A bunch of wicked people on a boat are beset by even more wicked people, twice emerging triumphant. One of them has an ugly encounter with an old flame.
This session was played on Feb. 10, 2011, and was played by Martin le Black, Robert Hazart, Richard Loubeau, Till Riemenschneider, Cousin Talin, Ja' Tubis, Proper John, Ulmarish the Starry-Eyed, and an elf with several vowels in his name. Marcel the goblin was alongside, as well as six barge crew members.
Survivors of their encounter with the Darokinese military boss, the Company disembarked their barge near the town of Norwater, where they located avid adventurers in a tavern — Proper John, Ulmarish, and John — only one of whom would last the next few days. They were on to the dangers of the Brokenlands.
The region was rocky and barren. Foreboding all around. The first night, a barge's worth of buccaneers swung across their way and borded. They did not last long — Cousin Talin held the line, a Hazart spell of sleep laid most of the large band low. Their barge was reverse-pirated, and most of their lives destroyed. For the first encounter, at least, the party showed their might. The second would be less fortuitous.
A later night, again with Cousin Talin at watch, dark hooves thundered on the sandy bank; dark shapes raced alongside. But these were invisible and silent compared to the whipping winds and rains that had descended. These, it would turn out, were members of the Black Knives. They were after Hilduin's Cube, in Robert's possession, an artifact of some power.
Most of the party's might not just sleeping, but located in the first barge. Talin could hold the line for only so long, especially with the other neophytes Riemenschneider and Ulmarish for help.
The five NPCs included a ferocious woman warrior, bearing a mighty warhammer, and a magic-user of real power. After illusions of lightning incapacitated part of their band, the warrior struck down the party's doughty dwarf and the mage shot a true lightning bolt of his own - a real one - cutting a murderous swath through the bunched-up party.
Ulmarish was able to engage the undefended magic-user, so he could cast no more spells. The Black Knife thief leapt to Robert and nearly stole the cube from around his waist. Martin and the warrior lady discovered they a mutual bond from the past - they had once been lovers.
This failed to impress the swart Martin, who battled on. The thief was captured. And two of the Black Knifes fled into the darkness. The barges damaged, many of the new recruits and a goblin manservant killed, that was that. The Crossed Swords berthed for the night, hoping the days to come in the untamed lands might bring less of such peril.
Losses & Loot
Three of the Company's first level characters bit the dust from the lightning bolt. Sayonara elf, dwarf, and thug. Marcel the beloved goblin also died.
The Company lost yet another valuable magic item, when Robert's Staff of Striking shot into the air and disappeared.
Our heroes defeated nineteen buccaneers and five adventurers. They obtained a sea chest containing 6000cp, a strongbox containing 4000sp, a gold and topaz toe-ring, an ornate dagger, a heavy silver bracelet inlaid with abstract gold designs, a silver locket whose interior is inlaid in ivory and jet with the image of a dancing woman, a large enchanted hammer etched with the leering face of a female vampire, an enchanted staff of dark wood whose upper portion is spiky and gnarled, and a petite pair of enchanted boots. Each surviving member of the party received 1000cp and 666sp, along with a share of the value of the jewelry, the buccanneer's barge and its cargo.
For creatures defeated and wealth acquired, party members each received 860xp.