Monday 26 February 2024

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28); Ogres in the morning, Catapults in the evening



This session took place on 26/01/2024, and the PCs adventured for 1 day (before continuing in downtime)

Player Characters Present

Giuseppe (Level 6 Paladin of Rome, Brovenloft, E) with two henchmen
Sever (Level 6 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor, E)
Deltacron (Level Dwarf 1 Fighter/Thief, E ) 
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor, E )
Sheamus (Level 6 Irish Fighter from Brovenloft, E ) 
Bumblebore (Level 3 Magic User, E ) 
Gurt (Level 1 Paladin of Machodor, E)
Slippery Pete (Level 4 Thief, E+)


This report is a bit delayed due to illness.


The harsh winter conditions saw two dozen griffins take to harassing the inhabitants around Castle Irish, including the evacuees from Gimmelwald; making aerial travel in particular hazardous. After Sever tried various methods of dealing with the creatures, they were finally scared off by some strange weather and lights in the night. Having dealt with the griffin is issue, Sever brought the orc battle wagons (captured in session #4) with supplies from Schloss Ragnar to Castle Irish. The leader of Gimmelwald floated the idea of using the wagons to help retake his town.

Sever then went to check on Gimmelwald and was surprised to find the place was now occupied by a large family of Fire Giants.

Sheamus worked around the clock constructing a tavern and gym near Castle Irish, while Slippery Pete went off the radar and was replaced by a certain Joe the Fighter.

Session Report

Having used the all important resource of session time to catch and interrogate a dragon cultist and wring from him the location of a nearby shrine, the guards that had been posted there in downtime had captured a travelling merchant leaving the area. After interrogating questioning this worthy, a man named Kenlin, he dropped some bits of information that may or may not have been relevant to the party's interests.

Would the PCs now finally take decisive steps against the Dragon Cult? Not at this time, instead they decided to clear the Fire Giants and try to retake Gimmelwald. When it was established that it would take a day to ready the troops and pack the civilians and supplies in the wagons, and then a further two days for this force to reach the town; the party decided to make use of its greater mobility and check the place over ahead of time.

There was just one problem with the plan, they could only take 6 on the Rocket Cycle with Sheamus, and with Sever on Convess someone would have to stay behind. In the end Godleve and Giuseppe's henchmen stayed to help with preparations and then travel with the caravan when it was ready. 

What should have been a journey of just few hours would turn out to be a bit more complicated.

While passing the mountains near the hidden passage that leads into the valley of Gimmelwald, Sever spied a group of large humanoids making their way up the steep incline. It looked like perhaps they were out hunting. Neither side were surprised, but the Ogres (you can't fool a ranger about this sort of thing) had no means of returning fire from the air, even if it was largely inaccurate fire, and they soon fled. However, their lair was only two rounds distance away, and they sped into a large hole in the mountain side.

Thrilled at the prospect of finding a lair and the loot that might be present, the party landed and immediately pursued their enemy inside; all except for Sheamus, who repeated his usual strategy of disabling the Rocket Cycle (it having nothing so convenient as a key) before following the others. 

As soon as Sever and Giuseppe went inside they saw two creatures even larger than Ogres, stepping out to meet them. The filthy creatures were carrying large rocks and were easily identified by the Ranger as Hill Giants; they unloaded their rocks and closed in.

The front lines clashed and Joe the Fighter (aka Slippery Pete) moved to get around the Giants; however he soon declared that instead of joining battle he should make sure the Ogres were not about to get away, so he followed them down a passage to the round cave that was their lair proper (and then, thief stuff happened). The largest Ogre, apparently the leader, was just getting them worked up to re-join the fight, so the thief hugged the wall and successfully avoided being spotted as they rushed back out.

By now Sheamus had taken his place in the line and along with Sever and Giuseppe they dealt great damage to the enemy while receiving significant blows in return, though most deflected off their superior armour.

Deltacron also kept a low profile and readied himself to sling darts at the enemy, while new player Gurt wisely took a position behind the front line and sought to disarm his opponents with his Spetum (or one of those other disarm type weapons).

The Ogres approached in four ranks of three, as they did so Bumblebore prepared himself to enter the fray. I was expecting a strafing run from his familiar O'Malfoy, instead he unfurled a scroll and cast Wall of Iron, targeting between the first and second ranks of Ogres. Now, as it happened, none of us were immediately sure how big such a wall would be; but, more importantly, we had to consult the rules for a level 3 magic user trying to use a level 5 scroll spell.

