Skull Gorge

Red Hand Map

Our heroes explore Vraath Keep and come across a map that suggests the hobgoblins they have encountered thus far are merely the vanguard of a far larger army. It seems a full scale invasion of the Vale is planned, and the SRaO are right in the path of the oncoming storm. Should they run away? Mill about panicking? Smack the army in the face?

The party discuss their next steps, and eventually notice that one of their number is missing. After a brief search (in which the stuffed owlbear becomes prime suspect) Apocalypsia emerges from a trapdoorn in the tower floor clad in a rather fetching new suit of armour.

Despite her protestations of innocence the party seem unconvinced when she explains that was all she found in the vault below the keep. After some interrogation a couple of items that accidentally “slipped” into her bag of holding turn up, and the party tool up. One particularly finely crafted set of bracers is recognized by Jerell as depicting the exploits of the Lions of Brindol, a legendary group of adventurers from the twilight days of the Neruth Empire. Very fetching.

Further inspection of Wyrmlord Koth’s papers reveal that they have been written in a fiendish goblin code:

rd H& kil em ppl EZ LOL EG.

Habbakuk’s hours of meticulous decryption reveal the following meaning in the seemingly nonsensical scawls;:

The Red Hand will kill those people easily. Laugh out loud, evil grin.

Further study reveals

  • The Enemy army is gathering at Cinder Hill, beyond the Skull Gorge bridge, preparing to march on Drellin’s Ferry
  • there are a number of Wyrmlords leading the enemy army; Koth, Saarvith, Ulrai Stormcaller and Hravek Kharn. They in turn are led by the High Wyrmlord, Azarr Kul
  • There are dragons in the army, including one called Ozzyranias

Eventually the party, satisfied that the tiefling has no more ill-gotten loot in her bag of holding, settle down for an unbroken night’s sleep. The following morning they set off for Skull Gorge, intent upon taking out the bridge in order to hinder the goblinoid army’s progress.

Along the way they meet an ageing giant of indeterminate origin (Cornish? Scottish? Who can say?). He is Wracklegnaw of the TwistTusk clan, and with guile, flattery and bribery the party succeed in pursuading him to join their cause against the hobgoblins. Better yet, the giant declares he will head up into the Wyrmsmoke Mountains to gather his clan for the approaching battle; it seems the party have made a powerful ally.

They press on for Skull Gorge, and discover a solid stone bridge spanning a deep chasm. Hobgoblins and hellhounds patrol the bridge, along with a large green dragon: Ozyrrandias!

An unusually lengthy planning session ensues, which eventually concludes with the predictable  “Chaaarge!” That said, the party are unstoppable, combining well and making mincemeat of the opposition. Even the dragon cannot withstand the onslaught, and before long the party hold Skull Gorge bridge.

All in all a disconcertingly competent display the SRaO crew, high fives all round.

11 Responses to “Skull Gorge”

  1. Fantastic session last nigt, just too bad that Brother Bryn decided that it was the ultimate sign of virtue to jump off the bridge (after Russel left)… he will be missed 😦

  2. “satisfied that the tiefling has no more ill-gotten loot in her bag of holding”

    …except for all that gold which Pelor says she can keep.

  3. I am not quite sure any of us were all that satisfied, but seemed to be all we could get out of her at the time 🙂
    It was a bit unfortunate that the thieving happened while Jo was not there though, as I didnt feel it right to punish her character for actions she had not commited herself…like loose a hand for thieving. Tetsu is keeping a close eye on her in the future.

  4. Russell Bannister Says:

    Stefan, I’m sorry to hear that Brother Bryn died. I have rolled up a new character, he is my old characters twin brother called Brother Pryn. He has exactly the same stats, equipment and background but is approximately 10% whinier.

  5. Russell Bannister Says:

    Further to our discussion on Friday the difference in size between a 13.5″ large pizza and a 11.5″ medium is approximately 38%, or 42% assuming a 1″ crust that isn’t eaten.

    I would argue that a 1 x large pizza is therefore not a subtitute for 2 x medium. A large pizza is however almost exactly twice the size of a 9.5″ small pizza (202%, or 216% if you allow for the crust).

  6. How does that compare to the difference in price then?

  7. Russell Bannister Says:

    Stefan, I hope that I am answering the question you are asking, correct me if not.
    The larger size pizzas give you more pizza for your money:
    Large (13.5″) = 7.67 in2/GBP
    Medium (11.5″) = 6.19 in2/GBP
    Small (9.5″) = 4.73 in2/GBP
    Personal (7″) = 3.53 in2/GBP
    [Based on Hawaiian pizza with a 1″ crust not eaten. Prices from my local Dominos – 16/14/12/8 GBP respectively]
    I believe the offer under discussion was 2 large pizzas for the price of 3. Assuming the pizzas are all the same price this increases the ratio to approx 11.50 in2/GBP which is excellent value.

    However the point I was attempting to make on Friday was that half a large pizza is less area than a whole medium which may mean that I was still hungry. I would be paying approximately 8.67 GBP more (14-16*2/(3*2)) to be sure of not being hungry. This is impossible to analyse without being subjective, but I believe that this cost is sufficiently high to justify taking the offer. Having said this I have just had my lunch so I’m not hungry now!

  8. A fantastic session last week. Carl – brilliant work on the scenario and the maps/silly voices etc. Hey, when did we get good? Jo will have to answer for her character I’m afraid. She made her that way and it’s no good blaming me simply because I had the paperwork in front of me at the time. I would say however that you are a suspicious bunch. She said she had no more in the bag, so she had no more in the bag, OK? As for Pelor “allowing” her to keep anything (which she hasn’t of course got) – it’s frankly risible. The day Apocalypsia starts taking notice of the god of happy sunshine and flagellation will come a long time after Brother Bryn feels the Flames of Phlegathishasntgotenoughvowlesin up his holy fundament.

    Russell, the pizza/price ratios are fascinating. How does the value stack up against brinigng one’s own sandwiches/pineapples?

    Are we on for Friday? I have a potential clash which means I should be able to make it but a little later than usual.

  9. I have found out that it is this weekend, and not the enxt as I thought, that I am going to Nottingham…so wont be able to make it next friday 😦

  10. Russell Bannister Says:

    Brother Bryn believes that people should be taught to help themselves. Possibly Apocalypsia has taken this a little too literally. Still Pelor has told him to let it go.

    Sorry for inflicting my pizza research on you, this is what happens when I am bored at work.

    I too enjoyed the fight with the dragon especially as it turned out not to be the TPK I was expecting.

    Unfortunately I can’t make it this Friday as I will be at Indiecon trying to get a game of some of the obscure RPGs on my game shelf. Let Jules run my character as he could do with some better magic gear.

  11. Ooh, Indiecon! Jealous! Talking of conventions…

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