Session 27 - Razorback
Foreword: A "successful" session - the players scored big, got off scot-free, and had a fun adventure!
Timekeeping: Session started on the 14/05/2022 and ended on the 24/05/2022. Downtime requests available from 25/05/2022
Caelestis Daemon - 7ft lump of muscle with traps to his ears - 18 years old - Human F1 - CG - 11HP
Daubeny Jamwine - Some Hobbit with a crazy dex bonus - 45 years old - Hobbit T1 - NG - 6HP
Malcolm Mount-Batten - A refined ranger with one of those wide-brimmed British archer helmets - 22 years old - Human Ranger 1 - NG - 11HP
Finesstro the Nimble - Sportacus with bath robes and nothing underneath - 28 years old - Human Magic User 1 - NG - 4HP
Due to this being a new roster there was no downtime to adjudicate except for Finesstro the Nimble (who had downtime from 14/04/2022). Having heard of his friends dying in the sewers beneath Underland while he was sinking ale after ale in the tavern above, he decided to see if the city guard would go down with him and check out the explosion that was heard. They came across a strange study-room with alchemical equipment (mostly destroyed now), as well as the charred carcasses of what must be his friends, for the distinct jawline of Sixtus Sunwalker was evident on the skeleton. The bodies had been picked clean and very obviously after their demise - for sooty trails and disturbances were everywhere. While he was there with the guards, a phantasm appeared! The guards fled, but Finesstro remained and witnessed the traumatic recollection of Milton North being ripped to shreds by a ghastly troll. As an act of Good he gathered his friends remains and set to Sunland where a proper burial was held. The Lord of the town (a Patron player whose PC was one of those who died) declared that the 13th of April would be Saviour's Day (the day of the heroes death), and that monuments to the fallen heroes who have aided Sunland would be erected.
Aside from this, Finesstro also uncovered some knowledge in the Underland library pertaining to two alleged ruins - the journal of a time-lost explorer documenting a supposed wizard's tomb 70 miles north of Thropsford, and an old ledger specifying a strange ruined village uncovered during patrols far to the south-west of Underland.
The session opens up in the Giant's Shin in Underland. There is no period of awkward introductions as the 3 new PCs are wrangled together by Finesstro the Nimble and soon find a common bond in their conveniently shared birthdays. The 'sacrifice' of seriousness for the unbelievable is totally run-over by its efficacy in driving the game forward. Anyway, for some reason all the players joined hands and I had no idea why. Caelestis got Finesstro intro a friendly headlock when Bill came up to the table.
In the city discord channel Bill posted a notice a week ago about some troubles with a giant boar in the outback.
A notice has been posted at the Giant's Shin by an estranged farmer and hunter who is requesting aid in hunting down an elusive and vicious giant boar ravaging the countryside to the west. He claims it's tusks are over a foot long, while the creature itself is the size of a carriage. Bill is offering considerable payment and undisputed access to the spoils of the beast's lair if someone can provide it's head! The man is staying at the Giant's Shin for a week. Otherwise, find him at his campsite on Broken Hill, by following the road North-West of Underland towards Brill, and heading due south from Traveller's Lake for another 30 miles."
Yes. This is totally a Razorback reference. After Elf Finder General's Thread on Razorback I watched the movie (something I should have done a while ago, being Australian myself). I couldn't resist sticking it in the game... And it stuck. The players pounced on this and soon enough, after some supplying and equipment checking by Finesstro, the crew were on their merry way to the scrubby north-west of the continent. The temperate moist plains of Underland conveniently gave way to bush-land and after a day of riding they rested. On this first night Bill confessed to Finesstro some anxiety about the parties efficacy when it was revealed that the three new PCs all shared parental complexes related to abandonment or violence. Finesstro was dexterous with his words and calmed the old farmer... Thus they rested. The following day the party arrived at Traveller's Lake, and ran into their first encounter...
It was near night-fall when the party sighted a bonfire and large group of people prostrating before an idol by Traveller's Lake. Bill swears and informs the party about the local Fish Cult who he hoped to avoid. Apparently they charge a toll for camping and accessing the water, and as long as you follow their instructions there won't be any trouble. The party gets closer. Someone makes a joke about Old Gregg and I inform them that the idol does look like Old Gregg. Anyway, this weirdo in fishy looking robes with gaunt face comes up. He comments on the Hobbit having favourable blood but nothing comes of this - Finesstro fronts the 10gp camping fee for each member, and informs everyone they will pay him back when they get some treasure. Bill warns everyone to go to sleep straight away and not open their eyes that night. Everybody is tense while very obvious Cthulhu chanting is going off down by the lake and the water is lapping. While everybody is asleep in their cloaks and bedrolls (or pretending to be) they hear squelching steps and a gurgling heaving like a fish out of water by their campsite. Finesstro feels slimy scales rub against his face but... The night passes peacefully. Everybody is up before the cultists. There is some talk about wanting to do something about these evil people - at least robbing them while their asleep seems noble. Cooler heads and impatient Bill's prevail, and the party follows a dusty trail due south into some red-dirt hills for the rest of the day. They go to Bill's shack about 5 miles North-West of Broken Hill, and camp there for the night...
