Decisions 5

Two 7 Hour Gaming Sessions Of AD&D

2nd Edition (Spikehelm Campaign World)

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
Continuing from Episode 4.
This was another epic 14 hour game weekend, with 7 hours on both days.  I was running 3 of the same gamers from last week, and again the time just flew.  I'll try to do the game justice, so bear with me and hopefully I've remembered it all.
The team stayed in the warren of tunnels and rested for the day to let their wounds heal and catch a bit of sleep as they'd been up for almost 2 days.  Shadowhawk had the first watch and sadly fell asleep.
In the afternoon, the slave girl was gone and she had taken a horse and its gear.  Shadowhawk, fearing for the girl, left to go find her.  He knew that he was needed here, but for some reason he needed to go after the girl.
The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Daniel Blackthorne Battle-Mage 5 Male Dracôrian (Human) N/A
Vlas Cleric 3 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Maldis Scout (Thief) 4 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Session Start: Saturday - 4:00 pm
Location: 10 Days North East Of Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 24th day, in the month of Celebration (Summer/Autumn), in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After The Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: First Quarter
With Shadowhawk gone, they revised their plans but were still determined to find the Orcs that they lost during the storm.  Fearing that they went too far East they plan to head North-West for 3 days to hopefully pick up the trail.
On the first night, they encountered a being that seemed to be made up of snakes and bugs.  It thought they were Orcs, but then Maldis pronounced that they were hunting Orcs themselves and produced his most recent Orc head and threw it at its feet to prove it -- it picked clean the skull and dispersed into the night, stating that it would now hunt those Orcs too.
Next day, they entered some low mountains.  As dusk approached they were attacked by griffons -- losing a horse to them in the first strafing run.  They were fighting for their lives and managed to confuse and kept them at bay until a distant horn blast called them off.  A female Elf, on griffon back, flew down to them. She named herself Saenmar Lendril, and warned them that they needed to leave ASAP as she would only be able to keep the griffons away until tomorrow before the scent of their horses would drive them into a feeding frenzy.
She and Maldis talked afterwards and they drifted onto the topic of the Gateways, she warned him to never attempt to use their Gateway, as it was protected by powerful magicks that would kill him outright if he tried.  She couldn't stay much longer, as her griffon was getting wilder by the moment -- due to all the nearby horses.  She returned the next morning, with what she called "compensation" for their lost horse -- it was a large wicker double-pannier stuffed with food and 2 bottles of Elven Mead.
They left and encountered nothing further and on their third day travelling northwest they hadn't found the Orcs or any sign of them.
Again they debated the best way to proceed and finally decided to turn West -- still hoping to find their trail.
Session End: Saturday - 11:00 pm
Location: 16 Days North Northwest Of Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 27th day, in the month of Celebration (Summer/Autumn), in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After The Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: First Day Of The Full Moon
Session Start: Sunday - 4:00 pm
The group had travelled a half day West and were back in the rolling plains, which made up the majority of Southern Durnite, when two long lines of over 100 undead, rose up out of the grass to block their way any further West.  Vlas ordered them to flee as he alone couldn't stop that many undead -- but the undead advanced on them only so far, before stopping and returning to their original positions.  They backed off and headed North trying to get around them.
Near dusk, they saw signs of industry in the distance -- dozens of thin smoke columns to the North-West.  When Maldis tried to get close enough to see what it was he was attacked by zombies and almost killed -- only some fancy riding and the strength of Daniel saved him.  Vlas used the powers of his god, the High Lord, to heal his grievous wounds.
With no further way to regain the Orc Raider's trail, and with everything else that they had seen, they decided to turn South and return to the Monastery.
The next day went by without incident, but on the third watch of that night Daniel heard something rifling through the wicker pannier -- at first he thought it was Cudgleigh, who was always rooting around in new things, but a quick mental check found him asleep in a rucksack behind him.  He snuck up and found a weird little 3 foot tall creature who had finished eating almost everything that the elves had given them -- including one of the bottles of Elven Mead.  No really sure what do to next, he said "Hello", and after a brief exchange he offered it the comforts of the camp, which it accepted.  The creature had a full and loud voice, which woke the rest from their slumber.  As they introduced themselves, the creature refused to give his Name, as names had power and he didn't know them well enough to risk that.  Maldis, not understanding, asked why, which led the creature into a lecture on the power of a Name.  Daniel, who had a great deal of learning, thought it to be a Korrigan -- an ancient Fae race -- and told everyone so, which brought about another diatribe on the need for the younger races to name everything!
They talked at length with the Korrigan, who had a great deal of opinionated information on both the local area and the two gods of Spikehelm -- by his talk they figured that he must have been thousands of years old.  With all the information he gave them about what was happening in the North, their urgency to get back to the Monastery grew.  When they mentioned that he went off on another story of meeting a young priest who worshipped the High Lord from within a great "Squared Hill" -- which they took to be their Monastery.
Due to their polite treatment of the Korrigan -- basically giving him strong drink, a pipe and pipeweed to smoke -- he offered to take them quickly to their "Squared Hill" with his powers, as long as they promised to then return and aid him to remove the blasted Necromancer and her hoards of undead and Orcs.  It seemed that he was evicted from his home because of these things and they determined that because he was a Fae of nature, he most likely didn't have any powers over the undead, similar to the Druids.
The next morning, during their packing, a horse bit Daniel, but it didn't hurt him.  When he got Vlas to look at his arm, they found a festering scratch within an expanding area of undead-like flesh.  The Slave girl was more than she had seemed, because when Vlas checked the others, they all had been scratched in the same area -- she must be the Necromancer!  Vlas knew that he didn't have the power to reverse this curse, and the Korrigan stated that he couldn't effect it either -- the only hope they had was to get back to the Monastery before the curse killed them, or worse!
The Korrigan placed enchanted mud on each of the horses’ hooves and for the next 4 days he brought them over the land at a normal looking pace -- but each day they covered over 4 days of distance, for a total of over 16 days worth of normal riding.
When they arrived at the Monastery, they were shocked to find that the Korrigan knew the Loremaster from long ago -- in fact he was the priest from the story.  Daniel was almost lost to the curse, but as the priesthood prepared for the needed ritual to save him, they told the Exchangers and Loremaster all that they had found on their journey.
Daniel almost died before the Priests of the Monastery were able to heal him with their powerful Cleansing spell to remove the Undead Curse -- the others were healed over the next 4 days, in order of need.
Location: Four Towers Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 9th day, in the month of Cooling (Autumn), in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After The Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Last Quarter
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Sunday - 11:30 pm