Date: The Month of Attrianna 20, Year 6 of the Fourth Age.
Location: Gold Peak
Situation: The orc tribes of the Hidden Plateau have pressed their advantage following the recent string of defeats for the Gold Peak Dwarves and are now assaulting Gold Peak itself in a massive horde.
Gale Festivus, last of the Skycaptains paces back and forth between your collection of assorted defenders. The group looks haggard at best, a mismatch assortment of conscripts, trainees, old men, and mercenaries here to make a little scratch, if they live that long.
You've been gathered together through the ties of blood, acquaintances, and in some cases chance. Gale is organizing the defenses for the entire city, and you've broken out into various tasks to man the different ramparts and defenses.
Besides the PCs, you have a total of 6 Dwarf men at arms assigned to assist you in the defense of your assigned sectors-- each PC should take control of one NPC.
“You men have an important place in the coming battle. You’ll be on the western ramparts as the assault begins. Make sure to make every shot count and hold them outside the tunnels for as long as you can. After that, you’ll be guarding tunnel Yellowfire. Hold the line there. We cannot let these orcs get into Gold Peak, but I don’t need to tell you dwarves that. These lot worship Drexiesh, the Lord of Slaughter, and they’ll kill us to the man, woman, and child if they get the chance.
Right then, any questions?"
Rubius stands sweaty and dirty, but that’s nothing new or different for him! He pats Tawny on the shoulder, the lanky mountain lion smells just as bad. But fighting like this is what they live for. Rubius smiles at the prospect of more battle, tired though he is. When Gale asks for questions, he raises his meaty hand ”Um… yes sir. How do we know when to switch to the tunnel? And will they be comin’ at us with ladders on the wall or what?”
My character might know from already being here but how high is this wall situation? Will we have siege engines? Will they? Doesn’t matter as much for me since I’m a spontaneous caster but good to know in general. Maybe we want to stock up on some alchemist’s fire? Depends on the situation.
Kragg stood uncomfortably, shifting from foot to foot. He was in expertly made parade armor. The kind that was worn in ceremonies when Comfort was important. Looking at all of these dwarves with their plate and shields made him feel woefully underdressed. But he wasn’t a warrior. No, he was a Miner and a Mason. This wasn’t his place.
He took a deep breath to compose himself. This WAS his place. He was a dwarf. He was an Oldstone. This was his home, and it was his place to defend it. He was glad that Rubius was asking question. He too wanted to know the answer but didn’t want to look foolish.
|Khazuk: Thrush Familiar|
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
The Thrush on Kragg’s shoulder leaned over and whispered:
”Doin Cirrus fathers Coin and Barin Cirrus. Coin Cirrus fathers Elaina Cirrus who marries Duram Nimbus, father of captured King Dak Nimbus. Try not to get confused, but this one is super convoluted because Elaina's Mother Kellya Nimbus was Duram's father's sister, so Duram & Elaina were already first cousins when married. Coin also fathers Cal, and Finnagree Cirrus, and Cal Cirrus is the father of Cam Cirrus, the head of House Cirrus. Melatar Cirrus marries Dainam Hornblower, who give birth to Dirnim Hornblower. And as I know you are lost, that’s the dwarf you’re staring at.”
Kragg’s eyes went wide and the bird chirped in annoyance. ”Yeah, right? So try and act brave. Embarrass yourself on the walls and all of Storm and Stone will know about it.”
Durnim Hornblower towers over most dwarfs with a build of strength and thickness of good-living. He has finely chiseled features of smooth, pale skin, and his platinum blonde hair flutters as if in a breeze. His dazzling sapphire blue eyes sparkle with youthful curiosity and energy.
He falsely leans on a giant-sticker wearing a golden amulet of Spiryth over fine full plate armor and a winged, boulder helmet. He shoulders a longbow and quiver of arrows, and a sphinx hammer hangs from his weapon's belt.
Durnim waits for the answers of the rough-looking dwarf, because they were good questions.
The purple noble-born storm dwarf in half-plate armor stood straight, absorbing as much information the Skycaptain was willing to share.
In a deep booming voice like the sound of distant thunder, Thurgrom asks, "Skycaptain, what ammunition options do we have? I ask because for myself, I have only 20 arrows on my person".
Vargas looked around at the others reactions to the Skycaptain's words while he also took them in himself, noting especially his cousin Kragg's presence. Above average height himself, allowed him to view the throng around, although he held none of the bulk of Durnim. Vargas' well made armored coat and buckler made him underdressed compared to the melee front line, but then he grasped a crossbow not hammer or axe.
"Also any magic supplies to bolster this area? But communication methods are the key." Vargas added nodding towards Rubius in agreement.
