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Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Am Brandr" Part two , Deeper into the caves of Krampus

This is part two and the conclusion of the Christmas dungeon crawl run by my friend Jay for our AD&D 2nd ed group.

The players already had characters from the game I am running , so this is kind of a side quest run for holiday fun. For my part, I am normally the gm so I did not have a character handy. I created a character known as Brandr the Barbarian just for this game. Even if he lives through the search for Krampus his future is uncertain.
If anyone wants to see “I am Brandr” part 1 it's here


The real legend of Krampus can be found here :
http://www.krampus.com/
and here

Enjoy the crawl.

I am Brandr part 2:

We find our selves continuing deeper into the cave of Krampus. He has stolen children for a local city, my companions and I have sworn to rescue them and defeat this creature before any harm can come. We have insofar fought Goblins, Giant spiders and two thuggish orcs. I have been thankful to the
gods of battle that we have met brave foes, who have offered no retreats and have been given no quarter. My ax is wet with orc blood and it is pleasing.

I stand with Guthar a priest of a god known as Thodin. The Master, a druid and the one that feel may have called me here, Johann the gnome who has been extremely useful so far, and Cyrus Magnus a mysterious traveler who is not with us for part 2.

We find ourselves at a cross roads the cave continues ahead into darkness and branches to both our left and right.


The Master provides me with a healing salve to compress on my leg wound, it stanches the bleeding and I thank him.

The orcs lie dead around us I offer a prayer to my gods while Johann searches the dead orcs finding nothing of note. The gnome then moves off to examine the eastern door, he listens at it.. he says nothing so there must be silence.

The master moves forward using his half elf vision to look down the dark hallway to the south.
He spy two orcs and a white skinned figure in a cloak. Another fight so soon after our last is a true blessing, my heart pounds in my ears as I move forward ax ready. The gnome begins firing arrows from behind the cloak of the master His shots all go wide in the heavy darkness, the orcs being well prepared keep moving from rocky wall to wall avoiding arrows. The priest Guthar moves forward and lands a blow with his hammer, while I attack with my ax. I have little room to swing and the strike goes wide. The Master winds up and hits an orc with a sling stone, a traditional Druid weapon, I was surprised to see him use it in the cave, but rocks are plenty and the orc is smarting from the blow.
An orc attacks me but I deflect the blow wit my ax, the creature fights fiercely, I am glad to see the fire in his eyes even if I must soon extinguish it..
The gnome hits the white skinned figure with his crossbow A fine shot in the darkness, it seems the pale skinned figure was beginning an incantation but the bolt to the ribs has distracted him.

The priest begins a prayer again this time calling on his god Thodin to halt the enemy where they stand. And behold the cloaked enemy stops in it's track apparently frozen. I do not under stand this magic, but better the presit use the power of his god, than that figure wield what ever dark spells he had planned. I am marveled but I refocus and cut down the orc in front of me with a side long sweep of my ax.
Another sling stone whips by into the darkness.
I am amazed by these orcs bravery but not their skill I easily parry an attack from the second orc and force him back several steps with a ringing blow from my ax handle. The priest turns and faces the orc I had just shoved and strikes with his hammer it is a sound hit but the orcs armor absorbs the blow. The orc is however, knocked off balance and I take advantage, laying the orc low with my follow through.
the druid begins to tie up the white skinned figures while the gnome searches it finding a strange and perhaps even magical pendant.. The fight is over so the questioning and searching interests me not, I guard the southern passage as the rest of the group make themselves busy.

The master moves to open a chest in the room but the priest stops him, suggesting that he gnome check it for traps which he does but finds nothing. The master tries to open the chest but it is locked the, the druid begins to work at the lock with his scythe which he gets well stuck.
The master offer’s me healing if I can get his scythe loose! I tell him no bargains are necessary. I hit the box with my ax which does nothing, so I pick the chest up by the masters scythe and throw the box against the wall destroying it and freeing the scythe. Some papers fall from the box, I see no reason for the all the fuss.

The Priest releases the pale skinned figure from the hold of Thodin so he may be questioned.
Guthar questions the figure asking "where are the children"

“here”
is the answer.

"Who guards the children."
“My master”

Which way to the children
“many ways”

The priest is getting nowhere with the questioning, the pale figure must be under the sway of this Krampus creature, and will not answer. So the priest walks off and the gnome begins to threaten the figure with a scourge, even under this questioning the pale figure is evasive, even disrespectful.

