E.G.’s [D&D v.3.5] – Session 8

It is very early in the day.  Corun Dum’man, Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn, Magnus, Goa Finnbjorn and Elroy Wick have taken shelter beside a building in North Point’s wharf district.  The clear night clouded over with the coming of dawn; low cloud and drizzle worsen an already dismal mood.

Kulich stumbles upon them; the Cleric has been up all night healing injured villagers from outlying settlements.  He shares his orders from the town leadership : Find a meal and find a bed.  Expectations are that the Orc army will attack tonight.  All defenders will need to be fresh.

Corun’s house is the closest.  Øskur leaves his ladders outside.  The Wizard and his five friends light a blazing fire in the hearth, eat their fill and find a flat and comfortable spot to lie down.  Despite last night’s troubles, sleep comes quick and deep.

They wake mid-afternoon of the same day.  Kulich prays for his day’s spells while Corun reads his spellbook.  Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn seems different; his level-gain yesterday finds him now a Druid-Barbarian, or Druidbarian as Goa quips it.  Soon everyone is ready to go.  When they leave Corun’s house, the Wizard wonders if he will ever come back to it.

The town is a hive of activity.  A lot happened while the party slept.  The Dwarves arrived from Gold Mountain.  Their Fighters equip and train villagers, and their engineers construct catapults and reinforce the gates.  The people of Red Fjord arrived an hour after Pine Cove’s fleet landed.  They have joined the effort to prepare North Point against attack.

Scouts have seen the main army.  It is terrifying.  It numbers over a thousand; in its ranks are kobolds, goblins, orcs, ogres, worgs, even hill giants.  This force slowly approaches, burning farms on their way.  If their impending attack does not finish off the settlement’s population, their disruption of the critical growing season just might.

The party winds its way to the Main Hall.  Here, Samuel oversees preparations for war.  Two hundred able defenders will occupy North Point’s wall and gates.  The wall has been marked off into defensive sections roughly 80 feet in length.  A team of defenders will protect each section.  A section commander will supervise these teams’ efforts.  These section commanders, in turn, report to Samuel.  Samuel has at his disposal a reserve force of men, and a ready-response squad to attend any sudden threats.

The wall itself is a berm that slopes up from the village to a sixteen-foot high stacked-stone cliff face against invaders.  As a guardrail and defensive structure, a short wooden fence offers defenders some shelter at the top of this stone battlement.

Armst has located his friends.  He, and the Rogue, Bard, Wizard, Fighter, Druidbarian, and Cleric are assigned a section of wall near the North Gate.  With them will be three modestly capable militiamen, and their associate Jorgen from Pine Cove.  Jorgen is a bit worried to be fighting alongside this group again.  They have been a magnet for trouble.  JØhan from Pine Cove is their section commander; he shares Jorgen’s reservations.

A stout brazier burns with coals, providing heat and a source of fire should the defenders need it.  Each person has been given a ration of ammunition, topping up what they already carry; arrows, bolts, spears, javelins.  The group settles into their section of battlement.

The grey mist and light rain bring gloom.  Anxiety slowly dissolves into boredom as hours slide by.  Casual conversation between Øskur and Goa suggest that both the Rogue and the Druidbarian have what may prove to be competing interests in the attractive druid Ilva.  Magnus paces impatiently, muttering about wanting a 10-foot pole.  Kulich huddles under his cloak, shunning the damp air.

Early evening.  After the fifth long hour of waiting, a call to attention comes up from further down the wall.  The party looks to the east, as directed.

Far away, across the wet green plains, there is movement.  A wide, dark mass slowly resolves into individual shapes as it creeps closer.  It is the invading army.  Creatures ranging in size from Small kobolds to Large hill giants lumber towards them; fortunately there are no Huge enemies in their ranks.  There look to be far more than a thousand of them, but that may be the over-estimation of nervous minds.

Defenders on the wall rush to their posts, weapons ready.  They watch as the army comes to a halt about half a mile away.  Through the thin fog the defenders of North Point hear noise – war drums and the chants and war cries on a massive scale.  A novelty at first, it becomes unnerving.  The drumming and roaring grows in ferocity.

For an hour this goes on, building in volume and intensity, until finally it erupts in a triumphant roar, and the dark revelry becomes a charge.  By dying daylight the horde thunders towards the East Gate.  Hill giants scoop and hurl large stones; ogres carry kobold archers.  Fleet-foot goblins and furious orcs stampede on foot.

