Pete, Skye, Cletus, Ba and Baruch meet at the Last Inn. They are told the tale of the treasure of the Low Road Bandits by Sigfa Baird. She claims that there is a hoard of treasure with a horn. She says if we return the horn to her, we can have all the treasure that remains. Of course there is the little detail that she doesn't know exactly where the treasure is. She provides us with a poem that talks about the location of the treasure -- presumably. She also says that Fuilcwain may know the where the long lake is and may have a key. The party equipped itself and set off for Fuilcwain's.
Once we arrived at Fuilcwain's we begged him to put us up for the night. He did, but for a very steep price. He was not very talkative, nor very trusting. We skulked about during the night, getting the layout of his place. Looking through his window from the outside, we could see he had propped a spear up against the inside of his door so if the door were opened he would be alarmed. The next morning we left. Cletus found a well protected camp a couple of miles to the north just in the forest. We slept the day and returned that night around midnight.
Baruch and Skye stationed themselves some distance away since they were noisy. Pete took up a position outside of Fuilcwain's room. Cletus took up a position at the opposite end of the place. Ba entered and went down the long hall and opened Fuilcwain's door. So far so good. Fuilcwain is still sleeping. Ba opened a chest at the foot of the bed. This awakened Fuilcwain, who sat upright and pulled ready his large broadsword. Fuilcwain cut off Ba's exit to the door so Ba ran towards the windows. Fuilcwain followed. Ba then rolled under the bed where he saw a long box that he just knew he must have. Fuilcwain was momentarily puzzled. Ba popped up on the other side of the bed with the wooden box and Fuilcwain was about to give chase when Pete threw his rock "ShinBreaker" at Fuilcwain. The shin of the 7' tall fighter broke. Ba took off down the hall, encumbered by the box. Fuilcwain pursued, slowed by his broken shin. Cletus fired an arrow down the long hall missing both Ba in front and Fuilcwain behind. As Ba came into the room at the end of the long hall he moved to the side to give Cletus a clear shot. Cletus let fly another arrow -- this time at near point blank range. It penetrated both of the fighter's forearms. While Fuilcwain was stunned, Ba passed Cletus the box. Cletus took off running with the box certain that Ba would be close behind. Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, Pete had climbed in through the window and was looking for treasure. Ba decided he still had a chance to get the information about the location of the lake from Fuilcwain so Ba attacked with his poisoned blade and sunk it deep. Ba then told him that only by giving Ba information would he get a cure for the poison. Fuilcwain decided the easiest way to get the poison would be to kill Ba -- so he attacked. Fuilcwain chased Ba down the hall back the other way to the bedroom. Fuilcwain picked up his shield as he saw Pete. Pete had grabbed a handful of coins and tried to jump out the window (an 80% chance to succeed) but failed and fell. He remembered Ba's maneuver and rolled under the bed. Fuilcwain fooled already once that night, threw the bed across the room leaving Pete on the floor prone. Fuilcwain sliced down and just about cut off Pete's leg. Pete let out a blood curdling scream which Cletus heard. Cletus dropped the box, turned and headed back to the house trying to figure out how Ba and Pete had not gotten away. It was bleeding profusely. Fuilcwain then turned his full attention to Ba. Ba was no match for him in a fair fight. Realizing this Ba turned and ran out the door (again) then hid just outside the doorway. Fuilcwain came charging out of the room and started to head down the hall. Ba ambushed him from behind and rendered his shield arm useless. Fuilcwain collapsed. Ba returned and administered first aid to Pete but failed. He applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Ba called out for Baruch and Skye to come. Skye attempted first aid and use of some drugs but to no effect. With the outlook being one of gangrene or one of the party attempting to cleave the limb, it was decided the most merciful thing to do would be to let loose the tourniquet and let Pete die. He was buried. Pete had died for a handful of bronze coins.
We plundered the house, coming up with a lot of hard coin including gold, a large broadsword, shield, bow, and a Key.
We left to head towards where we thought the treasure would be. Skye decided to head back to the Last Inn. On the road she encountered Sindel, Clay's Elf and John Smith who had gotten the same pitch from Sigfa Baird. Skye told them the sordid tale of Pete's death. Since the three of them were on horseback they quickly caught up with the rest of the party and joined them.
