Friday night was our first campaign of the New Year and our Far West Castles & Crusades Campaign. Two players weren't able to make it, but the game always goes on!
Here's a rundown of last time if you weren't following along or need a refresher, but basically, the party defeated the evil of the Fallow Forest, and ran back to the city of Sidon to claim their prize. They had discovered that agents of Darrakis, a city ruled by evil necromancers, were attempting to perhaps not only subvert the nearby mage-city of Morsten, but the entire region.
Woodsmen had already brought word of the the revitalization of the woods ahead of the party, and so they ended up with a hero's welcome back in Sidon. The Grand Admiral himself invited them to dinner, and they ended up with a nice bonus in gold coin.
The group presented the documents incriminating Darrakis, and it was decided that Morsten--despite its chilly relations with Sidon--had to be warned. To that end, they were asked (for pay, of course) to deliver a letter to Morsten, and to explain what they had seen to the Mage's Council there.
Given good horses (a reward unto itself), the party set off on their way. What follow was a hilarious night of really, really high encounter rolls:
-Just as they were setting up camp and had tied up their horses for the evening, a group of 12 mounted Darrakian riders came upon them. Vas (our Wild Mage) made the mistake of telling them they were headed for Morsten. The riders made the mistake of attacking the party. Nalgin's use of Sound Burst knocked down multiple riders off the bat, and even the 6 reinforcement riders I had bursting out of the forest were no match. They got a couple of licks in (Nalgin went to negative hit points, and had to be healed), but it was over quickly. The group got enough daggers, swords, and loot to start a small arms trade, and again I was impressed at just how quickly they routed a superior force.
Friar Charles again tried to cast light on a horse's face to spook it, but it just so happens that the horse he tried it on (yes, I rolled for all this) was one of the horses who he had done it to in the last Darrakian party. The horse made his save, and what followed was Friar Charles attempting to kill this horse before it could spread the word to other horses. Goofy as hell, but fun, and Charles now has a horse for a mortal enemy (don't feel so bad for his player--he did supercharge a damage roll with a d30 and punched someone all the way through the face). The horse renamed himself NightMare, and I am pleased to report he got away. I hope I find a way to work him in again.
-Friar Charles was on his watch after this fight when another encounter roll produced a giant constrictor snake. With the party not able to pry the snake off Charles, Nalgin used the last of his Sound Burst spells, injuring Charles but loosening the snake's grip.
-Lastly, as Leyton stood watch (Leyton's character found an incredibly addictive herb to help control his rages, by the way--great idea on the part of the player, and something that should be fun to play out), he rolled a 72 on my encounter tables, followed by a 00.
I pounded on the table to make the water on the table shake, ala Jurassic Park.
In my entire GM's book, there is one--ONE!--entry for a Tyrannosaurus Rex showing up.
It showed up.
As soon as they saw its head appear over the tree line, the party fled, and lived. Friar Charles, who miserably failed 3 Dexterity checks, ended up slapping his horse on the rear as he lie on the ground tangled in a stirrup. He got away, but will be incredibly worse for the wear.
Everyone again did a great job--extra XP all around. We are not the most focused or serious group, but it isn't that sort of campaign. I think back to how 18 year-old me would have been riled up at some of the things that go on, versus how much fun it all seems now.
We play again on the 22nd!