Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 7) – The Looting and Fall of Pelville


Dramatis Personae
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac (B’Fai) the barbarian.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Sam playing Yartella the fighter.
Senan playing Sendalf the druid.


The group started to leave the gatehouse when they encountered a druid named Sendalf. He had taken shelter in the town from the undead hoard and since the more the merrier in a crisis, they asked him to join them and he accepted.

As they stepped out the door they met Lady Hurwich rushing past. She was taking advantage of a lull in the fighting to check the north wall.
“We cannot hold for long” she said, “someone needs to get the civilians, the little children out!”.
“Okay we’ll look after it.”
“Goodbye” she said as she return towards her troops at the breach in the west wall, “it was a nice town. Just get my people out, we will hold as long as we can.”

The group headed down towards the quays. The only way to get the people out was by boat. The situation was too dangerous outside the walls to try and reach the bridge over the Yarn towards Red Mills. As they approached the quays they reached the alchemist’s shop. It looked abandoned, so they decided to have a quick look inside. B’Fai took out his axe and approached the door. But, before he could strike it, a thought stuck him first. He reached down and tried the handle. The door was not locked and opened easily. Shrugging, he gently closed the door again and then smashed it open with his axe. If you are going to loot a town on the verge of collapse, you have to do it right.

WhitePotion.pngRedPotion.pngInside the shelves were pretty bare. It looked as if they had been hurriedly swept clean of all their contents. But Igorok searched carefully and uncovered three potions that had been left behind. One was a chalky white colour, the second was a pale blue and the third a bright red.BluePotion.png Unsure of their effects he stuffed them in his backpack. Meanwhile B’Fai had found another adversarial door.

Outside Coop, the strange lady with copper skin and golden eyes, waited impatiently. “It’s not in there. I know it’s not in there!”
Bobo was the last member of the group on the street and was unsure how to respond, it sounded like the others were having more fun in there than it was out here. He edged closer to the door.

“Krash!” went the inner door under B’Fai’s axe. He didn’t even check if this one was open or not. It didn’t matter either way, it was open now. Behind the smashed door was a laboratory where the alchemist made potions. There was yet another door on the opposite wall, this one was to the outside and it was wide open and it intended to stay that way because closing seemed like a death sentence right now and it was just a young GiantSkeletalSpider.jpgdoor with its whole life ahead of it. It swung open wider in the gentle breeze and tried to stay out of the way, tried to look more like an archway than a doorway. It must have been through this wide opening that the giant skeletal spider had got in. Giant skeletal spiders cannot smile, but if they could this one would have and it certainly attacked the barbarian with glee.

Axes swang, arrows flew, swords thrust forwards, fiery glowing arrows sped through the air. The gleeful undead spider lasted only moments. When it was over B’Fai found an arrow sticking out of the back of his shoulder. He pulled it out, walked over to the apologetically smiling Rashi and snapped it meaningfully under her nose.
“Sorry, accident” said Rashi.
“Grrrrrr” said B’Fai and stormed out into the street.

They found three unfinished potions in the alchemist’s workshop and although unsure of their quality they took them. Meanwhile Igorok attempted to take out the dead spider’s poisonous fangs. At the critical moment his hand slipped and he cut himself on the razor sharp teeth. Quickly he sucked on the shallow wound and spat any poison out in time.

They left and as they continued down the road the sign saying “Forester’s Alchemy Shoppe” fell off the building and quietly hid with a whimper.
“We’re open,” said the surviving door to anyone who listened, “wide open.”

As they continued on their way to the quays, the sounds of battle reached them from the western wall. The guards were shouting more now in alarm and agony than in victory. Things were clearly not going well.

There was chaos at the quays. About two thousand people and only six boats, each capable of holding about fifty people. They considered stacking halflings in one but then quickly realised that they could just use the boats as ferries to get people across the river. As long as the undead couldn’t follow them then they should be safe and there was only one bridge, they would see what they could do about it.

Once the ferrying had started they went along the quays towards the corner of the wall closest to the bridge. On the way they passed the blacksmith’s and in the theme of the alchemist’s they dropped in. B’Fai found some better armour and quickly put it on and the others grabbed some spare weapons and stocked up on arrows.

As they were leaving they spotted the actors’ covered wagon heading for the corner of the wall. When they reached the wooden parapet, magic flew from the various thespians and they blew a hole through the woods. They drove their wagon through and the wall suddenly filled in behind them.

The group hurried up and Varis sent his magic rope to the top of the wall so he could climb over. As he levered himself up he put he feet on the wall and swung right through. The repair had just been an illusion so nobody could follow them. They all ran through and saw the wagon speeding towards the bridge. They ran after them as quickly as they could.

Varis transformed into a panther and easily caught up. He climbed up on the roof. Sandalf, seeing Varis’ idea followed suit and also became a panther. Rashi and Bobo caught up with the wagon and went to either side. The others followed behind taking what shots they could. Igorok repeatedly firebolted the back steps until a small fire started. Whispered suggestions came from the wagon, but everyone ignored them. Tinus sent glowing arrow after glowing arrow into one of the two horses pulling the vehicle and finally just as they reached the bridge the horse fell and the wagon ground to a halt.CoveredWagon2.jpg

Varis leapt onto the driver and started clawing at him. Sandalf soon came over the top of the wagon and joined the fray. The door opened and two of the actors went after Rashi and Bobo, using their magic to try and paralyze them. Rashi was lucky, Bobo wasn’t. B’Fai jumped over the burning steps and smashed in the door. One of the actors attacking Varis peeled off to face the barbarian. Rashi’s luck now turned sour as Igorok called up a thunder clap of wind and knocked the unstable wagon over onto the actor she was fighting and on her. She scrambled out, alive but shaken.

Yartella threw deadly javelins at the foe and Tinus fired more magic arrows but the thespians were tough and their magic was giving them an edge. But then one by one they started to fall. Igorok came around the wagon and went to help Rashi. But the actor turned and suggested that instead he attack that person wildly throwing javelins. The wizard went after Yartella but his wild attacks missed. Then Bobo broke free of his paralysis and moved onto the bridge and hid.

The second last actor died and Igorok came out from the effects of his spell. Yartella was about to kill him but spared him when she saw him come back to normal. The wizard turned and screamed at the last actor. “I’m gonna kill you. I’m gonna rip your tongue out!” But the remaining actor, Murter, was already running away onto the bridge, he was getting away.

Then Bobo rose up from behind the dead horse and loosed an arrow that struck the actor in the eye and instantly killed him. He fell and Igorok enraged that he couldn’t carry out the first half of his threat, nonetheless completed the second.

As the fight ended they looked around they could see Lady Hurwich’s forces were now making a desperate last stand and as they watched her standard fell and the army of the undead washed over her into her undefended town.

But then they noticed yet another battalion of skeletons marching towards them. Towards the bridge. If them got over then the refugees were doomed. The small fire on the wagon was growing and this gave them the idea of burning the bridge completely.

First they did a very quick search of the actor’s wagon. On an overtuned dressing table with a large mirror was the wooden crown and a necklace of wooden baubles painted to look like rubies. They grabbed these two items and then under the disheveled costumes B’Fai found a chest. He dragged it out and using a key found on Murter’s body he opened it to find about two thousand gold pieces. Enough to pay off their debt to the Kalla! In fact this was where the Kalla’s money had gone. It was the actors who had robbed the theatres.

Spreading oil across the bridge and on the supporting trusses they light the bridge and retreated south to safety and watch it burn. The skeleton battalion reached the flames and stopped, thwarted in their attempt to pursue. As they watch the bridge burn they cast detect magic and saw that the wooden crown and the wooden necklace glowed softly. Somehow they were magical, but what they were, what they did or how they worked they could not discern.

