7 Jan game recap - Raben
Raben Halboeze den Angeist and the rest of the band completed the trek through the grass lands to Tor’s holding, either riding, walking, or being carried as the gnome was so that his short legs and short strides did not slow the party, without incident. Traveling through the grass covered trackless wilds kept them well away from the eyes of any ‘Iron Circle’ patrols.

Raben slid from his horse’s saddle and smiled. With little difficulty the group convinced the leader of the Tor clan to support the effort to rid the Barony of Harkenwold of the ‘Iron Circle’, as long as the band of adventures could clear the area of the annoying toad-men that harassed the inhabitants of the Tor’s holdings.

The afternoon was completed with a discussion on how best to go to the toad-men’s’ holding (a cave in the side of a hill with a water fall spilling from the mouth). Travel down the river – the easiest way to find the cave, but the more dangerous in that the party would travel along the river and in the marsh lands the toad men hunted. A trip that would endanger the group at every step. Or, travel through the woods to the north of the area and then turn back to the river to approach the cave from the woods. Riskier in possibly being lost in the woods and being more difficult to find the cave from the north. However, the toad-men were not known to hunt or patrol the wood lands, so other than random denizens of the woods, a safer path.

Eventually the group chose the 2nd path, and settled to rest, and assist the residents of Tors Thorp in their nightly guarding and watching for dangers from the river, woods, and the ????, and to keep watch on Ichabod, the captured brigand and once member of the iron circle.

But before the sun set,Brohem the gnome druid wandered off into the surrounding fields, looking for an animal alley to help the party … a raven, a hawk, a crow, something to be an extra pair of eyes to watch and give warning to dangers around or ahead. Raben, watching and ready in case something more dangerous than a fowl answered the druids calls. Soon enough, a raven hopped from a nearby tree and landed next to the gnome. The Carrion bird squawking, and the gnome using his druid abilities and powers to reply.

As the sun set Brohem, his new found feathered friend, and Raben- the devil blooded paladin/thief -returned to the safety of the wooden palisaded thorp.

After an uneventful evening, the party gathered at sun rise readying to start the hunt for the toad-men’s cave.
“So, it is agreed, we are traveling through the woods to approach the cave from that direction” Raben started. “I know I have no woodland skills, but does any of the rest of us 8 have wood craft, tracking, or the like?”

The paladin/thief looked across the faces of the party member. Purposely looking over the gnome druid at first.

The diminutive druid started by saying “I do. … Hey I do, …. Me, I DO!” then raising a hand, the both and waiving, and finally hopping up and down to get the attention of the devil blooded knight.

“Oh, my short friend, you do, don’t you” Raben gave an impish half smile. Then gently pushed the gnome forward with his foot.

“I guess you need to lead the party. Remember we travel west in the woods for 3 or 4 miles and then turn south to the river. The cave is in hills overlooking the bend in the river. Try to keep us on the correct path and not wandering around the woods for a day”

Raben took a second to give Ichabod a stern look and remind him of his offered redemption and the consequences of betrayal.

The gnome gulped and turned white at the thought of being in the front of the 8 adventures. Then dutifully turned and lead the group out of Tor’s Thorp. The gnome’s new found raven companion squawked and took flight. Circling around the group and flying ahead to the woods. Keeping an eye out for dangers and a safe sure path into the woods.

After a few hours, without losing their way in the dark old forest, the group stood at the edge of the woods. On a hill top looking down at the long slow bend in the river.

Raben smiled down at the gnome who after a moment of pride at his job well done, scurried back to the middle of the party to be more safe and surrounded by big folk.

Soon enough, someone found the stream and the waterfall out of a cave mouth.

As the party approached the cave the saw a 10 foot tall sheer rock face of the hill with the cave mourn and water fall well outside of their reach.

Raben hurried to the base of the cliff below the cave mouth, checked his shied and saber to make sure they were secure. Then braced his back against the cold moss covered rock.

Tsetseg, I’ll be the ladder, you go up and check the mouth of the cave”

The female half orc barbarian, looked a bit confused and annoyed at the thought, but quickly enough was climbing, up the rock using the devil blooded as a ladder .

Once she was up one after another the rest of the group headed to the paladin thief. Easily enough, Raben tossed the gnome druid up to the mouth cave to save a little time

A look of concern crossed Raben’s face. He expected the half orc barbarian and one or 2 others to go up using him as a ladder, but then one of them to tie off a rope so he could join them before the mouth of the cave became too crowded. However, one after another, the party members just kept coming to clamber up the cliff with the paladin/thief’s help.