The sea of evil crashes against the wall and the East Gate.  Some defenders fall while others deal death.  Catapults fling jagged stones onto the rear ranks of the attackers.  The party is about 600 feet from the main thrust of the attack; what they see is chaos.

Aware of their duty, the party does a Spot check over the open fields to the north.  Some of the group sees movement along the beach, coming out of the treeline.  It is a sneaky force of about fifty orcs.  Magnus hurries off to notify Chief Samuel.  The commander orders a squad of ready-reaction troops to the wall.  They mark the platoon of orc miscreants and send them running with a hail of arrows.

A secondary group has broken off from the main force.  Unable to get within attacking range at the East Gate, these foot soldiers have decided to try for the North Gate.  Defenders rush to the wooden fence.  Elroy Wick chooses a suitably heroic epic poem to stir his side on to victory.  He enhances it with Inspirational Boost then begins to Inspire Courage.  His friends are in a mood to accomplish great things.

Corun and Goa tuck crossbows to their shoulders.  The Rogue has spare bolts tucked into every pouch and fold of cloth on her person, in easy reach for quick reloading.  Magnus and Øskur have a javelin in each hand to start off with, plenty more staked in the dirt for after.  They eye each other’s choice of weapon; this may become a competition.  Armst has a quiver of arrows at his belt, and a short bow ready.  Wick is a step behind the firing line.  Kulich is near to assist.

From their right, and below their line along the crest of the wall, the secondary group of attackers hurries toward the North Gate.  There are plenty of targets – orcs in various armors, goblins and kobolds, even a few ogres.  The party unleashes its missiles.  Several in the wave of attackers are hit and drop dead, trampled by their cohorts.  A slow ogre is the focus of many second- and third-round volleys; it crashes to the grass and mud.

The attackers are intent on the North Gate, so few respond to the attack from above.  A spellcaster in the horde hurls a Fireball into the party’s midst.  Magnus and Armst make Reflex saves to take only half-damage.  A village defender was not so lucky; badly hurt, he must withdraw from the firing line.  Kulich administers the contents of a healing kit.

Corun casts Mage Armor on himself.  Druidbarian Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn feels the earth’s displeasure at the incursion of these creatures, and at the same time feels his own barbaric pleasure at having killed three orcs by javelin.

Seeing a particularly broad and easy target, Wizard Corun lines up a perfect shot (with a natural 20 confirmed with another natural 20) on an ogre.  The ogre takes notice.  In a Rage, the ogre draws a tree-sized javelin and hurls it with muscle-rending force.  It is dead-on-target to hit the Wizard, but the ogre’s aim was a nudge low and the huge javelin clips the wall and ends up lodged in the wooden defensive fence, mere inches from Corun Dum’man’s crotch.  The Wizard quietly soils his undergarments.

Armst casts Hail of Stone to pelt a group of orcs, with the Rage-fuelled ogre included in the target radius.  The ogre heaves another pointy tree but it misses.  Everyone in the party turns their attention to the ogre, and fires or throws at it.  The combined efforts of the group have dealt the ogre more than 100 points of damage.  It finally drops dead.

The party does a Spot check to see how the larger fight is developing.  Things do not look good.  The primary army has done the East Gate significant damage; it is breaking down but the defenders are redoubling their efforts to hold fast.  The secondary army reached the North Gate and ignores arrows to chop and bash at the thick timbers.  A Fireball cast by one of the attackers explodes against the Gate.

The attackers at the North Gate are out of the party’s range.  Now is the chance to take a breather and stock up on missiles.  Magnus and Øskur both scramble to collect more javelins.  Each man has killed at least five orcs, and wants to tally more.

Another brigade of attackers has separated from the main group to try the North Gate.  Wick begins a new Inspire Courage effort, this one a song to bolster a warrior’s heart.  His fellows hold until this new group marches into range.  Then the slaughter from above begins anew.

A goblin spellcaster throws a Fireball at Magnus; the Fighter and the Cleric dive for cover and take modest damage.  Goa Finnbjorn makes an expert Reflex save and her Evasion ability spares her from taking any damage at all.  She casually dusts off her coat as she stands up.

Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn and Corun Dum’man’s missiles, and Armst with his Hail of Stone spells, have been highly effective against this second group of about 100 orcs.  As before this attack force is intent on reaching the North Gate.  It barely notices its losses.

The party has no targets within range.  They reload and hold their ground.  They would like to help at the North Gate, but the defending militia is doing sufficiently well on its own.  The East Gate is the real worry.  It cannot hold out for much longer.

(end of the session)

[Kulich achieves Level 2]




About d20horizons

D&D player.
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