The campaign began as a caravan of merchants and traders trundled into the walled village of St. Corbus, which lies in the northeastern marches of Thuringia, in the foothills of the Iron Mountains, one of the geographic barriers that helps protect the Middle Realms from the hordes of evil humanoids that threaten this last enclave of civilization. Among this caravan were six adventurers, who had come to know each other during the long journey and had decided to seek their fortunes together. There were the human fighters Jink (Paul) and Enos (Domenick), the the elven fighter Aramel. There was also Calista the magic-user (Heather, Odolon the dwarven warrior, and Hendrick, a human warrior of the High Church. Aramel, whose chosen weapon was the bow, did not have a sword, so the party visited Clothar, a weaponsmith, and there learned that Lord Childeric was offering a bounty on goblin scalps. Intrigued, the adventurers proceeded to the keep, where they spoke with Carloman, the Captain of the Guard, who verified that Lord Childeric was indeed offering a bounty on goblin scalps. In fact, he was offering a reward of 100 gps for information on what had befallen his son, Gudrick, who had been found slain at an ancient outpost two days' journey into the mountains.
When the adventurers stopped into the local inn, The Broken Lantern, for a drink and some mutton stew, they received even more information from the inkeeper, an attractive, middle-aged woman named Alda. Alda told the adventurers that the murdered Gudrick, though he was an illegitimate son of Lord Childeric and one of his mistresses, was his father's favorite, and so Childeric had given Gudrick money and men to rebuild an ancient guardpost high in the hills and found his own manor. Several weeks after Gudrick and his followers had trekked into the hills, a party of messengers and porters who had been sent to the guardpost returned with grim news: the guardpost had been overrun and everyone was dead, including Gudrick. The party had tried to investigate and inter the bodies, but they were chased off by goblins.
The six adventurers set off that day for the guardpost, and reached it without incident two days later. The guardpost was situated against a high cliff, in an open, stump-filled area that had only recently been cleared. Part of the stone wall had been reconstructed, and two timber buildings had been built recently. There were indeed goblins, but the party managed to trap them inside one of the buildings - a barracks - and slay them. Because Enos had been badly injured in the fight, the party decided to barricade itself in the building for the night. The adventurers removed the bodies of the goblins and, at Hendrik's insistence, interred the corpses of the humans that had fallen there when the guardpost was overrun. The following day the party investigated a second building, which appeared to be a residence of sorts, and found several more bodies, along with a suit of plate mail armor that likely belonged to Gudrick himself. Most interesting were the corpses of orcs intermingled with the human bodies. The adventurers had been dubious that goblins could cause such carnage, particularly among well-armed men. Thus, the presence of dead orcs seemed an important clue.
The party moved on to find a cave entrance within a recess in the cliff wall. Odolon was able to tell that a stone wall had previously blocked the entrance, but had recently been dismantled, probably to fix the crumbling walls of the guardpost. The party went inside, and quickly discovered a goblin lair. The fight was long, but the party prevailed, and, after collecting some meager treasure from the creatures' lair, headed back to town with its bounty of goblin scalps.
Lord Childeric was happy to part with the 120 gps for the scalps, as well as the 100 gps for the information on the cave and the orc corpses. In fact, he offered the party a reward of 1,000 gps if it descended into the caves and eliminated the threat of the orcs and whatever else might be down there. He provided the fighters with plate mail armor, and each of the adventurers with a healing potion. The adventurers then went to the Broken Lantern to enjoy an evening on the town.
Enos awoke the next day with no recollection of the previous evening. That day he noticed that Captain Carloman, of Lord Childeric's guard, would not make eye contact with him. When the party went to the village herbalist to obtain some aditional healing potions, Valda, the herbalist, remarked that Captain Carloman might be jealous if she got too friendly with Enos. The party then headed back into the hills, much to Enos' relief, no doubt.
The party encountered a next of giant rats deeper within the caves, and managed to defeat them after a lengthy battle. The party moved deeper into the caves, and came upon a strangely glowing, barricaded passage, which they chose to ignore. They descended ever deeper, and came upon a room that was crossed by an underground river. Three orcs were camped by a boat, and rose to attack. Tragically, Odolon was felled by one of these orcs before Calista was able to cast a sleep spell and put a quick end to the combat. The party returned to St. Corbus to seek someone who could ressurect Odolon, but found that there was nobody in the small village powerful enough to cast such a spell. It was here, in town, that the evening ended.
Experience points are noted in the post below. Thank you all for a great night of gaming.