View Full Version : A Giant's Despair - A Pathfinder Urban(ish) Campaign Log

2014-06-24, 08:08 AM
Hello All!

I’ve always been a great fan of Campaign Logs, particularly those of Kaveman26 and Silverclawshift, and I thought it was probably time to start posting one of my own.

This is from a Pathfinder campaign we started back in January and is still ongoing, set in a homebrew world. We still play fairly regularly, so there shouldn’t be an abrupt end to the story just yet.

Before we begin a few interesting facts. There are no elves or dwarves in the world. They are spoken of in fairy tales, much like IRL.

A note on character names – If you think you recognise a character’s name from a campaign log or pop culture, you probably do. I’m not that imaginative :smalltongue:

The adventure begins in Southpoint, the great walled city on the southern border of Sterling.
Sterling is a country surrounded on all sides by hostile terrain; to the north lies the great ocean between Sterling and the icebound Seven Duchies, to the east, the wild Hawkmoor, the dark Gilead Forest, and beyond these, the mysterious ruins of Khazr-Rin. The west of Sterling shares a border with Silver, the mercantile hobgoblin empire. Southpoint stands as the only protection against the vicious gnoll tribes of the Plain of Bones, and intrepid merchants and caravans brave the wasteland bound for the exotic Dragonlands beyond.

Southpoint itself is a loyal extension of Sterling's government, a council of elected elders that rules from their court in Central, the capital of the (mostly) human country. Behind the walls of the city, homage is also paid to Aegis, the god of protection and strength, whose priests talk at length about the impenetrability of the city walls, a blessing from their god.

The feral tribes of the Plains call Southpoint 'Two Walls' because of the outer and inner walls that make up the city's defences. The outer wall is also called the Red Wall, as it is here that the blood of invaders is shed. Behind the Red Wall lie the grimier aspects of the city. Here visitors can find the market-places and caravans of the merchants that travel to Southpoint from all around, but also the slums, shanty towns and gang warfare that accompany the poor quarters.
The second wall is known as the Black Wall, after the glassy black stone used in its construction. It is beyond here that the true power of the city exists. Grand temples and sweeping estates make up most of the inner district, but there are also plenty of attractions for the richer citizens of the city, magic emporiums, theatres and colleges all form a major part of the city’s infrastructure, and the priests rule from the Aegis seat at the very centre of the city.

All citizens require a pass to travel between the walls. The red pass is easy to obtain, and costs only a handful of coins. To get hold of a black pass is much more difficult, and many of the lower classes are desperate to obtain one, believing that life within the Black Wall will be easy and carefree, but there are many mysteries beyond those imposing fortifications, mysteries that only the bravest of souls can bring to light.

Jaiya Wreathaven. Human Arcanist. NG
We started playing just after the Advanced Class Playtest was released, and Jaiya’s player was keen to try out the new class. He took the orc bloodline to represent his character’s fiery nature.
Jaiya is the first daughter of a noble house in Central, her two older brothers have both done very well for themselves. Her father died fairly recently of (seemingly) natural causes, and her grandfather, now head of the house, is constantly pushing her towards marriage.

Brother Jared Stone Human Cleric of Aegis LG
Jared’s player has always enjoyed playing a beatstick character, but wanted to branch out a bit, and the Cleric seemed to fit his needs. The favoured weapon of Aegis is the Greatsword, and the domains he picked were Protection (Defence) and Travel.
Brother Stone has spent all of his life in the church of Aegis. He used to have a very close companion, Enrica, but their relationship was deemed unwise, and she was sent to minister in another church far away. Since then he has become rather taciturn and solemn, and has devoted himself wholly to his priestly duties. His one desire is to make Southpoint a happy town again, and he currently works in a hospice caring for the wounded to work towards this lofty goal.

Kaladin Longbow (Aguila) Human Urban Ranger CG
Kaladin’s player opted for an urban ranger rather than a normal one, partly because this started as an urban campaign, and partly to fill the trap detecting gap in the party. He is a classic swtich hitter, swapping between longbow and greatsword with equal ease.
Kaladin is the last surviving member of the disgraced Aguila house. His father abandoned his people during an attack by gnolls, and left them all to die. His lands and titles were stripped from him, and he died in obscurity in the slums of Red Wall with only his son for company. Kaladin has grown into a fairly bitter young man, eager to prove his worth and restore the honour and power of his family. He works intermittently as an enforcer for the city guard, but dreams always of bigger things.

