Garrion senses that the end is in sight for Gregor. He lashes out wildly to try and distract the bat from finishing off his new companion.
Roll Attack: 1d20 = 7 Damage: 1d8 = 6
With his third miss in a row Garrion certainly felt helpless as Gregor meets his end. He resolved to learn more about how to fight bats in honor of Gregor as soon as he was able.
Baros watches as the bat makes a direct dart towards Gregor. Before the mage can call out a warning, the two are already engaged. Mentally, Baros searches his mind for an answer, a solution to save Gregor before the bat's fangs bury themselves deeply in the man's neck. He can do nothing, however, as a growing sense of dread begins to creep its way up his spine. Gregor seems to stiffen as the bite hits home, and then...
Baros knows his jaw hangs open in shock, his eyes wide with disbelief. A wordless howl escapes him as he watches the cleric succumb, and his feelings of uselessness suddenly turn to fury.
The elf watches with horror as the bat kills his new companion. As Gregor's life slips away, Atrius takes aim at the bat, says a silent prayer to his god, and lets the arrow fly.
Longbow attack: 1d20+2 = 13 (+1 dex mod, +1 close)
Arrow damage: 1d6 = 5
OOC: Spoiler: Show
4 arrows fired in this room, 15 remaining in quiver.
Sandallan clips the bat's wing, causing it to careen out of control. Atrius then places an arrow neatly in its torso, nailing it to the wall next to the fireplace from which it emerged.
With the bat now dead, the party realizes that Gregor has succumbed to blood loss.
Atrius' sharp elven eyes note a glint in the rubble near the fireplace, a black onyx gemstone.
And now to take stock...does the party move on, leaving Gregor to the scavengers for the moment? Give him a proper burial? Take his body back to town, hoping for a resurrection.
From an ease of DMing standpoint, my suggestion would be to take his body outside to the NPCized characters that were scouting the cliffside for other entrances.
Batting the bat away to be skewered by Atrius' arrow, Sandallan sees Gregor's body collapse. Sandallan drops his sword and shield to catch his friend, but it is too late.
"Noooo!!!!!!!", he cries in despair, cradling the dead priest in his arms.
He looks at the bat on the wall.
"Leave it there," he says grimly. "I'll be right back."
He carries Gregor's lifeless body to his friends outside.
OOC I'm going with Quentin's suggestion. There's no way a group of hapless 1st level adventurers who have only managed to kill a carrion crawler and a giant bat are going to be deemed worthy of a free raise dead. Not to mention we've been playing the game for five months and have made it through three encounters, and have lost, by my count, three players (out of seven!)
Agreed. Hoping to get Gregor raised is really stretching it. A proper burial is the best we can hope to do for him, and that's not necessarily something to do immediately.
Baros feels a pit open in his stomach as he stares at Gregor's lifeless form. The mage can feel his own flesh turn clammy as he lays eyes on the body of his fallen comrade. He tries to avoid the truth, but he can't deny what he sees - the blood pooling around the man's body, the distinct stillness of his chest, the pained look in Gregor's eyes. Baros can only turn away as Sandallan lifts the cleric's body and moves to take it outside.
Baros can think neither of prayers to recite or proper words to express his sadness. All he can do is stare at the body of the bat and feel an intense, seething anger, which he tries to force down with all his might.
The relief Atrius feels at having killed the bat almost immediately turns to shock at the death of Gregor. Although Atrius had killed many forest creatures and his brothers had told him stories of terrible battle, the sight of Gregor's body and the growing pool of blood on the floor leaves Atrius dumbstruck. After the skirmish with the kobolds was resolved without bloodshed, Atrius confidence had grown, but the death of Gregor has left him a nervous wreck.
The other party members see Atrius silently walking around the room picking up his spent arrows, apparantly calm and collected, but on closer examination they can see his hands trebling and a severe nervous twitch in his face. His eyes are wide and dart around the room nervously.
When Sandallan leaves to carry Gregor's body back to the entrance, Atrius knocks an arrow to his bow and covers the unexplored entrance.
"What's the plan? When Sandallan returns will we press on this route? This ruin stinks of death and decay and I fear there is much worse to come. We will have to be careful."
Atrius looks at Garrion.
"What do you say Garrion, what do you think of this situation?"
OOC: Spoiler: Show
3 arrows recovered. 18 arrows currently in quiver.
Garrion looks at Gregor’s fallen body and tries to steel himself against it. Companions die, he told himself as he picked up Sandallan’s dropped sword. That’s why not everyone can be an adventurer. Repeating it in his head seemed to make little difference as tears streamed freely down his face as he solemnly walks behind Sandallan. On the way he quietly remarks to Atrius, clapping him on the shoulder. He completely misreads the situation thinking that Atrius is overcome with grief as he is.
That was a fine shot elf lord, I can see you are deserving of the title ‘lord of the forest’. Were you a man, I would call you ‘Bat Man’ so perhaps ‘Bat Elf’ is more appropriate. Tis only a pity that the shot hadn’t come sooner. But that is no fault of yours, the blame is entirely my own. I ought to have been there to protect the good Gregor. Come along outside, we need to bury our comrade.
As he walks outside Garrion berates himself for leaving the party. If only he hadn’t gone into that other room he would have been there when the bat attacked. He could have saved Gregor! No more! He would remain with the party to ensure nothing else like this happened! They did not possess his military experience, limited as it may be, nor his exquisite physical and chiseled good looks that had gotten him out of many a scuffle. No, if Garrion wasn’t around to protect them they’d be doomed for sure. Gregor’s death was a painful reminder of this fact.
With Gregor's burial done, the remaining adventurers must now consider the path ahead of them. As Garrion and Sandallan return, Atrius and Baros hear the approach of something else...clawed feet on the cobblestone floor. The battle with the bat has attracted the attention of someone or something...four kobolds, each bearing swords, approach cautiously from the western doorway (opposite the doorway Sandallan and Garrion are returning through), eyeing the party suspiciously.
And now the heroes face a reversal of roles as something comes to them in the dungeon. Attack? Negotiate? Flee? The first move is theirs.
OOC Edit: I didn't realize the kobolds had initiative. I think, however, that Atrius is still going to fight them even if they try to negotiate or flee.
His mind still reeling from the death of Gregor and his nerves on edge, Atrius is in a fragile mental state. The sight of the kobolds fills him with rage and fear. He leaps back from the kobolds and fires his bow at the closest one.
"Kill them!" he shouts loudly "Kill them all!"
Longbow attack: d20 + 2 = 15 (+1 dex, +1 close)
Arrow damage: 1d6 = 5
"Garrion! Sandallan! Kobolds! They're everywhere!"
Atrius appears to be a little unhinged.
OOC: Spoiler: Show
1 arrow fired, 17 arrows remaining.
At the burial, Garrion speaks through broken sobs.
Though I didn’t know Gregor very well, I could tell that he was a man of great worth and character. That his life was cut short is a tragedy. But with his death comes a renewed resolve! We will press onward in his name and complete our quest. The fury I deliver unto the wizard will be tenfold and resonate with the ring of justice for Gregor!
Trying to push past this, Garrion salutes the grave and turns on his heel. His eyes filled with deadly determination. As he approaches the room, he sees the kobolds and then sees Atrius attack.
That’s the spirit Elf lord take the fight to them! We’ll naught be caught unaware again!
Garrion sees the wild look in Atrius’s eyes and mistakes it for battle fury. With a battle cry of his own Garrion charges into the mix with sword drawn to try and break their spirit before they can attack. As he gets close he hacks at the nearest Kobold.
Attack 1d20 = 1
(OOC: I really don't like this dice roller )
Sandallan says little at the funeral. In fact, his grief and rage at his friend's demise seem to cause him to retreat a bit into himself. When Garrion calls for vengeance, Sandallan nods silently. After the bruial, Sandallan arranges stones over the grave in the pattern of Garrion's holy symbol.
