Mar 19, 2008

A Different Keep on the Boarderlands - Part 2

After the events earlier that night, Theodonis took a few moments to rest at the top of the tower before continuing on.

In addition to the kender ("Theo"), waiting down below were:

* Hunter, the half-elf ranger.
* Arterion ("Arti"), the elven mage
* Greybear, the druid
* and Bergin, a minotaur cleric

Thinking that the tower was empty, Theo continued down to the sleeping area, only to find himself under attack by a pair of hobgoblin spear-men. These warriors were much better trained than the guards Theo had previously fought and he soon found himself seriously wounded and overwhelmed by the attack. With few options, he fled down a second set of stairs to the ground floor, and hopefully a quick exit from this tower.

But the tower defenses were prepared for such an assault. They had overturned their feast table for cover and trained their bows on anyone coming down. One arrow and one crossbow bolt later and Theo was unconscious and bleeding at the foot of the stairs...

Meanwhile, outside the tower, the rest of the party waited... and waited. Only a few minutes had passed, but without word from the cheery kender, they quickly grew worried.

a kapak draconianUsing one of the breaches in the keep walls, everyone was able to sneak inside the compound unnoticed. They made their way to the tower door. Inside Greybear found himself talking with a coppery scaled humanoid creature that he soon recognized as a kapak, one of the five types of draconians that appeared in on Krynn during the War of the Lance. Nearby a hobgoblin held an unconscious Theo at knife point insuring no surprise attack from the druid.

"Don't make a move or your friend dies," the draconian spoke in a raspy, slithery tone.

For a moment Greybear thought darkly, "I have no friends", but the slight of the near dead kender was no laughing matter and the two quickly negotiated a ransom, which the druid promptly paid.

The two left the tower to rejoin the rest of the party and administered healing aid to Theo in the form of spells and potions. From within, they could hear a barracade being erected in front of the door...

At the other end of the courtyard, the party could hear the sound of a small band of guttural sounding humanoids amassing. A moment later the sound of them rushing toward the party set the stage for another battle, this one in the dead of night and in the middle of this old keep. At first the goblins and hobgoblins stayed back launching arrows till the party closed in for melee combat. The party traded steel and spells with the humanoids arrows and blades; both sides taking heavy damage. But soon after the party started gaining the upper hand and a few of the hobgoblin attackers fell. Meanwhile the remaining humanoids started ganging up on people, such as a pair of particularly nasty goblin rogues surrounding Theo or the hobgoblins that kept trading blows with Bergin. But before anyone else in the keep was alerted, the party defeated the rest of their attackers and made a quick exit out breach in the rear wall.

Just outside the keep, the party noticed a path leading from the keep to a small cave entrance a few hundred yards away. From the look of the tracks, Hunter could tell that all manner of beings had walked this path, from humans, elves, and dwarves, to goblins, hobgoblins, and one or two tracks from something much larger.

an arrow slitThe party also took the time to peer into the two large buildings at the back of the keep, via arrow slits and found that each building contained over two dozen prisoners, all weakened and covered in tattered cloth and grime, as well as one sleeping giant-like creature keeping guard over all of them.

Realizing that they had to do something for these prisoners, and hoping that Bergin's friend Cat was alive among them, the party formulated a rescue plan. Their first step was to enter one of the empty towers and rest for the remainder of the night. Figuring that the tower where all the goblins and hobgoblins had come from would now be empty, they went there.

a kapak draconian miniature from the D&D Minatures Dragoneye setThe first floor was abandoned, but the second floor held another kapak draconian and two hobgoblins wielding long polearms weapons. In the small space combat was tight, but eventually the three monsters were defeated. In a particularly interesting sight, when the kapak leader died, he dissolved into a small pool of corrosive acid. With the tower cleared (there were no guards in this location), the party secured the ground floor door and posted lookouts on the roof.