The Flower of Ascendency Campaign Game 2 - The book of Haulus the Grey
Having absconded aboard Sands ship, Reddawn and his party put in at Red Cliff bay, home of Haulus The grey and his hilltop library. Hoping to gain fresh supplies and water, and most importantly speak with Haulus about the ingredient needed to create to elixir that will cure the ailing princess, Red-Dawn leads his group ashore.
You can find the campaign prologue here: https://www.novorasa.com/single-post/the-flower-of-ascendency-a-frostgrave-campaign-prologue
and the first game here:https://www.novorasa.com/single-post/the-flower-of-ascendency-campaign-game-1-passage-to-brindia
The Library of Haulus the Grey (and the approaching adventurers in the far distance)
The party spilts into three: Red-dawn, Godfrey the knight, Arthur (archer) and George (infantryman) head right straight to the library; Celia the thief heads into the middle orchard; and Sister Magdelene leads William (infantryman), Roland (Man at arms), and Duncan (archer) to the left to the barn. Unbeknown to them all, the Orc warparty led by Aardneck (Mage) enters top left to do Necromancer Kargan's bidding (and win favour with the Cult of Cleansing).
Little did Sister Magdelene or the Wizard Red-dawn realise they would be facing off against Aardneck and his band.
Mage Aardneck leads his orcs in an effort to thwart Red-Dawn and his party.
Aardneck's group split - with the Mage heading to block Red-Dawns entry into the library and two orcs heading to check the supplies out and engage with Magdelene's group. The unfortunate Orcs heading towards Sister Magdelene managed to arouse a giant wolf who is scrounging around the supplies. While the orcs manage to deliver serious wounds to the wolf - one of the pair is despatched in the struggle! Meanwhile, Celia's foray into the orchard flushes two scoundrels out who were searching through the supply crates there.
While Red-dawn makes good progress starting up the entrance path to the library (top right) - Celia is outnumbered and falls to the thugs in the orchard. The thugs are startled out of their melee success by an explosion on the road behind them! It seems Sister Magdelene has mastered 'elemental ball' - as she hurls the spell at Aardneck and his orcs pursuing the Wizard. Several of the orcs are blown over and injured. The pyrotechnics draw a wry smile on the face of Red-Dawn as he urges his party upwards.
As a precaution he sends Godfrey the Knight to the foot of the entrance path to bide the party more time.
Moments later a second explosion hits Aardnecks party - felling one of the Orc brutes and singing the remaining members. Magdelene's party if surprised as their search the barn however as two thugs, disturbed from their pilfering, come out knives flashing! William the infantryman is somewhat surprised by the thugs barreling out of the barn door and Roland the man at arms runs over to help him. Duncan stays with Sister Magdelene offering her some support as she steadies heself on the orchard wall - somewhat lightheaded from her spell exertions. The fight at the barn erupts and both a thug and William are injured. The remaining Orc uses the confusion to search the supplies near where he stayed the giant wolf and manages to grab some loot.
Aardneck patting out the flames on his cloak leads the remaining two orcs and charges at Godfrey the knight who has taken up a blocking position at the foot of the library path.
The orcs overcome the brave Godfrey - but he bides enough time for Red-Dawn to get to the outer doors of the library compound. From within two cultists burst forth yelling profane insults at the party. Red-Dawn manages to cast 'beauty' and the cultists feel impelled to protect the beautiful woman who now stands in front of them. They divert their attacks to Arthur and George! Following on their heals is Aardneck and his remaining orcs. Despite some serious injuries Aardneck tries to cast 'poisonous dart' at George - but in his ailing condition fails and the extra exertion overcomes the Orc mage and he collapses to the floor. The Orcs seeing their leader fall retreat back down the slope - only to be pursued by one of the fleeing thugs from the orchard. George manages to engage one of the cultists and takes him down- at the same time that Arthur looses an arrow between the eyes of the second! The entry into Haulus's library is now clear!
Red-Dawn, George and Arthur entry the Library courtyard (the dice indicating wounds accumulated). At the foot of the slope the orcs and the thug have engaged in act and mouse melee - while Sister Magdalene and Duncan manage to slip by and run up the slope in an effort to meet with Red-Dawn.
Red-dawn is surprised by two more cultists lurking in the courtyard! This explains why the library was so quiet - it had already been overrun by the cult of Cleansing! The Wizard manages to overcome the cultists but not before George is taken out and falls. Red-dawn does find some useful items in the supply cache as Magdelene manages to join him and despatch Arthur and William to search the east wing of the library. It looks like it has already been looted from the disarray of the place. Several giant rats, obviously disturbed from all the hiatus attack the soldiers. Luckily they managed to finish off the rodents and continue on their way to the main tower.
Red-Dawn and Magdelene enter the west wing of the library and find a similar state of disarray. The cultists had been searching for something! Red-Dawn was also concerned that they had not found Haulus yet either. This didn't bode well. Arthur and William manage to climb the main library tower. At the room at the top they enter Haulus's chamber. Yet it is not Haulus they discover there but Haulus's guard dog - who mistaking them for cultists leaps at their throats. Protecting themselves the soldiers are forced to despatch the dog. Searching the room they do not find Haulus.
Red-Dawn enters the chamber followed by a worried Magdelene. The Wizard scans the room quickly before muttering an incantation under his breath. As he finishes this utterance one of the flagstaff's in the chambers floor creaks open revealing a chest within the secret chamber. Red-Dawn urges the soldiers to lift the chest carefully. The Wizard's hand passes over the gilded lock and it falls away. He opens the chest to reveal 5 ornate books. Red-Dawn quickly shuffles through them, until satisfied he looks up at the others. He holds the Sacred Book of Healing up. "At least we found one thing we came for" he said.
"What about Haulus?" Magdelena asks. "Whatever mess he is in he will have to wait, we need to get to Brindia before morning and decipher what we need to search for". Placing the book within a pouch sewed into the inner part of his robes he motions them all to follow him out. With a last glance at the chaos in the library Magdelene follows - clouded in thoughts of what lies in wait of them ahead.
Helping the fallen comrades back aboard ship the party did manage to find 3 sets of supplies. Two grimoires from the library (Monstrous Form and Plague of Insects) and Haulus's staff of power (+2). While everyone survived - two of the party will never be the same again. Celia's wounds resulted in a long term injury to her arm - which gives her a -1 to her fight statistic and George will never be quite as strong constitutionally speaking and thus suffers a permanent reduction to his hit points. Thankfully the rest of the party will make full recovery's once fully treated and rested.
Next stop - the Khemish port of Brindia.
What fortunes await the party in the bustling port of Brindia?