Monday, October 24, 2005


Wood, Steel and Shadow
The Dargossian adventures of the the mercenary trio

SESSION TWO. "Reapers, Lickers and an Old Friend at the Door."
Making their way to the field on the western edge of town, Beorn, the trio and a group of militiamen hurriedly worked to prepare the first of the town's defenses. A long line of ten foot, dwarven built, log walls were hoisted up and propped into place. Log supports were inserted in notches and a wide, sturdy, fighting platform lined the walls.

Javelins and crossbows were made ready as Virlana called out the identity of the attackers. A large group of humans came behind a smaller, but far scarier group of redcaps and strange, apelike beasts. The redcaps wielded wicked, two handed scythes and the beast had what looked to be long, forked tongues wrapped about their arms and carried two axes a piece.

Seeing that their attacker's appearance was having somewhat of a demoralizing effect on the militia, Virlana called on the grasses and roots to entangle and halt their enemy's advance. Coming as somewhat of a surprise to the adventurers, Beorn followed her example and cast his own entangling spell.

As they took shots with bow, crossbow and javelin, Alexi looked to Anglend and questioned what exactly they were doing, to which Anglend replied, "Hopefully proving our worth to a potential employer. If things go bad we can always retreat." At this he turned to Beorn and yelled, "We will follow you Beorn! Just don't think to leave us as a rearguard!"

The entangling grasses turned out only to slow the enemy advance. The redcaps hewed through the growth with their scythes and agility while the apelike creatures muscled their way through. Coming to walls injured, the big creatures climbed them easily while the redcaps slung their weapons o'er their backs and climbed up with more difficulty.

Left and right the defenders laid into the enemy. Beorn and Anglend rushed to and fro in the center swinging urgrosh and hammer while Virlana aided with healing where needed. Alexi's magic blades cut deep into kidneys and groins of redcaps and beasts alike. The left flank began to fall and the right was hard pressed.

Two powerful cuts from a Redcap would have ended Alexi if not for a healing hand from his Elven companion that took his foe by surprise and reversed the two's fortunes, sending the redcap dead to the base of the wall.

Anglend also would have perished if it were not for Virlana, as a ape-beast brought him low. The creatures had some form of draining "lick" with which they drew out the their opponents strength with their blood. Again Beorn surprised them by casting am area-effect healing spell at an opportune time.

It was at this point that the first of the slain militia rose as zombies to join the attackers. Seeing their first position lost, the defenders sounded the retreat. In the process, bringing down the last of the "Lickers" and redcaps.

Falling back to the second erected wall they watched as the human contingent tore down the first. The defenders were met by Helga, the dwarven cleric, who saw to their wounds. Seeing that they were somewhat lessened in numbers they decided to put up a token resistance and soak the walls and walkways with oil from the town, lighting them on fire when the humans took possession.

This worked well and many of the attackers were caught in the conflagration. Here it was that Alexi first noticed what must surely be the commander of the invaders, a deceased friend from the days before his adventuring career who was flying in the night sky above the field on an ebon, de-horned, flaming, unicorn (EDFU for short). All others noticed the appearance of this new player soon after as well as a trio of sorcerers behind the advancing humans.

As the second wall burned they formulated a plan. Shielding their efforts from the figure flying high above, they dug a small trench near the wall and hid Alexi there before sounding the second retreat. They heard a chanting coming from the other side and large sections of wall were blasted by enormous fireballs.

Through this gap, the remaining enemy advanced. passing Alexi without notice. Anglend and Virlana took up a position hiding under the Elf's cloak under the third wall and watching to aid Alexi if the need came. Sneaking from his hiding spot towards the three similar looking casters Alexi quickly took one down before being pelted with a barrage of magic missiles. The third and the second casters grabbed the body of the first and seemed to teleport away, much to the relief of Alexi who once again was near death. Once more going into hiding, he approached Anglend and Virlana's hidden position as the remaining attackers marshaled beyond the final outer wall.

The group was left behind as the final outer defense, a moat of burning tar, was lit, encircling the village in flames. There under the third, outer wall, they hid, deciding it would be best to make for the trees to the south and watch the outcome of the village's battle from relative safety. Each agreed that they had more than "done their part" in the battle and proven their worth to Beorn, should he be alive when the night was over.

Why does Alexi's old, dead, acquaintance lead such a terrible band of raiders from such a foul, flying beast? Will Beorn and his (much to the surprise and consternation of Anglend) daughter, Helga live through the night and lead the village of Khaan to victory? Will there be anything left of the midsummer feast food when the troubles are over? All this and more next time.


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