When the bridge collapsed the group headed down to the bank of the Yarn and started to organise the survivors to head towards Red Mills. They looked up at the hill to the north of Pelville and the figure standing there bathed in crimson moonlight looked back at them with displeasure. They could feel his anger and hatred and Talbor lifted his bony hand and pointed at them and the red moonbeam sped from him over half a mile to them. The beam burned them and they struggled out from under it dragging the unconscious Rashi and Tinus with them. Varis and Sendalf revive the two and they all head south with the refugees. As they look back they see that bone spiders have come to the river next to the burnt out bridge. One of them stands on its four back legs and holds out its front four. A second spider climbs over the first and grips its comrade’s outstretched legs with its back legs and holds out its front ones. A third climbs over both of them, they are making a bridge of their bodies.

The group hurried south back toward Red Mills, knowing that the undead army of Talbor were not far behind.


XP

1 Bone Spider = 1 x 200 = 200XP
Evacuating the refugees = 500XP
5 Thespians = 5 x 450 = 2250XP
Solving the Theatre Caper = 500XP
Finding the Wooden Crown = 500XP
Destroying the Bridge = 500XP

For a total of 4450, divided by 7 is 636XP each.

Igorok 2535 + 636 = 3171XP Level 4 !!!
Bobo 2535 + 636 = 3171XP Level 4 !!!
Tinus 2535 + 636 = 3171XP Level 4 !!!
Issac 2235 + 636 = 2871XP Level 4 !!!
Varis 2206 + 636 = 2842XP Level 4 !!!
Rashi 1895 + 636 = 2531XP Level 3
Sendalf 900 + 636 = 1536XP Level 3
Yartalla 679 + 636 = 1315XP Level 3 !!!

Congratulations to Noah, Karl, Tess, Issac, Elliott and Sam.
Igorok, Bobo, Tinus, Issac (B’Fai) and Varis are now level 4 and Yartalla is now level 3.


Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 6) – Attack on Pelville


Dramatis Personae
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac (B’Fai) the barbarian.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.


Dawn found the group at the western gate of Pelville. They approached and were challenged by the guards, who all carry shields with the Pelville coat of arms, a blue and green field with a white sea-horse. The group shouted up that an army of the undead were coming this way, only minutes behind them. The captain of the guard met them at the gate and escorted them to a holding area.  She told them to wait for Lady Hurwich who would discuss the matter with them. They asked if any refugee boats had come from Arlsfort and were told that they had not.

While waiting they noticed a wanted dead or alive poster for four mutinous soldiers, Sergeant Jar Santon, Corporal Larshall Miner and Privates Ront Weaver and Elsienora Rolate. These were the four they had killed and they bemoaned the loss of the reward.

Lady Hurwich arrives and informs them that there is no army of the undead outside the walls. However she has sent a patrol out and they will pass by Arlsfort and report back.  She has other things to worry about. The takings from last night’s show at The Shell are missing and strange things are happening. A young noble lady has gone mad and is going around claiming her expensive jeweled necklace has been switched for wooden painted baubles when it’s clearly right there on her neck.  In the meantime the group are free to enter the town as long as they obey the law, cause no trouble and do not alarm the citizens. They agree.

The group enter the town and wander around. They notice that they are being followed by guards but can do nothing about it so they start by finding a place to stay. Tinus and Bobo perform at The Twelve Oaks and the proprietor offers them a room for the night if they perform that evening. They haggle a room for all of them for 1 gp.

Wandering the town they admire The Shell Theatre, a large theatre in the shape of an open oyster shell. They recognise the play that is on, it is The Tragedie of Queene Flavia. There is an evening show and an afternoon matinee. They decide to avoid it. They visit a blacksmith and an apothecary. There are potions for sale but they are expensive. Back on the streets Varis turns into a mouse to try to avoid the prying eyes of the town guard and is soon running for his life from an alley cat.

Igorok wanders the town and spots the Thespians’ wagon behind The Shell Theatre. He tries to get in the back door but it is locked. As he walks around the wagon he is confronted by Murter. Igorok runs for it as the actor suggests he come back. Igorok barely resists the instruction and he casts a fire-bolt back at the actor. A guard steps from the shadows and sticking his fingers in his mouth emits a sharp shrill whistle. He is answered by several other whistles and in moments Igorok finds himself surrounded at sword point by six guards. They take him to the north gatehouse. Take all his gear and all his clothes except for spare underclothes. They put him in a cell.

The rest hear the commotion but can do nothing about it. They are still worn out from the night before in Arlsfort. They decide to rescue him later and they all go back to The Twelve Oaks and get a good sleep. Igorok sleeps as best he can in his cold windowless cell. He awakes to the happy news that he is to be hanged at dawn and he is given some thin sloppy gruel with slivers of unidentifiable meat as his last supper. He decides it is probably best that the meat remains unidentified.

When the group awake they hear of the sentence of death and find out that he will be hanged outside the battlements in the morning. They plot and plan for his rescue.

They find Lady Hurwich and she tells them that the patrol returned safely but that Arlsfort was abandoned. Nobody, living or dead, or for that matter undead was there. She is clearly suspicious that they have done something and made up the story of the undead when there is a shout from the quay along the river. Three boats full of refugees from Arlsfort arrive. They verify the group’s story and Lady Hurwich doubles the guard on the walls and send messengers out to all the local farms telling them to come inside the walls before dark. She however refuses to release or pardon Igorok. He is a common criminal and is to die at dawn.

The town is busy with farming families coming in. Their wagons line the streets with their little children peeking out. The Arlsfort refugees are bedding down wherever they can, still in shock. Everyone is frightened. The sun goes down and the blood red moon rises.

Everything is quiet for about an hour. Then there is a shout from the watchtowers. Something is coming fast through the fields of wheat straight for the walls. The group rush to protect a section of the wall just as giant skeletal spiders clamber effortlessly up. The battle of Pelville has begun.

The group find that the spider’s bite is bad but they still retain their poison and this makes their bite almost instantly deadly. The four battle for survival on the narrow parapet.

Meanwhile two guards march into Igorok’s cell. His execution has been brought forward because of the emergency. They gag him and tie his hands tightly behind his back. He cannot speak and he cannot move his hands, so he cannot cast any spells. They try to take him up onto the battlements of the gatehouse but there are undead spiders there fighting their fellow soldiers. So they take him to the watchtower near where the group are fighting for their lives. They put a noose around his neck, tie the rope securely. One asks him, if he has any last words, the other points at the gag, shrugs and pushes him off the tower. Igorok hears a loud snap and the world goes dark. Which is just as well because a giant skeletal figure crawls over him onto the top of the tower and attacks his executors.

 

There are spiders attacking all around the walls of the town but the group notice that a large number are gathering at the section just above the west gate. They clamber up and more and more join together into a large mass hanging from the wall. Slowly, painfully the section of wall tears away from the adjoining watchtowers and crashes to the ground. The walls of Pelville have been breached!

Varis jumps off the wall, lands with a painful grunt and runs to a spot below Igorok. He firebolts the hangman’s rope and the dwarf tumbles down onto him, tipping over and smashing his nose. Varis scoops him up, sends the magic rope of climbing up to the top of the watchtower and starts climbing up. Meanwhile Issac holds the spiders on the rampart at bay as Bobo and Tinus climb up the stairs of the watchtower. The guards are gone pursued by a spider and so Bobo and Tinus are able to start to pull Varis and Igorok up.

With one hand free, now that he doesn’t have to climb Varis opens a potion of healing and pours it into Igorok’s mouth. The dwarf splutters awake just as a giant skeletal form crawls over them up into the watchtower. The battle continues. Tinus goes down and is revived. Igorok goes down again and is again revived. But eventually they kill all the spiders in their area.

Meanwhile a division of skeletal warriors advance into the breach and are met by Lady Hurwich and the Pelville guards. The battle is hard but slowly the guards start to gain the advantage and then they annihilated the undead.

