The Battle of Brindol, Part Trois

The Final Showdown
I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this entry. We finally got around to holding the final session for Brindol. Nox’s usual player couldn’t make it, Holden/Rampant’s player could only stay till noon, and the rest had to leave by around 3 pm, so I asked my players to come really early. Unfortunately, Rampant’s player arrived early. It took the rest a while to arrive; we were only able to start at 10:30 am.

The party hurries toward Cathedral square only to find Jaarmath being dragged into the safety of the cathedral. Captain Ulverth hurries toward the PCs, telling then that Jaarmath was taken down by a sniper. Seeing that Brindol is in grave danger, Rampant tells the others that Cannith designed him with a one-time use program that greatly increases his abilities, but only lasts for an hour. He activates this program and begins speaking in Autobot lines.

“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

They enter the Cathedral to check on him and run into Tredora, who is tending her fallen lover. As much as she loves Jaarmath, she isn’t willing to use up her spells when she knows that they might be needed later. Linny volunteers her one prepared lesser restoration and brings Jaarmath back to 4 Strength.

Jarmaath orders Cpt. Ulverth to take command since he doesn’t want Lady Kaal giving orders. He then orders the PCs to look for the sniper.

The Sniper Attack

The PCs begin by sending Rampant into the area where soldiers had fallen to the sniper. Almost immediately Skather takes a shot and scores a critical hit against Rampant. His fortification doesn’t protect him and he instead takes a full 20+ critical sneak attack. Nox is able to spot Skather as he takes his snipe hide check and quickly tries to enter the coffin maker’s shop.

Nox enters the back door and begins sneaking in extremely well, while the rest of the party gathers around the door outside. As Nox explores the interior, he opens a door that creaks noisily, alerting the invisble Kulkor Zhul War Adept hiding in the stairwell. However, Nox’s hide checks are so high that no matter how high the War Adept rolls, he is unable to spot Nox.

Nox spots into the stairwell and is able to discern the vague outline of an invisible creature. Taking his survival pouch, he rips out a campfire (AGAIN) and throws it at the War Adept. He hits, dealing a full 6 fire damage to the War Adept, who promptly swears and runs up to the second floor. The party rushes into the door while Nox follows the still invisible War Adept up the stairs.

When Nox gets up to the second floor, he opens the door to the supply storage room only to find a fiendish dire wolf snarling at him. He quickly backs away and enters the room on the other side of the stairwell to avoid getting pinned down by the wolf. The other party members pound their way up the staircase. Lyka immediately steps in front of the wolf, closely followed by Rampant. Linny tries to run past the wolf, but in the process gets AOO’d—the beast grabs her leg and shakes it, dealing a massive 30 damage, but Linny is actually able to succeed on the opposed trip attempt. Kikkeni remains on the ground floor, keeping watch in case someone comes in the front door.

Nox takes a shot with his crossbow at the Dire Wolf through the space between Lyka’s legs, taking off almost 3/4 of the wolf’s HP. Rampant steps in and then decapitates it, spraying Lyka with black blood.

“You’re going to have to polish my armor,” Lyka tells Rampant.
“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings,” replies the warforged.

Lyka spots someone hiding behind some boxes in the storeroom–a hobgoblin. Rampant stomps all the way up to the hobgoblin, taking a double move, and stopping short of attacking him.

“Would you like to butt heads with me?”
The hobgoblin emerges from his hiding place and attempts to bash Rampant with Death Mark, but misses spectacularly.
Linny follows into the room while Lyka attempts to close in with the hobgoblin swordsage. With the stairs clear, Kikkeni decides to head up to the stairwell and try to help the others on the second floor.

Nox, in the meantime, investigates the back rooms to see if there is anything else. He notices that the doors in the bedroom are curiously He spots the windows in the bedroom and decides to try investigating it. Rampant then roars—“This hobgoblin is not our sniper!”