Over the next couple of days there were some uneventful river crossings. There was an encounter with some Hillfolk that was nothing more than a handwave. Then after several days the group spied a wild boar. Ba, Cletus and John Smith went off to hunt it. During the hunt, John Smith was completely surprised as the boar charged him from behind and goared him in the ribs with his tusk, knocked him down and the trampled him (crippling a leg). Ba and Cletus knowing there were others in the party better able to help Smith, ran after the boar. Cletus got close to the boar and sunk a couple of arrows into it at about the time that Baruch arrived. Cletus then struck a couple times with his short sword as Baruch made short work of the pig with his battle axe. John Smith nearly died. Cletus prepared the meat for the party.
The party then spent several days in the fells looking for the long lake. Ba's exceptional hearing caught the song of birds that was written in the poem. We used that to guide us towards the location of the treasure. John Smith was limited to a travois pulled by his horse. Eventually we found the long lake. It was about 200 feet below the surface of the land that was adjacent to the fell. The fell rose up about 300' from there. Between the land and the fell was a cleft that that ran adjacent to the fell for several hundred feet. It varied from 6 to 12 feet in width. There was a small ledge that ran downwards. It switchbacked all the way to the bottom (presumably).
We must almost be there!
The party formed up. Baruch was certain there was a dwarven enclave around somewhere and went off in search of it by himeself. John Smith would remain with the horses due to his lack of mobility. Skye was in front. She had a rope tied around her that stretched back to Sindel. Behind her there were; Cletus, Sindel, the elf, Vicandall, and Ba bringing up the rear. The party moved about 80 feet along/into/down the cleft when the elf saw a pig fly over the cleft. Odd. Unbeknonst to everyone but John Smith, 'ol John had just gotten his arm pinned to his body with an arrow. As John Smith turned to see where the arrow came from a boar came charging at him. The piggy gored and trampled him. John was bleeding. As this was going on, arrows started to fly at the party from the edge of the cleft. An archer was firing at the party from a bush overlooking the path. Ba took an arrow in his calf, quickly stopping any chance of the party easily moving back up the way they came since Ba now effectively boxed the others in behind him. Ba attempted to hide on the ledge. While he did that the archer took 30 seconds before he fired again (3 rounds. 2 trying to get a bead on Ba, and 1 wiping sweat out of his eyes). Skye started to climb the sheer fell face. Cletus noticed and said "Good idea!" and started to climb too. Sindel fired arrows back at the archer. The elf meditated for a while. Vicandall crept close to Ba and healed one of his wounds -- Ba had taken 3 arrows by this point! Skye whistled for her pony and then jumped over the gap. She got knocked unconcious and got a bruised hip. Cletus then jumped and broke his shin. Cletus started to stalk around to the rear of the archer.
That's where we had to break. This one guy and his pet pig were ripping us to shreds!
When last we saw our merry band, they weren't. John Smith was unconscious and bleeding fast. Skye was unconscious. Ba had a couple critical hits. Cletus had a broken shin and the elf was meditating. Sindel hadn't hit a thing, and Vicandall, well Vicandall had taken on one of Ba's injuries and so was hurt himself. It looked bleak.
Sindel continued to fire at the archer. The elf came out of his meditation, only to see another enemy (uh, yah. sure) up on the edge. Cletus was sneaking up on the archer when the archer noticed him and shot him through the thigh -- disabling him for the moment. At our darkest moment, in ran Baruch. The archer called his pig and had him attack Baruch. The archer changed weapons and fought Baruch as well. Baruch had to split his fighting against both the pig and the archer. Baruch took a hit and was stunned. The archer took out his bow once again to start firing at the party. Baruch was able to shake off the stun in one round that would have left any of the rest of us stunned for six! Sindel had an arrow hit true! The archer was dazed. Cletus was no longer stunned and from one knee hit the archer. The tide was turning. The archer went down. Cletus and Baruch finished off the boar. Vicandall got to John Smith just in time to save his life. Vicandall took on the wounds of everyone in the party. Cletus pointed out a cave in the fell and announced that he had found shelter. Sindel investigated and found it to be well stocked (for a single man and pig). The party holed up to rest and recuperate.
