DnD 3.5 - Northern Reaches sandbox game

1 - Wolf Hunt
Andurel campaign

Six adventurers (Brell, Threll, Amazones, Ka, Ryder and Belramos) respond to a request from local merchants to bring in some wolf or bear pelts. At the bar, Ka heard about wolf attacks and Brell talked with local farmers and learned several wolves have been pressing the farms and have been less afraid of the farmers.

The party tracked the wolves into the woods and found a couple wolves absorbed in their kill. A short battle ensues and the two wolves were dispatched, but not before a wolf call was made. As the party began skinning the wolves, the rest of the party on watch observed two new sets of eyes across the clearing. They backed into the woods and disappeared, but moments later, rustling was heard as two more wolves attacked and with them a dire-wolf (pack leader?) spotted by the hidden monk.

A brutal battle ensued, but the party prevailed, leaving the dire wolf and now a third wolf dead and the last wolf wounded and running and getting away.

The party collected the wolf pelts and returned to town. A trade pact was made, pleasing the merchants and earning the party over 30 gold (from the pelts) and a 25% discount for all future armor item purchases.

The party decided to mend wounds, get some food and rest while they plan their next adventure.

2- Castle Crashing the Party

The party of adventurers (Brell, Threll, Amazones, Ka, Ryder and Belramos) accepts the missive from the Baron to clear the abandoned castle for him, so he can reclaim and furnish his. Gathering their gear the party travels to the castle.

Upon approach, the castle stands alone, deserted and nearly finished. The main gate is open, the closer the party gets, it becomes clear that the gates were busted open and part of the wall crushed. There are indications of recent activity, probably within the last week, origins unclear.

The party began the search of the area as a group, selecting a two story building to the left of the main gate. Listening closely noises were heard inside, muffled and “clicky”. Ka and Ryder step first into the room and are draw the attention and attacks from a large group of spiders.

Melee ensues and Ryder is bitten repeatedly, seemingly immune to the spider poison (though finally poisoned after a fourth bite). Bolts, arrows and Ka’s great ax kill off the spiders. Brell’s failed Ray of Frost ended up bearing some fruit, as the search of the spider’s nest (where the Ray of Frost landed instead of the intended target) uncovered a pack from an adventurer with a potion and standard provisions.

Belramos patched (healed) up the party’s wounds and the party cleared the room, disposing of smelly bodies and giant spider (ewww) corpses to make the room inhabitable. Provisions are prepared, and the entire party rests [to recover spells and a point of strength back to Ryder].

[Here ends the adventure until our next exciting tale.]

3 - Castle Crashers II - Oh rats!!

Now rested, our party of adventurers prepare to renew the search of the castle.

Exiting the “kitchen” building using the west door, they turned south to investigate the (South-West) tower. Listening, Ryder {20} heard nothing, and the party enters and search the floor finding only an empty weapons locker. The second floor yielded another empty weapon locker and three rooms (one with a bastard sword).

On the top floor, there was nothing of use / interest (rotted) except that Ryder observed some giant bats exiting a building far to the East.

Find nothing the party leaves the tower, opened a door on the West wall finding an empty, broken down, two bed, room. Assuming the line of doors would yield little, the party enters the large (30 × 90) building.

The building turns out to be a warehouse / storage area. Some keen ears heard squeaks and we assume there may be rats (or bats). The (human) monk stayed to hide by the door (for protection), while the party searches the building.

The party discovers open stalls on the left and right and slowly moves down the hall checking each stall to be empty. About the center of the hall, the smells increase and a mass of rats attacks!

Three rats jump out, attacking the fighters in the front. Three more rats crawled out and join the fray. Furious combat ensues, axes swing, arrows and bolts fly, teeth gnash (sometimes on party members) and spells are cast [including Threll’s {19}→{20}→{15} critical-critical hit]. The rats are defeated and the party searches the rat den and find [through some awesome rolls] a suit of “black” plate armor of dwarven size.

