When A Dad Goes Bad 3

A 7 Hour Gaming Session Of AD&D

2nd Edition (Spikehelm Campaign World)

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
Continuing from the last episode of When A Dad Goes Bad 2.
We've moved ahead some 40 days to catch up with another PC.
Daniel was ahead of this game's timeline from his split off adventure with Maldis.
The setup for this game was that Daniel and Maldis had escaped from the army that had conscripted them (see here), however they lost track of each other during their flight and with two weeks of spring rains and floods, there was no way they could find each other and still escape recapture by the army.
Ritter and Cindus were caught in a flash flood and washed away.  Cindus found a cave to hole up in and Ritter managed to ride his horse to a copse of trees on a hill; both stayed put until the rains stopped.
During his escape, Daniel ran into trouble and completely wrecked his knee while searching for shelter, but luckily this is the same cave that Cindus is in.  Cindus fixes Daniel's knee while they wait out the rains.
Rading has been captured by Orcish Slavers along with the remaining survivors/slave from the village he was staying in -- some 20 women and children.
After the rains stop enough that it is safe to move again, Ritter, Daniel and Cindus regroup.
The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Ritter von Gerechtigkeit Paladin (Lathander) 4 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Rading Bard 3 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Daniel Blackthorne Battle Mage 4 Male Dracôrian (Human) N/A
Cindus N/A N/A Male Wolfen NPC
Session Start: Saturday - 5:00 pm
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 1st day, in the month of Tending, in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Last Day Of The Full Moon
Rejoined by Daniel, Ritter and Cindus head South following the renewed pull of Lathander.
A day out they see an odd storm that formed quickly and pounded the area beneath it with lightning.  Thinking that this may be what was drawing Ritter, they rush in that direction.  Two days later, they come across the wreckage of a small hamlet.  Nearby they find the wagon tracks of Orcish Slavers.  Being who they are there is no question that they have to go after and try to free the people and stop the magic wielding Orc raiding party.
They followed the tracks for a day until they finally spotted the wagons -- there were 3 with a score of Orcs apiece.
It took them slightly aback that there were so many Orcs, but they could see that the wagons were heavily laden -- most likely crammed full of people bound for the cruelty of Orcish slavery.
They began planning the best way to attack with only the three of them.  First they would need to eliminate the Orcish spell casters and hopefully take out as many Orcs as possible at the same time.  Cindus had a spell that could do the trick, it would call down lightning similar to what they saw the Orcs do at the hamlet -- he assured them that it would do a great deal of damage to a large area and that he could target six different locations, but he would need almost an hour for the spell to gather its power.  After it was cast, they followed the wagons and tried to identify the spell casters -- they found only one Shaman.  There was also a Krigare, an elite warrior chieftain, and they agreed he also needed to be killed in the first attack.  As Daniel could alter his form to look like an Orc, he could help cause more confusion and maybe free some of the prisoners to help in the fighting.  Ritter would be Ritter -- a focal point for the Orcs -- and hopefully keep them off his companions.
As the hour neared its end, the wagon train stopped to make camp.  The rear wagon started pulling out slaves to do the manual labour.  As this was happening both of their important targets climbed up on the second wagon.
It was the best opportunity that they would likely get -- so they began their attack early.
Daniel turned into an Orc, as Cindus dropped his first lightning attack directly on the middle wagon.  The Shaman managed to protect both himself and the Krigare, but that protection didn't extend to the wagon and they fell through its destroyed roof.  Cindus continued on, placing the other four attacks directly on the largest groups of Orcs before they could scatter.  Ritter roared out a challenge and rode into the fray, cutting a bloody swath down the right hand side.
Cindus charged in after Ritter, but went left howling out his own battle cry.  Ritter, seeing this, thought enough to sow some fear and cried out "Take them my pet!"  Daniel used their attacks to move on the rear wagon and surprise the four Orcs guarding the slaves that had already been released -- two being rooted in place by his Tesla Bolt while he crushed the hip and skull of the other two.
As Ritter fought his way to the middle wagon, a black cloud poured forth from it.  As the inky tendrils touched the surrounding Orcs, they died screaming -- so did the lead horses of the rear wagon -- Ritter barely managed to stop his horse in time.  Cindus' advance was stopped as he was buried under by six Orcs -- none noticed that the five foot wall of Black Death approached them.  Daniel found Rading in the rear wagon, freed him, and told him to get the rest of the slaves free as well.
Cindus hurled the Orcs off himself just as the eight Orcs on top of the lead wagon opened fire with their crossbows.  Four slammed into Cindus -- hurling him down -- and Ritter was forced to retreat back to the rear wagon for cover.  Ritter's taunt had backfired.  Daniel, still looking like an Orc, jumped up on the rear wagon, where he attacked the 3 Orcs that were getting ready to ambush Ritter.
Daniel blasted the first with a Concussion Bolt and smashed the other two down with his morning stars.  Ritter grabbed one of the fallen crossbows and fired at the lead wagon.  Rading had finished freeing the slaves and came around to see if he could do anything else.  Ritter saw him and ask him to reload his crossbows.
Daniel turned to cast a spell at the middle wagon, but then all the sounds died away and silence reigned -- the Shaman had silenced him!  Without the ability to cast, he looked around for where best he could be useful -- that's when he saw Cindus sprawled on the ground slowly bleeding to death, so he leapt off the wagon to help him.