A lull comes in the fighting. The group look around. From the watchtower they can see figures on the hill to the north of the town. There is one skeleton which appears to have a small skeleton of another creature in its chest. The second skeleton has its snout embedded in the base of the humanoid skull. It looks like it might be that of a tiny malformed dragon. The red light from the moon seems concentrated on this figure and it glows with an eerie unsettling light. The figure raises its arm and another division of skeletal warrior step from the fields of wheat and advance on what is left of Lady Hurwich’s troops. Then the figure turns and raises its other arm in the direction of the town’s graveyard on the same hilltop. The ground around the graves starts to shake and burst and figures can be seen clawing their way to the surface.

The group dash from the watchtower and as they pass the gatehouse they run in to retrieve Igorok’s possessions. In the guard room they encounter a strange looking woman in impressive armour. She has copper coloured skin and golden eyes.

“I don’t know you” she said to Issac.
“And I don’t know you, or you”, she continued to Bobo and Varis.
“I don’t know you either”, she added to Tinus
“And I don’t think I want to know you” she said to Igorok who was wearing very little.

“Hi I’m Issac” replied the friendly half-orc and the rest also introduced themselves.
“Who exactly are you?” they asked.

“I can’t find it, I know it’s nearby, but I can’t find it” she replied.
“Is that it over there?” asked Igorok pointing at a small pile of his possessions.
“No, there’s nothing interesting here!” she answered somewhat annoyed.
“May I?” he asked and when she didn’t reply he ran to his gear and started dressing and repacking it.

“I don’t have much time, I have to find it”
“Find what?”
“The Crown of Azertina of course!”
“Eh, okay, why do you want that?”
“It has Talbor’s soul. Well it has a ruby that has Talbor’s soul in it. If I can find that and destroy it, then I can stop him.”
“Who is Talbor?”
“Who was Talbor?” she corrected, “He was a powerful wizard who fought in the first war against the Dragonlords. Not the war we lost fifteen years ago, the one before that, the one that everyone thought the Dragonlords had lost.”
“Talbor was captured near the end of the war and was turned into a Dragonlord himself. But then when the war ended he became something even worse and now he has awoken and he is leading an army of the undead this way.”
“Is he a glowing red skeleton with another skeleton inside him? Likes to order battalions of skeletons around and can raise a graveyard full of undead at the wave of a hand?”, Bobo inquired innocently.
“Yes” she replied with a raised eyebrow.
“Well he’s not coming. He’s here. Outside on the hill.”
“This crown you’re looking for, maybe the actors have it? They have one in their play.”
“No, I saw that today. That play is all wrong, it’s not the way it happened at all. Rock was much funnier and Flavia wasn’t mad just young. Betty didn’t just hate Amet, she hated all the gods. Nesing was not a mean dragon, he was a frightened young dragon just trying to stay alive. But anyway the actors’ crown is just wood and paint. We must find the real one or this town and all this land will die!”
“Okay, we’ll help you” they said, “What is your name?”
“Oh I can’t tell you my name, your little tongues could not pronounce it. But you may call me Coop.”

Outside the noise of battle intensified.


XP

Trying to warn Lady Hurwich: 300XP
Getting a room for the night at The Twelve Oaks: 200XP
A bit of mischief at the actors’ wagon: 300XP
Destroying 8 Bone Spiders: 8 x 200 = 1600XP
Surviving an execution: 500XP
Meeting Coop: 300XP

For a total of 3200XP, divided between 5 is 640XP each.

Igorok 1895 + 640 = 2535XP Level 3
Bobo 1895 + 640 = 2535XP Level 3
Tinus 1895 + 640 = 2535XP Level 3
Issac 1595 + 640 = 2235XP Level 3
Varis 1566 + 640 = 2206XP Level 3

Rashi 1895XP Level 3
Yartalla 679XP Level 2
Lil 600XP Level 2


Next Session is Saturday 8th June


Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 5) – “Are we the bad guys?”


Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac the barbarian.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.


The blood red moon rose over the hills and the group looked down on the town of Arlsfort. There were walls extending from a gatehouse, but they stopped before they reached the river to the east and in the west they just stopped at a small watch-tower.

Map showing Arlsfort and surrounding area

From there on there were markings on the ground showing where the walls would be once they were built. The gatehouse itself looked reasonably complete, but only one half of the gate had been completed. An excellently crafted study gate, but without a companion it did not block the road into town. There were about twelve or fifteen buildings which made up the town. One large inn, The Gingerbread Cat, and a smaller one down near the dock called The Bad Penny. There was a general store, a livery and a blacksmith’s workshop. Add to this and a dozen small houses in a varying degree of completion and you got the impression that Arlsfort was more of a concept than an actual town. Beyond the town a half finished bridge jutted out over the river Shunder.

Pulling the blankets more tightly over the bodies in the cart the group headed for the main gate. The prisoners in the barrel must have heard them talking about the town and they started to make noise. Issac opened the lid and persuaded them otherwise; they might wake again in a few hours.

They steered the cart through the gate and down main street. An impressive looking man approached them.
“Ah”, he said, “the heroes from Red Mills! I’m so glad you could come”, said Baron Feldar.
“Yes, we thought we could build a theatre and attract more people to the town.”
“Oh, perfect! Take a note of that!”, he added over his shoulder to a harried looking clerk. “What sort of a theatre?
“We were thinking of making it in the shape of a duck” and Igorok slipped the wooden duck from under his cloak to demonstrate, much to the alarm of the others.
“Oh my! How wonderful!”
“And it would float. A floating amphitheatre in the shape of a duck!”
“Splendid! I’ll build it if you do some small jobs for me!” and turning to the clerk he added, “Give this priority over everything else! This is key to our future!”
The clerk rolled his eyes as he unrolled his measuring tape and noted the proportions of Igorok’s duck which then quickly disappeared to a chorus of “What duck? What are you talking about?”
There was an awkward duckless red moonlit pause.
“Err, we should get some rooms for the night”, they said.
“Yes, may I recommend The Gingerbread Cat” said the baron.

The group went into The Gingerbread Cat and whereas it seemed like it would be a nice place when it was finished the view of the moon and the stars through the roof did not sit well with any of them apart from Issac. They moved on to The Bad Penny. When they opened the door the noise of the crowd and the smells of alcohol free beer and plain cooking hit their nostrils. Tinus and Bobo jumped on stage and played some merry tunes and Jana Jeve, the landlady, offered the two of them room and board. When they asked about the rest, she narrowed her eyes as if suddenly recognising them and tapped on the counter-top.
Tum-te-tum te-tum.
The group froze, she was Kalla, they were just about to plead for their lives when she added, “Special rates for members, one gold for room and board for all of you for the night.” Sighing they accepted and went back out to look after their cart and its contents.

They debated for a while as to what to do but eventually agreed that they should at least dump the bodies which were starting to smell in the summer heat. So they took the donkey and cart north out of town towards the small woods on the hill above the river. Issac, Igorok and Varis were in the cart, Tinus and Bobo were somewhat behind and a barrel with Rashi’s legs sticking out of it came along behind.

Once in the woods they took the live prisoners, Corporal Larshall Miner and Private Elsienora Rolate, from the barrel and began to interrogate them.
“What have you done to the moon?”
“That wasn’t us.”
“Maybe not you, but it was your cult!”
“No, no, honestly no”.
“How many of you are there in Red Mills?”
“About twenty.”

They were debating what to do with them when Varis spied a campfire through the trees further up the hill. They stuffed the prisoners back in the barrel and crept forward and saw that in the ruins of the original Arlsfort there was a large campfire with three Blood Moon orcs sitting around it. There was also a smaller fire, probably for cooking further back. Tinus, Bobo and Rashi joined the others and they all crept up to the low walls of the ruined fort. They noticed that the orcs were very still and didn’t seem to be moving at all. Then they realised that they were dummies made of old cloth stuffed with straw.

