The Bandit Slide

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 13

January 20, 2019

The party went into the cave to check it out. It was a small animal cave with a chute at the back where dripping noises were coming from. Rasotto recalled some lore about animals and was able to determine that this cave was a hibernation cave of some larger animal used only in the Winter.

After looking around, they jumped into the chute, and with some quick pushing, Rasotto managed to get everyone down the shoot without incident. Deep in the cavern fog obscured a sizeable round figure. Their footfalls made a slight wet noise, the slippery watery covered floor. It spoke in a rich piping noise as if playing its vocal cords like a bagpipe. Its spindly arms ended in webbed hands, and the frog face stared back with coal-black eyes. Samson listened and determined that the language that the frog-man was speaking was old and not often heard by man and that he was a river spirit from the northeast near Alderport.

The runes that encircled it mention danger and eating people was the reason why he was imprisoned. Here and there woven into the story was the lock that the runes themselves were powering. The frog creature gesticulated and silently pointed at the rune lock. Unable to read and perhaps bored with the pantomiming of this weird, dangerous frogman Rasotto smashed the runes with a heavy pointed rock and freed the giant.

The frog spirit belched up gold and did a ritual and poured something on himself and turned himself into water vanishing. A little relieved but sure that they released something evil into the world, they started when they heard “Mad” Jack’s voice. He had tracked them to the cave, and with his help, they managed to easily extract them from the chute and out of the cave.

“Mad” Jack managed to find the trail of the bandit back to their camp where they saw the two brother porters standing on buckets with nooses around their necks. Mad Jack thought this smelled fishy and so circled the site but altered the bandit.

The bandit was ready and fired at the buckets beneath the porter’s feet, making them topple over. This let the party with the choice to free the brothers or immediately try and capture the bandit. They saved the brothers, and after picking up the trial, they pursued the bandit into the night. After a great chase, the bandit had managed to evade the group, disappearing into the darkness. The party was able to see the lights from Crossroads Keep far in the distance, in the direction the bandit was heading.

The party went back and camped near the Town gates and was spotted by a guardsman collecting weeds, thistles and grass for use in a tea to help sleep. During the camp phase, Billy added the route to the old tree to the map.

The Sticky Bandits!

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 12

January 13, 2019

A merchant heading along to Crowthorne from Crossroads Keep was ambushed. Bloody and barely conscious, when leaving town the merchant fell into the arms of Rasotto. Barely conscious, he whispers that his goods were stolen. Samson exclaims that it is the guards he should be after, but the guards respond that their duty is to the community and not to some merchant wanting to get rich off of their isolation. When leaving town again, the man promised a reward if they could recover his goods. So they decided to go after the bandits.

They travelled north into the badlands. The Badlands is an area of maze-like cliffs and scrub that separates Crossroads Keep form the wild Southlands. Scouting the ground and forging a trail into the cliffs, they hit a dead end and were surprised when the voice from behind them. Three bandits stood there.

“You killed my brother!” One of the bandits exclaim. “You murdered him, cut him near in half and left him for the buzzards! Prepare to die!”

The party steeled themselves to capture someone who didn’t want to be. They fought and with only a few injuries managed to capture the man who claimed his brother died. The other two managed to escape. After a brief civil interrogation, he wanted them to torture or even kill him knowing full well that it was against the law and that his friends would take the risk of returning the goods and claiming the party were the real criminals. After debating the chances of making him disappear, they decided to return him to Crowthorn.

As they collected their packs, they noted that the porters have gone missing, having run away at first sign of conflict. They tracked them to a cave entrance that they must’ve entered. Only a shoe and a fork was all the trace of them, and they would probably have to check out the cave. Deciding that it would be easier to do, they returned to town and delivered the man to the guards they did so.

When they got back, the merchant came to speak to them about the reward was for recovering his goods. A bag of grain. He suspected that Crowthorn was hungry, so he brought them in a handcart to try and trade. His guess was correct, with the town’s foresters unable to trek into the forest to hunt due to them continually going missing, they were forced to eat only grain and whatever the grass scrubs of the cliffs could provide.

The cost of grain had risen to such a level as to be worth their weight in silver. Laws had been enacted, making the theft of food punishable by the rest of your life in a Gibbet. The guards delighted to punish a food thief led the bandit away.