Who knew people lived like this? I had never given much thought to how well off I had lived until now as I trudged through the muck. The citizens are dirty, most places stink and worse; the thugs.
The thought won’t cross my mind for many weeks from now when I was looking at my last smattering of coin. How easily I had spent it. How hard these people around me work for the change I throw away so easily, no wonder people resort to thievery.
The first time, I had asked an innocent enough looking kid for directions. Pulling out my purse and passing him a silver piece as a thank you. A few streets later and I’ve been forced into an ally and thrown against the wall. The two men stand paces away, one leans against a discarded crate blocking most of the ally with his big frame. The other leans in close, I remember his breath being so foul.
“Give us your money red.” He whispers sweetly to me “Come on then darlin’, the kid told us you’re packing quite the bustling purse”.
I remember thinking, what kid? Then that sweet rosy cheeked boy no older than four guiltily seeps into my thoughts. That innocent boy and these thugs all work together?
Of course I didn’t understand a thing then; but I’ve learnt a lot since.
A sneer curls up at the edge of his mouth and his eyes slowly fall to my body. “If you refuse we’ll take something so much worse from ya”
I don’t think I’ll ever forget how he looked me up and down, like someone licking a stamp in the vilest way possible.
He brushes my fringe back into my hair and grabs, smashing the back of my head into the wall. The bite of cold steel pricks my neck. “Money. Now” he growls.
I reach down to my waist and unclip my purse, handing it to him while my vision waters. I don’t realise I’m crying until I stop. The thieves are long gone by now and dusk is teasing the sky.
The thought won’t cross my mind until a few weeks later when I was looking at my last smattering of coin. How easily I had spent it. How hard these people around me work for the change I throw away so easily, no wonder people resort to thievery.
Could I blame them? My memory flashes to the scene on the road, to the alleyway.
Yes. I can.
After that day I learnt to be wary. I could see the leering ruffians standing on every street corner, swaggering, attempting to intimidate anyone who got too close. The guards were worse than useless, every time I asked it seemed as though they had done absolutely nothing to find my Black Pass, or at least try to verify who I was, citing some nonsense about a gang war that was taking up all of their time.
The second time was just over two weeks ago. I was having lunch at The Pixies’ Tavern when the two men came back.
“ ’ello darling” I froze, the same stench of garlic and tooth rot, he slides his way in next to me, making a point of pressing his body against mine.
“I’m so glad we finally caught up with you, we’ve got a lot to do”. The large man appears from the bar and drops down into the seat opposite; passing one of the tankards to the small man. ”Don’t worry though. There’s no rush, you can finish your meal first” he smiles.
All too soon I feel a hand slide round my waist and I’m escorted to a dark corner of the world.
“Never, my name on the Gods’ would I have thought to meet you again” laughs the small one “Just the other day I was sayin’ how much I missed that red head with the coin. We spent it good we did. I’m sure you won’t be disappointing us again; right darlin’?” He steps over to me, casual as can be, pulling his knife from his jacket and placing it under my chin, forcing my head up to look at him. “Hand it over”
I just stare at him, fear holding me.
“Why is this happening again?” a voice inside my head pleas. I can feel the tears welling up behind my eyes. From beyond the voice inside my head I hear the two men exchange muffled words. He brings the knife up further and it cuts into my jaw, I can feel the blood trickling down my neck.
“I don’t have time for tears girl, your money, now!” There’s an edge to his voice I haven’t heard before. “Oh for ****-” There is a pain against my head and I hit the ground. I suddenly feel dizzy, the small one is talking to me but I hear nothing. He begins to rummage around my clothes.
Is this it?
Just as the faintest clip of metal tells me he’s pulled my purse off my belt the large man shouts something. The smaller man scrambles to his feet, kicking dust into my mouth and forcing me into a coughing fit, through the spasms I see the two men run. Shouts from behind echo past me accompanied by a chorus of boot falls.
“They went this way” I hear someone shout.

