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Adventures in Aihrde 
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Master of the Kobold Raiders

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Post Adventures in Aihrde
Adventures in Aihrde - Part 1, Life in a Northern Town

Being the first session after an unfortunate but somewhat amusing TPK, the players (aged 13-17) have reconvened and requested that our new game take place in a different part of Aihrde. Riffing off our long-standing joke of "Walrus! We need to buy a walrus!" and looking over my collection of modules and Aihrde materials for inspiration, I decided to launch the new campaign up in the Hanse city-states, along the southwestern short of the Inner Sea. On hand to begin their adventuring life in the town of Port Lyon are:

Nolan, elven ranger
Sygni, gnomish cleric-bard of Mordius (class-and-a-half, cleric primary)
Sampson, halfling assassin. (Sampson's player is know for, shall we say, random acts of insanity.)
Jas-car, elven wizard
Isaac, elven druid

We established that Nolan and Isaac were "wilderness buddies" and knew each other already, and likely were slightly acquainted with Jas-car. None of the other characters had met yet, when...

Predawn, a late-summer morning. The alarm bell in Port Lyon is ringing for the Northmen of Holmgald have come to raid! A member of the town guard bursts into the common room, calling any able-bodied persons to arms to help repel the raiders. The characters don their armor and weapons and begin heading down to the common room.

Sampson has an idea: he'll attack the guardsman and join up with the raiders! Maybe they'll take him somewhere cool! He bursts ahead of the others, arriving at the bottom of the stairs to find the guardsman standing at the inn's doorway. Three other guests are preparing themselves in the common room: three humans, one in chainmail who's just buckling on his swordbelt; one in robes; and another clad in leather bearing a slim sword and a dagger. Undaunted, Sampson flings his throwing axe at the guard! The cry goes up: "Traitor! Infiltrator!" A brief melee ensues with the other characters siding with the town guard. Surrounded and horribly outnumbered, Sampson surrenders. He's knocked out, and left in the company of the innkeeper, who is instructed to tie Sampson up securely. Rope is produced and he's being tied to a chair as the guardsman leads the others out into the town.

Port Lyon possesses two long docks; a number of longships have either tied up to these or to ships already docked, and the docks & ships are a confused mass of Northmen, guards and sailors. But another longship is just now gliding in to beach itself not far from the inn, possibly in an effort to flank the defenders. The guardsman leads his impromptu band against the landing raiders.

A half-dozen raiders leap from the bows of their ship, forming a small shield-wall with swords and axes. The man holding the center bears a shield with a dragon pierced by a spear painted upon it; silver arm rings glint over his brigantine. Three more with longer weapons (two spears and a bearded axe) form up behind the shield wall, while a pair of archers take up position on the bow above them.

The archers engage, lightly wounding the guardsman. The fighter charges straight for the shieldwall, while the guardsman joins him. Sygni casts Soundburst, centering on the archers! She doesn't do much damage but it's enough to kill one of the spear-wielders and stun about 2/3rds of the raiders - but also stuns the friendy fighters! One of the archers is stunned so badly, though, that he falls off the ship into the water. The characters notice that the leather-clad man seems to have disappeared from view. The robed adventurer flings two bolts of arcane energy at what looks to be the barbarian chieftan. Jas-car summons his Unseen Servant, while Nolan readies his bown and Isaac charges forward with his spear.

As most of those in the melee stand stunned, the raiders on the flanks step out to attack the front-line defenders. Isaac duels with a raiding spearman, while Jas-car drops another raider with a magic missle and Nolan fires an arrow at the barbarian chieftan. Sygni readies her warhammer.

The fighting gets more intense! The surviving archer recovers and fires at Sygni, wounding her. The fighter and guardsman each manage to down a raider, but the fighter is dropped by a mighty blow from the barbarian chieftan. Nolan kills another with his bow. Isaac kills the spearman but with the shieldwall broken, two more raiders attack him! Suddenly, the leather-clad adventurer appears behind the axeman, spitting him neatly from behind! The axeman collapses.

The raiding archer wounds the leather-clad man badly, while the barbarian chieftan drops his shield and shortsword, ripping a two-handed greatsword from his back and fells the town guardsman with a single blow. Nolan manages to drop the archer. Isaac is wounded by his opponents and it looks grim, but the robed adventurer puts Isaac and the surrounding raiders to sleep. Sygni charges forward with her warhammer to guard the fallen - three feet of gnome squaring off against six-plus feet of barbarian and a sword twice at tall as she is! "For the gnomes!" she cries, swinging for his kneecaps. She connects and does some damage. Jas-car's unseen servant returns holding a handfull of arrows - the barbarian archer's quiver is now empty!

Only a few attackers are left standing. Jas-car throws a dagger and manages to put it into the eye of the last raider on the shore besides the chieftan! Nolan puts another arrow into the chieftan, but he shrugs it off - "Gyrfych will kill you all, and meet you in the feasting-hall another day!" Gyrfych and Sygni duel briefly while Nolan's arrows miss their targets. The leather clad man has faded from view again, but just as Gyrfych wounds Sygni badly enough to send her unconscious, he appears behind the chieftan and attacks! He misses, though, and Gyrfych fells him with a single blow.

