This being a continuation of my solo Pits & Perils game.
At the Keep
Martin buys some healing herbs, 1 bunch, from the trader. He makes note to search for herbs in the forest next time. Cost is 5 sp for the bunch.
Thane buys a flask of brandy (for medicinal purposes only…) Cost 5 sp.
The party of adventurers head out of the Keep’s gates with full supplies and well rested. 6 hours of travel and they break for a late lunch. Encounter? No.
They break camp and continue along the road for 4 more hours. They are just north of the large hill on the eastern portion of the map. They find a campsite near the road, set guards, and rest. Catamont builds a small campfire and the watch begins. Encounter? No. Roll rations/water.
6 hours march and the party approach the caves. They break near the road and have a quiet meal. All are on guard, nervously watching for any enemy. Encounter? No.
2 hours travel to the west and the party stands at the Caves of Chaos. I roll a random direction. D12 Result=10. Northwest. The party bypasses Cave A (Kobold cave from last trip). There’s a 50/50 chance they will enter Cave B or Cave C. Result=Cave B.
Thane enters first. The rest of the party will cover him with missile weapons. Thane has his handaxe and shield ready. The dwarf moves in slowly, checking for traps as he goes. He enters a passageway. On the far wall are an assortment of heads in various states of decay. A guard peeks out from behind this wall.
Question–Does Thane notice the guard? Roll 2d6=7 No. If Thane had Wis as his ability, he would have seen the Orc staring at him.
Question–Does Thane continue? D10 N, D6 Y. Result=No. His mother raised no fools. He listens and hears noise from the east, nothing from the west.
As Thane backs up to rejoin the party, he hears heavy footsteps from the east. Thane moves quickly out of the cave and on his heels are a tribe of angry, howling orcs!
Four come out, each with two spears. They form a line at the cave entrance to throw them at the party.
Thane moves farther out of the cave. The party fires arrows and spears. Only Catamont hits an orc with his spear.
The 4 orcs return volley. Catamont and Handsome each take one hit, but armor soaks it up.
Arden and Alan both miss with bows. The others in the party close ranks with the orcs. Martin misses (critical) and loses his footing (-1 to next attack). Handsome stabs an orc with his sword. Thane hacks at an ugly orc with his hatchet for 1 pt.
The orcs stab spears at their enemy. One hits Meklin for 1 pt.
Five more orcs pour out of the cave!
Arden slashes savagely with his greatsword for 2 points to an orc. Meklin fumbles and drops his club! Handsome stumbles! -1 to next attack. Note–these critical fumbles are killing me! Thane hits again! Corwin the magician moves to help Catamont and conks an orc with his staff (1 pt).
The orcs attack. Melkin is hit! Thane is hit! Alan takes two vicious hits, one is an outstanding success. Total of 3 points damage!
Catamont hits an orc, Alan drops his dagger in a fumble. Meklin moves behind Arden (no attack). He will try to get Arden’s dagger to continue the fight.
Orcs are 3 on 1 vs Arden. He takes an outstanding hit for 2 points. Handsome and Thane are both hit (1 point each).
Arden kills an orc! Thane hits another wounding it. Corwin hits an orc and moves back to prepare a spell next round.
Orcs attack! Alan is hit! He is struck down by a spear wielding orc! Alas, poor Alan! We hardly knew ye! Note…I will be using the variant armor rules for Pits & Perils, but I only intend for the PCs to have this variant. So…so long Alan.
Corwin summons arcane energy and casts fear! The orcs scatter, some running off into the woods, others back to the cave. The party doesn’t even stop to search the bodies of the fallen orcs. They grab Alan’s lifeless body and flee the Caves of Chaos.
I knew that it would happen sooner or later, but I still feel bad about losing Alan Dori. Arden will be going over the tactics and taking much of the blame. More armor would have helped Alan. More missile weapons may have made a difference too. Perhaps choking the orcs off at the cave entrance, but no one could have predicted the orcs would boil out of the cave in those numbers.
Corwin could have used his fear spell one round sooner…but Alan was hit hard by two orcs the previous round, so who knows?
Regardless, the party will have time to think of this as they make their way home with one of their fallen brothers on their shoulders.
Alan Dori, man-at-arms, killed by orc spear at the Caves of Chaos, day 19.