6637/5/28 to 6637/6/24
As the elven polydoctorate needed two weeks of bedrest, the various members of the party looked for some more henchmen. Rig took the initiative to go looking for some help to hopefully capture some hippogriff eggs; after a couple weeks of advertising, he hired a lieutenant, an artillerist, 12 bowmen, 12 crossbowmen, turning away the dwarves, the mounted troops, and the very hopeful slingers. Meanwhile, everyone boarded at the OU (pronounced "Oh, You!"), run by a charming gnome. The warlock hired two human fighters, whose names I forgot to write down, which likely won't matter because the warlock is very hard on the hired help.
- Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
- Flit, the bat familiar
- Clench, the
- Loronthir, Human Leader of Men
- Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
- Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Human Fighter
- Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
- James Morthor, Warlock
- Human fighter #1 (level 0)
- Human fighter #2 (level 0)
- Doggan, Micro-Sized Dragon familiar
- Larma Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
After a week of rest, Luce and Gróin were healed up; on load from Loronthir, Luce joined Warlock Morthor to pick up a package for someone in town, being promised 10% of the cut. Alas, it was a trap; five nasty thieves surrounded them! Morthor tried the diplomatic approach, but that failed; realizing that it was fight or be murdered, Morthor had his fighters charge in, hoping to soften the enemies for a sleep spell. The 0th level fighters were no match for the assassins and fighters, however; as one went down, Morthor managed to drop all but one of the bandits with his sleep spell. The last bandit - none other than one of D'Gaffada's lieutenants, Jimmy the Face - may not have been smart, but he was tenacious. He managed to pass his morale check, and stuck around to bring down Luce and the other fighter. Realizing this fight was costing him more than he would likely earn, he opted for a fighting retreat at the next round (another morale check, since the other side lost half its men), leaving Morthor alive. Luce ended up losing 4 teeth, and needing another week of rest; the other two hirelings fared better, with only minor scars and a brief vision of fallen comrades. Quite possibly a vision from the future, that.
Though the thieves didn't have much in the way of supplies on them, they were carrying:
- 3 Plate Armor
- 3 Shields
- 1 Crossbow
- 1 Net
- 1 Dice (pair, crooked)
- 1 Lock
- 2 Manacles
- 1 Mirror (hand-sized, steel)
- 1 Woundwart (1lb)
- 1 Arbalest
- 5 Darts
- 2 Belladonna (1lb ea)
- 1 Garlic (1lb)
- 2 Grappling Hooks
- 2 Tinder Boxes (flint & steel)
- 6 Torches
- 1 Flail
Not great, but not terrible.
Meanwhile, Rig sold his books and picked up some gems, hoping to sell them elsewhere; he began training his new pet ape to tie knots. During his down-time, he also learned of the location of the gnomish capital, Falach a'Bhaile, while Morthor learned of a nearby dungeon.
After the second week, with Luce again healed and the polydoctorate back on his feet, the party took their new army out to hunt hippogriffs. Gróin bought three horses, and managed to disguise two of them as pegassi, the hippogriff's favorite meal. After a uneventful half-day's march, the group approached the hills. Two hippogriffs took the bait, and killed the two poor horses; they were quickly dispatched by the archers, but their screams alerted the others. The creatures charged in, shredding three archers and killing both the lieutenant and the artillerist. The spellcasters took down all but two of the beasts; the troops managed to hold together, though the leader was dead, and fired at the two remaining hippogriffs. They dived again, killing another archer before they were brought down. The sleeping hippogriffs were quickly dispatched.
Scaling the cliff with ropes, the adventures discovered 3 eggs and 3 baby hippogriffs! They also found the leftovers of a merchant caravan - some perfume and incense, and a few jewels. They also managed to pull quite a lot of hippogriff feathers from the corpses. Returning to town, they sold the various jewels and such, though were not able to find a buyer for the eggs.
Hoping to sell the eggs at a better market, the group traveled on, unhampered by random encounters until they decided to camp by a small hill. It seemed like a good place for a camp - a hill, surrounding two sides of a camp, with the road nearby. That's when they heard voices coming from underground.
