Evey so often the "boys get back together" for a social evening. Childhood friends now in their forties with careers, lives, wives and offspring. We sit back and remember when life was far, far simpler. It seemed to revolve around failing to understand what "O" then "A"-Level Maths and Science homework was all about. Puzzlingly as it seemed unrelated to the interesting "Tomorrow's World" science we saw on the telly. Still you could at least concentrate serious amounts of energy on whimsical past-times (aka D&D) while wondering about what next happens with life next. It was the glorious days before buckets of plastic Games Workshop miniatures and the strange 'little lead men' which nobody knew quite how to paint came from a mysterious planet called "Mail Order".
Pink Floyd music seems appropriate now ...
In honour of such days I convened a gathering at my house and laid a few miniatures out on the table to see what would happen ... and then started to ramble about the scene (see picture below - yes, I was the DM in days long past).
The DM's Intro:
"The MU is called Baalag (top middle below the big doors), he was considered the court jester of "The
Keep on the Borderlands" (B2 to those who remember such things), seemingly incapable of magic and a continuous source of
mockery, eccentric in his theatrical dress and a harmless buffoon. Or so
everybody thought, but he is really a high level evil MU masking his true
alignment with the aid of a powerful magical artifact and is up to mischief.
The characters found this out as the Keep (formerly a safe haven to
all) was attacked by waves of humanoids from the nearby Caves of Chaos
uncharacteristically bold (weren't all evil creatures cowardly?) and often unbelievably in cahoots with deadly tribal
enemies! Orcs, Goblins and Kobolds in an unheard of organized form of
cooperation. This troubled everybody. Progressively the defenses of the Keep were
being worn down and then breached. Scores of defenders died in the fighting and what few provisions
left were running dangerously low.
Somehow Baalag was orchestrating all of this Chaos, using the confusion
to uncover a secret network of passageways underneath the Keep,
apparently searching for something. The characters watched and finally trailed him to this chamber
fighting off some undead guardians and fell spirits along the way. The noises from outside
and above (red counters indicating the level of disturbance and danger) indicated the Keeps defenses had finally
failed. That meant everyone was in trouble. Baalag was oblivious and was jubilant at finding this locked
door ... then he noticed the troublesome adventurers had caught up!
Magically he summoned a group of small humanoid monsters to delay
the characters while holding a glowing crystal aloft crying "At last ..
you are mine". The Ranger had an enchanted arrow knocked in his bow and
the Elf Fighter MU was preparing a Magic Missile .. as the familiar
sounds of a "Knock enchantment" drifted across the room" ... (see picture below)
Well I had them and just where I wanted them, we stayed in and played on. Just as well I had some more painted figures handy ;)