The party cleared the building, recovered arrows and bolts and returned to the “kitchen” room. The party healed up wounds, secured the doors, set the watch and bedded down to rest until the morning. Belramos, the cleric, casts Detect Magic, specifically focusing on the sword and the plate armor items found today. [item discussion to pick up next game, sword, magic? yes = Threll, and having Ryder start using the suit of magic? black dwarven plate armor]

[Stay tuned for our next exciting adventure.]

4 - Castle Crashers III - 'bats' suck

Before settling for the evening, Belramos casts Read Magic and gets the following information:

Potion Bottle: detects as minor magic (goes to Belramos)
Bastard Sword: non-magical, but still good craftsmanship (goes to Threll)
Black Dwarven Plate: Magical – Strong – powerlevel (goes to Ryder)

Our adventurers gather up their belongings and begin the day. After a brief discussion, they decide to go after the bats sighted the night before. The party moves across the courtyard they set up on the south end of the stable building. The monk does a sneak and finds a colony of flighty critters (stirges). Before the attack occurs the party sees two returning stirges.

The party tries (unsuccessfully) to shoot down the two returning critters. The two critters engage the party and another group of six more attack the party at the same time. Furious fighting ensues. Several were shot, several landed and started (literally) sucking the life out of the party, followed by squishes as the stirges are eventually squashed and dispatched.

The party recovers arrows and bolts and commences searching the stables and the southeast tower (finding only some arrowheads). The party then checks the doors on the south wall finding old delapidated men-at-arms rooms.

The party move in to inspect a building that appears to be an armory or blacksmith’s shop. The party hears noises and moves in to investigate. Giant centipedes crawl out to attack. The bugs attack, Ryder took on three, while the party manages to kill off all the critters. After the battle the party searches the armory (blacksmith?) and find only a ring.

The party moves back to the galley/kitchen to eat, clean-up, rest and recover spells, with a plan to go back out later in the evening.

[Stay tuned for another exciting adventure.]

5- Castle Crashers IV - the Devlin Delimma

The adventurers prepare themselves to continue clearing the castle. Readying their weapons, the party moves out and inspects the nearest storage building 2. A listen check yielded scratching and entering the room, the party finds rats scratching at the walls. A couple rats scamper down a hole and the other two die to crossbow bolts (Belramos 19204 crit). The northern wall of this half of the building is stone, so the party moves outside to the north room of the building.

The building has a barred door, and inside, the party finds a (really, bad smell) and a human on the floor. Ryder moves in and discovers the human body is alive and he drags it out. A heal from Threll’s kit by Belramos and a couple heal spells and the human is revived (barely). He relays that he is Devlin, from the town (Maethelburg). He was showing some people around, who then forced him into the cell and left him to starve to death. Devlin is not excited about staying in the old castle, but the party convinces him to help them finish searching the castle.

Searching the main tower of the castle, the party finds a nicer building than the others. The bottom floor, has two mages rooms East finds a strange book (Arcane spell check by Brell recognizes a “Book of items”), and wand in a cane (by Threll). The 2nd floor yield a broach (Amazones). The third floor 3rd yielded a chain found by Amazones.

The party searches the third floor with extra care and find something strange at the fireplace. They are unable to puzzle out the use / function. Finally, the party gives up and decides to return Devlin home to Maethelburg. The party plans to go to the market the next day, as well as meeting Devlin’s grandfather.

Detect Magic:
Chain, silver, non magical.
Broach, silver, non-magical.
Wand of empowerment (weak magic)
Book of items (varying power level, stronger than the Wand)

Ring with a string – non-magical
Arrow heads – detect as magical.

The party sells: studded leather, long sword, silver chain, and silver broach.

The party attempts to buys: oil, torches, spikes, rope, thieves tools, bow crafting tools, parchments, quills, ink, rations and silver chop-sticks.

[All exp up to 1075. players will level up their characters.]

6 - Castle Crashers Return - "E-rat-ication"

The party conducted several activities in town including selling items, buying some needed supplies [and increasing character levels] spending a couple days.

The party chose to leave early the third morning and return to the castle. The party goes first to the Eastern storage (rat) room. The party burned the rat hole with two oils [Brell] and then searched and checked the main warehouse. Rats came out the hole and the party dispatched them (go Ryder, successful Cleave double kill).

