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View Full Version : AAR - Defending the Orchard



Maelstrom
01-21-2008, 07:16 AM
I don't think any of the other battles my players have had tops the Stockade Battle (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4996), but there have been some more interesting ones. Since some here seemed to enjoy that one I'll share another.

Background:

The only town within the mountain valley the PCs are adventuring in is called Tilventon. Due to the isolated nature of this valley surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges, the weather pattern is perfect for fruit trees, which is almost the sole source of income for the town.

The situation:

After a hard fought battle in the depths of a Mausoleum, the PCs were returning to the town. They found some strange tracks, and the ranger was able to establish that they were pretty fresh and headed in the direction of Tilventon. The ground was charred, so they conjectured that fire based creatures were on the march.

They moved quickly to discover the source of the tracks, and found the army, a contingent of orcs with fire mephits and salamanders, led by one of their mortal enemies, Garr Skullbane.

Some of the party members trailed the army keeping out of sight, while the ranger went ahead with his hippogriff mount to Tilventon to warn the town and get what aid they could. The ranger did manage to purchase a bunch of invisibility potions and some information.

One of the allies of the PCs in the town convinced them that the town itself was safe, but they worried about the orchard, which could easily be burned down by the fire based creatures, and was probably the target of the attack. With their source of livelihood gone, the town would no longer be a viable place to live, and the people would have to leave the valley.

The battle:

The orc and fire creature army lined up at the gates of the orchard, which was surrounded by a high stone wall. Garr Skullbane, a Half-Orc warrior who was very skilled in mounted combat, sat upon a black heavy warhorse, and his second was a Orc wizard utop a light warhorse. His orc forces consisted of skilled archers and a small group of druids specializing in fire spells. The flamebrother salamanders were in turn led by a full salamander, a beast of a monster.

Inside the orchard were the players' allies, a blind man, a priest, and the town's labor master. The PCs set up in the forest behind the orcs, maintaining cover.

The archers lined up, and with a spell from the orc wizard began raining flaming arrows towards the orchard. The fire creatures and the druids charged forward. The PCs used their invisibility potions to sneak up through to where Garr Skullbane sat utop his horse watching the battle.

The salamanders began climbing over the walls, while their leader bashed down the gate. The druids charged into the orchard with some of the mephits flying over the wall.

Then the PCs struck, surrounding Garr and focusing all of their attacks on their nemisis for the entire campaign up to this point... every setback they had was tied to this Orc, and they had a lot of pent up aggression for him. He did not go down without a fight, but surrounded and surprised as he was, his wounding axe did not taste much blood before he got taken down.

Meanwhile, the druid called in a rainstorm which nullified the flaming arrows and weakened the fire mephits and salamanders. He went to work blasting the fire creatures with spells, taking most of them out in a short time.

The other PCs found themselves in a difficult position, however. They were now in the midst of the orc archers, who drew their swords and surrounded them. The orc wizard blasted spells at them as they attempted to break free. Then the orchard defenders left the orchard to help them... the blind man turned out to be a druid, who had shapeshifted to a wicked badger, and the cleric and labormaster. Help arrived from the town as well, the town militia on horseback led by Captain Aevrin, the man with the spiked chain they had freed from the Orc stockade. With this support, the PCs mopped up the archers.

Seeing himself outmatched, the orc wizard charged into the orchard upon his light warhorse, where the orc druids had already gone, intent to do as much damage as he could. The PC druid, however, pursued him, but with the rainstorm couldn't see where he had gone. The druid chased a mounted figure through the orchard, and finally caught him with a summoned hippogriff, but it was a trap... the wizard had jumped off his mount and cast an illusion in its place, and had joined the orc druids. These druids pummeled the PC with balls of fire, the PC all alone and surrounded. The wizard used his wand of magic missiles as well, and the PC was in trouble.

The hippogriff mounted ranger arrived, and between the summoned him and the summoned hippogriff they began to use a new tack... the hippogriffs would grab one of the opponents and fly them into the air, then drop them a great distance to their death. This was the end of the orc wizard, who while he managed to kill the summoned hippogriff with a burst of magic missiles at point blank range, he had already been carried too high and died from the fall, the dead hippogryph landing on top of him.