As the session began, the group of Balasar’s Avengers consisting of Conan, Althea, Hazarak, Laquel, Tempest, and the new officer candidate Thargor were suiting up to make the journey from Tilverton Scar to Castle Crag, to find the blacksmith who’d been making replicas of Hazarak’s father’s sword, (name?). The group took off, and were quite a sight, with a slew of horses, an elephant, and a giant ant. They took off marching towards the castle.
As the group arrived at the castle, Laquel, Althea, and Hazarak split off from the party and hid in the treeline 50’ from the castle walls. Tempest dismounted from his elephant and approached the gate, where the guards hailed him and asked what his business was at Castle Crag. Tempest told the guards that they were looking for a blacksmith that had forged a particular sword, and pulled out the replica sword that Hazarak bought in Tilverton Scar. The guards looked at each other and mentioned that they weren’t blacksmiths, but that the group should come back in tomorrow when the gates are open. Tempest paid them a gold coin and negotiated his way in, then all other members of the party entered, leaving the mounts outside. The guards grumbled to themselves about getting ripped off in this deal, but were nonchalant about it, as the group did not look like a threat. Little did they know how wrong they were.
Once inside the walls, Tempest secured lodgings for the group for the night. Because Laquel was not disguised (and Drow are not welcome in any city within the Western Stars Alliance, due to the influence of Myth Dranor and Evereska), she had to wall jump her way up to the second story, where the group’s room was located. Once everyone was in the room, Tempest locked up and everyone rested.
The next day, Hazarak (disguised a blond-mulleted bounty hunter named Dog) and Thargor went to the castle village’s only blacksmith to inquire about the sword. The blacksmith, who gave his name as Lyle, asked what interest Hazarak had in the sword, to which he replied that he had heard that these blades were important to the gnolls in the area, and that they had been sown around to incite fights among the gnoll tribes. Lyle looked suspiciously at Hazarak and said that the only people that knew about the sword’s significance to the gnolls was himself and the duke’s advisor, Darren. He accused him of being a gnoll in disguise and picked up the real sword, and clanged it loudly against the forge behind him three times.
Immediately, creatures made of magma and fire crawled out of the forges. Hazarak and Thargor recognized them as fire archons of some type and magma brutes, both elemental creatures. Lyle and the creatures all began attacking Hazarak, who frantically called for help via his bluetooth. Lyle landed a grievous blow on Hazarak, nearly incapacitating him in a single blow and poisoning him to boot. The rest of the creatures worked on both Hazarak and Thargor, and weakened them severely.
After what seemed like an hour, but really couldn’t have been more than 12 seconds, reinforcements arrived. First Conan, fresh from sex with the blacksmith’s daughter next door, arrived on the scene. Tempest arrived next, as he heard the commotion from the mapmaker’s shop a few buildings down. Finally, Althea and Laquel arrived from the inn. By this time, the battle was on in earnest.
When Hazarak succumbed to his poison, he collapsed, which dropped the disguise afforded him by his Hat of Disguise. Lyle saw this and immediately called for the guards, screaming that gnolls and drow had breached the castle’s security. Outside, Conan heard the approaching steps of the guards, and positioned himself near the door to take them out if need be. The rest of the party worked on the enemies and patched up their allies, and Hazarak awoke and landed a killing blow on Lyle, then performed a coup de grace twice on him to be sure. Overcome by bloodlust, he then began devouring the corpse, amidst the frantic urgings of his peers to regain control over himself and put his disguise back on.
When the guards finally showed up, there were only two of them, but the group had managed to kill all the enemies but one magma brute, and Hazarak regained enough control over himself to attempt to hide Lyle’s body in a nearby barrel of salt water before being knocked out again by the magma brute. The guards came in and demanded to know what was going on, and Tempest convinced them to delay questioning until the brute was defeated, which it eventually was (800 xp for everyone involved in this encounter).
What followed next was a lesson on how NOT to convince the guards of your innocence. Tempest, aided by Althea and Thargor, attempted to convince the guards that the gnoll on the ground had come here with a drow witch ally, who had summoned all of the fire creatures in the smithy. She had somehow lost control of the creatures, and they began attacking everyone, and Conan, who happened to be in the shop for some repairs, rushed to the smith’s aid. His friends (the other avengers) came to help, but they were unable to stop the berserking gnoll and evil drow from killing the smith, devouring part of his body, and stuffing him into his own barrel of salt water.
The guards were clearly not having any of this, and when more arrived, they decided to claim the bounty on gnolls themselves. Althea and Tempest convinced them that they should get their fair share of the bounty, as they were the ones that killed the gnoll. The guard reluctantly agreed and said he’d just cut off the gnoll’s head for the group to turn in, and hang the rest of the body from the walls as a warning to the rest of the gnolls. Tempest then exclaimed loudly that no one was to cut off the gnoll’s head but him, to which the guard replied with a shrug and switched places with him, to allow Tempest to do just that. Conan looked around and realized that the guards weren’t buying their load of bullchips, and attacked the nearest guard in a rage, then dashed out the door yelling for them to catch him.
One guard took him up on this offer, and briefly told the patrol outside that had come to investigate to split up and follow him, with the other half remaining inside the smithy to interrogate the witnesses. So, as the session ended, Conan fled the scene with five guards in tow, with another 7 guards remaining inside the smithy for questioning.
We will continue this in the campaign forum.