Mournful and angry, Sandallan returns to the others only to find them in pitched battle against the kobolds. He looks up at the bat still pinned to the wall and all his grief and rage pour into his sword. He charges, shield up and sword forward, swinging angrily at any kobold still standing when he gets there.
Sandallan attack: To hit 14, Damage 7.
Finally, a decent roll!
With Gregor's death still fresh in his mind, Baros spies the kobolds and feels a surge of anger course up his spine. Clenching his fists as if he means to start swinging, the mage needs to count to ten in order to calm down.
Charging in there will only get me killed... I'm useless to the others... What would Aria say?
His rage mixing with a welling self-resentment, Baros does his best to avoid the approaching kobolds, all the while monitoring the situation.
Sandallan and Garrion can hack away at the enemy... Atrius can send a volley of arrows... What can I do? My magic is so limited... If only I had more power, I could lay waste to whatever threatens us...
Baros stops suddenly and shakes his head. These thoughts were troubling. It was as if the thought of power was slowly consuming his every thought.
Why is that?
The kobolds are taken off guard by the ferociousness of the party's attacks.
Meaning the party gets a surprise round before intitiative.
Atrius' arrow plunges into the chest of the first kobold, driving it back through the doorway a foot or so before it lands.
Garrion's blade slices the air where that same kobold was.
Sandallan has better luck, sending the head of another kobold rolling across the floor.
Surprise round is over so...roll initiative!
Kobolds initiative (1d6=2)
Going to assume the kobolds are going last, so go ahead and post your actions.
"Liars! You said you'd leave us alone!"
Sanallan is a dynamo in his grief, turning to another of the kobolds and attacking it mercilessly.
Party Initiative = d6 (5)
Sandallan to hit and damage: d20 (15), damage (8)
And to be clear, I the player know this is a different group of kobolds. Sandallan does not.
As Garrion stumbles to catch himself after his very poor charge, he turns upon another kobold and hacks again.
Keep with the arrows elf lord, I will hold the line while you cut them down!
It was getting pretty clear to even Garrion that his training was not helping him against these kobolds. So as to not be discouraged, Garrion formuated a new plan. Sandallan and Atrius seemed to have much better luck in dealing with him. It was his job then to hold the line while the others dispatched them.
Attack 1d20 = 11
Damage 1d8 = 1
(OOC: Sadly this is probably my best roll yet)
The elf appears to be consumed by madness. As he sees his first arrow land true followed by the charge of Sandallan and Garrion, he lets out an insane battle cry as he fires a second shot.
Longbow attack: 1d20+2 = 4 (+1 dex, +1 close)
(I'm not bothering to roll damage on that)
The arrow flies wide of the target and Atrius battle lust is tempered somewhat by this failure. With a wild look in his eyes, he turns to the wizard.
"Boros, take my bow and quiver. Shoot these animals, I will join the fight"
If Boros agrees to take the bow, Atrius will draw his dagger and will prpare to charge the kobolds on his next turn, eyeing the targets to see if any are injured and need to be finished off.
Sandallan carves through another kobold while Garrion and Atrius both miss the last one.
Kobold morale check (2d6=10)
"Oathbreaker! Coward!" Sandallan shouts as the kobold tries to flee.
Sandallan cuts down the fleeing kobold lest he warn others.
Sandalan Attack: (1d20=19, 1d6=5)
Baros breathes a sigh of relief when Sandallan gives pursuit. Between the three of them, Baros's companions were an effective unit. The mage keeps his mind clear of pessimistic thoughts, lest he begin to worry about how useful he has been so far.
"It's a shame the kobolds weren't thinking. They could have walked away with their lives had they been thinking clearly. I guess I should take the lesson to heart - panic leads to pain."
The elf calms visibly after Sandallan lands the killing the blow on the last kobold. Atrius walks over to the kobold he shot and attempts to pull the arrow of its chest but it snaps off in his hands. Instead he picks up the kobold's sword, tests it's balance with a few practice swings, and then straps its sheath on his belt next to his dagger.
"We should search them, they may have clues on them as to what they are doing in this castle."
Atrius is extremely relieved about the outcome of the battle. After Gregor's death he was convinced they would all die in the awful place but now as he stands over the slaughtered kobolds he thinks they might have a chance after all. So far his first taste of combat has left him badly shaken but resolved to do better the next time.
He is, however, feeling bad about nearly losing it during the battle. He is worried what the others will think of him knowing that he nearly broke. He wants to get moving before he loses his nerve again. He takes a minute to help loot the bodies, pick up his stray arrow and then says to the group:
"We should push on quickly before even more creatures are drawn in. I'd rather surprise them then give them time to set up an ambush."
OOC: Spoiler: Show
1 arrow recovered for a total of 17 remaining. A short sword is added to Atrius inventory
TheWonderKid, are you still with us?
Each kobold carries a small pouch containing 5 copper pieces for a total of 20. The short sword Atrius claims is crudely made and rusty (-1 to damage).
OOC: Where to from here? The party can continue west into the next room or backtrack and head east into the room Garrion briefly scouted out.
For reference, the party is room 22 on this map (top map).
Sandallan recovers his composure, a little embarrased -- and a little exhilirated -- at the release. He cleans the kobold blood off his blade and helps the others collect what little treaure there is to be had.
"We, um, we should keep going. If those buggers work for Bargle, he may wonder where they went."
Sandallan waits for everyone to get back into marching order and then, presumably, we all continue westward, as originally planned.
OOC: Onward to rooms 28-29-25...!
Baros notices Sandallan wipe the blood from his sword, and it strikes him that the sight doesn't unnerve him as much as he expected. Prior to this ordeal, he had been squeamish around blood, but in the span of a day, Baros had evolved. Even as the smell of blood reaches his nostrils, the mage feels a certain indifference.
Is this the hardiness that forms from battle? The icy coating around the heart?
Cursing himself for waxing poetic in the midst of danger, Baros falls into line, lending his support for Sandallan's idea.
"Aye, Bargle will learn of our presence soon enough, if he doesn't already know. Delaying will only work to his advantage. Let's make haste."
Seeing Sandallan chase down the last kobold, Garrion moves to go with him but stops himself. If Sandallan failed he would be all that stands between the party and the enemy. He must hold the line. It becomes a moot point quickly as Sandallan cuts down the small creature.
With the battle done, Garrion turns to his companions and drops his sword and sheld. He removes his helm and his eyes sparkle brightly in the darkness..
A glorious victory comrades! The enemy falls as blades of grass before the scythe that is our prowess! Let the denizens of this place quake in fear as they know their doom is upon them! Gregor shall naught have fallen in vain, but instead our deeds will echo from this place and honor the fallen Gregor so that his legend will grow and live on.
Done with his speech, Garrion rearms himself and prepares to follow Sandallan’s lead, having completely forgotten about his apparent ineptness in combat.
Style75, are you still with us?
The room the party enters is 30' x 30' with doorways in the north and east walls; the doors are missing. The room is filled with boxes and crats of many shapes and sizes. The room seems to be some sort of storage area. Most of the boxes and crates are open, toppled over, and otherwise look like someone has looted them of any contents.
As soon as the party enters the center of the room, a loud voice booms throughout the room, "Who's there? Bargle, is that you?"
OOC: How crowded is this room. Also, are the boxes packed with straw? Basically, I want to know how flammable this room is. Also, is there a light source in the room? Or are we dealing with something that can see in the dark?
Atrius is feeling emboldened by the party's victory over the kobolds. He dislikes this room and fears the party is walking into a trap. He whispers so that only his comrades can hear:
"I fear this is a trap, we should try to flush out our opposition."
He then calls out in a loud voice:
"Bargle is dead, and you will be too if you don't throw down your weapons and show yourself with your hands in the air."
Atrius has an arrow knocked and his bow is drawn. At the first sign of trouble he will shoot first and ask questions later.
Garrion is more than a little confused by the elf lord’s words. Trying to be whisper quietly, though not really being very good at it with a naturally loud and gravelly voice, Garrion asks Atrius.
Bargle is dead? When did that happen, was it when we buried Gregor? Why are we still here then?
