Brother Berthold (Cleric L1)
Sporith the Gambler (MU L1)
Rubric, Dwarven beer merchant
Blunt, rowboat ferryman
This was a nostalgic session for me, as I last used this setting back in 2014 for some of my very first Labyrinth Lord games with my then new gaming group. Six years later, we’re still gaming together! I had fun leaving hints about the prior adventuring group, who had saved Larm from Goblins and cleared the undead infestation out the old temple. One of the old PCs even had a statue posthumously erected in town (the Elf Melian, who was killed in the raid on the Goblin camp).
For this I am using Labyrinth Lord Original Edition Characters, with a few house rules. I am also using the trait tables in the Non-Human Player Codex for any demi-humans, and Zenopus’ one-page backgrounds sheet for the Human players.
Sporith the Mage, gambler and polyglot, came into Larm one fine spring day on a merchant ship from Dolmvay, intent on adventure and hoping to procure more spells for his spellbook.
In the Borderlands Tavern, Sporith met Rubric the Dwarven beer merchant. His beer was terrible, but he seemed to have a good handle on happenings around the local area. Over drinks, he told Sporith that in his travels along the upper Dolm River, there had been a rock slide a few days ago that had exposed a stone door in a cliff face. This was about two hours north by boat. He had also heard rumors of flickering light being seen in the old hermit’s cave across the river. The cave had been abandoned since the hermit Brother Louie’s death several years ago.
On the advice of Rubric, Sporith stopped by the temple of Glenys, the Wise Mother, where he met Brother Berthold. The two agreed to hire some help and investigate the cave across the river. They found a willing sellsword named Pelgos in the tavern, and hired him on at 5gp per week. He told them he had previously been a sailor, and had a spyglass with him, which he said was a gift from his former captain.
They next enlisted the aid of Blunt at the docks to ferry them across the Dolm river in his rowboat. He seemed reliable despite his obvious drinking problem, and Sporith paid him 1gp for the boat ride across, with another 1gp promised if he waited for them and rowed them back.
The cave was atop a low, forested hill north of town. They climbed up it and approached the cave entrance, which was deserted. As they drew near, however, an Orc who had been hiding above the cave entrance stood and, with a yell, hurled his spear at Berthold. The spear missed its mark, and while Berthold jumped behind a nearby tree, Sporith ushered Pelgos forward, staying behind him as he engaged the lone Orc. As Pelgos and the Orc fought, two more Orcs emerged from the cave, and began to climb towards the melee. Sporith blasted the group with a sleep spell, also affecting Pelgos in the process. He kicked Pelgos awake and slit the throats of the three sleeping Orcs. Pelgos, only wearing leather armor and wielding a hand axe, was able to scavenge a chain shirt and spear from one of the Orcs.
The cave had clearly been abandoned for some time, with scant evidence of the Orc’s presence apart from a fire ring and some rotted food. Carefully searching the small cave, they discovered a silver dagger half-buried in the dirt beneath some brush, and a clerical scroll in a concealed pit near the back of the cave (they surmised Bother Louie had hidden it there years ago). The Orcs themselves had a few dozen silver coins between them.
Next, the party made a loop around the outside of the cave itself, and discovered a path leading west through the woods. It ended at a small beach on the river, across from the town Mill, and the party could see a rowboat on the sand there. Inside it were a coil of moldy rope and an empty cask of beer, which by its smell was clearly brewed by the Dwarf Rubric. Was the Dwarf himself in league with the Orcs? With no answers, they turned to head back to the waiting Blunt. But on the way back, they had to hide to avoid a group of five Gnolls, themselves headed to the cave! Sporith could hear the Gnolls discussing the Thick Skull Orc tribe. They doubled back and tracked the Gnolls back to a campsite, unfortunately guarded by two hyenas. Berthold and Pelgos each killed a hyena, and the camp held no clues as to why the Gnolls were there or why they were interested in the cave.
They decided to return to town before they were discovered, and so headed back to the rowboat via a circuitous route. They had to row themselves across the river, as they found Blunt passed out in his boat, but at least saved a gold coin in the process.
Now back in town, Sporith and Berthold sought out Commander McMillan, the leader of the town militia. They told him of the Thick Skull Orcs, and the Gnolls, and he thanked them and promised to send a contingent to investigate further tomorrow morning. To show his gratitude, he told them of a long-standing bounty on Orc and Goblin heads, which had not been claimed in five or six years, but would be paid if the party could find the town Mayor, Caius Rusticus. The commander told them that normally the 25gp bounty was paid upon presentment of an Orc or Goblin left ear, but he assured them the Mayor would pay the bounty if they relayed their story and mentioned the Commander by name.