Now we have to hurry up and wait. Wait for Vicandall to heal from all of our wounds that he took upon himself. It will be less than a fortnight, but more than a week. During that time we must eat, so we send out parties to hunt and forage. The fells are not a bountiful area, but we slow our consumption a bit. One day,Skye and John Smith find a campsite, but it seems abandoned. There is one set of footsteps leading away to the southwest, that we can tell.
Soon after, near our cave, a couple of arrows and spears are fly towards Ba. The ambushers seem well hidden. Cletus yells that we fight the witch king, and so if you do too, there is no reason to fight. The attackers leave.
The party hunts and forages some more. The party is ambushed again. No damage done. The attackers flee. The party talks about what to do. No great plan emerges.
Ba and Cletus go stalking off to see if they can find anybody hiding in wait for us around the base camp at the fell since we have been ambushed several times already. Ba spies a group of four that seem to be intent on the movements of Cletus. Ba sneaks up behind the closest guy and tries to slash his throat. Well I guess Ba thought the guy was a hobbit because he gutted the guy. We're talking entrails. The guy took it in stride and spun around looking for what did it to him. Ba hid. Not seeing anybody, the guy signaled his group to move out. Everybody else in the party is completely oblivious to all of this. When they take off running though, Cletus sees them and bellows simply "Intruders!" and takes off in pursuit. The elf quickly catches up. As the intruders go into a copse of trees, Cletus stops -- not wanting to fall prey to an ambush.
Meanwhile Ba searches for his dagger that he threw at the fleeing intruders. Eventually the party comes to where Cletus is and they attempt to track them. They follow tracks up to a dead body, but lose the trail soon after that. Ba makes comments about eating the body. The party returns to the cave. Later there is a thought that perhaps we might catch something good to eat that comes to inspect the body. Ba and Cletus go back out to the body only to find that it is gone. The rest of the party is alerted. The party then follows the track of the dead man being dragged. The tracks lead back to a camp found days ago by Skye and John Smith.
The party is ambushed. Ba and Cletus attempt to take cover and hide. Unfortunately Ba is spotted and takes a hit to the calf which puts him down on the ground. The two kids with spears then move out to attack Sindel. The elf has moved on and has engaged in a battle of his own in a thicket so dense that nobody else can really see what is happening. Sindel, seeing that he faces but two boys, defends himself and attempts to land no blow. Finally he swings and hits one across the chest. Sindel looks him in the eye and tells him to surrender. The boy backs away and stops fighting. While this is going on Cletus is attempting to wrestle the other kid from behind -- quite hopelessly. That kid yells at his brother that if he isn't going to fight the big guy then at least get the other guy off his back. The one that had backed off then does put a spear in Cletus' side. At this point, Ba, from the ground, throws his dagger full force and finds his mark straight in the back of the kid that speared Cletus. The dagger drops him. The other kid continues to try to hit Sindel while Cletus ineptly tries to wrestle him. Sindel announces "You're going to regret this!" and swings his weapon striking the child straight in the head -- instantly destroying his brain. Cletus and Sindel run over to the thicket where the elf and the lone survivor fight. Sindel demands surrender. The man surrenders.
Afterwards we speak with the man that we find to be named Malm Baird. He claims to have a better claim to the horn and treasure than Sigfa. He says that he was merely defending his treasure that we were going to plunder. We find out that we have killed his son, his brother, and his nephew. He promises that the treasure will be his and that we will all be killed. Rather than kill him, we take him prisoner. We plan to take him back to Sigfa after we get the treasure and have the two of them deal with it.
Vicandall stayed in the cave above with the captured Malm Bairg. The party started down the long descent. We decided to keep together and to only go as fast as the slowest person. A rope was streched along the party for anybody that wanted, to hold. All held the rope except Cletus. The going was very slow. The party order was Skye in front followed by Baruch, Ba, Cletus, the elf, and Sindel taking up the rear?
