MERP: The Most Fun I’ve had in Years

In the MERP campaign, our players explored the dungeon under the castle, after killing the orc guards last time. Elentari healed herself, Hammrammr, and then Araluth. Then we barricaded the doors up, then searched the orcs for money, and then freed the three Northmen prisoners held captive. The Theyn and his daughter were not among them. We armed the Northmen with orcish swords and shields and then returned to the storerooms, instructing them to build rafts of the barrels and rope in the storeroom so we would have an escape route should things go poorly. We tied the handles of the double door together (there were orcs on the other side) and then ascended the spiral stairs. The next level held the tunnel where the cave troll was being held, the door barred on our side and dire orcish runes against removing the bar were incised above it.

A group of orcs came down from above, and we gave battle, killing the first three and then engaging another four. Jor cast a lightning bolt into one orc, and then pulled back waiting for another chance. Araluth yelled “Free the Troll” to Jor and Tum. Tum assented and Jor went to help, and then had second thoughts and tried to stop Tum. Jor fumbled, fell on the floor, and screamed at Tum as the hobbit opened the door to the Troll lair. Tum vanished up a set of stairs on the other side of the room, the opposite direction that Araluth had hoped (Araluth had expected them to come back and take shelter in the spiral staircase where the troll couldn’t reach). Jor stood indecisively long enough for the troll to notice him and give chase. Tum came back to find out what was happening with Jor, and also was noticed. Both ran up the stairs and almost into the five orcs coming down. Tum and Jor went left and entered the dining hall just as the five orcs left it and went down the other stairs and ran into the troll. Two orcs died, and the rest chased Tum and Jor.

The troll munched on the dead orcs, but then heard Araluth singing “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” in Sindarin very loudly and came to investigate. Hammrammr had fought the orcs upward, and two of them were now in the room with the troll. He ate them, though they tried to escape, and the other orcs ran up the stairs while the warriors went down, with Araluth getting one cut in on the troll’s hand as it reached for them in the stairs.

Pursued by the remaining orcs, Jor cast Shade, which did little. Tum cut open his backpack in hopes that the orcs would fight over the silver he had stolen from the party several sessions back. Then Jor and Tum fled again, closing a door in the face of the sole orc still pursuing them. They found themselves on the balcony of the cathedral, and after bracing the door with chairs, Tum lowered himself over the side and slid down a rope. Jor waited too long and was forced to fling himself over the rail, where he pancaked 30 feet below and exploded his lungs and heart. Using a Fate point, he tried that again, this time climbing down the rope. At the bottom they found themselves in the cathedral where they had seen a Northman slaughtered and eaten by the troll. Not good. Even worse, the portcullis was down. Tum squeezed through but Jor could not. Tum tried to sneak up on the troll, and failed, then tried to slide through his legs and died. Another Fate point, and this time the hobbit made it back to the spiral stairs, which he proceeded to descend.

Unbeknownst to him, four orcs had come up from the dungeons after the warriors, who now were hiding in the storage room. Araluth spilled his provisions on the stairs going up, and left the bag, as if someone had dropped it while running upward. The warriors closed the door to the spiral staircase and then hid on either side in case the orcs entered the storeroom. Luckily, the orcs followed the bait, and now were aimed straight at the descending hobbit.

Araluth led the warriors to the rear of the ascending orcs and with huge bonuses, managed to muck it up again. The warriors became locked in a battle with the four orcs, managing to kill one as they fought in retreat.

Tum heard the orcs and turned around, running upward, going higher and higher in the tower.

Jor was dismayed when the orcs raised the portcullis, which summoned the troll back to its lair. He ran under the portcullis and then was forced to hide himself in the troll feces when the creature returned. It went past him and he then stood up, realizing that the orcs were closing the double doors that sealed the troll in with him. Screaming and covered with poo, he ran out among them, fumbled, and found himself at the bottom of a pile of orcs while a few more barred the troll back into its lair.

Final scores so far: 17 orcs killed, 3 Northmen rescued (for now). And so much ridiculousness that we were laughing hysterically most of the time.  Good times!


About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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