Shmadimaa's Bandits

From Darfuria

Shmadimaa's Bandits was a hastily cobbled together adventure after a disaster fell upon the hapless Shmadimaa.

This adventure is very much based upon the Bandit Camp in Baldur's Gate (https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Bandit_Camp).

Illustrations by Tessa, age 8-9.


Background

After successfully completing The Kidnappings in Ikkur and celebrating Thimpashinash's birthday with his new friends in Deraheib, Shmadimaa returned home to Kdu. Late at night, when he was almost home, on the final leg of the journey he was ambushed by a pair of gnolls. Instead of fighting them off, he surrendered to them. The two gnolls took everything apart from his underwear and a handful of coppers, leaving Shmadimaa tied up in a ditch by the side of the rough track between Zeo and Kdu. He was eventually found and rescued by an elderly couple the following morning, who took him back to Kdu.

Shmadimaa tried to form a plan of what should come next. He wanted to get his gear back, including all the gold he made, so that he could complete his training to become a 4th level fighter. After a couple of visits to his friend Voldar Steelheart at the local smithy in Kdu and a lot of praying, nothing much happened. What could he do? It was a bad scene.

The result of the praying was in fact two characters were created, Ilyka and Sizzleplup. They were both evokers and fellow worshippers of Freya. A full party would be needed for what was in mind for the Bandit Camp so eventually a whole new party was created. All of the characters came from the towns and villages in the region south of The Qwarm. It seemed like a good opportunity to explore these towns and villages a little more.

Apparently a bandit problem had been plaguing the area, in that case. :)

Bands of human and demihuman bandits were bothering travellers on the roads regularly, robbing them, and sometimes worse. It was becoming something of an issue. Something had to be done to stop the robberies. That was where Shmadimaa and the others came in. It would mean Shmadimaa might be a bit late returning to Deraheib and his friends to see what their next adventure would be, but that could not be helped. Shmadimaa needed his gear back and he would need help to do it. And so it began.


Chapter 1 (11.10.2023) - It Begins!

Jigg approaches Taummoar with the bandit he defeated slung over his pony Styric.

15.04.1259 Sizzleplup needs to buy more mercury to be able to cast his Tenser's Floating Disc spell. He wants to travel to an alchemist's shop in Friüg to get some. At the edge of Taummoar where he lives, the town guards suggest he doesn't travel alone due to all the trouble on the roads. He waits at the edge of town to see if others will travel that way.

14.04.1259 Jigg, who lives in Aegoi, needs advice for breeding his ponies. In Zeo is an expert pony breeder he wants to see. He rides his stallion pony and the Darfurian guards at the edge of the village warn him that the roads might be dangerous. Not concerned, Jigg sets off on the road towards Taummoar.

After a while a bandit sees Jigg resting his pony and tries to rob him. Jigg defeats the bandit in combat, takes his gear, ties him up and takes him the rest of the way to Taommoar. The guard post is manned by a corporal and Private Smiglins, who takes Jigg to the Captain of the Guard in the village hall for his reward. The bandit is jailed and Jigg receives 25gp bounty for his troubles as well as the bandit's gear. He stays the night at an inn.


Chapter 2 (12.10.2023) - Quikatanique's Armory

14.04.1259 Quikatanique wants to set up an armory at his place in O'Pruudth. He tends to remain mostly undercover there, due to the amount of orcs in that area.

He decided to travel to Zeo. Upon leaving town he saw a couple of half orc guards in the tabards of Sarath, rather than the orange of Darfuria.

After being challenged by a bandit, he defeated the bandit with one blow and carried him to Taummoar, much as Jigg had done. After receiving his reward he spent the night at an inn.


Chapter 3 (13.10.2023) - Jigg, Quikatanique and Sizzleplup

15.04.1259 Jigg tends to wake up very early. He was up before the inn staff had started making breakfast so he went for a walk.

At breakfast Jigg met Quikatanique and they decided to travel together to Friüg. On the way, Jigg returned to the pony breeder who gave him some advice and prices.

As they are leaving town, they meet Sizzleplup, who has been waiting for about half an hour for somebody to accompany him on the road. They all travel together. After a while they meet and defeat a group of three hobgoblin bandits.


Chapter 4 (15.10.2023) - Bandits, Orcs and Zombies

15.04.1259 After investigating the wagon they release the man who was captured and tied by the hobgoblins. They also looted the bodies and piled them onto the pony for their reward when they reach Friüg.

