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  #16  
Old 07-21-2015, 03:48 PM
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Attrition
The day's march ends, still well above the snow line. Cookfires dot the mountainside. Lieutenant Falkrest rides off, picking his way up a game trail, to meet with the officer corps. He returns late, features grave, but offers no counsel.

Morning comes and the Company forms up, setting out about a quarter mile behind the nearest element. An hour into the march, Griffin Company descends past a cave-pocked rock face. Falkrest observes in passing that this stretch was treacherous, that the heavy infantry columns were picking their way along the crest and had no easy way to reinforce the skirmishers on the flanks. Left unsaid is that this stretch of the approach would be and excellent place for an ambush.

When the trails rejoin another mile farther on, the lieutenant is visibly relieved. Four columns of infantry descend into the pass, just at the edge of the snow line. The columns march forward, over a saddle pass. It's still too far to smell the river, but close enough that some soldiers think they can.

As the lead elements crest the pass, shouts come back. Moments later, horns sound the charge. The clash of steel echoes off the mountainside.

Griffin continues advancing, Falkrest calling for double time. Ahead, units array themselves for battle: heavy infantry forms rank upon rank of shields and spears up the middle of the road, while light infantry streams across the shoulders of the pass, javelins and short bows at the ready.

Then the trap springs. From the trees that line the valley walls, skeletal soldiers stagger through the snow in ragged lines, falling on the army's flanks.


Falkrest sees the assault in time to wheel the company's formations, and his sergeants snap out orders. The skeletons keep spilling from the trees, though.

Casualties are high. Spears, the standard armament for Aglarondian soldiery, are startlingly ineffective. Men begin using the spears as staves, but the formations make such tactics awkward. Soldiers fall, and the skeletons keep coming.

The heavy infantry company Lamia advances into the fray, giving Griffin a chance to withdraw and regroup. Lamia begins a holding action, struggling to contain the Thayans on the flank.

Falkrest is bloody, a frown graven on his features, but his aura of command is unwavering. He forms the squads up, reassigning soldiers to fill our four full squads. He dispatched one to each flank, keeps one with him, then turns to Trouble.

"We will be retreating," he says, quiet but firm. "We need a clear path. Take your squad, and take the carts. Secure that cave." He points; perhaps a quarter mile back up the trail, the mouth of a sizeable cave is just barely visible. "Then prepare to support our retreat."



The RetreatThe path to the cave is initially shielded by the rearguard element, which has swept out to engage the Thayans, but is slowly being overmatched. Then the trail narrows as the rock face rises to the right, and the trees thicken.

The Troublemakers are marching double-time with the carts in the rear when a handful of Thayans appear out of the trees, staggering onto the field. This group, however, includes something new: a human, dressed in dark leathers and furs, standing at the rear of his skeleton honor guard!




 
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Last edited by phinar; 07-22-2015 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:01 PM
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Spears and Bones
Rhessa rolls her eyes when observing the slaughter. "So, whose brilliant ideas was it to push spears into the hands of these poor sods when fighting skeletons? What did some brilliant military genius think what would happen when facing Thayans?", the Sorceress asks in disgust before adding in a high-pitched, mocking accent: "Ooooh, mebbe them Thayans has invented a new kind of skellington, mebbe these one bleed! Let's prepare for that!"

She shakes her head. "We just passed a forest. Could have grabbed a few branches as clubs, you know."

Rhessa looks around as no one is joining in her banter. Then she notices the shambling figures opposite of them.

"Oh. Well. That changes things."

The Sorceress grins maliciously, and the winds around her gather, pulling at her dress this way and that as her grin widens and the magic courses through her veins.


 
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:06 PM
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Marack Dovorson (Application) (Sheet),

"One on either side of me. Rest, stay behind. Don't advance past me. No hero shitt. This ain't no bard song. This is how people die," Marack grunted, perhaps saying the most words many had ever heard him string together.

The large man set his stance, wide but balanced. He unsheathed his Neverwinter sword, quickly but deliberately. He swung his shield before him, firmly but loosely.

Clearly, this wasn't his first fight.

