Hoard of the Goblin King

First session
I can’t remember much about both sessions because they were both late nighters (one ended up about 4 am, and the other around 7).

We resumed the events from the Mansion of the Mad Magi. Makarios, Alha March, Ladriand, Hally and Urielagas left Argast. Diego who had missed the last session told the other players that his warrior had left them to deal with Malfar the Mad while he searched for some valuables in the mansion, but encountered none and got lost, rejoining them in the road to Stone Claw. I can’t remember who gave the prologue, but they were all great (one even was Fresh) and recovering wasn’t an issue.

The players considered their options: they could investigate the grave diggings (but there was no sure reward), cashing the pelters’ errand and delivering the missing prisoner, go north into the Dragon Mountains and checking on the map Nyall the late thief entrusted them with or venturing in the Black Blood Marshes to find the “Citadel of Steel.”

They decided to reach Stone Claw, collect the pelters’ reward (and get rid of the drugged prisoner) then travelling north for the lost cave in the Dragon Mountains.

At the town gates they spotted a man galloping desperately astride a horse. The stranger dismounted before the characters and warned them that Trollhog, a famed orc, was raiding the farms alongside the road, rushing then into the fortress behind. The orc bounty was an opportunity and Franco convinced the party to Scout ahead and find Trollhog. Bad choice.

I’m not sure if they got to do something in between (I think that Ladriand used his Instinct to look for some herbs or something). Urielagas failed his Scout and found 10 orcs burning down a farm while three young peasants tried to flee. I described as one of the orcs struck one of the girls down and proceeded to saw her head off. Alha March couldn’t help himself: “I charge!” Urielagas joined in “I fire an arrow!”, and even Makarios was somewhat upset by this situation (the cleric and the mage had their doubts). We started a Kill. I rolled the disposition, and got one orc short: “Your arrow strikes an orc between the eyes.” Things were looking good.

Diego again scripted unerringly, but their numbers were just too much (even though they both got some similar dispositions). The battle was hard, and even Franco’s scripting (that were as good as Diego’s, now dropped off combat) couldn’t save them from my vicious orcs (and my unbelievable good luck). They reached a mid compromise and, thank the Immortals, I found an option that didn’t kill the whole party. Injured and Exhausted they were left behind, the orcs were more interested in stealing cattle for the long winter than looting some poor adventurers.

They started a Camp up the road. Here was where Ladriand tested to find some herbs, but failed miserably. Twist: so late in autumn the vegetation on this part of Borea turned dry and moribund. After a failed test the cleric Healer tools were depleted, too. Things were looking grim, but some of the characters got rid of the Exhaustion.

While traveling the prisoners awoke, but was struck unconscious by the warrior before he got to speak. As the day passed the adventurers took turns to hit the prisoner’s head to keep him bound.

Finally they reached Stone Claw (Town roll: lucky penny!). Makarios started haggling and got a 2 for 1 bargain on a helmet. Hally cashed in the reward and met up with her friend, Hugh who returned her parents amulet to her as a gift, having seen it displayed in a store a couple of days ago (Mariana had stated that her Friend had a huge crush on her since they were children). Alha March prayed to the Lady in Iron, but the Immortal was deaf to his plights. They all rested in the Black Bear inn and removed some conditions there.

As they left Stone Claw a strange party of militiamen gathered in the north road. Haldor the Destroyer was recruiting volunteers to fight Ugol the goblin king, whose tribe were raiding the dwarven caravans coming down from Rock Hold. The dwarf king had placed a high bounty on the goblin’s head and the bold knight was going to cash it. Besides Haldor there was no other than Prince Harda himself, so this was no small enterprise. One of the volunteers informed them that Sir Haldor was looking for a stolen map and would pay handsomely for it.

The party started to plan.

Ladriand and Alha March quickly duplicated Nyall’s map (and succeeded) and then proceeded to adulterate the original. The test failed, and I reserved the twist for later. Alha March invented a story about finding the map and never getting to catch up with the knight to retrieve it, but failed his Manipulator test, he was surrounded by the militia guarding Haldor and got really Afraid. Fortunately the knight decided to pay the warrior a pouch of gold and let him go on his way.

The party started another Camp, and Ladriand and Hally’s Instincts came into play (looking for useful herbs and creating poultices). The party recovered from some conditions. We sorted rewards and ended the session there. I told the party to write Malfar and Haldor’s names in the Enemies part of their sheet.

