Thursday, 1 April 2021

Rangers of Shadow Deep: Swamp Things


(Please note: this game was played virtually and as such I don’t have any photos to add just yet. Also, as I haven’t got time to write these up properly, this report consists largely of the notes taken during the game by Rita.)

‘Holy’ Moses wrinkled his nose: a lifetime of candle smoke and incense not enough to harden his olfactory senses against the stinking marsh gas that hung around the swampy ground.

“This is an unholy place…” he muttered to his companion.

“Aye. Stinks an’ all,” the rogue replied, picking mud from the sole of his boot with his dagger.

“Indeed. Well, let us get on with it; mayhap this mysterious fellow dwells not too far away and we shall not have to venture too far.”

Moses strode forward, but stumbled as his leg sank knee-deep in sludge.

“Gods, I hate swamps…”

Time for another ROSD session over the interwebnet! Giles has cooked up another mission entitled The Man in the High Ruins.

The titular fellow was hinted at during the last Escort mission: one clue marker alluded to a possible ally, dwelling in a ruined tower, while another warned that he was a mad wizard. Now it was time to find out…

The first scenario, The Black Mire, sees our heroes travelling to this mysterious ruin…

After your discovery of the notes about a man in the ruins potentially being an ally or an enemy,

you are summoned by your Captain, who gives you the mission to resolve this issue. The Captain

has additional information as to which ruins this man is allegedly inhabiting. Unfortunately, and

inevitably, this is close to the edges of the Shadow Deep, on the old border with Lorenthia.

The first part of the difficult path is through a dismal marsh caused long ago by an earthquake,

and is known as The Black Mire.

Though there is no evidence of agents of the Shadow Deep there, it has long been known to be a

place where unwary travellers have perished, and that giant flies are prevalent amongst other

things.

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. To reach the site the party had to first traverse a dismal swamp known as The Black Mire. 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).

The track the party were following split into two around a large lake, which had half a dozen scummy ponds around it, each with a zombie beside it. Bronwen, Holy Moses and companions took the northern path around the lake, and Felton, Ethan and companions took the southern path. Ethan slew the first Zombie, and as a second Zombie moved in the companions moved up in support. In the north a Zombie attacked and wounded Holy Moses before being cut down by Sneaks, but four Giant Flies suddenly flew in to attack the northern group.

Bronwen swatted the first fly but Holy Moses was again wounded by another. Ethan killed another Zombie then searched the body, finding a note and treasure, before Felton attacked and killed another Zombie. Sneaks beat off two Zombies but Eric was severely wounded by another. The remaining three Giant Flies perished attacking Bronwen, Holy Moses and companions, but Eric and Sneaks both fell against the Zombies. Will found a note on another Zombie corpse and Shelley found treasure. Another Giant Fly appeared near Bronwen and Holy Moses.

Ethan cast Fireball on the three Zombies threatening Bronwen, killing one, before joining Felton and Shelley. Felton searched a Zombie corpse, finding a note and treasure. Bronwen’s attempts to Fireball the Zombies failed, and Holy Moses cast Heal on himself. Bronwen was wounded by a Giant Fly, but Holy Moses killed two Zombies. Will searched a Zombie corpse and found nothing, so joined Ethan, as Shelley returned to try a search, finding and deciphering a note giving the location of the writer. A Swamp Troll appeared ahead of Felton and Ethan.

Bronwen suffered another wound fighting the Giant Fly, which was then killed by Holy Moses. Ethan used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the Swamp Troll, wounding it as it lumbered forward, but Felton missed with his bow, so Will and Shelley joined the rangers to form a defensive line. Two Zombies emerged from a pond near Bronwen and Holy Moses.

Holy Moses found a note and treasure on a Zombie body and Bronwen cast heal on herself, before both moved into contact with the two newly arrived Zombies. The first Zombie was pushed back but the second one inflicted more wounds on Bronwen. Felton missed the Swamp Troll as it lurched forward. A Zombie appeared on the exit trail.

Ethan enchanted his weapon and moved to pin the Swamp Troll, enabling Felton to move in and fight it. The resulting draw caused both to be badly wounded. A Zombie was pushed back by Holy Moses, and Bronwen used Eldritch Recall to Fireball the Zombies, wounding one, before retiring behind Holy Moses. The Zombies pushed forward again, wounding Holy Moses, who killed one. The Swamp Troll attacked Felton, who, aided by his three fellows, managed to finish it off. Will rushed to attack the arriving Zombie but suffered severely, before Shelley rushed to his aid and killed it. A Giant Fly arrived on the exit trail.

Bronwen moved to help Holy Moses but was felled by the Zombie, who was promptly killed by Holy Moses. Ethan searched a dead Zombie and found treasure, which was handed to Will, and Felton shot the Giant Fly. Will moved off table but Shelley headed for one of the northern Zombie corpses. Another Giant Fly emerged from a pool near the entrance point.

Felton and Ethan both cast Heal on Holy Moses, who searched a corpse to find a note. Felton did likewise to find a note. The Fly headed towards the party, as a Zombie emerged from the nearest pool, next to Shelley.

Holy Moses used Magic Bolt to kill the Fly and moved off. Felton and Shelley killed a Zombie, and Ethan searched the body, finding a note. Shelley found a note and treasure on another Zombie corpse. A Giant Spider arrived near the party.

Felton shot at the Spider but missed, and Ethan attacked the Spider without success. The Spider attacked Felton who killed it. Shelley searched the last Zombie corpse, finding a note and treasure which she passed to Felton. With all enemies dead, and all Zombie corpses searched, this part of the mission was over. They now had to decide whether to continue with the original mission to investigate the man in the high ruin or divert to answer the pleas for help contained in the many notes they had found. What would they decide?

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