There was however movement near the smaller fire and Issac stole forward behind the wall to get a closer look. He could just make out one large female orc cooking at the fire and bringing food to smaller figures behind her. Then he heard a child’s voice say in orcish. “Why do the hoomans want to kills us?”
“Because we have come into what they think are their lands” said the she-orc in a gentle voice.
“Will they kills us? I’m frightened of them.”
“No, they’d have to find us first and our warriors will find a new place for us to live.”
“Away from Them?”
“Yes away from Them and the hoomans.”

Issac stepped out from behind the wall and walking forward he dumped his weapons and held up his empty hands.
“We come in peace”, he said.
The orc children started screaming in fear. Their ancient grandparents tried to quiet them as the only adult stepped forward to protect them all from the murdering invaders.
“No, no, we come in peace”, Issac insisted, “see, no weapons!” Then turning towards the others he repeated what he had heard and added “Show yourselves. Slowly.”
The rest of the group emerged from the shadows.
“Are we the bad guys?” whispered Varis.

“I am Issac” said Issac, “my orc name is B’Fai”.
“I am Hazzog” said the she-orc.
“Here have this food” said Issac, handing over a haunch of meat.
Hazzog took it gratefully and put it on a pan to fry.
The children whimpered in the background, but were encouraged by the smell of frying meat.
“Are you Blood Moon tribe?”
“Yes!”, she said defiantly.
“What have ye done to the moon?” he asked as the others came forward slowly.
“We did not do that” said Hazzog, “that was Them.”
“Why are you attacking hoomans?”
“We need to get away from Them and to do that we need to pass through your lands.”
“What’s going on?” asked the group and Issac translated.
“Okay”, said Bobo, “who exactly are Them?”
“Zekel” replied Hazzog.
“The Dead” translated Issac.

Hazzog explained that the Blood Moon tribe was running from a horde of undead coming down from the north. Some warriors had gone on ahead to try and find a way through the human lands or find place they could defend. Others like her were trying to move the young and the older members of the tribe. While others had stayed behind with the leader Shalzal, to try to slow the undead, but they were all gone now.

Everyone was just beginning to relax when one of the children complained of the cold.
“Sshhh” said Hazzog and stared in horror at her breath as it turned to fog in the summer evening. It was suddenly cold.
They’re coming!” she hissed and from out of the shadows stepped skeletal figures, dressed in tattered clothes and armour, brandishing short swords. There were at least a dozen of them.

The group sprang into action and Hazzog unwrapped a very shiny sword from some old cloth by the fire. During the fight Varis was badly wounded but everyone gave a good account of themselves. The group gathered around the orc children to protect them and they slowly overcame the large number of skeletons. Then just as suddenly as the skeletons had started, they stopped coming.

Relieved the group caught their breath. They looked out over the crumbling wall and by the eerie red light they saw hundreds more skeletons moving in their direction.
“Run!” they said and fled into the trees.
They soon reached the cart and the prisoners. They dumped them on the ground and moved on through the trees.
“We have to get to town and warn the people!” they agreed.
“But we can’t go into a hooman place” said Hazzog “and the Zekel will catch us, we are slow with the children and the old ones.”
“Take the cart!” they said and helped the children and older orcs onto their small wagon.
“Goodbye B’Fai and thank you!” said Hazzog and drove the cart at speed to the west.

The group ran on into the town. With the walls incomplete there was no way that the town could be defended. It had to be evacuated or everyone would die. They ran into the inns and raised the alarm. But no one would believe them at first, eventually a few went out to check and quickly came running back in alarm. The group then helped everyone onto the three boats that were tied up at the wharf and asked them to warn the other towns; Pelville and Red Mills. The people of Arlsfort sailed out into Lake Berleka to safety.

Running back to the livery our heroes took a horse each and rode through the gatehouse past the incomplete gate. They noticed Baron Feldar was there on the battlements with his ten soldiers. They tried and tried to convince him to leave, but he refused saying he would defend his town to the death. In the end as the hoard of undead drew near they gave up and galloped into the red moonlight all the way to Pelville.


End of Episode 5


XP

Meeting Baron Feldar and arranging to build the Duck Theatre: 200XP
Getting a room for the night at The Bad Penny: 200XP
Interrogating the prisoners: 300XP
Spotting the campfire and investigating: 300XP
Realizing that the three orcs were guard dummies: 300XP
Befriending Hazzog: 500XP
Protecting the orc children in the fight: 500XP
Destroying 12 Skeletons: 12 x 50 = 600XP
Giving Hazzog the donkey and cart: 500XP
Evacuating the town: 300XP

For a total of 3700XP, divided between 6 is 616XP each.

Rashi 1279 + 616 = 1895XP Level 3
Igorok 1279 + 616 = 1895XP Level 3
Bobo 1279 + 616 = 1895XP Level 3
Tinus 1279 + 616 = 1895XP Level 3
Issac 979 + 616 = 1595XP Level 3
Varis 950 + 616 = 1566XP Level 3

Yartalla 679XP Level 2
Lil 600XP Level 2


Next Session is Saturday 18th May


Scraps from the table

Phaexoha Yxqemb

My entry in this year’s (2019) One Page Dungeon Contest is called “Treasure Island Map”, because I had to give it an English name for the contest. It’s really called “Phaexoha Yxqemb” which is more intriguing or off-putting depending on your brain type. It’s a bit weird but could be used to pass the time some rainy afternoon.
A series of squiggly line nonsensical words

Last year (2018) I came joint 34th with “The Pyramid Scheme”, which is a little easier to understand, but maybe not so easy for all the party to survive. One of my classic moral dilemmas really. We’ll see if I do any better this time out, somehow I doubt it, I think the judges will find this year’s one annoying at best. Since you’ve come this far, I’ll give you a hint, it’s all in how you fold the paper.

A desert tale of death and betrayal

Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 4) – Leaving Red Mills

Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac the barbarian.
Sam playing Yartella the fighter.


It was getting dark in the late afternoon of the day of the fight at Santon’s Mills. The heroes spent some time exchanging weapons and buying supplies. Then Lady Altea found them and thanked them for saving he cousin’s daughter. She gave them all 10 gold pieces as a reward. She told them that the traveling actors wanted to leave and that even though she felt it was unsafe to travel, she couldn’t delay them any longer. So Lady Altea wondered if the group would be willing to travel with them for a while so that everyone benefited from the extra security of numbers. She had a patrol out and would know more about the orcs later. They agreed to travel with the actors and then she invited them to stay one last night in the main gatehouse .

In the morning everyone decided to go to The Globe before they left town. They found the actors loading their costumes and props into a hard covered painted wagon. They went into The Globe to do some final investigations. The owner Pease Shaker was heart-broken. He was financially ruined. All his money was gone and he had no way to pay his debts. He would have to sell The Globe, but he reluctantly rejected their offer of two gold pieces to buy it. He needs thousands.

The group searched the Box Office again and under the stage. They could see where the thieves had entered but they found no new clues. Then they went to the prop storage room and found many strange stage props. On a shelf that contained mant wooded animals they was a dust mark in a familiar shape. Igorok took the wooden duck out and it fitted exactly on the dust mark. The duck was back in its rightful place. However they felt they couldn’t just leave it there, they had been through so much together, so Igorok put it back under his cloak.

Outside the actors were packing up. Some members of the group wanted to ride in their caravan, but the lead actor, Murter, was anything but friendly and frankly got downright insulting at times. His insults really hurt and so the group decided that they needed their own form of transport and they pooled their resources to buy a cart and a mule to pull it. Rashi found a comfortable barrel to take with them and the others thought barrels would be useful for holding things, so they got a few more.

