Chapter 2 - Parte 3 - Heart of Evil
The Priest quickly moves to the sleeping members of the party and the remaining hobbits and tries to rouse each of them from their slumbers. However only Starfast and Teckcos Tik awaken, the others remain deeply unconscious.
In answer to Starfast and Tekcos's alarmed expression, the Priest quickly explains the situation. The ProudHair and the Merrifoots hobbits poisoned the coffee and probably the Stew and Ale too. The trio look to the slumped forms of Ulrich, Caerendil, Dirkwood and Korbin and think back to the inordinate amount of Stew and Ale they consumed before going to bed.
Sheet. Its just the three of them against whatever's coming towards them on that boat. Brother Kelly with his divine gifted vision looks out across the lake towards the silently approaching barge. There are 6 figures on deck, 5 normal human shapes and a tall individual standing ominously and silently at the stern.
Nothing for it, it's do or die! Tekcos lies back on his bedroll and feigns sleep. Brother Kelly and Starfast seat themselves down near the campfire and assume hobbit size.
All the party members can perceive the shape of the looming barge. One of the figure's at the brow lifts up a shuttered lantern and signals towards the campfire. Starfast is the first to comprehend and raises his own hooded lantern to return the exact same signal sequence.
The barge drifts closer and juts up against the sand. Two figures jump down into the shallow water and approach the campsite. From their clothing they appear to be River folk. They holler at the figures huddled around the fire. The trio in the camp remain silent and motionless.
The 2 river folk, Kermit the Blind and Geraint the Unfortunate continue walking fowards, seemingly oblivious to the human Priest and Fighter pretending to be hobbits, they cross the line of glyphs...
A massive electrical discharge pummels the pair. Both take substantial damage and are hurled from their feet. Immediately the party leap up and attack the prone fellows. Starfast shoots two arrows into partially blind and prone Kermit, while Brother Kelly and Teckos focus their attentions on smiting the unfortunate Geraint.
Remarkably both river gypsies weather the electrical and melee storm and stay hale and hearty. They *will* be staggering to their feet and they *will* be combatants next round 8-)
A bowmen on the barge opens up and begins raining arrows down into the camp area. The large ominous figure shrouded in shadow appears at the brow and begins muttering words of eldritch power....a tiny flame erupts in his upturned gnarled hand...
The two oppressed river folk facing the party turn and run. Starfast hits the fleeing Kermit with another arrow from his mighty longbow, it's impact staggering the poor fellow down onto one knee, Brother Kelly is casting yet another spell to strengthen himself, whilst Tekcos of the Tik pulls forth an arcane Ice Javelin from amongst his many possessions. He grips the weapon purposely, his sole intention being to hurl it into the retreating back of the other river gypsy.
DM: Do you have the Javelin Proficiency Blob?
DM: Fair dos..
Tekcos does a little run up...then trips on a sleeping form of a hobbit...and yet somehow still manages to unleash a wayward javelin. It narrowly misses the ducking form of Brother Kelly and then sails gracefully over the head of the grateful Geraint, before thunking down into the sand about 20 yards further along the shoreline.
A fiery ball sails into the campsite and explodes. The party hurls themselves onto the sand and escape mostly unscathed (bar a bit of singed or burning clothing.)
Starfast gets to feet and points at the large figure on the boat and shouts 'FECK EM!' 2 large lions appear on either side of the Myrmidon and charge down towards the waterfront. Starfast himself draws 'Soul Drinker' and looms up upon the staggered form of Kermit.
Brother Kelly casts another spell..this one extending his divine strength to the other members of the party (be they humans or animal statuettes apparently, have +6 damage per hit!).
Teckos gets to his feet and hurls his Axe into the back of Geraint. The stalwart River Gypsy stumbles from the mortal wound and sinks into the sweet, shallow waters of the lake only yards from the boat and moves no more. Seeking vengeance the bowmen on the barge pummels the Psioncist with 2 arrows to the chest!
The river folk on the barge are now pushing away from land and the vessel begins to slowly inch away from the sand...
The 2 lions roar and pounce onto the deck adjacent to the large robed figure, he simply waves one hand in their direction and 1 lion returns to statuette form...it teeters on the edge of the barge, Starfast looks up from the decapitated blood spewing form of Kermit the Blind and screams 'NOOOOOOOOOOOO!'. Which seems to generate enough of a zepher to push the wobbling statuette into the barge instead of the shallows.
The remaining lion mauls the large figure (from the clothing a priest of some kind) as both Brother Kelly and Starfast charge up in support. Tekcos meanwhile pulls a potion out of his robes and quaffs it...cheeks bulging the Psionist then teleports onto the stern of the barge and spews a cone of flame across the entire vessel...everyone must makes saves to dodge the 3D10 points of breath weapon fire damage...including the recently clambered on board figures of Brother Kelly and Starfast Chaos-Destroyer!
Most people save (and to be fair the 3D10 potential damage transpires into a damp squib of 13 actual points of fire damage!) One gypsy does a smart pirouette to avoid the fiery wave and then flings himself manfully into the midrift of Tekcos Tik...the pair plunge off the boat and into the waters...and a titantic underwater struggle ensues...well maybe 8-)
Meanwhile on the barge. Brother Kelly, Starfast Chaos-Destroyer and one remaining lion are up against Mr Tall and Scary plus the last two river gypsies. A fair amount of blows are traded by both sides without quarter and each group realises that they are evenly matched. Enough of this, Evil always triumphs because good is stupid..so Mr Scary whips up his hands and casts 'Hold person' on the two humans in front of him.
Starfast fails like a goodun! and will be held rigid for 20 rounds (could be worst PhilM...just imagine if this were BattleTech 8-))) Brother Kelly rolls a 10 and after a long consultation with his legal team manages to massage this total up to the required '12' to succeed against Spells.
Now it's Brother Kelly and a badly battered lion v Mr Scary 10th Level (Hold Person - Held for 2 rounds per level..thus 10th lvl 8-)) Bastad and 2 untouched gypsies wielding big machetes.
Back at the campsite, Ulrich Von Kronos turns over in his sleep and then absently has a rummage down below...he smacks his lips tasting the last vestiges of the lovely halfling stew, a faint glimmer of battle caresses his eardrums...but not enough to warrant getting up, the dwarf promptly rolls over and falls back into deep slumber. 8-)
Mr Scary has cast his spell, but Brother Kelly and the Lion have yet to respond...a claw, claw, bite, rake rake routine (all with +6 damage per hit!) and a colossal bastad sword hit for stupendous damage see off the threat posed by the scary priest. He thuds to the deck and unravels into various bodily pieces.
At this point a sodden Tekcos re-appears on deck and the 2 remaining River folk are now outnumbered and thus being mere NPCs must make Morale rolls...the pair decide to discard weapons and dive overboard.
After a bit of a standoff the 3 surviving River rats make good their escape, leaving the trio on the boat time to work out how and why the barge is still moving and then steer the vessel back to land.
The Sense of an Ending
6 months ago