Skycaptain Festivus looks to Rubius as he begins addressing your concerns, "There will be a signal horn and call to fall back. Even if your tower holds, once one position is overrun we will need to move back to the tunnels."
"Scout have reported this horde is moving with force- seems they have divided their front lines into three groups: some carrying ladders and axes, some carrying shields and javelins, and some tracking with bows."
"Further back in the lines, the dire wolf cavalry will be dangerous, and there's hints of something. . . larger in the lines. That's besides what leaders they may have."
Gale eyes Kragg and the bird, his eyebrow raising as he exchanges a knowing look with his griffon mount that lurks behind him as he speaks. He turns his attention to Thurgrom and responds, "Visit the quartermaster's before you leave; Lt. Smiggle should have some gear you'll need at the walls."
Each character can select up to 20 arrows or bolts, one light melee weapon, and one larger melee weapon. Outfit your dwarven recruits with the weapons you want them using- they can also take either a light crossbow or a short bow.
Finally, Gale regards Vargas, "The priests from the temples will be making the rounds, giving what aid they can. After we fall back, they'll be manning aid stations in the inner city.
At the start of the first encounter at the walls, a Priest of Spiryth will cast a Bless lasting 5 minutes on the party.
If you have any more questions for Gale you can ask them, otherwise we can move on to the quartermaster's office.
What are the recruits' stats like? I assume these are NPCs. I'd think light crossbows since they will do more damage and should be able to affore move actions while on the wall. The melee weapon will depend on their stats.
Rubius scratches his half-bald, scarred face with a big grin, looking admiringly at the griffon. He salutes with his bow. "Ready to go, Sir!"
Kragg wondered if the recruits would be as green as he feared. Most on the warriors had gone off to battle already. Kragg almost said that he didn’t need to see the quartermaster, but thought better of it. Rather he put his fist over his heart, bowed his head, and left.
Once away from Gale, Kragg looked at the other dwarves. He held out his hand and made a kinetic blade in the shape of a battle axe. The stone seemed to materialize in his hand, growing and forming in seconds into a weapon.
”Don’t need anything from the quartermaster. But if anyone needs something I could request it and pass it on. Maybe I could ask for another Sphynx Hammer for ye, Durnim?”
The Recruits are not QUITE that green.
Lt. Smiggle is a crusty, middle aged hill dwarf with an elaborate waxed mustachio. He's been the quartermaster for the Skycaptains for years. He greets you as your squads turn in line rolls around, "Alright then! Hurry up and get yourselves outfitted conscripts! Oh, ah, pardon my manors, milords, he adds as he notices the nobles among you, [b]"But we do have many more to outfit after ye."[b]
If you'd like to try to haggle for any extra or perhaps special resources you can attempt a Social roll (Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive- you can tell at a glance his position makes him rather immune to Intimidate in this situation).
The mynrughdaer turned to his men-at-arms. FYI, Thurgrom will be speaking in his native Dwarven unless noted. "Warriors, each take a crossbow with 20 arrows. Make every shot count. And make every inch those damned orcs might gain a very steep price! When ammunition is gone, concentrate on destroying siege ladders, and prepare for melee combat! Show these mouth-breathing monsters what horrors Gold Peak dwarves can unleash when kith and kin are threatened!"
Diplomacy (make request): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Thurgrom also takes an additional 20 arrows, making his total 40.
Vargas followed Thurgrom and gave a small cheer of support. "Aye! Death to the orc-kin!. Crossbow and bolts. Throwing axe for chopping ladders. Dorn-dergar for attacking over the wall with safety and also in close. Crush them!" He continued with enthusiasm prior to grabbing an additional case of bolts himself and stepping back from focus.
Diplomacy aid: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Looking utterly out of place with his silken armor there was no doubt that ungebrochen was ready for battle. The fire was flaming in his eyes and many flasks were strapped to bis bandoleer, some with sickly green fluid, some in brown black.
Taking 20 bolts but no launcher he joined the warriors with a green shimmering globe, smelling vitriolic hovering in his hand.
"My spells are limited, but I can level the playing field in a pinch, especially if one of with a strong arm is using a mordaxe."
Durnim salutes the Skycaptain and pronounces, "you can count us, skycaptain. We'll hold 'em 'ere."
When Gale departs, Durnim addresses his man-at-arms, Argrim. He had grown up with Argrim who was the son of his housekeeper. "Let's gear up."
Standing in the queue, Durnim agrees with Thurgrom and Vargas, "Aye, Blackstone and Thunderhammer have the ideas. You should get a crossbow, waraxe, and heavy shield. We need to be ready for the walls and the tunnels."