Also on the way they defeated five orcs from The Qwarm. During the combat, Quikatanique dropped his sword, rolling consecutive 1s and Jigg gave him another longsword he had found on the bandits.

Sizzleplup managed to grab both of the last two orcs on an opposed STR roll when they tried to run away. Quikatanique stabbed one and killed it and Jigg winded the other and let it go after it promised to not rob anyone any more and gave them its spear.

Upon questioning, they just about managed to justify their actions in terms of ALN, so no points were lost, although it was close.

After looting the defeated orcs, the party continued the rest of the way to Friüg and were met by three Darfurian guards at the edge of the town. One of the guards told them the hobgoblin bandits slumped over the pony were members of a group called The Chill.

Once they had taken the bodies to the Captain of the Guard for their reward, they stayed overnight in an inn and the next day (16.04.1259) sold their excess weapons and armour. Quikatanique upgraded his armour from leather to splint.

Malthos from Saltmarsh needs a torc and a cauldron, as she is a Celtic druid. She decided to head to Idyai to buy a cauldron, and then continue on to Zeo to find a jewelcrafter to make her torc. She also wants a saddle for her horse.

As she travelled through the foggy marshes southeast of Saltmarsh, she met and defeated four zombies. After that, she mounted up to continue her journey.


Chapter 5 (16.10.2023) - Malthos and Gegelm Travel to Zeo

They slept in a tree and during the night Gegelm fell out, injuring himself slightly.

Malthos met and defeated a Black Talon bandit on the way to Idyai. She defeated him easily.

After arriving in Idyai, collecting her 25gp reward and staying the night at a very cheap inn, she avoided a parasitic infection. Next she bought a bronze cauldron for her druiding and a very good quality saddle.

Once Malthos sold the tigerseye gem she found in the small wooden lockbox that she had taken from the bandit, she literally bumped into Gegelm who was looking in through the window of the jeweller's shop. They decided to travel together to Zeo and set off.

The first leg of the journey was uneventful, other than a brief encounter with a small squad of a dozen soldiers. They slept in a tree and during the night Gegelm fell out, injuring himself slightly.

Setting off again from their tree, this time they were attacked by three more bandits, who were quckly dispatched. They let one of them go and took his belongings and arrived in Zeo to collect their reward.

They sold their spare armour and weapons and Gegelm was able to buy himself a suit of chainmail.

Chapter 6 (24.10.2023) - Lovers Reunited

Ilyka had a big confufulation with twigs and sticks, and then a wooden board.

16.04.1259 Ilyka climbed down the cliff near her home in Zeo using the steps to the beach. She had a big confufulation with twigs and sticks, and then a wooden board. She was trying to make a gift for her boyfriend Sizzleplup. In the end she decided it would be too awkward to carry it. She thought she would leave it at home and give it to him when he came to visit.

As she was leaving town to meet him in their secret hiding place in Friüg, in an alleyway between two buildings, she met Galinka, who was having an argument with a soldier at the town gate. He was reluctant to let Galinka travel alone, but with Ilyka as well he was OK to let them travel together.

By and by they encountered a bandit. Galinka used a Command spell and together the two girls robbed him, leaving him with only his pants, which they threw into the bushes. They found this tremendously funny.

When they arrived in Friüg, Ilyka and Sizzleplup were finally reunited in their special meeting place. Quikatanique and Jigg had come along with Sizzleplup as well. Everyone stayed at the inn again for another night and concluded their business, before heading to Zeo.

17.04.1259 At the town gate, a wounded soldier was being bandaged by Ona. Quikatanique cast a CLW and the soldiers were all delighted. Ona wished to travel with the others to Zeo and try to sort out the bandit problem.

As we left things, it was Ona, Galinka, Sizzleplup, Ilyka, Quikatanique and Jigg about to leave Friüg for Zeo. Shmadimaa is still in Kdu. Malthos and Gegelm are already in Zeo.

Chapter 7 (29.10.2023) - Shmadimaa Hears Some News

When Shmadimaa came out of his house he saw a man in shiny platemail on a white stallion accompanied by a female dwarf on a white pony riding quickly by. When he went to Voldar, they were there, in conversation with Voldar. They were discussing the bandit problem while Voldar fixed up some of their armour and weapons. This would have been 17th April 1259.

