Salvin starts to run toward the water as it becomes obvious what Obadiah is going to do, but his armor makes him far too slow. He jumps down into the pool and tries to haul the prisoner up so he breathe before dragging him clear of the water.
The paladin seems furious as he bellows up toward the evangelist.
"This isn't justice! This isn't even revenge. It's anger and fear and it ends NOW."
Salvin drags the coughing man to his feet and starts to walk out of the pit.
"You talk about home and hearth, but those are just things. What gives them value are the people we care about. Community isn't a place - it's the bonds we form with our fellow man. You're too focused on outward things that let you easily judge others. You've isolated yourself, Obadiah. If you continue down this path, you'll have no community left to save."
Corlit escape artist check (DC19): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Frak! So close!
"I'm nearly out of my bonds. Just pull the ties on my wrists and they'll come free. I can hide near the start of the passage down to Delve. You know and I know that I'm a dead man otherwise. I'm not a saint, but I don't deserve to be executed."
Salvin shakes his head.
"If you go down those tunnels, either the traps will kill you or Obadiah will. Never underestimate a hunter who has found a trail," he says softly.
The paladin looks up at Obadiah, hoping to see that his words had some effect. He finds nothing, so he shifts part of his armored bulk between the archer and the captive.
"Are you going shoot him where you stand, Obadiah? Or are you planning to throw the rest of us down here as well?"
Salvin is granting cover to the tied up mage. He is not concerned about the man escaping and will not hinder the spellcaster's efforts should he get free before this exchange is finished.
Having lost interest in the morality play, Vhailor has found a rock to sit upon as he browses through his new scrolls.
At Salvin's words Obadiah shakes his head, his hands remaining empty;
"No Salvin, I'll not be loosing my bow on 'is like again... least not until I reach Iadenviegh...
He secures his pack and only then does he ready his bow.
"Iadenviegh 'as to be told of t' treachery of these Helix snakes! I plan to return to them... alone... and t' Elk Father willing rejoin you once my 'ome is secure..."
He looks down thoughtfully to the water and then to his comrades...
"Per'haps it will be an opportunity for all those to temper their stances, for cooler 'eads to prevail. For t' fires of wrath within me shall not be abated until Iadenviegh is informed and free of this enemy within..."
The preacher then turns and slowly makes his way towards Damrang.
Wow. I'm glad these rolls are for an NPC, or I'd be headbutting my monitor in frustration.
Olivia Escape Artist Check (DC19): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Corlit Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Salvin Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 18
"Ok. You and I know that if I get free I'm going to flee back to camp and warn the Helix order about you lot. You'll pretty much be forced to flee the forest and the zombies will keep coming. Here's the thing though. You're in this for the greater good. Delve is a cesspit. We've scryed it. The place is falling apart but the folks down there are too brainwashed to care. That don't know anything of the world beyond this forest. We're not trying to kill them all, we're trying to destroy the city. it's people will be free to come to the surface once they stop fighting us."
It's clear his struggles are getting him nowhere closer to freeing himself
"If we fail, tens of thousands of people are going to grow grow old and die having never seen the sun. Die young, because the very air down there is poisenous. All so that Xoud can keep building his toys. Isn't stopping that worth the one death a week Iadenveigh's suffering? When winter comes more of it's people will by dying from fever, for gods sake. In fact, if you go back now and help our guys, I bet none of the undead will get through. Make no mistake, we need the funds we're getting from Iadenveigh. We've got them besieged, sure, but they're pounding on us. It's our flesh against their machines, and without supplies we're going ot break long before they will"
He stopped struggling and looks straight at you
"Sacrifice a few to save many. That's what real heroism is"
As he trudges towards his dwarven companion Obadiah shoots the occasional glance back at Salvin and Corlit;
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
He stops. Catching words on the wind...
calling out to Corlit in a clear, strong voice;
"Sacrifice t' few t' save t' many eh? Out here Corlit... YOU are t' few... you'd do well to remember that..."
The paladin looks at the bound man with a stare that makes it obvious he feels alone out here in the wilderness.
"A general might weigh a victory in terms lives saved and lives lost. A hero - a real hero - is too stubborn to let himself be trapped in the false choice of deciding who dies. You fight to save them all."
Salvin looks at the man again, trying to decide what to do. There will be no torture. But the camp can't be warned about the raiding party that is coming.
Deciding that Salvin has the situation below well in hand, Gregory moves back from the edge, and opts to keep an eye on the 'other' prisoner.
However, he cannot resist shaking his head, and saying to Obadiah:
"Whilst I cannot agree with what 'his' people have done, loyalty to a cause, even if it is misguided, should still be respected. He has made his choice, and deserves, at the very least, a quick, clean death; not death by drowning..."
Finishing up his quick perusal of the scrolls, Vhailor stands up and brushes the dust off his backside. Moving forward he peers over the cliff edge to see what's going on below.
By this point Salvin has got Corlit out of the ravine and has rejoined Obadiah and Damrang at the top of the cliff.
One by one you become aware of sounds coming from the east, distant at first but getting closer. Voices shouting and dogs barking. Gregory, you hear Olivia chuckle under her breath.
Odol listens, seeking to determine how many foes we may face.
Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
"Perhaps we should take cover behind the waterfall? If it is a large group, they will be limited to attacking us a few at a time and they should be able to hear this one over the water."
Waiting for other thoughts, he joins Damrang in drawing axe and shield.
We will use the same map as before. Each of you should specify which square you are occupying. Salvin, you decide which square you leave Corlit in. Gregory, you decide where you leave Olivia. The attackers sound like they are coming from the east. You have time to deploy on either side of the crevice, or in it for that matter.
