Friday, 6 January 2012

The Shapechangers: Chapter 5

Some people oversleep (Keemor) so the raid begins a few hours late as the first rays of the new day begin to crest the horizon. A quick recon around the premises yields some info. Dogs inside. 2 large warehouse doors (back and front). Windows high above (level three) and what looks like planks spanning the gap between the warehouse and the Nightwatchmen Station. KC fills the party on the Nightwatchmen building. Might be easier to get into that and then across to the roof of McGloogan's warehouse ...

The party thus break into the Nightwatchmen building (which is mostly deserted during the day). They sneak past a sleeping day watchmen and up flights of stairs to the roof. There are indeed planks thrown across the gap to McGloogan's warehouse. KC attempts the crossing first.

KC fails and takes a fall, hits the ground, vanishes into shadows only to rematerialise on adjoining warehouse roof. Phew! Ulric the Venture Capitalist shimmies across the divide with no problems. Caerendil the Bard attempts the manuever, fails but not too badly and instead just freezes midway across the gap. Various people try and coax the Bard across the remaining bit, eventually Dirkwood Littlelegs has to go out there to hobbit handle the whimpering ministrel across to the other side.

The plate clad Paladin attempts the plank journey next ... he assuredly fails!, then desperately grabs for a handhold, he thunders down onto the plank, which breaks and the whole lot goes down ... but is saved by Keemor's Feather Fall spell. Baron Quentin floats down serenely, the planks and debris less so...there is a clashing noise as the wreckage hits the street, there is the sound of barking dogs, there is light inside the warehouse.

3 Dogs and a large, bald bearded man carrying a shield and hammer scurry out towards the Paladin, the dogs arrive first and start circling and barking at the Paladin. The Paladin plays it cool and asks McGloogan why a person can't walk the streets in peace without dogs harassing him (oooh you horrible little man Jonesy). McGloogan seeing the unblemished, shining knight gives Baron Quentin the benefit of the doubt and orders the dogs off and back inside. The dogs obey immediately and the big man turns away from the paladin.

The dudes on the roof reconnoiter the flat surface, there is a gaping 10 metre hole in the centre of the warehouse roof (for light presumably) and various access hatches dotted at 4 points elsewhere. Dirkwood and Keemor decide direct. The hobbit fastens a grappelling hook at the 10 metre hole and throws some rope over ... he then abseils down ... Keemor attempts an abseil ... lets the rope slip thru his weedy fingers, plunges, no more feather fall spells, onto a hard warehouse floor. Dooooosh! 4 stories worth of damarge! Medic!

Team Hatch (KC, Ulric & the Bard) approach a hatch. KC arrives first and attempts to pull it open.


Trap Activates

KC takes damage, Ulric just in the blast area takes damage ... Bard just out of blast area slows his movement towards the pair. KC undeterred, grabs the hatch handle once more and gives it a yank!.


Trap activates.

KC takes more damage, Ulric takes more damage...Bard stays 1 square behind Ulric (out of blast radius). Ulric steps back 1 square and glares at KC.

KC, the budding Thieves Guild recruit...decides to do a spot of Find and Remove Traps! ... sucess ... now to open the lock ... fail ...

Meanwhile downstairs, McGloogan surmises that the detonations above coupled to the sound of high speed Eldarin impact from inside means that 'no way is this Paladin just an innocent man out on a walk in the wee small hours'. He turns, raises a finger and tells two of the dogs to tear the knight limb from limb. He himself and 1 dog resumes their trek back to the warehouse door.

2 large muscular dogs angle in towards the Paladin, one canine's feral lunge goes awry whilst the other nips at the Paladin's calves. Baron Quentin invokes the power of his SeaShimmer cloak and passes through the warehouse wall..leaving the dogs to crash against the solid wall and bark with frustration.

Meanwhile, inside the warehouse, Dirkwood is assailed by multiple figures wearing leather armour and crossbows ... loads of sneak attacks and extra damage ... the halfling tumbles and rolls under a wagon for some respite ... where a sound alerts him to another hidden attacker! ... the halfling contorts his body to manuver himself into a position to attack. A deft lunge skewers the would-be attacker before he has a chance to act. Now hidden from quarrel fire ... Dirkwood wonders where the others have got too ...

Barking from outside, explosions on the roof and ... THUD! ... the eladrin mage smacking onto the warehouse floor. He watches 4 more thieves rise up from shadows to pepper the prone and dazed mage with crossbow bolts ... poisoned crossbow bolts 8-) ... Keemor looks in big trouble. So the Halfling tumbles away from the cart into the gloom by the warehouse walls and then hides in shadows. Thus leaving all the crossbowmen within the warehouse with only one target ... yes the prone, dazed and bloodied Mage.

A snarl from his right, alerts the halfling of the imminent return of one of the dogs together with McGloogan. Dirkwood quickly fishes out and smashes a vial of aniseed (which in real time he's had on his character sheet for years) onto the warehouse floor, he then backs away from the zone of stinking vapors directly away from the dog.

Meanwhile upstairs ... pick lock again ... fail again ... sighs of exasperation from the Bard and Dwarf followed by squeals and curses from down below.

The Paladin materialises inside the warehouse and is immediately attacked by hidden assailants. He takes a few poisoned quarrels but spots one xbow wielding attacker ... perched upon a nearby stack of crates ... the paladin sees an opportunity and rushes at and into the stack of crates ... the crates proved more sturdy than anticipated and only a few are dislodged. No way near enough to trouble the perched attacker. Who smoothly reloads his xbow and shoots the knight again.