Right at that moment, the War Adept reveals himself and casts shatterfloor on the rickety floorboards, dropping Rampant and Lyka (Lyka fails her save to grasp onto the vertical wall below her) onto the first floor. Rampant’s player attempts something so awesome that I let slide at the cost of one action point—initiate a grapple with the swordsage and pull him to the ground with him. He makes the touch attack and succeeds in his grapple attempt, pulling the hobgoblin down. They crash into the coffin display on the first floor.

Lyka falls prone onto the ground, only to see none other than Skather suddenly materialize over her with his poisoned blade at the ready! He performs a Strength-Draining Strike on Lyka, his blade pulsing with black energy in the gloom.

Lyka rolls natural 1s versus both the Strength-Draining Strike and the poison. Her strength instantly drops from 18 to 8. Rampant then attempts to bash the grappled hobgoblin’s face in with his slam (headbutt), even using Emerald Razor and a full power attack, but misses. Lyka, still ever sarcastic, quips: “My hope! It is draining away faster than my strength!”

Linny takes a shot at the War Adept who now has a spectacular bird’s eye view of the desperate fight below, blasting him with scorching ray. Nox attempts to jump across the gap using a rope, but hearing the mess going on, he decides to crash through one of the ground floor windows into the display room. Kikkeni rushes to Lyka’s assistance, while Lyka weakly tumbles away from Skather to take her position beside the psion.

The War Adept drops a glitterdust on Kikkeni and Lyka, but both make their saves.

Skather uses Cloak of Deception and materializes behind Kikkeni, his blade firmly planted in her back. Half of her HP is gone instantly. All this time, Rampant and the hobgoblin are wrestling in a stalemate. Although Rampant’s grip is overpowering, he keeps failing to injure the hobgoblin except for one landed punch.

Linny decides to try to help Kikkeni by using her Rod of Viscid Globs at Skather. She hits and Skather fails his save. Nox attempts a crazy stunt with the grappling hook and tries to throw it at the war adept to pull it down, but it is quickly found lacking as an improvised weapon and simply fails to hit.

Kikkeni pulls back from the now stuck Skather. OOC the player agonizes over which of her powers to use—she’s down to her last use no matter what she does, and decides she wants to end the battle quickly and increase her chances of taking Skather out by using her highest-save viable power–Death Urge.

Skather rolls a 3; even with his impressive +14 modifier, he fails to make the save. Lyka tries to help Skather along, but her awful attack rolls and modifiers fail to do anything—and to add even more injury to injury, the War Adept drops a power word: weaken on Lyka. 2 points of Strength drain.

Skather stabs himself, leaving him with very little HP. Rampant, in the meantime, caves in the hobgoblin swordsage’s head with Emerald Razor + full power attack while Linny and Nox finish off the war adept.

Skather is unable to break free of the goo, and is finally finished off by Linny’s scorching ray.

The party collects their loot and moves back to Cathedral Square, with Rampant toting the corpses of Skather and the War Adept. The party reports to Captain Ulverth, who commends them on a job well done.

Not long afterward, Killiar and the hunters land their owls close by. Killiar reports that the Red Hand is making a final push on Cathedral Square, and that he expects them to arrive in about 10 minutes.

Hearing this, Jaarmath gets up and staggers to the Cathedral square to show that he’s still up and about, and delivers an inspiring, albeit recycled speech. Rampant continues this by saying, “Our chance of success is very slim, but we can make it happen because we are heroes—and everyone that has fought here is a hero!”

Tredora takes Kikkeni aside, saying that she senses Kikkeni is extremely fatigued. Kikkeni says she just wants some tea, but Tredora forces her on her knees and lays her hands on the psion’s head. She casts dweomer of transference and sacrifices enough of her spells to bring Kikkeni up to 26 PP (+1 from the cognizance crystal she has). Tredora uses up the two lesser restorations to bring Lyka back up to 16 Strength (she can’t get the 2 Strength drain from the power word weaken back yet).

While we have lunch, the party then goes about the very tedious and hassled process of procuring potions and scrolls from the 5000-GP item pool given to them by the merchants.