These two were Jalaha and Zimbi. Jalaha had to hurry back to Zeo but Zimbi agreed to accompany Shmadimaa on the journey to there. A pair of ne'er-do-well spies had been entrusted to take part in the mission, a guy drinking in The Old Warrior, Kdu's inn, called Feegly, and his odd companion, Boo.

After fetching Feegly and Boo from the tavern, the four of them set off towards Zeo. Feegly and Zimbi argued quite a lot and the party defeated a group of bandits while Boo was relieving himself in the trees.

They arrived in Zeo and heard the town crier announcing a meeting concerning the bandit activity in the town hall the next day. The party sold their excess gear and divided up the spoils, and stayed the night at an inn.

Chapter 8 (01.11.2023) - Six Defeat More Bandits

17.04.1259 The party leaving Friüg set off for Zeo with Ona and Quikatanique leading, the two evokers in the middle, and Galinka and Jigg (leading his pony Styric) at the rear.

Before long they encountered a group of seven Chill hobgoblins, including a leader. Ona and Quikatanique soon cut them down and Ilyka Enlarged the leader's helmet, incapacitating him, all while Jigg tied his pony to a tree that Sizzleplup hid behind.

When Ona fell unconscious from his wounds, Galinka Commanded one of the two hobgoblins to 'surrender!' and fended off the attacks of the others. After Ilyka had cast a magic missile, she ran and hid behind Sizzleplup, behind the tree near the pony.

The hobgoblins were defeated. Once the spoils were divided up following Jigg's various mostly unsuccessful attempts to pick pockets and Galinka had taken the hobgoblin leader's chain mail, they carried on, eventually finding a group of bandits who didn't see them as they rounded a bend in the road. The party sneaked back to prepare an attack.

Whilst Galinka was taking her armor off to be able to cast wizard spells, the bandits came around the corner, still laughing and joking, and threatened to rob the party. Quikatanique cast a Command of 'sleep!' on one of the bandits, who lay down to sleep, and then Galinka's proper Sleep spell kicked in.

Now that the bandits were all asleep, the party disarmed, robbed and tied up a bandit each, finally tying them all together in a big bunch and marching them back to Zeo for their reward. The party sold the excess gear they didn't need and stayed overnight at an inn, learning new spells and recovering back to full health.

Chapter 9 (02.11.2023) - Attacking the Camp

18.04.1259 The next day Jigg was up early as usual and went to find the pony breeder at Stonehoof Stables, who was not yet awake and a bit irritated by Jigg's early call. She told Jigg to come back later. When Jigg returned after breakfast, he was told that he would need to bring his ponies and pay 25gp/week/pony for stabling and treatments.

Malthos went to find the jewelcrafter (Iogen's Fine Jewelry) who could craft her Torc. Malthos would need an extra 1000gp for an emerald. She decided to return when she had enough gold.

Eventually everybody met at the Zeo town hall. There was an early group consisting of Jigg, Zimbi and some others, an on-time group consisting of the evokers and a few more, and Feegly and Boo turned up late, after the meeting had started.

Everyone was promised 50gp/lvl in advance and the same again upon completion of the task - to find out who was behind the bandit activity and put a stop to it, as well as finding Shmadimaa's stolen gear. Zimbi however would not be travelling with them after all. She was needed elsewhere.

The party was finally assembled. Hooray!

They planned to either follow some bandits back to their camp or pretend to join them and infiltrate their camp that way. They chose the latter and upon encountering some bandits said that they wanted to join their group. They proved to the bandits' leader Teven they were serious by robbing a man of his handful of coppers as he took a cart full of turnips to market in Zeo.

Just before reaching the camp, which was just off the road a couple of miles north of Zeo, the party defeated a pack of wild dogs. Then Teven took them into the actual bandit camp, just as Tazok was about to leave. He challenged the party's best fighter, Shmadimaa volunteering, to a dual which Tazok won easily. He agreed to let them join the camp.

Next everyone got a suit of leather armor with the Black Talon livery, except Boo, who got a Chill Hobgoblin set. After a lot of confufulation and menial tasks, with the party cleaning the latrines for the bandits and agreeing to go get meat for them, they finally cooked up a plan of attack.

