An attempt at a slightly less TLDR summary of the eleventh episode of the Keep on the Borderlands play-through.

Character Recap Edit

              Andrew’s PCs:Nymeth (Elf)Liftomancer Bluebigail (Magic-User)
             Dave’s PCs: The Shadow (Thief), Rolph the Younger - (Cleric)
         Hilary’s PCs: Thistle Turnipsworth (Halfling), Glasap Icli (Fighter)
                          John’s PCs: Chunk Flunkins (Dwarf)

Down, Down in (the embers of) Goblin Town Edit

Thoughts of the gristly ritual still weighing heavy on his heart, The Shadow leads Nymeth and the rest of our gloomsome group to track Thistle Turnipsworth’s little Halfling footprints into the detritus-filled caves of the Goblins.

Inside the filthy, graffiti-daubed tunnels, our inexpert explorers are promptly challenged by six Goblin guards. The guards brag about having caught Thistle, but Glasap Icli exploits their own Chaotic scheduling system, to confound them as to whether they’re in fact guarding the right place at the wrong time. Once the guards decamp to argue-out their timetable with the Goblin Chief, our clandestine clique proceed unmolested.

Some time later, while our half-hearted heroes rest, the reflected glow of their lightsource is stumbled upon by a group of about a dozen inebriated Goblins. Fearing discovery, our plodding protagonists hide themselves away, but Glasap Icli proves themself to be a skilled demagogue, and deceives the Goblins that the lit torch the party were carrying is an avatar of some fire-deity. Bearing aloft the sacred flame, Crust Torchhaver, thus commanded, leads the squabble of Goblins further into the caves to bring illumination unto Richard, the book-keeper.

The arc of the torch

A brief summary of the Curch of the Great Torches Rise and Fall

After a brief interval, our flickering freebooters light another torch for themselves and continue deeper into the Goblin tunnels, but before long they are attacked by a dozen True Worshipers of the Torch, which has, in twenty short minutes evolved into a fully fledged Goblin religion, complete with hierarchies and conflicting sects. The Shadow, Glasap Icli, Nymeth, and Liftomancer Bluebigail each slay Goblins in quick succession, causing about half of the True Worshippers to flee for their lives. Pukestain Ratfire, and the three remaining Goblin sectarians are quickly convinced to pledge allegiance to the Liftomancer’s torch, and leave (carrying a burning rat-on-a-stick) to shine their holy light deeper into the murk of the caves.

Our crooked crusaders advance through the caves until they reach the storeroom-turned-temple wherein they meet Porkbutt, self proclaimed high priest of the Church of the Torch, and his congregation of about twenty Goblins. Itinerant preacher Glasap Icli delivers a sermon so persuasive as to unite all the Goblin sects, under the one true light of the torch, as “all light is my light, all torches are... my torch”. Inflamed by Glasap’s words, high priest Porkbutt spearheads a fiery procession to the Goblin Chieftain’s chamber door. Hearing that the Chief is reluctant to change his mind about the kindling religion, they set his door on fire.

Porkbutt by Liefington

High Priest Porkbutt - by Liefington

Eventually the cinders of the door collapse, and the party break through into the Chieftain’s parlor. Irate, the Goblin Chief begins to denounce our devout delvers, but Rolph the Younger is ready for him. Scroll in hand, Rolph casts Hold Person on his guards, a split second before Nymeth puts the Chieftain to Sleep and slits his throat. The Shadow frees the unconscious body of Thistle Turnipsworth, pilfering her Ring of Protection in the process; while in the smoke filled coridoor, Glasap Icli takes advantage of the confusion to incite the congregation to fight each other (to the death) for a chance to become the new chief before turning back to loot the Chieftain’s bedroom.

Taking their spoils, and rescued Halfling in hand, and with all the Goblins slain or mortally wounded, our murderous hobos leave the Caves of Chaos, to traverse the foggy road back towards the Keep on the Borderlands. Travelling close to the swap, on their second day of travel, through the mist, Nymeth and The Shadow discover a smoking, overturned wagon, and hear the unintelligible speech of the nine dark-scaled web-fingered Kobolds that are devouring one of the horses. Rolph the Younger and the rest of our pusillanimous pyromaniacs, use the concealment of the haze to sneak up on the Kobolds before bombarding them with flask upon flask of burning oil.

Four of their numbers burned alive by unseen attackers, the Kobolds turn tail and run away into the swamp; leaving our heroes’ path to The Keep unimpeded. After flogging their hard earned loot, The Shadow feels he is an apprentice no longer, but now a fully fledged footpad (Level 2).

With his newfound sense of pride The Shadow manages to open the locked chest obtained from The Hermit, finding a pile of coins and Potion of Invisibility inside. The small iron chest, taken from the Orcs however requires The Blacksmith’s skills to open. It holds a great many coins, a Scroll of Fireball (6d6), and a stoppered bottle containing a blue, faintly glowing potion.

Rules & Rulings from this Episode Edit

  • 0’12” A PCs alignment can be changed at any time without penalty, but “the character forgets their old alignment language and starts using the new one immediately.” (B11)

  • 0’27” Understanding the gist of speech or writing in an unfamiliar but related language, as Gobblish is to Hob-Gobblish for example, requires an INT check. No bonus by default. (DM Ruling)

  • 1’32” “Spells cannot be cast while performing any other action (such as walking or fighting).” (B15) This also applies to spells cast from magic scrolls. (DM Ruling)

  • 3’14” The Blacksmith can be persuaded to hammer open locked chests, but there is a chance (unspecified) that the contents might be damaged. (DM Ruling)

-Return to the list of Episodes in this series-