DMG p 128

This worked out as a 30% chance of failure; he was successful and the roughly 10' by 11' wall landed between the ranks of the Ogres. The second rank of Ogres ran right into the wall, knocking it forward onto the first rank, squashing two and nearly getting a third. This had some effect on morale since, having expected to join their bigger cousins, they were now not only fighting by themselves but had lost 25% of their number.

Another round passed with the Ogres getting the worst of it. Finally it was too much for them and they fled, only to be finished off in their cave lair. The party took stock of the situation as Slippery Pete, all pretence at disguise over, came forward with sacks bulging with coins and some minor gems he had found and acquired for "safe keeping".

A thorough search revealed no further treasure; but, another there was hidden exit, which led to a passage that doubled back on itself and terminated not far from the main entrance. The scouts returned and the party made to leave; but, beyond the exit could be seen the Ogre women and children that must have earlier used the hidden passage to avoid the fighting, the latter jumping up and down on the Rocket Cycle trying to get it to move, while the former were dragging a number of human slaves with them.

The situation proved to be no moral dilemma at all for the PCs, and soon both the human slaves and the ogres were ready to be reunited with their loved ones; all be it in a rather different manner for the latter.

Keen to move on, but logistically unable to do so with their new passengers, the party quickly decided to send Sheamus back with them to Castle Irish, which would take two trips (making use of the cycle's booster for the return trips). In the meantime Sever would return to Gimmelwald to scout. He found the place much as before, with the Fire Giants having claimed the town square, but this time he found that they had leveraged catapults onto two of the four towers that formed the corners of the square (the remains of the original keep, the partially collapsed curtain walls of which ran from tower to tower). This development gave the Ranger pause, and so it became the subject of much discussion when he had returned to the Ogre lair and explained the situation.

Given the passage of time, it would still take three days before their little army would be in position, a strike on the catapults before nightfall seemed the best course of action for now. This they achieved with a combined surprise attack from Sever on Convess and O'Malfoy.

Second Battle of Grindlewald (resolved in downtime)

Good guy's forces

Here is what happened with the mass battle (played according to the method used previously here):

Spoilers: the giants were a random encounter that happened to be rolled up as a lair when Sever went to check on Gimmelwald, and I intuited from some further die rolling that their lair was Gimmelwald. But why, were they working with someone? I rolled up Pilgrims with, as it happened, a matching Lawful Evil alignment, and I was scratching my head as to why they might be working together when I read this in the Giants MM entry: "It is not unusual for giants to agree to share in an undertaking with a group of creatures of similar alignment to that of the giant, for these huge monsters are eager for treasure." So it actually made sense from that perspective.

After two days travel Krellard arrives and opts to attack under the cover of the approaching twilight and overcast conditions. He also opts to approach on one front only, passing through the west gate. The mounted troops pull ahead, with the foot troops following in their wake trying to catch up as fast as they can.

The horses reach bottom of the hill before the town without incident; given the conditions and the position of the Giants, it seems unlikely you have been detected. The light cavalry stop and Slippery Pete examines the invitingly open west gate, incidentally allowing time for the foot troops to catch up a little. 

"No traps guys!" he declares.

The medium cavalry take the lead and ride in. In the relatively narrow street they can ride 10 abreast, effectively in column formation. As you go you see the devastation visited upon the town by the Master of Winter and his army. More than this, strangely, there are sections of pulled up cobble stones and piles of dirt to be seen near some public buildings such as the church.

Again, Slippery Pete is called on to examine these for traps. "It's just dirt guys!"

The allies advance until the main square is in sight. The way widens here and through the gap in the ruined curtain wall, Giants can be seen casually throwing catapult missiles to each other; they don't seem to realise anyone is there. Krellard calls a halt to let the foot troops catch up. He wants the the archers and heavy foot in position at the front.

Sever's Ranger senses tingle, saving the army from being surprised when, suddenly, from out of the nearby buildings scores of strange figures, clad in red robes and bearing wicked looking daggers, along with a tremendous, fanatical fury, pour out and attack the army before the foot troops can deploy to the front.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

The battle starts with the allies in this formation:

Hvy Ft

Med Horse

Long Bow

Light Cav


Round 1

The enemy appears to number around 60, and they win initiative

Over the blood curdling shouts of the enemy you can hear the sounds of chanting, then you feel the negative effects of evil clerical magic blanketing the area. Those around Giuseppe feel some of his protection from evil.