Once the whole bandit camp had been explored, the party somehow managed to dodge all of the non-bandit encounters that remained in the area and tied the two horses (Jigg's and Malthos's) to a pair of trees at the south end of the map just by the road.

Starting at the far north east of the map near Tazok's big tent, the party split into two groups. The five longbow users - Shmadimaa, Ona, Quikatanique, Malthos and Gegelm all lined up and suddenly attacked the moaning curmudgeonly bandit there by surprise. As he fell, more came and those were also quickly felled.

One was taking cover in the store room and Ilyka Magic Missiled him. Quikatanicue used a Command spell of 'come!' to bring him out into the open and he was quickly finished. By now the other Black Talons were on the move and took up new positions from which they could attack.

Their leader, Torgosz Tenhammer, rounded the corner in his full plate armour and swinging a beautiful golden warhammer. He also had Shmadimaa's +1 shield. After he threatened the party, who were almost scared away, the archers started to attack and Feegly set Boo on Tenhammer. Shmadimaa became enraged upon recognising his shield in Tenhammer's hands!

Unfortunately for Boo, he took a fair bit of damage from some friendly fire due to Malthos and Quikatanique both rolling 1s followed by 17s. Feegly, who was hiding in shadows, had to remind Boo to attack Tenhammer, not the people who had shot him!

Luckily for the party, Boo then walloped Tenhammer with a natural 20, which hurt a lot, and Ilyka cast enlarge reverse on the trouser part of his plate armour, causing him to be quite severly disadvantaged.

Afterwards the fighters rushed in to weaken him with their swords, and Feegly finished him off with a natural 20 on a backstab. The first boss was defeated!

Meanwhile, more arrows from other bandits continued to fly. After a short bit of dithering the party realised the fight was not yet over. Feegly quickly crawled under the decking to take cover and hide in shadows. Boo was unable to follow him there due to being too large and became confused, although Malthos was able to calm him.

More arrows continued to miss the party with poor rolls from the bandits. Quikatanique rounded the building and was immediately face to face with a bandit who shot him at point blank range. Quikatanique was wounded but finished him with his sword.

Shmadimaa grabbed his old shield back from the fallen boss and ran to the bandit by the gazebo and finished him. This allowed Ona to find a better position further into the camp.

Jigg grabbed Tenhammer's lovely warhammer and managed to hide in shadows, rolling 07 on a 10% chance, and also ran to find where some of the arrows were being shot from. Quikatanique took a couple more arrow hits and was healed by himself, Galinka and Malthos.

Meanwhile, Gegelm and the two evokers looted the body of Tenhammer. Gegelm put on his full plate armor, making his armor class zero, and the evokers attempted to find out what the potions were as well as looting the money for the party.

Eventually all of the bandits directly involved in that particular combat were defeated, Feegly backstabbing the one shooting arrows on the decking. The party had run quite low on arrows. A small group of fighters and rogues sneaked around looting bodies while the others hid in tent #4. By now it is twilight.


Chapter 10 (29.12.2023) - The Battle Continues

18.04.1259 The arrows and some of the gear that had been looted were distributed. Jigg took a sip of a mysterious black potion and tried to get Feegly to try it as well, but he refused. Previously nobody else had liked it but it seemed to be OK for Jigg.

The party needed to come up with a plan to clear out the next part of the bandit camp. Several people contributed ideas and eventually Ilyka's plan was the one that was used.

Jigg and Feegly would sneak off to the hobgoblin area and cause a distraction by shaking a bush. The others would be ready to fire missiles from stealthy positions, some distance away.

Feegly told Boo that he should listen to Malthos, and after a confufulation which confused Boo, Malthos got the hang of it with Feegly's help. Feegly was also rather rude to Ona.

When Feegly and Jigg saw there were in fact at least seven hobgoblins, including their leader Ardenor Crush, Feegly had second thoughts about the whole plan. After overhearing that there were angry gnolls imprisoned in the cave, they decided to shake the bush and then run back the way they had come to their companions.

Once the bush was shaken and some shouting started and the hobgoblins began to move, the archers took their opportunity and felled two of the three hobgoblins they could see to start with. The remaining hobgoblins charged, apart from one who continued to search the bush.

A pair of gnolls and a flind also charged into the combat from a different position. The party set off another volley of missiles and Malthos ordered Boo to run in and attack Ardenor, clearly the leader, who was running towards them. The hobgoblins threw their spears and then it was a melee battle.