Lyka: bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, girallon’s blessing and dragonskin, shield of faith. She had a bunch of spare +1 short swords so she put those to good use with her extra arms.
Rampant: shield of faith
Nox: cat’s grace

Finally, they had Immerstal cast haste on the PCs.
Killiar, Trellara and the elves took up their positions on a grandstand in the corner of the Cathedral Square. Tredora stood by the Cathedral’s stairs with Narcy, Wrogann, Teyani and Captain Ulverth. Rampant, Lyka, and Linny stood in front of them, while Nox, Kikkeni and Jonz took up sniper positions on the Cathedral spires.

Nox’s and Kikkeni’s player help each other run Killiar, Trellara and the elves, while Linny’s player runs Rampant and the Lions. Kikkeni’s player also runs Tredora and Cpt. Ulverth. Lyka’s player has a handfull enough with her oodles of attacks.

Everyone nervously awaits the coming of the horde. As they wait, the rhythmic beating of swords on shields accompanied by goblin chants fills the air. The blaring of dragonbone horns rises above the din.

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Streets of Blood

Much ownage, but much pain.

Preparations:
Holden’s player was absent again due to parental reasons. Lyka’s player was also unable to attend due to the severe traffic between her place and mine; she lives outside of town south of Metro Manila while I live in the North. As such, it’s a pretty damn long trip for her. She only gets to come here regularly during school weekends since her university is nearby.

In any case, my new permanent player introduces his rogue sniper character, Nox, by taking potshots at the Red Hand as they enter. The character is pretty well built, and the player knows how to set up sniping, so he pretty did well today. More on this later.

The PCs call on the four Lions of Brindol, who support them and the militiamen in this encounter. The Militiamen are led by Rampant, the warforged subcommander of the Brindol Lion guard.

PCs:
-Holden
-Lyka
-Linny
-Kikkeni
-Nox, incognito, and unseen on a barn’s roof (it’s one of the buildings in the center of the map). Basically, nobody knows he’s there until he actually starts shooting.

The Lion Guard:
-Rampant, Warforged Fighter 2/Warblade 4
-Teyani, Fighter 2/Warblade 2, disarm build with Two-Bladed Sword
-Jonz, Fighter 2/Rogue 2, sniper build
-Narcy and Wrogann, vanilla two-hand bastard sword builds.
-10 militiamen

I put up a barrier made of small Mauly clips and folded index card scraps across the part of the map where the wagon is.

Wave 1: Air Strike

First wave:

-2 Hobgoblin dragoons mounted on advanced manticores
-1 Doom Hand Confessor (Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 3)
-10 Hobgoblin regular archers (mwk composite longbows instead of longswords)

The manticores come in hard and fast, carrying hobgoblin dragoons on their backs and 50 lb rocks. The Doom Hand Confessor appears, already buffed with Divine Power and Divine Vigor, and heads straight for the barricade.

Holden, Rampant and Lyka damage the confessor significantly in the first round, but the two manticores drop their rocks on Holden. Holden takes a wallop from the first rock, but the second misses.

Kikkeni stays prone on the roof of the cottage above the wagon, doing her best to lie low. However, with the manticores overhead, she desides to leap down and join the fray below instead of being plastered on the roof .

Nox sneaks the closest Manticore (his Hide check is 50), dealing significant damage to it.

Before the confessor can get any damage off, he’s dropped to critical HP by the mobbing PCs. Jonz takes a few ineffectual potshots while the other three Lions stay behind the barricade.

At this point, one of the dragoons barks out an order in Goblin: “Alright, drop the hammer on ’em!”—and an arrow volley strikes the militiamen. Four are severely injured, and Wrogann takes a hit as well.

Holden leads the militiamen in a concentrated arrow volley on the Confessor, and they actually get in a hit. The Confessor attempts to smite Holden by channeling Contagion into his heavy flail, but fumbles. Lyka cuts him down.

The Manticores retaliate by spraying the defenders with their tail spikes. The four injured militiamen die instantly, plus two more. Improved Natural Attack FTW. The other manticore fires at Kikkeni, Teyani, Wrogann and Narcy, but only lands a hit on Narcy.

A second volley of arrows comes down on Holden, Lyka and Rampant, but only Holden gets hit. Nox takes a second shot at the manticore he shot, and it comes crashing down. Its dragoon jumps off and lands very close to Lyka.

