Highball and Dragons #6

Highball and Dragons #6

photo courtesy of Anthony/Tertius

In our previous session, we had freed the soul of a woman in some kind of cemetery. After that task, we rested for a night and then took the read leading further away.

We quickly arrived at an opening filled with ruins. Beyond the ruins, some kind of huge portal was beaming. We divided our team in two groups. Rurik, Bernhard and old Yvor went first while the rest of us stayed behind with old Erik.

A while after our scouts went out of sight, Erik hugged Aby (me) from behind with a dagger threatening the fat below the ribs. "We all go quietly to the first building there. If you attempt anything, Aby dies."

We complied. The old dane lead us to a room, well more of a jail cell. He blinded us with some magic. When our eyes could see again, we realized we were locked in.

Our friends in the scout party were imprisoned as well. I don't know how they ended up so. They were placed in a pair of cages next to the portal. On the opposite side of the area just in front of the portal, a platform was set up on a huge stone, actually the remaing head of the huge statue of a god. Some kind of orc sorcerer, clad in his shamanic regalia, seemed busy in his meditation.

Rurik and Bernhard were in the cage closest to the portal, they shared it with corpses. The adjacent cage hosted Rurik's wife, Aby's girlfriend, and a sleeping orc guard. They warned our friends that the shaman was powering the portal and his fuel was in those two cages.

As the wife's warning ended, the shaman started chanting. Bernhard's hand who had been contaminated in a previous session went along and reacted to the words being uttered there on the platform.

photo courtesy of Anthony/Tertius

In quick succession, Rurik wife's succeeded in killing the orc guard in her cell, and cutting the ties binding her husband's hand with a piece of metal. Bernie was freed next and he used his magic to fire at the shaman, stopping the chanting, then to blast open the cage doors.

Bernhard and Rurik group then proceeded towards the cell where the rest of the group was isolated. We noticed that Erik (NPC), Yvor (NPC), and Torleif (PC) are not with us anymore. At this point, Gary, the referee asked Mark, playing Torleif, to join him behind the referee screen.

The first job for Mark there was to help Gary uncover the miniatures of Dakka the dragon and of Crusher his master, they landed next to the double cage. A party of orc guards appeared as well. Our prospects appeared very poor. The only piece of good news at that point was Rurik's wife uncovering her husband's sword in some jail cache. She also pointed out at a chest close to the platform, telling us that Rurik's and Bernhard's kit was stored in there as they were brought in the cage.

Bernhard decided to neutralize his contaminated arm, he didn't want to end up fueling the portal. Tertius held Bernie's arm while Rurik severed the limb. It felt like the right thing to do, as the friends were bandaging Bernie, the chanting began again. The severed hand started creeping toward its owner and some of the corpses consumed by the portal reanimated...

Rurik (red) runs, goblins jump out of the well

The odds were stacked against us. A dragon, its large orc master, orc guards, and an orc shaman, apparently helped by three of our former friends, two of them users of magic. What could we do? Aby mentioned fleeing, he couldn't see anything that could be leveraged.

Rurik began sprinting towards the chest holding his gear, as he passed a well on his way, four goblins jumped out of it. The fight was on. Aby had to kill his girlfriend, she was contaminated and the chanting had taken her over. Tertius killed the goblin who had approached our group, Bernhard equipped himself with the goblin spear.

Torleif appeared in the center of the stage and directed a draining spell towards Rurik, lacing it with all the grievances. We learnt there the hidden dislike of Torleif for his former master. Rurik, sword in hand, didn't give it much thought and despatched one goblin in passing.

The cavalry had arrived — the "dead wife" we had helped in the previous session appeared and killed one of the goblins. Was the tide turning? The remaining goblin climbing atop the structure behind him and prepared his bow, Beowyn fired unsuccessfully an arrow at him, Tertius hit and the small creature fell.

We had just killed the four goblins, but no respite for us, the orc guards closed on us, one of them climbing the structure from which the last goblin fell. He fired an arrow at us but missed.

The second "cavalier" came as a dashing warrior climbing the platform to attack the orc shaman. No idea where he came from, we were simply grateful to have the chanting stop and someone handing the case of the shaman.

Rurik resumed his run towards the chest, Torleif fired magic lightning at him but couldn't stop him. Rurik, almost out of breath, reached the chest and searched it for his two rocks, he smashed them together and thus the stone construct we had befriended appeared and immediately engaged the Dragon. Third "cavalier".

Chimaev vs Diaz — photo courtesy of Anthony/Tertius

Tertius started drifting at that point (cannot remember why, guys please tell me), but Beowyn shook him off quickly. "Come back to your senses!". Tertius ran to the center of the stage and hit Torleif in the back. "You traitor! Why don't you join us back?" Tertius tried to invoke the friendship he had developed for Torleif, who replied "May I consider it?".

Avoiding any orc guard, Bernhard started running towards the portal. We had all heard in our head someone telling us "Go through the portal!".

At that point, Matt (Rurik) was rolling the attacks for the stone construct and he scored a double one. It happens.

Beowyn started running as well towards the portal. The dashing cavalier hit the orc shaman hard and killed him, just as Bernhard went through the portal, closely followed by Rurik. Two out.

Torleif did not attack Tertius, but he projected magical drain threads toward the dashing cavalier and succeeded in turning some of the energy of that man into magical energy for himself.

the portal

Remember the orc that had climbed the structure? He hadn't much luck with his shooting, he decided to jumped down and land on Aby. It hurt, but Aby played dead, counting on his friends all running to keep the orcs focused.

Beowyn ran through the portal. Three out. Yvor placed himself between the portal and the incoming Tertius — "I hate you since you almost scalped me! Pay now!". Tertius engaged him, missed, but was able to get closer to the portal.

At that point, our friend the stone construct took a bad hit from the dragon (Mark rolling against Matt), and was destroyed. The reptilian beast slowly started turning its attention towards the portal.

Ignored by the orcs now surrounding the "dead wife", Aby escaped and could sneak behind Yvor and hit him hard. The orcs were successful in "killing" the dead wife.

Yvor climbed the steps in front of the portal, brandishing his sword. Using his quarterstaff, Aby somehow sweeped the old man. Tertius closed on Yvor and hit him. At that point, Dakka fired his dragon breath at the portal, killing Aby.

Tertius went through the portal. Four out.

It was an intense finale. Torleif's treason caught us badly. The campaign ended here. We do not know what lays behind the portal.

Thanks Gary for all the hard work! That was masterly lead and tremendously fun!


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Highball and Dragons #4
Highball and Dragons #5
Highball and Dragons #6