Mischievous Monsters: Siege of the Dancing Donkey

The third session of our new Beyond the Wall campaign, Children of the Raven, was last week and the whole session was pretty much the PCs and their allies defending the inn of the Dancing Donkey.

The Fir Darrig and the ogreish allies surrounded the inn, and the ratty creature with the top hat, who was obviously their leader, called out for them to surrender; Young Alf told him where to stick it, and when the red-coated goblin made some excuses about revenge for killing members of his family, Alf just told him they deserved it for stealing from the inn.

And so the Siege of the Dancing Donkey began: well, more of an assault that a siege really, since the goblins and ogres just started bashing away at the doors and shuttered windows, trying to get in.

Alf ran upstairs, leaving Horace and Jacob (the two caravan guards) pelting the ogres outside with arrows, and found one of the shutters being forced open. He jabbed at the rat-goblin who scrambled through the window, forcing it to dodge aside.

Downstairs, Callum and Magnus readied themselves for a fight as the front door was pounded on by the ogre outside. They put their weight to the crates blocking the door, but they were slowly being pushed back.

Then, from behind the bar (where Norris and Joseph, the blacksmith and innkeeper, were holding the back door) the door to to kitchen was flung open and a pair of rat-goblins burst in: one was the now-free captive they had tied up inside, the other was covered in soot from where it had climbed down the chimney. They immediately attacked the blacksmith, cutting him badly and forcing him back from the backdoor. At the same moment, that door began to open as another ogre tried to force its way inside. Joseph threw his weight against it, forcing the door closed again.

Then the front door burst asunder as the ogre forced its way in, throwing Callum and Magnus back into Barton, the trader who was backing them up. Magnus stepped forward and swept his hands up, sending a sheet of flames from his fingertips, burning the ogre. The creature cried out in pain, and was enraged! He struck back at the mage, the punch thankfully weaker than expected, and the mage backed off quickly.

Horace joined Alf upstairs as more of the goblins started to break in. Alf leapt out onto the roof of the stables, where the rat-goblin boss stood, brandishing a rapier. Horace shoot an arrow, which grazed him, then had to pull his sword as the other goblins advanced on him. The boss uttered some arcane words and, to Alf, it suddenly seemed that the little creature had grown huge and terrifying, its presence seeming to fill the space. Alf shook his head to clear it, and his eyes refocused, and the goblin boss was just a goblin again. Alf jabbed with his spear, but the goblin sidestepped it with ease.

In the taproom, the others were joined by Jacob as he came down the stairs, pulling his sword. He joined Barton and Callum as they waded in to hack at the great beast, taking a few punches in return, but ultimately felling the beast. The ogre crashed dead to the floor, taking out a table as it did. Behind them, Norris and Joseph were battling the two goblins, taking hits, giving them back as best as they could; but the goblins were small and nimble, dodging easily. Magnus rushed over, whacking the once captive rat-goblin with his staff, staving its head in. The other, panicking but now cornered, lashed out with its sword, cutting Magnus, making Joseph back away as a wild swing nearly took off his head. With the innkeeper’s weight no longer holding back the door, an ogre burst through the backdoor and blocked the doorway as Barton, Norris and Joseph attacked it.

Callum leapt onto the bar counter, and swung at the ogre, while Jacob shot arrows over their heads, trying to pin the ogre down. Upstairs, on the stable roof, Alf found himself wounded and outmatched, and slid off the roof, landing neatly on the ground. He ran around to the front, entering the inn, and seeing what was going on, he jumped on to a table behind the others and, using his longer spear, jabbed at the ogre. Horace, meanwhile, retreated slowly, holding the goblins upstairs at bay but managing to miss most of the time.

In the taproom, the cornered goblin fell to barton’s sword, and the ogre in the doorway fell as Alf pierced its eye. The third ogre, seeing this one fall, gave a ferocious cry and crashed into the room, his large mouth opening wide enough to swallow a goblin: he bit down hard on Callum, who fainted from the shock and was hurled to the ground!

All was not lost, however, as once they saw the second ogre fall, the rat-goblins still outside screamed and ran. Their boss could be heard ordering a retreat, and all but the last ogre beat a hasty retreat from the inn. That last ogre, however, refused to surrender or flee, and it bit off the innkeeper’s head just before Alf thrust his spear into its heart, killing his second ogre.

In the aftermath of the battle they buried the dead, laying the innkeeper to rest, sent people to fetch the trader’s goods they had been left in the fields outside, and tended to the wounded. After sleeping for the night, most of the patrons now feeling much better, the three friends discussed what to do next, and decided to hunt down the surviving goblins before they did anymore damage.

End of Session

Note: we ditched the ‘gain an experience every session’ house rule and have reverted back to normal XP awards.

Next session is on Thursday.