Chapter 01: Alarm!

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Session Number: 24
Date: Sunday 20 September 2009
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Enok Rgr5 (Alain) (kills: none)
Krag Clr5 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal5 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz5 (Densial) (kills: 2 metallic spiders)

XP Awarded: TBC

Vor-wrek leaves the group with his hard-earned share of the party treasure - 1900gp in platinum.

The monastery's 9 foot high walls are almost complete. A 30' high tower stands at the northwest corner of the rectangular fortifications. Gates pass through the north and west walls, with construction continuing on similar gates in the south and east walls.

Sir Veketh has just concluded his speech, and requests that the former students clear out their dormitory bunks and move into the guest facilities for the remainder of their stay. There they will share their accommodation with "Troll", another classmate who is also graduating, albeit under somewhat different circumstances.

Denz, fill in the blanks!

Troll is a sun elf mage with heaps of intelligence, but no brains. He arrived at the monastery when he was 5. Krag, Rowaine and Enok shared classes and facilities with the elf, but beyond that had little to do with him. Troll remained aloof, as if the others weren't quite good enough for him. He certainly wasn't interested in their little "We Love Orcs" group…

It is an hour or so after dawn and the group are sorting out their belongings in the guest quarters when there is a huge BANG! from the mess hall adjacent. The group's ears continue to ring for seconds after as they look around each other. "What was that? Krag mutters. "'Let's find out" says Rowaine.

The party enter the mess hall, which looks like it has exploded. At the far end is a venerable humanoid creature, seated with its head low, moaning. As the party approach its head rises and ancient lips mouth words:

"Remember… You can't fight them with what you have…"

Rowaine guesses that the figure might be a male elf - but if it is, it is the oldest elf she can imagine. The figure looks at Troll:

"Remember… Elondel…"

He then turns his attention to Krag:

"It's been a long time…"

His head then slumps forward. As the party get closer they notice that the elderly figure is not sitting in a chair… rather, his lower half is a chair. Troll moves closer. He suspects this has happened as a result of a botched teleport. The figure appears quite dead.

Troll then starts feeling dizzy and collapses in a dead faint. The party gather round but he comes to his senses himself before they can help, less than a minute later. While unconscious Troll has 'dreamed' of a place, a place he recognises… It is his home, before he came to the monastery. He also 'remembers' roughly how to get there - two things that should not be possible…

"Enok," Rowaine says. "Get Sir Veketh." Enok nods understanding and exits. Suddenly the monastery's alarm bell is heard. Its particular peal indicates that all students are to immediately go to the underground level of the temple. But are the party members students any more?

Rowaine helps Krag carry the "chairman" to the temple. Troll goes back to the guest quarters and retrieves Krag's heavy mace. On his way to the temple Enok spots Sir Veketh climbing up the northwest tower and turns in that direction. As he approaches the gate he sees what looks like a blade thrust through the opening, forcing it open. He looses an arrow through the crack, but cannot see its effect.

Everyone hears/feels something like a shockwave, and a translucent blue hemisphere encloses the monastery.

Rowaine and Krag deposit the chairman in the entryway to the temple and Rowaine spots Berathoin, counting students' heads. "Are we needed here?" Rowaine asks. "No - get to the gate!" replies Berathoin, mentally ticking off two more of his charges. With that, Rowaine and Krag run back outside, glancing up at the rippling energy above their heads. Krag quickly outpaces Rowaine in her heavier armour.

Enok charges at the gate's ever-opening door. The opening widens to reveal two small, metallic spider-like creatures pushing at the door with legs that end in wicked blades! More are behind…

Spiders… Always with Fergus it's the spiders…

Enok bullrushes the dangerous-looking creatures, attempting to avoid their many sharp appendages. He manages to push them back outside the gate, but suffers vicious wounds in the process. Moreover, he is now outside the walls, surrounded by the little beasts!

Krag bounds to the gate, thrusts a large arm around Enok's torso and drags him backwards. Troll catches several spiders in a Fiery Burst centered just outside the gate. Rowaine approaches and casts her first-ever paladin spell - Bless. Her allies feel Moradin's favour tingle through their weapon arms…

Troll casts Summon Monster and drops 2 celestial monkeys in the spiders' rear ranks. The monkeys are largely ineffective but manage to distract the spiders for several valuable seconds. Troll then races up the tower.

Krag throws his considerable weight at the gate's open edge and manages to push it several inches. Enok shoots two more arrows at the creatures, both of which strike true. However, only one of them appears to injure the creature.

"Curses!" Rowaine spits. "No time to check if they're evil or not…" She steps forward, yelling "Back to Moradin's anvil with you, aberrant scum!" She drops the clawed, reverse side of her heavy axe on one of the creatures' torsos, wounding it.

At the top of the tower, Troll finds Sir Veketh at the top, unconscious. He surveys the combat scene below him. The blue-tinged hemisphere appears to have cleaved a large number of the creatures where they stood; part lie lifeless within the dome, part lie without. Beyond the barrier, dozens - perhaps hundreds - of the creatures mill about, seemingly searching for a way through. Beyond the throng, Troll sees three similar but much larger creatures, surveying their prey in frustration.

Gulp.

Troll thinks to fire off a few more Fiery Bursts from the tower, but realizes that the spell only has a 30' range… and he is 30' up and 15' away from the nearest foe…

Pythagoras says no!

Troll makes his way back down. All smarts and no brains.

Rowaine and Krag trade blows with more of the spider creatures. Two of the multi-faceted creatures skewer Krag with their forelegs and he falls to the ground.

Troll casts a tactical Fiery Burst, melting two spiders into barely recognizable heaps and damaging another.

"Rowaine! Make way!" yells Enok. Rowaine steps backwards and reaches her shield hand to Krag's form, laying Moradin's healing power upon him. Krag blinks and rises. Enok steps into the gap vacated by Rowaine, drawing his two blades and striking a defensive pose. He hits a creature twice but the nicks barely register. In return, two creatures stab at Enok with devastating effect and he too falls.

Fergus rolls well. Too well.

Rowaine Lays Hands on Enok, pouring her little remaining healing power into his form. Enok awakens and gets to his feet. He withdraws, sheathing his twin blades and replacing them with his bow. Troll casts a "big gun" spell - Summon Monster III. Nearby, a shimmering hippogriff blinks into being…

Ro takes 29 hp damage, inflicts 15, and heals 15. Craigo doesn't like those numbers at all…

gate_battle.jpg

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