His name is Mostin. He told me that as soon as the two men had entered the tavern he pegged them as ‘some less than adequate folk’ and that ‘they definitely didn’t seem like the type of people a lovely young lady such as your self would associate with’. He’d decided to follow the three of us once we’d left the tavern and informed a nearby patrol when he saw what was happening. Over the next week Mostin and I were called on many times by the guard for a number of statements, I had to identify the two thieves and my purse was even returned to me, albeit a lot lighter.
Mostin encouraged me to stay with him and during this time we talked about how I had travelled from Central and the unfortunate circumstances which has led to me being stranded in Southpoint. He told me of his business; a shop called The Red Tower which I soon found to be a grandiose name for a rickety second floor dwelling in what was, admittedly, the nicer side of the outer town. He also spoke of an experiment he was performing that was taking up most of his time. Indeed on my first expedition to the Red Tower I saw just how little attention he paid to the few customers he got as they picked at bits and pieces from his jumbled and mismatched inventory.
On my second outing he invited me to help with a particularly fiddly part of his experiment and it was then that I began to understand what he was focusing so much of his time on. From what I could gather he has been trying all sorts of divination and scrying attempts to pinpoint some sort of magical activity beneath the city. Despite all my years of training, all I could make out when he invited me to help was an aura of magic beneath the city that was dwindling, fast.
It was that evening when I asked if he could use his magic to help me find my possessions, most notably my Black Pass, which would allow me to get out of this slum once and for all. His response was less than favourable, spouting something about if he turned his magic towards finding something the guard was already looking for it would be akin to removing the support column to his entire work.
Another week passed.
"Something strange is going on down there.” He had said to me exhaustedly, closing the door to the back room of the shop and slouching into the chair he kept behind the counter. “For my divinations to glean better results I need to know what I’m looking for. At the moment the subject is just too broad and my attempts to scry just return vague answers.” He motions towards the aged blanket on the counter and it floats calmly over to him, he takes a moment to get comfortable, relaxing in his chair, he closes his eyes and continues;
“I need to narrow down my search but to do that I need information, new information, preferably from something closer to the source, be it a person or an item. How would you feel about investigating what’s down there for me?” He opens one of his closed eyes to look at me. It had been said in such an nonchalant way that I was sure I had just misheard him.
“W-why me?” I managed to sputter out after I realised staring wasn’t doing anything.
“You’ve seen my experiments; you know what I’m doing. You’re educated in the arcane; with a good head on your shoulders and I believe I can trust you”. He sighs, flinging his arm into the air “Would you rather I hired some shmuck off the street? Besides, if you can assist me even a little then maybe it’ll give me just enough spare time to find your missing pass”. We watch each other for another moment before the edge of his mouth twitches. He closes his eye and with that he was asleep, a genuine smile spreading across his face.

That evening I walk about the streets hoping the fresh air would solve the questions my head could not and looking for an evening meal. I turned a corner to find myself at the back of a crowd. Ahead were gallows and a number of men. The priest was reading their final rites. When he was finished the priest went to each man in turn and blessed his soul to find its piece in the afterlife. Then they were hung. A strange morbid fascination I didn’t know I had rooted me to the spot. I waited for most of the crowd to depart before making my way slowly towards the platform.
And there they were, towards the right side hanging next to one another, the large man and the small man. I stopped the next guard I found to ask why these men had been hanged.
“They deserved what they got that’s for sure, all of them. They were all linked to the gang war that’s been going on. A while back one of the clashes between the two groups spilled over into a nearby factory, killed thirty-seven innocent people. A lot of them escaped but we’ve put nineteen of bastards to rest now, the sooner we get the others, the better”.
I watched a while longer as the guards took the corpses down and gave the families who had been brave enough to come a last goodbye before they were slung into the back of a cart and removed from the streets for good.
I went home, my appetite gone.
The thought had never crossed my mind until yesterday evening when I was looking at my last smattering of coin. How easily I had spent it. How hard these people around me work for the change I used throw away so easily, no wonder people resort to thievery.
Could I blame them for what they had done?
My memory flashes to the scene on the road, to the alleyway. Yes.
Could I blame them for why they did it?
My memory flashes to the gallows. The small man dead, his wife cradling his lifeless corpse while his childen wept.
No. No I couldn’t.