 
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Last edited by Spankucus; 07-21-2015 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:56 PM
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Denovar the Destroyer"Don't be a Hero! Go it! Not like we need a hero against these creeping pile of arthritic good for nothing doggy treats! I bet my Grandma could grind their bones to make her bread without even breaking a sweat." Denovar draws his bow and notches an arrow. He eyeballs the field, but waits for the enemy to make the first move before unleashing hell from above upon them.


 



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Denovar Highwater
Level: 3 Ranger (Hunter)
HP: 28/28, AC: 14 (16 with shield) Speed: 30ft
Stats: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 9
Passive Perception: 14 Feats:: Sharpshooter
Spell Slots 1st 3/3
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:19 AM
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Rhessa the Spellsniper

"Rest, stay behind. Don't advance past me", the towering foreigner bellows.

"Would you look at that", Rhessa exclaims in mock surprise. "All it takes are a few animated bonelings and our frontline fighter learns how to speak proper words in proper sentences. Amazing!"

Everything in the sorceress' nature is rebelling against obeying him. She feels the magic pulling at her, stepping up to the skeletons and blast them all away with a single wave of thunder and storm. She can hear the storm singing in her mind and tingling in her fingers.

Then she shrugs to shake off that feeling. This was, after all, how she lost her crew and ended up in front of the army with the choice to either blast some Thayans or swing the rope. Besides, Trouble once told her to listen to that man when he gives battlefield advice.

Not deigning to dwell deep upon her own source of magic, Rhessa instead focusses on the robed man behind the skeletons. Spell-sniper feat negates coverHer skill at ranged magic means he is just as vulnerable to her magic as if he would stand alone in the middle of an empty plain.

With an almost lazy gesture, the sorceress gathers the icy cold surrounding her, extends her left arm in the robed man's direction, and a casting Cantrip: Ray of Frostthin ray of icy frost extends between them, close enough to Marack's ear to cover some of his hairs in rime.


 

Last edited by Vex; 07-22-2015 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:39 AM
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Sea of BonesTrouble couldn't move. She just stared in horror, unblinking, as wave after wave of skeletons burst from the trees and smashed, like a tsunami, into the heavy infantry. Screams of men and the clanging of weapons on bone, metal and wood were all she could hear, until Lieutenant Falkrest, bloody but unbroken, gave her orders to secure an escape route. Her squad was already moving, before she could act. Still in shock, her body seemed to move on its own and led her on a quick pace behind the group, sensing the urgency in their steps.

The rest of the Troublemakers stopped, but the sergeant didn't notice. She barely heard the former pirate's rant and bumped into the medic and the archer until finally being blocked by the old man's outstretched left arm. It was only then that Trouble finally looked up and saw the four Thayans blocking the path to the cave.

The tiefling snapped out of her trance, after hearing the man from Neverwinter's short speech. "You should have been sergeant", she mumbled. A puzzled look showed on her face, as she wondered why the veteran was still a foot soldier. Suddenly, something icy shot out of Rhessa's hand, prompting Trouble to talk. "Do as Dovorson said!", she shouted. "Let them come to us and pick them off one by one. If possible focus your fire on the one that comes the closest, otherwise do like Waveborn did and aim for their leader. They should be easier to deal with once their commander falls."

The sergeant pulled out a dart from her belt and threw it, aiming through a bony obstacle at their only living enemy. The dart flew low. It was about to hit the human, but the undead moved, as if instinctively protecting its master. The dart 3 Damage to Skellie #2pierced it's left ulna and got stuck there.


 


 

Last edited by Osse; 07-24-2015 at 11:20 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2015, 10:14 AM
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The Picket's PlanThe human's face twists into a scowl, and he barks some guttaral words at the skeletons. The distance and the snow prevent you from hearing the precise phrasing, but the effect is clear. The skeletons fan out, sheathing swords and producing bows. In a ragged line, they nock, draw, and fire, three arrows whistling toward Trouble. Two of the arrows flutter out into the trees, snatched up by the mountain winds, but one 9 dmgflies true.

