[Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

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[Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by patransom » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:38 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
Thanks for your patience. Adventure 3 begins now...

 

The next morning, the party gathers at the house of wizard, Master Allustan Penkawr, to begin their journey to consult with the witch, Marzena. Although the group had planned to walk, Prost shows up mounted on a riding dog, prompting Tex to mutter something about lazy halfling thieves. Everyone ignores his grumbling as he leads them out of town in the direction of Shadow Castle Keep, on the edge of the Calenvicar Swamp.
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Master Penkawr is talkative during the journey. The party learns that his brother is the mayor of Rastingdrung, Lanod Neff. This is one of the reasons Penkawr left Tula, the City of Mages, to take up residence in the little town, although the party gets the impression that Penkawr and Lanod’s relationship is a little strained. Penkawr also mentions politics as one of his reasons for leaving the Great School in Tula. He makes some vaugely negative comments about ...city wizards, cooped up in their dusty libraries, never seeing the real world. He also talks about his efforts to expand the Many Steps archives in Rastingdrung.

The group stops for the night at an abandoned farm called Shank’s Rest. The party exercises caution in setting up camp, but finds the place perfectly safe. In fact, the entire two-day trip passes without incident, until the travelers approach Shadow Castle Keep near dusk of the second day. As they cover the last stretch of the southbound trail, they notice an increase in the number of flies and the smell of a battle — smoke and blood. I've got a bad feeling about this, comments Tex. The next bit of the trail ascends a moderately sized hill. Approaching the top of the rise cautiously, the group secures a good view of the keep and its current situation.
keepsiege.jpg
The keep itself is built out of black stone and consists of a four-story tower with a basement floor that (according to Penkawr) is buried under a false hill. Large sharpened wooden stakes jut out of the hillside, pointing away from the keep. The door to the keep looks like it has been broken open and hastily repaired. On the level above the door a five-foot balcony extends outward and a nervous group of defenders keeps watch there, armed with longbows. Next to the keep is a stockaded horse corral, partially embedded in the false hill. The doors to the stockade are open and a dead and partially dismembered horse is in the doorway. The party can see groups of lizardfolk lurking in strategic places around the keep, using bushes, large rocks, and dead trees as cover. Each has a club, large shield, and at least one javelin. Some of them are eating horsemeat, and at least one is eating a dead human soldier. Three dead lizardfolk are out in the open near the keep, attracting flies.

This looks bad... comments Penkawr. Lizard people, grumbles Tex, Why'd it have to be lizard people...

OUT OF CHARACTER
The party is approaching from the east (right hand side of the map). Beyond the keep to the west is the start of the swamp.

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by Duniagdra » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:00 pm

Well... I guess it's not going to be a gradual start, but to jump right in. Marcus looks to each of his friends with fingers twitching. We need to get in there. Maybe we can take out a group or two without alarm? Maybe a sleep spell or two? Kill any that succumb after dealing with those who don't? I can also drop them into a pit or two? Perhaps distract one group and lure them into a trap? We need a real count of how many. Maybe Prost can scout the area?
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by smeltdm » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:15 pm

Ya, sounds like a plan. What do you know about them lizard folk? I am sneaky, alright, they will not see or hear me coming, but can they smell me? Prost checks to see which way the wind is blowing.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by JPetherick » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:10 pm

Worrel looks at the lizard men, trying to estimate how many opponents are on the field.

We can wait to get an idea of the situation. Something may be within that stockade and I would rather not be surprised, says the paladin.

I am not suited to stealth but my bow far outranges those javelins that the lizard folk carry. We should find a defensible spot if the lizard folk charge us - not a bad thing, since it may be sufficient for the defenders to make a sortie.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by patransom » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:16 am

JPetherick wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:10 pm
Worrel looks at the lizard men, trying to estimate how many opponents are on the field.
OUT OF CHARACTER
A perception check would be appropriate here...

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by JPetherick » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:18 am

Worrel is looking, really looking.

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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by kabkal » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:29 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
What is the weather like?

 

Lola will also try to count the number of lizardfolk.


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She then says I can bring some help, do we want quiet or big?
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by patransom » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:20 am

The weather is clear, but sunset is approaching.

Worrel and Lola count about 30 lizardfolk. Neither of them see anything in the stockade other than dead horses. Lola has some additional observations, though (PM sent).

