In this session, we picked up where we left off, with the Company of the Closed Fist heading down to the ground floor of Ralu's Redoubt, with the regular cast:
Aelaran the Resilient (male cleric), played by Bret
Cadie Stone-Spar (female dwarf), played by Jaime
Garen-Gen (male halfling), played by Dan
Magda the Witch (female magic-user), played by Chris H.
Ondola the Blunt (female fighter), played by Chris V.
plus their retainers: "Big John" the charmed ogre, Bardoon, Ralan the elf and Mordal the dwarf
The Company of the Closed Fist engaged in a brief scuffle with a pair of young magic-users, again clad in the green hooded robes they'd seen previously. Their skeletal servants were turned away by the power of Kalseru, thanks to the cleric Aelaran. Having lost their protectors, the robed mages were outmatched. One of them fled at the sight of "Big John", backed by a large and well-armed party. The other found himself backed into a corner by "Big John" and staring into the cursed mirror the Company had strapped to the ogre's chest. He quickly surrendered, his face erupting in painful acne from the mirror's malign magic.
The young magic-user proved largely uncooperative, resisting Magda's attempt to charm him, but revealed a few bits of information after the Company ordered "Big John" to begin breaking his fingers: his name was Galtin Vauk, his cabal was called The Brotherhood of the Broken Crescent, their base of power is "several days' travel" to the east, and led by someone called "Mistress Throga". He also engaged Aelaran in a bit of quasi-religious babble, in which he claimed that "the death of all things" was the only true way to "turn away Chaos".
The Company, exploring the remainder of Ralu's Redoubt, found it mostly abandoned (save for a giant crab spider, which gave Garen-Gen a nasty fright), though it held a few well-trapped rooms and treasure caches presumably put in place by the bandits that had previously occupied the outpost.
En route to D'Ansor to inform Arjon Tenpher of their discoveries, the Company sighted a speck in the sky, which was revealed to be a green dragon in short order. The party took to cover in a panic, but the dragon seemed intent on eating their cleric. Only a foolhardy attack launched by "Big John" saved Aelaran. Sadly, their ogre companion was almost instantly slain, then carried off by the great winged reptile. The Company of the Closed Fist then completed the journey to D'Ansor in stunned silence.
I was very tired when DMing this session, and was running on caffeine and little else. As a result, the whole thing was a good deal sloppier than I generally prefer. In particular, I'm not proud to say that I ushered the players through several empty rooms by saying things like "you explore the next few rooms and they're all empty", and I probably telegraphed where to find treasure and traps a bit too much. Also, I didn't run the random dragon encounter strictly according to the random wilderness encounter rules from the Expert book (largely because I forgot that such a thing existed). But as usual, there was a lot of laughter and I think everybody had fun anyway.