The cultist steps up behind them and barks out another word. This one is also inaudible, and again its effect is clear: the air around the cultist seems to boil with twisting shadows. Above Dovorson's head, a strange twist of blue-black miasma appears, 7 damage, Dex DC11 to avoidlancing down into the hardy fighter.


 
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2015, 11:10 AM
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Aerial CheckmateThe enemy was smarter than the young sergeant thought. She never expected them to attack her all at once. Bolts came flying at her in quick succession. One flew exactly where her head was. Trouble ducked and dodged it just in time, while another flew low towards her left thigh, prompting her to jump up. Both projectiles hit the trees behind her.

Unfortunately for the tiefling, there was another crossbow bolt in the air, heading right where she was at, in the air. With a quick, but difficult twist, Trouble avoided a direct hit. She landed awkwardly. Her right ear bled warm. Its lobe was missing. A malevolent smile showed on her face.


 


 

Last edited by Osse; 07-28-2015 at 11:11 AM.
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2015, 06:13 PM
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"Gumbo Mubmo back there told his skellies to line up in a line? I thought he was smarter than that, but I guess he has less brains than his henchmen. Fire in da Hole!" Denovar screams as he lets an arrow fly. As the arrow lets loose, Donvar can already see that it is a bit high. Before the arrow even falls, another arrow is launched at the hooded figure. This time as the arrow hits its peak, a spread of arrows fan out from the original projecticle, raining down on all three skeletons and the robed figure.

 


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Denovar Highwater
Level: 3 Ranger (Hunter)
HP: 28/28, AC: 14 (16 with shield) Speed: 30ft
Stats: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 9
Passive Perception: 14 Feats:: Sharpshooter
Spell Slots 1st 2/3
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:53 PM
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Marack Dovorson (Application) (Sheet)

Marack had little experience with magic. His last experience had been back in Neverwinter. During a nighttime assault, a Thayan zombie had scored a solid hit on Marack's noggin. Marack had stumbled back and fell into a wandering priest of Tempus. The man screamed the name of his god and Marack felt an almost painful fire seal shut his wounded head. The priest had then ungraciously shoved Marack back into the shieldwall.

Marack doubted the swirling mass above him was Tempus' healing might. Besides, no fanatic screaming the name "TEMPUS!" stood beside Marack, ready to shove him forward. So avoiding the black mass seemed like the right course of action.

After avoiding the spell, Marack stood shocked as the nimble monk danced around the shot arrows. He stood shocked not because of this 'Trouble's' dexterity, impressive as it was. No, he stood shocked because he hadn't see undead use bows. The undead at Neverwinter simply swatted the living with whatever they happened to be holding, if anything. It hadn't occurred to him simple skeletons would be 'smart' enough to fire a bow, let alone fire it enough to trouble Trouble.

New plan, he grimaced. The heavy man jogged forward, hunched defensively behind his massive shield. He knew he couldn't close the gap before the next volley. But this time, he'd be ready.

 
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  #26  
Old 08-03-2015, 05:25 AM
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Rhessa - a growing Storm
What a brilliant idea, the sneering sorceress thinks to herself - but wisely keeps her mouth shut for now. Let's just stand here while they pepper us with arrows.

As the large man in front of her finally starts to move in the direction of the skeletons, Rhessa follows lightly along, each of her steps whirling up snow around her - much more than her light frame should cause.

As she walks behind Dovoson, she points her finger again at the robed man and mutters a single, arcane word while the white crystal around her neck glows in response. Another thin ray of pure elemental cold emanates from her pointed finger, so freezing it turns the air around it white and blue, and as it strikes the man true, the hoary frost around him seems to intensify, visibly slowing his movements again.

The magic inside her surges, urging her forward, begging her to unleash it, sending the poor bones in front of her and their foolish handler into twice-death - but Rhessa reigns the power of the storm in. Her companions where more than formidable - for all their flaws - to handle a small band of brittle bones. There was no need yet to unleash the full force of her own, personal magic - even if it is tearing and pulling at her.

The near permanent sneer on her face is replaced with a wild grin as the storm sorceress relishes the power struggling within herself.


