No, the Wilderlands game didn't go poorly, I didn't mean that kind of wreck!
Taylor and I both work in transportation for a local clinic specializing in special needs children, and Friday his van was rear-ended. Everyone on board is ok, but I couldn't fault the guy for not wanting to run his usual Friday game, so we picked up Pathfinder. The session was made far more groovy by the (hopefully permanent?) addition of Steve's girlfriend, Michelle.
Everything seemed to get off to a slow start, but after some final notes and final adds and corrections to character sheets, we dropped into a somewhat sloppy first part of the session.
At this point, the party was outside the temple, having defeated the Khumats and Lizardfolk, but taking a toll, themselves. Chas had already decided that he favored returning to Bugbear Falls, having the insight to know that this temple was more than he felt ready for. Union and Gexzrit gathered Seyji's remains, tossed his body into a bag no bigger than a normal potato sack (!), and headed on their way after having bid the group goodbye and explaining that this was primarily's Seyji's quest, and they had no more need or heart to venture into the temple.
With this, and conversations held before, both Borash and Jadazh conferred with their hirelings, and subsequently renewed agreements, before also ceding the assualt. Only the Gnolls, who had planned the expedition in the first place, remained, and they bid the group farewell with full understanding and gratitude.
The (relatively uneventful) trip back to the Falls is where I felt the game got sloppy. I was having a hard time concentrating at this point because I was tired, and was having trouble adjudicating the trip, interactions with those characters, introduction for Michelle/her character into the game world/setting, Angela's initial motivations with her character. The pacing was falling flat, then the Stone Giants attacked Bugbear Falls....
No one was injured in the fight, and indeed, Chas, Borash, Jadazh and their companions watched the Giants pelt the city and its walls with boulders from afar, on their approach to the keep. The girls' characters were both inside the city, but were prudent enough to remain inside during the attack, and thus suffered no damage.
This little game of Giant skeeball ended when I announced that the keep's defenders were manning the wall emplacements and began firing back with catapults. 3 consecutive hits from the siege engines was enough to dissuade the attackers, and they made their way west. The party waited out their departure, then approached the keep when the coast was well clear.
Once the party made it inside, the game began to heat up. Chas immediately met with the local sage, an elf named Elohmir (Carl's last character's mom), and began discussing the temple, various things sighted in the area, and the cave with the false doorway carved, which Elohmir said was possibly a Fey Gate.
While Chas was off sharing information, Borash settled at the White Cliff (the local tavern) to celebrate the good battle that was the assault on the Lizardfolk and Khumats, and tossed plenty of coin to keep all the patrons drowned in the cheap stuff all night. A stranger at a nearby table, a youth of no more than 16, matched Borash's coin, and then began spouting off some abrasive things about Viridistan and its natives, even cursing the craftsmanship of an obviously magical blade he and his companions had recovered when the cleared the rest of the kobolds from the caves nearby.
Borash had a short exchange with the lad, then went back to his own companions and began to drink heartily, at which time Chas returned and heard the bile being spouted by the kid and his companions and went to their table, sitting down and beginning a conversation filled with veiled threats on either side, ending in one of the women in the group pulling a dagger on Chas, and he leaving their table with another threat.
During the exchange of human supremist garbage being spewed and the threatening language from Chas and the young boy, who seemed to be the leader of his group, Jadazh had been negotiating more help for the group, having talked to both Skayza and Gabrielle, both of whom had come to the tavern for their own reasons. As he talked with the women, he also sized up the boy and his party (using a variant Sense Motive use) to see how things would go if it all got heated.
The night went on, and everyone eventually retired, Skayza to the smithy, where she lives/works, Gabrielle to the chapel of Iomedae, and the rest to a few apartments provided by the Castellan in compensation for not being able to meet with them when they arrived.
The night went uneventful, and in the morning the party arrived to meet with Castellan Dal Lago, to turn in the kobold horns they had acquired weeks prior. Lago had much interest in their tales of adventure, and showed great patience when the conversation took turns that did not include him. He suggested that the party find if there are dragons about, but had little else to add, other than offering to sell them a charter for an adventuring company (required for groups numbering over 20 individuals) and a warning that he would not brook acts that brought the wrath of monsters to his door.
With a little bit of coin, and knowledge that the young man met in the White Cliff and his band were going back to the caves to eradicate the non-human threats (some of which are allies to the party,) we left off with the group deciding their next course of action, as well as pondering the presence of a mysterious blur that their hirelings had mentioned seemed to be waiting for them, or at least watching.
This was all-in-all a great session. Plenty of roleplay and hooks thrown out left and right for the party. Steve helped me out alot in the session when Jadazh struck up conversation with Skayza and Gabrielle. I had been formulating a way to get them both involved in what is going on with the party (though, it really isn't necessary...I'm not enforcing grouping,) but this gives me time to think more on the happenings around them.
Current Cast of Characters
Chas DeLong, Male Human Fighter 5 - David B.
Jadazh Gr'tea, Male Human Duskblade 5 - Steve C.
Borash, Male Half-Orc Cleric of Gorum 4 - Taylor
Gabrielle Dianthe, Female Aasimar Paladin of Iomedae 1 - Angela
Skayza, Female Half-Orc Fighter 1 - Michelle
3 x Human Warrior 1 - Steve C. controlled
3 x Orc Warrior 1 - Taylor controlled
5 x Human Aristocrat 1 - Angela controlled