While they were out shopping a hand reached from the shadows and pulled Bobo into yet another conversation.

“Have you got our money yet?” asked the Kalla.
“Err, why is it always only me?” wailed Bobo.
“True”, said the Kalla and pulled Tinus in with him.
“So have ye got our money yet?”
“Err, not exactly”, they replied, “we’re working on it.”
“Not planning on skipping town are you?”
“Just an escort job to earn your money”
“Hmmmm. You’re up to a thousand now you know.”

And with that the Kalla vanished back into the shadows.

The group then discussed which way they would go. The actors didn’t seem to mind. So they voted to head for Arlsfort, where they knew that Baron Feldar was trying to clear the region and start a town. Townsfolk need entertainment and they could maybe start their own theatre there.

They followed the actors’ wagon to the north gate. Lady Altea met them there. She had grave news. The patrol she sent out yesterday had not returned. They asked who was on the patrol and Captain Dalker produced a manifest. The group looked at it briefly and noted the number of soldiers.

A parchment showing the names of the soldiers on the patrol.

They should have been back early last night. Could the group keep an eye out for them.

With that she wished them luck and thanked them for all their services to Red Mills. The wagon and the cart rolled out onto the road and the shadows of the nearby houses shifted slightly as if they had seen something they were not too happy about.

As they moved north toward Pelville the group tried to engage the actors in conversation, but alas the actors found them an annoyance and bid them stay away. When Igorok persisted, Murter whispered, “I suggest that you stay away from this wagon.” Igorok immediately felt compelled to stay clear of the wagon and found it hard to even look in its direction.

Map showing Red Mills, Pelville and Arlsfort After a mile or so they heard the approach of galloping horses and around the corner came four soldiers on horseback. They were in chainmail and on their shields was the red waterwheel representing Red Mills. It must be some of the missing patrol.

It was a sergeant, a corporal and two privates.
“Hi”, said Tinus, “where’s the rest of the patrol?”
“Who’s asking?” demanded the sergeant.
“I’m Tinus and these are Bobo, Yartella, Issac and Igorok”, he didn’t mention Rashi who was in her barrel., “What’s your name?”

 

“I’m Sergeant Jar Santon”, said the sergeant and I know who you are alright”.
“Well where are the rest of the patrol? Where is Captain Cutler?”
“None of your business, out of our way!” demanded the sergeant.
“You’re feeling very tired aren’t you? Why don’t you go to sleep?”, whispered Tinus gesturing softly.
One of the privates slumped on his horse which wandered off a little.
“Why you!!” shouted Jar, spurring his horse forward and slicing into Tinus with his sword. The corporal and the still awake private threw spears at the sorcerer both piecing poor Tinus.
Igorok whispered some arcane words and a thick web enveloped the three soldiers and their horses. Yartella threw a javelin but missed, Rashi appeared out of her barrel and thumped an arrow into the sergeant. Issac who was driving the cart moved it away from the entangled soldiers but as he did that Jar swung his sword again and despite the webbing he hit Tinus again. Tinus was bleeding badly and was just barely conscious. Bobo fired his crossbow and squeezed in front of Tinus to protect him.

The soldiers struggled in the web and the private managed to break free. He spurred his horse around the entangled area and attacked the cart. Bobo took the brunt of the attack but was okay. Yartella threw another javelin, this one thumped into the sergeant’s chest. Rashi fired at the private attacking the cart, another hit. Issac swang at the private cutting him. Tinus whispered magical words and glowing arrows sped into the sergeant. He was starting to lose confidence. Bobo attacked the private, he was hurt now. Then Igorok finished sent more glowing arrows into the private and he fell from his horse, dead. Issac jumped from the cart and rushed at the sergeant, cutting him with his axe. Tinus followed but missed his attack.

The sergeant could see he was doomed but decided to take the wounded Tinus with him. He swung his sword, but this time the web hindered him enough so that he just missed. Meanwhile the corporal was frantically trying to break free. Yartella rushed him and tried to wrestle him to the ground. Bobo and Igorok finished off the sergeant and then Issac joined in the wrestling match. In the end the two of them pulled the corporal from his horse, subdued him and tied him up. Then they round up the sleeping private and tied her up too.

They searched the soldiers and found some gold. Looking at each other and then at the gold and then back at each other, the group decided that from now on they would share treasure evenly. So they each got four gold pieces. They also found two potions with cultist symbols on them. After a short debate Issac sipped one and a small graze on his finger that he had barely noticed healed up instantly. He handed the potion to Tinus who gulped it down and immediately felt a bit better.

The actors had moved off a bit, but were watching carefully. The group loaded the dead bodies on their cart and then woke the prisoners. At first they weren’t co-operative but soon Tinus could tell when they were lying and when they were telling the truth. They questioned them at length and even though they mostly lied, Tinus was always able to tell.

The prisoners were Corporal Larshall Miner and Private Elsienora Rolate. The dead soldiers were Private Ront Weaver and Sergeant Jar Santon. They were all members of the Gruumsh cult that the group had interrupted the day before. In fact they were all related to the people they had killed. They were indeed working with the Blood Moon orcs and the rest of Captain Cutler’s patrol had been captured and taken to a nearby abandoned  tower which the orcs had taken over. They were vague about the Kalla being in the cult, but Tinus could tell that they weren’t, nor was Lady Altea.

After the interrogation they gagged the soldiers and put them in the barrels. Then they covered the dead bodies and moved up to the actors.

Issac approached them and demanded entry into the wagon.
“I suggest that you return to Red Mills and report to Lady Altea what has happened here”, whispered Murter.
“I’m going back to Red Mills to tell them what happened here”, said Issac.
“Aren’t you very tired?” asked Tinus, “Shouldn’t you get some sleep first?”
“Yeaahhhh”, whispered the barbarian, “I …. zzzz” and he slumped over.
They lifted him gently into the cart and tied him up until he got over his compunction.

They drove their cart around the actors wagon and carried on toward Pelville. The wagon followed but at a distance.

After half a mile they noticed an old tower west of the road but they didn’t approach it, but rather kept going. When they got to Pelville they skirted the town and carried on along the narrow road which was really little more than a path to Arlsfort. After Pelville they did not see the actors’ wagon any more, it must have stopped there. As the group drove they discussed what they would do when they got there. Apart from avoid the Kalla and not tell about the soldiers they also decided that they would like to build a theatre, in the shape of a duck! And if the duck could float on the lake that would be even better! Yes, they wanted a floating theatre in the shape of a duck.

The grass, the trees, the very gods who made this world sighed deeply.

As the sun was setting they arrived at the new town of Arlsfort, which was more of a concept really than a town. There was very little here. And as they assessed the place the moon rose. A full moon, but not the usual warm yellow, it was now blood red.


End of Episode 4


XP

Further investigations in The Globe: 200XP
Unfortunate discussions with the actors: 450XP
Getting out of town despite the Kalla: 200XP
The fight with the soldiers: 3 x 25 + 1 x 50 = 125XP
Uncovering that the soldiers were part of the cult: 500XP
Arriving at Arlsfort “safely”: 500XP

For a total of 1950XP, divided between 6 is 329XP each.

Rashi 950 + 329 = 1279XP Level 3
Igorok 950 + 329 = 1279XP Level 3
Bobo 950 + 329 = 1279XP Level 3
Tinus 950 + 329 = 1279XP Level 3
Issac 650 + 329 = 979XP Level 3 !!!
Yartalla 350 + 329 = 679XP Level 2

Varis 950XP Level 3
Lil 600XP Level 2

So congratulations to Issac, Issac has leveled up to level 3.


Next Session is Saturday May 11th


Apologies for the mix up with the room this time, I believe that it is sorted now and that our booking is properly recorded on the library’s system.