It was just after Matins, the first prayer service of the day, when your normally rigid schedule was interrupted. The hospice was busy, as it had been a lot recently. The burgeoning gang war between the Pack Rats and the Thorny Boys was taking its toll on the poorer population of Southpoint, and where you had once treated sickness and injuries sustained in accidents, now you mainly patch up knife wounds and broken skulls. The hospice is a place of sanctuary, but even so, it took a fair few of the stout-hearted paladins and militant priests to keep the peace between the thugs, even injured as they were.

In all of the commotion, nobody paid much attention as two more priests stumbled into the atrium, their sky-blue robes stained red with the blood that flowed from the shorter one's head. You recognised them as Brother Maynard and Brother Steele, the clerics assigned to the Targe Chapel on the very borders of the town. Maynard was being supported by his more muscular companion, and Steele's face was grim. With a curt flick of his wrist, he beckons you over. "Brother Stone, just the man. Help me get Brother Maynard to a bed, and then we'll talk."

Once Maynard is being cared for, the burly priest revealed his story. The Targe Chapel had been attacked by a mob of Pack Rats, apparently angry at the Church of Aegis for tending to their rivals. Maynard had been injured in the attack, and the curs had made off with the chapel's only treasure, a scale model of the city itself, cast all in bronze and silver. "I must go back to the chapel, and make sure that those ruffians keep their distance. I need you to go to the guard and have them send out a patrol to recover our statue. Aegis keep you."

Times were hard in the city, especially for a man with a strong arm and questionable past. Your father had died a few years earlier, of sickness or shame, and taken the secret of his fall from grace with him. You would never know for sure whether the accusations laid against him were accurate, though you find it hard to believe that such a noble man could stand idly by while villages under his protection were razed, and his people slaughtered.

His name, your name, had become the name of a coward, and your best efforts at the bottom of the pile were doing little to change that. Despite this, you found it easy enough to get work, until recently. A gang war has recently started in the slums between the Red and Black Walls, and both the Pack Rats and the Thorny Boys have offered you steady work at a good price, though it would require you to sacrifice your honour to fulfil the crimes that they ask of you.

So far you've got by doing muscle work for the city guard, but the pay was meagre and the risks great. Today you find yourself at the garrison building, questioning the value of your honour compared to a pocket full of gold. Guard Captain Chase has promised you a better paying job this time around, so you wait patiently for someone to fill you in on the details.

2014-06-25, 09:36 AM
Ok! Here's the first session.

It might be a bit rough. I've never written a campaign log before, so not sure how much detail to include. Any thoughts? Too much, too little?

Kaladin and Brother Stone arrive at the Guard House at the same time, and both head into the building to speak to someone; Jared to find out about recovering the Chapel’s state, and Kaladin about finding himself some work.
They are greeted by a wiry desk clerk, who introduces himself as Warren, though he never looks up from the mountain of paperwork that he’s steadily working through.
They explain their case, and the clerk answers in an irritated voice. “Yes, thank you. Take a seat over there, the Captain will see you shortly.”

After a fifteen minute wait, the clerk finally puts down his pen and waves them into the office behind him. The office is small and cramped, and made more so by the bulky man in patchy armour scowling at a paper map of the city on his desk. He looks up at them briefly, and holds up one finger as if to stall them. After a few seconds, he rolls up the map and stands, extending a calloused hand in greeting.
“Well then gentlemen, what can I do for you?”
Brother Stone answers first. “I’d like to report a robbery. The Targe Chapel was attacked by a band of Pack Rats recently, and they made off with a statue of some value.”

The Captain cuts him off, “Pack Rats eh? Do you know what they wanted the statue for?”
Jared shrugs, “To sell it I presume.”