Second Session
The party decides to return to Stone Claw (another lucky penny!), and Hally looks for her Mentor to ask for some Healer tools. She finds Danto, the old, blind healer, sitting on the streets with a really young woman, his new apprentice (recruited as payment for healing her ill mother). Danto and Hally catch up on recent events, the old man shows content that his old apprentice is putting his teachings into good use and gladly replenishes her Healer tools. Then the strange old man gathers his stuff, arguing that since winter is near he will try to strengthen the peasant folk before the cold snow strikes the land. As he leaves Hally sees Danto grabbing the young woman, suggesting that she is more than his apprentice. A little disgusted by this situation she rejoins the party.

Makarios the dwarf tried to haggle, but no salesman wanted to deal with him. I indicate him that agents from a merchant league in Rock Hold in which his Enemy, Rotgal, is prominent is taking over the market, and his old time enemy might had talked ill about him in town.

The characters had already leveled up their Resources, so they hadn’t much complications while resting in the Black Bear Inn (and listening to the owner’s tales for a hundreth time).

As they took the north road a dying dwarf approached, arrows still stuck in his back. He warned them about Ugol and his raids, and was about to dramatically die if Hally had not succeeded in her Healer test! Not only that but Alha March even gave the dwarf the pouch of gold Haldor paid him for their map! Agnyr, the dwarf, left assuring the adventurers that he would never forget them.

The party decides to reach Rock Hold and look for the lost cave from there.

As they take the way up north they reach the stone arch that marks the road that the dwarves constructed as an alliance with the borean humans. There are about fifty soldiers camping, and they can see Sir Haldor and Prince Harda planning their attack. But there is a huge problem: Urielagas and Alha March had already been seen by Haldor, and couldn’t pass through without raising suspicion. The party gets separated, the elf and the warrior Scout their way around the camp while the cleric, the mage and the dwarf continue through the road.

As they reach the camp the trio is stopped by the soldiers. A suspicious maneuver since they had seen other travelers passing without incidents. The soldier asks about their business there and Makarios says that he’s worried about his kin in Rock Hold after the rise of goblin raids. The soldier keeps delaying the adventurers, asking about his uncommon traveling companions (the cleric and the mage). The dwarf tests Persuader and the trio continues their way unmolested.

After reuniting they decide to camp, and Makarios finds a great spot near a brook with his Instinct. Diego had discovered a “bug” in the game that made easier to learn new skills with Mentor: one of the character teaches another one of his skills testing his Nature, hence taxing it, and making it easier for another character with the Mentor skill to teach new skills to the character with the taxed Nature. Ladriand and Alha March started teaching themselves Alchemist and Fighter respectively.

Rock Hold can be seen forward, there is a huge metal door carved in the mountain side, open enough for the caravans to pass through. The gates have about twenty arrow slits at each side and they can see dwarves with crossbows ready to fire at intruders. Inside the Hold there is a special district for visitors, and only dwarves can pass through this zone into the dwarven city.

As they pass the iron gates Makarios sees his enemy, Rotgal, preparing one last caravan to go south. They see each other, but both dwarves go on silently on their business. “What’s wrong between you two?” the cleric inquiries. “He knows what he did.” the dwarf retorts, as he proceeds to the market (his Haggle turns into a good +1D to lifestyle). The group finds an inn to rest. Alha March pays the bard at the tavern a couple of coppers to hear some rumors and finds out that a group of merchants are opening a sea route to his home, and that his friend Sofía is working as a translator for the dwarves.

The party pays up the bills and decides to train outside (exploiting the “bug” Diego found earlier). The dwarves won’t have a group of adventurers camping outside their gates and drive them off someplace nearby. Hally tried to discover something about the other map (the one with the “Citadel of Steel”) but failed, tearing the map accidentally (still works, but doesn’t give the +1D). Ladriand and Alha March get a couple of tests before failing: twist an arrow comes flying from the slopes nearby, and they see six goblin scouts. Things were about to turn into a Drive off but Urielagas casted his Celestial Music to scare off the goblins.

The party returns to Rock Hold (mainly to raise their Resources) and find the joyous dwarven host returning victorious to town: they had reclaimed a lost hold from the hands of barbarians. Each one got 1D of treasure. I can’t remember well their business there: Alha March looks for some rumours again and winds up with the same “Friend” result, the dwarves have established their salt route and Sofía is working for them. Urielagas pays for some rumors as well and finds out that his friend Ristand is looking desperately for him, leaving word among the bards. As they leave town they see Sir Haldor storming through the gates, furious. The characters slip away and are encountered by a group of robed human priests that ask the adventurers to escort them to Stone Claw for a little reward. Knowing that Haldor will be looking for them the groups accept gladly.

