Gaming? Anyone?

Okay, things have not gone so well since my last post where I talked abot the Star Wars campaign thundering along.  Against my better judgement, I have let Real Life interfere with gaming and, frankly, what Real Gamer would allow that to happen, eh?

It got bad enough last week that I even had to cancel the weekly Star Wars game, simply because I had not been able to prepare the adventure that evening – which, considering it only required me reading it, is a poor show.  Still, I have set aside some time this evening and next, so hopefully we will be back in the saddle on Wednesday to uncover the next phase of the Dawn of Defiance campaign.

I did manage to get the monthly D&D game in (mostly because it was Forge of Fury, an adventure I have both run and played before, so not much preparation required).

Fresh from the Sunless Citadel, the adventurers returned home to a little celebration (they did not tell many people they were leaving in the first place – still, Nick’s Father, Silas the Baker, did bake a celebratory pie in the shape of an enourmous pie. . .).  Tally the Bard made sure everyone in the village was kept abreast of developments in the outside world (war is brewing up north, some trade tarriff problems to the west), while the players got used to being 3rd level, and bought some new equipment.  Nick, playing a rotund cleric, decided he was not going to be dodging many blows in the near future, so invested in a shiny suit of half-plate.  Angus and Andy lashed out on a couple of mules, no doubt in anticipation of a treasure trove in the next adventure, while Kat meanwhile refused to purchase any new animals after her last horse got eaten by kobolds.

They finally got round to reviewing a map that purported to lead them to a lost dwarven fortress. Asking around, they found an old veteran of the stronghold in their village (the blacksmith), who regaled them with tales of a legendary dwarven smith who made fantastic weaponry – it all went well until, a hundredyears ago, orcs hit the fortress, and hit it hard, forcing the dwarves to withdraw and scatter.  Ah, the good olddays, he mused.

Suitably armed with a description of the rune the smith stamped his weapons with, the party set off.

They found the small mountain easily enough, and managed to creep up on the orcish defenders completely unawares (which took some doing, considering that there are two mules and a clanking cleric in the party – all of whom were told to stand well back until the stealthy stuff had been done).  The orcs had sentries and a rather elaborate arrow slit trap they had adopted from the dwarves, but a combination of Angus’ (human rigue) and Sandrine’s (elven ranger) stealth managed to bypass the lot, gain entry into the fortress and hit the orc archers from behind,

Nicely done.

The farce started when they were confronted by the dwarves’ next line of defence – a rope bridge across a very deep chasm.  Sandrine was the first to make her way across.  Frankly she could have done it with her eyes closed. Then rotund cleric Nick had a go.

It didn’t go well.

At one point, Kat (human paladin) was clinging onto the bridge, upside down, gripping Nick by just one hand as he dangled over the abyss, while Angus tried to get past both of them tie a harness around Nick to enable a slightly safer passage across.

Then a couple of wandering orcs thought this would be a good time to attack.

I was faintly amazed no one died over that bridge, but they forged onwards, quickly finding the orc’s ogre chief and his wolves.  He was dealt with quite easily, but the party almost fell apart when surprised by several orcs – half the party stayed to fight, while the other half ran into the blades of another group of orcs.

Again, they survived.  Just.

The party managed to explore its way to what was once the main dwarven court, which had been rigged by an elaborate fire/napalm trap.  Angus expertly poked and prodded at the door they had assumed was trapped, while everyone stood well back (some much for friendship).  A prodding tool slipped, and fire washed over the area where Angus had been standing (lucky for him, he has Evasion, and can make saving throws – or he would have been burnt to a crisp).

Batting aside some stirges, the party descended to the next level of the fortress, a mixture of natural caverns and carved stone.  Dealing with yellow mould-covered corpses, the party managed to retrieve one of the smith’s legendary weapons, a nice two-handed sword that Kat (as a paladin) duly appropriated.  Then, somehow, the party managed to get split.

They were investiagting an immense cavern, but while Nick, Sandrine and Kat were fighting for their lives against some lizards in a pile of boulders, Andy and Angus thought it would be a good time to break through a locked iron door a little way off, bypass a trapped chamber, pass through a secret door, and explore another set of rooms.

And ran straight into a group of Duregar that were not looking for a fight – though Andy’s actions in ‘calling them out’ guaranteed one would start.

So, Andy and Angus were now outnumbered, fighting enlarged and invisible Duergar, while the rest of the party were blissflly unaware of their plight, scratching heads, wondering where they had gone.  Nick, Sand and Kat managde to find the trapped chamber but not the secret door in one of its walls.  The trap, involving false doors, statues and ruddy great big axes managed to deal a lot of damage to Kat and, by this time, Angus was already down on the floor and out for the count.

The sound of battle managed to penetrate the secret door, aiding its discovery, and the party finally reunited, getting Angus back on his feet and routing the last Duergar.

After a brief stop, the party started exploring again, happening upon more Duergar working in a forge.  BAttle quickly erupted again, and a tough fight it was.  Quite aside from the enlarge and invisibility abilities of the Duergar, they had a fairly skilled illusionist on their side.  It was this grey dwarf that gave them the most trouble, skittering around while invisible, buffing himself before letting loose a colour spray at Nick (dazzling him for a couple of rounds), but low hit points are a mae’s bane, and the party soon rallied to bring him down.

And that is where we left things for another month, about halfway through the adventure (looking forward to polishing off this one, as the campaign starts kicking into high gear after that).  The party just scraped through 4th level, and their powers are beginning to shine through.  The next session is in three weeks’ time (ish), so we should finih Forge of Fury, hit 5th level, and then see what lies eyond the party’s home town…

In other news, progress on miniatures has been pathetic, if I am honest.  I had sort of convinced myself that the small Flesh Tearers army I described in an earlier post was viable, but I still have the same bunch of Tyranids sitting on my painting table, staring at me, that have been there for three weeks now.

Oh, and there is a Traveller Open Day at the office this coming Saturday, but I’ll be running the event, not playing.  Still, if you can’t be in games, you can at least be close to them, eh?

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