Pdxos 31: Return to The Tower of Hob, Again: dark alters, and mustard gas

Oldschool Session 31 was played on Thursday, December 19, 2013 using ACKS

A Brief Moment For Pop Culture:
Bane: Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!
(grabs Batman from the shadows and continues to beat him)
Bane: The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!
(repeatedly punches Batman in the face, breaking his cowl)

Summary

We knew we needed back up and it had been long enough since we'd killed a follower that it was just possible that we might come across someone who would be willing to join our motley band of bad asses. We managed to corral a few folk who came in on a caravan and hired them before they could be poisoned by the honeyed tongue of rumor and innuendo spread by factions within the keep. One of the men was clearly a fighter of some power while the other three hired were eager but green. Before they could second guess themselves we set out towards the keep. With our extra men we knew we'd take this bastion of evil down once and for all (mostly). By this time Tarsus could walk to the keep blindfolded, but wanting to avoid trouble they gave their traditional routes up and tried a more roundabout method. It didn't help.

Scouting ahead Tarsus and his men, Oziander and Surazel, spotted a clustered patrol of skeletons, zombies, and hobgoblins. A fight ensued (shocking that no parley was attempted) and the enemy was brought down. This was done through a combination of daring and caution. Using the cover of trees, surprise, and ranged weapons we managed to whittle their numbers down before charging in headlong to surround and take down the enemy. Unfortunately it wasn't without risk and one of Harvestus' followers charged out from behind cover a little too early. His reward was an arrow through the chest which he insisted on describing as he died. He was a noisy one. We knew we were dealing with evil but it was still a surprise when a dark cloud of heavy fear dropped over our band. It made hitting and fighting more difficult and we had to summon up the courage to overcome it. But there was more in store for us from the evil hobgoblin shaman…after watching Harvestus attempt to turn the undead the shaman targeted him with some sort of directed fear. It forced the cleric to turn and run. We didn't hold it against him. Nor his remaining follower, the farm boy Prux, who high tailed it after him.

Surazel and Oziander joined Kujira in butchering the rest of the enemy with a quickness but not before Kujira took a few hefty blows from the rusted iron blades of the dead. While killing the last hobgoblin Oziander lost his will and began vomiting behind a tree. By the time he finished our cleric and farm boy had rejoined us and we were in the middle of the time honored tradition of looting. I'm not sure what Oziander thought when after divvying up the loot and gathering up weapons to sell we took to cutting off the ears of the hobgoblins. All the Crimson Blades know is that those are worth 2GP a pop and we're not the type of group that leaves gold laying around without a fight.

It was a shame but we returned to the keep to heal, rest up, and bury our dead "friend" before heading back out to the tower. All of the remaining followers felt comfortable enough at the promise of loot to overlook the fact that one of them could have just as easily took an arrow to the chest. In any event all of us made it to the keep without delay or waylay. There appeared to be one sentry above and a makeshift wood blockade where we had removed the doors. At this point we did a quick tally and knew that over the last two months we'd killed upwards of 40 hobgoblins. There couldn't possibly be that many left so we waited for the sentry to turn his back and sprinted for the front door. He saw us but it was too late and we were up against the walls. After we made it inside we pulled his ladder down and Tarsus yelled up at him in hobgoblin. The stupid creature tried to argue but we weren't having any of it. It knew who we were and what we were capable of so it heeded our direction, jumped off the tower, and ran like hell. We spared it.

Delving deeper into the tower we narrowly avoided a net trap and Surazel proved his worth by killing three of the hobgoblins that came at us near the trap in one blow while Kujira made short work of the other. We moved through the tower like a well oiled killing machine, sending a few hobgoblins (and one rat) to their doom without fanfare. Moving quickly we began taking an inventory of loot and prioritizing what to take back with us. Our efforts were brought up short when we stumbled across a blood drenched room with a sacrificial altar. Atop the altar was the tortured remains of a human while a giant wicker man icon sat a throne next to it. We killed skeletons defending the room, then killed them again as they started to re-raise. Using oil, prayer, and beer we attempted to cleanse the room of all evil. The icon lay in ruins at our feet and the remains were removed for a proper burial and yet still the room stank of evil. None of us were comfortable being in there, less so after Tarsus found an inscription about how to summon some sort of power from a dark gate. We left the room intending to bring more power back with us to cleanse the room.