Hold person spells rain down on the Heavy Foot, freezing one square in place, but it could have been worse as another somehow resists the effect!

Dagger wielding fanatics fall upon the held troops and find the gaps in their armour, taking out square 3 (Sheamus is in 2).

Another enemy square attacks the militia, hitting twice and destroying square 3 (Gurt and Deltacron are in other squares)

The longbowmen unit is hit for 3 hp, The Medium Horse unit is hit for 3hp, the Light Horse unit attacked but missed. Medium Horse are hit again for 1hp 

Return attacks: The broadswords of the heavy foot destroy the unit of fanatics facing them. The militia miss their enemy. Med horse kill three enemy squares, freeing up the longbowmen to use their bows next round.

The Light Horse injure one square. Longbow injure one square with the help of Bumblebore and O'Malfoy.

Round 2

The heavy foot and militia make their morale checks, while the enemy don't seem to care about their heavy losses.

Oh boy, tied initiative, the fanatics are using daggers and so go first and get bonus attacks against the militia and light horse. Ok, do horses go even before the daggers? I'm going to say yes and some of the horses stamp the enemy near them.

The dagger wielding enemy attack was not coordinated with the Fire Giants, and so it takes a round before they notice what is going on. Then they use what ever is to hand, in this case catapult ammo. These smash into the Heavy Foot and destroy two squares, both Stafolo and Sheamus take 16hp damage and they move into the last remaining square.

The Irish start up their battle hymn (equivalent effect as a Chant Spell):

Armed for the battle

Kneel we before Thee,

Bless Thou our banners,

God of the brave

Ireland is living!

Shout we triumphant,

Ireland is waking!

Hands grasp the sword.

Who fights for Ireland

God guides his blows home,

Who dies for Ireland

God give him peace.

Knowing our cause just

March we victorious

Giving our heart’s blood

Ireland to free.

The spirit of freedom

Floats in the ether;

Souls of our heroes

March by our side,

Connor is our battle cry,

McGregor inspires us,

Those who for freedom fall

Never shall die.

Robed Guys breaking

Shout we exultant

Robed Guys beaten,

Ireland is free.

Charge for the old cause,

Down with the old foe,

Living or dying

Ireland to free.

Daggers miss the light horse and return hits smash the enemy square there. Daggers plunge down on the militia, but somehow the 3 remaining squares are undamaged and they return the attacks with interest, destroying the last enemy square with help from Gurt and Deltacron.

More Hold Person spells rain down from enemy spell casters in buildings; trapping the last Hvy foot, including Sheamus.

In the resulting chaos the Longbowmen fire at the giants and miss while the Medium Horse charge the Giants for 24 damage. Sever and Giuseppe combine with their lances and do 64 HP (scaled down to 6.4) damage.

Round 3

Fire Giant unit wins initiative and swings at the medium horse unit and misses! (A hit could have destroyed the whole unit). Again, the longbow fail to hit the giants at all. Medium horse riders get one  hit in for low damage.

Now the Medium horse mounts and Bonecrusher and even the grounded Convess get their attacks and these are devastating; there's not a giant foot that hasn't been stamped on.

Giuseppe rolls 1

Sever rolls 19, switching from lance to 2hs he does a modest 14 damage but that finishes the score for the Fire giants (running them as a unit didn't do them any favours at all in the end).

The light horse dismount and together with the militia commence clearing the buildings, but these are protected by glyphs, causing further casualties.

Finally the last of the enemy clerics are killed, they proved to be as fanatical as the dagger wielders. It seems they were digging holes around the town searching for something. Maybe more investigation is warranted? 

In any case the battered alliance, having retaken Gimmelwald, achieved their objective.

Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)


12 Ogres (and dependants) 

XP & GP Assignment N/A 

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)
Giuseppe (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP
Sheamus(Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Sever (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Dundermoose (Level 3, E ) 589 XP & 177 GP
Deltacron (Level 1/2, E ) 500   XP & 88 GP
Gurt (Level 1, E ) 471  XP & 59 GP
Slippery Pete/Joe the Fighter (Level 5, E+ ) 707 XP & 295 GP 


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

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