|The first of many|
Mordecai, a Cleric-7: Adam
Forlorn, an Elf F/MU 5/5: Bo
Mister Moore, Magic User-6: Mike
Shy, a Fighter-6: JR
Leonidas the Paladin-5: Nogal
Digit, the Elf Thief-7: Z
Konstantine, Magic User-5: Smitty
Phat Kobra, a Dwarf Fighter-5
Grumble the Smug, Halfling Thief-7
Meatshield 1, Ranger-1
Meatshield 2, Ranger-1
Ireena, a Fighter - 5
Vlad the Inhaler, Magic User-1
Meatshield 3, Cleric-1
*Italicized characters are back in Barovia
The party continued their sojourn through the valleys and passes of the Crystalmist mountains, seeking THE LOST CAVERNS OF TSOJCANTH*.
After a long day of travel westward, they discovered an open valley in the mountains with four distinct mountain passes leading out of it. Three of the passes were on the old map they had gotten from the gypsies, but the pass leading north and east was new. Their own heading on the morrow would be southwest, towards the Gnome Vale. But first, they made a camp in a stand of sheltered pines.
The major action of the evening kicked off when the party's first watch was alerted to a large figure pushing it's way through the trees - a giant. They could hear its breathing just beyond their campfire light, the group in a circle around the fire, waiting with weapons drawn. Then it crashed off into the night panting.
You know what players are thinking, right? "Holy crap, look at the size of those tracks", as the rangers stand over a footprint in the damp soil. "We're going to get to kill a giant!" And they promptly went about plotting, scheming, and planning various traps and ambushes.
The druid ended up casting a fire trap on one of Konstantine's empty bottles of vodka, and then planted it in the woods next to a coin with a continual light spell on it. I guess they were thinking, giants are dumb, and what self-respecting giant would pass up a chance to snag a free bottle of vodka? You just can't fault that kind of player logic.
The other trap involved string trip lines across the most obvious approaches to the camp and tying some metal pots and pans to them, to make noise if disturbed.
All these preparations took a good half hour of time during the watch, so I went ahead to figure out what the giant was doing in the meantime. Bubba, so named because all Hill Giants are going to be a bit like amiable rednecks with a hankering to eat people, ran back to the cave where Roscoe and Ewolt were sitting around a meager fire and grumbling.
"Butter my butt, and call me a biscuit, there's humans in the valley! With tasty horses and mules!" Roscoe, the Hill Giant leader, responds, "If you doubled your brains, you'd still be a halfwit. There ain't no humans in the valley, you blockhead." "No, really, and they had tasty mules and horses! Stoke up the fire, we're eating right good tonight!" A random dice roll revealed to me the giants took their time arguing and building up their cooking fire before piling out of the cave to investigate the truth of Bubba's find.
Ewolt snuck off to one side of the woods to do some mule raiding, while Roscoe and Bubba went towards the bright light in the forest. "Don't go touching that bottle, Bubba, you're a few grains short of a full silo. We've got to make a distraction so Ewolt can steal the mules. Keep your eyes on the prize!" They plunged forward and promptly fell over the trip line, creating a ruckus in the woods. That alerted the guards, who woke up everyone else in the camp.
The fight was pretty simple; Ewolt snuck in the back way, but couldn't resist the urge to chuck rocks at the back of the party. Bubba and Roscoe went with the full frontal assault, swinging giant-sized clubs. The MVP of the melee side of the battle was Grumble the Smug, who used the ring of invisibility and halfling sneakiness to get in position for a backstab; 7th level thieves do triple damage! Between the front line fighters, prayers, chants and similar buffs, and a barrage of magic missiles, the attacking giants died pretty quickly.
Meanwhile, they struggled with Ewolt, who stood off in the dark tree line, well outside their firelight, and chucked rocks at the party for 2-16hp per shot. Mister Moore asked his faithful brownie familiar, Packer, to light up the area with a continual light spell, and they were able to blast Ewolt with a lightning bolt shortly thereafter.
That's pretty much it. There was some looting and scouting and other stuff I'm glossing over, but that's dull to relate. See you next time!
It's funny to imagine some random slob in the future, coming across that abandoned bottle of Vodka with the lingering fire trap on it. "This must be my lucky day. Someone left a bottle of booze!" He'll be standing there with a blackened face, white eyes blinking, like Yosemite Sam after Bugs Bunny gave him an exploding cigar. These are the things for which D&D excels.
*If you missed last week's game report, I have to ask, why? Don't you realize these game reports are made of awesome and topped off with a frosting of pure win? On a less serious note, let me tell you why THE LOST CAVERNS OF TSOJCANTH will always be capitalized now.
Gygax always capitalized product names in the AD&D books. In order to interject a much needed dose of Gygaxian swagger into these reports, henceforth shall products be equally capitalized, making them totally Gygaxian.