The Captain nods pensively. “Well they’ve claimed the Souther part of Red Wall as their territory, and mostly keep to the sewers. They’ve probably taken it there for the moment, until they can find a buyer.” He turns to the ranger, “Kaladin, I presume you’ve come here for the work I promised?”
Kaladin nods in response.
“Good, we can probably kill two birds with one stone then. My daughter, Rose, was out on patrol in the Pack Rats’ turf, and she hasn’t come back. I want you to go find her, and if you spot the priest’s statue, grab it and bring it back with you. Sound good?”
Kaladin nods again, “Sounds good. Though I won’t recognise the statue if I find it, perhaps the brother would like to come along? You look like you can handle yourself.” He gestures to the greatsword strapped across the priest’s back. Jared frowns, but agrees. “Well, I understand how short staffed the guard are at the moment, I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.”

The Captain smiles broadly, “Excellent, just head to the Slums in the south of the city, you’ll see the entrances to the sewers there. Good luck!” With that he unrolls the map and goes back to his previous stance.

Kaladin and Brother Stone travel at the speed of plot, and shortly arrive in the slums as directed, and witness squalor on every side. A pale woman in threadbare rags clutches a squalling baby to her chest, her eyes scanning the men warily as she coughs and stumbles her way from one doorway to the next. A pair of drunks fight over a crust of bread, cheered on by men in black and blue clothing, daggers and clubs displayed openly at their hips. These are the Pack Rats, a gang of desperate men united by the mysterious Black Pieter, willing to resort to any crime to line their pockets or stomachs.
In the middle of the scene, a red-headed young woman wanders; her once fine dress now dirty and torn, but pride and naiveté still obvious in her eyes. The two men approach her, curious about her presence here (and OOC knowing that she’s the third member of the party of course.)
“Excuse me young lady, is there anything we can do to assist you?” The priest is blunt as always, and the woman eyes them warily.
“No, thank you, I’m perfectly alright.”
Kaladin raises an eyebrow, “It’s dangerous in these parts for a noble born woman like yourself. Of course, we could protect you, if the price is right.”
Brother Stone intercedes, “Or even without asking for payment. We are here on business for the City Guard. Perhaps it would be safer for you to accompany us?”
Jaiya shakes her head, “Thank you, but no. I am here on business of my own. I wouldn’t want to cause you any trouble.” She then bids them good day, and walks towards a manhole cover in the middle of the street. She bends down and attempts to pull the metal disc out of its cradle, but just doesn’t have the strength.
Kaladin and Brother Stone cough and look away, embarrassed for the headstrong girl. She soon gives up, and Kaladin nobly steps in to lift the cover for her.
“You know, we’re heading into the sewers too, maybe it would be better for us to go together?”
“Alright, fine. Just don’t get in my way.”

They descend into the sewers via a handy ladder, and find themselves in pitch darkness and surrounded by a horrific stench. Jaiya cast Light on Kaladin’s armour, illuminating the space around them for 30ft, while Brother Stone pulled out his hooded lantern and started surveying their surroundings.
The sudden light startled some rats, and they heard them scurrying around nearby. Following the source of the noise, they found a woman in guard uniform, unconscious, and with a pool of blood under her head. A quick assessment by the priest identified her as Rose, it seemed that she had been struck on the back of the head with some force, and her attacker had dragged her down here, presumably taking her for dead.
One Cure Light Wounds later, and Rose was back on her feet. She thanked the party for saving her and looked at them expectantly.
“Do you think you could make it back to the Guard House alone?” asked Kaladin. She nodded, “I suppose, yes. Are you not coming?”
Brother Stone shook his head. “No, we have further business down here. It may be safer for you to stick with us until we’re finished.”
“Ok, don’t worry about me! Lead the way.”
(From now on Rose is a silent member of the party, I’m not going to mention her contribution to any of the encounters since she managed to fluff all of her rolls and didn’t help in any way. Classic NPC.)
As soon as Rose was back on her feet, a group of rats rushed at the party and began nibbling at their toes. Kaladin immediately killed one with his greatsword, and Brother Stone got a critical hit, turning his into a fine red mist. Even Jaiya had no trouble with the fight, and managed to kill the rat attacking her with her morningstar. Feeling confident that they could handle any situation in the sewer they continued.

