Last night we played our second session of CotMA. We had a few new players -- JS and JW -- and a few former players couldn't make the session -- JD and LB. Hopefully the whole gang will return for the next episode!
Our adventure began in town (I'll name it soon and make a sketch) for supplies and then the heroes headed out on the three-league journey to the Castle ruin.
Once there, they entered the cellar and proceeded to the locked middle door (Door B). JS's wizard examined the door for obvious traps and finding none he attempted to pick the lock.
Rolling, using my new Attribute Challenge system, he got a 1 and 'click' the door was unlocked. DB's dwarf opened the door and they looked down into a disused, steep and dangerous passage. Loose flagstones and precarious footing all the way down. They tied a rope to the dwarf (a common theme this episode that I referred to as "his leash") and the dwarf and elf headed downward relying on infravision to help them find the way. The party extended the rope 50' and once taut, the dwarf and elf would wait for the humans with torches to catch up (moving accordion style).
After three such accordion moves, the heroes found themselves on a landing of sorts and the elf and dwarf once again descended downward. After 30' around a hairpin bend, the elf heard gruff voices. Not knowing the language exactly, he was able to determine that it was "goblin-y".
The heroes descended to discover their way blocked by a portcullis.
Sitting around a small fire, arguing with one another, was a small group of hobgoblins. The lead heroes retreated around the corner to strategize with their companions. It was decided that JS's wizard would incapacitate the hobbo's with "Sleep" and then the party would jimmy the stuck/locked portcullis...
Carefully, his wizard snuck down and around the corner and waited for the right time to unleash his spell...
...and it would have worked too, except that the hobgoblins kept trained killer white apes as pets!
Oryx tried to trap the arms of one ape that was foolish enough to thrust them through the portcullis bars, but it didn't work.
Battle ensued and the apes and the sleeping hobgoblins were defeated. (It was more dramatic and suspenseful than that. I'm almost positive that someone was badly hurt and I know that the apes presented a significant challenge... Sorry. It's been almost four weeks and I just can't recall the details.)
The adventurers searched the room and found some minor coinage as loot. Then a door opened...
"Hulgak crok rogath!" a brusque hobgoblin voice cried (Translation: Hulgak come here! Now!")
The heroes shouted back and then charged down the hallway toward the sound of the voice... and found themselves in a barracks positively FILLED with hobgoblins...
To arms! To battle! Huzzah! The adventurers went toe-to-toe with the hobbos and slew many. Then the hobgoblin's morale broke and they ran from the room.
Battered and hearing the sound of reinforcements, the heroes retreated and barred the door. Climbing out of the dungeon past the portcullis and slogged their way back to town (still un-named...)
...to be continued...