[B/X] Adventures on the Iron Trail, part 5: the Undead Battalion

BB and I reconvened after a month’s break for another Stronghold B/X session.

The party left Quasqeton and made their way through the Elf Tangle woods in a somewhat paranoid state, concerned that the Greenleaf Gang was going to ride up in their superior numbers and despoil them of their hard-earned loot and special artifact — the Box of Rain, which Meeiria the cleric and her henchmen needed to defeat the Undead Battalion.  Apparently the followers of the Mad God were hoping to somehow activate said Battalion and wreak havoc upon the region; the agents of the House of the Morning (such as Meeiria) were desperately racing against time to foil this nefarious plot.  Hopefully the party would be in time…

After dispatching two giant tarantulas the group emerged from the Elf Tangle into the lightly wooded plain.  A chance encounter with some oil merchants provided the adventurers with some much needed intelligence about the location of the battalion — apparently the merchants had recently seen a group of figures silhouetted in the distance several miles back, standing silently as if at attention — and also learned that the Court of the Righteous, a traveling law court sponsored by the Temple of Truth, was in Dragonsfoot offering bounties for various evildoers.

Urged on by Meeiria, the group bid the caravan farewell and set off in the direction of the battalion.  Before they could reach the location, they were set upon by a party of Mad God devotees — a Vicar, two captains and eight acolytes.  Our heroes lost the initiative and were immediately subjected to the Vicar’s sinister spellcraft.  Most of the party resisted the magic, but a globe of darkness enveloped Detmar the dwarf and a blanket of silence fell upon Calveric the magic-user.  Despite these handicaps and some friendly-fire incidents by halfling archer Blodget, the party survived the encounter intact — verily, the heroes visited much violence upon the villainous vicar and his vassals and vanquished them.  With the clerics of the Mad God defeated, our heroes traveled onward to the location of the Undead Battalion.  It was an unsettling sight, row after row of armed and armored skeletons and zombies.  Some of the party members were concerned that the Box of Rain might just transform the Battalion from unkillable to killable, and the group was in no condition to take on a 40-strong enemy force.  Meeiria’s ritual opening of the Box of Rain — done with the rest of the party “covering her” from a safe distance — unleashed a torrential rain, blinding lightning and a thunderclap that stunned many of the party members.  Thankfully, when the deluge passed all trace of the Undead Battalion was gone.

With their mission accomplished, the party returned to Dragonsfoot.  Meeiria and Carnas departed for the House of the Morning.  Calveric, Detmar and Blodget decided to visit the Court of the Righteous, where they claimed the 250sp bounty for the Vicar of the Mad God (describing their victory in the alliterative style used above).  They bought some dwarf-sized plate armor for Detmar, and Calveric did some research into the books he brought back from Quasqeton.  Back at the Inn the group encountered two travellers from the hidden city of Sanctuary, a refuge for the once-persecuted Church of the Quatis.  Charged to “gather information” about the region, the sibling scouts agreed to join the party in their adventures.

What next?  Several options present themselves.  Collect the bounty on the Greenleaf Gang?  Follow the treasure map, somewhere north of Sanctuary?  Return to Quasqeton and defeat the hell cow and elven hag?  Tune in for the next session report…

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