The characters are up early and leave Bill (who has a peg-leg from the boar) for a watering hole with a wind-mill to the south-east about 5 miles. They get given a map. Now this is a very interesting situation as the party has a ranger - who can follow tracks! As they arrive at the hole they notice two things - a group of boars drinking around it and, roving over the red hills, a pack of 7 huge wolf spiders charge into the boars and start attacking. The swine flee but 3 get pulled down. The party waits it out and once the coast is clear heads down to the watering hole - where they pull out a waterlogged and mostly consumed corpse of a human buried in the mud. Huge prints are around the site which Malcolm the Ranger picks up and finds a trail! The hunt is on! The party follows him east and by late evening they make it to a strange cave-like formation - two hills intersecting with thorny brambles forming a roof. A pungent and acrid odour permeated the air. There is no activity. Daubeny the Hobbit elects to scout ahead into the darkness while I dutifully roll his Move Silently check. His predator vision doesn't pick up anything but a huge amount of tiny signatures which are presumably maggots given the stench. His foot kicks something and he hears coins tip out. All breaths are held as the echo subsides. Nothing. He calls out. Nothing. Quickly he scoops up a handful of coins and returns. Turns out he found some electrum, and pocketed 20 of them for himself.
The tone changes now as night comes and the party tries to decide on a course of action. They unanimously agree they will fill the place with oil, lead a trail of oil away, and when (if) it returns they will blast it while it sleeps. Firstly they scope the lair out - a lantern is lit and... Score! There are just bags and bags of electrum coins scattered about. Dead, maggot-filled carcasses adorn the place. No signs of plate armour on the corpses, only some banded and chain. Though they do find a couple of gems. Four oil flasks are poured around what appeared to be a nest, and the party, after spreading the oil, drags the fetid bodies over it to mask the scent. They depart from the cave and lie in wait some distance away...
Finesstro dumps his spare rations and all the saddle-bags are loaded with electrum, amounting to 1200EP total. Next, Daubeny's two large sacks are tied to the warhorses (owned by previous PCs - decent inheritance!) with 400 EP each, amounting to 2000EP total to be hauled away. As per Bill's request, the Razorback's bristly head is severed and brought back. Finesstro skins the beast too intending to utilise its rough hide. They make it back to Bill's camp safely by evening, and the haunted man is at a loss for words as his vendetta is ended with a charred head thudding on his doorstep. He promised the party a family artifact if they did this task, and so, he hands them the dingy old heavy crossbow he carried around... But not before showing them that it auto-cocks itself. All eyes were wide open as this item was received. The players immediately discussed (away from Bill) how they were going to sell it. *facepalm* Malcolm also donated 400 of his EP to Broken Hill (via Bill).
Over the next few days they journeyed back, which was uneventful except for an encounter with 2 red-desert berserkers who charged them (but got mowed down by missile weapons + the new crossbow, which Caelestis used though non-proficient). Looted 24 silver pieces off them. They also came across a trail of giant arts marching into the north, but had surprise and avoided them. (note: need to find out if PCs should actually get the 'sold' XP if they end up using the magic item on their adventure back to civilisation. This session I gave it to them but probably not kosher - you either keep it and that person gets the keep-reward, or you sell it and divide the GP for group XP. Use of the item then selling means you keep it for a short period and selling won't give group XP)
|yeah, yeah... So you robbed them? I'll call off that hit then
The party makes it back to Underland and we round off the session with some haggling. Two of the PCs (Daubeny and Caelestus) take their gems to Alfie Solomons who is conveniently the last jeweler in Underland. He regrets to inform them that their have been some changes to his business and will be charging 100gp per gem-stone evaluated for price (Jewelers don't evaluate for free! Read the DMG!). They refuse and leave on bad terms, insulting Mr Solomons. The other two PCs (Finesstro and Malcolm) go to Barbanikos to sell the magic crossbow. Barbanikos says he needs to check it out and after a while ends up calling Finesstro saying he'll buy it for 5000GP. The players jaws' all drop and the deal is immediately accepted. Finesstro requests his share be kept by Barbanikos in exchange for magical knowledge (the result of which is yet to be revealed). Afterwards, Finesstro and Malcolm take the gems from the other two PCs and go to Alfie to get them evaluated. They notice Alfie is a bit down and inquire - when it's revealed he had some bad customers, Finesstro says he had some gems that he stole from some chumps. Alfie notices that they are the same ones the rude customers brought in, and kindly gives the PCs who "robbed" them a discount of 50gp per evaluation. I note this event as two Good players intentionally lied for personal gain. Turns out the gems are rubbish anyway and Alfie buys both of them for 54gp. It is agreed that Malcolm gets this XP since he fronted the cost. There was some talk of going to Thropsford but the PCs seem to be a lot more cautious now since rumours in the campaign discord have revealed that settlements between cities have been dwindling due to raids from bandits and monsters. The Iron Kingdom is rusting.
2000 EP (1000GP value)
20 EP (10gp value, Daubeny only)
54 GP (Malcolm only)
Razorback = 465XP
Wild men x2 = 22XP (total gain reduced to 9XP by relative strengths, as per DMG p84)
Caelestis = 1618
Daubeny = 1628
Finesstro = 1618
Malcolm = 1672
Character Performance Ratings:
Caelestis = E = Apt adventuring spirit, brave, generally behaved in accordance with Good.
Daubeny = E = Employed thief abilities appropriately, took advantage of opportunities to make some extra money
Finesstro = E = Thought strategically and avoided the front lines. Was eager to give up his treasure share to Barbanikos the Wizard for magical knowledge. Note, did lie to the jeweler Alfie Solomons for personal gain.
Malcolm = E = Appropriate use of ranger abilities in tracking the Razorback. Considered the well-being of the outback residents of Broken Hill when donating his excess share. Note, did lie to the jeweler Alfie Solomons for personal gain.
Downtime Requests: None given at end of session. Downtime will be from 25/05/2022.
Comments: It was nice to see the players come back strong after the past two sessions had ended in either a TPK or loss of resources with minimal gain. After 1 session we've got a Thief ready to level up and the other 3 PCs pretty close.