When he addresses Smiggle, "Lieutenant, do you have an extra heavy shield and a waraxe, in addition to that crossbow, for my friend."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Kragg held back, his arms crossed. While this was an opportunity to get equipment for the coming battle, he couldn't think of anything that he needed. Furthermore, if he did take something, that meant one less axe or shield for another recruit. But for the recruits? The others had the right idea.
"Can't argue with ye all. Crossbows, axes and shields. Can't think a last sight for the orcs more fitting than that."
"Aye, Durnim. I'll be your shielddwarf like we trained." Argrim agrees and fist bumps Hornblower.
Argrim is a young dwarf. He has shaggy, blonde hair and a hirsute beard that covers his baby face. His scale mail is obviously a hand-me-down with the leather of the buckles adjusted to new locations.
Rubius asks for a torch and 20 extra arrows. He can't help but look pleased "This is excitin' Tawny! We've got a fight on our hands!" The bushy fellow beams at all the other dwarves. "We'll show 'em zactly what we're made of!" Having finished his business with the lieutenant, he watches as the other members of his group talk with him.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Rubius is ready to head to the wall once we're done with the lieutenant.
Dubious, you realize that Smuggle is holding back a bit of extra aid he may have; with some prodding from Durnim and Vargas he relents.
"Alright, I've only got a few, but your crew may be our best chance here, so you should take them."
Lt. Smuggle hands over 6 cure light wounds potions and one scroll of summon monster IV, keyed to summon a Hound Archon for 7 rounds.
As you arrive at the Western Ramparts, you begin to set up your defensive positions. There is a strange lull as you wait for the orcs to finally clear into line of sight, but as time winds on you begin to hear their war drums in the distance. The assault is coming, and soon.
slide 2 and 3 represent the Western Ramparts; please position yourselves and your men-at-arms as you desire. The orcs are moving from the right on slide 3, to the left on slide 2 and the red line indicates where they "cross over" the slide gape - the square to the right on slide 3 is adjacent to the square to the left of the red line on slide 2.
You can cast or activate any minutes per level buffs, and have 3 rounds to activate any round per level buffs just before the orcs appear within vision-line of sight on the map to attack.
|Khazuk: Thrush Familiar|
Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
As the dwarves made their defenses, Khazuk took to the skies. The little thrush flew up and up, flying as well as it's little wings could carry it. It flew towards the orcs, to spy on them. The hope was that the thrush could bring back news of the numbers and dispositions of the attackers. Most importantly, the little familiar was looking to see if the orcs had any tricks up their sleeves. Was this assault cover for them moving up siege equipment? Did they have any capabilities to fly? Were they setting up sappers under the cover of the attack? Khazuk wanted to know.
Sent request to edit the document. Khazuk only has 8HP and low AC, so he'll go down to a slight breeze. Luckily due to his archetype he'll just pop back up the next time Kragg wakes up. But hopefully the orcs won't see anything out of the ordinary with a thrush flapping around above them.
|Khazuk: Thrush Familiar|
Perception above: 29 = 29
K- Nature Trained: 1d20 ⇒ 9
P- Soldier Untrained: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Khazuk flew above the orcs, peering down with keen eyes. Sadly, the thrush's mind was not so sharp. A 'lifetime' spent under ground, advising Kragg on matters of mining, masonry and not offending the noble families, had left the Thrush with little experience in the open air.
Also stuck on view only for the map, can't edit
"Oi! Dwarves of the Peak! Get your arses into gear. The tuskers are coming! On the walls with your crossbows, now!"
Is 5 ft one square on the map? What kind of cover or protection can we fire from on the ramparts? I'm assuming the orcs also have ranged weapons.
Rubius smiles with a grin and keeps Tawny near him and by the gate. When the orcs get close, he casts a spell, calling out to his god of strength and war! "Atrianna! Smile on me!"
Divine favor is my only pre-buff for today.
]yes, the squares are meant to be 5 ft. I'll get better at scaling maps as we go along so bear with me on the squishedness of this one. Found the setting to switch from view only to edit access for the link finally!
Khazuk looks out over the orcs scanning and searching their ranks. How many of them were there? Many. Many. He sees no seige engines, but cannot get a solid count on their total number.
He confirms what Skycaptain Festivus stated before- the orc rank and file are divided into three- some carrying ladders, some carrying javelin and holding shields to try to cover the ladder carriers, and some with short bows.