Too late, it dawns on Garrion that Atrius was trying to play a trick on the unknown voice to draw it out. It wasn’t that Garrion was stupid, he just didn’t catch on to things like this fast enough most times.
Oh I see you are trying to draw him out, good plan.
Garrion was pretty poor at deception, and it was fortunate that his helmet hid his face. His father had often told him he'd make a lousy spy since he could not keep secrets. Drawing himself up to his full height and striking a bold pose Garrion adds his booming voice to the darkness.
You sir, or madam, have the pleasure to address Sir Garrion LeValliant of the LeValliant family, the mightiest knight alive. Show yourself and let us resolve this peaceably before I am forced to rain blows upon you as the heavens rain down upon the flowers in a hurricane.
When Atrius cries out his warning, Sandallan realizes that the stranger in the room could flee out the northern doorway and possibly warn Bargle. He dashes to the doorway and takes a position with his shield raised and sword ready to block anybody from trying to pass through. (He or course first checks to see if that room is uninhabited -- he doesn't want to get stabbed in the back.)
Baros cannot help but smile at Atrius's cunning. He keeps his compliment in his head, lest the mysterious voice catch his words.
Trying to lure the speaker out? I like your thinking.
Realizing he might as well lend his voice to their efforts, Baros does his best to adopt a tone of diplomatic understanding.
"We have no desire to spill more blood than is necessary. I am sure that we can see eye-to-eye and avoid coming to blows."
The old boxes are covered in dust and mold and appear to be quite flammable, though they'd probably burn out quickly.
Sandallan sees a dark closet through the north doorway, another doorway leading out of the closet in the east. The party's torchlight reveals only a small unopened hatbox, apparently dropped and forgotten by whoever looted the storage room the rest of the party is in.
The voice replies, "Bargle is dead you say? That is most fortuitous as I am no longer obliged to remain here. If it was you who did the deed, I commend you. Take this, with my thanks."
The boxes are shoved aside by an invisible force, most of them crumbling to dust, and a gleaming longsword appears suspended in the air, waiting to be grasped. With the boxes out of the way, it is now obvious that there there is no one else in the room.
What to do now? Trust the mysterious disembodied voice and take the sword? What to do, what to do...
Sandallan's mouth falls agape at the sight of the disembodied voice and the floating longsword. Some trick of the mind? Are we ensorcelled? Is the longsword speaking or some invisible warrior? Or a spirit from beyond?
Since Atrius has taken the lead with this spirit, Sandallan is content to play the role of the obedient soldier. He stands at the ready, on guard in case the sword tries to strike. He listens carefully, both for some sign that there is a hidden puppetmaster pulling the floating sword's strings, or to warn him if someone tries to sneak up on hi from the closet to the north.
Sandallan glances at Atrius expectantly.
Looking at the sword, Garrion isn’t really sure what to do. They hadn’t really defeated Bargle so taking the sword as a reward wasn’t really right was it? But, they were going to defeat Bargle, so it would sort of be like getting rewarded up front rather than after the fact. Plus the sword could help since it seemed as if his own sword had been failing him lately. Still, it wasn’t fair for him to simply claim it as his own, the others could make use of it as well. He wasn’t really in this for the reward anyway, it was more important to see Bargle brought to justice and gain vengeance for the poor soul he had taken. But it also wasn’t like he asked for the sword, it was offered. That was probably alright to take then.
Seeing Sandallan hesitate, Garrion figured he might as well go and retrieve it rather than leave it floating there, they could decide what to do with it afterwards.
A voice in the back of his head screamed faintly that it may be a trap, though a louder voice said that sometimes you just need to trust disembodied-voices-in-the-lair-of-your-enemy.
Stepping forward, Garrion will take the sword.
Baros lets out a low whistle as he lays eyes on the longsword. The blade itself looked quite nice, but the fact that it was levitating practically demanded awe. Still, the mage stays rooted to the spot. Although he has no reason to believe there is danger nearby, the ease with which the situation had been resolved isn't sitting right with him. He wants to trust the mysterious voice, and accept the idea that whoever was speaking a moment ago had no fondness for working with Bargle, but ever since this adventure began, Baros has recognized that his natural proclivity towards suspicion is far more intense than he ever knew.
Noticing Garrion approach the sword, Baros doesn't even need to warn the man that things may not be quite as they seem. Garrion is no fool, and thus, Baros waits patiently.
Style75, are you still with us?
This is normally where I'd pull the player aside to describe the situation privately, or pass them a note. Here, we'll just have to trust everyone not to read the following...
For TheWonderKid's eyes only
Garrion is now the proud owner of a cursed sword -1, though he doesn't know that in-character. At the moment, it feels and behaves like a sword +1, +2 vs spell users (in other words, it adds +1 to attack and damage rolls, except against spell-users, in which case it adds +2). Very powerful, very special. Unfortunately, the first time its used in combat, its true nature shall be revealed...it actually subtracts one from all attack and damage rolls. Further, Garrion can't get rid of it...nor does he want to. Due to the curse, it will be his preferred weapon in combat and he will resist attempts to take it from him. Should he somehow lose it anyway, it will magically reappear in his possession a few moments later.
Upon grasping the hilt of the sword, there is a brilliant flash of light that momentarily blinds everyone. When their eyes clear, the sword, emitting a soft glow, seems a perfect fit for Garrion's hand, as if the two were made for each other.
Whatever magic caused the sword to float and produced the disembodied voice seems to be gone, now. The room now seems somehow empty, as if someone or something had left.
Where to from here? Continue on to the room Sandallan is guarding the doorway to? Or head back to explore in another direction?
Sandallan shields his eyes from the flash and blinks twice when it clears.
"Sir Garrion... are you alright?"
With the sword in hand Garrion knows all the way down to his bones that this sword was meant for him. It simply felt so right, as if part of himself had been missing up until now. Snapping out of his wonderment, he looked at Sandallan.
Alright? ALRIGHT? This sword is…..MAGNIFICENT! Truly a gift from the gods sent from the heavens to aid me…err us..in slaying the wizard Bargle. I can feel it my fellows, this sword hungers for JUSTICE and shall be the instrument by which Bargle meets his DOOM! My fellows, I beg you to not think me selfish, but I swear that this sword has been waiting here for me to claim it. Now that we are united, evil must needs beware, for nothing can stand before me..err..us..and their doom is nigh! Before you all I dub this sword DOOMBRINGER!
Taking his old sword from his sheath Garrion sets it in the room for another brave adventurer to find. Yes, his old sword was good, but this was Doombringer!
Lead on my fellows, and take comfort that Doombringer watches over us!
Garrion keeps his sword in hand, refusing to be parted from it for even an instant. It was important that he get a feel for the blade to ensure that he was worthy of such a weapon.
Sandallan is puzzled. Is this a sign? Was the death of Gregor some sort of sacrifice needed to summon forth this "Doombringer" sword? If so, what malevolent forces are at work here?
Sandallan's brain hurts from all that thinking. Why is he looking for reasons to doubt their sudden good fortune? He pushes the doubts to the back of his brain, looks around once more to ensure that there is no sign of the invisible stranger who bequeathed the sword, and says, "Well... great! Let's get at it. Lead on Sir Garrion."
And with that, he expects, the party gets back into marching order and continues on to rooms 29 and then 25!
The elf is deeply disturbed by this turn of events. A magic sword waiting for Garrion that just happened to be lying in a castle undisturbed while enemies and an evil wizard wandered around? Preposterous! Atrius knows enough about magic to realize there is some trickery at play. This is clearly a trap set by Bargle to ensnare with glamour those who would bring Bargle to justice.
"Garrion, there is some wizardry at work here. Think about what you are doing! If this sword is as powerful as you think it is, why didn't Bargle take it? Or the kobolds? This is obviously a trap. Cast down that sword, I fear it has bewitched you."
Atrius picks up Garrion's original sword and offers it back to him.
"Take back your true sword and drop that thing, whatever it may be. The battle against Bargle has already begun and he has landed the first blow. Trust me good sir, throw that thing down!"
