Session Date: 3/20/2016
Players attending: Jason, Kim, Eric, Alison 2
Beginning XP: 4175
Ending XP: 4680
Knee deep in murder, we collected the unconscious and bleeding body of Tercio and made ready our escape using his secret dock.
BUT HARK! Black sails on the horizon! A sloop had stolen upon us in the night and launched a small boat of would-be assassins who also came-a-callin’ on our bounty. We were quickly confronted by seven well-armed assailants who approached from the inside of the manor, bloody swords drawn and unwilling to see their prey escape.
After a brief moment of posturing, I valiantly initiated combat by casting a cloud of fog between the two groups, and transforming myself into the hulking bestial form of a brown bear. Letting loose the fiercest roar I could summon, I then bounded off the ladder and into the water behind us. The thought was _"This should give them something to cause them a bit of hesitation while we make our escape!" But as it turns out… escape wasn’t really something the rest of our intrepid band was interested in. And as I was to soon learn, casting that one spell would be the single most productive thing I would do for the entire evening.
Curses, shouts and the sounds of boots approaching through the fog let the party know that our enemies were fast approaching. Our Warlock, never one to miss an opportunity, called upon his dark powers to summon forth a searing torrent of flames! The entire cloud violently swirled orange and red, as our foes were silhouetted briefly due to this eruption of light and heat. Screams from inside and the smell of burning flesh assured him that he hit the mark, and a smirk of satisfaction spread across his face. The imp cackled with glee from somewhere nearby.
We had little time to celebrate however, as from the opposite side of the cloud, the black dragonborn fighter spewed forth several gallons of greenish-black acid from his toothy maw. Our Warlock took some damage from this exchange, but the brunt of the attack was actually intercepted by one of our foes. He screamed in agony as the foul, caustic liquid did its work, his armor and flesh melting and falling away from his form in sickening chunks.
Our Warlock, incensed by pain and in no small part by the tailoring expenses he would now have to incur, let loose with another burning hands spell for good measure.
Our Monk, Paladin and Fighter took Tercio and placed him into the small launch that our foes had used to come ashore. There they guarded our living spoils and defended us against the archers from the ship who had begun raining arrows upon us.
Our Ranger, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around her, drew back her bow and loosed an arrow into the fog in a single smooth motion. Impossibly, the arrow found its mark through the fog, slamming into the face of an elven archer! Without pause, our Ranger planted her feet, drew and loosed again and again, striking out against anything that moved within her field of vision. Retreat was clearly not in her plans.
Our Cleric rushed to heal the Warlock, her prayers regenerating the terrible wounds the acid had caused him. Once done, she shifted her focus from mercy to murder and between spells and her own bow, she began to make short work of our enemies. Even the sailors on the approaching sloop, who were now firing their own arrows at us from great range, fell victim to her fury and precision. With every arrow, a mis-remembered prayer escaped her lips, and yet her words were the only inaccuracy she suffered. Apparently the Four Winds cared more for intent rather than perfect recitation. Where as each enemy arrow fell short by a dozen feet or more, our Cleric’s were carried aloft by the very winds themselves, and slammed into their marks with the force of hammer blows.
Suddenly, a massive orc charged through the cloud and slammed into our Warlock, felling him yet again. Fortunately the imp was close at hand to… somewhat reluctantly… feed her master a healing potion. The orc drew his blade up to finish off his fallen victim, but fortunately I had tired of splashing about uselessly in the water as a bear and had once again returned to my goliath form. I cast a spell, and a whip of vines and thorns shot forth, pulling the orc into the water below before his blade could find its mark.
I took a deep breath and dove in after the plate mail wearing brute, setting upon him and forcing him beneath the waves. For several painfully long moments we violently tore at each other seeking advantage, all the while sinking deeper and deeper into the black of the bay. The orc, burdened as he was by his heavy armor and unprepared for underwater combat, thrashed with rage and futility and clawed desperately for the surface. Yet we both knew in the moment that he had already drawn his final breath. While unable to unleash my full fury for fear of losing concentration on my fog spell, I finally managed to gain a hold upon his throat. With all of the might and leverage I could summon, I squeezed. The orc’s eyes bulged, every muscle in his neck straining against me. But it was too little and too late. With a final surge I broke his resistance and crushed his windpipe like ripened peach.
On the surface, the battle wore on. The enemy dwarf cleric, seeing his comrades falling around him in mere seconds, turned invisible and began to run. Though while invisible, the dwarf did little to conceal his heavy footfalls which thudded and splashed against the wooden dock. It would be his final mistake. Our Ranger did not need sight to guide her arrows while other such obvious signs were present. She stilled herself, drew back her bowstring, closed her eyes and inhaled slowly… from out of nowhere, doves began to take flight in slow motion. It was pretty bad ass, but our elf huntress didn’t notice. All that existed to her was the dwarf’s footfalls and his rapidly pounding heartbeat. Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump… She let her arrow fly and the heartbeat was silenced. The dwarf was already dead before his now-visible body hit the dock like a bag of wet cement.
The enemy on the docks slain, our Warlock flew into a rage and dove headlong into the water towards the sloop! Spurned on by the sheer bravado of his actions, I dropped my fog spell and followed suit, RAGE SWIMMING to the enemy vessel!
My memory gets a bit hazy after that part.
I remember being hit by enemy arrows which only fueled my rage further. I remember laughing as I boarded, and that laugh turning into a menacing growl as I once again took the form of a ravenous and raging brown bear. I remember the ships sails bursting into flame and the screams of terror from the sailors as the arrows of my companions continued to rain down upon them. Consumed by predatory instinct and bestial wrath, I lost all rational thought. And while I cannot describe what happened next, bards would later describe the epic scene as looking exactly like this…
After the battle, we of course looted the dead and added their valuables to our hoard. You keep what you kill! This included the contents of Tercio’s vault, which our Warlock quickly sorted and cataloged.
We discovered Tercio’s other guards and his children slain, yet his wife had mysteriously vanished without a trace. But I’m sure that will in no way come back to bite us in the ass at a later date.
Returning to once again rescue my bull friend, Herbert, I was shocked to discover he was actually a druid named Wildsage who was trapped in animal form by a magical collar! After failing to convince him to keep the name Herbert, I set him free to return to Ivy Island. I promised to meet him and his fellow druids there in the near future.
Also, while swimming back into the mansion, I discovered a secondary cave where I was assaulted by a giant octopus! Seeing the creature up close and in all its tentacled glory was all I needed to be able to take the form of one myself. So yeah… I can totally do that now.
WHO DID WE MEET? WHERE DID WE GO?
We met a band of competing assassins, and we brutally slaughtered them. We boarded a pirate ship and claimed it for ourselves.
WHAT NEW INFORMATION DID WE LEARN?
We learned that the ship’s captain was a mercenary unaffiliated with the assassins he carried. We learned that we could strike a bargain with him to take us anywhere we wished to go in exchange for his life. And we learned that someone else, unknown even to Urchin Steve, was interested in killing Tercio. We’re very much looking forward to when he wakes up so that we can learn why.