Hackmaster, take 1

Session 4 or 5

Farewell Bedwell!

Still reeling from his horrible experiences in the afterlife, Trevor Bedwell headed to the Hamlet of Tharp to investigate the mysterious rumors of mystery surrounding a destroyed temple. Apparently dedicated to existential evil, it may or may not be regaining power.

Upon arrival in town, our intrepid party of Nash’ghul! The ½ ogre Berserker, Peaches the painted mage pixie-fairy, Awesome-O Macguyver McGruber the Halfling thief, Trevor Bedwell the human cavalier and Digby Kneebiter, brave dwarven cleric, set about searching for the inn. Though they quickly located the ruins of the Winsome Wench, it had been burned down by the last group of adventurers. Apparently there was some sort of zombie infestation they had brought back from their adventures. Awesome-O did some fine comforting, sending a little girl running in terror of her jerkiness. Wisely realizing her mentor was not the most polite person in the world, Peaches nominated herself the speaker and proceeded to the temple of Pangrus. There she schmoozed the lesser cleric on duty, greased a few palms, and pumped him for information. She discovered the zombies must be burned, but that you want to avoid the smoke.

At this point, Awesome-O was tired of waiting. She stormed up, said something about the cleric’s mother and how gnomes belonged on lawns, then menaced, cajoled and threatened all of the information on the temple this poor cleric ever had right out of him. This was limited, but it did send them down the faster route to the temple, the Low Road.

While traveling along the low road, they discovered a suspicious farmhouse. It had a cornfield, no barn and a scarecrow. Intent on discovering its dark secrets, Awesome-O began sneaking up to the door when suddenly she fell into a pit. Shaking off the minor bruises, she looked around and was astonished to see 4 Jaw-bugs (Aarakians) look at her and continue digging.She waved her daggers at them a few times for good measure, then had Peaches check out the house in case there were more pits around. Awesome-O stayed to watch the pit.

A chittering noise in the pit grew slowly louder until several fang-ed bugs began frantically rushing around the pit. Without a seconds hesitation, Awesome-O opened fire with her crossbow. Peaches flew back over and engaged in a horrifying display of her impressive culinary spellcasting. She greased the walls and lit the grease wth flaming hands. Compelled by their bug overlords to keep charging, the Aarakians began to burn, as well as taking the 63 damage initial hit. Not bad for level 2!

Fortunately, the rest of the party was properly armed for a combat like this. I was astonished to find that Nashghul, Trevor and Digby had polearms, which they proceeded to use to very good effect. Digby really stood out, dealing a life-ending critical to one of the fang-ed bug’s shoulder. Awesome-O barely survived to finish what she had started after a fanged bug landed a triple pentrating 27 damage hit! Shrugging off the bloodloss and pain, Awesome-O fought on ferociously despite her 6 remaining hit points.

Having defeated 7 of the dreaded Aarakians, they were unable to find much of value beyond some disgusting bug parts.

Digby then healed the entire party off of one day’s worth of healing- an astonishing feat of great honor and multiple penetrations. The party explored several of the tunnels, finding all of them blocked by collapse. Giving this up as a GM time-waster, they charged off along the road until they came to the moathouse. Awesome-O managed to sneak up on the brigand scouts, and held them until the party could reach them. Everyone took some swings, and quickly dispatched the two bandits- but that wasn’t enough for Nash’Ghul. She had gone berserk! The party fled immediately, desperately seeking something for her to fight. In an abandoned, collapsing tower, they located a very large spider. Unfortunately, they killed it before Nash’Ghul could reach them.

Aghast, they turned as Nash’Ghul filled the doorway, looming over them with a large weapon in each hand and a smile that would curdle milk on her face. Peaches took quite the nasty hit as well, luckily making her save vs the monster’s poison. Before anyone could try to reason with her, she plunged her bastard sword into Trevor’s shoulder for a nasty critical hit. He dropped dead on the spot.

They mourned and packed his body for transport, vowing to revive him (or let his twin brother know that he was killed by monsters) as soon as they returned to town. They then moved into the moathouse, encountering a locked door. Nash’ghuls rippling muscles and rancid tears made quick work of the door. Inside there was a band of , well, bandits. They attacked ferociously, and caused minor damage to the party. Once again, as the last one fell to the floor, Nash’Ghul sliced an arm clean off with a maxed out critical hit. The players are growing to love penetration.

At this point, the party decided to run where she couldn’t catch them. Noticing a small window, MacGruber slapped her Belt of Laddder Weaving on the wall outside, forming a ladder to nowhere. She scrambled up it easily, just ahead of Digby Kneebiter. When she got near the top, she noticed that Peaches was already hovering overhead.

Nash’Ghul did the bravest thing a berserker can do when the rage is upon them in the middle of the dungeon. Began deciding left or right, and bashing down doors until she found something to kill on her own. She found it in a pair of giant bats. They began swooping around her, screeching horribly and dodging most of her attacks. She finally managed to bring them down to the ground, dispatched them, and gained enough experience to level.

The party found the bandit’s stash, and looted it thoroughly.

This session saw Nash’Ghuls first level up which brought with it a roll of 11 on the hit dice, and the death of Trevor. It is uncertain if this protégé is worth the cost of revival.

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