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Recap - 20110129 - WAR! The Hammer and Cross Mission

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After supporting the raid on the docks near the village of Starspire, Strikeforce Black receives orders to escort a defector to safety. Hunter (Trevor – Shifter Ranger), Kara (Ken - Pal/Sor), Kebru (Kevin - Fighter), Walster (Ibuki - Warden) and Hayden (Brad – Gnome Warlock) form up with Walster as acting Section Chief as Cederik was in the infirmary recovering from a serious chest wound he had received the day before while on patrol.

As the team arrived in Matteral, the mayor, a Rick Wilkins, was giving a speech to the towns people on when food would arrive, recent Royalist movements, listing of recent town residents killed and wounded, and a rant concerning shady arms merchants. SC Incyrus was there and instructed SF Black to provide additional perimeter security for the mayor. Hunter took up a good archery position in the upper corner of the inn that overlooked the square where the speech was taking place. Glancing down, he noticed a man he knew to be a deadly assassin and at the same time, Oz(wald), noticed him (Hunter). Hunter received a throwing axe wound in the shoulder and Oz was on the mayor in a flash. Just at that moment, two fire elementals appeared, killing most of the guards near the mayor’s wagon. Walster was yelling that several towns people in the crowd were also assassins. Walster, Kebru and Kara, battled the two elementals with Walster on fire the vast majority of the time. Walster doggedly chased after a towns woman who kept running away from him. She didn’t attack back, just kept running until Walster was able to smash her with his hammer. Soon, all the women in the area were fleeing more from Walster than the fire elementals. A second towns person slashed at Walster as he ran by chasing women. After he was done chasing all the women, Walster turned around and started attacking the man that slashed him, just before one of Hunter’s arrows downs the man. In the meantime, the mayor was running toward Hunter, while Kara and Kebru were fighting, and taking a ton of damage in return from Oz, who turned out to be a werewolf. After being hit more than 25 times by Kara, Hunter and Kebru, and taking a number of very serious wounds in return, Kara finally downs Oz. As the elementals kept attacking the mayor, Hayden used his magic to trade places with the mayor and got the elemental to attack him (Hayden) instead. With all the assassins down, as well as one of the elementals, SF Black concentrates on the last elemental and ends the attempt on the mayor’s life.

A rebel priest treats Kebru's and Kara's injuries and tells them they are not affected with “Moon Madness”. SC Incyrus heals up and tells SF Black that in addition to their prime mission, they are to gather information on the Raven Queen and Orcus and what their forces are doing in this area. With that, the party draws provisions, some first aid supplies, and a coffer full of cash, for the mission. They met up with Chief Cagvree, the guide, and move out.

Near the front lines, Cagvree spots a large Royalist patrol in time to move all of SF Black, except Hayden, to secure cover so the Royalists can pass by and SF Black can avoid an un-needed fight. Cagvree is at least able to motion to Hayden to duck down, which he does and using his superior hiding skills, it is not long before the 15 man Royalist patrol is passing by SF Black. Although unspotted, Hayden jumps out yelling threats and blasting away with magic, much to Cagvee’s amazement. The rest of SF Black then stands up and manage to catch the Royalists by surprise, downing no less than five of the enemy in their initial volley of arrows and magic with nearly every member of the team downing one enemy. However, when the Royalists strike back, the Holy Archers of Pelor use Radiant Strike Arrows to blast the concentrated rebels, dazing many of them. Walster vaults over the log and charges the enemy Captain. A long battle ensues with Walster hitting him no less than a half dozen times (and missing a few times) before downing him. Walster takes several bad slash wounds in return. Hunter exchanges long range fire with the Holy Archers, downing one and wounding another, but getting dazed several times in return. Kara blasts with magic, downing several of the enemy foot soldiers but gaining the attention of the enemy sub-Commander who moves in and puts Kara down. A combined effort by Cagvree, Hunter and Kebru manages to put the sub-Commander away and allows Kara to be healed. A few seconds later, the remaining enemy are all either down or running, giving the party a few minutes to bind their wounds and catch their breath.

A little further through Royalist lines, the party meets a squad of soldiers from the House of Swords. Rather than fight, the party barters with them, giving them a magic Superior Crossbow in exchange for information on the Cult of Orcus. Reaching the creek, SF Black avoids the team of elite guards at the bridge and sets up the OP per their orders. Leaving Cagvree to man the OP, SF Black moves upstream where they sight a golden symbol of Pelor on a staff stuck in the stream bank. Hayden rushes forward to grab it while the rest of the team moves quickly to the opposite bank just in time to witness the gnome walk right over a geyser that seriously wounds the gnome in a spray of acid and poison. Despite the yells from the rest of the team to get out of the area, Hayden waits for the geyser to explode a second time so he can rush in and grab the golden symbol which turns out later to be worth a small fortune of 10 gp. The rest of the team carefully avoids the area by walking on the opposite bank. The team takes a short rest to heal Hayden’s acid burns.