A few seconds later, a pair of bats swooped out of the darkness, and some more rats scurried out of the dirty water that ran through the middle of the sewer.
These were almost immediately roasted by a well place Burning Hands spell from the mage, but not before Brother Stone had been infected with Filth Fever, which he quickly shook off.
After the vermin had fallen, the party continued until they came to a turning, heading south. Kaladin’s sharp eyes spotted a pit trap, and the party were able to avoid it without any trouble. Following the path south, they soon came across a junction, the two paths going south or west. Jaiya cast a quick Detect Magic, and found that the magical disturbance she was looking for was to the south west.
A brief discussion had them resolving to head west, and Brother Stone’s lantern soon picked out a pair of shadowy figures moving in the darkness.
The initiative went to Kaladin, who pulled out his longbow and shot one of them dead before they could react. The second one hurled himself at the priest, but without his buddy to help him flank, just couldn’t pierce the cleric’s armour. He too was quickly cut down. Kaladin then took a moment to identify the corpses as Ratfolk, normally used as foot soldiers by the Pack Rats.
A quick search of the area reveals nothing of value, but a mound of human bones from all ages, gnawed and chewed on by sharp teeth. “At least now we know why they’re so well fed.” Kaladin’s sardonic remark is met only with white faced revulsion by the other members of the party.

This avenue ends in a grate through which the putrid water flows, unidentifiable organic matter and human skulls float aimlessly against the metal bars. Seeing the way blocked, Jaiya tries another Detect Magic, and identifies the source as coming from directly south. They head back to the junction and follow it south, still shining their lantern ahead of them.
At the end of the tunnel they see two men in Pack Rat colours with short bows aimed and ready to fire. Kaladin fires at one with his longbow, and catches him high in the shoulder. Brother Stone charges at the other, and takes a sneak attack of opportunity from another Ratfolk that was hiding around the corner. Jaiya advances more carefully, and Dazes the Ratfolk. Brother Stone misses his target with his swing, and loudly declares the man a miscreant. From here on out, almost all human members of the Pack Rats are referred to as ‘miscreants’ for comic effect.
The miscreants do little enough damage back, both of them missing their shots by a fairly wide margin. Kaladin finishes off the archer, and moves forward, drawing his greatsword as he does so. Jaiya dazes the remaining miscreant, and Andy cleaves the ratfolk that backstabbed him in two. Kaladin’s blade finishes off the combat in short order.

Here’s where the geography gets a little complicated. The tunnel continues off to the west, but the flow of water is much stronger and wider than it was before, so a very easy jump check is needed to cross over. Kaladin moves to the far side with Rose, and Jaiya crouches behind Brother Stone as he soldiers on in front of her. They see light spilling out of an opening to the north, and head towards it quietly. They overhear the Pack Rats talking.
“What are we going to do with it?”
“I dunno, it’s creepy. Best not to go near it.”
“Yeah well, it’s got to eat, and it’s not like we’ve got enough food to go round as it is.”
“We can always feed it that girl from the guard?”
Their conversation is interrupted as the party rushes over to where the voices are coming from. Brother Stone finds himself immediately flanked by a pair of miscreants, and whiffs his attack. Kaladin takes a potshot at one of them, and manages to hit him thanks to his favoured enemy (human). Another miscreant rushes out of the darkness on the south side of the water and hits Kaladin for a small amount of damage. Jaiya dazes the miscreant on her side of the water, and Brother Stone misses him again.
Kaladin takes a five foot step away from his opponent and kills the miscreant attacking the priest. Brother Stone tries to return the favour by jumping over the water to stand between the ranger and the last miscreant, but falls in instead, contracting Filth Fever. Again.
Between the two of them they finish off the last miscreant, and Jaiya falls into another pit trap in an effort to meet up with the others without risking herself in the water.

They put out Brother Stone’s lantern, and dismiss the Light Spell on Kaladin’s armour. The tunnel to the north is free of water, and has a few flickering torches burning in sconces along the walls. At the end of the tunnel is a wooden door, not particularly stout, and Kaladin places his ear against it. He hears the sounds of snuffling beyond, but little else. Another tunnel extends to the west, but they choose to ignore it in favour of smashing open the door.