A fine bedroom was discovered where much loot was found, bedsheets, tapestries, alcoves with coinage, and a chest that almost killed us all. A dense yellow powder lined the lid of the chest and it was only with much ingenuity and arguing that we managed to work as a team to get the chest out of the room and empty of powder. It was a close call and Tarsus almost died, but it yielded a fantastic reward when platinum bars were found underneath a false bottom. Continuing down the stairs we came to the lowest floor. We allowed a number of non-combatants to go free (recently we've had good luck and karma with this technique) but not before dispatching another couple of hobgoblins. Down on this final level we freed two human prisoners and discovered a series of wells and ladders that led to an even deeper part of a cave filled with water. It seemed to be too much for us to handle at this time, given our encumbered state, the presence of wounded prisoners, and an abundance of caution.

But there it still sits…a cave filled with water and a mysterious splash awaiting our exploration…

Outing 1: Skirmish in The Forest of Fun VS Hob Shaman: you've been baned!!!

Expedition Roster:
Principles: Tarsus the thief, Kujira the dwarf, and Harvestus the human cleric

Hirelings: Oler, Prux, Oziander, Surazal (each contracted at monthly rate by lv, room and board, 1/2 share xp, 1/4 share GP)

Deceased: Oler, LV0 normal man, hired by Harvestus the cleric this session, died from a Hob arrow to the chest. His remains were taken back to the keep. He was given proper buriel by the Church of Bosis

Skeletons x5 = 65xp
Zombies x2 = 58xp
Hobgoblins x2 = 30xp
Hob Shaman(LV4) x1 = 200xp

Total Encounter XP = 353 XP

Total Treasure = 664 GP Loot included: 8GP in assorted coins, 3 hob ear=6gp, 100gp in shamans bag, divine scroll with one casting of lv1 spell word of command worth 500gp, 50gp in looted hob weapons and armor.
Flail +1 was used by Hobgoblin Shaman, claimed by Harvestus the human cleric

Total Expedition XP = 1017XP

226 XP to each PC
113 XP to each Hireling
177.07GP to each PC.
44.27 GP to each Hireling

Outing 2: Looting The Tower of Hob: it's evil in here!!!

Expedition Roster:
Principles: Tarsus the thief, Kujira the dwarf, and Harvestus the human cleric

Hirelings: Prux, Oziander, Surazal (each contracted at monthly rate by lv, room and board, 1/2 share xp, 1/4 share GP)

Hobgoblin x4 = 60 XP
skeletons (killed twice) x4x2 =104 XP
Giant Rat x1 = 5 XP
Fem Hob noncombatant subdued x4 = 32 XP
Child Hob noncombatant subdued x10 = 20 XP
Liberating a Lady & bodyguard = 100 XP
Defacing (but not destroying) a Dark Alter = 100 XP

Total Encounter XP = 421 XP

Total Treasure = 5091.02 GP Loot included: 4 Hob ears=8GP, 13GP, 2 bolts of fine cloth together worth 500GP, 50GP, 2 silver rings set with stones together worth 50GP, 100GP, 2 Tapestries worth 300GP and 100GP, 2 copper coins, 6 small 70 % platinum bars together worth 1500GP, nice bedding 70GP, cask of elven wine = 200GP, cask of dwarven booze = 400GP, Dark Alter Blood Money = 1000GP, Dark Alter Blood gems x4 together worth 800GP

Total Expedition XP = 5512 XP

1225 XP to each PC
612 XP to each Hireling
1357.61 GP to each PC.
339.40 GP to each Hireling

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