Atrius will continue to stand with the sword offered to Garrion and will try to block his path if he attempts to leave the room.
Looking at Atrius, Garrion is confused, as if the elf didn't understand their purpose here.
Looking at the offered sword it suddenly becomes clear to him. He speaks to the elf in a softer tone (well as soft a tone as Garrion gets). When he speaks it is with regret and pity.
Ah I see now, you are envious of Doombringer. Tis only right and more than understandable good elf lord that you wish the blade were your own. You have my sincerest apologies for taking the blade from you, and I would gladly offer it were it not meant for myself. However, I am sure that we will find other wonderous treasures as we bring Bargle to justice, perhaps how as magnificent as Doombringer, but surely something that will speak to you as this has to me.
Now, let us be off and bring Bargle to justice!
OOC: Assuming that Atrius doesn’t physically prevent him from leaving, Garrion will lead with Sandallan to rooms 29 and then 25! If he does, I’ll respond to that before we move on.
Atrius holds his ground in front of Garrion but turns to address the other members of the party.
"Baros! Sandallan! Our friend Garrion has clearly been bewitched by this blade. I think it is folly to continue on with it in our possession. Bargle has ensnared us with his magic. Help me talk sense in Garrion!"
Sandallan and Baros can clearly see that Atrius will try to block Garrion from leaving with the sword, but that he will relent and stand aside if they choose not to help him.
"Garrion, listen to me, this is madness! Use your head, think about what you're doing!"
Atrius looks to the others expectantly.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Sir Garrion. Nobody's taking the blade from you. You stepped up and did what needed to be done. It's your blade. I'd just feel better if our wizard could take a look at it. Lotsa blades have hidden powers. Maybe Baros could tell you exactly what sort of Doom this Doombringer brings."
Sandallan is obviously trying to keep the peace, but he is torn. On the one hand, Garrion doesn't seem bewitched. One the other hand, that sword looks to be really helpful. On the other other hand, Sandallan doubts that even if there is wicthcraft at play, that it could be confounded merely by dropping the sword. On the other other other hand, all this thinking is really difficult.
Wait. Sandallan realizes he's counted four hands and they all point to letting Garrion keep the sword. Sandallan chastises himself for thinking so much.
"I dunno, Atrius. You read stuff like this in stories all the time. Garrion doesn't seem bewitched to me. Whadda you think, Baros? You're the man with the magic."
Sandallan looks to Baros for guidance, and then has a thought.
"Of course, keeping Doombringer means giving up a share of the treasure equal to its value."
Baros fold his arms, adopting a look of concentration as he studies Sir Garrion and the blade. Mention of treasure and value suddenly lights a flame in the mage's mind.
"Value, eh? Now that's an interesting thought, indeed. If the blade were truly valuable, why would our mysterious host have parted with it so easily? Yes, I suppose gratitude may run deep for some folk, but we couldn't even see him, let alone assess what kind of character he possesses. He tossed the sword our way and we took it in the blink of an eye, but what if there is more to it than that? He could have merely been ridding himself of a burden, if the sword is indeed capable of bewitching its wielder."
Baros frowns, doubt and uncertainty tugging at his every thought. Sighing, he moves to stand beside Atrius, his mind slowly allying itself with the elf's suspicions. An idea forms in his head - an extreme one, but one that might bear fruit. If the sword is indeed able to warp the thoughts of the one who wields it, then Baros figures Sir Garrion's tongue will speak ugly truths if he is a victim of such sorcery.
"Sir Garrion, I have a question for you. If you had to choose between parting with Doombringer or seeing the three of us slain by monsters, which would you prefer? Treat this question as deadly serious, for it is no laughing matter."
Listening to his companions, it has become very clear to Garrion what has happened. Bargle had gotten to them. The wizard has cast some spell to steal their wits away from them and turn them against each other. Only Garrion, no doubt protected by his unshakeable nobility, had been strong enough to resist the effects of the evil wizard’s magic. Or perhaps it was Doombringer that had protected him while the flash of light had working it's way into the minds of his companions. Garrion had been at it's epicenter, so perhaps it was much as being in the eye a storms is often calm.
Atrius tried to cast doubts about Doombringers goodly nature, Sandallan tried to make Garrion turn it aside for monetary value, and now Baros tries to out-think Garrion by having him fall into some sort of clever word trap.
Yes, it was true that Garrion had only met these fine companions earlier that day, but their goodly nature had struck him from the moment they had first met. The only possible explanation for their current suspicion must that Bargle’s magic had gotten to them. But how was Garrion supposed to fight the evil wizard’s magic? He could only go after Bargle and strike him down. For the time being, he would try to reason with the others, even though Bargle’s magic would likely prevent him from reaching them. But, he had to try...he only hoped his words would reach them.
Atrius, you have likely spent most of your life in the forest. Things were different there; so far all you have seen is me gain a truly splendid blade. I assure you that I have not been bewitched and that this blade was laying in wait for me to arrive. If I begin to show signs of becoming possessed then we may speak, but I assure you friend Atrius, I am still myself and firmly in control of my actions. Just as you need to be.
Sandallan my friend, treasure does not concern me overly, my quest is to slay Bargle and insure he does not inflict anymore evil on this land or its people. You know this to be right in your heart as well Sandallan, you must resist the wizard’s evil with all your strength.
Baros, you think it odd that this blade was here waiting for me in the lair of our enemy. However, I put to you, that it is equally as likely this blade has rested here for many years waiting for me to claim it. Bargle tried to prevent that from happening by building his lair in this place. Don’t you think it odd that such a magnificent blade such as Doombringer would be here? It was to try and prevent it from being used against him! The wizard built this place to try to protect it, even if he could not touch the blade himself.
As for your question, it makes no sense to me. With Doombringer in hand I can better protect you from monsters, preventing you from being slain by them. Your question is akin to me asking if you would rather spend your wealth or go hungry. Would you not spend the coins on food to feed yourself? You use the first premise to prevent the other, the same is true here. Your sense of reason is strong Baros, I implore you to see things for how they are rather than how the wizard wants you to see them.
While Garrion could wax eloquently for days without pause, they did have more important things to do here, he hoped his words would allow his companions to find the strength to resist Bargle’s magic and continue on.
But we must be off, every moment we delay is another moment that Bargle can plan against us. Have faith that I am myself, for there has been no evidence to the contrary. I ask you to trust in me. However, if it sets your mind at ease, should I feel something untoward come over me, I will inform you immediately. I would appreciate your reciprocation of the same courtesy.
Garrion's charm is undeniable and his words do take the edge off the elf's fears, but his suspicion still remains and the elf is convinced there is some trickery at play. He does not, however, want to start a fight with his comrades in the heart of the enemy's lair. Atrius stands aside and lets Garrion pass, but moves close to Baros and whispers so that only he can hear:
"Baros, you and I both know that Garrion is bewitched. So far this sword has not caused trouble and I have no wish to fight Garrion while we are in such a dangerous place. I say we let this charade continue but be ready at a moments notice to take the weapon from him if we see this sorcery get out of hand. I know you are skilled in the magical arts and perhaps you have a spell that would incapacitate Garrion without killing him. We will undoubtedly have need of his strength and courage in the coming hours and it would be best if he was left unharmed."
Atrius speaks loud enough for the rest of the group to hear.
"If Baros is satisfied, I am ready to move on."
The elf then carefully slips Garrion's old sword through his belt so he can easily draw it or hand it back to the fighter if required.
Assuming the party is moving on to the north...
As Sandallan noted earlier, the room immediately north of the storage from which Garrion acquired his fabulous sword is more of a closet and a mostly empty one at that. There is another open doorway in the eastern wall. An old hatbox, likely dropped by whoever originally looted the storage room behind them, sits in the corner, dust covered and forgotten. The box is tied shut with string tied in a fancy bow knot on top of the box.
Sandallan has no idea what just happened, but everyone seems content to keep moving, and Sandallan is just glad nobody came to blows.
"We should probably open that."