Ritter and Rading continued to fire bolts at the lead wagon.  With the black cloud of death between the two sides, they were reduced to firing crossbow bolts at each other or risk a fully exposed run around the wagon to close the distance.
Daniel found Cindus still conscious.  He asked for the bolts to be pulled out and water to be poured onto him.  When Daniel did this, he heard words of power from Cindus and then the water flowed into every wound -- and they slowly washed away into puckered scars.  "Wait a minute," thought Daniel, he could hear again... but then that meant that the Shaman had silenced someone else.  Ritter's taunt had worked!  The Shaman must think that Ritter was the spellcaster, and from the way the Orcs had screamed about Cindus, they had never seen a Wolfen before -- they must think that he was Ritter's summoned monster and not the other spellcaster of the group!
Ritter and Rading were making good headway and had taken two more Orcs from the lead wagon.  Daniel aided their effort by blasting an Orc with two bolts of purple energy, dropping it.  Cindus got to his feet and growled; he could hear the Shaman chanting again and knew that he had to stop him before he got off another spell.  He gathered himself up, took a few steps back and then charged the black mist, leaping at the last moment and sailing up and into the broken wagon.  The shocked look of the Krigare met him -- as he landed on his face.  There was a crunch of breaking bones and then an explosion that fired him right back out the way he came.
Daniel watched the Cindus the cannonball, fly over his head and crash some 15 feet behind him -- then fired off two more purple bolts into an Orc on the lead wagon.
The Shaman had been able to repeat the lightning spell and slammed his first blast into the rear wagon and nearly blew Ritter from his horse.  Rading managed to dive under the wagon, avoiding the brunt of the blast.
The black mist had dissipated during that storm of lightning, but before any could react, a 15 foot tall Fire Elemental appeared in front of the middle wagon.  Daniel tried to use a pyrotechnic spell on the Elemental to blind everyone -- it failed utterly -- and seemed to cause it to split into two.  They turned and moved separately towards Ritter and Daniel.
Unseen in this chaos, the Shaman fled back to the first wagon and his remaining few men.
Daniel fled the Elemental, trying to find Cindus, but the Elemental caught up to him just as he dove into the tall grass -- but the grass didn't burn!  He saw that and knew the Elemental must be an illusion.  Risking it, he ignored its attacks.  Having only a light spell left, he stood and targeted the middle Orc of the final 5 on top of the lead wagon.  The Orc took it right in the face and was so pained by its brilliance that he fell from the wagon to his death.
From under the rear wagon, Rading noticed that the Elemental didn't burn the horses as it passed through them -- even though they died of fright -- so he shouted a warning at Ritter that it wasn't real.
Ritter's horse panicked at its approach and he was forced to roll off.  Undeterred and seeing so few remaining foes he trusted in his friend and his armour and charged through the Elemental at the lead wagon drawing his Albein Wood-Sword.  Rading ran after Ritter's horse, which had drawn the attention of the Orcs, so they shot him in the back.
Cindus had finally returned to the battle and headed for the lead wagon -- reaching it at the same time as Ritter.  With a command from the unseen Shaman, the remaining Orcs leapt down and engaged them with reckless abandon -- while the Shaman fled in the opposite direction.  Daniel, who had been moments behind Cindus, saw him and went wide of the combatants.
Daniel caught up to him and smashed his morning star into the Shaman's back.  Then Daniel hit him in the chest as the Shaman was spun around by the first blow and then forced him backwards into the ground with the second.
The Shaman, blood pouring from his mouth, choked out his death curse and with his final breath and a savage thrusting of his arms drew down the remains of his lightning spell -- directly on top of them all.
Daniel couldn't understand what the Orc had actually said, but he could feel the energy of the spell gathering -- with a scream of warning he turned and fled as fast as he could.
The rest of his companions followed his lead -- except for Ritter.
Ritter could hear the slaves within the lead wagon -- he could not leave them to their fate.  He quickly tried to rip the doors off, but only managed to wrench them apart enough to see that they were all chained.  Ritter knew he could never get them out in time -- so he did the only thing that he could do.  He dove under the wagon, slammed his back against its underside and prayed to Lathander to protect all those within.
Cindus, Daniel and Rading made it clear -- barely.  They turned and watched as the Shaman's spell tore at the entire base of the valley -- obliterating the wagons and horses and pulverised the ground flat.
The lightning finally died away and the survivors looked down in amazement.  Most of the lead wagon was still there -- standing in a small circle of green -- surrounded by blackened smouldering ground, laced with hundreds of fulgurites.  The three companions left the slaves where they sat and ran down to meet a smoking Ritter as he crawled out from under the wagon; the corners of the wagon and most of the roof was gone.  They could see that the protection had actually been in the form of a small dome.
The slaves within were still screaming hoarsely in terror.
In the end, it took them over an hour to get all the slaves calmed down.  They used up every scrap of clothing they had left to bind their wounds and to give them at least a modicum of modesty.  In all, they had saved 40 women and children.
Only one of the "treasure" chests had survived, it had been knocked off the lead wagon during the fighting and had been mostly within the protective dome.  At least they could now afford to buy everyone clothes -- that is, if they could find a large enough town to supply them.
But then what?  Their homes and families were gone and they were without protection.  Ritter was adamant -- they had to stay with these people until they found them all shelter, safety and protection.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Sunday - 12:00 am