As they started to set off a second time, a traveller interrupted them and claimed to see a man leading two people described as short and tall, much like Tom and Dil the porters are. They had their hands bound and looked in trouble. The party pulled their packs tight as Rasotto lead them back, ruminating on the way, his honour left away, leaving him feeling cynical and Faded. He promised himself that he would no longer play by the rules.

The GAMBLE

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 11

January 6, 2019

After getting their barrings, Samson led the party through the forest. Samson asked for Billy’s help, but he was unable to help due to stinking fear making him scared. He leads them to a fork in the road, and though not lost, they had some thinking to do to set out on the trail successfully. Those able to helped determine which way to go and they soon found themselves in front of the boulder that they had dubbed My Son Rock. Here both Samson and Billy threw up their sickness, sweating out the fever of pneumonia that set it.

Now back on the map, they travelled to Crowthorne. They made it to the gates and rested before entering. Samson made a poultice, and Billy added the trek from town to the old woman’s hut to the map. The Blacksmith’s Guild was on duty. This was a peaceful town, and Rasotto managed to find a lucky penny.

Rasotto ever the shrewd merchant managed to get a deal and the bow as it was considered a unique item, it was an elvish bow of legend. “Mad” Jack went and played Wizard’s Dice using the Bow as an Ante and won. The moment he bet everything, their most valuable piece of treasure was intense. The party watched on as he rolled his Wizard’s Dice. The dice failed to come up traitors and caused a reroll with victory; there was an audible cheer from everyone at the table. He secured two additional bags of silver coins. Samson bought a few bundles of torches and asked around and hired Bruick The Forester as his guide and Rasotto hired Tom and Dil, a couple of labourers.

WTF! Talking Wolves?

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 10

December 6, 2018

The party set out form the forest, making their way back to town. On their journey, Rasotto successfully scouts and hides from a patrol of beastmen walking around in complete darkness. Mad Jack sets off to find a perfect camping spot. Upon returning to the party he couldn’t remember where it was, though he recalls it being well hidden, would provide shelter from the elements and had a nearby pools of water.

Tiberius blazed a trail and ended up taking a wrong turn ending up in the campsite of Lord Melleck. There was evidence of sorcery since any clue that a fire was here was long absent. Mad Jack searched the place for something that could in any way help to find Lord Melleck, but his search turned up nothing but a sinking feeling like he failed.

They made camp here and recovered a bit and hunted a rabbit. The party set out, but after cooking, they realized they attracted the attention of wolves. Before the conflict, Rasotto and Tiberius ran off, afraid for their lives. During the fight, Mad Jack delivered the killing blows to both wolves, but not before realizing that they were able to speak the common tongue. After killing the beasts, they set off to get Rasotto and Tiberius, before they ran off too far. They caught up and had a quick word about the meaning of bravery. Tightening their belts, they were getting ready to head back to Crowthorn.

Big Tree Getaway

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 9

December 2, 2018

Rasotto, Mad Jack and Billy were down in the hole when they heard Samson exclaim “spiders,” and heard him run off! It was not spiders but some giant rats. Samson went outside to get Tiberius. He agreed he will help out by continuing doing precisely what he was doing. Watching the exit.

So Samson went in alone and told them that it was just rats. And was promptly chased out of the First Tree by them. The remaining party was led out of the pit by the dwarf, Rasotto after being pulled free by “Mad” Jack. They had gotten Billy to squeeze through the gap and collect the grappling hook first. Now there was just copper coins and a single unspent torch in stalactite room.

Once outside, they decided to make their way to Crowthorne, and so set out in search of it. Billy, the Halfing, took the lead and led the group to a strange tree structure in the woods. Here they made a pact to exact revenge on the beastmen and bring the children their heads so that they may bathe in the blood of their enemies, in return they were allowed to camp by the structure.

The Telltale Hambone

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 5

November 4, 2018

The adventurers awoke from camp and while Rasotto and Samson pack, Billy decided to go and survey his map. A short while later “Mad” Jack stumbled into the campsite, annoyed that Lord Melleck escaped his clutches, but otherwise was in good health.