The gnome having had enough of the mages games chokes the figure to death with his scourge while he is defenseless. I will speak to the gnome when we are out of this cave, that was a cowards death he gave the pale figure deserved or not, the god of battle would not be pleased. It would have been better to leave the figure tied up to his on devices. Alas not every one seek entry to the final battle though I have seen the gnomes bravery he walks a path different than I.

There is a door ahead of a make unlike the others we have seen. The gnome says it's magical. I can not tell, I do know that the doors have symbols written on them, the runes give me an odd feeling.
The Druid approaches the wall and speaks in an Earth tongue, the very stone of the cave begins to shift at his touch and a gap opens allowing us a small passage past the door, only large enough for the gnome. We determine it is not worth risking the gnomes life to pass this door, so we move on to explore other areas in hopes of finding a way around the magical door.

We back track to one of the other doors that we had not breached, heading to the east. I kick open the door and surprise a goblin wearing heavy armor, I attack swiftly killing the first goblin before it could react.
The other jump to the fight one with sword the other with a bow. They will both fail in there attempts to save themselves the fate heathen gods have chosen for them.


The priest charges past me and kills a the second goblin as I move into the room and cut down one fiend with a bow. The gods of battle shine on me as we struck with great effect, and quickly.
I pray over them and thank my gods for their bravery and for accepting their blood as tribute.
Johann the gnome moves swiftly north and discovers three more goblin archers they are unaware of him as they scramble to gather their equipment.

The druid quietly blesses his staff with a prayer to the earth it's self, the staff grows suddenly and becomes knobby, heavy. With his blesses staff the druid leaps to action and attacks surprising one goblin but missing. the gnome fires crossbow bolt taking one goblin in the shoulder, then hitting again in the thigh, this goblin is made of strong stuff. The master again attacks with his his blessed staff but his foe is fast and dodges deftly.
One of the goblins arrows finds my upper arm, the pain is searing, it throws off my charge I fail to connect with strike.
The druid strikes and his blessed staff finally finds it's target but the enemy does not fall, the priest steps in and soundly smashes the goblin finally felling him.

Another goblin tries to attack with it's bow but in it's panic the goblin hits his compatriot. It is good to see the goblins too suffer for using ranged weapons in such tight quarters, the unlucky goblin dies never knowing it was his compatriot succumbing to fear that undid him.
I move to the clumsy goblin and hit him with the blunt of my ax, before I could follow up one of the gnomes arrows finds the goblin and drops him where he stands.

As the priest prays over the dead, the Druid tries to smash open a chest and his blessed staff explodes in his hands! The unfortunate druid is flung a crossed the room, sprawling to the ground. The druid claims this was an effect of his blessing being broken by some foul magic protecting the chest. The gnome goes to examine the chest but even he has no luck with the lock. On their request I take the chest and smash it over my knee, I do not under stand the preoccupation with boxes. Some carved shards of bone fall from the hole in the chest, I give them to the gnome, he seems interested in them, I am not.
The gnome takes his time looking over the bones I say he can keep them, during this time the priest asks his god Thodin to grant me healing, ad he once again does. A truly fine god is this Thodin. We continue moving now heading back south.

We see ahead, the gnome working slowly making sure the area is not trapped. We enter another room and are greeted by four more goblins, these look better prepared to fight than the others had been.
I move forward to the fight as my gods would wish.
The priest Guthar charges past me his hammer at the ready but misses with his attack, as does the Druid.
I charge the archers in the rear of the room missing with my attack as I dodge arrows. Despite my best efforts one of the archers lands a telling blow on the druid, a true shot if ever there was one. The second archer attacks Guthar the priest missing with a wayward arrow.

One of the goblins strikes down the Druid laying him low with a cruel strike. He falls motionless on the floor a poo of blood spreading around him. I mutter a payer that I was not called here just to watch the last druid die in a cave.
To his credit The priest rushes to the druids aid and staunches his bleeding, and then begins a frantic prayer.

The goblin in front of me dodges to the left avoiding my attack, then inexplicably drops, sound asleep. I can not explain this sudden slumber, why have the gods of battle frowned on me and these goblins? The gnome takes to finishing the sleeping goblins, this is no way to do battle, but I understand the utility of the act, the goblins would do the same if our roles were reversed. For my part I will have no part in it, neither shall my blade.


The priest gives them last rights, and the Druid now conscious again begins a chant of healing asking the good earth for help.

