SOL Survivors

Ah, SOL
Everyone's luck runs out eventually

Day 1, Session 1

Ho hum, another day begins at the border outpost of SOL. Quiet and secluded, the outpost is used as a dumping ground, of sorts, for the army’s “less desirable” members; those who cheat, steal, or perhaps are too lawful and turn in the “wrong” people. No one is here by choice.

And with it’s location on the border with the Orc Lands, the army feels it won’t be needed. Orcs haven’t caused any problems in living memory. They’re much too busy fighting among themselves. And, in fact, recently they’ve become a decent trade partner for the kingdom, with caravans of various weapons and other war goods coming through SOL and other outposts every few days.

The party awakens in the barracks to greet yet another call for the guard to end a fight at the tavern. Caravan mercs are at it again, beginning their day (or is it ending their night?) with yet another brawl. The party leader, a ranger, chooses to take the side roads instead of the main road so that they will enter the tavern from the back and surprise the brawlers.

Just as they start to wade into the drunken melee, a guard member bursts through the front door. “Orcs,” he shouts. “The Orcs are attacking!”

The party stares at him in disbelief and then starts laughing. Various comments asking about the level of intoxication and uses of recreational drugs are thrown out by various members of the party and the tavern. Finally, the guard convinces the party to go to the main gate of the town and investigate. The fearless leader orders the rest of the guard down the main drag to the gate, while he and the party circle around the side streets, to round up troublemakers…yeah that’s it.

As soon as the party entered the alley they where assualted by a strange howling that seemed to issue from the shadows. The fearless leader…needed new pants. The rest of the party watched in amazement as four large mastiffs emerged from the shadows and attacked. They were quickly dispatched, the party only suffering minor injuries.

After walking a few hundred feet down the alley the party hears some noises around the corner of a building. They send their “scrounger/thieve/cat burglar/assassin-want-to-be” to look around the corner. She sees one dire wolf and two wargs in the middle of the street facing each other. Oh, yeah, and there’s goblins riding them, with stepstools attached to the saddles. The dire wolf spotted her and watched her wave at him, and told him that she had food around the corner. (No, she did not fail her intelligence check, she just said it out of the blue.). The wolf promptly sprang at her causing her to bolt back down the alley, past the party. Oh, and after much out-of-character prompting, remembered to yell as she passed about a “wolf”.

The party had just turned back toward the mouth of the alley when a dire wolf came charging down at them. The front line consisted of one ranger, specced for ranged combat, and a paladin. The dire wolf proceeded to try to fight his way through them to the “food” while the rest of the party, pretty much, just stood there. The two wargs came running around the corner and got stuck in the alley mouth, with the goblins throwing javelins at random buildings. I kid you not, they were missing so badly that they could only hit the buildings on either side of the alley.

Wolf and wargs and goblins finally dispatched, the party continues on. Peeking around the next corner they see two trolls and four more mastiffs beside a wagon train. The party, in a rare act of caution, decided to run back to the barracks and light the signal fire to summon aid from the army, oh, and warn the kingdom.

Despite several attempts to light the fire, each one thwarted by enemy spellcasters or bad upkeep on the part of the city garrison, the party never manages to light the fire. They did however manage to acquire another NPC by the name of Seymour, who said that he was trying to light the signal fire when the party showed up.

The party gave up on that attempt and decided to flee back to the only inn in town and “acquire some horses and supplies”. While there they decide to light the inn on fire with a flamestrike. This idea is praised until one player makes the wisdom check to remember that alcohol burns very well. And fire likes oxygen. And that when glass bottles containing liquid are heated up to a point where the liquid inside boils, the glass tends to shatter. And when a flammable liquid is turned into a gas, inserted suddenly into a raging inferno, that inferno tends to become a FAE (Fuel-Air-Explosive(BIG BOOM)) The party decided to cast flamestrike from the maximum distance away. In mid flame the spell was dispelled, and the party threw their hands up in disguist and fled on horseback.

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Babes in the woods
Scratch my back please.

So the herioc party (stop laughing out there) flees, errr, goes to warn the next city from SOL. After stampeding, uhm, galloping their horses for a few hours the slow down and begin to look around them.

DM- Spot and listen checks please (looking at notes, DC 25) Ranger- allright, do I have that? Oh, yeah, there it is, uhm 18. Theif- 20 Paladin-Starts laughing as soon as she hears spot. Cleric-Looks up from spell compedium, huh? Fighter/Cleric- 17

DM is shocked that no one made a fairly easy save for 10th level characters.

Several minutes go by and the party is so focused on their escape that no one notices that two objects in the sky are catching up to them. No notices until the spikes start landing all around. The Manticors fired 12 spikes total, 6 from each, into the party. The clerics horse goes down, literally, with a single HP remaining. The thief is hit by no less than five of the spikes, and the paladin is untouched. The rest of the party takes one each, with the horses taking another 4 between them. The cleric becomes pinned under his horse. The battle continues with the manticores pulling ahead of the party and beginning to loop back. The party quickly dismountes and pulls out their ranged weaponry, consisting of two heavy crossbows, a longbow, a light crossbow, and a shortbow. The air quickly becomes alive with the humming of arrows in flight as the entire party lets loose on one target, including the cleric pinned beneath the horse.

The second flyby- Manticores, one is severely wounded and is wandering all over the sky as it trys to line the party back up for another strafing run. The other one is forced to dodge the first in a series of funny acrobatic manuveurs and finally flies off in disguist. The party continues to fire at the injured manticore, bringing it down, but not before the cleric manages to hit one of his own party members in the back with his crossbow bolt.

The first night- The ranger manages to find a fairly secluded campsite and the group sits down for a well earned rest. Fully healed the next morning they set out, carefully watching the sky and surrounding area.

The second night-When night begins to fall the ranger is once again called on to find a campsite. This time, with his awe inspiring roll of a 1, he finds a flat, open, campsite. No cover, no water, no trees, tall grass for things to sneak up on the party. In short, the worst campsite that any party has ever found. The night is passed quite tensly with the watch rotation doubled, and the players visible wincing when the DM rolled the dice.

The third night- The party continues their journey and when it is time to rest they find the perfect campsite. Good cover, a running stream, a small overhang to provide shelter. They quickly settle in and enjoy their rest. Until sometine toward the middle of the night, the ranger is viscously attacked….by nets….two feet square. The ranger is quickly covered in about five of these nets that in no way hinder him. He rips them off, only to find three goblinoid things yelling and screaming at him. The rest of the party jumps to their feet and the cleric casts daylight. The yelling ceases and there are no goblinoids to be seen. The party scratches their heads, until finally the fighter/cleric picks up a nearby bush and realizes that he picked up a bush with no roots! He quickly throws the bush onto the fire, and a goblin appears. A burned, smelly, nasty goblin. The rest of the party quickly catches on, and the landscape is rapidly denuded of any easily removable shrubbery. The party searches all around and recovers about 400 gems of various sizes and shapes. The group decideds that since everyone is already up and the next town is relativly close that they would continue their journey. They quickly reach the town of STOBU and report in.

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