Alistair sighs, seeing that the damage is done, and lets his hands fall fireless to his sides.
Alistair sighs, seeing that the damage is done, and lets his hands fall fireless to his sides.
Vinric attempts to make himself as small and non-tasty looking as is humanly possible without the use of magic.
Taerad commands the three units of Cataphract Cavalry in the Main Body to fire their composite bows on the largest of the three rocs. Lieutenant Tunney brings his two units of Horse Archers around to support Reinhart's troops on the left flank in firing on their roc. Lieutenant Mertes holds his two units of Horse Archers at the vanguard of the company, keeping watch.
The horse archers in the rearguard react to the rocs immediately, as do the flanking archers adjacent to the column. The platoon to the right fires a volley first, peppering the rightmost roc with arrows. The two rearguard platoons open up next, doing no damage to the roc on the right and very little to the roc on the left, but combining to kill the center roc before it can get off the ground. The flanking platoon to the left fires last and does a little more damage to the leftmost roc, but not nearly enough.
The two remaining rocs screech in pain and dismay and rise up into the air. Streaking over the baggage train, they land in front of the rearguard and randomly claw and bite at two of the closest horse archers. One is torn to shreds and falls from his horse, lifeless. The other manages to dodge the roc's beak and takes minimal damage from its claws.
The remaining rocs that chose not to snack on the baggage train soar high above the party but do not attack.
Roc R(ight) takes 15 hp damage and has 12 hp left. Roc C(enter) takes 33 hp damage and dies. Roc L(eft) takes 7 hp damage and has 21 hp left.
The two horse archers have 5 and 7 hp. One takes 9 damage and dies. The other takes 2 damage and has 5 hp remaining.
Next round actions?
Arnolt rides toward his cavalry, ordering them to close and attack the rocs as soon as he can communicate with them.
While the party's leaders scramble to respond to the rocs, the horse archers closest to the mighty beasts continue the fight.
The upside to one of the rocs killing a merc is that it leaves him clear of melee action and open to more arrows. Two platoons on the left fire another volley of 29 arrows at it, with eight hits. The roc dies messily.
On the other side of the column, the roc is engaged with a merc. Five of his closest mates swarm the roc and slash at it with their scimitars. Three hit it but the roc yet lives. Enraged, it claws and bites the previously wounded merc and he falls.
The next round, the mercs continue to slash away at the roc but fail to do any damage. The roc, for its part, lands two claw hits which bloody a second merc but don't kill him.
The final round, the roc finishes the wounded merc while his fellows finally hack it to death.
The rest of the rocs remain high above the party, observing but not acting.
Since it was pretty clear there wasn't any space for anyone else to join the fight, I rolled out the battle with the horse archers acting alone.
The two platoons on the left hit 8 times for 25 dmg and killed their roc before it could act.
The six riders on the right landed three hits for 18 damage (all three max dmg!) but that roc lived. It hit the merc in front of it for 2 dmg but the merc had 8 hp.
The roc acted first, hit the wounded merc for another 8 and killed him.
The mercs then hit the roc three times for 11 damage and ended the battle.
Total of three dead horse archers and three dead small rocs.
Alistar rushes forward, bonesaw and herbs in hand, to see if any of the felled men can be saved. If so, they're his first priority. After that, he'll scrap the roc for parts.
Arnolt will also go over to see if he can heal any of the fallen. Siegmar will use his Animal Husbandry skill to see if anything can be done for the mules.
Alistair is pointed toward the merc who fell most recently and attempts to save his life. It is quickly apparent that the man's spine was snapped at the neck and, even if more focused healing is immediately applied, he will have a short and painful existence going forward.
While Arnolt debates quickly healing the crippled man or attempting to save another merc, Alistair moves to the third casualty. His ear has been torn off and blood flows copiously from the wound. Alistair staunches the flow of blood but first aid can't save him now. He also needs healing.
I accidentally made my rolls in Susan's post instead of this one. My bad.
Alistair's first patient needs healing in one round or he will die.
I need to know if Arnolt is going to heal Patient 1 or write him off and move to Patient 2. I also need to know what type of healing spell he's using.
Patient 3 needs healing within one turn or he'll die. He can wait a bit but I need to know if Arnolt will be healing him or if Alistair will attempt to Cure Light or Serious Wounds with the Healing Proficiency. Or if another character will help.
Arnolt will move on to Patient 2 and cast Cure Light Wounds.
Emmon will Lay On Hands patient 3.
Egil will hop off his horse after following Alistair to the battleground, keeping a wary eye on the circling rocs. As soon as he touches the ground he activates his ring of invisibility before strolling after the Healers, his favorite long axe resting on his shoulder. When passing by Alistair he will mumble "These birds are creepy... they are watching us,... waiting for something."
Egil prepares for a coming attack of the remaining rocs.
