Rudi's Notes 07-22-16
Starday, 5th of Seranith
The party stoops through the cramped and stifling tunnel, all except Rudi who stands tall at his full 2.5 feet, making final preparations as they try to gain access into the fort. They come to the end, and find a hatch with boxes and crates piled on top.
Faderean greases the hinges, and somehow manages to lift it open with none of the objects piled on top falling off to make a racket. From the hole they stand in, all they can see is some rubble, and a set of stairs. Faderean is the first one up, sneaking up out of the hole and into the quiet fort. Rudi follows, and then Pirec with his heightened awareness that he’d cast on himself.
The others make their way up as silently as they can. First Hydrastis, then Sear who got tripped up in his robes and stumbled into the crates that were moved to quietly previously. A call-response goes out. Ca-caw, a single guy shouts, with a chorus of Co-coo’s ringing out around. Faderean is able to mimic this, buying the group time.
Then Pirec and Faderean break the cardinal rule of adventuring – they split the party. The pair sneak down the perimeter wall, spotting a sentry on top of the fort. Faderean scales the wall, sneaks up behind, then assassinates with a silent crossbow bolt to the back of his head while simultaneously pulling a rope from his pack, looping it around his neck and letting him hang silently instead of falling and alerting the camp. Pirec searches the dangling corpse from the ground, taking his personal belongings and his dirty leather hood.
Glod and Cassius make noise as they clamber up, but not loud enough to alert the camp. Up ahead, a guard challenges Faderean, who tries to imitate the man he just killed. Except, without hearing him talk, he can’t do a very good job.
“Go sit on an arrow, you slag!” he shouts across the bridge, before shooting him through the throat. The other raises the alarm before he meets the same fate. Sear and Glod make to go after the others, when a hulking man wielding a tankard and a club leaps a gap from rooftop to rooftop, with two other bandits following him.
On the ground, Hydrastis spots a horde of others coming towards them on the ground. She takes a pot shot, and ducks back around the corner, as the pair on the roof start firing at her. With a beastly roar, Auchs jumps behind Glod, but slips and falls in the mud and debris.
As Cassius gives a rousing speech to inspire the others, and Sear and Glod pile on his supine form, Rudi charges up the stairs at the pair shooting at Hydrastis. Spooked, probably expecting something much bigger, one fumbles with his sword, knocking himself in the face, while the second swings wildly.
Through all of this, the sound of chains clinking and grinding gears can be heard from the other side of the fort. There Faderean watches from above as a pair of bandits fire at Pirec, and peppering them with what arrows he can. Another man, Dovan hangs back, throwing daggers. The archaeologist tries to duck around the corner, but the pair chases him. And then a monstrous beast throws itself on one of them, feathered arms pulling the screaming man to it’s massive beak before tearing his throat out, along with half of his jaw. Thinking quickly, Pirec sets about trying to topple the watchtower, and bring it down on the creature’s head before it can finish his grisly feast, and move on for seconds.
It doesn’t take long before the Owlbear is on him, tearing a sizeable chunk out of him. The tower, leaning precariously, tips the rogue from the top who pulled a huge bear trap from his pack bearing down on the beast with it held before him. He rolls free, but Pirec is buried in the rubble.
On the other side of the camp, Auchs continued to tie up the rest of the party. Taking spells and weapon strikes with his guffawing laughter, he swings his club around him carelessly at Sear, Glod, and Cassius, his own blood splashing on each with each strike.
Rudi, at the top of the stairs, lunges at the first bandit, electricity forking between each tine, before plunging into his solar plexus. The energy courses through him, bursting his eyes. With a flourish, he repeats the maneuver with the second, before charging away, and running down the top of a wall.
An arrow catches him in the shoulder, nearly causing him to plunge to a 20 ft fall to his death as The Stag Lord finally reveals himself. Bow clutched in one hand, the bony skull of a stag adorning his head as the antlers stretching up from his head and flanked by two of his men who also launch a volley of at the vulnerable halfling before he dives from the tower and into another bandit. One more arrow catches him and the magus collapses.
Hydrastis, thinking quickly, slows their advance with a well place spell. Vines creep from the ground, wrapping around bandits ankles, and clutching their feet to the earth. Some hack their way free, others give up and resort to their bows. Another owlbear charges into view, dragged to a halt by the entangling vines.
Auchs continues his assault, sometimes dazed by Sear’s best use of color spray, other times swinging at Cassius, Glod, or the sorcerer. Until in a final exchange, Cassius throws his shield up with the club ringing harmlessly against the steel, before his sword slides through his gut. Auchs pleads as his last words, “Take care of my toys!”
At this point, a stranger, Akiros occupied The Stag Lord’s attention, buying the group a little extra time to deal with the bandits already in range. Hydrastis is able to skewer one with an arrow from her longbow, with others bearing the shafts of other shots. Sear maintained the use of his long spear, thrusts at The Stag Lords men pouring around the corner, keeping them at a distance as Cassius takes up his place at the front lines. And Glod, who had been frantically trying to heal the group with all the damage being dealt, was finally given a slight reprieve. He’s able to lend his strength to his companions, healing their wounds with prayers to his God.
Rudi’s eyes shoot open with the dwarf standing over him. “How you doing, buddy?”
“*Glod*?” He mutters, before a black toothed man swings an ax down at him. It nicks him as he rolls to the side, and he thrusts his trident up into the man’s gut.
A wounded Faderean flees from the owlbear, swinging his axe at it when he was able as he lost his crossbow in the fall, trying to climb to safety up the rope ladder still clinging to the edge of the fort. The owlbear rips it free as it gives chase, forcing Faderean to scurry up the side of the building. There he stands, swinging his axe as the bird-like visage crests the wall. With a scream, and a flurry of feathers bursting from it’s body, he retreats once more, picking up a bow awkwardly from a dead bandit. Holding it in quaking hands, he waits for the owlbear to come around the corner.
With little warning, the other owl bear breaks free from the entangling grasp of the vines, and charges across the field. Cassius stands ready, it’s claws raking against gleaming armor. His sword bites into it’s beastly form, eliciting a bird like squawl. A mystical hammer appears behind it, bludgeoning the animal, as Sear conducts the incantation for color spray once, twice, leaving it wobbling on his feet. With one more swing, the sound of a hammer striking an anvil rings across the battle field as the creatures skull and brain matter sprays across *Cassius*’ shield.
Up ahead, Rudi battles one of the last bandits. As he’s fighting it, a bolt of acid from Glod strikes the halfling in the back, the liquid raising blisters along his neck and back. He staggers under it as he deals the final blow. At the time, he’s unsure if he struck the killing blow before or after the acid hit – was it an accident? Or was it intentional?
“Stag Lord! You had your chance! We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Now it’s time to bring you to justice!” The challenge from Cassius rang out in the aftermath, as the party starts to close with him. He gives a tactical retreat, firing where possible. The stranger chases off the dagger throwing lieutenant that had appeared from the other side of the camp. As the others close in on The Stag Lord, Rudi runs after the escaping bandit. Instead he only finds the open gate.
The others, feeling The Stag Lord is cornered, rush to finish him off. Cassius, leading the way, is felled by two arrows that find a gap in his armor. He collapses to his knees. Sear, nearby, rushes over to force feed him a healing potion, letting The Stag Lord escape through an unseen doorway. The stranger gives chase, and is felled in the doorway.
The part closes around him. Frantic, The Stag Lord glances around. Then Cassius raises his sword, and plunges it into his gut. The bandit lord spits blood onto the cavalier before uttering his final words. “Fuck you, father.” And then everything was quiet, except for the moaning of the dying.