Vhailor positions himself just behind Olivia, metal staff in hand.
One square to the West of Olivia
A group of figures emerge from the forest - three men in the same masks and leather armour as Olivia and Corlit wear. The one at the centre has the same trim on his armour as Olivia and carries a complex-looking repeating crossbow. The men that flank him carry more mundane looking light crossbows. All three of them hold the leashes of snarling war-dogs.
As soon as the Helix adepts appear they release the dogs and raise their weapons.
First Adept: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Upper Adept: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Lower Adept: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Dogs: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Salvin: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Obadiah: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Damrang: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
Vhailor: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Odol: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Gregory: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Sorry it took me so long guys. It's been a busy weekend. I've got the map software set up now, so subsequent maps will come a lot quicker. Obadiah, Gregory and Salvin can post actions. I reckon if we have the players acting before the next enemy post their actions in any order, it will strike a good balance between keeping the posts flowing and avoiding the initiative sequence getting muddled.
Salvin charges forward as the hounds are released. Before they can even take a stride he has reached them, cutting one clean in half. As Gregory closes in behind him, the wizards retaliate. Two of them fire their crossbows at the paladin:
Adept 1 Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Adept 2 Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Adept 1 damage: 1d10 ⇒ 10
Adept 2 damage: 1d10 ⇒ 6
Meanwhile, their leader focuses on Gregory. His hands trace firey symbols in the air and a second later a bolt of flame lances from his outstretched finger:
Ranged touch attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Confirm critical: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Damage: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 1, 4) = 11
Critical Damage: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 6, 6) = 14
Wow. I guess this is to make up for all the curb stomp battles so far...WAIT
Arcance spell failure (fails on 1 to 15): 1d100 ⇒ 5
You lucky little...
At the last second the firey bolt twists out of control and fizzles into nothing, leaving nothing but a faint red mark across Gregory's face.
Vhailor raises his staff above his head and cries out as loud as he can "Stop shooting us or I'll kill her"
Delaying action pending the adepts continuing to attack. If they do - I'll coup de grace Olivia.
As Salvin reels from the crossbow impacts the two surviving hounds leap at him and try to drag him down:
Dog 1 attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Dog 2 attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
But the bloody swings of the greatsword keep them at bay.
In my enthusiasm I resolved Adept 2 out of initiative order. It wouldn't have made a difference this round, so I'm just going to let it slide and get it right in round 2. Sorry about that.
Round 2 map will be up tomorrow evening
Obadiah takes aim once again and lets an arrow fly at the Helix order leader:
Longbow attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Longbow damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
It seems to be slowed by some invisible force, and the wizard twists aside with unnatural grace. Neither of these things stop it for sinking deep into his chest. He doesn't fall, but he is clearly in pain.
Gregory and Salvin, you're up
Round 2 2/17 HP; 17 AC (19 AC vs. X6 if he's evil), FF 17, Touch 10; Buffs: Bless (+1 to hit, vs. fear)
Salvin briefly touches his chest, healing himself before he steps forward to W5. He calls on the goddess to guide his sword as he swings again as hard as he can to Smite the adept in X6.
Lay on hands 1d6 ⇒ 1
Power attack 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Damage 2d6 + 11 ⇒ (1, 4) + 11 = 16
Subtract 2 from the attack and damage rolls if X6 isn't evil
Salvin, you find your sword repelled with ever more force. By the time it strikes home the wizard's leather armour is just enough to deflect it.
In response, the first adept deftly steps backwards and chants another spell. Gregory and Salvin, you brace yourselves for fire or force...
Spell fails on a 15 or less: 1d100 ⇒ 56
...and instead the earth falls away beneath your feet. Reflex saves please
Dog 1 reflex save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Dog 2 reflex save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Salvin acrobatics: 1d20 - 7 ⇒ (3) - 7 = -4
Salvin falling damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Gregory acrobatics: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
Gregory falling damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5
You both hit the base of the magical pit hard, knocking the wind out of you and sending you prone. Salvin, blackness presses in on the edge of your vision. You can barely remain consious.
Dog 1 acrobatics: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Dog 1 falling damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Dog 2 acrobatics: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Dog 1 falling damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
The dogs land hard next to you both, yelping in pain.
Assuming the pit is not in the way.
Odol charges the remaining (regular) adept, his limp momentarily minimized as he flies across the battlefield.
Dance of the Blades boosts his move to 25' while holding metal weapon. Charge brings him to the square right in front of the adept unless pit is in the way.
Attack 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 2 + 1 = 15 Charge (+2); Dance of the Blades (+1)
Damage 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (2, 6) + 3 = 11 Slashing. Lead Blades boosts weapon damage from medium to large so 1d10 to 2d8. AC drops to 15 until next turn.
Vhailor is continuing to hold his staff aloft like a blunt guillotine, trying to figure out if his team-mates are ascendant or not. He whispers "Please don't wriggle Olivia, I don't really want to kill you"
Vhailor continues delaying action.
Not much I can contribute this fight up front - so I'll keep an eye on at least Olivia
The first adept has stepped five feet backwards before casting, but that attack is able to strike the regular adept
Damrang's axe slams into the thigh of the crossbow-wielding wizard. Blood splatters over the ground and he yells in pain...but doesn't fall.
Instead, he ducks backward before you can swing again and deftly loads and fires his crossbow point blank at Damrang.
Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
The bolt hits you like a hammer blow but your armour holds against it
Meanswhile, in the pit, the dogs lung onto Salvin and try to bite at the paladin's bloody wounds. They're not standing up, just attacking, so no AoOs
Attack (dog 1): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Attack (dog 2): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Like Damrang, his armour protects him from the attacks