Sandallan looks the box and vicinity over carefully, to make sure there appear to be no booby traps. Then, if nobody objects, he will pick the box up carefully, shake it gently to hear if anything rattles. Assuming nothing attacks him, he will open it.
Important and revealing DM question of the day...how is Sandallan opening the box?
OOC: It's a hatbox. Unless Sandallan can see a different hidden way to open it, he'll open the lid.
While still out of earshot from the other two, Baros whispers a reply to Atrius.
"Indeed. This sword and its ensnaring enchantment cannot possibly bode well for us. I do not wish for any harm to come to Garrion, but that blade will be a detriment in the long run."
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
As the group passes through the closet-room, Baros finds his eye drawn to the hatbox, and the know that keeps the container sealed. Before he can wonder at the need for such an elaborate knot, Sandallan steps up and moves to pry off the lid.
"I wonder what's inside. A hatbox seems like a strange place to keep anything of value, but at this rate, I'd settle for anything that doesn't want to see us dead."
After the strange discovery of the disembodied voice and the magic sword, Atrius is convinced that everything around them is some sort of a magical trap. Why would there be a hat box just left here when everything else is in ruins? The situation is just as preposterous as the floating sword. As Sandallan moves to open the hatbox Atrius nocks an arrow and draws his bow.
"Careful Sandallan, this is obviously another of Bargle's magical traps. We are like rabbits to him, fresh meat to walk into his snares! Perhaps Garrion should open the box, let he who holds Doombringer show us the way."
Atrius winks to Baros and nods his head towards Garrion.
"Prepare yourself wizard, I feel your magics will soon be needed. Bargle may be close."
Atrius is on a hair trigger and will fire his bow at the slightest provocation.
Garrion was still worried about his companions. They had been acting oddly since he had been united with Doombringer. He feared Bargle’s magics were at work here. Though he momentarily forgot all about it once he saw the hat box.
As Sandallan picked it up, Garrion became encouraged. Perhaps Sandallan was fighting Bargle’s influence. After all, why would Bargle want him to pick up a hat box?
I agree Baros, this does seem to be out of place. And so far, it seems to be the only thing out of place that we have found. Be wary noble Sandallan, it may prove to be a trap. But know that should that box contain another fell creature, perhaps of similar vicious nature to the very-same bat that slew Gregor, that Doombringer and I will be here to dispatch it before any more of our ranks are slain.
Looking at Atrius, Garrion fears the elf-lord has been completely taken by Bargle.
Nay goodly elf lord, I will stand at the ready should the trap spring. I suggest you do likewise.
Garrion will stand ready as Sandallan opens the box, fearing for the worst and ready to leap at any monsters that may fly out of the box.
As Sandallan undoes the knot on top of the box...
Sandalla needs to make a Saving Throw vs. Poison! 1d20 and you need a 12 or higher.
Within the box itself is an ancient and moldy woman's hat of a style not seen in any of the group's lifetimes. However, there is a hatpin beneath that appears to be made of solid platinum...and likely worth a small fortune.
Adding the hatpin (and XP from its treasure value) to the Character Roster thread. Once we know the outcome of Sandallan's save...onward to room 25?
Sandallan pulls the bow and a poisoned needle pops out! Sandallan shouts in shock and drops the hatbox, the needle just missing his exposed wrist.
"That was close!"
When the hatbox is on the ground, he kicks it a few times with his boot to get the contents out, seeing the moldy ladie's hat and the platinum pin.
"Aha!" he laughs as he picks up the pin. "You can keep Doombringer, Sir Garrion. I'll take cash."
Sandallan places the pin in the sack with the rest of the loot they've found.
OOC: (D20=12) Made it by the hair on my chinny chin chin!
Onward! If I'm keeping proper track, we are currently in room 25 and can continue to areas 30 or 23. Following our "stick to the left" method, we should continue to area 30.
Suitably impressed with Sandallan's fast reflexes Garrion resolves to discover if this is a learned technique or a natural ability.
With little else to say currently, Garrion will move on to the next room with the party when ready.
The sight of the revealed needle makes Baros's hands involuntarily twitch. Sandallan had been fortunate to shift his digits at the last moment; the mage envisions himself trying to open the hatbox, and in his head, he meets with considerably less fortune than his warrior friend.
"Sticking a needle in a hatbox? This place grows more mind-boggling by the minute. What's next? A closet that becomes an iron maiden? A windowsill that contains a hidden guillotine blade?"
More mental images pop into Baros's head, and a sour look appears on his face at his own grisly thoughts.
"Actually, nevermind. Gods know we'll run into something more insane."
The elf shakes his head at the insanity of it all. Clearly Bargle's magic is indeed powerful; disembodied voices, cursed swords, hat boxes with poisoned needles. What's next? Fear and doubt begin to creep back into the elf's mind and once again he asks himself why he ever left the safety of the forest.
"Lead on men, I will watch our backs and cover your advance."
The group presses on into what appears to be a bedchamber. There is a fireplace in the south wall, which appears to utilize the same chimney as the one the bat flew out of. In addition to the entrance in the west wall the party is entering from, there is a second doorway in the west wall, leading to another corridor. There is also a doorway in the east wall. As with most of the rooms in this place, the doors are missing, having been removed from the hinges long ago, possibly to be used as firewood elsewhere.
The room is full of ancient furniture, now covered in a fine layer of dust and mold. A canopy bed, plush chairs, tables, and rugs all give a semblance of rotted finery.
Sandallan and Garrion enter the room first and...feel rather odd. Their vision blurs and becomes unfocused, the furniture suddenly taking on the gleam of being brand new. A fire roars in the fireplace and the bed seems warm and inviting. Both the warriors feel suddenly fatigued, exhausted from...something they can't seem to remember. A battle? With what? It doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is a long, restful sleep.
Both Sandallan and Garrion need to make a Save vs. Spells! That's a 16 or better on 1d20. Good luck!
Sandallan enters the room, brimming with new confidence. He's got a nive chunk of change in his pocket, Garrion has a shiny new magical sword, and Bargle can't be far behind.
And then... Sandallan doesn't feel that way.
"Whoa. I don't feel so good," he says. "I think I'm gonna sit down."
Sandallan drags himself to one of the plush chairs.
"I just need to take a breather... just shut my eyes for a few moments. Then we'll... you know... adventure..."
Sandallan's save: 1d20 = 1. (Well, my good luck couldn't last forever!)
Baros nearly does a double-take when he notices the sudden lethargy enter Sandallan's step, watching the warrior mosey over to a chair.
The mage doesn't think anything of it at first; the tension had been nerve-wracking ever since the keep had first entered their sight, so Baros doesn't really blame Sandallan for finding his energy sapped.
Perhaps the big guy has hit his limit. Can't say I feel too chipper myself, after all that's happened. Then again, most of my day has been ducking out of sight and playing watcher. Sandallan's been swinging that sword like a machine. He must be beat.
Scratching his head, Baros shoots a glance at Atrius and Garrion.
"What do you guys think? This place doesn't seem so great a spot to take a nap, but nowhere in this hellhole seems like a safe place to be."
OOC: Save: 1d20 = 20! Un-freaking-believable. I haven’t rolled much past 10 yet and now I pull a 20. Did I mention I love this sword?
As he entered the room with Sandallan, Garrion felt fatigue crash into him like a wave….what was he doing here anyhow? Seeing Sandallan slump he couldn’t help but think that a rest was a good idea. Garrion stumbled into the room and looked for a place to set down. As the numbing tired set in, Garrion’s strength ebbed and Doombringer’s point dipped and clattered against the floor.
The cacophony of sound pierced through the drowsiness that he felt. Suddenly, everything snapped into focus for Garrion. Bargle’s magic was at work….and Doombringer had saved him!!! Shouting into the caverns Garrion calls out a challenge.
You’ll not defeat us like that Bargle…do you hear me wizard! My most magnificent sword Doombringer has protected me from your magics. This trickery will accomplish nothing for you! Indeed you have tipped your hand evil one, you know that you cannot face the might of Doombringer in combat, so you seek to steal my..er our..will to fight you! It shall not work…you may as well get comfortable and await your death!
