Our eighth session of the Children of the Raven BtW campaign was on Monday. The six-strong party (three PCs, three allies) ventured off to investigate the smoke seen by shepherds in the ruins to the West of their village.
The Ruins of Ravenscar
After a couple of days in Gallows Hill, resting and spending, the party (Alf, Callum and Magnus, with their allies Old Man Willow, Horace and Jacob) hefted their packs and headed off along an old path, overgrown and little more than a lighter patch of grass, following the old Wall; they hiked across the fields to the West, towards the ruins of Ravenscar, the legendary dwelling of the defeated Raven King. The journey was pleasant, the Spring days warm and sunny. They camped out under a willow tree on the first night, and approached the ruins in the early afternoon of the second day.
Keeping to the trees that dotted the sloping plain, using them as cover to avoid being seen by anything in the ruins, they cautiously made their wall to the ruins: a partially intact keep, collapsed walls, an old bridge crossing a moat of mud and rubble. They sneaked too the edge of the moat, hiding beneath the thick canopy of a small group of ancient oaks, and scanned the ruins for any signs of life. The ruins looked empty, but there were plenty of places to hide. In the middle of the overgrown courtyard stood the statue of the Raven King, a life-like, life-sized statue atop a plinth with indentations around its rim. Callum climb a tree and saw a campsite just beyond the statue, an unlit fire and what looked like seven bedrolls dotted around it; but no sign of life. They decided to wait until nightfall, to see if anything stirred, but nothing did and they spent the night beneath the trees, guards set, watching the ruins, but it was so dark, there was little to see, especially when the clouds rolled in and it began to lightly rain.
In the morning, the sky cloudy but dry, they made their way to the old bridge (failing miserably to remain quiet and unseen, the peeking sunlight glinting off their new mail coats, which clinked loudly in the relative quiet of the ruins and surrounding wilderness). The bridge creaked underfoot. They spread out, peering around the rubble and into the debris strewn across the courtyard and along where the walls once stood.
Alf looked up as he passed under one of the numerous trees growing between the broken flagstones in the courtyard, and saw a Fir Darrig rat-goblin staring down at him. It snarled and leapt, missing and landing nimbly on its feet; where it fell as Alf pierced it through the chest with his spear. As he did so, more of the goblins leapt from the trees where they’d been hiding (sore and miserable from their long stay): one was shot out of the air by an arrow propelled from Magnus’ bow, and another found itself at the receiving end of Alf’s spear as he charged across the courtyard to impale it. Willow followed, swinging his sword at a goblin that expertly dodged, until it stumbled and fell into the sword’s blade, convincing it to retreat: but as it backed off, Alf stepped up and impaled it, kicking its corpse off the tip as he scanned the battlefield.
Magnus was shooting arrows at the goblins, some landing, others missing, one falling out of the tree it was trying to scramble down from. Callum, Horace and Jacob pursued the goblins as they advanced and then fled as they saw their kin fell to spear and arrow. Callum strung his bow and shot one dead as it tried to flee, another slipped and fell, hacked to death. One managed to flee, scrambling up over the remains of the keep’s wall. The party followed, into the keep: ancient floorboards hung around the edge of the walls, with the cellar below exposed and cluttered with rubble. A stone block, a door in its side, in the middle. Across the way, an old tree trunk acted as a ladder, leading from the cellar to a platform, where a bedroll could just be seen. Steps lead to the cellar from the remains of the floor.
The party made their way down, bows ready, weapons out, and started poking about the rubble. Horace found the goblin who fled, who threw down its sword and surrendered. Alf took it to run away, which it happily did, scaling the walls with ease, and disappearing from sight.
They continued to explore, pausing at the door, which was covered in ancient, faded , worn runes…