The Chaotic Ultimatum

Oldschool Session 33 was played on Thursday, Jan 2nd, 2014 using ACKS

Ah, reader, it has been an age since I have chronicled for the Crimson Blades. I have had this trick ankle that the local priest could just not heal. What is this, you say? A simple ankle strain that cannot be healed by holy powers? Surely, Gildenbough, you must have angered the gods. A reasonable assumption, but no.

After several weeks of alternating dearly bought ice blocks and a cunningly devised military oil heating pad, my ankle was finally back to adventuring strength. I sought out the members of the Blades, and we were planning our next foray into the country around the keep. We had all manner of chaos and evil to choose from. We could fully cleanse the hob tower. We could make a final assault on the last known inhabited Cave of Chaos. While Kellin was advocating for a trip to the Caves, our choice was made for us.

We were alerted to a procession of white-clad warriors, led by one Vostone. A haughty bunch, we saw that their one goal was to horn in on the chaos subduing action that was clearly ours by squatters rights. They presented themselves to the Castellan and all the keep as crusaders against chaos and foulness. Before long, we were summoned to a public audience with the Castellan and all those who chose to attend.

What followed was the town's list of grievances against us, only to be topped by a veritable rogue's gallery of the Crimson Blades' past. Each former employee told of how they had been wronged by the group. I didn't even know all of those fellows. After all was said and done, the Castellan gave us an ultimatum: Prove you're worth keeping around by eradicating the menace that is the Caves of Chaos or get out of town. Yes, our massive wealth and infusion into the local economy probably screwed up the usual chain of supply and demand pretty well, but we have employed many of the local in our revels. A rising tide, right? The local cleric of Heironn, Jophur, and his two acolytes stood up for us and agreed to cleanse this cave with us. We still have some friends in this lonely outpost.

Jeroth!Bah thought that this smelled of an ambush, so we set Artharill and Cord to watch Vostone's group and ensure that we were the first to leave for the Caves in the morning. We were certain that the challenges of the last cave would be enough without a 30-man company of holy warriors assailing us. We were first out and we arrived at the cleft of Chaos. We proceeded to the cave quickly, our fighters in the front, Cord scouting, me, Artharill and some newly recruited obese wizard in the middle, the priest and his cohorts bringing up the rear. As it is whenever we proceed with haste, we were ambushed by gnollish archers. Neru, the fat mage, was quickly dispatched by the dog-men. Artharill also fell, but was revived after the fight. The real exciting moment came when we were fully engaged in fighting the gnolls, and we hear the cry, "Blood for the blood god!" from our back ranks. The priests had turned on us. No wonder none of his mumbo jumbo worked on my ankle! I brought a spell of sleep to my lips and sent them all into a slumber. After the fight, we bound them and marched off to lick our wounds, but where? We were no longer wanted at the keep.

Someone in the group remembered a dryad that the Blades had helped before my time with the group. It was our only chance at sanctuary and possible healing. We were joined by Kujira, Tarsus, and Tarsus' followers en route. Artharill creepily snuggled the dryad's tree roots and revived himself over the course of a few days. We were already healed and ready to go. We had killed Jophur and one of his more stalwart acolytes by way of cliff diving. The last acolyte was weak -willed and willing to tell us whatever we wanted. He became our special weaponless torch bearer. We only had a few days left out of our week to cleanse the Caves. We set out once more. Almost immediately, we killed a group of cowled cultists. We probed deeper into the cave and found a large shrine to what could only be the blood god.

I think it was Cord or Kujira who started to pound on this foul-feeling brass vessel in the shrine room. The sounds of the hammer blows reverberated throughout the caves, alerting whatever denizens still lurk in this place. We set a trap in the hallway with our caltrops and reserves of military oil. Before long we were set upon by a horde of skeletons and zombies four wide and 8 deep. We destroyed them all, and their little hooded puppet masters in the back. We weren't in the best of shape, so we had to head back to the keep and try and explain Jophur's betrayal and the nature of this cave.

We did this by carting a 35' by 40' tapestry back to the keep. We did roll it up though.

Session Totals

Expedition Roster:
Principles: Neru, Tarsus, Kujira, Gildenbough, Artharill, Jeroth!Bah, Kellin, and Cord. (everybody)
Hirelings: Oziander, Surazal (each contracted at monthly rate by lv, room and board, 1/2 share xp, 1/4 share GP)

9 Gnolls = 180 XP
Evil Jopher and his acolytes = 156 XP
4 initiates of Karsk = 152 XP
horde of 20 skeletons = 200 XP
horde of 20 zombies = 400 XP

Total Encounter XP = 1088 XP

coins on gnolls = 23ep
gold chains on Jopher's acolytes = 200gp
blood-red ruby necklace on Jopher = 600gp

unsold items: cask of wine, giant evil tapestry of chaos, Jopher's warhammer, platemail, shield, Acolyte's mail & maces, ancient brass goblet & bowl.

Total Treasure = 811.5 GP

Total Expedition XP = 1899.5 XP

238 XP to each PC
119 XP to each Hireling
95gp, 4sp, 7cp to each PC.
23gp, 8sp, 7cp to each Hireling

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