Last week, our delvers Shiva and Abdullah were hired by Adûmara’s Thieves Guild to return to the lair of a notorious bandit gang, and take out their leader, the infamous Owl. Finding the cave, they passed the Owl’s lookouts unnoticed, crept past sleeping dogs, and then stole aimlessly through dark tunnels. Happening upon an exit, they ambushed two lookouts stationed on a ledge overlooking the rocky ravine, cutting one down and capturing the other.
Abdullah was a human Warrior, armed with a hook-spear, and Shiva was an Elfin Rogue, armed with a scimitar and a few eclectic and interesting spells, chosen from the Codex Incantatem that came with my 7th edition boxed set. In D&D terms, they had been a Fighter and an Elf.
We picked up this week with the captured sentry tied up and ensorcelled, and professing his love for the Owl, who would not even look at him. In their skirmish on the ledge, Shiva had used her spell Cold Drunk on the poor sucker, and now his bawling lamentations echoed down the tunnel as the delvers goaded him forward by torchlight.
Just then, a voice came from a branch of the tunnel. “Alfred, why have you abandoned your watch?”
“Don’t worry, they killed him,” Alfred cried. Shiva moved quickly to silence him, trying to knock him out with a stunning blow. But my wife rolled a ⚀ and ⚁ on her Saving Roll, which is a fumble in T&T. Alfred fell dead at her feet.
Junior tried a cunning plan. Using Abdullah’s Talent for impressions, he imitated Alfred’s voice while dragging his limp body up the tunnel. “Sorry, I’ve had too much to drink,” he said.
“You fool!” exclaimed the other bandit, coming closer. “You have been drinking the Owl’s wine! You will be punished!” Hearing several other voices join in, the delvers retreated to the ledge for a last stand.
The area was crenelated with boulders of various sizes, including one large boulder with a wooden lever wedged under to roll it down the hill. They peered over the edge, a steep fifty foot decline into the ravine. Behind them the rock wall towered, but it could be climbed. They decided to position themselves on either side of the cave opening to pick off any enemies that came through.
This strategy worked well for them at first. Shiva slashed the first bandit to run out, catching him totally by surprise. The second bandit tripped over his body, leaving him easily skewered by Abdullah’s spear. Seeing this, the third bandit cried for help and did not run after his companions. The delvers heard echoes of whispering and footsteps. Shiva peaked in to see one bespectacled bandit keeping watch. Grabbing him by the beard, she heaved him over the ledge, turban and all.
More anxious whispering and footsteps echoed from the cave. Soon they heard barking and baying of the large muscled dogs that had been sleeping in the stable, and the dogs rushed out to meet them.
In D&D terms, the bandits had been zero hit-die mooks armed with daggers. In T&T, I gave them each a Monster Rating of 8, and armed them with kukris, giving them a 2-die attack. The guard dogs were significantly rougher beasts: They had been 2HD monsters with a special attack, which I translated to MR 33, each. I described their bulky bodies, their sinuous jaws, their knotted muscles, and their scarred hides. I intended for these dogs to be very brutal, and they were.
Shiva cast her Bug Plague spell immediately, infesting one of the dogs’ fur with wasps. It howled in pain when the wasps began to sting, and began chomping at its fur, taking it out of combat for a round. The wasps’ MR was only 2, but I ruled that the dog was defenseless, so they hit it for full damage. Unfortunately, the wasps were also defenseless against the dog, and it chewed them up and got some welts on its tongue.
Meanwhile, Abdullah fought the other dog, and it began to maul his arm while staying clear of the delver’s spear. Abdullah made a Saving Roll on Strength to avoid getting knocked prone by the dog’s special attack.
Shiva drew her scimitar to attack the other dog, and both delvers faced off against the beasts. This time, Abdullah failed his Saving Roll and fell, with the dog on top.
For the next round, Shiva attacked the dog that was mauling her companion. I explained that this would leave her defenseless against the other dog, and my wife said she was sure. The dog mauling Abdullah was also defenseless against an attack from behind, and Shiva swept her blade down between its shoulder blades, leaving the animal bloodied, but still in frenzy.
The other hound leapt upon Shiva mercilessly. The damage was enough to kill her, and she fell.
Abdullah was left to face both monsters alone, and he was able to roll out from under the bloody dog. Fighting as a pack, each dog now got an extra attack die, but Abdullah tried to imitate the voice of another bandit, commanding the dogs to heel. Junior’s Saving Roll failed, but she decided to go out with a fight while my wife cheered her on.
So we rolled up some new characters. Next time we play, I’m thinking of having the Thieves Guild offer to hire the rookies as retainers for their own raid on the Owl’s lair, led by much more experienced thieves. I’ve heard that other players had fun playing the role of retainers for NPC adventuring parties, and it might be interesting to give it a shot. If they don’t go for that, I have some other adventure ideas in this setting, and the Owl and her gang will definitely show up again.