To the party he turns and says.
Quickly friends, we must get Sandallan out of here. It appears that I am immune to Bargle’s charms, undoubtably because of Doombringer, I can feel that it is an evil-magic-hating-sword and wants to slay Bargle. Steel your minds against the magic and we may be able to cross this room quickly.
Grabbing Sandallan, Garrion will try to carry his friend towards the west corridor unless anyone else has a better idea on where to do.
Style75, are you still with us?
Garrion hauls Sandallan into the adjoining corridor. There is an open doorway directly across from him in the east wall and closed doors in the middle of the north and south wall. Judging from the layout of the place, it seems likely that the south door leads back to the main castle entrance.
There is dust and rubble in the corridor but nothing of interest.
The group's torchlight shines into the room to the east which appears to be another bedchamber, nearly identical to the one they just left except that the bed is in a much better state of repair, nearly new looking, in fact.
Sandallan remains unconscious. Baros now recognizes the effect as a magical sleep, not unlike the spell.
Putting Sandallan down, Garrion pauses to catch his breath. His companion was heavy, especially in his comatose state.
Garrion slaps his face a little to wake up his companion.
Sandallan wake up! Now is not the time to be sleeping my friends, evil lurks whilst you dream unawares.
The elf watches the scene in the room as first Sandallan and then Garrion are effected by Bargle's wizardry. Atrius knows the truth of what happened, that it was Garrion's loss of strength and not Doombringer that awakened him from the spell, but there will be time enough later to discuss. For now, Atrius has to get through this room and into the next without coming under the same spell that affected the first two. He realizes his best bet is to run through the room at maximum speed and then hurl himself through the doorway where Garrion and Sandallan are recovering.
The elf steels his mind against the spell, moves backwards as far as he can, and then sprints with every ounce of strength in his body, bounding through the room like some kind of deranged gazelle.
Saving throw vs Sleep 1d20=10
As he studies Sandallan, Baros feels a tingle creep across his skin, faint at first but growing stronger with each passing heartbeat.
"He's been ensnared by magic! Damn!"
Backpedaling as if the effect might be contagious, Baros notices Garrion pull Sandallan to relative safety, while Atrius dashes forward, with all the speed he can muster. Sheathing his knife, Baros steadies his breathing, and clenches and unclenches his fists as he mentally prepares himself for some sort of instant fatigue.
"Alright. Let's do this."
Without a second thought, Baros lunges forward, following Atrius.
Baros: Saving Throw (1d20=19)
Luckily for Baros and Atrius, the effect seems to have been limited to the first two people entering the room as they feel no ill effects.
Both Baros and Atrius note, via their magical training, that the second bed chamber seems likely to have a counter effect.
Garrion wasn’t really sure what to do here, Sandallan was out cold and apparently was not able to be revived. Looking at his companions Garrion tried to analyze the situation. Without Sandallan, Garrion wasn’t really sure how to progress. If it was just himself he would have charged ahead after Bargle, but there were others depending on him as well and Garrion knew that he was no leader.
The only course of action seemed to be to wait for Sandallan to wake up. But sitting in the hallway likely wouldn’t help him any. If we was going to sleep, he might as well sleep in comfort.
Looking the second room, Garrion spies the soft bed and begins to drag Sandallan towards it with the intent to put him on top of the bed. It seemed logical that the bedchamber would be more defensible than a hallway. The quiet voice in his mind screamed at him that it could be another trap, the last room was trouble for the party, why not this one? However, Garrion thought that it was unlikely to happen twice. Seeing that the others had joined him.
I guess we’ll wait for Sandallan to awaken before we continue our quest. Unless either of you have some magic to awaken our sleeping companion.
The elf's finely tuned senses and limited understanding of magic tell him the second bedroom has a magical field that will counteract the effects of the first bedroom. He fears, however, that this second room may have other unknown effects. Atrius stands at the doorway to the second room but does not enter and he motions to Baros to stay back with him.
Garrion, put Sandallan on the bed and he should wake up, there is a counter spell at work here.
We may have escaped this trap unscathed but we should expect more wizardry from Bargle. I fear that Sandallan may be cured of one spell only to feel the effects of another. We should be on guard and expect something unusual.
Then Atrius whispers to Baros.
I still don't trust this magic sword. If anything, this sleep trap makes me trust it even less. Bargle has clearly set up a number of magical snares and I'm certain that sword is one of them. We must continue to watch Garrion closely. I also fear that Sandallan may suffer some long term effects of this spell and we should watch him closely as well. If Bargle can put Sandallan to sleep, he might be able to mind control him as well.
It is obvious to Baros that Atrius has become completely paranoid of pretty much everything in this castle. Although his frayed nerves from his first combat appear to have settled, what remains is a very suspicious and cautious elf.
Atrius continues to keep an arrow nocked to his bow.
LordManshoon, are you still with us?
As Garrion places Sandallan on the second bed, Sandallan awakens almost instantly. Although disoriented, he feels completely refreshed, as if he had just gotten a full night's rest in a comfortable bed. Any wounds he had suffered are healed.
As the sword which Garrion has dubbed Doombringer brushes the bed, Garrion hears a hideous screech in his mind. The insidious curse on the blade dissipates and only now does Garrion realize that the sword was serving as the eyes and ears of Bargle.
The sword now carries only the enchantment it originally bore before Bargle tampered with it, +1 to hit and damage, +2 vs. Spellcasters.
Sandallan yawns and stretches as he awakens. He rubs his eyes and runs his hand through his hair... or tries to before realizing he is still wearing his helmet. He looks down, disoriented as he sees himself lying in bed, wearing armor. How did he manage to sleep in armor? Man, he must have been exhausted!
Sandallan sits up and checks his junk to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be. Then he checks his possessions. (OOC: ha!)
"Good morning, everyone! Sorry I drifted off like that. But I really needed that. Let's go kill us a wizard!"
Sandallan leaps out of bed and swings his sword around to make sure he's at full fighting readiness. he is. Then he realizes what he said and turns sheepishly to Baros.
"I mean, Bargle. Not you, Baros."
Feeling the screech in his mind Garrion can’t help but wince as the sound rips through his head. With understanding dawning on him, Garrion feels particularly upset that Bargle would defile Doombringer in such a way. This most excellent sword was an unwitting pawn in Bargle’s twisted game. It only added to the list of reasons why he must be slain!
The fact that the sword was the eyes and ears of Bargle unsettled Garrion a little, and he wondered how much information Bargle had gleaned from him. Likely, it only showed Bargle Garrion’s natural prowess and had the wizard trembling in fear. But, maybe seeing Garrion’s skill would cause the wizard the flee! With Sandallan awake Garrion helps him to his feet.
You were under Bargle’s enchantment my friend, but fear not his spell has been broken. This is actually fortuitous for his actions have tipped his hand. Bargle fears us and our coming, he knows his end is near. Why, he had even cursed Doombringer, the most magnificent of swords, in an attempt to learn from us. However, the curse has been overcome and Doombringer is restored to its rightful state. We must make haste to find and slay the evil wizard before he can escape us. Onward friends!
Baros senses the edge in Atrius's voice and finds himself agreeing not only with the man's words, but his mood, as well. Ever since they passed the kobolds, Baros has felt like jumping at every shadow. Realizing he is not alone in that regard, Baros nods knowingly and gives his reply, softly enough so that only the marksman would hear.
"The more we linger here, the more uneasy I become. This whole place is like some twisted circus, not just Bargle's lair, but his playground. Turning a corner brings us face-first with unseen dangers and deranged magics. I fear Garrion may already be playing into his hand. We must keep our wits about us, or we shall not be long for this world."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
When Sandallan sits bolt upright, Baros lets out a low whistle. The counter-magic was impressive - a split-second shift from sleeping to bounding. Baros waves a hand at the warrior's choice of words, earnest relief at his friend's well-being putting a soft smile on his lips.