Linny comes out of hiding and blasts the second manticore with blast of force and it fails its Fort save, falling out of the sky. However, it doesn’t take enough damage to die and instead lands uncomfortably close to Kikkeni. It ineffectually tries to attack, but Linny knocks it into the negatives with scorching ray.

Although the two dragoons wound Lyka significantly with their halberds, the party’s frontliners and Rampant easily take them down.

The hobgoblin archers close in on the street, but Nox drops a glitterdust on them from a scroll. Seven of them are blinded, and the remaining ones, seeing the party tear up their frontliners, beat a hasty retreat, dragging the blinded guys with them.

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In Which We Cheer the Death of Warforged

I had hoped to cover more ground today, but unfortunately Linny’s and the Magroens’ players were sick and couldn’t make it. Kikkeni’s and Lyka’s players arrived late. Since Kikkeni was dead, her player took over Linny for now, while Lyka’s player took over Holden in addition to her character. Since Loven was charmed and had no way of ever passing the opposed charisma check versus the Greater Barghest, he just aimed and reloaded at Lyka every turn.

Rag Doll

The round begins with Loven shooting at Lyka. The Greater Barghest (in dire wolf form) bites Holden and pulls him to the ground, while Lyka assails the tiger knights. Linny casts Sanctuary on herself to protect her from the Enlarged hobgoblin duskblade and tries to skirt around to get to the meat shields.

The three remaining hobgoblin tiger knights continue to pound on Lyka, but she executes a flawless Mithral Tornado and his every single one of them AND their mounts. This takes a huge chunk out of their HP. The warcaster, still hidden in the abandoned watchtower down the road, casts Manyjaws at Holden, chewing him up for a lot of damage for three rounds.

Lyka weathers the beating from the three tiger knights and eventually kills the second tiger. The two knights, now on the ground, issue fighting challenges against Lyka and renew their assault while the remaining mounted knight continues to fight with his mount. Lyka’s AC proves to be too high, however, and most of them roll badly.

Holden is dropped really close to death several times by the Manyjaws, while Linny, who was able to move up to him, continuously heals him. The Barghest gets tired of Loven missing and just tells him to sit down and “contemplate what passes for a life” and blasts the PCs (and the tiger knights) with Crushing Despair. Holden, Lyka and Loven each fail, while strangely enough, I roll high on the saves of all the knights and tigers.

Lyka uses Iron Heart Surge to shake off the Despair and soon drops the third tiger knight (the one still mounted), but his tiger keeps fighting. It manages to back up and gets enough clearance to pounce her. Most of its attacks miss, but it manages to grapple her as part of its pounce. Holden, however, turns to the tiger and cracks its spine in half.

Holden, despite drawing his best maneuvers, keeps missing the Barghest but eventually manages to lower its HP down to 31.

The remaining Hobgoblin Duskblade keeps trying to hit Lyka and Holden, but keeps missing. At one point it succeeded in Enfeebling Lyka one turn from the end of her Whirling Frenzy, but she was able to shake it off with Iron Heart Surge. As the duskblade began to run out of spells, Lyka ran up to it and split it clean down the middle with Soaring Raptor Strike.

Linny buffs Lyka with Bull’s Strength even as Linny’s Whirling Frenzy wears off.
The Greater Barghest changes shape, and on its next turn, turns to Loven and mauls him, taking off about 28 HP. The Rogue snaps out of the charm and moves to flank the Barghest, but fails to deal any damage on his first attack. The next time he tries, though, he crits and drops the Barghest to 1 HP. The Barghest tears Loven apart like a rag doll. Thankfully, before the Barghest has a chance to devour Loven’s soul, Lyka shanks him dead. The last knight goes down easily on Lyka’s blade. (That means Lyka killed all three tiger knights, two of the tigers, the Barghest, AND one of the duskblades. Do. Not. Piss. Her. Off.)

The party takes a breather to use the Staff of Life on Kikkeni (it was pretty unanimous that she was far more useful than Loven ever was), and makes a break for Brindol.

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