 

Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 3) – A Cult is Uncovered


Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl playing Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.
Issac playing Issac the barbarian.
Ruth playing Lil the fighter.


Tinus came round and joined Bobo, Rashi and the dripping wet Igorok. Varis lay unconscious but breathing at their feet. They were still deciding what to do when they heard the sound of fast marching boots coming at them from both directions. Soldiers appeared led by Captain Alstine Dalker. She greeted them with a smile. “Looks like you’ve done my job for me again” she said. Bobo and Tinus started to explain but both explanations seemed garbled, so Igorok also added a third version and soon the captain was very confused. But the one thing she understood was that there was a duck involved. She turned to her second in command and said, “Lieutenant Borhill, search for that duck, it err emm seems important. Somehow.” The lieutenant took some soldiers to search the banks of the millrace for a duck, their hearts weren’t really in it though and they found no duck. Meanwhile Igorok shifted his cloak further over a lump of wood he was concealing.

“Well we better report all this”, said Captain Dalker, “Come on, let’s go to the main gatehouse and you can get a meal and a bed”. At that moment Issac arrived smelling of the horse dung he had been shoveling for the last few days. “You too”, said the captain, “but you gotta take a bath”. The barbarian seemed unimpressed with this idea, but he agreed to come along nonetheless.

“Captain!” said Sergeant Skinner, “there’s a blood trail here, leading toward the town”. But the captain was still trying to figure out what had happened and the group of heroes made light of the blood.

So they all went to the northern gatehouse where they were fed and then given beds in a common area. There was a halfling there who had just arrived in town. “Hi”, she said, “I’m Lil” and with that she was in the gang. The next morning Issac had a bath under protest and they all had breakfast trying to decide what to do. They all had different ideas, so they decided to go their separate ways and meet at Chenette’s perfumery for lunch.

Igorok decided he would go to The Dead Man’s Wife. He had a plan. Lil went with him, to keep him out of trouble. When they got there he started conjuring fire but just as he was about to try to set fire to the place a hand reached out from the shadows. “Hello” said the woman from the Kalla. “Up to something are you?” “Err, no” said Igorok. “Got our money then?” “Err, no” said Igorok. “Hmm” said the Kalla contact, “well we have some information you might find useful. It seems that no one except the person with the horse’s head and the duck left the theater last night during the performance. So either they have our money or you have our money or it’s still in The Globe. Now get out of here!”

Issac went fishing and Rashi found a handy barrel to hide in.

Bobo and Tinus headed to the bridge and followed the trail of blood to a mill a little way up the millrace. Santon’s Mill was written over the heavily barred door. Looking in one window they saw a normal looking mill with a grinding stone and sacks of gain and flour but there was an internal door to a room on the other side. The windows on that side had their shutters closed, except for the last one which was out over the river. Unperturbed Bobo climbed out tied to a rope that Tinus held. He peered in the window. Inside he saw a large table with a Blood Moon orc sitting at it. There were six figures in red hooded cloaks drawing symbols in flour on the ground. At the top of the room was a makeshift altar behind which stood a figure in more elaborate robes. Tied up on the altar was a young townswoman. She did not look happy.

A plan of Santon's Mill

Bobo and Tinus left and went to Chenette’s to find the others, interrupting their lunch with the news. Our heroes headed back to the mill and approached the door where they had a long conversation about making a plan without actually coming up with one. In the end Rashi started to climb the outside of the building while Varis turned into a rat and ran in under the ddor. It was barred with a plank on the inside. Then Bobo used his thieves’ tools to open the latch on the window near the door and he swung in, followed with varying degrees of stealth and acrobatics by Varis, Igorok, Issac, Tinus and Lil. There was a lot of noise inside the mill from the splashing of the mill-wheel and the grinding of the mill stones. Nevertheless the group managed to make even more noise and startled a previously unnoticed orc asleep amidst the sacks of flour. He jumped up and started to run for the inner door. They all let loose on him and he fell onto the grindstone. They watch as his body went around in a circle and got mashed up by the gears, only to go round again to get more mashed up.

Rashi came into the building and climbed into the rafters joining Bobo who was already there. Bobo crept down the length of the building and peeked through a ventilation shutter into the inner room. There were more evil symbols inscribed on the floor now and the red cloaked cultists were setting up candles while the one in the impressive robes was sharpening an elaborate dagger. The woman on the altar continued to struggle.

The heroes approached the door. What was the plan again? Then Igorok knocked on the door. Bobo fell out of the rafters in surprise but was caught by Tinus. Varis shook his little rat head in disbelief and turned back into himself and created magic goodberries which he knew would soon be needed. Everyone headed for the door as quickly as they could. All except Rashi who climbed down a rope which obligingly tied knots in itself to make the climb easier. She took a hook from the end of one of the cranes in the mill and then climbed back up the obliging rope which she then ignored.

The door opened. Igorok said something about a food delivery and then the air was suddenly full of arrows, spells and screams. The cultist who answered the door died quickly and Igorok the unarmoured wizard ran boldly into hand to hand combat. The others followed mostly by the door, although Issac was trying to make his own second door. They got into the room just in time to see the wizard fall to the ground under the slashing of many scimitars. Lil ran in and killed one then surged forward toward a second who she totally missed. Varis healed Igorok with a sigh. Bobo fired arrows from the doorway. A flaming sword appeared in the door slashing at Bobo in fury. Tinus slid onto the table holding her hands out towards the cultists. Flames erupted from her hands burning three of them to death.

Igorok stood up and ran around the remaining cultist to get to the head cultist behind the altar. The others polished off the last cultist while Tinus fired three magically glowing arrows into the head guy. He staggered back and held out his hand. Igorok froze where he was. The head cultist turned and opened the shuttered window behind him. He was trying to escape. Varis put the goodberries in Igorok’s mouth and moved his chin up and down. Somehow the wizard swallowed the healing fruits. Issac stepped in and hammered a javelin through the evil cult leader pinning the body to the window.

Suddenly it was silent in the room, the only sound was the orc outside on the grindstone getting flatter and flatter.

Varis headed for a chest he spotted in the corner. Igorok searched the body of the head cultist. Tinus searched the other cultists. Bobo released the woman. Her name was Jattie Grembe, the same surname as Lady Altea. In fact her father is Lady Altea’s cousin. She knew all the cultists, the main one was Osca Santon whose mill this was. The others were townspeople she had know all her life. The women were Eula Englid, Paustacia Fir, Olidna Rolate and Britricia Miner; the men were Vinuel Edgcoville and Cucy Weaver. Jattie didn’t understand what was happening and just wanted to go home.

Igorok found some gold, an ornate dagger and a small key on Osca’s body. He handed the key to Varis who had just discovered that the chest was locked. The key fitted and turned and he lifted the lid. A dart flew out, the fletched feathers tickling his cheek as the missile just missed him and embedded in the ceiling. Varis looked up as a drop of vile poison fell from the dart. Then turning back he found a small velvet bag. He opened it and reached inside. The bag was much bigger on the inside! It was clearly a Bag of Holding. Inside he discovered 375 silver pieces and 110 gold. Also there were two small bottles with liquid in them. Tinus found different small sums of gold on the cultists.

Varis cast a spell which lit all magic items in his sight. The dagger was clearly magical as was the bag and the liquid in the bottles, but when he went out into the main mill area he noticed that the curious rope was also magical. Putting his hand on it he mentally asked it to untie itself and it did, then it coiled up and attached itself to his backpack.

On the table they found a note. It read:

Proo gslhv hrmtvih zmw gsvri uirvmwh, zmw blf droo kovzhv Tiffnhs.
Sziow Lmv-Vbv

Taking the tatooed orc’s arm out once more they deciphered it to be:

Kill those singers and their friends, and you will please Gruumsh.
Harld One-Eye

They knew that Gruumsh was a god that the orcs believed in and they guess that Harld was a leader of the orcs. Obviously the heroes were now getting famous enough to have come to the attentions of the leaders of the Blood Moon Orcs.