After clearing the rats, the party used two more oil [Belramos] to set fire to this end of the rat hole. The party then searched the area (including the blacksmith and the last warehouse / stable storage rooms).

The party completes the search for other rat hole exits. Not finding any, the party rested and ate in the base of the tower. After healing Ka and eating, the party goes to the top of the tower to inspect the fireplace. After clearing the area, Brell uses the newly learned Knowledge [architecture and engineering] and learns the “slot” is the same size as the ring. holding the string and inserting the ring causes a “click” and the corner of the fireplace moves away.

The party enters and finds a spiral staircase leading down (and down and down and down) and emerge on the north end of a large natural cavern with doors on the east and west end of the cavern. Moving West to follow smoke, the party opens a door for a small room with four beds and bed and four wall lockers. The party decided to follow the smoke through the door to the south.

The party does a sneak peek into the room to find a swarm of rats and starts preparing a molitove cocktail. The rats noticed the party and start squeaking and move to attack. The party (intent on killing the rats) engage with ranged attacks and the burning oil. Ryder decides to take the lead and Ka follows and they brace for the rat swarm. The burning oil hurts many rats, and Ryder takes advantage (Cleaves three different times). Brell spots a large rat (leader?) and fires a magic missle at it to no effect.

Rats continue to swarm and the party fights some more. Amazones throws another oil forcing back the rats, but two get by. Threll shoots a rat that got past the meat-shields and Brell blasts the other with magic missile. Rats continue to fall for another round, when the big rat calls out and the rats retreat [provoking attacks of opportunity which the party uses to their advantage]. Ka and Ryder kill more rats, Brell hurls a [lesser orb of fire] fireball at the large rat and Threll shoots a magic arrow that kills the large rat [a were-rat] as the rats flee.

Threll searched the large rat corpse [surmising it was a were-rat] and found a broach (magic) Search corpse (were-rat) broach (m)

Pool in cave, Ryder swim, mining check.

“four beds” room, two potions(m) one clear and one oily

main chamber east door, gas release, treasure room. books (nm), three scrolls (magic), bird charm (m), tapestry (nm), demon statute (nm) with gem eyes (nm)

In town the party meets up with Dezerray (Dez), who joins as the party rogue.

Brell performs appraise checks on the party items:

Books: given to Devlin’s Grandfather for holding
Broach (magic): 23 = >1,500gp [given to Ka] broach of shielding
Bird (Raven, observed) charm (magic): 20 ~2,000gp (sold) 15 1425gp
tapestry: 25 350gp sold 20 350gp
demon statue with gem eyes: 10 125-150gp each. sold 20 500gp

Scroll 1: arcane spell tongues (Brell)
Scroll 2: arcane spell shatter (Brell)
Scroll 3: divine spell hide from animals and divine spell hide from undead (Belramos)
Wand of Empowerment:

Brell and Dez visit the merchants and sell items for 2275gp

Masterwork Bow Making Kit: 55gp
Masterwork Thief Tools: 150gp
Magnifying Glass: 100gp
Sewing Kit: 5gp
Oil 10 (1gp)
Parchment 3 (12sp)
Ink 2 (2gp)
Quill 2 (8sp)
Rations 14 (7gp)
Threll parts to start making Composite Bow +2 Strength [nine weeks estimated]
Spent: 422gp

7 - Caravan Escort - Bandits from within

The party decides to assist with a dwarven caravan to Ryder’s mine home town. They meet with Tordek leader of the caravan and arrange the detail.

The party makes protection orders:

Wagon 1: Tordek
Ryder(l) and Threll®
Amazones(l) and Brell®

Wagon 2: Margok
Belramos (l) and Ka®
Elf-Mialee (l) and Dez®

Wagon 3: Teled
Jozan (l) and Naull®
Lidda (l) and Regdar®

The party moves through the farm lands for two days without incident and then make camp in the wilderness near the cross roads. The caravan makes camp for the night and plan 3 three hour shifts based on the wagon order.