One of the spears hit Sizzleplup and he fell unconscious. Ilyka earned some special bonus XP for binding Sizzleplup's wounds, then kneeling beside him and holding his hand as he lay unconscious, letting her love flow into him while she prayed to her deity Freya.

With the extra help from the gnolls and flind, the party were more challenged than they had anticipated. Boo managed a hefty hit on Ardenor before Boo was felled by Ardenor himself and a gnoll, and Malthos also fell.

Meanwhile, the others were slowly cutting down the remaining enemies and with the party three people down, Jigg and Feegly returned. Jigg joined the combat when he saw Malthos had fallen, drawing the attention of those that defeated her. Feegly's bowshots were true and he ended Ardenor Crush.

By now the party were getting the upper hand and before long all of the enemies had been defeated. The injured members of the party were healed and Feegly was rather unhappy with Malthos for causing his pet Boo to become so injured. Unseen, the hobgoblin that was searching the bush sneaked off to find backup.

Chapter 11 (30.12.2023) - A Miracle! Freya Hears Ilyka's Prayer

18.04.1259 Next the party started to search the bodies of all the creatures they had just vanquished. Jigg took Ardenor's +1 Studded Leather and the Potion of Fire Giant Strength that was originally Shmadimaa's. But before they had finished looting the bodies, another wave of enemies attacked.

A gnoll, gnoll elite and gnoll slasher ran in to combat the party. They did not stand up for long and were soon defeated. The party continued looting the bodies. Ona stuck her head into tent 3. A bandit was fiddling with a chest. Ona withdrew her head. The bandit was not quick enough to see her.

Ona told the others and Jigg started creeping slowly to the tent. Meanwhile the others arranged themselves into a dungoen-type formation and they also started creeping very slowly towards the tent, looking rather exposed. Suddenly a voice shouted "Attack!"

Most of the party looked the wrong way and some bandits took their opportunity. A flind and a gnoll veteran ran towards the party's flank and the hobgoblin who had investigated the wiggling bush, along with the four bandits he had gathered from the stone circle area attacked as well.

The hobgoblin ran to join the melee and the bandits took up a position to fire arrows. The party didn't prepare too well for the combat, swapping weapons and swinging swords around in an unsuccessful attempt to look threatening as the enemies approached rapidly. The party lost reaction and the enemies attacked with their archers first.

Sizzleplup entered the melee and was first to fall. Ilyka quickly bound his wounds. A lot of 1s were rolled by the unfortunate party during the fight. Malthos accidently hit Boo a mighty blow which would have killed him had Malthos not used Luck Points to reduce the damage. Boo lay unconscious in the melee.

Another 1 came from Feegly, who shot Shmadimaa in the back of the arm. Ona rolled a succession of bad rolls, falling onto her longbow and snapping it in two. "Flump." she said miserably, holding up her piece of string in dismay with its two splintered sticks attached.

Galinka took off her chainmail after she had stabilised Boo and cast Sleep. It put all of the enemies in the melee to ground. However, the shooters were still shooting, despite several hits from the party. During this phase of the battle, something amazing happened.

As Ilyka kneeled beside Sizzleplup, holding his hand and willing her love into him whilst praying to Freya, her goddess heard her prayer - a 01 on d%! Ilyka prayed that Sizzleplup would soon be alright.

Suddenly it was as if the two of them were in a magical bubble of time, with silvery white ethereal dust flakes falling upon them. Sizzleplup's wounds healed, he was back to full health, Ilyka gained a point of WIS and the XP she gained from this instantly put her up to 2nd level, and just 14 XP from level 3.

At this point, the time bubble seemed to fade and while the two evokers were wondering what on earth just happened, Jigg, who had been hiding stealthily in the tent observing the bandit for the duration of the combat, stuck his head outside and sneaked up to the shooting bandits.

After Jigg's crucial backstab and some more shots, the party managed to finish off the enemies. Galinka put her chainmail back on and the sleeping humanoids were tied up and taken into the tent. First however, four strong members of the party picked up Boo's unconscious body, one on each limb, and carried that into the tent as well.

The bandit in the tent was rather shocked and after a conversation, during which more members of the party came in, the bandit attacked. It only took a couple of rounds for him to be defeated and the party opened and looted the locked chest, giving the Cure Serious Wounds spells they found on a scroll to Shmadimaa and Boo.