Brother Stone is the first through the breach, and rushes into the room to find a better armed miscreant, and a pair of Ratfolk. He rushes at the miscreant but misses, Kaladin takes a shot at him from the doorway, and also misses. Noticing another door to the west of the room, and seeing that Kaladin and Jared are blocking the doorway, Jaiya and Rose follow the tunnel west in an effort to circle round the enemies.
Brother Stone is hit by the miscreant, and by a sneak attack from one of the Ratfolk. The other Ratfolk heads to the other door, unable to get into a good combat position and having the same idea as Jaiya. Kaladin drops his bow and butchers the ratfolk flanking Brother Stone with his greatsword, and the priest gets in a good cut on the miscreant, who responds with a critical hit, leaving the priest unconscious and bleeding out.
Jaiya bursts through the door at the other end of the room, and narrowly avoids a sneak attack from the ratfolk stationed there. She clubs him back with her morningstar, and does exactly enough damage to drop him. Kaladin moves to stand toe to toe with the harder miscreant. (I had planned for him to be known as sergeant, but apparently the players decided that ‘ne’er do well’ was a much better fit…) and they traded blows to little effect for around, thanks to the ne’er do well’s Combat Expertise. Jaiya attempts to daze him, but he passes his save, but a lucky crit from the ranger turns him into a bloody smear.

(I had planned for this guy to be a mini-boss, and for the flanking Ratfolk rogues to be good for some extra damage, but to die easily. He did far better than I expected due to his shifting between Power Attack and Combat Expertise in order to do as much damage as he could when not very threatened, and then turtle up when he was. If only the actual boss had been such a challenge…)

With the cleric down, and no way of reviving him, the party tried a Heal check to stabilise him. Since I didn’t want one player to have to sit out the rest of the session, I ruled that he regained consciousness and was able to spam his Channel Energy until the party were all back to full.

The door on the north side of the wall hid a room, furnished with rickety wooden beds and a desk made of an upturned crate. The statue of the city rested on top of the crate, but nothing else of interest. Brother Stone pocketed the statue, and they were ready to leave.
“I still have one more thing to do, if that’s alright?” Jaiya looked determinedly towards the only tunnel they hadn’t explored yet, heading north.
Kaladin just shrugged.
“You’ve helped us achieve our goals, it’s only fair that we assist you in turn.” Brother Stone gestured into the tunnel, inviting Jaiya to go first.
The tunnel was a short one, and ended in another door. Only silence came from behind this one.

With the same tact and caution that I would soon come to expect from this group, they smashed in the door and rushed into the room. It was small, about 20ft square, and in the centre stood a crudely built wooden cage containing a creature that they had never seen before. It was vaguely humanoid, but squat and ugly. Its skin was grey, and its face was horribly misshapen. Jaiya identified it as a Grimlock, the monsters found in stories to scare children.
After a couple of failed attempts to communicate in various languages, the Grimlock began growling and hurling itself at the cage. A dire rat leapt out of the shadows and attacked Brother Stone, though failed to do any damage.
Kaladin put an arrow into the caged beast, but that only seemed to annoy it. Jaiya leapt into action, roasting the rat and wounding the Grimlock with a Burning Hands. Brother Stone stood by, waiting to see if the creature could break out. Kaladin put another arrow in it, and Jaiya finished it off with another Burning Hands. Jaiay looked around to find the source of the magical disturbance, but it seemed to have faded now. They found a set of Pipes of the Sewer in the Grimlock’s possession, and part of the sewer wall had collapsed in the west side of the room, as if it had been undermined, though if an entrance to this deeper level of the underground still existed, they couldn’t find it.

In true adventurer fashion, they stripped the armour and weapons from their vanquished foes and carried them back to the Guard House with them.
Captain Chase was overjoyed to see his daughter returned safely, and offered the party a good sum of gold in exchange for the weapons they had recovered, as good steel was difficult to come by, and the guard needed every weapon they could get.

This marked the end of the first session, and the party leveled up to level 2.