The party awakens during third shift to the other caravan guards attempting to steal wagon three with Tordek restrained at the reigns. Ka and Ryder leap into action, with Ka going berserk and yelling a war cry. Ryder falls to a sleep spell while everyone else (luckily) resists. Brell throws a ball (lesser orb) of fire at the nearest spell caster, Dez hides into the woods and Amazones takes a defensive stance.

Both sides attempt to talk each other down without killing and neither yields. The battle rages. Both sides inflicting damage, but not taking anyone down. Then one of the bandit mages goes down followed by bandit cleric. The wagon with Tordek starts to take off, but no one can take action to stop it. The following round, Dez sneaks around and scores an knife attack (sneak attack) on the bandit rogue who follows up with her own (sneak) attack on Amazones.

The party surrounds the remaining bandits who surrender except for the bandit rogue who manages to hide and get away [Note, maybe we could have tried to follow a blood trail, if there was one, but we chose caution instead]. Threll ran and grabbed for the wagon and managed to catch it before it got away and Ka, still in his rage, chased down the wagon arriving about the time that Brell got to the break and Tordek getting free. Belramos healed and managed to save the two fallen bandits.

The party encouraged Tordek to press on to the dwarven mines, encouraging all speed, in case, more bandits returned. Once arriving in (Ryder’s) dwarven mine city, the bandits were turned over. [Party awarded 100 EXP for wagons arriving safely.]

[Discussion points, who are bandits, reward? Masterwork dwarven spear-axe. Trades? quests? especially deliveries to Maethelburg?]

8 - "Bearly" surprised by Ogres

The party leaves the dwarven caves with a (merchant) delivery and the warning of the growing Wizard threat message for Maethelburg. On the trail back, the party has a chance meeting with Tomlin (and Blacky) a seemingly “off his rocker” hermit character. Tomlin shared information about the attack on the dwarven caravan, a wizard in the mountains and the orcs and spiders (and leaders). Tomlin travels with the party and departs before we get close to town.

In town, the Brell (speaking for the party) relays the message of the caravan raid, the Wizard in the mountains and the possible raid (from the growing Wizard army) on Maethelburg. The town is very concerned and asks if the party is willing to go “take them out”. The party abstains for now.

The party chooses to search for bear pelts after restocking supplies and making the delivery to the merchants (+50 gp).

The party moves north of town and stop and talk to a few of the farmers in the outskirts. They talk of increased activity and scared to let the kids play in the woods.

The party moves into the woods and picks up the trail of a bear. A huge brown bear was sleeping in the woods when the party found it. Ka rouses the bear and brings it back to the party and is quickly dispatched.

As the party is skinning the bear and collecting some bear meat, the party hears some noise (stomping) in the woods. Two large creatures emerge from the woods and challenge Ka (the rest of the party was hidden, [Ka failed]). Ka fumbles with an excuse, but Ryder saves the day, letting hatred of ogres [these are ogres] take over and lead the charge.

Arrows bolts and daggers fly, and the lead ogre 28 25 crits Ryder with his great club, dealing terrible, damage [25 points total], but Ryder survives and holds fast. Axes, rapiers, arrows and spells fly again, felling one ogre, and Ryder manages to still stand fast against the lead giant.

Then Ka, already filled with berserker rage, manages to land a tremendous blow with his Greataxe [crit, 29] 18 [for 36 points of damage] from behind. The blow would have made Conan proud, splitting the ogre wide, sending blood and viscera squirting and stunned look on ogres face as its body collapsed.

Fearing they had pressed their luck enough, the party packs up and heads back to town to report in on the updated information (they have ogres) and turn in the bear pelt.

[Stay tuned for our next exciting adventure…]

9 - Double "bear"rel trouble

The party arrives back in town and reports on the ogre sighting. The mayor requests the party continue to search for, identify, investigation and report in on the growing evil wizard in the caves threat.

The party also visits the merchants and manages to sell the bear pelt and meat for ten Maethelburg pieces of currency (gold pieces). The party restocks their supplies and then head out into the northern plains and into the woods.

