Friday, February 11, 2022

Holgard Campaign Session 10 - Texas Chainsaw Massacre

 Foreword (11/02/2022): This was a special session as we will see the death of many PCs but the birth of a very important and hilarious faction/religion that persists in the campaign to this day.

SESSION 10 (24/07/2021)

Evil characters in play @ the lumberjack camp south of Warton. Introduced two new PCs. One of my players wanted to be a goblin. I followed Gygax's advice on the matter...

Characters: Bale Tyrannus, Rudolph von Schliefen (alias: Heins Hapsburg), Domnall Brosnachain (roach monger),

Roslyn Lura: A high elven magic user. Acts and looks like a pointy eared Regina George from Mean Girls. Trying to prove to her parents she can take care of herself.

Maxwell Elijah Klirx Prophet (Max Prophet for short): Goblin Shaman from Tifpakatz clan in the Grywold. With no hair, pitch black eyes, and a 10 inch hooked nose, he looks like some sort of leprous gnome plague-doctor. Chief Economist of Merlonomics in the settlement. Hates goblins, reveres humans.

No downtime, these characters were only available to play today.

Day 120 (24/07/2021)
Domnall wakes up with a Terra Formar's roach face. Rudolph and Bale are sick, and concerns over the lumberjacks reaction lead Domnall to crafting a bark mask so he can move about freely. During the night, the lumberjacks caught a disturbing looking goblin snooping around, and chained him to a tree stump. Max Prophet quickly wins over the hearts of the party begging to help them, and is recruited, with the chain going around his neck like a pet. He only knows 2 words in Common: "Beautiful human".

At some point a fine elf dame walked into the settlement out of the woods. She's very stuck up. Bale is frothing, but he gets mogged by Rudolph who the elf takes to immediately. There was some weird interactions here I will avoid. Anyway, comforting himself that he could take what he wants by force if he felt like it, Bale refocuses the party on the matter at hand: Raiding the goblin village and taking it over. Max says there are 4000 goblins there. The parties disposition changes entirely, but they don't know what else to do. I don't know what the final plan involved, but they all decided to head to the goblins anyway, possibly planning on coming in as prisoners of Max Prophet or feeling secure with the explosive vial Bale had. Max then says it's a day or two away, and the party buys 2 weeks worth of rations at extortionate prices from the lumberjacks, who can't spare more as they won't be getting a supply drop for a few more days.

They head into the woods, journeying for the day peacefully. They set up camp that night, and the dogs are hungry. Max changes his mind and says it will take a few days instead. The party, frustrated with the creature's inconsistency, chains him to the tree for the night... And they sleep.

Day 121 (25/07/2021)
The party wakes up after an uneventful night. They decide to go hunting since they will need food anyway, and only have about one day left. Bale heads out first with Skinker and Gutmuncher, one of which urinates on Max, as well as 4 men at arms. I use something like the ranger tracking rules to 'find' a wilderness encounter. They come to a gnarled and ancient tree with huge knots and branches sprouting in a grotesque and overwhelming fashion. The dogs are growling at a huge cavity in the bole. The canopy here is so dense they need torches. One of the men at arms approaches it to look closer, he screams and moves back, claiming he heard a voice. Bale is pretty cluey, says they should probably leave it alone. A voice speaks directly into his mind saying this is wise. They leave, hoping to find more trails... The dogs guide them to a clearing with 12 wild bulls! Far too dangerous for the group's sensibilities. They persist... On their way back to the rest of the group, they hear some thumping and coarse syllables ricocheting off the trees, somewhere distant. One of the men at arms says it sounds like ogres. Thoroughly spooked and hungry, the 'hunters' return to camp...

Everyone breaks off into hunting parties. Nobody has success except Bale leaves with the dogs and Max, who come across 3 Owlbears lounging about in a copse. They return to a despondent camp by nightfall, everyone feeling down about the day's failings. So they plot to raid the lumber jack camp for supplies instead. The men at arms agree this is sensible.

At this point, Max Prophet says that he thinks Goblin Town is about half a day away...

Day 122 (26/07/2021)
The party is going to the camp. Their plan is to enter peacefully at night, which is when they should get back, then assassinate the sentries after everyone has gone to bed. They get in, and one of the old lumberjacks is a bit suss on how they are staying awake late and keeping their armour on. He heads off to bed.

Rudolph goes to the northern sentry, while some men at arms pair off and go to the four other lookouts spread about the encampment. Rudolph approaches in a friendly manner, then distracts the lumberjack by pointing out some shadows ahead. He tries to assassinate him but fails, getting a back stab instead and killing him. Then a bell starts ringing. From the large donga behind Rudolph comes the old battler and 9 other lumberjacks ready for battle with their axes. Bale is readying his heavy crossbow while the other pairs of men at arms charge the sentries. The battle is on! I switched to 1:5 scale here, putting the players on their own bases. They moved towards the river. One group of lumberjacks clashes with Bale, the dogs, and a few men at arms while Rudolph slinks through the camp to join Bale. Domnall, Max, and Roslyn hang behind (south), throwing darts, sling bullets, and illusory magic. Max accidentally hit Skinker with a sling bullet!