Nolan drops his bow and moves forward with his trident, while Jas-car nervously stands behind with his dagger. And exchange of blows, and suddenly Nolan drops his trident! Gyrfych, though, says he won't kill a warrior without steel in his hand, and turns to deal with a pair of reinforcing guardsman. Nolan frantically grabs his godentag and tries to attack while Gyrfych downs the guardsman, but he drops it! He manages to recover it right as the second guardsman falls. Another defender atop a nearby building appears with a crossbow and manages to wound Gyrfych.

Nolan is wounded, but manages to wound Gyrfych badly. Seemingly stunned, Gyrfych stumbles. Nolan steps forward and with a desperate swing drives one of the godentag's spikes through Gyrfych's brain. The chieftan falls, while Nolan and Jas-car survey the carnage. The longship backs oars, pushing off from the beach before they can react.

Jas-car has a few goodberries from a previous escapade and manages to get one into Sygni, which is enough to get her conscious. He gives her the rest, which gives her the strength to administer first aid to the fallen defenders and heal Isaac, whom Jas-car has awakened. While Sygni works, the others pull the archer from the water (Isaac taking his short bow) and round up the unconscious raiders. Despondent over the death of his leader, the archer tells Nolan that Gyrfych's weapons and goods are his by right of arms. Nolan takes the shield, two-handed greatsword and Gyrfych's arm rings, along with a silver ankle chain. He also finds an interesting dagger that appears to be a sharpened dragon claw. The archer confirms this, saying that Gyrfych killed the dragon it was made from. He also tells them Gyrfych was only a subchieftan, but was master of his ship, and these men were his sworn warriors.

When the town guard arrives to take the prisoners away for interrogation (before hanging them properly, a guardsman confides), townsfolk come by to strip the other bodies and toss them into a cart. They tell the characters that the bodies will be dumped in a sinkhole. The archer begs the characters to burn Gyrfych properly as befits a chieftan, earning a beating from the guards for his trouble. Nolan and Sygni agree to do this. Sygni sets off to rent a mule from the innkeeper while Nolan guards the body, finding Gyrfych's shortsword and placing it in his hands. Jas-car returns to the inn to rest a bit, while Isaac heads to the main keep to propose a counter-raid, and to enquire about what's happened to Sampson.

It turns out Sampson and the other prisoners are having a very unpleasant time of it, particularly the supposed spy. Red hot items are being applied to uncomfortable places... the town guard isn't interested in a counter-raid, and in fact believes that patrols from nearby Capidistra, one of the premier Hanse cities, will soon make short work of the raiders. Isaac returns to the inn and then sets out again with Jas-car for a brief excursion out of town to search for a raven he can befriend.

Nolan and Sygni encounter wood-cutters on their way out of town and persuade one to sell them his load and help them build a pyre for Gyrfych. They burn the chieftan's body, collecting the bones afterward, hoping to prove to the raiders that they've kept their word. Arriving at the keep, the guard sergeant at first dismisses them, but is eventually persuaded by Sygni to at least tell the raiders that Gyrfych was burned as befits an honorable foe.

Meanwhile, Isaac has found a raven and successfully befriended it. He and Jas-car head back to the inn.

At dinner that night, the innkeeper tells the characters that their room and board for the week is on the house (though not their bar tab!) Sitting together, they spend a little time getting to know each other, and overhear the townsfolk discussing various things - a war between the thieve's guilds in near-by Capidistra; the fact that the monks at a nearby lighthouse haven't come in for their supplies in over a week; and the innkeeper telling a rich merchant that he's out of a particularly fine ale brewed in a nearby village.

While Nolan is examining the dagger, an older fellow in a green shirt and leather pants, carrying a woodharp, asks to examine it. Nolan passes it over, and the singer asks how Nolan came to possess it. Sygni tells the story of the morning's battle. In return, the singer tells them the little he knows about daggers like this one - the Northmen of Holmgald often hunt a particular breed of non-winged dragons, and will sometimes craft daggers like these from their claws. He hands it back to Nolan, and then moves closer to the fire and proceeds to sing a number of songs. Sygni makes note of these.

The next day, the surviving raiders, along with Sampson, are executed in the town square. As they're led to the gallows, Nolan shouts that Gyrfych was burned properly. His men seem slightly heartend as they head to their fate.

Back at the inn, the innkeeper is lamenting that he's still out of Black Eel Ale, and needs someone to pick up a load, but with raiders about, no carter will make the trip without a guard. Intrigued, the group offer to guard the cart for the trip. They arrange a deal with the innkeeper totalling 250 gold pieces for the group.

The group decides they could really use the services of the leather-clad man they fought alongside, and set off for the temple to see if he's able to travel. He's not yet, but Sygni is able to heal him somewhat, and he agrees to join them. They return to the inn to pack and make plans to set off the next day for the Eel's Head Brewery...

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Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:19 pm
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Ungern
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 90
Location: Provo, UT
Post Re: Adventures in Aihrde
Despite the treacherous actions of Sampson, it sounds like you have a great start to your new campaign. I look forward to reading more.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:16 pm
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