The party moves out and decides to go back to the location of the ogre attack. The party locates the clearing and finds the ogre corpses. The corpses had been untouched, so the party left them and departed to the NorthWest then north.

Once to the foothills, the party finds tracks and follows to a huge bear cave. The party decides to entice the bear out, using Ka, who executes a perfect taunt to draw out not one, but two huge bears!

A horrific battle ensues. The lead bear (the bigger one) becomes the focus of the party’s attacks. Daggers, bolts and arrows fly, scoring hit after hit and the bears still charged.

Ryder met the charge with the spearaxe, but the bear swiped it away. Both bears proceeded to maul Ka, who raged and was healed, but still fell to the blows (but was saved by the next heal).

More daggers, spells and arrows fly, finally killing the first bear. Ryder lands a critical strike with her axe, drawing the attention of the bear and the bear claws at the dwarf, but is unable to make it through the armor. Meanwhile, Ka is healed and recovers his footing.

Another round of arrows, daggers, spells, axes and claws. Ryder takes a blow, but still holds her ground, and the party finally manages to bring down the second bear.

The party skins the bear, searched the cave, (find a body and 11 gold), harvests bear meat (and find a gem in the stomach). The party decides it would be best to head back to town.

The party arrives back at town, visits the merchants to deliver the two bear pelts and meat (for another 10 gold pieces) and spend 4 gold pieces replenishing their supplies.

The party decides to spend several days in town to allow Ka to recover, everyone to rest [and to level up].

[Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure, when the party plans to actually find the wizard’s cave complex in the mountains.]

10 - In search of the unknown wizard caves and army

The party rests up in town. Brell searches for information from Devlin’s grandfather (who relays that the books indicate the lonely tower was destroyed by undead, possible to keep something trapped inside).

Brell on walks also talks with the town guard who indicate they don’t know the name of the “wizard”. They do indicate that they would arrest the crazy hermit “Tomlin” on sight.

In town, thanks to the treatment from Belramos, Ka feels better after the puss oozing, rat-bite infection seems to clear.

Leaving town the party goes back to the area where they fought the two bears and along the wa they run into Tomlin. Tomlin talks about the wizard and that “He’s always coming in and out, and he has been in the cave for days. He’s got to be up to something.” He also comments on “Blackie is black, hides in the trees” when asked.

Tomlin offers to lead the party to the wizard caves and along the way indicated there is a bear in the area if the party wants another bear to kill. The party accepts.

After the party prepares for the encounter, Ka enters the cave (to taunt out the bear), hears heavy breathing, but makes too much noise and awakes the bear. The bear charges out into a flurry of daggers, crossbow bolt and impalement on Ryder’s spearaxe.

The party skins the bear, leaves the meat for Blackie and then moves on following Tomlin. he leads the party close to the wizard area. With a warning the party hides before a patrol of three spider riding orcs come to the clearing. The party lets the patrol (complaining about being on patrol) go by unmolested.

Dez and Tomlin sneak up closer to the cave complex. Dez observes four caves, (from left to right, the first is small entrance cave 25 feet up a slope, with path down, second is a large entrance cave 100 feet to the east and on ground level, with a locked gate/door (and shrieking/growling heard by Dez) third is another large entrance cave, 100 feet further east at ground level, and the fourth is a bit further to the east and 50 feet up the slope (Tomlin indicates that the wizard uses this cave).

Dez and Tomlin retreat back to the party and then Tomlin leads the party to the east where the spiders are being grown. Once the party gets close to the spider area and observes the webbing (and burnt tree branches), Tomlin does not want to go further. The party then decides to return to town. Tomlin leaves the party before they return to town and he says he’ll be seeing the party again later.

The party returns to town to warn the mayor of the impending threat and indications that the wizard may be moving soon. Brell (using a 25 intimidation roll) strongly warns the mayor of the threat and that he needs to prepare. He offers the garrison (fifty soldiers) and possibly an additiona 25-50 commoners with weapons.

[Here the discussion breaks down into deciding what the party should do, go request assistance from allies, engage the threat head on with the garrison or attack the wizard army first to test the strength. We agree to discuss further at the start next week.]


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