Real World Info
This session was played on April 9, 2009, featuring Black Water, Colin, Hamish the Dim and Pog. NPCs include Clamdigger and his men when ambushing the bandits, and three ill-fated hirelings when delving once more into the tower cellars.
Our heroes cut a deal with their old comrade Clamdigger in order to ambush the bandits living under the Ghost Tower of Inverness. They are successful, though at a price. Returning to the Tower, they finally explore the once-barricaded chamber to the north of the entrance and learn of its terrible guardian. In the end, the party returns to Malinbois laden with more wealth than they'd accumulated in all of their previous adventures combined.
I: Chatting with Clamdigger
One of Clamdigger's men contacts Black Water and Hamish at the inn, informing them that his employer has a business proposition for them. Crossing the river, they meet Clamdigger at one of the run-down warehouses fronting the town docks. The thief proposes a plan to ambush the bandits from the Ghost Tower as they bring their goods down the river. Our heroes agree to participate in exchange for 45% of the take, as long as Clamdigger and his men join the ambush and share the risks. Returning to the inn, they inform the late-awakening Pog of the plan. The dwarf is amenable.
II: Blackwater Ambush
Well into the night, with a crescent moon gleaming in the sky, Clamdigger leads the party, along with Chowder and Clamato, to an ambush-point upriver from Malinbois. Black Water hides behind a rock with his sleep spell prepared, while the others string a rope across the water to catch the bandits' boats and ready their weapons to attack anyone who remains awake. After our heroes get into position, two boats paddle quietly downstream. Sadly, the lead boat contains a trained dog that scents the ambush and alerts the bandits. As Black Water incants his spell, the bandits hear his voice and fire off a volley of arrows at his silhouette. The spell puts all of the enemies to sleep, but as he speaks the final word of the spell, a lucky arrow strikes him in the throat, killing him. The rest of the party give the bandits the coup de grace.
The ambushers bring back Black Water's body along with the expedition's booty — some old furniture, crates of cloth, barrels of wine, crocks of honey and other assorted cargo. One crate has a layer of coins hidden beneath a stack of linen; the thug who discovers this tries to conceal the fact, but the otherwise dim Hamish reads the cupidity on his face all too well. Profits are split and our heroes return home flush with coin, albeit saddened by the loss of an old hand.
III: The Ghoul
The next day, the surviving party members recruit a new member, a halfling named Colin, to replace their fallen comrade. They also hire on a handful of survivors from the Torchbearers' ill-fated delve into the crypts of Castle Amber. After stopping to bury Black Water beside his fellow magic-user Immortus at the feet of the Boss, they continue on to the Ghost Tower.
Perceiving the rotting stench from the north to be stronger than before, the adventurers head in that direction. As they turn the corner, they are assailed by a dreadful ghoul! Greenish-black and taller than a man, with a bloated stomach that squirms as if it holds a living thing, it tears apart one of the party's new retainers and carries the body off. The party pursues it into the formerly barricaded chamber to the northeast, a place full of bones and rotting coffin fragments and scattered gleaming coins! The canny ghoul surprises its pursuers, slaying another retainer. It manages to kill the third retainer, but the adventurers themselves are made of sterner stuff. Though the name of the Boss fails to repel the creature, they stab and crush it with weapons, then finish it off with the liberal application of holy water. Wounded and without aid, the adventurers take a few moments to loot the chamber, then return to the safety of civilization.
IV: Losses & Loot
The party killed five bandits, a bandit leader, one mute war dog and one oversized ghoul. They obtained a share of the loot taken from the bandits, along with various treasures dredged up from the rotting debris of the ghoul chamber: a handful of coins, three large rubies, assorted jewelry, a flask of sour, syrupy blue-green liquid that made Pog feel much stronger when he tasted it, a spear of white wood that sucked blood from Pog's hand when he picked it up, and a suit of enchanted chain mail blazoned with the wolf's-head insignia of the family du Marais, the ruling house of Malinbois. After fencing the gems and jewelry to Clamdigger, Hamish and Pog came away with 1017gp each, while Colin (who was not part of the bandit ambush and didn't receive a share of that treasure) received 746gp.