A break down of the major happenings in the ninth episode of the Keep on the Borderlands play-through, with timestamps.
Character Recap Edit
Dave’s PCs: The Shadow (Thief), Rolph the Younger - (Cleric)
Hilary ’s PCs: Thistle Turnipsworth (Halfling), Cloud (Fighter)
John’s PCs: Hawthorne (Elf), Chunk Flunkins (Dwarf)
In the Caves - The Flaming of the Shrew Edit
- 0’17” Chunk Flunkins and Hawthorne step swiftly into the cavern, (marked ‘14’) ready to help Karsh fight off the Giant Shrews that have cornered him and the other Irontusk Orcs.
- 0’19” One of their number is injured by Hawthorne’s crossbow bolt, and the other Giant Shrews turn their blind cave-rodent eyes to size up the dangerous outsiders.
- 0’22” From somewhere beyond the torchlight, the party hear the sound of pained Orc howling and Shrews shrieking, as one Orc is torn apart and two others badly wounded.
- 0’25” Qruzoix hurls a lit flask of oil, but misses the Shrew; instead hitting Karsh in the face, before bouncing aside harmlessly. He doesn’t seem to mind.
- 0’25”-0’30” A lit flask of oil may be thrown at a creature (causing 1d8 damage for 2 rounds), or at an area on the ground (likely only causing 1d8 damage for 1 round before the creature moves away). If a throw at a creature misses, but would still hit AC 9, the flask will ignite in the square the target creature is occupying. If a thrown flask of oil fails to hit AC 9 AND the attack roll is not a natural ‘1’, then either it does not break, does not ignite, or otherwise splashes away harmlessly. Rolling a natural ‘1’ on the attack roll results in 50% chance of setting the thrower on fire. (Revised DM Ruling)
- 0’40” Cursing in accented Orcish, Hawthorne gracefully polevaults over a Giant Shrew, skewering it with her spear.
- 0’45” Unprepared for the furious attack that resulted from interposing herself between a starving Shrew and its next meal, Hawthorne panics and turns to flee.
- 0’45” PC DEATH: In a shrieking fury of blood and fur, Karsh and Qruzoix have their throats torn out by a single voracious Shrew. (Andrew’s PC)
- 0’46” Rolph the Younger watches in horror as the Shrew in front of him severs an Orc’s head from his body.
- 0’48” Cloud’s first kill: Wasting no time mourning, Cloud dispenses vengeance upon Qruzoix’ killer by means of a swift crossbow bolt through the eye.
- 0’53” Po-Shawn’s first kill: With consummate professionalism, Po-Shawn saves Hawthorne. The Magic-User calmly breaks a lit flask of oil on a Giant Shrew’s face. The Shrew screams and thrashes as it combusts, before finally lying still.
- 0’58” Thistle Turnipsworth gives the last Shrew a taste of steel, feeding it HamBone’s business end.
- 1’00” Surveying the carnage all around the cavern, Chunk Flunkins grimly puts their last Irontusk ally out of his misery, by stabbing her in the back.
- 1’03”-1’06” The party thoroughly loot the chamber and pick over the bodies of the fallen. Hawthorne picks up The Irontusk Spear (+1 to attack and damage rolls), while the other adventure capitalists find: lashed to an Orc’s backpack, a chest holding 2000 CP and moneylending paraphernalia; and a purse containing 500 GP and a single gemstone (worth 50 GP)
- 1’07”-1’10” Our treacherous treasureseekers collect their pile of stolen goods from the storeroom (marked ‘11’) and make the unremarkable two-day long trudge back to The Keep on the Borderlands.
After First break - Back at the Keep Edit
- 1’17” It is a rainy, and cold afternoon when our heroes return to The Keep bearing treasure for the local economy. Thistle Turnipsworth & Cloud decide to stay a while in the relative safety of ‘civilised’ society.
- 1’22”-1’27” Outside the tavern, our faded freebooters befriend Nymeth, an eligible Elven knight adorned in gleaming plate armour. Hawthorne desperately hopes Nymeth will notice her; he doesn’t.
NEW Character Edit
- 1’32”-1’35” Faced with the tedium of spending 5 days cooling his heels in lawful society, awaiting Yorick the Curate’s completion of the party’s Hold Person scroll, The Shadow considers where he might find a supplier for poisons and other malfeasant occuteries. Consulting his sources, he learns that there is a much afeared Wizard who lives in a hermitage, in the woods to the North of The Keep. Perhaps, muses The Shadow, this cryptic Hermit could be persuaded to share his secrets.
- 1’35” Private rooms at The Travellers Inn cost 1GP per day, and fiscally-minded residents would be advised to stick to a diet of rations (unpreserved rations only cost 5 GP per week); but for those wanting more flavourful fare, The Travellers Inn provides a full menu. (Page 10 in B2)
- 1’41”-1’52” Chunk Flunkins drunkenly evaluates The Castellan’s soldiers, ‘testing’ the three available rookies in turn, offering each a 100 GP dividend on return to the Keep.
- Drom (the Courteous), passes his test of forbearance, politely asking for, and receiving 50 GP payment up front.
- Heavily tattooed and pierced Blix (the Piratical) fails his test of compliance, but nevertheless is press-ganged into contracting with the party by Crackers, his talkative, feathered overlord.