 

Last edited by Vex; 08-03-2015 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:56 AM
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Sticks and BonesThe sergeant stood up straight, while the frontliner and the pirate were moving forward. One of her fingers touched her bleeding ear, then the tip of her tongue. Damn blood tastes like stale rations now, she realized, while running behind them.

She looked back at the other two and saw that the medic looked to be in shock. "Cowl!", Trouble shouted "Snap out of it! We need you!". She raised her spear up, with her left arm, as she turned to face the fight again. She
Dice Attack Roll:
d20+4sch13 (7)+4 Total = 11
Dice Damage Roll:
d6+2 (2)+2 Total = 4
tossed it at their foes, aiming for the one in the middle. Even after seeing how ineffective such weapons were, during the ambush, she was confident her spear would send the undead back where they belong. Unfortunately for her, the running added too much momentum to the throw and flew too high. The spear landed 20 feet behind their human foe. "Devil's tits!", the young tiefling blurted out.


 


 

Last edited by Osse; 08-04-2015 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:08 AM
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Preter Taim had been praying all day. Chauntea had been speaking to him in whispers, and it was difficult sometimes to make out what was being said. If this had been the first time his god had spoken to him, he might have been scared out of his mind. However, he had been talking to Chauntea since he was a young man, and when he did get a response, however token or trivial it might be, it always gave him great joy.

The whispers had grown increasingly urgent, however, in the last hour. It seemed that Preter needed to be somewhere, and he wasn't quite sure where that somewhere was. He just kept walking toward the sound of the voice, and hoped that it was indeed leading him to where he needed to be. Soon, the voice faded, and was gone, to be replaced by the sounds of battle. He had been asked to participate in this fight by the leadership within the church, and now he saw why. Before him stood the undead. No mere scholarly, abstract stories, but real animated corpses. "Skeletons, by the look of things," he thought.

Seeing them waylaying a squad, Preter knew he had to help. "For the light! Burn, foul creatures spawned of hell's hate! I shall incinerate the taint from your bones!" With that cry, a bright, harsh light lept from the holy pendant that he had thrust towards the vile creatures.

 


Character informationPreter Taim
HP 21
Hit Dice 3/3
AC 17
Spells prepared: Cantrips - Light, Mending, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying
Level 1 - Bless, Cure Wounds, Shield of Faith, Detect Magic (also Burning Hands, Faerie Fire)
Level 2 - Prayer of Healing, Hold Person (also Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray)
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Last edited by Webling; 08-06-2015 at 12:10 AM.
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  #29  
Old 08-10-2015, 07:22 PM
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In the cleric's explosion of radiant light, two of the skeletons topple, crumpling into small heaps of splintered bone.

The Thayan hisses, pain and frustration both evident. "Handor, engage!" he barks, scrabbling in his belt pouch.

The skeleton advances, dropping its bow and unsheathing a skirmisher's shortsword. The skeleton staggers into range, swinging to cross blades with Dovorson. The weary veteran anticipates the blow, though, and shrugs it off his shield.

Meanwhile, the Thayan finds the components he was looking for. He holds up a crystalline skull in his left hand; his right clutches a bit of parchment. "Flee!" he orders, pointing at Dovorson, and the parchment crumples.

Then he turns, lumbering away from the battle. The chilling effect of Rhessa's frost ray has slowed him considerably, but he makes haste. As he retreats, he casts again; a translucent blue-black shell oozes into being around him.

 
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:32 PM
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Two of the skeletons had dropped from the last volley of attacks. The last skeleton had moved up in attempts to slow down the front line warriors. Denovar took a few paces forward then tried to line up a shot on the fleeing robed human. "He tries to run, but it's futile. There ain't not mountain high enough to hide you from my arrow." Firing quickly, the shoot is low. It bounces off a rock, then skips towards his target, but ultimately fails to find it's mark. "Dag nabit!" Denovar curses. "That was just a warning shot," he explains to his allies.

 


Quick Stats
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Denovar Highwater
Level: 3 Ranger (Hunter)
HP: 28/28, AC: 14 (16 with shield) Speed: 30ft
Stats: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 9
Passive Perception: 14 Feats:: Sharpshooter
Spell Slots 1st 2/3
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