Thursday 8 April 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: The Sinister Statues

'Holy' Moses scowled as he and his fellow rangers trudged out of the swamp. Despite the notes pleading for help, it had been decided to follow up on the clues about the mysterious dweller of the ruined tower first...

Time for the next virtual game of ROSD (as such I don't have any in-game photos apart from the usual blurry screenshot). The next mission in Giles' homebrew 'Man in the High Ruins' scenarion was entitled 'The Silent Statues' and was introduced thus:

As you leave the Black Mire behind, the land starts rising and you can see on the peaks of the hills ahead of you a set of ruins. As you trek upwards towards them through broken terrain of trees, scrub and so forth you come out into a flat open clearing, with four statues. There are two defaced sphinx statues, a statue of the grim reaper which seems newer, and a sinister cowled bat like figure which is also newer. All spell casters can sense that all four are magical in some way.

Our mission was to investigate these statues for clues. Over to Rita...

The rangers were tasked with resolving the conflicting reports they had previously uncovered regarding a man in some distant ruins, to discover if he was friend or foe. The party comprised Felton and Recruit Shelley (Giles), Ethan Jugge and Man-at-Arms Will (Alan), Bronwen and Recruit Eric (Rita), Holy Moses and Rogue Sneaks (Jon). Continuing on after crossing the dismal swamp known as The Black Mire, they trekked upwards into the hills and came across a clearing containing a couple of bodies, and four statues, which they sensed were somehow magical.

Ethan Jugge, Will, Holy Moses and Sneaks advanced into the clearing while Bronwen, Eric, Felton and Shelley circled around to approach from the opposite side. Bronwen moved to inspect a corpse, which proved to be a dead and badly burned Gnoll Shaman, from which she retrieved a poison vial. Felton inspected a statue and gained an additional spell, Enchant Weapon. Ethan used his Enchant Weapon and approached a corpse, while Holy Moses moved towards another statue. Unfortunately he then discovered what had happened to the Gnoll Shaman as a Firebolt shot out, inflicting severe injuries. This was to be the first of a sequence of calamities to befall the devout Ranger. Eric cautiously approached another statue, and managed to pass an Ancient Lore roll to gain an additional Companion Point. Sneaks headed towards the last statue as Shelley joined Felton, and Will inspected the other corpse, a Bandit, finding a Spell Scroll for Burning Mark, which he subsequently handed to Ethan. Three Gnoll Archers arrived.

Bronwen cast Fireball on the Gnolls, severely wounding one, then moved behind Felton, who fired his bow without effect. Holy Moses drank a Healing potion as he sheltered behind the statue. Ethan also tried to Fireball the Gnolls but missed completely. The Gnolls opened fire, scratching Felton but seriously wounding Holy Moses. Shelley attempted to throw a Magic Dagger at a Gnoll but missed, as Will and Eric moved to support the Rangers. Meanwhile Sneaks checked out the last statue, and could barely make out half of a sorcerer’s name on the defaced column. Nothing else happened.

Ethan cast Heal on Holy Moses, who also used his own Heal spell to return to full health, before charging towards the Gnolls. Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to repeat her Fireball spell against the Gnolls, but failed to score any hits, before Felton managed to shoot one. The Gnolls returned fire without effect. Will and Eric charged forward to pin the Gnolls, before Shelley piled in to kill one.  Sneaks moved to join the party, as two Gnoll Warriors arrived.

Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the newly arrived Gnoll Warriors, killing both. Holy Moses charged into the Gnoll Archer, but his ill-luck continued as he lost the fight and suffered accordingly, so Bronwen rushed to his aid and cut down the Gnoll. Felton was obliged to use his Heal spell on Holy Moses, who by now was giving a new literal slant to his name by resembling a pin cushion, so was grateful for the administrations of his companions. The companions grouped together, wary of any danger, but nothing happened. 

As the Rangers joined their companions, a Giant Snake appeared behind them. Bronwen used Magic Bolt against the snake but missed. Holy Moses and Felton were more successful with their bows, hitting and wounding the creature as it slithered towards them. The companions formed a shield wall with the rangers, as three Giant Flies flew into the clearing.

Ethan threw a throwing knife at the snake but missed, before Holy Moses killed it with his bow. Bronwen shot at the flies and missed, although Felton was more successful in killing one. One Giant Fly attacked Holy Moses, who was supported by Bronwen, while the other fly attacked Will, who had Felton in support. Holy Moses was wounded once again, but avoided becoming diseased, and Will killed his opponent, before finishing off the last fly. Three Bandits arrived on the scene.

Once again Holy Moses was healed, this time by Bronwen, enabling him to use his Magic Bolt spell with Enhanced Power to slay one of the Bandits. Felton shot and severely wounded another Bandit, but Ethan’s throwing dagger failed to penetrate the armour to finish him off. The Bandits attacked Ethan and Felton but were both wounded, before Shelley and Eric finished them off. Another Bandit arrived.

Bronwen used a Magic Bolt spell from her Spellbook but again failed to score a hit –  she obviously needed  more practice required with this spell ! Holy Moses and Felton both failed to hit with their bows, and Ethan was similarly unsuccessful with his throwing dagger. The Bandit hurled himself at Eric cutting him down, before Shelley avenged her friend. A Gnoll Archer made his appearance. Holy Moses archery failed to hit, so Ethan used another throwing knife to  bring the Gnoll down, as another two Bandits turned up.

Holy Moses and Felton ‘s dismal shooting continued as they failed to score a hit on the enemy with their bows. Bronwen showed them how to do it by shooting down one of them. The survivor rushed towards the rangers in a display of suicidal bravery – or foolishness. He was pinned by Will for Shelley to attack but she was repulsed, so Ethan joined the fight and slaughtered the bandit, ending the scenario.

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