The group decided to get rid of the bodies and threw them in the millrace. Then Bobo took Jattie home and asked her to ask Lady Altea for a reward for them. Shortly afterwards everyone was at the Cheham Butcher’s , the blacksmith’s. The cultists’ scimitars were sold for cash, a hand-cross bow was purchased amongst other things. Then Igorok sold the magic dagger. He asked for 30, Cheham offered 25 and they settled on 27 gold pieces. Later Rashi asked how much it was on sale for and the dwarf replied 200.


End of Session 3

Next Session is Saturday 13th April


Experience Points

Not mentioning the duck to Captain Dalker at all, not once. 100XP
Getting the group back together nicely, including bath. 100XP
Further negotiations with the Kalla. 200XP
Scouting the Mill. 300XP
Breaking into the Mill. 200XP
Killing a lone orc. 100XP
Tackling the cultists. 6 x 25XP = 150XP
Killing the head cultist. 450XP
Rescuing Jattie from sacrifice. 200XP
Decoding the note. 100XP
Finding the treasure. 100XP
Commercial dealings at the blacksmith. 100XP

For a total of 2100XP, divided by 7 is 300XP each

Rashi 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Varis 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Igorok 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Bobo 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Tinus 650 + 300 = 950XP Level 3 !!!
Issac 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Lil 300 + 300 = 600XP Level 2
Yartalla 350XP Level 2

So congratulations to Robin, Elliott, Noah, Carl and Tess;
Rashi, Varis, Igorok, Bobo and Tinus have leveled up to level 3.


I think some of you were interested in how quickly you will level up. I usually go with one adventure at level one, two at level two and so on up to level five. From level five on I try to level people up every five adventures. So the amount of XP you get per adventure is based on this. But it varies depending on how successful you are in an adventure. The idea is that you get used to your character’s abilities before you move up a level. If you can’t make it, you don’t get the XP.


Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 2) – Of Songbirds, Doves and Ducks


Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl, who had played Chenette the bard, switched to Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.


After the battle in the warehouse the group returned to The Dead Man’s Wife as the moon slipped behind the hills to the west. The place was about to shut, but on seeing the colour of their gold, mostly red, the proprietor was happy to remain open as long as they were happy to keep buying. So with alcohol free beverages in hand the five of them sat down at a table and the six of them raised a glass in self congratulations.

Six. Their contact with the mysterious Kalla had slipped in amongst them again, her arrival unnoticed.
“Well how did you get on?” she asked.
They explained the story, leaving out very few details. She nodded her approval.
“You should get some rest now” she said, “you have a busy day ahead with the concert and your next job.”
Chenette and Tinus had been booked by Pease Shaker the owner of The Globe Theatre to perform the next evening. That bit they all knew.
“What next job?”, they inquired.
“Oh a mere trifle. Since you will be at the Globe anyway, you may as well collect their, em, let’s call it a donation, to the Kalla.”
“Collect from who? And why are they making donations?”
“From the box office and because we keep them safe. You will need to learn our secret knock” she rapped on the table tum-te-tum te-tum.
“You try it, it means ‘k’ ‘a’ for Kalla”.
They practiced the knock until she was satisfied and then she ran through the whole alphabet with them.
Kalla Knocking Code

Looking up from their practice they noticed she was gone and they decided to go get some rest. Rashi made a point of stopping by the West Gate first.
Lady Altea was here and was very pleased to see them. “The orcs tried an attack, but when they saw we were ready for them and that their plan to open the gate from the inside had failed, they ran off.”
They told her about the warehouse and the orcs in the wagons and she was stunned and grateful. She sent a patrol to the warehouse to check it out and bid them good night as the sun was rising.
A flyer advertising a play at the globe with the characters as support act.They all slept until around midday and they awoke to a town all excited about the coming concert. There were actors in elaborate costumes on the streets. Some were some dressed as a dragon, some as a giant snake more were running around with paper horses’ heads. They were all handing out fliers for the evening’s event. A play about the queen of the neighbouring land of Azertina, who died tragically fifteen years ago. But more importantly the opening act was themselves. Bobo, who would be replacing Chenette on the ticket, set out for the shops to buy the most elaborate costume Red Mills had to offer. Then they all headed to the Globe to check out the venue and plan the concert. Everywhere they went people were thanking them for saving the town and shaking their hands.

At the theatre they made plans for the show. Bobo would come down to the stage from above. He would be lowered from the machine room, where there are hoists for changing the scenery. Tinus would rise up from below the stage through the trap door. Igorok would be in the corner of the tiring room using his magic to create dramatic effects throughout the performance. Meanwhile Rashi was exploring the upper area of the Globe, paying particular attention to the rafters and the professional Varis located the Box Office. Tinus brushed past the actor who would be playing Queen Flavia in the play and slipped the pretend crown of Azertina into his tunic.

Plan of the ground and first floor of the globe

The doors opened and the people of Red Mills streamed in and paid their hard earned money to see the show. The owner and master of ceremonies, Pease Shaker, walked out on stage and introduced, with a slight change of personnel, the heroes of Red Mills. Bobo descended from above in a shower of butterflies, sparks and rainbow feathers. The crowd went mad! Tinus rose up from below in between pillars of flames, wearing the stolen crown at a jaunty angle. The crowd went even madder! Then the two started to play their instruments and sing in absolutely perfect harmony. The crowd went insane! Illusions of black and gold swans showered the crowd in sparkling lights. The crowd lost it altogether. They screamed in delight, it sounded like they would scream the roof off.

A plan of the third floor and roof of the globe

Rashi, who was in the rafters at this point had to hang on for dear life as the whole theatre shook. She managed to climb further out the rafters and squeeze under a beam into the dovecot on top of the roof of The Globe. She caught her breath and looked around. The place had trained doves for use in various shows and was otherwise empty. But then a door opened by itself and a dove rose into the air but with its wings pinned to its sides. A small piece of paper was wrapped around the dove’s leg as it moved towards the open window. Rashi made a grab for it, but it fell to the floor and then launched itself through the hole in the rafters into the main auditorium, where it flew around terrified of the pyrotechnics, the music and the screaming crowd. Confused Rashi headed down to tell the rest what she had seen. Leaving the dovecot apparently empty.

While the music of Bobo and Tinus and the illusions of Igorok were entertaining the crowd, Varis, ever the professional, watched as the doormen as they took the money boxes from the entrances to the box office to be counted. After a few minutes, he knocked on the door.
Tum-te-tum te-tum.
There was some nervous movement inside and then the door opened a crack.
“Sorry we’re not ready” said a nervous voice, “please come back in ten minutes!”.
The door closed and the key turned in the lock.

Varis left the room and headed back through the throng of actors going in all directions. The dragon got entangled in the giant snake, one horse’s head tried to help while a second one wandered out the stage door with a wooden duck under their arm. The singing duo came off stage after their third encore. The crowd were screaming so loudly it was hard to hear anything. Rashi arrived and pointed out the dove circling inside the auditorium, explaining what had happened in the dovecot. Igorok sent his owl familiar to fetch the dove, which it did with ease and brought the poor creature back to them. There was a note tied to its leg. It read:
DROO UOLZG ILKV LFG UILN YIRWTV ZUGVI NRWMRTSG. DZGXS ULI Z WFXP.

They searched through their various bags and sacks for the tattooed orc arm. Finding it Varis sat down to decipher the code. The crowd was distracting him, they were now booing the start of the play as it didn’t live up to its opening act. As best as he could make out it read:
WILL FLOAT ROPE OUT FROM BRIDGE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WATCH FOR A DUCK.

