A Company of Heroes… Episode One
Cast: Sir Fintan Delware, Human Paladin of Pelor Seebo Jebbeddo Alesbook Zook Folkor; Gnomish Sorcerer Thorin Steelhammer; Dwarven Cleric of Morradin Orophin “Phinn” Elanesse; Elven Bard
A chance gathering at the Inn of the Welcome Wench in the village of Hommlet saw the formation of the Emridy Meadows Historical Society. The members, were our intrepid heroes and two additional members who had come to join them for their first expedition.
The first was another bard by the name of Redithor who made up for his lack of musical talent with heartfelt enthusiasm. He had planted the seed in the mind of Seebo, Fintan, Thorin and Phinn that there may be adventure to be had in the old abandoned Moathouse in the eastern bogs some 10miles from Hommlet.
Locals scoffed at the idea including local man Chat Unrosh who made no real friends amongst the society other than to offer his services as a guide to the Moathouse. Apparently, according to Chat, the Moathouse was a tame site for adventure in which he had explored as a child. If children could freely play amongst the ruined Moathouse, what would be the point of trekking out there in swords and shields? Nevertheless, the heroes were undaunted and accepted Redithor’s offer of “high” adventure. Chat therefore offered to show the intrepid adventurers the way to the Moathouse at first light and offered to buy the first round of drinks.
It was noted however that Sir Fintan did not care for Chat and found him to be untrustworthy and that his sixth sense for knowing who to trust was ringing alarm bells. Insultingly, Sir Fintan declined the drink and retired to his room in the Inn.
That killed the mood somewhat and it was not before the night was drawn to a close…
At first light they gathered in the courtyard of the Inn and Chat, as promised was there to lead them on. The stroll was light and easy and the locals seemed to acknowledge Chat, but seemed wary of the others. It was as Chat explained, that Hommlet and its surrounds were the site of a great evil uprising some 25 years ago and that locals have long memories of “strangers”.
Not long after midday, the Emridy Meadows Historical Society as they had suddenly called themselves, arrived at the moathouse. The bog was tricky to negotiate, but a path was found through the reeds. Suddenly, Thorin was flying through the air feet first! Startled, it took a moment to react, but Thorin was being dragged into the gaping maw of a giant frog! The frog was assailed and the grip on Thorin was released. The Dwarf was indignant as the frog scampered off into the reedy bog as he was covered in slime and muck, but at least there was no harm done.
Approaching the drawbridge to the moathouse, it was clear that this party of travellers were not the first through here as the drawbridge showed signs of recent repair. This heartened the adventurers and caused Chat to scoff at how a “dark and mysterious dungeon” such as the Moathouse was apparently being maintained by the local authorities! The sarcastic conversation however toned down however when upon entering the courtyard, it was apparent that something had been attacked and dragged into the open doors of the Moathouse proper. Blood lined the floor and the stair case into the main building.
Sir Fintan stepped forward to investigate and focused his thoughts on the dark and open doorway. Instantly he felt a deep sense of dread and before he could warn his colleagues, he was confronted with a rampaging Blue Dragon! From a poorly maintained childrens playground, the Moathouse was now a house of death as the Dragon assailed Sir Fintan and struck several blows.
The group fanned out and attempted to combat the large serpent, but the force of his blows was too much and the dragon was amongst them. Several blows were landed, but the effect was minimal. Fintan smited the Dragon and it winced in pain, but overall the battle was going badly. The dragon roared and bit down on the brave but foolhardy Redithor and his arm was ripped from his socket and he fell ashen face onto the paving.
The dragon was a hovering cloud of death as it scratched and clawed at the remaining companions and after a rash exchange of sword and spell fire, the Dragon flew to the top of the watch tower across the courtyard from the doorway. Its tactic was soon apparent as a lightning bolt scorched from its jaws and Sir Fintan felt the full force of the blast and he knew no more.
Thorin raced to his aid and Phinn grabbed the mortally wounded Redithor. Seebo and Chat ran to the doorway before a further lightning bolt could be summoned. Thorin healed Sir Fintan but they were caught in the courtyard. They sprinted for their lives and just made it before the Dragon could claw them again. The group was now inside the building, but trapped. The roof was patchy at best and flashes of claw and blue scale could be seen through the exposed beams and the group collectively went downstairs to perhaps seek an alternate escape route.
Unfortunately, Redithor had died from his wounds and his body was laid in a corner with a few quick sermons from Thorin to guide him to the After Life.
The group was rattled at this point in time and whilst the healing wand was used heavily, Seebo was concious that he was getting low on spells. The stairs descended, and the group, led by Sir Fintan trekked down arguing all the way about next moves and how to avoid becoming Dragon feed. At the base of the stairs, two Gnolls stepped out of the glooming torchlight and struck at Sir Fintan. The battle was sudden and furious but Chat was suddenly exposed as a traitor as he went to stab Sir Fintan in the back!! With the Gnolls quickly dispatched, Phinn drew a bead on the traitorous Chat and was tempted to kill him on the spot. Seebo sensing that a traitor is better alive and talking dazed Chat with a Colour Spray spell and tangled him in a Tanglefoot Bag. Sir Fintan drew his manacles out and cuffed the traitor and soon Chat was spilling the beans that he was hired to kill them when he saw the “symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye” which was the Holy Symbol that the two Gnolls were wearing.
Thorin recognised this symbol as the symbol of the group of robed humans who had killed several of his kinsman some years ago and realised that a force stronger than fate had guided him to Hommlet. Phinn too had seen the symbol before as well from stories on the open road and counselled the group that this symbol meant danger of the highest order. Chat was coerced into complying with the needs of the group and to continue to ply his skills with locks when required but otherwise was to go unarmed and manacled.
The group refocused and continued… the moathouse was vile and musty and after a quick battle with a ghast and his ghoul minions, they found a secret passage within a stone pillar. Phinn discovered that a panel in the pillar slid open to reveal a rung ladder descending even further. Deciding against descending further due to their depleted state, the group marked the pillar and moved on.
It was not long however that the company found themselves in the presence of more gnolls an evil and insane woman cleric and her undead skeleton minions.
Most of the skeletons were destroyed by Thorin as he thrust his holy symbol at the undead and the gnolls were dispatched quickly as well.
Seebo threw a flaming bottle of alchemy fire onto the cleric and she continued to bark orders at her minions depite being on fire. She was felled by Sir Fintan’s blade and the gnolls dispatched with the accurate bow fire of Phinn.
The last adversary was a large 9’ tall skeleton with a great club. Sir Fintan, adept at fighting the undead, took out a heavy mace and set about smashing the large skeleton to bits. The battle was over!
Sifting through the remains, a blanket was found holding several clearly evil looking artifacts. A strange looking scepter, a closed black tube, an iron torch with 3 black cones set in it and a black sphere. These were huriedly packed into Seebo’s bag of holding and the group realised that a) they were dead tired and b) that Chat had escaped during the battle.
A quick check of the secret passage revealed no clues and Chat wasnt found upstairs. With the sun setting outside and a Dragon still lurking somewhere, the remaining four heroes decided to bunk down in the old kitchen of the Moathouse. What will the dawn bring!