Next the party decided to rest in the tent. They were tired and low on spells. The two evokers swapped spells from their spellbooks. By now Ilyka had earned the extra 14 XP she needed to hit third level, meaning she was able to memorise more spells. Also gaining levels during the session were Jigg as a thief (F1/T3) and Malthos as a fighter.

Before everyone went to sleep, Feegly told them a surreal bedtime story about a clockwork world.

"The Clockwork Dreamer": Once upon a time in a land far beyond the realms of imagination, there existed a city known as Mechanopia. In Mechanopia, time flowed like a river, and every citizen had a heart made of intricate clockwork gears. One fateful night, a dreamer named Orpheus discovered a hidden chamber deep within the city's catacombs. Inside, he found the Great Chronometer, a colossal clock with hands that stretched into eternity. Orpheus couldn't resist the temptation and touched the clock's face. As the clock's gears began to turn, reality itself unraveled. Orpheus found himself trapped within a surreal dreamscape where time had no meaning. He encountered creatures made of clockwork, each one whispering secrets of the universe. Orpheus searched for a way to escape, guided only by the enigmatic Ticker Tock, a sentient metronome. Together, they faced time-bending trials, solved riddles in reverse, and danced with shadows. In the end, Orpheus discovered the elusive "Infinite Second," a moment where time stopped entirely. With it, he shattered the dream, returned to Mechanopia, and shared tales of his surreal journey.

19.04.1259 Armed with new spells and each party member one hit point healthier, the party woke up very early having not slept very well. It was still dark outside.

First they looted the two locked chests outside the tent and then headed for the cave. A very new gate had been built across the entrance in the last few days. They managed to unlock it and found that there were gnolls asleep at the bottom of a 20 foot drop.

Malthos lowered Gegelm, the heaviest party member, down the cliff and Boo lowered Ona, Jigg, Shmadimaa and Quikatanique down all at the same time on ropes. They had taken two more ropes with them to tie up the gnolls as they slept.

Unfortunately, Boo let go of the four ropes he was holding and there was no easy climb back up for the party. "Oh, Boo!" groaned Feegly, head in hands. Everyone was a bit nurgulated and realised that a big fight was about to take place as the gnolls were stirring. The party started planning how to win the fight as Feegly and Galinka started securely tying the last two ropes the party owned to the gate so they could climb down, or help the others up.


Chapter 12 (31.12.2023) - The Most Unfortunate Of Deaths

Surprisingly, instead of attacking the gnolls before they were fully awake, the party instead chose to wait by the wall, creeping inch by inch very slowly forwards. Quikatanique Commanded the leader to "Surrender!" and he threw down his weapon.

Suddenly, and dramatically, the first players ran in to melee, instead of using missile weapons or the plan they had devised. First Shmadimaa went in against a gnoll, rolled a 1, then 5. Nothing very bad. Then Ona ran in against the same gnoll and rolled a 1 followed by a 6. Again nothing very bad.

Quikatanique decided against hanging back and waiting to cast CLW if somebody needed one, and instead rushed in on the same gnoll. Quikatanique also rolled a 1! All three warriors had fumbled! This was followed by a 20, and another 20. With a double critical fumble, he had simply killed Ona with one almighty misplaced blow.

Even without the extra damage for the critical, that was still 26 damage. Ona would have been on -17. If somebody could heal Ona that round to keep her above -10 and she made a system shock roll, she could live.

Galinka jumped down the 20 foot drop, using all of her Luck Points to just manage to keep herself on 1 HP, and cast a CLW on Ona. Ona added three of her own luck points to it to raise her HP to -9. Then, needing 91% on the system shock roll, she rolled 96. With only 4 luck points remaining, she had missed it by 1 and died.

Quikatanique was in deep shock, and so was everyone else after such a remarkable and devastating sequence of terrible luck. By now Sizzleplup was down on the floor and was about to use his Potion of Firebreath when he realised he would burn several members of the party. He adjusted position and exhaled deeply.

All but two of the gnolls were burnt to cinders. The two that remained were dispatched by Malthos, Shmadimaa and Gegelm as Jigg continued to skirt around the walls trying unsuccessfully to hide in shadows. The party were able to take a breath and digest what had taken place.