We collect ourselves and move to the south toward another rune carved door, the gnome deducts that he must read from the paper he found earlier, when he does the door disappears, revealing a room containing three chests. The gnome examines them all and declares the chests are free of dangers.


My companions all rush to examine the room and its contents. I am leery for the place and prefer to guard the hallway leading in.

The group searches the room thoroughly, each moment they spend in this vault the greater the chance of guards blundering upon us. I keep my ax at the ready just in case.
The group finds a long bow, and give it to me, I thank them, It seems a fine bow, and I will gladly use it to hunt when next I have the chance.

The Druid has found a key, and says it may open the door which we could not pass earlier so we carefully retrace our steps. The rock opening the druid had made is strangely repaired when we arrive. The druid tries the key and it works, for better or worse.
When we enter the room we are met by two creatures made of mummified flesh and twisted lifeless exposed bones, shambling with an unnaturally quick, stuttering gate. I don't know what kind of abominations these are, they smell of death and I feel they must die today.


The priest opens up the fight by throwing water at one of the beasts what is this folly? Use your hammer man!
I swing my ax at one of the beasts but it goes directly though the creature! By the lords of battle what is this! Perhaps I understand the priest now, will my a not strike these beasts?

The gnome steps forward and flame sprays from his hands quickly consuming and destroying one of the creatures! Then the druid steps forward and creates a ball of flame that rolls along the floor burring another creature but not killing it. The creatures seem to fear the fires light and flee from it. This group is truly a magical lot, and this fight seems to be one for such magical forces. I fear I may be in over my head in this situation.
The priest produces a blade, but a bade made of purest fire, it seems to sprout form his palm and he wields it deftly with one hand the heat not touching him. He attacks and cuts down one of the creatures where it stands. This Thodin apparently provides more than healing and faith, this is war being made with the force of the divine. All around me there is fire and magic, My head begins to swim , I search for a target to sink my blade into, before I am lost in the smoke. I am so distracted I barely notice the gnome taking vials and bottles off of a strange table sitting in the corner of the room.


As the Druids flaming ball rolls deeper into the large room the beast Krampus is finally revealed as well as the captive children and two more of the hideous mumified creatures. Now the fight is on I will meet this Krampus in battle and best him.

I charge.

The Krampus is large, very large, and fearsome looking, He has a long purple lolling tongue, and while he seems human but he is back bent with spindly arms ending in great claws and tumorous lesions dotting his pale skin. In the light cast from all of the fires he looks like a demon of old but I do not fear him, it is time for him to die.
I strike a mighty low on the beast full on with all my might, but it has little or no effect, again the creature seems resistant to my steel! I see now that these magical caves shall likely be my grave so I prepare to strike again, if this Krampus shall be my undoing, I shall make sure he works for the honor.

The priest continues fighting with his flaming blade, striking out at the beast while the gnome fires an arrow which inexplicably explodes into flame as it hits the Krampus!

The Creature lets out a bellow and rears up to full height, ablaze and surrounded by aggressors, it looks to strike out at anything near it. The Krampus strikes me but the blow is not telling, I shake it off and ready my ax! This battle is all flame and smoke I'm choking on the fumes of the chemicals from the gnomes bolt.
Before I can strike again the druids flaming sphere and the alchemists fire from the gnome, burns the creature where it stands, It dies with a shrill cry, falling in on it's self its waxy melting tallow skin like a candle burnt hollow. When the creature dies the other creatures flee, freed of what ever magics held them.

We gather up the children and carefully work our way back out of the caves, wary of lingering threats from goblin or orc, we meet none.

We are victorious, thanks to the blessings of Thodin, the powers of nature, gnomish knowledge, and as always blessings from the gods of battle.

The tales of Brandr will be continues another day.

As the DM says:
"I have been around a long time and I have never seen a group of braver men. They went to the Old Caves in search for Krampus, the Evil Deamon who takes naughty children. This year he it seem he has lost his mind. He has taken all the children of Krom. Even Tinny Tom Snatchet, the poor crippled boy with a heart of gold. These fine adventures ventured out to the mouth of the cave. A smart gnome who only wants an interview with Krampus, A mighty Barbarian who is here to help and in search for a Druid, The Druid who is here to kill and also find some mistletoe along the way, A Cleric who is here to please his god and an Assassin who likes to stick to the Shadows."
-Jay


Thank you for reading.
As Always
Questions, Comments, and, shenanigans are welcome.