SF Black arrives at the swamp and finds out, to Hayden’s dismay (hates giants), that the defector they are to rescue is a blind Fire Giant. Using Hunter and Walster’s knowledge of nature, the team navigates around the hill and approach the men with the giant. Walster bravely advances and pays the mercenaries off and the team takes custody of the Giant. Just as Prestonee and his mercenary gang are out of site, SF Black is assailed by a tribe of swamp lizard men and their two large pet basilisks! Hunter, being on point, gets hit by several javalins and one blast from the western most basilisk. Hunter moves to cover and high ground and returns fire, downing one of the lesser lizard men. Unfortunately for Walster, he ended up at the new front of the column; taking gaze attacks from the western basilisk , poisoned javalins from the southern lizard men on the ridge, and having to fight off no less than three lizard men jabbing at him with spears. Using all the power of nature he could summon, Walster boosted his defenses, used his most powerful blows (dailies), and fought on pure adrenaline (action point), to keep himself on his feet. Kara and Kebru, already hard pressed as the rear guard, both battled multiple enemies. To make matters worse, as soon as they would down one, several more would appear at the edge of the marsh and charge. Just when the lizard men were starting to get thinned out, a second basilisk attacked from the east, hitting Kara in vital areas several times (e.g. three critical hits, each for 21 hit points of damage). With Walster surrounded by enemies, the western basilisk downs Hunter and causes the Fire Giant to seek cover. Hayden rushes over to keep Hunter from dying, and after a minute or two, Hayden and the Giant manage to stabilize the team’s dying archer as he was on the very brink of death (3 hit points away). It was about that time that Kara was finally overrun by enemies and succumbs to her wounds. Kebru slashes his opponent, causing him to flee, and rushes over with Walster to keep Kara from dying. Several lizard men intercept the team's defenders but by some miracle, Kara revives herself and gets back into the fight. Seeing this, the lizard men become demoralized and with their two basilisks still fighting, the lizard men take to their heels. Without the support of their owners, SF Black surround and finishes off the two gaze lizards. With the epic battle over, the team gets Hunter on his feet and takes inventory of what they have left and find they are pretty much on the ropes.

The Giant then informs the group that she can lead them to a nearby ruined temple that was important to her former captors. Acting SC Walster, agrees that the temple is at least worth observing from a safe distance so they head in that direction. Upon arriving at the temple, to Walster's frustration, Hayden rushes forth and opens the door. He goes inside and then comes out and starts blasting his team mates! Walster goes in to save the gnome and ends up attacking the gnome and then anyone who comes within throwing hammer range. Walster and Hayden struggle to maintain control of themselves while the rest of the team watches from a distance. Hunter then notes that something else is moving inside the temple and during a moment of sanity, Walster realizes it is a statue and orders the entire team to attack it. After much blasting and smashing, the statue crumbles to dust revealing a magic cloak and a few minor healing items. Now being worse off than ever, SF Black limps slowly back downstream to the OP.

Before reaching the OP, the team comes across a Royalist squad that had been tracking the team. It appeared that the Royalists had been attacked and killed almost to the man by a group of undead. The lone Pelor survivor was made a prisoner for later interrogation. Walster noted in his report that Hayden the man (gnome) on point, rushed forward and attacked the wounded enemy trooper and missed before Walster had the chance to demand that the enemy’s surrender (which he promptly did) gaining a valuable prisoner for the rebellion.

At the OP, Cagvree reports that the five man Royalist bridge guards are still at their post. Walster just manages to grab Hayden before he can move into range and blast the nearest Royalist guard. SF Black retreats upstream, out of sight of the Royalist bridge guard and then sets a course back to Rebel lines. Just before reentering Rebel lines, the team comes across a Paladin of Bane who challenges Walster to personal combat. Walster agrees and after a VERY long battle (man, this has got to be the longest one on one battles on record for a 6th Level PC), Walster forces the Paladin to yield! Walster receives a blessing from Bane and SF Black returns to base with the Fire Giant in their care and much valuable intelligence.

For their heroics and bravery in the face of combat, Kebru is awarded a Combat Badge, Walster is promoted to Section Chief and the whole team is refitted with new equipment, much of it made by the rescued Fire Giant. Another mission accomplished and job well done.

Last edited by Teramotos on Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Teramotos wrote: As the elementals kept attacking the mayor, Hayden used his magic to trade places with the mayor and got the elemental to attack him (Hayden) instead.

You made it sound like he was really brave... but you left out the part where as soon as he did it, he was whinning loudly, "Why'd I do that? I hate being out in the open next to a fire elemental!"

Good recap & thanks for the adventure! Some of those battles were pretty hairy...

I fleshed out Hayden's background a little more in PP&T. He will aslo commission from HoS: a pact blade +1; rainment of shadows set piece (level 3 item), ideally also commissioned to have "HtH" for Hayden the Hidden engraved on the hilt.

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