders and trying to get a shot at the Shaman.  He could see him chanting as black energy built up around his fingers, and in between breaths as the Shaman's horse's hooves were all coming off the ground -- when the Shaman would unleash -- he let fly.
There was a flash and suddenly he was astride the charging horse, looking down at the Shaman -- who looked just as stunned as he was -- before the horse crashed into him.  There was a crunch and a scream and he was past.  Throwing his bow to grab the reins he manoeuvred the horse through the now cleared gate, shouting for everyone to get inside and forget the horses -- the remaining Raiders were fast on his heels -- and close the gate!
The bar dropped into place as the lead horse crashed into the gate with screams of pain.  The Orcs were enraged -- they would have to wait to get their prey.  They would wait until the end of time to slaughter these filthy humans that had dared to kill their Krigare and Mystic -- what they called their Shaman.
And as they roared and ranted in front of the gate, a golden light shone from a roof and the ghostly form of the Loremaster appeared.  The Orcs, already hurting from the late afternoon sun, were forced to look away from that powerfully bright aura.
In a booming voice he spoke, "YOU WHO HAVE BLIGHTED THIS LAND, NOW SUFFER THE BLIGHT OF THIS LAND!!!"  The noise of millions of insects could be heard, then the cloud formed and darkened as more and more bugs came to do the priest's bidding.
The people in the outpost watched from the walls as the insects swarmed over the Orcs, so thick that it was just a seething mass that stretched across the entire length of the gate wall and out for almost 40 feet.  It was high enough that they couldn't even see the heads of the raiders.  At first, there were shouts of anger, which quickly turned into panic and then wails of pain and fear -- then the horrible silence fell and only the buzzing was left.
As the golden aura faded, the swarm dispersed -- there was nothing left outside the gates, but dirt and bones.
Three days later, the Monastery relief showed up to reinforce the outpost -- our adventurers rode back with the food stores.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Monday - 1:00 am
Location: Four Towers Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 26th day, in the of month of Warming, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous