Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Skull Cave

In our last installment, our heroes have been searching the forest for the orc reavers who stole the three rings from the Northport abbey. The have just stumbled upon . . .
the Skull Cave!
They enter the cave through the gaping maw and descend a set of stairs into the bowels of the earth, At the bottom of the stairs, a winding corridor (1) leads them further into the lair.

Map of the adventure
They round a corner and encounter four giant centipedes. The creatures turn, and appear ready to attack the party. Instead of readying his bow, Rikk the ranger brings his hand to his mouth and makes a strange hissing noise. It startles the centipedes and they flee.

Game Note; The ranger is an unofficial class found in Uncanny Against Darkness. One of the powers of a ranger is to scare animals away.

At the end of the corridor is a door. They open it and enter a room (2). Two orcs are standing guard. Once they see the party, they charge. Wielding two wicked choppers, one swings at Khamen, who ducks and then plunges his dagger into the orc's chest. It collapses to the ground. Rikk takes out the other with a well-placed arrow.

In the next corridor (3), five worgs are sleeping on the floor. As soon as the door opens, the leap up and charge. Rikk kills one with an arrow. Khamen and Candorra are able to fend off attacks. The three heroes slay 3 more of the beasts. The last one flees.

Our heroes enter the next room (4) and spy a towering orc. A reaver boss!
"I know you, ranger!" the orc growls. "This is the last time you'll bother me!" With that, he launches himself at Rikk. The ranger manages to dodge the blows as he unsheathes his sword. Candorra rushes to Rikk's aid. Her blade flicks out and slashes the orc. It yells in rage and strikes at her. The orc's weapon hits, biting through her armor and drawing blood. Candorra stumbles backward.

Meanwhile, Khamen sneaks up behind the orc. His magic dagger pierces the orc's flesh. The monster lashes out behind him, and strikes Rikk with a mighty blow. But now Candorra has an opening and she strikes.

With Rikk temporarily down, the orc rushes and grabs Khamen by the throat. His powerful muscles clamp down, crushing Khamen's windpipe. In desperation, Khamen plunges his dagger into the orc's arm. It releases Khamen and swings. Khamen dodges, Candorra and Rikk rush forward and stab. Their blades bite deep, and the reaver collapses.

The party searches the room and finds the first of the three rings! Just two more to go.

Will our heroes find the remaining rings? Can they win them back?
Find out next time!

Game Notes
  • I am currently playing The Three Rings, a Four Against Darkness module.
  • Because 3R seemed very random, I have modified it a bit. I turned the adventure into 3 hex crawls. The boss of each crawl will hold one of the rings. 
  • In 3Ryou can come across dungeons, which are mapped out using standard 4AD rules. When I rolled a lair during the hex crawl, I declared that the boss of the lair would be the first hex crawl boss. I used my modified encounter charts instead of the standard 4AD rules. Here is how they look for this dungeon:
  • I got lucky and found the boss in the fourth room.
  • Next up - the second hex crawl!

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