"No worries. Mage I might be, but I have no love for such a scourge as Bargle."
When Garrion reveals the curse on Doombringer, Baros feels a mixture of agitation and confidence. Although the thought of the mad wizard spying on them is enough to make Baros want to curse like a sailor, Garrion's realization is reassuring to the young mage. Still, he wonders if Doombringer is indeed pure, and not perhaps still possessed of some sentience. Ignoring the question for now lest they lose focus, Baros nods at Garrion's call to press onwards and readies himself for the next threat.
Style75, are you still with us?
The group has a simple decision to make...which way to go?
Back to 23 and then check out the door to room 27 or into one of the stairway chambers (30 or 36)?
"Well, thank you, everyone, for breaking the curse on me... and Doombringer. We should..."
Sandallan looks around.
"Aw, crud. Were in a different room. Our whole system is messed up. I don't really want to go back to the place where I was cursed. What say we just forge on ahead?"
OOC: Sandallan votes we move foward to stairway chamber 36.
"The sooner we move out, the better. Bargle probably has a tome's worth of ways to drive us insane in this place. I swear, when this is over, I'll pay every bard I can find to sing songs of what an utter arse the man was."
When the group is ready for move, Baros hurries forth with no hesitation.
OOC: Sounds good to me.
The elf nods agreement and smiles at Baros comment. The elf is a fine singer, having been trained in his youth to sing in his father's court. Perhaps he would take up the wizard's offer should they survive this rotten castle.
These cursed rooms fill me with dread. Let's leave them behind us, quickly. Lead on men, I have your back.
Garrion was mightily impressed that Sandallan had a system for searching the rooms. He likely would have just went from room to room until he found Bargle. This is why Sandallan was leading the party and not Garrion.
Now that we are restored, let us find the blackguard and dispense with him once and for all! Lead on noble Sandallan, and know that I stand with you.
The group enters a hall with a stairwell leading down. The hall and stairwell both are filled with rubble and sunlight is visible through the crumbled ceiling. It appears that a portion of the ceiling collapsed in this side of the keep, blocking off the lower level in the process. The stairwell could possibly be cleared though it would take hours.
There is an open doorway from the hall, opening into a large room to the north. The light from the group's torch has apparently alerted the occupants of the northern room as the group hears furniture being turned over and harsh, yapping voices barking at eachother in the language the heroes now recognize as Kobold.
More kobolds! And they know you are coming. What's the plan?
"These guys, again!" Sandallan whispers in complaint. "And no sign of Bargle yet. Should we fight them or backtrack and try to go around them?"
"If we grab the bed from the back room, we can make a barricade to shoot at them from behind. Atrius, how are you doing for arrows?"
"I have plenty of arrows, more than enough for these beasts, but perhaps we can outsmart these beasts like we did at the castle gates. Maybe we can bully them into surrendering or at least lure them into this room where we can more easily finish them off. While I'm sure we will be victorious, I have no desire to charge into a well prepared defense."
Atrius looks at his assembled party members.
"I say we use the bed to barricade the door to the bedroom and have the bulk of us withdraw into that room. Garrion has a commanding voice, his words will convey the power of Doombringer to them. By now they will undoubtedly know what has befallen their comrades and we should remind them of it. Garrion should urge them to surrender and come forward into this room where we can either subdue them or finish them off more easily."
"If you don't like that idea, we could always try to smoke them out."
The elf then pulls a torch out from his pack and shows how it could be affixed to an arrow.
"I bet their fortifications would burn quite nicely."
Knowing that time is of the effort Garrion runs back in the room and tries to move the bed out. He isn’t terribly strong so he calls out to Sandallan.
Sandallan, aid me with the fortifications while Atrius can fire a couple arrows and Baros keep watch.
Garrion felt somewhat vindicated in hearing Atrius acknowledge Doombringer’s might. It occurred to Garrion that though the kobolds were small, being entrenched gave them a huge advantage. However, the kobolds also lived here, so they could likely outlast the party in a protracted siege. It was also time that Bargle could use to escape from them. In an enclosed space burning the kobold’s fortifications also seemed like a dubious plan at best, the smoke could suffocate the party as well without proper ventilation.
For the time being, preparing their own defenses seemed like the best course while they decided what to do. For his own part, Garrion was happy that such decisions did not fall to him.
At Garrion's words, Baros hops to it, and secures himself a position with which he can spy on the kobolds without risking certain death. The thought of a drawn-out fight doesn't sit well with Baros - that is, until he remembers that it is most definitely preferable to being gutted on the spot by a devil-may-care kobold.
Keeping his voice low, Baros assumes his watchman's stance and keeps his eyes peeled for any trickery.
"Alright, let's hope you runts are as cowardly as your friends at the main gate."
Garrion and Sandallan manage to drag the bed to the doorway, though there is an odd flash of light as it is removed from its room. Almost immediately after, the bed, which had been in good repair, ages rapidly, now appearing to fit in with the state of the rest of the keep. Whatever magic had preserved it...and gave it the ability to remove magical afflictions...is now gone.
However, none of this diminishes its usefulness as a barricade. The kobolds have similarly prepared and one of them calls out in halting Common, "You give up! We spare lives!"
A good old fashioned stand off. Who will fire the first shot?
The elf surveys their situation and knows what he needs to do. The party's success or failure in this battle will largely depend on his marksmanship. He feels strangely calm about the situation, a fact which surprises him considering how terrified he had been through their first few battles.
Atrius moves close to the doorway that leads to the room with the kobolds, pressing his back against the wall and being careful to not present any target to the monsters. He checks the sword he took from Garrion, making sure he can draw it swiftly if needs be and then draws an arrow from his quiver and nocks it to the bowstring.
"Friends" he says with certainty in his voice. "Let me fire the opening shots. When you are in position, I will cast a spell that will put a magical shield around me making it difficult for them to shoot me. I'll step around this corner and survey their defenses and tell you what I see. If I get the chance, I'll target their leader and hopefully take him out of the fight. The shield should last long enough to get off a couple of shots, after that I'll be vulnerable but we'll have a much better understanding of what we're up against."
He then takes a moment to focus his thoughts and prepare the spell in his mind.
"When you are ready, give me the signal."
Hopefully my intent here is clear. I mean for Atrius to activate his shield spell and then pop around the corner to study the kobold's numbers and defenses. If he can clearly identify who their leader is, or the most threatening target, he will take the time to take the shot. If there's no obvious target he'll stay in the open just long enough to get a good look at the situation. Either way he's going to shout back to the other party members to let them know exactly what's going on. If the kobolds do not shoot too many arrows at him, Atrius will stand and shoot as much as he can before his spell fails.
If anyone would like to add to this plan or has a problem with this plan or would like to do something totally different please post. Otherwise, Atrius will do this immediately. He doesn't want to give the kobolds any more time to prepare.
Baros listens to the kobold's proposition and raises his eyebrows in confusion.
"They want us to surrender? Do they really think we'd lower our guard just so they can bury spears in our bellies? They earn points for confidence in their abilities, but their concept of bluffing leaves a lot to be desired."
Baros listens to Atrius's idea, and nods, even though he knows that this battle isn't going to be a demonstration of his own battle capabilities.
"If we can, let's try to leave one alive. We might wring a few secrets out of a straggler if he thinks his life is on the line."
With the fortifications in place, Garrion begins to examine his options. A charge into the enemy line would be foolhardy, he remembered that from his militia training. If the rest of the party went along with that, then he would certainly help lead the charge, but for now, he figured it was best to try and fit in. Tactics, it was drilled into him during his training. Garrion understood tactics and usually played his part well. He could even develop strategies, he just often chose the wrong strategy for the situation. He was glad the others were here.
Hearing Atrius’s plan, Garrion’s face shone with admiration for the bat-slaying elf with whom he had known but a few hours but felt a deep connection to.
You shall not be alone good Atrius, I will cover you! First sign of trouble come back.
Setting Doombringer in his scabbard for the first time since he had held it, Garrion unslings his crossbow from his back and loads it with a quarrel. When Atrius jumps out, Garrion will take a shot towards the kobolds.