Meanwhile, the sentries and men at arms are exchanging at the outskirts. Some sentries fell, but also some men. There is a group of lumberjacks coming up towards Domnall/Roslyn/Max from the south who get annihilated by a flurry of darts, a well placed sling bullet, illusory goblin javelins, and finally the two men at arms who took out the southern sentry charged in from the flank. The old lumberjack and his crew clash into Bale's base, but 5 of them are stuck on the outskirts, flanking around the campfire. More lumberjacks come out of one of the shacks, and clash with two men at arms who killed a sentry.

There are 1 sentry and 1 man at arms on the outskirts of the camp just having an epic duel with neither gaining ground.

This whole thing is quite confusing. My notes are nonexistent. Lessons will be learned from this!

At some point Bale's dogs rip into some lumberjacks and start a feasting blood frenzy. Bale smashes heads in with his morning star, Rudolph slicing with short-sword. They absolutely decimate the unit. The serjeant and men at arms by the river aren't actually fairing too great. Charging out of the east, they get rammed into by one unit of lumberjacks who had circled around the big campfire. They almost all die except the serjeant and one man. The five lumber jacks who charged the two men at arms near a sentry won their battle with a small loss, and then charged for the ranged players. Roslyn retreats to the river. Domnall tries to redirect his illusions. They work for a moment but some men push through, their physical contact dispelling it, and one lumberjack readies his axe and splits Domnall's skull in twine, the grotesque roach visage revealed through the cloven bark mask. Max Prophet is somehow okay. Bale and Rudolph join Max, cutting down the two lumberjacks who tried to surrender. The serjeant and his man are slaughtered with axe. The old man and eight others join over their corpses, facing Bale, calling for an end to this. Bale refuses their request while Roslyn wipes out two of them with her darts! The final two bases collide.

Meanwhile, the sentry and man at arms dueling ditch their weapons and go into a grappling match.

Max gets knocked unconscious! The lumberjacks go to surround the PCs (Roslyn is still by the river slinging darts). One of them goes astray and hits Rudolph for 1 damage! She is redeemed when she kills one and wounds another of the lumberjacks. Bale smashes one to death, Rudolph cuts one down. However, now there are two behind them and one in front! Rudolph turns and faces the two. Rudolph is cut down by one of the men, dead because of Roslyn's rogue dart causing the blow to drop him below 0HP! Bale kills the man in front of him, copping some blows from behind. He turns and faces the last two. Him or Roslyn kill the assassin's assassin. Then Roslyn times out, leaving Bale to take care of the rest. He overbears the lumberjack. Bracing himself on the ground and shoving his shoulder/elbow into the man's solar plexus, he winds him, sends him into the air, before he drops onto the ground, dead.

The man at arms murdered the lumberjack by choke holding him unconscious and slitting his throat.

Also, at some point, one man at arms fled into the forest when things were getting suss.

Bale, Roslyn, the dogs, one man at arms - that is all that survived this Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Oh, and Max Prophet, who they stabilised and had ticked over to -5HP, almost incurring permanent damage!

Bale hops into bed with the dogs, bloodied and gore ridden, quite satisfied with the evening's proceedings. Roslyn retired to another cabin. Max crawled to some shelter and entered a coma.

Day 123 (27/07/2021)
It's a beautiful day.
Bale is washing himself in the river with the bloodied hounds, wishing Roslyn was too, when the barge-master arrives with a shipment of supplies and two cultists of Globulah, a god of blood. The barge-master is shocked by the scene, wondering how Bale's claims of goblins coming in and killing at least 40 men with no dead goblins can be true, and quickly sells him 4 weeks rations before leaving, stating he will not be returning here. Roslyn comes out crying that she is widowed and begging for sympathy, but the barge-master doesn't want any gold diggers, and turns her away. The cultists set to Globulah's work immediately, cutting the flesh away from the dead bodies and cleaning the bones to construct effigies. The party loots the camp, but they only scrounge up 60GP, 30GP of which they had paid for rations. There's also a few more weeks of rations.

Everyone agrees these two Globulites would make a great addition the party. Introducing two new PCs:

Finin O'Connagain: A 5'7" skinny half-elven Cleric 1/Magic-User 1. Devout of Globulah

Greg Chapel: A 5' 209lbs porky man with loose skin and a big brown beard. Devout of Globulah. Has eaten human flesh.

These Clerics are on a quest to recover the fabled components of Globulah and reconstruct him, bringing about a day where the 'rivers will run red'. Overall, nice blokes. Their stall on the Street of the Gods in Underland isn't doing too good so they want to recruit more followers. The remaining man-at-arms has found purpose in the proto-gods teachings, and is now set to be initiated as a Globule of the faith.

The party is going to hunker down at this camp, and set about fortifying themselves, before setting their eyes on the goblins to the east, and Warton, to the north...

Character Role & Alignment Performance Ratings
Roslyn Lura: (E)xcellent. Very keen sense of self preservation and role in battle. Apt use of magics without hesitation.
Bale Tyrannus: (E)xcellent. Last survivor of the Underland Ghettocalypse. Absolute beast on the battlefield with no fear.
Max Prophet: (E)xcellent. I was trying to find a reason to rate this character down. Not enough opportunity to use prepared shaman spell.

60 gold from the lumberjacks (including the 30 they already paid them for rations). I guess the camp counts as the base they were trying to get...

Experience Points
Bale: Frozen until he levels up
Roslyn: 100
Max Prophet: 100

These characters are unavailable for play until Day 123, namely, 27/07/2021.

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