They called out to Billy, but he was nowhere to be found. They thought maybe he went on the Crowthorne or to the forest.

Still desperate for cash the group decided to press on into The Old Wood again. Samson led the group by quickly stopped because of distant drumming. He then decided to scout ahead. While the group caught up, a voice from beside them warned them from going into Ol’Town for goblin and worse reside there. “Mad” Jack familiar with madness quickly determined that this fellow was indeed insane.

This man who claimed that he wasn’t anyone later recalled that his name was Korben.

After running away and being caught by Samson, Korben was convinced to at least act as a guide to the buildings of Ol’Town, the matter settled by hambone.

He was too scared that the Drum would get them and Rasotto said he shouldn’t be scared when… *busted out into a hambone*. Korben started to believe that they could protect him if something happened.

He pointed out the buildings including where the goblins have trapped two buildings, where Drum lives, The Goblin Hall, and the Desecrated Church. Korben then climbed a tree and pretended to be a bird, hiding only his face.

The group decided to carefully inspect Drum’s house through a window and saw a figure between 7 or 10 feet tall thing sitting and beating a drum. The party then searched a nearby shack, that Korben specifically didn’t mention. Korben burst in, grabbing the hems of their clothes, begging them to leave his house. They pressed on and found a pile of notes.

Eventually, they left but not before convincing Korben to come along and help them get into the castle, which the party named Lair’s castle. Korben was instructed to take a bunch of sticks and toss them into the moat. He did that, and then the party swam the moat and navigated the hedge maze. There they stand and at the open gates of Lair’s Castle. Figures in shadow and in torch patrol atop the ruined walls.

Burning Down the Tent

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 4

October 21, 2018

“Mad” Jack was incapacitated at the same instant when Billy the Halfling stumbled upon the Lord Melleck campsite. He proceeded to convince Lord Melleck that him and his companions – lying about not knowing “Mad” Jack – were vital to escape the Forest alive and that they should search for Billy’s friends and use the map to escape the forest. While Rasotto scavenged a purple tree fruit, Samson overheard this the discourse and came out to greet Billy and his newfound friends.

Samson devised a play and relaid it to Rasotto hiding in a tree and then back to Billy, using the excuse that he needs to hunt for food to leave to talk to Rasotto, bringing the tree fruit back as proof that he was hungry.  Rasotto snuck behind the tents and lit Lord Melleck’s aflame after the camp settled. In the intervening chaos, the party fled with the captured prisoner, “Mad” Jack.

Lord Melleck’s goon’s tried to pursue the party, but the party escaped and were lost again, while Lord Melleck’s crew were separated and afraid, not all of them, however. The Party decided to get back on Map and Billy blazed the trail back to the campsite North of Crowthorne out of the forest and into the hill lands where the party was ambushed by the Thugs. Once again camping near now skeletonized remains of the three Thugs. During Camp Billy mapped the path from Crowthorne to “My Son” Rock and Rasotto tired to recovery from his exhaustion using his cloak as a pillow but his battered muscles were too strained for having to carry both his small sacks in his hand last session. Breaking camp on a new day the party has few foods but are hopefully optimistic that they won’t die, next time on Torchbearer.

Dark Forest Blues

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 3

October 14, 2018

Their source of light went out and plunged them into darkness. In a panic, Rasotto rummaged through his pack and pulled out his tinderbox and torches. Attempting to spark a light anew enraged the spirits of the forest as they gave warning to not light any more fires. They threw rocks, stones, sticks, and acorns. This made lighting the torch with flint and steel impossible.

In utter darkness, the party was accosted. The voices rushed out from the forest forward to capture the party. The party had no choice but to flee further into the woods. Rushing, dodging trap and trick they managed to outpace the forest dwellers. With no real light and having rushed headlong into an unknown direction.

When the torch was light, the party knew then that the halfling disappeared. After consulting their needs and desires, the need to rest outweighed the desire to find treasure. At camp Rasotto went off alone to relax and calm his nerves with rock collecting, unable to steady his fear he returned without a rock. While Samson attempted to start a new map starting from here, as they knew not when or if Billy would be found. He fumbled with the ink and spilled in over his bag and cursed out loud. That is when they heard noises of men walking nearby.