Arnolt's Cure spell proves insufficient, as the second mercenary's wounds were too severe. The third mercenary will live, however, thanks to Emmon's holy powers. Alistair judges him to need at least two weeks' bed rest for a full recovery. Unfortunately, his ear is a lost cause and the man will have hearing issues from now on.
The first mercenary dies a quiet, painless death.
Siegmar tries to save one of the mules' life but it is too far past his ability to do so. All three mules that were attacked expire. Losing three of 110 mules will have a negligable effect on the party's supplies this month.
Arnolt notes that his Speak with Animals spell did not allow him to communicate with any of the rocs.
The other rocs, closely watched by an invisible Egil, are still circling the location but not doing anything else.
Remind me what the bonesaw does, if anything, as regards healing. I can't seem to find mention of it in any of the books.
Does Alistair still intend to "scrap the roc for parts"? I am using the Lairs & Encounters rules for mundane monster parts and special components.
Alistair does indeed want to harvest the rocs for magical bits. Bonesaws are in D@W:C. They give a bonus to the roll to try to Cure Light/Serious Wounds using the Healing proficiency if you're trying to restore hitpoints to someone who rolled a limb-related Mortal Wound. (So if a merc had -3 HP and a broken leg and needed to be healed to 1 hp within one round, Alistar could try to Cure Light Wounds by sawing his leg off.)
Alistair examines the roc bodies and realizes that, while he is fairly certain that the rocs' talons and feathers will sell for a decent price, he has no idea which body parts are useful to mages and/or alchemists.
He orders a couple of mercs to begin plucking feathers while he saws off some talons.
Anyone else want to take a shot? Anything else Alistair wants to do?
Alistair and the mercs finish their job of stripping the rocs of talons and feathers. The mage removes 18 talons and the mercs pluck 93 feathers. The pack herders salvage what little supplies they can from the dead mules and repack them onto the others. The wounded merc is helped onto his mount and strapped to the saddle so he won't fall if he faints. The two dead mercs are wrapped in blankets and laid across their mounts as well. It takes a couple of hours to round up the frightened mules and get them back in line but finally the column moves out again.
As the last horse moves away from the battle site, the remaining rocs swoop down and quickly strip the mule corpses of any remaining meat.
The party is able to make it another six miles or so before it makes sense to stop and camp for the night. No further encounters occur.
The party is in hex 04.26. Please post the Night Watch order, if any, in the newly renamed Marching Order and Night Watch thread.
If you want to do something different with the wounded merc or the dead ones, let me know and we'll adjust.
During the evening, Alistair's mercenaries making the rounds of the campsite note the presence of a ruined building just off the path. The ruin is quite large, perhaps 50'x50', but appears to be ancient. The walls have been knocked down thoroughly and the knee-high remnants of the site are nearly covered with vines and other brush.
Alistair doesn't think much of the site but Ser Emmon gets a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He orders more torches lit and discovers a colossal, life-sized statue of a dragon toward the rear of the ruin. The statue is half-buried in the earth but still appears to be 100 feet long or longer. The dragon's eyes sparkle in the torchlight, as if they were gemstones.
Suddenly, as the pair approach, a half dozen shadowy figures emerge from the dragon's mouth! They appear as bearded warriors with plumed helmets and short hooked swords. The dark creatures move to the attack!
I rolled an initiative win for the bad guys here but since I took some liberties with Alistair's actions, I will let Susan respond first. Present for the party are Alistair, Emmon, and one platoon of light cavalry. The edge of the campsite is about 150 feet away.
Alistair orders his men to charge and begins casting Shield.
Ser Emmon and the mercs close to attack the enemy. Perhaps a third of the horsemen strike clear blows but their blades pass through the shadowy figures with no effect!
Emmon's blade Wyrmfel strikes true and the foe staggers but does not fall.
If there was any thought that the enemies were insubstantial ghosts, their counter-strike dispels that myth. Two of them land blows with their whispery blades, striking one mercenary down and wounding another. The one facing Emmon sees his blade slide off the paladin's shield harmlessly.
The mercenaries gasp in surprise and dismay as one of the phantoms sucks the very life force out of the wounded merc! The merest touch turns his skin ashen and he falls to the ground without a sound.
Alistair completes his spell, with no obvious visible effect.
The sound of the conflict is heard back in camp. The others may issue orders for the next round.
Emmon hits for 10 damage but his target yet lives. In 4e terms, he's bloodied (i.e. below 1/2 hit points). The mercs landed several solid blows but their weapons had no effect.
Alistair's Shield is, of course, invisible.
Alistair sees that this mercenaries don't stand a chance against this threat. "SEPT FORMATION!" He shouts, and then begins preparing a Fireball. Emmon holds his ground while the men declare fighting withdrawals with the intent of forming a tight wall around their mage and praying that the murderous things are content to duel the paladin, or that they can buy their mage enough time to save them. If/when Alistair's spell finishes, he'll aim to catch as many enemies as possible without harming friendlies.