Then from in the depths of the cave, the unmistakable sound of combat. Yells and battle cries, croaks and splashes spear on armor, teeth and claw on shield, and the groans of the injured.

Anuxus, the dragon blooded sorcerer, still safely on the ground at the base of the cliff sent a bolt of magical fire into the cave overhead.

Raben finished assisting one more parry member up into the cave mouth and growled at Ichabod – who appeared to be ready to turn and run – “Up, you too. Time to start your redemption” and grabbed the brigand and forced him up the moss covered cliff face.

As Raben climbed up the cliff, and Anuxus, the dragon blooded, fired another bolt up at the melee, the sound of metal striking metal rang from the mouth of the cave.

Raben glanced up to see Ichabod attacking the armored back of Esmer, the angel blooded priest of the storms. Cursing as he climbed “So be it, redemption is spurned. Your fait is sealed and your doom sure now”

Once atop the cliff and in the mouth of the cave, Raben ignored Ichabod to lift his bow and fire an arrow into the gloom of the cave at one of the many toad men. . However, Esmer did not ignore the traitor and one final smashing blow made good of the devil blooded’ s oath. Ichabod fell limp down the face of the cliff, head smashed and his soul fleeting to its doom.

Inside the cave, chaos! 2 of the party down, Tsetseg, the female half-orc barbarian, surrounded by toad-men and some other flittering winged attackers, the gnome druid calling forth a thorn covered vine whip to smash one then another of the flying blood drinkers.

Raben rushed forth and raised his shield to swat away one of the winged bat … mosquitos … a stinge . And then fend off a spear thrust of a toad man. However, he did not yet draw his saber. He reached down and call forth the divine powers and give some healing aid to one of the fallen companions.

More fighting and yelling as the paladin thief hurried to the edge of the stream to aid the other fallen companion – this one easily recognizable by his sickly pale skinned, Weevilthorn the Pungent the dempn blooded warlock a quick dunk into the muddy stream water (to help the smell) and then more healing to awaken the teifling warlock. Who, as soon as he was awaked, grabbed the devil blooded paladin, kissed him, and then sent forth a magic bolt at an attacking toad-man.

The party, now all up on their feet and in the fray, soon made short work of the toad-men and the flittering stinges, with Tsetseg’s axe felling one after another of leaping frog brutes.

The party paused to catch their breath as the female half-orc barbarian felled the last of the remaining toad men, and a few of the 8 began to search the bodies – finding a satchel with some gold and silver coins. As the party pilfered the corpses, Raben leaned against a column/wall of moist living stone and watched the darkness deeper in the cave.

Further back, a white mound of bones … not a mound, a skull huge … a dragon skull.

From behind Raben, someone taking watch at the other side of the wall, yelled “There to the back of the cave” and a crossbow bolt shot back into the gloom.

Raben , followed by Esmer, and eventually Tsetseg charged back further into the cave. More toad-men. More fighting.

Raben’s shield and armor stopped spear thrust and maw bight time and time again, but his saber was less effective than Tsetseg’s mighty axe in felling the toad-men.

From behind the party, Anuxus, the dragon blooded sorcerer yelled out “Watch out here, there are oozes coming from this side of the cave. A booming thunder clap echoed through the cave as the 2 oozes were attacked and pushed back by one of the sorcerers, druids, or mages of the party.

Someone sent forth a wave of fire to wash across the toad-men, then another send forth magical sleep to drop1, 2 , and a 3rd of the toad men.

One then another, and finally all the standing toad-men were cut down. Then Raben went to the remaining 3 injured, sleeping toads and quietly, carefully, efficiently, dispatched them.

Soon enough the 2 oozes were destroyed, and the cave was checked for additional dangers.

Once it was safe, the bodies were gathered to gather, the are searched for loot and valuables, and a pool in the back of the cave was found full of developing toad-me eggs.

Raben began to dispatch the eggs, but Anuxus yelled that they would make an exultant breakfast . Raben grimaced at the thought … fish eggs, yes … but slimy toad eggs … no. Only a dragon blooded or maybe an orc blooded would consider them good for a meal

The dragon blooded sorcerer grabbed a few of the eggs to snack on as Raben destroyed the rest.

A fire was lit in the center of the cave, so all could set and take a rest and the loot could be inspected

One of the magic wielders verified a bag, a scroll and a potion were magic, the rest was valuable but mundane.

Then they set back to recover a little from the fray, and to prepare to go back to Tor’s holdings, and then to what task was nest in clearing the Barony of Harkenwold of the ‘Iron Circle’

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