Tex comments, It's been decades since the lizards attacked anything outside the swamp... ever since they built this keep, really. Wonder what's got them all riled up now?

Listening to Prost, he adds, Not much cover down there that doesn't already have a greenskin hiding behind it. But if we wait until dark, you might be able to sneak by them. The lizards don't see any better in the dark than you do. And they don't have extra powerful smellers... although you have taken on the aroma of dog lately.

Penkawr rummages in his pack and pulls out a scroll, I've been saving this for an emergency. I think I should use it to teleport back to Rastingdrung and alert the garrison to this threat. It will be some time before help can arrive, but it sounds like you're already planning to do what you can to aid the soldiers in the keep?
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by kabkal » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:06 am

Lola quietly points out

Look, there is one (K on the northern half of the map) carrying a steel shield who seems to be giving orders. And over there is female (S on the southern half of the map). Look, she is feeding a very large snake (V next to S on the map). That seems odd how friendly it is with her.

She then asks

Do you want me to summon some help? (rather than listing options Summon Monster I & III are my options)
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by CGM3 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:35 pm

Maybe the female is some sort of ranger or shaman, Cyrius muses as he scans the vista before him. Having Master Penkawr go warn the town of this development strikes me as a good idea. And I vote we wait for darkness and try to slip by the lizardfolk unnoticed, the odds seem a bit too one-sided for my tastes.

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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by Duniagdra » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:24 pm

I could use the two fireballs to take out one or two of the defensive groups, but I'm okay with maybe sneaking between them. Not all of us are stealthy though. I can only see a sneak attack being the best option. Either way, waiting for dark is best.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by JPetherick » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:00 pm

No, I am not stealthy says Worrel. I had been thinking of engaging the lizardmen with our ranged weapons, which means attacking when we can see. We should be able to weaken the groups before they get close enough to use those javelins. Those two that Lola spotted, though, we should focus on since they may be leaders. Remember, we might aid the occupants of the keep by drawing the attention of the lizards.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by Duniagdra » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:42 pm

JPetherick wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:00 pm
No, I am not stealthy says Worrel. I had been thinking of engaging the lizardmen with our ranged weapons, which means attacking when we can see. We should be able to weaken the groups before they get close enough to use those javelins. Those two that Lola spotted, though, we should focus on since they may be leaders. Remember, we might aid the occupants of the keep by drawing the attention of the lizards.
I agree. Most of us are not stealthy and moving in the dark could be risky. If there's enough moonlight tonight we could be visible enough to be seen as we pass between. I think it really is a best option to attack by surprise one of the two nearest groups or moving to where one of the leader types are. I have two fireballs, magic missiles, enlarge person, can cast unerring weapon on up to 20 arrows and/or bolts.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by kabkal » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:51 am

Lola offers I have a 20' cloud of fog I can cast, bless and strengthen one of you.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by CGM3 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:19 am

Well, if we're going to make a break for the fort, I suggest we come from the southeast, Cyrius opines. There are only five lizardfolk there, and we may get past them and to the rise before any others can reach us.
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Re: [Active Thread] Encounter at Shadow Castle Keep Part 1

Post by Duniagdra » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:50 pm

Once we're in the fort we're trapped. While we do have high ground, they have excellent cover. Resources inside the fort are limited. Out here is not. I say we attack on our way in. We attack from behind. One of the groups. Maybe the group of five as mentioned, but I think the group directly east might be better. It will take time before either group to either side discover whats up. A surprise attack will give us time to take out one or two quickly and we rush the rest. Then maybe attack the next group if we succeed in not being discovered. I don't want to rush in to that fort with all these lizards surrounding it.

Master Penkawr can go alert the military, but how long before they get here? That could take a week, maybe more. Even if they do discover us attacking, it will draw them all to us. I say we ambush one group. I say if this one group is taken out without notice we attack the next. That will reduce their numbers and we can rush into the fort. coordinate with the soldiers inside and fight off the rest.

The group south east does look best to start from. If we start with ranged attacks from behind and focus our shots on two targets we can succeed. Kill two in surprise ranged attack. Then attack the remaining three. We can then attack the group of five north of them. I think we can do this quickly if we focus our ranged attack on two or three targets. I can cast unerring missile on all our arrows and bolts if really need. That will help improve our hitting our targets. This can work. we attack the SE group and then the east group.
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