McGloogan and 1 Dog (Murdoch) reach the warehouse doors and after a quick assessment of the situation, mage lying on floor getting peppering with xbow quarrels ... they head towards the more threatening adversary ... namely Baron Quentin.

Meanwhile hanging tough with the airborne brigade, Ulric's red mist begins to descend so before he goes totally berserk and slaughters KC and the Bard in a fit of pique, the dour handed dwarf uses the last ounces of mental control to step up to the trapdoor, shove the curvaceous but ineffectual form of KC aside and then launch a devastating axe attack into the wooden planks...the trapdoor explodes downwards in a shower of big splinters.

Ulric then glares at KC, who decides to jump down through the broken trapdoor before the dwarf gets any other ideas. The nimble woman lands deftly on the balls of her feet but is immediately assailed by Xbow wielding leather clad humans. KC suffers sneak damage and ongoing poison.

Upon the warehouse floor, the mightly oppressed Keemor crawls his way towards and then behind a big mound of sacks to gain some measure of respite from the furious xbow assault. He unleashes a magic missile that plucks one assailant from his perch.

The Paladin is assailed by McGloogan from the front and the dog Murdoch from the rear, the big canine biting furiously at the Paladin's armoured rear.

Seeing this, Dirkwoord stealths his way around towards the paladin and then launches a devastating attack aimed at McGloogan's back. So devastating is the attack that McGloogan's grants combat advantage to the halfling even thou his 'Eyes in the Back of your Head' feat should prevent such ploys (-100xps DM)..anyway Dirkwood gets the advantage and cunningly uses it to drive his vicious shortsword into an adjacent crate ... (fumble) ... right in and up to the hilt ...(saving throw) were it sticks fast ... epic fail 8-)

Left with a daggar the halfling gives the paladin a quick wave before tumbling back into the safely of the shadows. The paladin is now sorely oppressed. The 2 other dogs arrive (Jimmie and Rupert), 1 beast runs towards the fight between McGloogan and the Paladin, whilst the other launches itself towards the cowering mage.

Meanwhile in the warehouse office situated on high, 1st Airborne have deftly silenced their Xbow wielding attackers and then make their way gingerly down the stairs. They ascertain the situation on the warehouse floor, Keemor the mage is mightly assailed from all sides by Xbowmen with a large canine, teeth most prominent, angling towards him and the din of battle rising at the far end of the warehouse must be where the Paladin is bravely fighting for his dear life. Caerendil and Ulric sprint towards the Paladin whilst KC goes to help her arcane xxfriendxx xxcomradexx colleague.

Arcane magics, quarrels, dogs, teeth, snarls, hammers on plate, longswords on shields, manly bellows, more manly Roars! Sling bullets richochets all vie for aural supremacy within the cavernous warehouse.

KC arrives to assist Keemor with his little disagreement with a large canine and xbowman securely entrenched on his crate perch. The sorceress unleash a staggering lightening storm spell which should rend the dog and the xbowmen into smoking shreds ... the heavily blooded Keemor should remain relatively untouched ... probably ... maybe ...*cough* ... the spell goes off (if a little askew) and unleashes it's deadly lightening storm directly within the stack of sacks ... the mound is sundered and sacks of grain fly in all directions impacting on all in the vicinity ... KC, the Xbowmen ... Keemor the Mage ... and due to the nature of sorcery it seems to gain a life of it own as it continues to churn long after it's spell duration would allow it ... the 5 hit point Keemor is now 3 feet from a churning lightening storm and a large dog called Rupert intent on sinking his canine fangs into the mage's sweetmeats.

Ulric and the Bard quick march across the warehouse floor is uneventful, a few hidden assailants on the gantry do appear to rain down poisoned xbow bolts on the pair but these annoyances are swiftly dealt with and the duo arrive at the combat zone in good cheer ... where the Paladin, Osiris bless him, is still on his feet and fighting the good fight against his large bearded opponent.

The dog Jimmie turns away from harassing Baron Quentin to engage the oncoming Dwarf whilst the surprisingly stubborn Xbowman, still ensconced on the stack of crates, takes aim at Caerendil.

Dirkwood has managed to shimmy his shortsword out of the crate and returned to attack McGloogan from the rear. The sturdy McGloogan is trading unequal blows with an increasingly battered looking Paladin as the dog (Murdoch) continues to find no purchase on the knight's shiny metal ass. Damn your plate encased backside Mr Paladin!

KC magics the dog (Rupert) into the raging lightening storm as Keemor the mage succumbs to his many injuries and falls unconscious. The unfortunate Rupert is rent asunder by the churning maelstrom as KC performs healing and succor on Keemor.

The Fight at the Far End of the Warehouse also draws to a bloody close. Caerendil finally manages to pick the Xboxmen off his dug in position with some well placed arcana, Ulric brutally ends Jimmie the Dog's career as a watchdog, followed swiftly by Murdoch with a sorcerous assist from KC.

The party surround the big man McGloogan and knock a fair amount of stuffing out of the giant before the Paladin (maybe Caerendil - but I think it makes it more dramatic if it was the Paladin 8-)) calls on him to surrender. Bloodied and surrounded the bearded man throws down his hammer and holds up his meaty hands.

The battle is over and the party win again! That is good!

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