Both sessions were about improvement. Training, raising Resources (“Oh! I failed my test! I feel SO bad!” erasing a 2 and writing a 3), and recovering. But by second session Nicolás and Diego started vying for the more “roleplaying” rewards, so that was really cool. One of the things I love about the Burning games is that being a ““powergamer”” actually improves the roleplaying experience. Mariana got tired of not playing her Belief, so she changed it, but I can’t remember the new one.

I hope they get to the cave, I have a whole dungeon made just for them.

Stay cool :cool:

Last Two Sessions
were kind of a drag, but had their moments (specially the first). It happened a couple of weeks ago, so my memory is blurry, but I’ll try to make it as complete as I can. Franco went on vacations so he missed them both.

The adventurers starting discussing about their course of action. They couldn’t go back because Sir Haldor was using Rock Hold as a base, but they knew the knight also had a strong influence in Stone Claw.

Alha March feels something pulling his arm. It was one of the priests, reminding him that they had agreed upon escorting him and his companions to Stone Claw. The characters start arguing, since no one remembered about accepting the “quest” other than Alha March and Urielagas (who wasn’t even there for the session!). The warrior takes control of the situation and decides to escort the priests down the road. Reclutanctly they start walking south.

In the middle Hally has a little chat with the priests, that actually are followers of the Hero With a Thousand Faces, a cult of historians and chronologers that were visiting Rock Hold hoping to see the king’s historical archives. Not too much into the conversation arrows start flying, the party is ambushed by goblins. We start a Drive off. The characters win with a medium compromise and, I think, end up Exhausted or something like that. Time for a camp.

Makarios uses his looking for water Instinct, helped by Hally and Alha March and fails: In a pond between the mountains, tired and thirsty the trio plunges into the water to drink. Makarios notices something in the water: a pair of massive, furry legs. Slowly the dwarf raises his head to meet the eyes of an angry bugbear. It’s Kill time.

Its in this fight that the cleric cements her reputation as a psychotic killer. She finishes the conflict with an awesome Attack test with her warhammer, turning the Bugbear into red pulp. Between it’s belongings the group finds a crudely drawn map that coincides with the old map they have, linking Ugol’s lair with the abandoned cave. The pond fills with goblinoid blood, and the trio decides to move on.

Another Survivalist test and they find a secure camp at the side of the road. As the sun comes up the adventurers resume their travel only to hear the loud galloping of a band of horsemen at their backs. On the front line is Haldor, pointing at them and shouting orders. A charge of javelins fly, piercing through one of the priests. Haldor means business. The party doesn’t know what to do, and as the players keep discussing their course of action another javelin empales one of the priests. Alha March takes the old map and conspicuously gives it to the remaining priest: “Run!”

The terrified priest runs down the road, the adventurers jump off road into the wilderness. The riders split in two, six of them (including sir Haldor) pursue the adventurers while the remaining catch up on the priest. We start a Pursue/Flee.

One by one the characters get rid of the horsemen, using the terrain as weapon. Finally, finding that he’s all by himself Sir Haldor retreats, cursing the adventurers. I roll for loot and one of the horsemen, obviously a noble, was carrying a carpet under the saddle. “Its pack 8.” “He was carrying a pack 8 carpet under the saddle?!” Loot tables can be funny sometimes.

We finish the session. As Diego left in a taxi we started discussing with Nicolás, Mariana and Facundo about the dynamics of the group and their discontent with the “rule of the loudest” policy we have on the table (Diego and Franco are really loud and demanding, which takes up much of my attention, while Mariana and Facundo [specially Facundo] are really quiet). I love those kind of arguments, so I didn’t mind that it carried on until the sun came out.

The Last Session
was specially downer. Facundo returned to his hometown and it was the last weekend Mariana had before returning to her town as well. It was sad because it was a really lame session and we can only resume playing around February/March.

There were only Nicolás, Mariana and Diego for this session. We took some time to play because Diego was cooking a barbecue, and between the time cooking and the time we were passed out after eating that much meat we got to play around midnight.

“We look for the horses.” I ask for a Hunter test, so the warrior takes the dice. I think that he penalized for checks, one way or another he failed, trying to chase the horses into a dead end the mounts disbanded. Mockingly far east they get to see a group of goblins taking two horses that ran away with them.