Quikatanique was terribly upset by what had happened, and praying all the while to Corellon, he cared for Ona's body, closing her eyes and hiding her in a dark corner, covering her with her cloak. Galinka offered him some comfort and Feegly was pleased that the paladin was dead as "it saves me having to do it later."

Boo was sad though, and sat by her for a while as the others halfheartedly looted the gnolls. There was no treasure other than their arrmous and weapons, and Shmadimaa found his blue and purple scarf, slightly singed and rather filthy, that Garclax, the gnoll's leader, had been wearing as a bandana.

Once everyone had pulled themselves together, they went through the opening into the small part of the cave and were attacked by a colony of bats. Using a Speak With Animals spell, Malthos persuaded the bats to eat the freshly cooked gnolls instead of his friends and promised to leave the annoying new gate open for them.

Everybody climbed out of the cave, taking the ropes and the things they had found. Quikatanique took Ona's body. They decided to hide Ona in a chest in the storage area at the back of the camp by where they started their assault on the bandits.

After searching the area and opening the two locked chests, Quikatanique folded Ona up a bit so she would fit in the larger one and got Jigg to lock it again. Then they decided to take the chest into one of the tents they had already looted and leave Ona in there instead. A few goodies were handed out.

As everyone was making their way across the bandit camp, a pair of hobgoblins came running at them from where the ruins lay. They were quickly defeated and upon looting the bodies one was found to have a spear and the other a bow and some rather good looking arrows.

Feegly was curious, it didn't make sense why they ran and then attacked without using their missile weapons. He thought they were running away from something. Everyone went to look where they had come from, and sure enough, there were skeletons by the ruins!

Chapter 13 (02.03.2024) - Boo Is Scared Of Skeletons

As the party approached to attack, so did the skeletons approach the party. Boo lost his nerve and pointed a shaky finger, wailing "Walking bones!" and he turned and ran. Feegly went after him calling his name, and Jigg ran off after both of them.

Ilyka Magic Missiled one of the skeletons and it fell. Another was felled by Malthos. Galinka brandished her holy symbol and turned the remaining ten. Quikatanique had never seen that done before and decided to remember to try it himself the next time.

While the party were dithering around not sure what to do and a couple of heals were administered, they crept slowly forward and noticed another group of skeletons standing on the large stone behind the nearest of the ruins. The skeletons moved in to attack as a few of the party shot arrows.

After the first round in which a couple of skeletons were hit, but all with edges of blades rather than the flat side, all six were still standing. Galinka rolled a 1 and hit the corner of the ruins, chipping off a piece of stone. She apologised to the stone and admonished her mace. Ilyka stepped forward and cast Burning Hands, which destroyed all six skeletons.

At around this time the turning effect wore off and the other skeletons turned to attack the party once again. They were in two groups, one of four and one of six. Malthos cast Entangle on the six that were further away and they were all trapped.

By now Boo, Feegly and Jigg were returning to the group, Boo having found a bit of courage after reassurance from the others. He still couldn't look at the skeletons or take part in the battle and Feegly needed to try to stop him running off again.

During the melee, Sizzleplup and Malthos both fell below zero, although the other fighters managed to defeat the skeletons. Quikatanique rolled a 1 and then 19 but the dice were then kind and he merely tripped and fell over. After defeating the four skeletons, the two fallen party members were healed a little and could continue.

Nobody could decide how best to deal with the Entangled skeletons, so Feegly made sure Boo was looking the other way and fairly calm. Feegly asked Sizzleplup to borrow his cloak. Sizzleplup handed it over and Feegly stabbed a hole through it with a dagger and tore about a foot off the bottom of it. He handed the (now smaller) cloak back to Sizzleplup, who was horrified, dumbfounded, angry and confused.

Feegly showed the party how to make molotov cocktails, by ripping the cloth he had torn from Sizzleplup's cloak into smaller strips and stuffing them into oil flasks from his pack, setting light to the ends and throwing them at the skeletons. After a few were thrown, all the skeletons were burning and troubled the party no more. The smell of them cooking made Boo feel hungry and he was told not to eat the skeletons.

The party continued to explore the ruins and as they did so a group of six zombies lurched into view.

Malthos reached for his bow and scored a hit, Gegelm missed and Quikatanique brandished his holy symbol and turned the entire group of them. He had learned how to turn undead and was most chuffed with himself, even forgetting about the tragedy of Ona for a moment.