This session happened May 30, 2009, and concludes the adventure. Due to a hectic schedule in June, I am just now posting it. The June 27 session will be posted shortly and starts the adventure.
- Ranger-Sergeant Clementine “Clem” Rollins (Ranger-Paladin)
- Ranger Owen Sands (Rogue)
- Ranger Oralon Skycaller (Sorcerer)
- Ranger Dav Moonbow (Cleric)
While healing up at the Moon Mountain Ruins, some of Clem’s team of rangers came down with Ghoul Fever. As a result, only Clem, Owen, and Oralon were fit for duty when a messenger from Three Circles Fort arrived. The messenger was Dav Moonbow, a new recruit from the Mountain of the Hanging Gardens and very rare half-elf. Dav carried orders from Ranger-Captain Cedargold, ordering Team Rollins to verify the ghouls were no longer a threat and then authorizing them to go to New Crosswalshire for resupply.
Once Dav was introduced to the rest of the team, those not recovering from Ghoul Fever headed back to the ghoul lair. On the way, Dav was briefed about ghouls in general and what the team had experienced in the ghoul cave.
At the cave, the PCs discovered that the lair was now empty. They finished exploring the caves, locating a tunnel that led to a secret door at the bottom of the pit trap at the entrance of the cave. The ghast cleric’s shrine and personal belongings were no longer here and the bodies of the ghouls were missing or, more to the point, their skeletons were missing.
Leaving the cave, the team started spreading out, looking for tracks to follow. Clem eventually found tracks in the woods below the cave, heading away from the area. Surprisingly, in addition to the expected skeletal tracks, there were the tracks of large felines paralleling the skeletal tracks.
The ranger team followed the tracks for two days, until the tracks entered a very narrow canyon in a long cliff face. Dav acrobatically climbed the cliff face to scout the area (so the team could avoid any ambush waiting for them). In a copse of low trees with an excellent view of the canyon, Dav spotted a small group of the large felines resting in the shade.
Dav returns to the base of the cliff and reports back her findings. Clem identifies the felines as krenshar, riding animals for the balka and fearsome beasts in their own right. Wanting to determine if there were any balka with the krenshar and whether any of them were allied with the ghast cleric, the entire team climbed the cliff (some more elegantly than others).
Just as the team gets within weapons range of the krenshar, balka pop up from behind the krenshar with loaded crossbows at the ready. They do not immediately shoot the rangers and after a tense moment a parley starts. The balka are watchers, assigned to keep tabs on the ghasts and ghouls for their clan. They also make it clear they have been watching the rangers activities since the rangers arrived at the Moon Mountain Ruins. The balka consider the ghast cleric a potential threat and will not stop the PCs from attacking. They will provide cover fire if the rangers are forced to retreat from the cave at the end of the canyon, but no more. Clem believes that will be enough and an accord is reached.
The rangers climb back down the cliff and enter the narrow canyon. The balka do not attack. At the end of the narrow canyon was a cave with a small stream leaving it. The team entered the cave and discovered the cave immediately dead ended at a pool of clear water. Oralon sent his dancing lights into the water, lighting up the very large pool and illuminating a tunnel entrance in the back of the pool, under the water.
Dav entered the water and verified the tunnel entrance was real and led to a tunnel. Then she resurfaced for more air and a silken rope before attempting the underwater tunnel. The tunnel was nearly 30 ft long and opened into a dark cave, lit only by the dancing lights under the water. Dav quietly tied off the silk rope and yanked twice to indicate it was safe for the rest of the rangers to follow. Owen tied off the end of the silken rope at the entrance and the rangers followed Dav. Due to her chainmail, Clem walked the bottom rather than swam like the rest.
The rangers cautiously explored the cavern they found themselves in. It seemed to be another dead-end, until a concealed tunnel was located. The rangers opened the concealed entrance, finding an ancient tunnel that had recently been cleared of debris. At a bend in the tunnel, the rangers found three skeletons clearing dirt and debris from a chamber. The rangers attacked.
Early in the fight, Oralon got too close to the skeletons and was injured. To get some distance and find out if anything else was coming around the corner, he stepped around the corner and extended one of his light orbs. He was immediately shot by the remaining ghoul and the ghast for his troubles.
The ghast started casting defensive spells while the rangers finished off the skeletons. By the time the skeletons were destroyed, the ghast was ready for the rangers and a hard fight started. This time, without his covered position, the rangers were able to defeat the ghast cleric and his cowardly ghoul minion.
Looting the room, the rangers found the ghast’s wooden shrine to Kilwa Masoko, gnollish god of death. They poured holy water on it, damaging it heavily. They searched it more thoroughly and discovered that it could be spun around, exposing a hidden shrine to Karak-Ka, gnoll god of trickery. Clem’s training taught her that the other gnoll gods hated Karak-Ka and finding one of his shrines on the back of a shrine to Kilwa Masoko was highly unusual. She ordered the rest of the team to pack up the dual shrine to take back with them.
When the team finally exited the cave, they spotted the balka and the krenshar still in position. The rangers waved at the balka who immediately packed up their camp and left the area. The accord held.
A day later, the rangers returned to the Moon Mountain Ruins. They showed the dual shrine to Valfrid Redbird and discussed the ramifications of the ghouls and ghasts worshipping gnoll deities and why they had been in the area for so long. After that, Clem told the rest of the Redbird Expedition (and the County Guardsmen their to protect the expedition) a greatly embellished version of the teams adventures and the death of the ghast cleric. The rangers were celebrated as heroes.