Borderland of Adventure #39: Assassins in the Dark

At the end of last session, we left out heroes lurking in the border hills of Ratik watching a large band of Blood Moon goblins being harangued by the ferocious orc warrior Vhazror.



While the party originally planned to charge the goblins, burst through their ranks and slay Vhazror they changed their mind when they realised that over a a score of goblins lurked in the valley below. As they watched, they caught snatches of Vhazror’s tirade – it seemed the goblins were not making fast enough time to secure a certain ruined church. Hearing this, the party decided to retreat to the church and lay a cunning trap. Leaving Delvier to keep tabs on the scouts, the rest of the party retreated to the church to prepare.

By the end of the day, the goblins arrived in the valley below the ruins. They didn’t seem very keen to approach and – although threatened and harangued by their shaman – refused to climb the hill until they had rested and eaten. When they eventually got around to advancing, dusk was falling rapidly. As they got about half-way up the hill, Klara revealed herself in the ruined doorway. Clad in the raiment of the Ironwolf’s she cut an imposing figure and the goblins shrank back in fear. Arrows quickly began falling around Klara, but most were inexpertly shot and did no damage. A few struck their mark, however, and before long Klara was wounded. However, determined to drive off the goblins she advanced down the hill, trusting to her armour and battle-honed reflexes to keep her safe.

Seeing her advance, the rest of the party emerged from the ruins and began to move down the hill. The goblins shot more arrows, but didn’t seem very keen to fight and slowly gave ground. As the party reached the bottom of the valley, a dark shadowed moved across the night sky. Vhazror – attracted by the party’s lights and the clamour of battle – had come.

In one devastating swoop across the battlefield, he badly wounded Adoven and nearly killed Krotz. However, in return Delvier badly wounded his wyvern mount and so he escaped, flying into the next valley out of sight. Seeing this, the goblins panicked and fled leaving the ruins in the party’s hands. Sadly, many of the group were wounded and so they decided not to give chase.

After a night’s rest, however, the party were refreshed and ready to retreat to Ratik’s army to reveal the orc’s hosts likely line of advance. Later that day, they encountered the army’s advance screen of cavalry scouts and were quickly escorted into the command tent where they explained exactly what they had seen. It was quickly decided that the army would march at first light and try to steal a march on the orcs. The goal was to surprise the orcs in the valley and crush them before they could bring their superior numbers to bear on Ratik’s outnumbered army.

The party quickly found Maban – who had brought up much of the party’s baggage with the main army and fell into exhausted slumbers. Their night was to not be without event, though. Three heavily disguised orc assassins tried to surprise and kill Krotz during watch. Luckily, the ever-paranoid Krotz realised what was happening before the orcs could strike and he quickly shouted a warning that alerted his companions and probably saved his life. The orcs, shouting “Slay Vhazror’s bastard,” struck with sudden and brutal savagery. One came close to slaying Krotz – who lay badly injured after being struck by two assassin’s blades but the timely arrival of Krotz’s companions pushed them back from his prone body. In the ensuing melee, Garon was badly injured as well, but once one of the assassins was slain – and as the surrounding soldiers awoke to aid the party – the two survivors fled into the camp…



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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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