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2015-03-24

Recap: Nexus 5 - Raiding the Castle

2014.02.19

Characters:
Brother Pick - Arakun Initiate
Clink - Arakun Brute
Tion - Arakun Apprentice

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The party decided to scout around the castle and get a good look at what there were facing. They left there extra gear and Pick's dog hidden in the woods and made a wide circle around the hill the castle was on. The hill was steep going on the north and south sides, But more gradual along the east west, where a path cut through the trees,

The path went along the southern edge of castle from the east. At one point it went under a walkway that connected the main castle wall to a small tower. Then the path split to a small trail that continued on to the west, while the main path turned north along the western side of the castle. It then ended at a set of large doors. Just before the walkway, a large portion of the wall had been destroyed leaving a pile of rubble to cross. This would have been easy enough to climb, but was right in front of the walkway, where the party spotted two goblins keeping watch.

After some discussion and throwing out various plans, the party decided to try and sneak up to the eastern wall, north of the path. One at a time they dashed to the wall, checking if any alarms were raised. Once there, Tion decided to tempt fate and cast Stone to Earth on the wall using ambient energy [I'm using Threshold-Limited Magery with the standard FP casting, but thresholds are 0 by default].

With his first casting, Tion made a one yard area into dirt, but the magical backlash will be causing nightmares for 21 days! After they dug out the dirt, they found there was still more stone wall beyond. So again Tion cast using the ambient energy. This time he gained Radically Unstable Magery for six weeks!

The party dug out the remaining part of the wall, but when they got through the found themselves in a large room facing an Ogre and two goblins. The Ogre was facing away, but the goblins saw them come through and demanded that they come out and surrender.

For the next few seconds, things were confused. The ogre and goblins readied weapons, Clink tried to bluff the goblins, Pick readied his weapon and shield, and Tion cast a Stone Missile. The demands to come out of the hole and drop their weapons continued. Clink throws down his weapon and shield, but the stand off continues.

The group then decides that it is best to make a run for it, so Clink grabs his gear and Pick grabs Clink and pulls him back. One goblin goes to sound the alarm, while the other enters the hole after the Arakuns. Tion throws his stone, and Pick attacks, as Clink re-readies.

The ogre tried to enter the hole just as the goblin was trying to back out, causing some issues. When the goblin did back out, the ogre reached in and took a few hits of his own as he tried and failed to grab the arakuns.

Once back in the wall, the players decided to not make a run for it, and thought they could hold off the attack, They started to push their attack back into the castle. Tion drew power again for another Stone Missile, and caused himself to have nightmares for an additional 22 days. But the stone hit and the ogre ended up backing off and passing out from his wounds.

A warg and another goblin came charging in a few seconds later. Tion drew power to cast Great Haste, but failed. Which became a critical failure [this resulted in a new -15 disadvantage Weirdness Magnet]. A second attempt at the spell worked, but the backlash left Tion mentally stunned.

While the party was holding their own at the wall, just about the whole castle was alerted and goblins came pouring out. While some came to the room where the party had initially tunneled in, most had gone outside the walls and circled around behind the party. Tion tried to hold off any attacks from behind with a rain of stones, but they could see archers setting up on both sides. And one goblin threw some sort of vial that broke and released gas into the hole.

At this point the Tion wanted to get Great Haste on the whole party and make a break for it, but he had tempted fate enough and was already in bad shape. The party threw down there weapons and surrendered.

The goblins were so upset and confused by all that had happened, that they didn't bother to question the party. They just took their weapons and tied them up. Then they threw them into one of the castle's towers to try and figure out what exactly had happened.

With all the confusion, the goblins weren't thinking clearly [failed IQ roll] and none of them were casters, One or two were magically attuned, so they knew that Clink's sword was magical, but didn't know how. So they began to argue how they "little rats" had managed to dig through stone.

Back in the tower the players found a large sack that was moving around. Sure enough, they had been thrown in with the seeker! After managing to untie their bonds, Tion rested up and casts stone to earth. Then rested again. Luckily the goblins decided to rest and wait till the morning to decide what to do with their prisoners, So, Tion had time to rest can cast again, then they scrambled out with the seeker.

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Notes: Going in I wasn't sure how the players were going to approach the castle. They didn't have any skill at deceit (Fast-Talk, Acting), and were not particularly skilled in stealth. If they had just charged into the the castle courtyard and attacked, it was likely to be a TPK. Still, three heads are better than one, so I was interested to see what the players came up with.

I was not expecting them to just "punch through the wall". This was a good plan, but unfortunately, they picked what might have been the worse place to do it. The ogre was the "big scary guy" that the goblins kept in the back. The seeker would have been in this room too, if the ogre wasn't keen on eating it before it got delivered to the Shadow King.

Once in, and the bluffing was clearly not working, I figured that the party would make a run for it. Regrouping and trying a new approach. But there wasn't a clear plan of action, as the situation was evolving moment to moment.

A few lucky GM rolls did save the party from worse fate thought. The Goblins were more interested in Clink's sword than questioning the party, and they still wanted to keep them alive to answer questions in the morning (or feed them to the Ogre, which they would find amusing).

While the players made it out alive and found the seeker, they have had some major setbacks. They lost their carried gear other than armor, Tion has two new disadvantages. The nightmares will fade in 43 weeks, but that is going to be in play for the rest of this campaign. On top of that, he has Weirdness Magnet that he's stuck with (he can buy it off for 7 CP after two weeks). And his power tally is going to take some time to wind down.