A short ways down, Skye fell, held the rope and was swung to the back of the party. Woohoo! Score 1 for the rope. Later Sindel twisted his ankle and fell. Being 300 pounds of overly noble flesh, he immediately let go of the rope and plumetted about 150'. He died within a minute of impact. There was nothing we could do. [Party member #2 dead. Averaging a character every 3 sessions. Ouch.] About halfway down, Ba stumbled and fell. He held onto the rope. That's the good news. The bad news is that Skye and John Smith also held onto the rope. All three of them plunged 100' to the bottom. Score -2 for the rope -- giving the rope overall a rating of -1 net. Fortunately none of them had fatal injuries. The three remaining on the ledge (Baruch, Cletus, and the elf) made it down to the bottom in about 30 minutes since they didn't wait for one another nor use a rope. It seemed the worst injury was Skye's broken hip. She applied some herbs to it that seemed to help quite a bit, but she would be hurting for a couple days.
John Smith swims over to the island with a rope. Using that the rest of us (except Skye) get over to the island. On the island is a large stone structure with a single door. Baruch uses the Key and opens the heavy stone door. He moves inside and inspects the floor and walls noting many holes in the walls. There is a second door opposite the first door. It appears identical. Baruch bends down and puts the key in and unlocks the door. As he opens the second door, both doors slam shut!!! Baruch is trapped inside with the key. Worse still is that water is pouring in from the holes. Baruch kept his cool and put the key in again and unlocked the door leading to the second room. This time it opened all the way. The water rushed from the first room into the second where it poured out of a drain as quickly as it came in. Wheww! In the second room is a *pile* of treasure!!! Once the water subsides, Baruch opens the front door to the relief of the rest of the party.
Vicandall is recovering in the cave with the captive Mal Bairg. The rest of the party is down below endeavouring to get the treasure to the surface. The only scary moment was that as the elf started to come over from the island, he slipped and hit his head on the rock under the water. Fortunately he had a rope tied to him. He went down all the way to the bottom unconcious. As the rope paid out everybody on the side tried to grab it, but was unsuccessful. When he eventually hit bottom we were able to grab the rope and bring him back to the surface. He gained conciousness somewhere on his return to the surface. He seemed to survive without and serious damage happily!
Almost all of it ends up getting put into a backpack. Skye ties it onto several ropes that have been tied together. Clay's elf goes to the surface and works with John Smith to have the horse pull it up. Skye gives Sindel's belongings to Cletus who carries them to the surface. Sindel is also brought to the surface where he is buried. We wait one more day while Skye finishes healing (down below) from her fall.
The next day everybody is up top and the loot is divided by Baruch. Ba gets a fine pair of boots that seem to leave no trace of his passage. Baruch holds the horn; Cletus the star pendant. John Smith takes gems in lieu of coins.
The party then proceeded back the way that we came. Vicandall, Ba, and Malm Bairg were the only ones that were not on horse back. We followed the trail with the Fell on our right and sparse trees on our left (south). We all then heard the sound of wolves and saw them sprinting towards us from the south! John Smith and Skye bolted on horseback to the west. Malm and Ba also ran to the west but on foot. Clay's Elf, Baruch, and Cletus dismounted knowing that they must try to protect Vicandall and Ba. Seven wolves closed the distance, with one back a bit of the pack. Two each were destined for the elf, Baruch, and Vicandall. Only one was closing on Cletus. Vicandall readied his bow and shot as the wolf drew close. Bad luck was his and the arrow came nowhere close, so he then went on to ready his sword. The elf readied his sword and Baruch readied his backup weapon (sorely missing his battle axe). Cletus readied his sword and swung, hitting the ribs of the wolf. The elf, even with two wolves on him ripped a gash in the ribs of his wolf. Ba meanwhile was trying to climb a tree while John Smith tried to hit Malm with a missile weapon. Skye fired an arrow at extreme range towards a wolf, but missed.
The fight rages on. The wolves have dished out much more damage than they have taken. Cletus is barely on his feet and is pumping out blood. Vicandall looks none to good himself. Baruch and the elf hold their own, but can even they hold up against 8 wolves (should Cletus and Vicandall fall)?!
<To come later, but the bad news is that Vicandall dies.>
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