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DM's Journal 03

Session 3
Grelf, Snigemand, Raffaello and Orkan present. Gwendolyn unavailable and mystically wandering along with the party for later use.

After finishing off the bear, taking a bit of a rest, and deciding against skinning the brute, the party continued on their way. An hour or two later on the sunken road they disturbed a number of medium sized insectoid creatures. Medium size as in about the same as a human and larger than the Halfling, not medium sized for an insect. This threat was decisively dealt with, introducing the players to the interesting complications of saving throws and ongoing poison damage along the way.
Having been fairly thoroughly battered in the two altercations with wild creatures, the characters decided to camp for the night short of their destination and head in refreshed in the morning. The battering had nothing to do with flour and egg.
Early in the morning the group discovered the rubble which remains of Castle Rivenroar, the seat of a great family which once controlled much of the surrounding area. More importantly, they found an entrance to the remaining underground section of the castle built into a hill side. Orkan dropped a light spell onto Rafaello’s shield and the heroes entered. On passing down a flight of stairs they entered a hall lit by braziers (which turned out to move and spit fire across the room, but not in a particularly dangerous manner), double iron bound doors leading off in three different directions, and some guards; two hobgoblin soldiers and a pair of goblin crossbowmen. Crossbowgoblins. Whatever. The following battle was fierce and many serious wounds were dealt and received. It turns out Hobgoblin soldiers are quite dangerous fighting shoulder to shoulder. But the teamwork of the group of heroes was equal to the task and they were victorious. [The Halfling using his second chance power to make a hobgoblin re-roll the attack on him, resulting in a critical was amusing. Unless you were Snigemand I suppose]
On binding their wounds it was discovered that what tracks and signs could be found by Grelf on the damp flagstone floor were too trampled and confused from the high traffic in the area to give any guidance on which direction the prisoners were being held in. So the eastern doors were chosen for obscure and arbitrary reasons having to do with “any direction is as good as another”.
These doors led to a passageway which quickly turned north and led up a flight of stairs to a strange room, with alcoves seemingly designed to hold corpses and a large section of floor covered in glowing arcane runes. Which Grelf ran over too and jumped on to discover if they were dangerous. They were.
Blasted by the mystic fire, then set upon by two swarms of needlefang drakes, Grelf was in serious trouble and quickly pulled down and reduced to the point of death before Raffaello could aid him with the power of Avandra and Orkan could force the swarms away momentarily (into the runes as it happened). A gnome skulker began to snipe at the party as they set about dispatching the swarms of needlefangs. Grelf leapt back into action to chase down the gnome, eventually following the wounded enemy into the next corridor where it overcame him and hid in wait for any rescuers. Raffaello, Orkan and Snigemand finished off the swarms and not hearing Grelf ran to his aid and joined their efforts to stop him bleeding to death, while under fire from the gnome. Realising it was trapped, the gnome tried to break out through the party but was beaten down and killed before it could get past. They then fell back to the rune room to catch their breath and bind their growing collection of wounds. There they discovered some items laid away in the alcoves, taking possession of a longbow, some leather armour, and a crystal orb which appears as a solid ball of mist.
Grelf has souvenired a hand crossbow and some quarrels in the expectation that he might run out of arrows.
After the break, they checked the next room and found a fountain of clean water and Adronsius, a Dwarven alchemist and one of the people they were sent to rescue. It turned out that he also had a good idea where one of the other prisoners was being held, having been led there blindfolded for questioning.
It is now about mid morning.  The party is somewhat tired and Grelf has been to the brink of death already, but it is too soon to stop for the night and the other prisoners await. And perhaps also their captors.

Yep, the party got through 3 encounters, found their first treasure of the campaign and found one of the people they were sent to rescue.