This session happened November 21, 2009, but was not documented until later.Dramatis personae:
- Sergeant-Ranger Clementine “Clem” Rollins (Ranger/Paladin)
- Ranger Owen Sands (Rogue)
- Ranger Oralon Skycaller (Sorcerer)
- Ranger Sereah (Cleric)
- Ranger Dav Moonbow (Monk)
- Ranger Thar (Barbarian)
- Ranger Lily (Wizard)
Returning from New Crosswalshire, Ranger Team Rollin checked in at Three Circles Fort, before resuming their search of the forest for the goblin raiders. They were presented with Oralon’s replacement, a wizard named Lily. Apparently, the Ranger-Captain (Brogan Cedargold) was not optimistic about the team’s ability to get Oralon raised and brought in a replacement. Not having anything else to do with her, the Ranger-Captain still assigned Lily to Clem’s team. Clem, willing to take on another spellcaster, graciously accepted.
Retrieving Grubnuz, the team headed east, back into the forest. After three relatively eventless days, Grubnuz indicated that the home of the Dead Stones tribe was over the next hill. Owen and Dav scouted ahead while the rest stayed back. At the crest of the hill, Owen and Dav spotted smoke from the goblin camp but could not see the camp itself. They climbed trees for a better view and could see that the tribe lived in some sort of large depression or depressions in the floor of a valley between two hills, with the ruins of a very old shrine of some sort between the depressions. They also saw some goblins and an ogre! After a quick consultation, it was agreed that Dav would return and report while Owen kept an eye on the camp.
After listening to the report and questioning Grubnuz some more, the team realized that when Grubnuz had been saying “Big Bones” he meant all three ogres and not just one thing named Big Bones. Taking a clue from some of Grubnuz’s off-hand comments, Clem negotiated with Grubnuz for the help of the goblin tribe against the ogres. Clem agreed to back Grubnuz as chieftain if the tribe would help take down the ogres (or at least not interfere). The agreed attack time was just after sunset, when the goblins would sound out their drums, indicating the rangers should attack. With that agreement, Grubnuz was let free and he went to the goblin camp.
In the meantime, Clem moved the rangers to a new spot near the crest of the hill they were hiding behind, in case Grubnuz turned against them (voluntarily or not) and to keep the goblin camp under scrutiny. Time passed, until the goblins started gathering a lot of wood and other activities could be heard from inside the depressions. Owen and Dav moved in closer to determine what was going on. They were able to get close enough to hear various goblin shouts and determined that the goblins were preparing for some sort of festival. They also got a much better look at the goblin “camp”.
The two depressions the camp was in were not natural. They appeared to be the lower levels of the shrine in the center, now heavily overgrown with vines and plants. The very worn carvings Dav could see reminded her of figures she had seen in some of her history books back at the monastery. They were carvings from the time of the Dominion! After a short conversation via hand signals, Owen and Dav agreed that Dav should return back to the rangers and report. She did so. The news that this was an old Dominion site, possibly a tomb received mixed reactions from the team. Tombs mean treasure, but Dominion tombs could contain things best not set free. Clem decided to concentrate on the ogres first.
As the sun set, the rangers moved in closer to the goblin camp and made preparations. They could hear a large number of goblins assembling, plus the three ogres, but it was all below ground level and out of their sight. When the sun finally set, large fires were lit (the rangers could see the glow from them) and an aged goblin started to speak, telling a story of the tribe. The rangers waited. Eventually, the story started approaching its climax and several big drums started beating. It was the signal!
The rangers crept across the final distance to the edge of the camp and could finally see down inside. The structure was indeed artificial, with the stone floor 20 ft below the surface of the ground. The elder goblin, a shaman of some sort, was at one end, telling the story to the goblin tribe, sitting in front of him, behind which sat the three ogres. From their position, the rangers were nearly right over the ogres, a perfect place to attack from. On the stage with the shaman was Grubnuz, surreptitiously looking around, apparently waiting for the rangers to attack. The rangers did not disappoint.
According to plan, Lily made the first move, casting a fireball directly on the center ogre, but high enough to avoid hitting the goblins in front of them. This was followed quickly by bow and crossbow shots from the rest of the rangers and lightning rays from Oralon. In almost more time than it takes to tell, all three ogres were dead. The goblins were awed by the rangers attack and Grubnuz looked clearly proud of himself for making such strong allies.
Just before anyone got to do more than take stock of the fact that the ogres were dead, one of the stone walls fell over, exposing a previously hidden tunnel. Out poured seven figures wrapped in bandages from head to toe, each wearing golden amulets and jewelry. Dominion tomb guardians! The mummies also carried ancient bronze swords which they proceeded to use, immediately attacking anyone they could get to, including Thar (who had charged down to get into hand-to-hand combat with the ogres and failed, because the ogres died too quick). Nearly a dozen goblins were killed before the rest panicked and fled, scrambling away and up the vines to ground level.
The rangers moved to support Thar and cover for the goblin escape, shooting down at the mummies with bows, crossbows, and spells. The mummies were unusually resistant to fire attacks and most bow attacks, forcing the rangers to cluster around the stairwell up, bottling up the mummies and concentrating the team’s attacks on each one. After a hard fight, the rangers gradually destroyed each mummy in turn, but using up some of their healing magic to keep Thar alive.
Once the mummies were destroyed, Grubnuz returned to the rangers, explaining that this spot was too dangerous for the Dead Stones to stay. He was leading his tribe away towards “sun-comes-up” to find a better place. The rangers said their good byes and then (once the goblins had all left) got to the serious business of investigating the tomb.
The tomb had filled up with silt from flooding in the past. Some time more recently, the mummies had been awakened and started digging their way out. The rangers found piles of dirt and narrow channels for them to walk through. They found where the mummies had rested and another chamber where other mummies had been destroyed by water and rotting. The rangers found an altar made out of a solid piece of jade, heavily stained with past sacrifices. Beyond the altar was the actual tomb, which comprised of two chambers. One chamber was full of grave goods made of gold and precious gems. The other chamber contains a huge stone sarcophagus, still sealed against the ages. Not wanting to awaken anything, the rangers (wisely) left the sarcophagus alone.
Dav and Thar were sent back to Three Circles Fort to report the finding to the Ranger-Captain and organize a retrieval of the grave goods, while the rest took the time to cleanse the jade altar and then break it apart, hoping to forestall awakening whatever was in the sarcophagus. Back at the fort, the Ranger-Captain pointed out that the Count would be claiming the entire find, as was his right, so Clem should put together an inventory of everything that was being turned over. Dav and Thar noticed he had not said “everything found” just “everything turned over” and reported this back to Clem when they returned with supplies and a donkey-drawn cart. Clem, understanding what he meant, made certain to set aside something for her uncle and chose not to notice that the other rangers secreting some “trade goods” for later use, which had been unofficially authorized.
End of Session.