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Borderland of Adventure: Sons of Gruumsh VII

sons_gruumshAfter resting for a month or so, the newly formed group struck out from Ratikhill into the rocky hills separating the Loftwood from the Rakers. Several days of uneventful travel were punctuated only by occasional encounters with refugees moving north. The party reached the western fringes of the Loftwood without further incident and began their journey through that cold, gloomy place.

Much of the journey in the forest was also without incident. It became rapidly obvious that the orcs had scoured the wood for all available food sources and signs of their presence were everywhere. A small hunting party of orcs was encountered and annihilated, but it was around this time that the PCs realised they did not have enough food for the round trip. With this realisation, the party’s speed slowed to a crawl as they hunted and foraged for food. While all party members still carried several days of rations they preferred to save such readily available food for the return journey (just in case they had to move quickly).

This slower advance meant they spent more time in the woods and so several encounters with its denizens resulted. All – an owlbear and an ettercap leading a small pack of hunting spiders – were slain.

After almost two weeks of travel, the party eventually reached Xul-Jarak. As dusk was creeping under the forest’s boughs, Tzaran transformed into an eagle and flew high overhead. he saw only a few orcs on the battlements and no wyvern in the courtyard. A general air of inactivity hung over the fortress and he returned to his comrades satisfied that the vast majority of the orcs in and around the fortress had marched to war.

The party rested overnight and planned their assault.

The next morning, they moved up to the fortress and scaled the black rock upon which it stood. They reached, the base of the wall safely, but armour banging against the rock summoned a sentry. Stunned to see intruders at Xul-Jarak’s wall he opened his mouth to shout a warning but was shot several times by the party’s archers. Before he could effectively alert the complex, he was dead and the party continued their cautious, almost stealthy approach.

They reached the courtyard without further alarm and using a small door to their left gained access to the battlements. There they were finally spotted and Oreal engaged in a lively archery exchange with another sentry. Wounded, the sentry fled shouting for help. As the party advanced to the rear of the place, they could hear the sounds of approaching warriors. Quickly, they formed a shield wall and waited for the orcs to appear…

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I think I have pretty much read all of your adventure logs and they have been interesting and inspiring. Quite apart from stealing many ideas for my own fledgling campaign I have also bought Shadowed Keep.

One question though, I am surprised at how long your guys seem to sit around doing not a great deal. What are they doing, levelling up maybe?

I remember from the old days you had to spend time training and such to go up a level but have found no mention in the Pathfinder books?

Is this your own house rule or have I (quite probably) missed something?



Thanks very much for buying Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands. I hope you have as much fun playing it as we did!

In regards to your question, I have a couple of house rules about the passage of time as I hate that 1st-level PCs can be 20th-level seemingly by teatime (well that's a slight exageration, but you get my point). The main ones are:

1. When levellling you must spend a number of weeks training equal to the level you are gaining.

2. Magic items now take 1 week (not a day) per 1,000 go value to make.

3. If you are knocked unconcious, you must spend a week resting and recovering from your near-death experience.

This help me tell decent stories and lets me have adventures set in differnt times of the year (winter is always a "favourite" of the players...)

I hope that helps!

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