So we got together on Saturday at around noon.
I had prepared what my friend called, "a cornucopia of meat" on the grill. Steaks, chicken breast, lamb and sausage along with mushrooms & onions which I fried up in a skillet with garlic salt & butter.
We fortified ourselves & with our bellies full, we made our way to the basement and continued the adventure in The Killing Keep.
The Killing Keep is a small, ruined castle built ages ago against a steep cliffside with a double wall and offset gatehouses which are also crumbling and falling into ruin.
Many of the outbuildings including the smithy, stables and barracks have all collapsed and are choked with rubble.
The main keep is still intact and is loaded with all manner of deadly stinging creatures called "lock lurkers", spiders, stirges and a few undead.
Adventurers also find it is riddled with a large variety of insidious booby traps from mundane trap doors in the upper floor to exotic, exploding candles.
Most of the traps in the Killing Keep were not designed to kill out right but to whittle away adventurers 2-3 hp at a time.
I have run this adventure several times & there is usually one fatality or crippling injury every time I run it.
However, the adventurers did very well and didn't lose a single character this time!
The adventure had begun on the first day of Hammer in the year 1356 DR.
It was at the Keep that two separate adventuring parties met and began the Fellowship of Blood.
As they entered the keep, the weather outside turned nasty and they found themselves trapped within by a raging blizzard.
A blizzard with the taint of sorcery about it.
With nothing to do but explore the keep, the adventurers found some treasure and thwarted or avoided most of the traps.
They had set out for The Killing Keep to try and find some lost records of the magical "gates" that are rumored to be within the Haunted Halls but if they do indeed exist, no such records were found.
Having finished their exploration, the party gathered in the main hall while two of the characters made their way back to the third floor for some privacy.
Sasheer, a thief and escaped slave from Calimishan and the barbarian from The Ride, Harlequinn "Harley" Davidson.
After some time alone and having shared some of the wealth that was found on the keep (a bottle of rare Cormyrean wine that was valued at 250 gp), the two romantics decided to check on the horses which had been stabled in the ruined smithy.
Outside the blizzard suudenly stopped and the party heard a booming voice, demanding they surrender a book which they had found in the keep.
In front of the keep, the adventures could see 3 levitating mages who claimed the book in the name of Manshoon, an evil mage from the grim city of Zhentil Keep.
Sasheer impetuously threw a magical dagger at one of the mages and caught their attention.
Both thief and barbarian were caught in a spell and held up while the mages again demanded the surrender of the tome.
Adrix, the wise yet befuddled old magic-user and sage, stepped boldly outside and told the levitating figures that the book was not theirs to claim and that Manshoon should come & take it for himself if he wanted it so badly.
The barbarian came crashing down among the adventurers as the bluffed mages flew off in the direction of the Haunted Halls.
With Sasheer as their captive!
The adventurers gathered their things and pursued after the mages and their companion.
Meanwhile, many leagues away in Silverymoon, a secret meeting was being held with some other adventurers who were asked to seek out the Fellowship & offer any aid and counsel to their leader, Branwen of Shadowdale.
To stress the urgency of their task, Lady Alustriel had them magically transported to the wilderness not far from The Haunted Halls.
They arrived at the front door to the fabled dungeon at almost the same time as the Fellowship.
The adventurers saw two possible entrances and chose the southern cave where they encountered two hungry owlbears!
It was here that the Fellowship lost their first comrade in arms.
Ryel of Daggerdale fought bravely but had the life crushed out of his by one of the beasts!
But there was still a chance for Sasheer who was still in the clutches of evil men!
Let me explain one thing.
This is a MASSIVE adventuring band! I have two players running multiple characters and I run several NPCs which equals out to be around 20 adventurers!
As I have said, I try to be a liberal DM when it comes to good character ideas and my friends always seem to have decent ideas for characters!
So the party splits up and rather than hiring henchmen, one group stays back at camp where they can rest, heal, study spell and share 250 gp bottles of wine while the rest of the horde explores the dungeon.
So 10 brave adventurers made their way inside and the fun really began!
This brings me back to the barabrian, Harley Davidson.
Yeah. It is the cheesiest in cheesy names and I equate it to my rolling a fighter that specialized in using a crossbow and naming him Koch Heckler or Springfield.
But this guy is a BADASS!
For those geeks out there that like stats, he has high ability scores across the board including an 18/percentile strength.
He is also double proficient with a bastard sword.
His bastard sword he calls, "Bloodwing".
He is a large, bearded, brute of a man who seems to know his business!
When my friend roleplays him, he uses a deep, booming voice that rings from the walls of my basement and would sound so cool in a damp dungeon somewhere!
So you just figure that Harley is not a man to be trifled with!
Which brings me to the really funny bit.
The explorers had several encounters with everything from giant rats to wandering ogres, a band of gnolls and even a few skeletons.
Harley consistently FAILED to hit ANYTHING!
He fumbled one time and nearly killed another of my other friend's characters, but really, when he missed, he just missed and nothing spectacular at all ever happened!
I think his average roll on the 20 sided die was a 3 or 4.
But Harley took it all in stride.
When combat ensued, my friend would start Harley with the declaration, "I draw Bloodwing."
He then described acrobatic maneuvers that would lead to his thrusting or hacking into his foe with his gloriously named blade.
And then he rolled his brushed stainless 20 sided die.
And it roll ALWAYS missed.
The combat would end with nearly everyone else having vanquished at least one foe and my friend, roleplaying Harley would stand up and proudly sheath Bloodwing as he gave nods of approval to the rest of the party.
My friends let me tell you, I laughed until I was CRYING!
I haven't laughed like that in months!
And it continued because this KEPT HAPPENING!
I nearly threw up I was laughing so hard!
I got up from the table and paced the room while I was double over in laughter!
You ever work with one of those people that always LOOKS busy but isn't really doing a damn thing?
Eventually, his incredible no hit streak finally ended close to the time we wrapped things up.
The adventurers found a few riche, including an enchanted Myth Drannan painting and most importantly, they rescued their companion from the clutches of the Zhentarim!
But unfortunately, they had taken a magical bag of holding that was in her possession and the bag held all their treasure which they found in the Killing Keep along with the magical tome!
So the adventure continues.
Perhaps this Friday on my day off!
I will let you know more.
Oh! We still need more players so more people can share this experience!
I'm not lying when I say it's fun!
And I promise many, many laughs!