Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arden Est Session One: Castle Caldwell

Of the various rumors heard by the party, they decided that the nobleman needing help sounded the most promising. After meeting with him, a Baron Clifton Caldwell, they negotiated for medical benefits in addition to the promised pay. So four brave adventurers headed into the wilderness: Reginald (Paladin 1), his man Prufrock (Theif 1), Hugh (Fighter 1), and Ieho (Dwarven Machinist 1). (Ieho, in an odd twist, was introduced to the party by the man who is now his henchman, Devabriel the venturer, who decided adventuring was not for him.)

They arrived at the castle, and immediately found a group of goblins arguing over who was entitled to what treasure. The party was happy to help them settle that dispute. They also dispatched a group of goblins patrolling the hallway, but that was the end of combat for a while. They found a number of humans who had taken up refuge in the castle, not expecting to be trapped by goblins. They were varyingly unsavory, but no one really wanted to fight, so the party was willing to escort them out of the castle. This included the Chaotic priestess who, as a level one cleric, did not yet detect as evil to the paladin.

One of the remaining combats was against a giant shrew. I let them choose between the modules version (who automatically won initiative) or the ACKS version (who got +1 to hit). They took the ACKS version, wisely as it turns out, as they won initiative and killed it before it could act. The only other combat the first day was against a crab spider. It got the drop on them (literally), landing on Prufrock's back and breaking it. (Also, first official roll on the Mortal Wounds table.) Thus ended a promising career almost before it started. Prufrock lived, thanks to the Paladin's lay on hands and good rolling for the healing proficiency by Ieho, but he would never walk again.

The last combat of the module was saved for the second day. The thief heard stirges behind one of the doors and, perhaps scarred from last week, was reluctant to fight them unless they were at full power. But, when they ripped open the door, there were only three stirges, who fell relatively easily. The party returned to town and received their reward. However, they were curious about a certain door which they could not open...

Back in town, Ieho hired a fighter for a henchman. Reginald wanted a cleric to replace Prufrock, but none were looking for work. Reginald decided to ask the local church, and lo and behold, after a 100gp donation, there was an acolyte willing to join the party.