The Road to War: Session 3
by, 12-06-2009 at 12:05 AM (887 Views)
After the unfortunate bridge incident the PC's decide to push on despite the damage the trap inflicted.
They enter the outer bailey of the ruined castle. Before them lies the ruins of an ancient town that once thrived within the castle walls. All that survives now though are a few ruined buildings, piles of rubble and the back half of the old church. The entire scene is covered by several inches of snow and the cold north wind drives snow into the faces of the PC's. Numerous sets of track are evident in the soft snow. Three sets of tracks lead off toward the old church, while the others, perhaps as many as six or seven lead through the old guard towers (on the PC's right) and into the inner bailey. In hushed voices the group discusses their next move, when Erik the White sees movement in one of the arrow slits of the right tower, on the upper level.
The figure bolts and commands in goblin can be heard. Luckily for the group, Helarr (the goblin druid) just happens to be fluent in goblin. He informs the party that the commands they hear are for the other goblins to lower the portcullis. Shortly after this the portcullis, an old ad hoc thing built by the hobgoblins, begins descending. The PC's run forward and into the inner bailey before it can be fully lowered.
Once inside the goblins lower the portcullis into position, blocking the PC's escape. The group takes a quick look around and notices that the hobgoblins have repaired sections of the tower and the walls of the inner bailey and replaces the long missing doors of the towers with new, stout wooden doors made of oak. The inner bailey itself consists of a large single courtyard, that has been cleared of all debris. In the center lies a woman chained to a large stake. From the two towers on the far side of the inner bailey comes a loud and ominous roar, followed by the creaking sound of the second portcullis on the far towers being raised. From which pours dozens of small drakes (2 swarms), and a Rage Drake. The PC's discern that they have been tricked again.
The battle with the drakes is short but vicious. Helarr is nearly killed, saved only because Brother Hammerhand's timely aid. The rest of the group is badly battered and they take a short rest, while Brother Hammerhand checks out the unconscious woman in the center of the courtyard. She is still alive, but barely and he administers first aid as best he can. From the far towers of the inner bailey comes a great host of hobgoblins (okay, only 20). The emerge from the towers and with the discipline of well trained soldiers the form up into a phalanx and begin their grim march across the courtyard towards the group. While the goblins in the towers behind the group begin firing arrows down upon them.
Helarr, quickly launches two vials of alchemist fire into the ranks of hobgoblins. In an instant, over a dozen of the hobgoblins are ablaze, their ranks and discipline disintegrate. The confusion allows Tem Stoneboiler, Ruckus Ironheart and Brother Hammerhand to close in and engage the hobgoblins left flank, instead of meeting them head on. At the same time Erik the White and Jason the Raven engage the goblins in the opposite tower with ranged attacks. The few remaining goblins and hobgoblins are brought down in short order.
The group set about the grisly task of removing ears and searching bodies for loot. They discover 120 gp, a Spiked Helm and a Hobgoblin Warblade.
A quick check beyond the second set of towers reveals yet another bridge (this one stone and in good shape), and a pair of guards on the far end. Behind them a pair of small square towers and adjoining that, a large round tower.
Erik the White decides to rush forward and fire off an arrow across the windswept bridge. Amazingly enough it hits, it does little damage but does alert the guards, who in turn alert their comrades. They are soon joined by two more guards and a shaman who were in the left hand tower. The hobgoblins rush across the bridge and but can not cover the distance in one turn. Erik and Jason both fire arrows at the oncoming hobgoblins but both miss. Ruckus and Tem charge into the hobgoblins front ranks stopping the advance. Helarr, with the wave of his hand increases the velocity and bitter cold of the wind. The two front most hobgoblins are blown off the bridge by the force of the wind. Only one manages to grab hold but is quickly killed by a blow to the head by Ruckus. The hobgoblin shaman retaliates in kind and attempts to push Ruckus and Tem over the edge of the bridge with a force spell. Tem is knocked down and slides backward several feet before catching himself. Ruckus, a stalwart dwarf does not budge. With a second wave of his hand, Helarr sends the shaman plummeting over the edge of the bridge and to the rocks below. Ruckus and Brother Hammerhand cut down the third hobgoblin while the last one turns and runs. He too, is cast over the edge by the druid Helarr.