He sees and identifies the dire wolves in the back ranks, and a very few, so far back to be out of range of anything the Dwarves could throw elephants, with massive howdahs, carrying four orcs apiece.
|Khazuk: Thrush Familiar|
The bird landed on the walls, and in Dwarven it ‘shouted’ to everyone (a very odd sound given it always sounded as though it were singing’)
”Orcs! They come! So many! Ladders and bows and axes! And shields! Many shields!” It hopped on the wall back and forth to get everyone’s attention. ”Wolves in the back...dire! And then! Then! And then! ELEPHANTS!” It sung. ”Very far away but the orcs have elephants carrying orcs!”
”Shh, shhh...ye did well. Come here.”
Kragg scooped up the exhausted bird and put it on his shoulder.
”We’ve got to bloody the orcs before the elephants arrive. If not, can’t elephants be panicked? With fire, perhaps. Get them to rampage.”
Taking the scroll and handing a potion to one of the recruits Vargas commented. ”I can spoil some charges and maybe sow extra carnage in their ranks.” Then looking to catch the eyes of the others he added while pulling out a short dark wood stick from his belt for emphasis. ”I also bear this. A wand of minor healing. I’ll try to help patch us up, but the comand is ‘Khazul’ if I fall myself.”
No problem, GM! You figured it out now. And the map is gorgeous. Do the ramparts provide cover, improved cover, etc against ranged weapon attacks by the orcs? That will alter where I think we should put the recruits. For now, I've given them a tentative position. Ooh and how high is this bridge from the water?
Rubius grins at Kragg's words. "Oh I like the sound o' that. I haven't seen an elephant in person before. Beautiful, massive creatures they are. And I have somethin' that might help without hurtin' 'em too bad." He holds up 20 arrows covered in pitch.
I bought incendiary arrows before we started.
K nat to know if elephants will panic? Untrained so can only hit DC 10: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
”Thank you Lieutenant. Your rationing will be remembered.” Durnim thanks the quartermaster for the potion of healing. He accepts one and hands it to Argrim.
”Use this if you need it. Don’t save it for me. Your mother will kill me if I return home without you.” He smiles in his gallows humour patting him on the shoulder.
Vargas headed over the examine the outer drawbridge mechanism before saying "Well, I don't see us sallying forth soon." He pulled out some tools and set to work sabotaging the mechanism after uttering a quick spell so that it would not come down without a few choice missing parts.
Disable Device with guidance: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
"Just in case the orcs also have some sneaky scouts." he mentioned to bystanders.
Standing in the back of the crowd Ungebrochen absentmindly strokes his beard. He feels really angry that this upstart oracle just took the scroll but calms himself.
Let the fools hide their fear with brave words, but it would take a small miracle to hold against the orcs.
The war drums grow louder, steadily louder. You hear a shout- the orcs have engaged at the other ramparts! The smell of the burning villages on the outlying areas wafts to your nostrils just ahead of the smell of stench of rotting flesh. As the orcs emerge from the underbrush you see they've brought along the dead they've killed up to now, heaping the bodies in piles as they begin their charge.
In the sky you catch glimpse of Gale Festivus, last of the Skycaptains, watching the battle from his griffon and shouting down. You cannot hear his words, though you imagine they are something like "To arms! To arms! Arrows! Archers, open fire! For Gold Peak!"
You notice the fear on the recruits standing among you; this will be their first battle, and gods and goddesses willing, not their last.
Initiative at the start of round 1:
Kragg Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Rubius Initiative: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Thurgrom Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Ungebrochen Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Vargas Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Ladder Orcs Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Javelin Orcs Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Shortbow Orcs Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Javelin Orcs 12
Ladder Orcs 9
Shortbow Orcs 3
Have your companions/familiars and 1 recruit dwarf each go on your initiative.
Buffs active: Bless (whole party, 69 rounds
Rubius, Divine Favor 10 rounds
Health: Durnim 39/39
All 6 Recruits: 23/23
At the sight of the dead Kragg let out an angry cry. He raised his hands, allowing the power of the earth to flow through him. His eyes became gray as loose rocks floated off the ground. In his upraised hand a spear formed, made out of stone. With a battle cry he threw it at the nearest orc.
Range 120ft, accept 1 burn. +1 Hit +2 Damage and 6 points of Nonlethal. Both fade after he wakes next day
Burn and Bless: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 22
Damage: 2d6 + 8 ⇒ (1, 5) + 8 = 14
Along the walls, the recruits also opened fire with their crossbows.
Dwarf 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Damage with light crossbow?: 1d8 ⇒ 7
Durnim shouts to the dwarves on the walls, "Here they come! Hustle to the tower, and fire from an arrow slit!"
Durnim and Argrim (#3) hustle into the tower. double moves Durnim readies his longbow at an arrow slit. Argrim readies his crossbow.