The adventurers took up the road again, and for some reason an argument started between Hally and Makarios about the conservation of trees (since I described the dwarven road as perfectly made and devoid of any flora). I remind them that they had been ambushed by goblins several times through this road and they decide to look for an alternative route, following the road but from the wilderness. I ask for a Pathfinder test. Fail. Twist:

They find an old side road, surrounded by burnt trees, the packed earth is covered in a thin layer of ashes. They don’t call it the Dragon Mountains for nothing. Makarios looks for another source of water, but also fails, getting Angry as he stumbles upon a burnt dwarven caravan, his kin torched with their weapons still in their scabbards. Finally the road leads them to a beautiful lake between the mountains. They qualm their thirst and Hally decides to look for somewhere safe to camp: Fail (again!). The cleric finds the perfect spot… but as she scouts the area she finds some markings, goblin markings. Looking around there can be seen little caves surrounding the lake, obviously goblinoid territory.

The party regroups and tries to return to the main road. Alha March leads the way, I ask for another Pathfinder test. Success. As they traverse the wilderness the howling of the goblins can be heard. Pressing on they can see some wolfskin wearing goblins following them. As the goblins catch up Alha finds a small natural tunnel that directly leads to the dwarven road. They are safe.

Before they get to emerge from the tunnel the adventurers see five horsemen carrying the body of a priest, Haldor had recovered the old map.

The party rushes to Stone Claw to find the whole town full of soldiers, mainly local forces, but a big group comes from Argast. One of the peasants tells them that they are preparing a foray into the Blackblood Swamps to put a stop to the orc raids. No accommodations to be had but the street.

Hally visits her friend Hugh and asks him to hide the carpet for them. The groom scolds his friend about her adventurous ways, but complies. Makarios and Alha March buy some items. I don’t remember why, but the cleric is confronted by three priests of the Celestial Court (I really can’t remember why) and they tell her that she’s not welcome in her hometown. Things go completely bad after she prays at the temple only to be Cursed. She has a vision of being at the gates of the Celestial Palace as they close in front of her. One of the priests that had bullied her whispers at her ear “The Court has abandoned you.”

Cursed and really pissed the cleric leads the group outside. One of the guards ask them to look for an strange spirit surrounding the old Altar to the Ancients, this wright is capturing travelers passing through the altar. The party ignores him and leave through the road to Harper Stone. There they find the small town of Lorias: the local lord has birthed a son, and the rural priests of the Celestial Court (having to assist the labor) are taking the occasion to bless the population before winter comes. The party gets to recover and, if I remember well, level up.

Having catched their breath they return to Stone Claw only to find a huge street brawl. The priests had discovered some cultist of Urdur, the God in the Mountain and a huge fight broke out between them. They test Fighter and succeed, no harm done, the crowd scatters when the guards arrive. Hally visits the stables only to find her friend beaten “They didn’t take anything” Hugh reassures the cleric. No serious harm was done but the groom is (justifiably) mad at the cleric. They return to the mountains, looking for the hidden cave.

I have them test Pathfinder each day of travel to keep on the old road marked on the goblin map. Hally asks the Immortals for a vision to find someone that could take her prayers (she had enough with the Celestial Court). She casts Vision of the Lords of Chaos/Law and starts to meditate. As she lies down she feels submerged in the earth, an echo of voices fills her with fright, the chorus belongs to the ancestors of her race, the Ancient, humans from a time beyond reckoning. In a flash she sees the face of the Wight that tormented them in their first adventure and wakes up. Mariana is seriously pissed. She has no intentions on turning her favor to the Ancients and is mad at me for having “spoiled” one of her spells.

The party presses forward. Finally they see their destination, Mount Hollow. As they scout the landscape a roar comes from behind. The deafening sound of leather wings fills them with terror. A dragon passes above them, entering directly in the mountain.

We finished the session. The characters jumped from one failure to another and Mariana’s character had an especially rough time. They never went to the dungeon, and I was hoping to end this part of the campaign in Winter. But they got to see a dragon, and are at mere miles from the cave. I guess we’ll see how it turns out when the players return to the city.

In the meantime we started another campaign with Nicolás and Diego, running a little behind in the timeline of the main campaign (they play as the main party is dealing with the Mansion of the Mad Magi). We already played a session which was pretty great (I like the dynamic the duo has, even though they almost lost their life in the first adventure).

Stay cool :cool: