Last session, the party finished their side trek to the Caves of the Deaddrop Clan. The goblins had recently secured a long-abandoned hidden Dwarven outpost to use as weapons manufacturing facility and general HQ for other tribes wishing to raid the settlements along the northern causeway. The adventurers nipped the goblin plans in the bud and gained some undiscovered Dwarven treasure for their efforts, though not without some losses and injuries. Details of the battles, and tough consequences, came in my previous campaign blog posts but I should mention magic armor and weapons were garnered and some leveling took place.
This latest session, however, saw a considerably more systematic approach to the site of their original adventuring, Marak Tor. The cultists seemed fairly entrenched but many of the obstacles to dealing with them had been cleared away or figured out. They had a fairly good idea of what they would be facing and did their best to avoid incidental injury along the way toward their goal. They had some fun removing a nasty slop bucket trap, then resetting it elsewhere with the addition of some flasks of oil, which was tripped to good effect, taking out a couple of cultists (a third dying to bad luck). They also managed to lead an owlbear and her two chicks-cubs (the players dubbed them "chubs") to the tor and upon a couple of other cultists, one of which was a goner. Unfortunately, they had underestimated the population below. After finally venturing back within, they chanced to discover a previously unknown secret door which revealed a larger temple complex than formerly reckoned and considerably more cultists than expected; dozens more!
Photo by Scott Michael!
The group reconsidered but with the evening winding down we chose to freeze time before they moved off and gave the cultists a chance to regroup or reinforce. It's a tough call. They are seemingly outgunned but know the complex much better than they did when they first came upon it seven or eight games ago. The rewards could be great but the danger is undeniably tougher than they can hope to overcome without some serious losses. I do not envy them their decision . . .