Amalia - High Elf Cleric (Paraj) - absent
Volbak - Dwarf Knight (Jim)
Lamaevhun - Wood Elf Scout (Tim)
Ilsildel - High Elf Wizard (Martin)
Chief - Wood Elf Barbarian (Catherine)
John Porter, employed as a laborer and horse-hand by the party
Titus Longfellow, employed as a man-at-arms by Isildel
Matthias Wimbledon, novice of St. Cuthbert, employed by Calawas
This was a short session, so not too much happened. The party was down at the back end of a hole that had turned into a worked stone passage leading underneath the Moathouse, confronted with a sliding wall behind which they heard voices.
After a lot of dithering on their part, the party decided to force the issue, and the thief got out his crowbar. Assisted by the resident muscles and nearly herniating himself, Calowas finally levered up the wall, after which the barbarian went about lifting and holding it. When he'd gotten the wall about half-way up, the party heard from the other side the shouted words, "Hold! Stop and identify yourselves!" and saw four pairs of boots and four sets of chainmailed legs.
Calowas lost no time and dropped to one knee to fire his bow. He saw four men, dressed in heavy mail and wearing black tabards with a yellow eye in the center, with leveled crossbows. He shot, but his arrow bounced off the chest of the man he fired at.
They shot, and their bolts didn't bounce. Two sank into Calowas' chest, puncturing his lung and spleen. One missed, going wide and bouncing back along the corridor, and the last blew a hole right through Chief's leg. She fell, dropping the wall and frothing into a berserk rage from the pain.
The one saving grace here was that the barbarian was both crippled and without her hammer to hand. She promptly tried punching out the dwarf, who calmly blocked while the Wizard spun up his Sleep spell.
After she calmed down, Matthias rushed forward to check on Calowas, who as it turns out was still alive but badly in need of surgery, which he attempted to provide. Unfortunately, the enterprising thief bled out before his lung could be patched up properly.
That's the point where the party decided to head home to cut their losses and come up with another plan of attack.
It seems like my players are under the impression, despite my warnings to the contrary, that they can 'win' every encounter. Hopefully this cured them of that.
The guards have ST 30 crossbows. They can wind them up with a crank well enough, but they're definitely a fire-and-forget deal. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this, since some part of me still doesn't want to take such advantage of the rules, and 4d+4 imp seems kind of harsh, especially four times. Still, I went with it because I'd have no qualms if the guards were PCs, which seems a pretty fair test when the PCs are supposed to be special because of point totals only.