- Dingwall (the Kind) is unphased by his test of danger. “I’d hate for my friends to get in danger without me, so I’ll come along to look out for Blix and Drom.”
- 1’56”-1’58” Ever the skilled carouser, Chunk Flunkins tracks down a skilled tracker: Not-Lost Lenore (the Hunter) and pays her 200 GP to lead them to The Hermit’s cabin and back.
- 1’57” Finding a skilled non-combatant, such as a tracker, requires an 8+ on a reaction roll. (DM Ruling)
- 2’02” Before leaving The Keep for what might become an extended foray into the wilderness, our prayerful provocateurs donate 1000 GP to The Chapel and petition Yorick the Curate to transcribe another scroll of Hold Person for them, once he has finished his current inscriptions. (Scroll queue: Hold Person - 5 days, Hold Person - 19 days)
After Second break - Suburban Wizards & the Beating of My Elven Heart Edit
- 2’10”-2’13” As night starts to fall, at the end of the first day’s rough travel through the woods, Not-Lost Lenore suddenly stops, “Did you hear that?” she asks her pointy-eared employers. Hawthorne and Nymeth hear only a slight, indistinct rustling from the East, but draw steel regardless.
- 2’17” Drom, deferentially extinguishes his torch, so that Chunk Flunkins and the Elves can use their infravision to determine what approaches. The Shadow takes advantage of the darkness to hide himself.
- 2’20” After a moment of darkness, their eyes adjust and the Elves see a not-insignificant number of Kobolds (10 in fact), slowly moving through the undergrowth towards them.
- 2’23” “Flee or lose your lives.. dogs!” blusters the bellicose Chunk Flunkins, attempting to scare the Kobolds away.
- 2’23” Some monsters, such as Kobolds, may be intimidated into fleeing a confrontation. Attempting to drive them away is a reaction roll. A result of 12+ and the monsters flee, while a result of 9+ forces them to make a morale check. (DM Ruling)
- 2’27” Seeing that the fight is inevitable, Chunk Flunkins fires the first shot, and thoroughly slays a Kobold-shaped bush adjacent to an actual Kobold.
- 2’30” Hearing Chunk Flunkins’ order to fan out, Drom bows slightly and lights his torch to illuminate the Kobolds and the surrounding area for his comrades, moving into a defensive position alongside the other soldiers.
- 2’32” RETAINER DEATH: Blix (the Piratical) only dodges two Kobold spears; one buries itself in his chest. Blix lets out a final “yaaarrgh” and expires. Crackers, recognising an opportunity to hop up in the pecking order, immediately flies over and lands on Chunk Flunkins’ shoulder.
- 2’34” RETAINER DEATH: Dingwall kindly intercepts two of the Kobolds’ spears, with his body.
- 2’34” RETAINER DEATH: Drom parries aside two unruly Kobold spears, but the third opens him up. As he dies, Drom courteously cradles the haft of his still lit torch preventing it from going out.
- 2’36” Rolph the Younger pitches a lit flask of oil at a Kobold, lighting it on fire. It briefly becomes a light source, but somehow stays alive.
- 2’38” With a dramatic flourish, Hawthorne puts an arrow through a Kobold, and glances toward Nymeth to see if he’s impressed.
- 2’41” Nymeth’s 1st Deed: Concentrating on the enemies before him, Nymeth hums an eerie Elven lullaby, and all 9 of the remaining Kobolds fall soundly asleep. Even the one who was on fire.
- 2’41” Our coin-hearted crusaders waste no time in slitting the throats of all the sleeping Kobolds. Searching their peaceful looking corpses, the party uncover a total of 140 CP.
- 2’45”-2’47” After travelling the dark and rainy wood for three more days, at some point late in the afternoon, Not-Lost Lenore once again halts the expedition. From the hillside where they start to make camp, our heroes can see down towards the wooded valley where Lenore believes The Hermit resides, living within the hollowed out trunk of a huge, fallen oak tree. The tracker confides that she usually avoids this area of the woods, explaining that: “The Hermit is known to have ensorcelled several dangerous woodland creatures to help him protect his home. Some say he is a powerful wizard on the run from his enemies to the South, while others say that the Hermit has lost his mind and become as much a part of nature as the woods themselves.”
- 2’50”-2’52” Following some nervous discussion over how best to progress forward, Chunk Flunkins and The Shadow volunteer to go and talk to The Hermit. Fearing wizardly repercussions, The Shadow ensures that his weapons are visibly sheathed, and even takes down his cowl; though due to careful cinematography and mise en scene, we never quite see his face clearly; as our unenviable envoys descend the hillside towards the hut. As he moves closer, The Shadow notices what appear to be footprints, left by bare human feet, in the now frozen mud around the fallen oak.
- 2’52”-2’53” Famed for his subtle conversational gambits, Chunk Flunkins calls out loudly: “Ho wizard! We are friends... and seek your counsel... and powers, to aid in our... enterprise.” But he hears no reply from the hut; however, from above comes the sound of a deep growl. Crouched on a branch of a nearby tree is a Mountain Lion, it snarls at the interlopers, hackles raised and ready to pounce.
- 2’53” Unnerved, our well-armed ambassadors slowly back away up the hillside to rejoin their colleagues. The Mountain Lion watches them leave before curling up, once again, apparently to doze.