@GM. I think the recruits have 25 HP, instead of 23 that you wrote above. Please confirm that recruits at the arrow slits have improved cover and 23 AC = 15 +8 for cover.
Looking at the map I think that I am out of range? So Kragg will fire once the orcs move into range, hitting the closest that isn’t in cover. I think that B2 will be that orc.
Recruit 1 will shoot at Kragg’s target, looking to put injured orcs down. If that orc is already dead he’ll shoot at the closest target out of cover to him.
Nice labeling and organization, GM! That's going to save a lot of time and confusion.
Before the orcs approached, Rubius waved his hands, causing a giant frog to appear hiding near the bridge.
My intent is for the frog to hide there and use his 15 ft reach tongue to pull orcs into the water, one after another.
Frog stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Rubius, standing in his arrow slit, looks joyfully at the battle scene and lets loose at the orcs. "This is great! Praise Atrianna!"
As another recruit targets the same orc as Kragg, Rubius fires after them.
Will prioritize the most wounded orc until he's dead. Then his neighbors. So recruit targets B2 if he's alive. B3 if he's dead. Rubius will target B2 if he's still alive or B3 if B2's dead or J9 if they're both dead, etc. Volley fire+solo tactics gives me +3 to these attack rolls since my allies are firing on them. +4 starting next round, I imagine.
The recruit fires!
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Dam: 1d8 ⇒ 2
With great grins, Rubius unleashes two rapid, risky shots at the orcs, aiming to kill.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 7 - 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 = 18The +1 is bless. +2 is DF.
Attack 2: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 7 - 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 = 18
Dam 1: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 9
Dam 2: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 2 = 10
Recruit confirm?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Extra dam: 1d8 ⇒ 2
Helpful summary: If orc AC < 19, then 4 damage+9+10 to the orcs in the order of B2, B3, J9 focusing fire on the same orc until dead.
I'm counting 120 feet is the first square past the red line on slide 3. The closest orcs are at 215 feet before they move so crossbows will be at 3rd range category/-4, shortbows in the 4th/-6, and longbows in the 3rd/-4 but composite longbows narrowly in the 2nd for -2. Keep in mind, even at long range it might be worth it to fire an arrow if the other choice is not attacking at all.
Ah ok. For some reason I thought the orcs had moved up already. Yeah then 14 and 14 to hit for me. 18 to confirm for my recruit. We'll figure out their AC pretty fast, I bet!
”Load. Aim. Loose.” said Vargas, using a childhood training mantra to focus himself away from the screaming and ugly sight the orcs had brought,
Each shot at -4 range and +1 bless included.
Vargas crossbow at B2: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17 for Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 8
Dwarf2 crossbow at B2: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14 for Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 2
Vargas' shot strike true, slamming into the first bow orc's shoulder. The bolt of his dwarf recruit also finds flesh.
Unbrochen's recruit piles on, then Rubius' first shot drops the orc, as he casually switches to the next target, which ends up with two bolts in it, including the recruit's shot which caught him in the face.
When Kragg and his recruit focus in on the same target, they quickly drop the second orc.
The Javelin orcs advance; we are to Thurgrom.
Thurgrom takes aim at one of the advancing orcs with his long bow and fires.
Long Bow: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Thurgrom's shot falls wide, as the rest of the orcs advance.
The remaining bow orcs fire!
B1 Fires at Thurgrom:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (15) - 2 = 13
B4 Fires at Rubius:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (3) - 2 = 1
B5 Fires at Vargas:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (3) - 2 = 1
B6 fires at Kragg:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (13) - 2 = 11
B7 fires at Dwarf 6:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (7) - 2 = 5
B8 and B9 both fire at Dwarf 1:
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (9) - 2 = 7
Bow-4 for range: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (11) - 2 = 9
The orc's arrows clatter uselessly against the battlements, but they make known their intent to fire!
Thurnim and his dwarf reposition, then we are at the top of the round and you can all go again.
Buffs active: Bless (whole party, 68 rounds
Rubius, Divine Favor 9 rounds
Health: Durnim 39/39
All 6 Recruits: 25/25
I think my brain is at the edge of its computing power for tracking this combat one round at a time, so let's stick with that for now.
Thurgrom, remember, you have a dwarf recruit to roll for as well!
Hit: 1d20 + 8 - 4 ⇒ (12) + 8 - 4 = 16
Damage: 2d6 + 8 ⇒ (6, 3) + 8 = 17
Dwarf 1: 1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (16) + 5 - 4 = 17
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1
Kragg looked at the advancing horde, and then at the pile of Dwarven corpses. Focusing his anger he created an axe made out of stone and threw it at J2
|Khazuk: Thrush Familiar|