2007-07-30 Cinder Hills

This entry was written by the player of Tsutomu. Thanks a lot! See Comments on 2007-07-30 Cinder Hills for my comments. :D – Alex


Finally out of the Mithras Temple and it’s traps the party decided first to avoid the goblins village and not confront the frighten villagers again. Would they have been prepared to attack? The temple was already abandoned and the minotaurs retreated…

How to proceed? Onishi had to be warned, preparation for war started and more information gathered about the planning. What first? Time is crucial and so, first thing in the morning the map was consulted to find out that the way to the Cinder Hills over the road down to Tobu, passing the old bridge and up to Nikko was almost double the distance but as fast as directly though the wilderness, crossing the Owlbears’ territory. Easy task it seamed if there was not another night in the wilderness and… noises in the first watch! Nanami the bow-fighter heard them and before anything was seen, she woke up the party, preparing to be ambushed. How far does the campfire illuminate? 40 feet to the max. Not enough! A light spell was cast by Nanami on a stone and thrown in the direction of the noises. Was was THAT? Huge hairy legs, fearful fangs and many-eyed faces looking hungrily at the party: huge spiders! Caught in the middle of the night, Kyoshi the tank had only his chain shirt on and was to his standards barely naked, retreating from the front. A crack through the night and the prepared Scorching Ray from Tsutomu hit the closest spider in the front. Turn for the spiders! The first charged Nanami overseeing the hidden Kubo who now had to decide whether to stand the attack and being bull-rushed or retreating to the side, which he finally did regarding his minuscule chances to resist a bull rush of a huge creature. A critical and potential deadly moment was passed when two spiders attacked Kubo who stood aside because of the evasion from the charging monster. The party’s turn: Haste by Tsutomu! Full attack for Kubo! What a whirlwind of spades and blunt attacks! First spider down, second severely damaged. Two arrows by Nanami did the rest and chances turned in favor for the party. An additional Monster (spidermaster?) showed up but didn’t even have the chance to attack before the third spider went down he panicky turned to flee. Healing for the injured was provided by Aurin and rest of the night was calm

Sa-Tsuki, Day 11 – 3 days after the marauder attack.

The next morning the party continued the way back to Hakone. With the help of Kubo’s animal summoning a messenger was sent to Osashi, in order to meet in the evening at old inn.

Back in Tobu, Kyoshi told the people to prepare for war! There was no way a full attack by the goblin army could be repelled, but reconnaissance patrols will be more probable to encounter and should be backed off. Further preparations had to be done as enforcing the defenses, doubling the watches and packing the belongings and set for a quick retreat. Further, promises were made that reinforcements will arrive from Hakone.

The party left for the old inn. No encounters except of three giant wasps which were wisely avoided. In the evening they arrived at the inn and Onishi Shigeru was already waiting for them. How to convince him that Arcane Spellcraft was indispensable for the times to come? Reporting of the Minotaur’s war machinery including the high level sword enchanter did their job! In these times any help confronting the upcoming danger has to be united! So discussed it was agreed to call for help even to the fox-demons known to be good and living east of Nikko. The party learned the old ruin close to the west has been re-occupied recently and serves now as an outpost. This was decided to be the goal for the next day: destroy the outpost!

Sa-Tsuki, Day 12 – 4 days after the marauder attack

Kubo befriends a six-headed hydra
© 2007 Marco Dörfliger
Fighting preparations! Scrolls and potions were readied in the belt, combat spells learned and weapons cleaned. The way to the ruin led through a swamp, supported only by a fusty gutter. Suspiciously the party advanced slowly and with good reason! Successful spotting checks revealed a snake head coming out of the water. And another one! And… yes, another four head followed! A Hydra was frowning at the group from distance. Kubo the brave did what nobody would expect: he approached the beast and successfully used his wild empathy to lure the evil creature. Even to the way that the detected magical armor could be dragged away without having to fight!

Comments: Wild empathy takes several minutes to perform. During that time creatures could attack. Higher level monster should be allowed the have a saving through. Minuses should occur for alignment differences, distance, not previously known to the ranger, thread of the monster (reflecting the fear of the performer). Additionally an intelligent monster could just pretend to be friendly and surprise the innocent performer of the contrary (what would a Devil say to anyone who would ask for his friendship? :)). This would make it more difficult to approach the loot of the creature.

The party continued for the ruin and arrived after two hours at a hill being toped by the ruin. Time for scouting! Takeo and Kubo successfully went out in recon mission and came back with important information about the occupied ruin. At least one Minotaur was seen and smoke came up from a building. Three giant skeletons were quisling the party. Summoned undead not yet in action or…? A knowledge history check by Aurin and Tsutomu revealed that this outpost was build by humans who fought the forest giants and expelled again by the counter attack. Another mystery: a howling creature was spotted through a small window in the highest building. Fiend or prisoner?

Ambush planning: Pros and cons for a frontal attack were evaluated. Discussions about flanking and decoys. Spell protection! There is nothing better that cumulated ‘protection from evil’ ‘prayer’ and ‘haste’. Simultaneously a ranged attack from the broken side wall on the guard in the inner court and summoned small scorpion who did his way through the main entrance started the fight. Shouts! Alarm ringing! But no effect of the Scorpion decoy for the combat trained hobgoblins. They stayed well protected in cover and no second arrow rain could take them down. Instead there was a wing flapping noise heard! And to the horror of group a winged lion raised to the sky from the building closest to the group! Fortunately the party readied their range attacks and before anything happened several arrows hit the Manticore. With a second round of hasted, evil protected, prayered full round attack there was no chance for the flapping housecat :)

Time for cleaning mission: fireball into the room the guards were expected, defensively fighting for the tank and approaching the entrance. No chance for the prepared hobgoblin and the Minotaur to hit Kyoshi unfortunately there was another surprise waiting in the back of the room: a spellcaster with a lightning bolt. Bad luck for Kyoshi, missing his saving throw and taking full damage (AUTCH!). With readied attacks taken away from the door guards Kubo and Takeo rushed into the room and slashed down the weakened creatures in two rounds. Some leftovers were cleaned from the battleground in another round and the fleeing hobgoblin elite guard could be easily catched by the still active haste and grappeling.

Notes for the DM: spellcasting creatures (manticore?) should cast ‘protection from arrows’ upon themselves, especially when flying! Leaders should not go first line into battle but sent pawns forward in order to get rid of the readied actions.

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