Goblins! Two secret entrances opened in the hill, and goblins spilled out! Barely able to grab weapons and defend themselves in time, the party quickly grouped together, keeping the spellcasters to the back. Goblins poured out of the two openings. Loronthir and Luce charged one opening, hoping to bottleneck the passage, and were assisted by one of Morthor's fighters. Gróin fired off a quick spell and took down three of the goblins; the fighters hacked through more. The next round, the spellcasters cast Sleep, dropping 12 more. A few goblins managed some good hits, but mostly they struck out - going up against fighters with plate, shield, and +2 dex just isn't easy to hit. Even so, the group was worried - 9 gang leaders charged out, surrounding the fighters in front, and even heading over to the casters, while a few goblins got their licks in. A second sleep spell dropped most of the rest of the goblins; after the fighters hacked through even more, the rest of the goblins decided to retreat. Cornering the last goblins in the cave, they slaughtered them, leaving only 6 of the goblin leaders to book it for home.
Lucky for them, not one party member was dropped, though several were wounded - one of Morthor's fighters to a single hit point. They decided to spend the next day in the cave to recuperate. Meanwhile, an exploration of the cave revealed a pile of parts, and hidden passage! Inside were two objects: a statue made entirely of copper, and a chest-sized box with a hopper on the front. The warlock figured out what the box was - a magical item called a Goldifier! When a weapon is deposited into the Goldifier, it spits out gold equal to half the value of the object. Very useful for looting piles of corpses. The dwarf, meanwhile, read the runes on the statue: over a small slot was the phrase "Insert Copper." Rig, excited, dropped in a single copper piece; the statue immediately came to life, and saluted him! Rig, honored, was about to turn away, when the statue spoke! In a metallic voice, it asked, "What are my orders, sir?"
Rig replied, "Go outside and stand by the cart, and await further orders." The machine did so, remaining by the cart. It remained active for exactly 24 hours, at which point it stood at attention and responded to no further orders.
Traveling on, the group stayed a night in Innsburg (and heard of a treasure nearby), then traveled on unmolested all the way to Cliffport. Loronthir talked to one of the creature-sellers there, and managed to talk him up from the usual price for a hippogriff egg - 7715 gp - to a bit better than a 10% raise: 8500 gp!
It was a fairly easy journey, all things considered, but their travels gained a fair amount of treasure and XP.
- Luce, lost 4 teeth (-2 to reactions)
- Fighter #1: saw visions of fallen comrades (no lasting effect)
- Fighter #2: Minor scarring (no lasting effect)
- 2 lvl 1 assassins @ 16 xp ea
- 1 lvl 2 fighter @ 38 xp
- 1 lvl 3 assassin @ 80 xp
- 1 lvl 5 fighter (retreated) @ 500 xp
- 9 hippogriffs @ 65 xp ea
- 39 goblins @ 5 xp ea
- 9 goblin leaders @ 10 xp ea (6 retreated)
- Various armor, weapons, and other stuff (see above) (unsold)
- 1 vial of rare perfume worth 50gp
- 3 sticks of rare incense, each worth 15gp
- 9 sticks of rare incense, each worth 25gp
- 1 crystal (50 gp)
- 1 jasper (50 gp)
- 1 topaz (500 gp)
- 3 hippogriff eggs (1 sold: 8500 gp)
- 3 hippogriff babies (unsold)
- Total treasure: 9270 gp
- Total XP: 10140
- Treasure per PC: 1324 gp
- Treasure per henchman (excluding Clench the wardog): 662 gp
- XP per PC: 1352
- XP per henchman (including Clench): 676
- Extra XP for Morthor: 260
- Extra XP for Luce and the two fighters: 130
That's enough to bump the level 0s up to level 1; Morthor's level 0 henchmen are likely going to have to make a morale roll.
With a big army of archers, the hippogriffs didn't stand a chance. On the other hand, Morthor and his henchmen (and poor Luce!) only barely made it out of their fight alive; only the sleep spell and a really bad morale roll saved them. I'm thinking poor Luce had better get some magical reconstructive surgery... she's earned it. That's probably what she's going to save up for, in fact.
The magical mechanical man should be easy enough to figure out, or looked over by a sage of some sort. The goldifier is pretty handy, too. Neither are ultra powerful, but both have their uses.
Lastly, as a note for Morthor's daughter: she is considered a Youth at age 13, and can roll stats; she'll be a 0th level human with STR, INT, and WIS at -2. At age 18 (assuming she has not reached level 1 yet), she regains those stats. Unless she has formal training, she will become a fighter.