OOC: If Garrion can get a target, any target he will aim for it. Otherwise he’ll just fire a quarrel towards the kobolds to try and make them re-think shooting Atrius. He will then duck back down as quickly as possible and re-load.
Attack and Damage: 1d20 = 1, 1d6 = 5
Critical Miss. Nice to know some things never change
Wrecan, are you still with us?
Though Garrion's crossbow bolt misses wildly, it does serve as a distraction as Atrius casts his spell and then enters the room.
Atrius is current AC 2 vs missiles and AC 4 against other attacks for 2 turns (20 minutes).
The kobolds, five of them, are lined up behind an overturned table, though it provides them little useful cover given its dilapidated state. Turning it on its side has already caused the table's legs to fall off, forcing two of the kobolds to hold it up. They are armed with swords and don't appear to have any ranged weapons available.
There is an open doorway in the western wall of the room and the leader of the small group of kobolds is looking anxiously toward it, although its unclear whether is waiting for reinforcements or intending to run in that direction.
Now that Atrius has entered the room, the kobolds attention turns away from the errant crossbow bolt and focuses on Atrius.
Roll for initiative: 1d6 = 5
(looking good for the PC's going first)
Confident in the magical shield protecting his body, Atrius takes dead aim at the leader of the kobolds and lets his arrow fly.
Longbow attack: 1d20 + 1 = 16 (+1 dex bonus)
Arrow damage: 1d6 = 3
In the confusion of the moment Atrius can't see if his first shot hit, but he's confident in his current position and holds his ground. As he draws another arrow from his quiver, the elf shouts back to the rest of the group a description of the battle as he sees it.
"Five targets, all kobolds! Swords only, flimsy barricade, can't withstand a charge. Open door to the west!"
With a fresh arrow nocked to his bowstring Atrius prepares to make a second shot.
Garrion loads and lets loose a second quarrel to help Atrius as best he can.
Attack 1d20 = 5 Damage: 1d6 = 5
Seeing his shot go wide once more Garrion can’t help but feel frustration. He was never considered to be an expert marksman, but in practice he had done much better than this! Perhaps the bow was not aligned properly? He would have to look into it later.
In his frustration with the crossbow he only made out part of Atrius’ message. “Five targets….swords only….charge….to the west!”
Thinking there had been a change in tactics, Garrion smiled wide and put his crossbow away, picked up his shield and drew Doombringer, his most magnificent sword. With Doombringer in hand he felt invincible once more.
Have at thee small fiends! You shall not bar us from bringing Bargle to justice! Know that Doombringer has entered the fray and that thine days walking this mortal plane have come to an end!
Gathering himself, Garrion prepares to leap the barricade and charge the kobolds.
Baros notices the kobold leader eying the exit, and he rolls his eyes.
"Such a brave one, ready to turn tail and leave his friends to bite the dust."
Raising his voice, he calls out to the other kobolds, not really expecting they will take heed, but hoping that one of them might be distracted and risk a glance to see if the mage speaks the truth. After all, a moment's hesitation can be the difference between life and death.
"I feel sorry for you lot. Here you are, ready to fight tooth-and-nail, and your own leader is inching his way towards the door. Talk about being a coward. What sort of commander would ditch his own men at the first sign of trouble?"
Kobold initiative (1d6=4)
Atrius' arrow nails one of the kobolds, sending it stumbling backward before it falls to the ground, lifeless.
Sandallan charges in alongside Garrion, intercepting one of the kobolds about to attack Atrius.
The kobolds drop the table and advance, moving to engage Garrion, Sandallan and Atrius. The lead kobold takes on Garrion as well, though his attention is still on the western doorway.
First two attacks vs. Garrion; One attack vs. Sandallan; One attack vs Atrius (1d20=1, 1d4=1, 1d20=13, 1d4=1, 1d20=19, 1d4=4, 1d20=11, 1d4=2)
One of the kobolds attacking Garrion misses completely, nearly tripping over his own blade. The lead kobold's blade clangs on Garrion's shield. Sandallan is not so lucky as the kobold attacking him manages to slip past his shield, stabbing him in the gut. Sandallan falls to the ground, dead. The kobold attacking Atrius finds his weapon bouncing off the elf's magical shield.
Round two initiative!
Team Initiative Show
The sight of Sandallan collapsing to the ground draws in Baros and holds his horrified gaze. The mage, unable to blink at his friend's defeat, can barely hear the sounds of battle that surround him. The knife in his hand suddenly seems to disappear, as shock steal his senses and leaves him beyond rattled. Time slows to a crawl, and the kobolds don't even seem to be present, so withdrawn is the magic-user's focus.
"Sandallan... Sandallan... SANDALLAN!"
The thrill of seeing his first target drop lifeless to the floor was immediately quenched when Atrius saw Sandallan slain by the kobolds.
Although Atrius barely knew him, Sandallan was a friend and a fierce warrior. Blinking away the tears, the elf knew he had to fight on.
"Garrion, hold them off us as best you can. Baros, hold the barricade!"
Trusting that Garrion can hold the line, Atrius backs up to a new position behind the front line of the battle but in front of the overturned bed. He fires his next shot into any kobold that moves towards himself or Baros, whichever happens first. If no kobold moves towards them, Atrius will fire on whichever kobold looks the toughest.
Assuming Atrius is still alive at this point....
Longbow attack: 1d20 + 2 = 17 (+1 dex bonus, +1 close range)
Arrow damage: 1d6 = 6 (max damage!)
The elf lets out a fierce war cry as his arrow flies true and finds a vital spot on his target.
"That was for my friend! His name was Sandallan! Now you will all die!"
Atrius draws another arrow immediately and prepares to fire again.
Seeing Sandallan drop next to him tears spring to Garrions eyes and stream down his face. He could barely see his enemy ahead of him. But through the haze of tears and emotion, Garrion was able to see the kobold stand over the body of his comrade. His eyes flashed with steel as his determination surged.
Thou hath slain my companion small one. There shall be no quarter given as I avenge this noble warrior. Thou wrought thine own destruction when thy blade pierced the flesh of my noble comrade. Let the name of ‘Sandallan’ be known amongst your people and be spoken with fear and reverence. For to strike a blow against him is to ensure thine destruction! This shall not stand! Let Doombringer be the instrument of thy death!
Lashing out with Doombringer with all of his focus, Garrion looks to sever the head from the hapless kobold and avenge his friend.
Damage: 1d8 = 5
Kobolds round 2 initiative. (1d6=5)
The lead kobold makes a break for the western doorway while his partner presses the attack against Garrion. Meanwhile, the other two kobolds advance on Atrius.
Kobold attack vs. Garrion (1d20=4, 1d4=4)
The kobold attacking Garrion misses completely and is soon thereafter missing his head. Atrius' arrow plunges through the eye socket of one of the kobolds advancing on his position making the single remaining kobold rethink its strategy.
Round 3 Initiative! The lead kobold is getting away and the kobold that killed Sandallan is still standing.
Baros notices the enemy leader fleeing and wishes he had Atrius's bow.
"Don't let that coward escape!"
At the same time, the mage spies the kobold that slew Sandallan, and his gaze becomes white hot, anger practically blurring his vision as his gaze bores into the grunt.
"Garrion, take that one's head off its shoulders!"
Atrius sees both the kobold making its escape and the kobold advancing towards him. While he could save his skin take out the foe closest to him, Atrius is worried about what is in the other room. Backing up towards the barricade to keep his distance from the nearest kobold, Atrius takes aim at the beast about run out the western door.
Longbow attack: 1d20+2 = 4 (+1 dex, +1 close)
The advancing kobold has distracted Atrius and the arrow goes wide of the target.
"Men! Beware, the kobold at the door is escaping, be ready for more enemies!"
If Atrius feels like the nearest kobold is preparing to engage him, he will drop the bow and draw Garrion's longsword (the one Garrion dropped when he found Doombringer). Otherwise, Atrius will draw another arrow and prepare for another shot.
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