Tales of daring-do... yeah, well, about that daring and that do. It wasn't and we didn't. Nuff said. Not satisfied? Well, I don't blame you. Okay, here's the synopsis. How many different variations of "we got our butts handed to us" would you like to hear?
Well, how about the one where Matt and Joe take off back to town for a quick sneaky scouting operation, camp out on top of the Temple with zero rations for 1.5 days, and then Matt decides to go traipsing on his own through town to count Orc heads in person. That was funny. Especially when he got spooked by his own shadow and ran around for a little while.
Important discovery: the Orcs had broken into the Temple. Is nothing sacred? Apparantly not. Yes, Virginia, they have a Shaman.
Reuben (Gene) got a little froggy, went hunting, stalked a column of troops headed to the monastary-town, and managed to get himself captured by Orcs. Orcs accompanied by Trolls. Lots of Orcs. With several Trolls. We wrote him off for dead.
Then Sean stalked the same column of troops. Detecting a pattern? Not quite. He at least confirmed, seperately, that Reuben was taken alive and appeared to be okay. He was not also captured. Good thing. Regrouped, we once again wrote off Reuben for dead. Hey, they have Trolls!
I sketched a smash-and-grab operation to get us back in the Temple, get into the upstairs rooms where we left our loot, and get it out again. Bonus: my guess was that they'd keep Reuben in the Temple if they didn't kill him, with the logic that the Shaman would be the leader of the Orcs and the Shaman would want the best digs for himself so the Temple would be his HQ and thats where Reuben would be if he was still alive. But we didn't know that Reuben had ratted us out to the Orcs, told them that we had a camp on the other side of the lake, and directed them off on a wild goose chase. Okay, so he didn't rat us out.
Instead of a nicely coordinated and organized smash-and-grab into the Temple, Matt went and roused the Temple's guards and burned off all his fate points leading one of them off on a merry chase while the other one rouse a Troll and sicced him on us. That was fun. Not. That left Saraldawan and myself to ditch the fight with the Troll (ask Gerry about how that went) and barge inside to make a run for the loot. And Reuben. Who was using the chaos to make his own escape. Without much success. A little bashy-bashy with the mega-mace and a little blasty-blasty with a point-blank fireball and Reuben was safe. Off to the loot.
No such luck. Looks like the Orcs got everything. Its all gone. Burned to a crisp. All the chests are gone. The gems, the cash, the books... everything. All we really have is Elise's drawings, rubbings, and maps.
Took a straw poll. All in favor, say aye. [EDIT: Sean and Reuben were incapable of raising a hand to vote so we had a voice vote, as both had sustained grievous injuries that would require weeks-to-months for healing] And with that we split back for town. After 5 weeks overland travel living substantially on jerked venison we made it to the fishing village. Another 1.5 weeks overland living on real food. Back to town where we started, and ready to kit out for another trip out. Thats basically where we left it. We're using contacts and making arrangements to meet with people involved with or interested in further exploration, perhaps hiring ourselves out, perhaps a lot of things. Lot of ideas. We've arranged to attend a major (for this town) social engagement, which Dave will arrange for our next game session, where we'll be able to mingle and meet with these potential backers. Plus I'm going to make my own subtle inquiries about the possibility of us swapping some of the magical doodads we've collected for "other stuff". Assuming that the stuff we've collected has historical/archeological/collectible value over and above the face value of "magic item" and can be traded for "multiple magic items".
We may wish to consider the redistribution of some of the doodads we've collected to date. The shield is cool. Would Gerry make better use of it than Sean, who seems to be better geared towards being a two-weapon fighter. Or is Sean going to gear more towards being a sword-and-shield warrior? JoeD has mostly fought as an archer, less so as a swordsman. Would he be better served by a magical missile weapon, and the sword see better use in other hands? Or is it blasphemous to consider redistribution of anything at this point? The idea is that maybe there is something we've picked up that we're just not making good use of that we might make better use of in different hands, or has greater value to use as barter fodder for something special that we would make great use of.