Dousing the campfire they sat and listened. “Mad” Jack as mad as a bulldog rushed off when he recognized the sound of Kevin Law, Lord Melleck’s Justicar. He followed them along ahead just in the torchlight of the torch Samson’s hand. The justicar went back to his campsite, and so “Mad” Jack alone and vengeful waited to ambush the camp at the opportune time. Being hasty and not heading the watchful eyes of Rasotto, Jack went to sneak into the Lord Melleck’s tent. What Jack thought was a dosing archer was actually just slumping over because he was trying to tie his belt tighter. And so Jack was spotted and halted by the bowman. Lord Melleck threw aside his tent flap slow, clapping the bowman’s luck and prepared to capture the seething angry “Mad” Jack.

My Son

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 2

September 23, 2018

The group awoke to find Tiberius Drakkenhoff gone. With the assumption that he went off to get to Crowthorne, the party set off after him. Billy searched high and low and managed to find a trail whose destination was only guessed at. They assumed that it would lead to Crowthorne. Blazing this trail anew the party made it to Crowthorne after walking all day and were exhausted when they reached its gates.

Samson ate all fresh rations lest they go to waste and were thrown out to the dogs.

The party realizing they had barely enough to bribe a local about the whereabouts of the treasure of The Old Wood, proceeded to do just that and left in a hurry. They didn’t want to find themselves sleeping in the filth infested streets. Exhausted, near dusk, they entered The Old Wood and found themselves in utter darkness. An old man they bribed had given them directions that few had ever heard rumours but as the legend goes, to seek the treasure first you must find the grove to the south and turn west and travel for a day, then the tallest tree in the forest houses that what you seek.

After getting lost in the woods, they found themselves at a boulder in the woods with a flat top. Hearing laughter all around them like whispers blowing through the trees. Looking about they then saw their torchlight glinting off a half dozen sets of eyes all around. Seeking to trick them, Billy said of that he was a child. And Samson added to the lie that he was, in fact, his son. Not understanding them, the creatures argued about the forest and their origin. How can he be a child if he doesn’t have green hair? During this talk, they hinted that if they took axe and flame to their forest, they would hunt them down and kill them. They decided that they would watch the heroes and alluded to not killing them themselves for “She will catch them! She catches all who seek the treasure.”  This made Billy, Samson, and Rasotto quite scared. Mad Jack wasn’t paying attention and stood to watch. After they talked, the lights went out!

Humble Beginnings

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 1

September 16, 2018

The intrepid adventurers met at the Tavern in Crossroads Keep, a major overland crossroads connecting the western borderlands to the central and eastern heartlands.  They quickly set off to Crowthorne in the Southern Wilds to seek the hidden treasure of The Old Wood.

Crowthorne hasn’t been heard from in recent times. This generation was nearish to 30 years. Tiberius Drakkenhoff obsessed with the idea that the extremely isolated town held real ghosts, peered into the world using Wizard’s Sight and lead the group down the trail when it waned. They approached a small pass with a few trees when out from the underbrush sprung three bandits.  During the ensuing fight, “Mad” Jack struck a mighty blow and fell two bandits with a fury of swings and Samson hucked his backpack at the bandits as a distraction. Unfortunately “Mad” Jack sustained injuries and was incapacitated from battle. The last remaining bandit was disarmed and quickly dispatched. Samson’s bag sustained a rip, and until he fixes the problem, his backpack will periodically drop the bottom-most item. The bodies where looted and a quiver, a sack of silver and a small vial were discovered.

The plucky halfling Billy took the lead and looked for a suitable location to rest and mend. The disciple Samson used his training in first aid to see to Jack’s hip. The wound would close, but Samson was unable to repair some damage and Jack would forever be able to not ride a horse as well as he was once able to. During this time Billy started a map and mapped three locations: The Old Road, The Ambush Point and the Campsite near the Ambush Point. When Samson recovering from his wounds, the party looked to him to mend Samson’s bag, since he had the know-how to accomplish such a feat. Tiberius spent his time tasting and inspecting the vial and guessed its contents to be a Potion of Friendship. If drunk empowered the user to use hypnotic suggestion to befriend the target of the drinkers gaze. With the light of dawn approached the party broke camp and decided to continue on.