Sunday, April 29, 2018

Kill Boxes - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 13 and 14

It turns out that there is indeed a train here but more amazing than that there seem to be actually competent guards. I may be a bit cynical when it comes to expecting guards to be anything other than a problem. Granted this might be due to the fact that my own world has rather limited awareness of the supernatural and it was usually counterproductive to be upfront and honest when you're hunting cultists and this world is well aware of such things being true.

In any case, the guards, a couple of goblins, didn't believe the cover story I gave them and called out their superior commander, a dwarf. This is when I flippantly said what we were really doing expecting to be disbelieved but no, the dwarf was immediately concerned and took us into his office to talk about the matter. Soon after we were getting information on the path ahead and directions toward a shop in town with some enchanted weaponry. We also converted a lot of the currency we'd been collecting into gems, mostly diamonds for Nezeri's healing spells. I may have turned a tidy profit on the matter.
Before we left, we also had dinner with our dwarven host. Kelmar had apparently taken some meat from the dragon that attacked us and had offered it up as a bit of payment for the favors he was doing us. My traveling companions and our host showed entirely too much relish in the cooking and devouring of the flesh of a sentient being for my taste. I suppose it is a cultural thing. Never the less, I did not partake of the meal.

As we had been told, the track were taking had been long disused due to a problem in the form of "black-skinned elves" which sound a bit like drow. I considered taking the form of a drow but it was point out to me that I did not speak the proper languages to pull off any deceit.  So, I simply took a rest on the train, a military special, until it dropped us off at the point that the tracks ended.

Overall, we were on the train for about a day and a half or so, which puts us well ahead of our quarry, but then we had to start pushing through some old, disused train tunnels. Part way through the first day of travel we were set upon by bandits. They were goblins though far more thuggish than most of the goblins we'd met on this world so far. With them was a horrid sort of undead monstrosity with a misshapen face and horrifying aura that sucked the life out of all nearby. Between that and the fireball that opened the fight, we were pushed quickly close to the brink.
We were forced to scatter to avoid further fire and get out of the reach of the undead monstrosity's baleful glare and life-sucking aura. In my panic, I forgot to drop the dagger carrying my light spell in the middle so that Astra and I, the two who couldn't see in the dark, ended up clustered in a corner of the battlefield and trying to add what we could to the fight. 

We started off focusing on taking down as many enemies as we could with me taking a blast at the obscured shape of the wizard in one corner and Nezeri calling a spiritual mace to strike the undead beast. We heard a sort of roar and a banging on some boarded up walls and our attackers didn't seem particularly happy about it, which encouraged Kelmar to use his archery to shove the undead thing back towards the thudding on the boards. Medi and Alwyn managed an amazing maneuver wherein the lion rushed past the undead beast on the way to pouncing on the wizard, in that rush, Medi lashed out with her longsword twice striking at the beast. Then Wendylly and Astra removed the wizard with their strikes.
Goblin bandits were swarming Kelmar and leaving him bloody as a monstrous beast burst through the boards and destroyed the undead thing. Nezeri rushed to aid Kelmar as Medi and Alwyn broke off and engaged the beast calling out that it was a troll and the frantic search for fire began. 

In seeking out any sort of fire, I found just a single vial of oil but also a wand we'd discovered in the labyrinth. I pulled it forth and brandished it, releasing a barrage of eight bolts of force to take down almost all of the goblins surrounding Kelmar. The remaining one fled down the tunnels while we wore down the troll with a barrage of attacks. I rushed forward and covered the troll in the oil while Wendylly lit a torch and rushed to join us Medi met her half way and grabbed the torch to return and set the troll alight.

At the end of the fight, most of us were on the ragged edges and we took a break to recover before pushing on for the rest of the day. Fortunately we had no further encounters and when it came time to camp we found an amazingly defensible location. First, the lead in to the area was littered with stalactites and uneven ground. It took us a fair long time to pick our way through it. Then, once we came to the other end, we found a raised cat-walk that was stable and presented a raised position where we could camp. Granted, it would be easy to trap us within it, but there was no sign that anyone or anything was using the place so it was doubtful that any attackers would know that was an option. 

We were thankful for this location when that one fleeing goblin apparently came back with other fellows. Wendylly and Medi woke us up quietly to the sound of grunts and groans trying to filter there way through the terrain toward where we were. A burst of faerie fire focused at the top of one of the natural stone pillars unveiled a line of goblins led by a hobgoblin working their way through to us. 

It was a kill box.

A martial artist of some stripe teleported up to us and struck at Kelmar and Wendelly, but was shoved off the platform by one of Kelmar's arrows soon after. While I started to take shots at some of the outlined goblins. There was another of those wizards, and the archers and riflewoman took him down quickly. The monk went down next. Nezeri provided us with some light and a spiritual hammer before being distracted with a single goblin that had gotten through and climbed up to us on that side.
In the back of the goblin ranks we eventually saw a surly ogre that was having issues getting through the terrain and apparently was held up by the mass of goblins trying to push their way to us. I may have leveraged their surliness into outright paranoia that resulted in him smashing a goblin into paste. The goblins reacted immediately and the damage they dealt broke the spell, but that just encouraged the ogre to continue the fight.
The hobgoblin was frustrated as he continued to try to rally his soldiers but our warriors took him and his minions apart as I continued to stoke the flames of his own soldier's self-destruction, adding a crown of eldritch madness to one of the stronger goblins I could see. From there it was just a matter of time, the ogre was on its last legs by the time we reached them and that goblin I had maddened was throwing his fellows under the blows of either us or the ogre. Finally, the battle wound to a close, leaving us mostly untouched and able to continue our rest before pushing on to the base of the dark tower where these tunnels ended.

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