The owner, Pease, came by and paid Bobo and Tinus, who shared part of the earnings with Igorok. Reminded that they had a financial transaction to complete, they headed back to the Box Office. Tum-te-tum te-tum, they knocked. There was no reply. They listened at the boor and head muffled sounds from within. Bobo picked the lock and they moved into the room. The two clerks were bound and gagged in the corner. When their gags were taken out of their mouths they nodded at some broken wooden paneling in the corner and told them, “They went that way!”.

Diving through the hole they found themselves under the stage. Searching around they found nothing except the curtain to the front had been disturbed. Beyond the curtain the crown in the pit were flinging cabbages at the actors. The owl flew out and spotted two hooded figures exiting the auditorium into the stairwell. They returned to the Box Office and Bobo was just crawling in when the owner came through the door and demanded to know why they were robbing him!

After a complicated explanation they tried to figure out what to do. Igorok sent the owl outside and on the deserted street it soon saw the horse’s head figure with the duck running down the road. They all dashed out of the Globe and tried to find it. But it had disappeared.

In fact they found no one on the streets but someone found them. A hand reached from the shadows and grabbed Bobo by the scruff of his collar.

“Where’s our money?” inquired their Kalla friend with a hint of malice, “It was supposed to be at The Dead Man’s Wife half an hour ago!”.
“It’s been stolen!” they said defiantly, since they had her outnumbered and felt confident they could handle her on her own.
But the shadows in the lane shifted slightly and the roof coughed softly. Maybe they didn’t have the advantage after all.
“Well you’d best find it fast” she warned. “Consider it a loan. Shall we say fifty per cent per day. That’s five hundred, plus two fifty by this time tomorrow!” and she melted into the shadows.
“Ah!” said Bobo, “where are we going to get that?”
“The duck!” said the others, “the money is in the duck! We just go to the bridge and get it back.”
“There are five bridges” said Bobo counting, “One each!”

Map of Red MillsSo they scattered across Red Mills, one to each bridge. They were all in place just before midnight. The water bubbled beneath each bridge. Tinus was at one of the bridges near the South Gate. He didn’t hear anything near his bridge, but thought he head splashing downstream. With a shout he starting running towards the most easterly bridge. The one near where the Mill Race flows into the Tendar river.

This was Rashi’s bridge. At midnight while she watched in amazement a wooden duck appeared half way across the bridge, then a rope appeared and tied itself first to the duck, then to an upright on the bridge and with a splash it fell in the water. It floated downstream to the confluence of the Tendar. The rope pulled tight and the duck bobbed up and down. She could clearly hear paddles splashing in the water. Someone or something was paddling towards the duck. She shrank into the shadows, hoping the others would come soon.

Tinus, Igorok, Varis and Bobo came running to Rashi’s bridge. They could see the rope and that something was pulling on it. Varis left the road and ran down along the bank, just managing to see a row boat with eight orcs with Blood Moon shields paddling and pulling themselves along the rope toward the bridge. Igorok dashed for the centre of the bridge, he was trying to reach the rope but couldn’t quite make it. Varis whispered an incantation and the row boat was lit by ethereal faery fire, clear for everyone to see now and they could see that the duck had been hauled aboard. Fearing he would cut the rope, four of the orcs fired arrows at Igorok and three of the arrow thumped into his body. He fell to the ground with a groan. The others fired at Bobo and Tinus but missed. Bobo enraged that Igorok was down, fired an arrow at one of the lead orcs impaling an arrow in its shoulder. The orc grinned as he snapped the arrow off and was about to shout some insult when Rashi’s arrow came out of the dark and shut him up, forever.

Tinus decided that it might be better to sink the boat than try to fight seven orcs and he sent his three glowing arrows into the side of the dinghy, under the water line. But the boat floated on, all that happened was that it listed to one side slightly. Igorok lay dying in the middle of the bridge, his friends could see his life force draining from him. Varis ran along the bank and to save time vaulted flawlessly over the corner of the bridge and skidded to a halt next to his friend, whispering some healing words. Igorok’s eyes flickered open. Enraged the orcs concentrated their arrows on Varis, with many finding the mark. He fell and almost rolled off the bridge into the torrent of eternal dark waters below. He clung to life. Again Bobo shot an orc and again Rashi hit the same one, finishing him off. The two rogues were working well together.

Encouraged by his previous result, Tinus fired more magic arrows at the boat. This time the dinghy lunged to port and all the orcs had to cling on. Two failed to grab the gunwales and were swept away by the current. Igorok, stood over the body of his friend and raised his hands over the railings in the bridge, slippery grease erupted from his hands towards the boat but just as it was about to hit the boat lurched and the underside was covered instead. Varis groaned, he almost came round but not quite. He wasn’t dead yet! The boat glided faster through the water now and the four remaining orcs pulled themselves to the bridge and jumped up. The dinghy turned over floating upside down in the water, with no one pulling it, it sped down on the current until the rope ran out. It was held in position by the tangled duck. Bobo hammered an arrow into one of the four orcs but this time Rashi missed and didn’t quite finish the job.

Tinus now turned his magic from the boat to its former occupants and the arrows finished off the one Bobo had just hit and wounded another. Igorok anxious, as they all were, to get that gold filled duck molded some earth under the water to adjust the flow and dived in grabbing the rope and being swept by the current towards the turtled boat. Varis lay groaning on the bridge but the bleeding was slowing down. The three remaining orcs split up. The first attacked Rashi hitting her with his axe. The slashed his axe through Tinus’ guard. This was what being a Blood Moon orc is all about. They laughed at these weaklings! The third ran across the bridge and headed for the main part of town. Flustered, Bobo’s next shot went wide. Rashi tried to hit her attacker with her rapier, but the narrow blade could not get past the orc’s shield.

Tinus managed to hit his attacker with three glowing arrows, but the orc did not fall. Meanwhile Igorok reached the boat and struggled to pull the duck from under it. Eventually the wooden creature came free and the dinghy disappeared downstream and high speed. The bleeding from Varis’ wounds slowed again and his friends could tell he would live, if he wasn’t attacked again. There were only two orcs left on the bridge, one hit Tinus again, the other missed Rashi with his great axe. The third orc was now disappearing into the streets of Red Mills. Bobo shot the one who had just hit Tinus and the orc fell in a heap on the bridge. Rashi was badly hurt so she decided to run away from the orc attacking her.

Tinus dashed across the bridge to intercept the one chasing Rashi. Igorok was stuck at the end of the rope in the cold water unable to pull himself to safety and unwilling to let go of the duck. Varis lay unconscious. The last orc was distracted from Rashi by Tinus and clove him with his axe in fury. The sorcerer fell to the ground. Bobo and Rashi launched arrows at the orc and he fell.

Bobo and Rashi ran to Tinus collecting Varis’ medicine kit along the way and made him stable. Then they pulled Igorok from the water. Any joy of victory was short lived as they realised that the duck was just a wooden prop for the stage and had not been filled with stolen gold. Silence fell and the three looked at their unconscious allies and considered their next move.

“We could leave Red Mills” they all said together.


End of Session 2

Next session is Saturday 6th April


Experience Points

Rocking the house with the performance at the globe. 100XP
Strange goings on in the rafters and the dovecot. 100XP
Catch that pigeon. 100XP
Deciphering the note. 100XP
Trouble at the Box Office. 100XP
Friendly chat with the Kalla. 100XP
Battle with 8 Blood Moon Orcs. 8 x 100 = 800XP
Rescuing the duck. 100XP

For a total of 1500XP, divided between 5 is 300XP each.

Rashi 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Varis 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Igorok 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Bobo 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Tinus 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2

Yartalla 350XP Level 2
Issac 350XP Level 2


The heroes and villian of Red Mills

Most of the Heroes of Red Mills (the camera shy one is holding the camera!)