Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale, Day 3

Days 1-2 were taken up by the party's foray against the Rose King.

Upon returning to Forth Thorn, Sir Tolgrith tasked the players with seeking natural resources, investigating a reported Owlbear lair and determining the cause of a strange, monthly pollution in the nearby river, scheduled to happen again in roughly a week.

The players decided to seek out the reputed Owlbear nest, though the Catfolk Rogue decided she would rather stay back at the fort, as she'd heard a rumor of a particularly fine cream being served. (CN rogues played by 9yo's are not reliable party members.)

The remaining players (A fighter, Wizard and their Cleric NPC) decided it would be faster to take a raft down the stream. Which it was, but going back later proved to be a chore. ;) I had them make some Survival rolls to figure out how to control the boat and a Fort save to avoid becoming fatigued. They made it to within a few miles of the foothills they believed to be the owlbears' likely home, and grounded their raft to rest and eat.

The Bloodsworn Vale is not a civilized place however, and their meal was interrupted by the angry snort of a Dire Boar, intent on defending his beach and maybe eating the cleric (a gnome). The wizard combined Arcane Strike and Hand of the Apprentice to good effect, keeping his distance from the brute, whereas the fighter tested his fancy new Adamantine blade on the beast's skull. Though it fought on well beyond wounds that lesser creatures would have succumbed to, in a few rounds the boar was bested, and the party set of towards the foothills.

Their progress was unimpeded, and after a few rather astute observations, they located a likely cave. Steeling themselves and saying a prayer to Desna, they crept into the darkness.

Rounding a corner, the fighter discovered that they had not been as stealthy as he had believed, and two of the great beasts were waiting for him. The wizard was the least startled of the group, and lobbed a fireball into the cave beyond, gravely wounding all three resident owlbears. The owlbears were far from finished though, and immediately charged the fighter, who found himself nearly dead and grappled by one of the great beasts. Being no slouch at melee though, the fighter worked his way free of the beast's clutches and downed a potion to regain his fight. The wizard meanwhile had summoned a flaming sphere which he was directing to good effect against the owlbears. The cleric, not a strong combatant, nevertheless managed to position herself behind the largest of the beasts, and even inflicted a few minor wounds on his backside, providing support to the (frankly overmatched) fighter, who was once again suffering the effects of numerous bites and claws.

The wizard's sphere of flame dispatched one of the owlbears, giving the cleric an opening to radiate healing energies to fortify her comrades and herself (selective channeling feat - very handy in a melee) as the fighter cleaved across the two remaining owlbears, critically wounding one of them and dispatching the still burning one to his right. Another chop, and the three owlbears were finished. The wizard managed to avoid any damage (as wizards often do), but the cleric and fighter were badly beaten, requiring the remaining powers of the cleric to heal up before they dared continue on.

The party soon discovered why the owlbears had fought so fiercely - three owlbear chick/cubs were in a room to the back, shielded from the fireball which opened the combat. Recalling "sleep", the wizard pacified them, allowing the party to bind them and carry them back to the raft. Additionally, they discovered that the pups/peeps had been feasting on the body of a lost scout, whose medallion they claimed to take back to the keep, and whose equipment they took, as per their employment agreement with Sir Tolgrith. (You can keep anything you find outside the walls, but you will need to follow the law inside the walls.)

They buried the scout's remains and poled their raft back up the river, arriving well after sundown, tired, dirty but victorious.

Now they have three owlbear cubs to sell if they can find a buyer, a new cloak of elven kind and a masterworked longsword they plan to give to the armory to curry favor with the quartermaster.