Tuesday, September 18, 2012

[Wilderlands] The Adventures of Edgy, Thud, and Scythe

So this weekend I ran a Labyrinth Lord/AEC adventure for Alex, Andy, and Travis, my host's son and two of his friends. We had Edgy the Dwarf Cleric of Odin, Thud Thudson an Altanian Berserker Barbarian (a C&C/1E Unearthed Arcana adaptation), and Scythe the Dual-Knife Wielding Halfling Thief. They started out shipwrecked on the Skandik Shore en route to Southern Altania, some unknown miles north of...Ossary.

First they battled their former shipmates, whose souls were taken by Hel but whose bodies washed ashore next to them... and sought to drag them down to Hel's realm with them. Then, following a pair of raucous ravens, they traveled inland where they discovered a ruined temple of Loki, held by a mad priest and his berserker followers. They barely pulled their bacon out of that fire, and Thud took ability score damage from being "mostly dead" through an adaptation of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG death rules. They found the cultists run-down longhouse, complete with three flea-bitten horses. Here too they discovered a fine magical elven longsword (which Thud claimed) and a quiver of magical elven arrows (which Scythe claimed). The next morning they took off southwest, deciding to cross the peninsula on foot through howling wilderness... ah, youth!

First they investigated a barrow mound they saw from the ruined temple. After breching the broken entry stone (shattered during the potent magic used in desecrating the altar of Loki the previous night), they discovered it might well have been a Tomb of the Lords of Chaos, ancestors of Thud's people. This, and the ghouls that started climbing out of the inky black holes near the back of the chamber, convinced them to leave it alone...

Then, further down the trail, they discovered a second barrow, this one much more recent and definitely Skandik in origin. Totally into the idea of desecrating a Skandik grave, Thud pushed open the rock, and sent in Scythe to scout. What is it about halfling scouts that they need to always steal something? This time it was the silver-chased horn that Scythe found at the feet of the dead warrior, which rose as a draugr and sought to slay the interloper. Thud jumped into the barrow even as the stone mystically shut, and he and Scythe fought the creature until they brought it low. Scythe took the horn, while Thud claimed the fine silver goblet filled with coins and small gems. Edgy was uneasy about the whole thing, though there was no evidence that the warrior had been a follower of Odin; being a draug, even if he was, he was likely not in good graces, but still...

Next they came upon signs of a Skandik trapper settlement... while trying to avoid it they walked right into it. The Skandiks seemed unsure when the Altanian approached them speaking broken Common, but were reassured when they saw the cleric of Odin. The potentially deadly encounter turned into a friendly one, and they were able to buy much-needed rations before they continued on their journey. A subsequent encounter with the Skandik’s hunting friends also almost turned ugly, but Odin once again came to their aid, or so it seemed, when the Skandiks again noticed the cleric's presence.

They camped later that night near a spring, then early the next day discovered an abandoned village. There, in the tumble-down stables, they discovered five pegasi, which Thud miraculously befriended! Several scary missteps later, and the three were whisked into the air on the back of their new friends, the halfling screaming in horror as he held onto the bridle for dear life, his feet not reaching the stirrups by half.

High above the Pazidan they flew, south and west for the whole day. They avoided the town of Jarmoco when they saw the horrible Hell-Bridge Temple from a distance, and spent the evening near a babbling mountain brook several miles south. The next leg of their journey was uneventful until they approached evening and their landing, when the three of them were engulfed in a cloud of giggling pixies! They were babbling that they were seeking a hero they had been promised, and Thud puffed with pride until the pixies circled Scythe and declared him to be their hero!

Agreeing to assist the pixies in return for treasures "beyond mortal dreams," the trio spent a wonderful evening being entertained at the fey shee of the pixies, a fairy castle that either shrank the trio to pixie size or increase the pixies to human-size, they could not say... The next morning they were led by a guide to the Cavern of the Owlbear. Along the way they were attacked by a pack of wolves led by a worg, but this did not stop them in their quest, and they soon had some fine wolf pelts.

When they got to the cave, they found the beast was sleeping, and after much cajoling, Scythe was convinced to sneak in (using his elven boots) and slay the beast while it slept. With a double backstab and a critical hit, he brought the thing down to one hit point, upon which Thud stepped in and stole the kill!

They then discovered a stair, ancient and overgrown with flowstone, down into the depths. Against Scythe's advice ("we'll find a dragon, I know it!") the trio went down deep to ancient caverns, and there indeed, discovered a dragon... a sleeping ancient dragon-bot of the Dragon Lords, brought to creaking, squealing wakefulness by the trio arguing over what they should do. Fled they did, luckily, as the thing unleashed hellfire after them up the stairs, the barbarian and the dwarf getting singed in the rear as the thief screamed "I told you so! I told you so!"

Smelling of burnt human and dwarf, the trio returned to the shee, where the pixies feted them greatly. Scythe was given a potent magical dagger (+2/+3 versus humanoids) and a magical walnut to "open when you are in great danger." Thud received a potion most miraculous which restored him to his full strength. Edgy the Dwarf Cleric asked for nothing, not trusting the gifts of the fairy folk... and so the adventure came to a close, at least for the time being...

Oh... and Scythe the halfling? Totally pimping it with those pixie chicks...

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