Borderland of Adventure #58: Ferocious Battles

At the end of last session, we left our heroes in the midst of a ferocious battle on the upper level of Fangwood Keep. As they fought on, more and more of the keep’s denizens joined the fray.

BoA

 

First to arrive were more hobgoblins – quickly followed by Vos (who blew a horn to alert more of the garrison) and a robed hobgoblin female who moved with impressive, sinuous grace. Tzaran’s snake companion quickly took care of Vos – enfolding him in a crushing embrace from which he would not escape – while Dregak, Krorz and Deliver fought the hobgoblins. The hobgoblin archers and warriors – whose ever increasing numbers began to concern our heroes – seemed not too much of an individual challenge and several were quickly slain.

The female hobgoblin – quickly identified as a monk – was somewhat more of a challenge, however. With seemingly impunity, she knocked aside several of Deliver’s arrows and deflected Krorz’s axe swings with deft skill. In short order, she had badly injured Krorz and stunned Ulmo. As both retreated from her, Ulmo cloaked himself in invisibility, but unluckily for him, she still managed to batter him into unconsciousness.

By now, Vos was dead as were several hobgoblins. As another dozen warriors hurtled up the stairs into the upper level of the keep, the woman called for a truce. Initially Delvier ignored her call but when she almost battered Tzaran to death things changed. Tzaran offered her a large bag of gold to stop fighting and she quickly agreed. It transpired she was a mercenary and that the rest of the hobgoblins were her followers. Now that Vos was dead – and his woman lurking in the cellars below the keep searching for an ancient elven power – she saw no reason to continue fighting. Much to the party’s relief, after they had packed up their possessions, the hobgoblins left (considerably richer).

Although the hobgoblins had left, the party’s resources were low. After a discussion, they decided to retreat to the barracks to rest before continuing their exploration of the keep and the cellars accessible from the mess hall on the ground floor.

Sadly, the keep was not completely empty as the party discovered midway through their night’s rest. Loud singing (in Goblin) and the bashing and crashing of many doors woke them a little before midnight. Apparently according to the singing, the keep was now “Tralg’s house.” As they listened the singing grew louder and the bashing of doors grew closer. Eventually, something very large and very heavy struck the door of the room in which the PCs sheltered. Moments later–under several terrible blows–it splintered open. In the corridor stood a gigantic bugbear wielding what looked like a tree trunk.

The party leapt to keep the giant out of the room. Initially, Tzaran’s companion blocked the door, but the creature quickly battered it to death. Dregak leapt forward and held the door for a while, but eventually a lucky blow from the bugbear almost smashed his head in and he retreated for healing. Delvier then filled the doorway with her body. By now, the giant was badly injured and after another furious exchange of blows the creature fell.

Tzaran was understandable distraught over his companion’s death and with his comrades’ help carried its corpse from the keep for burial outside. After this sad duty was done the party decided to retreat back to the nearby cave they discovered on their journey to the keep to rest and recuperate…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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