Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AP: Clever Title Placeholder

Full party again this session. Good thing too, as we stumbled into a nest of trouble. Stumbled/Galloped, really:

Paulic/Irus - One boy split into two bodies, this session they perfected the Twin Twin Strike. That's right, four arrows. As they are controlled by one mind, Paulic often acted as the laser designator for Irus' arrows.
Phedre - If her devotion to the party was ever doubted, she only need point to fights like this one. Arashi was propped up by her healing, and she brought back Paulic from the brink of death with it.
Arashi - Certainly got the enemy's attention, since even without being marked they focused on him, mostly. Was swarmed early, healed up, swarmed again, and healed again. . .ended the fight so deep in negatives that another attack would have killed him for good.
K'rrul - As an Assassin should, he stayed hidden, invisible, or concealed for the first half of the fight. Less impressive than Paulic, but the enemies were Brutes, so he hit with nearly every attack this fight.
Jasper - Obliging enemies clumped up for him, and his spells were extra effective this fight. Also managed to save Paulic's life. Three cheers for Jasper!

The party piled into the cave en masse, since our stealth was clearly broken at this point. Arashi carried the weaker party members over the river, and we climbed up into the ogre's home. It was a dead end.

There was a large ogre-sized bed, and several broken pieces of furniture that had been feeding a fire at one point. Despite searching around for another way in or out, we found nothing. We left the cave empty handed. Paulic looked at the surroundings and guessed that in other valleys like this, with a river, ponds or lakes often formed at the low point. He thought that if ogres had moved in, they likely gravitated to the lake as it was a source of water and possibly food. Arashi climbed a tree to scope out the area, and saw a thin wisp of smoke in the distance, coming from the lower part of the valley. With afternoon approaching, we shouldered our packs and walked the few miles to the lake.

We arrived on the opposite side of the ogre camp. From our position in the grass at the edge of the lake, we saw four or five buildings. One of them was a log cabin-type structure, and it had smoke rising from the chimney. At that distance we were unable to determine much more, so K'rrul ghosted off to scout out the camp.

He returned and confirmed what they saw. Four tents, one smallish cabin, and ogres and wolves visible. A quick and dirty plan was hatched:
- Paulic, Irus, K'rrul, Phedre, and Jasper go back to where K'rrul had observed the ogres and hide.
- Arashi was to circle around the opposite side of the lake.
- When he was good and ready, he would mount his Obsidian Charger and . . .charge through the camp.

Paulic and Irus each climbed trees to 15 feet or so high. Jasper, Phedre, and Phedre's Mister Bubbles each hid behind a tree in the forest. K'rrul hid in the high grasses and brush at the edge of the woods, but outside the camp. And waited.

Arashi charged through the camp like an elemental fury. Shouting and yelling, he whipped his sword over his head as lightning coursed over his body. It certainly got the ogre's attention. They unleashed their wolves and followed him into the woods.

A nublie young human, dressed in scant clothing stepped calmly from the cabin and took to the air, hovering 10 feet above the ground and moving towards the woods herself. In addition to all of that noise (3 ogres, 3 wolves, 1 mysterious caster), three totems in the village all released spirit animals. One each of a wolverine, bear, and mountain lion ghost totems leapt from their prisons and charged after Arashi.

Even though he was mounted, an ogre managed to catch up to him just as he entered the trees. It was perfect timing, really:
- The ogre had unknowingly lodged itself in our trap. It ran right by K'rrul in the grass, and ended up just a few feet from Jasper and Phedre.
- Almost the entire ogre army got to go before the rest of us went. The Vicious Dire Wolves, The Ogre Savages, and the jailbait something or other all went before any of us. They advanced, but as yet only one of the ogres was in our trap
- We sprung. K'rrul stabbed, Paulic and Irus shot, and Jasper cast. Now that our trap had sprung. . .were we just normal combatants, about to get smashed to jelly by ogres?
- Arashi was foiled early. He marked and moved, but the wolves had an ability to pull their target prone, and the other wolves all did bonus damage to prone targets. In addition to taking gobs of damage, he was wasting a move action every turn just standing back up. Luckily, the one he marked first attacked someone else, and he used his mark to teleport out of the gank and near his allies.
- Jasper changed the face of the fight in the first round or two. He bravely charged in, getting clubbed nearly to bloodied for his trouble, just so he can try to Otherwind Stride the ogres and immobilize them. He did hit one this way, and then dropped an Enlarged Acid Mire where he was, hitting most of the enemy and creating a huge, 5x5 area of difficult terrain.
- Phedre then spent her first few turns healing Jasper and Arashi up, then spent the rest of the fight healing herself, Arashi, K'rrul, Arashi, Paulic, Arashi, etc.
- Mr Improbable, Paulic/Irus, seemed invulnerable and cocky shooting at ogres without fear of reprisal. Their flying, improbably hot leader closed in on him, however, and instructed her ogres to do the same. Suddenly realizing that 15 feet is not that high to an ogre, Paulic was forced to use his magic cape to teleport away. Irus had an ability that let him get away from his ogre, too, but they were on the run and without their superior vantage point.
- The seemingly endless bag of hitpoints represented by the ogre mini finally dropped to our focus fire, leaving only two more ogres, two wolves (one of which was bloodied) and the spirit totems.
- Right. . .the totems. They were minions, which was a nice gimme in this bloodbath. Their catch, though, was that they imbued their allies with various, unnamed and improbable boons when they died. At one point we were fighting an ogre wearing a wolf mask with supernatural bestial elements reflecting the lion and bear totems. Quite the amalgam of a creature.
- With the ogres intent on killing our archers, and the boss lady not much of a threat (yet), we were able to start finishing off the wolves. This was working, being hastened by the Acid Mire, and Phedre summoning her Consecrated Ground. There was one poor wolf immobilized in two different auto-damage zones.
- Consecrated Ground was keeping Arashi from dying, and things were looking. . .okay. Or at least *less* deadly. Possibly sensing the same change in tone, the ogre leader morphed from a nubile young temptress into a Large, horrid, steaming mess of ugly. With a club. The ball is in our court, it looks like.
- Jasper had just teleported Arashi out of the way of the ogre leader and into the Consecrated Ground. Now she was in melee with two of the squishy members of the party, and she bore down on Paulic.
- With his freshly renewed vigor, and seven whole HP's, Arashi engaged her again. It was nearly his final act. He was dropped back into negatives again, and far away from the safety of Consecrated Ground.
- Desperation or teamwork had us focusing fire on her, and we quickly brought her down through bloodied, and eventually dead. Not before she dropped Paulic and chased Jasper away. Clever use of Eyebite kept him off of her radar, and kept him alive.
- Arashi didn't die, though he was so far negative that 10 or so more HP's would have killed him for good. We stopped there.
Paulic's double crit Twin Strike. Those dice must have 20's on more than one side to crit so much. ..

This session was mostly combat. It was kind of the culmination of this little investigation, two sessions of figuring out what was so scary in this valley, and if it had anything to do with the wagon crash. It appears it did. The ogres were led by an Ogre Mage, Jesse let slip. Someone super smart had guessed this very early on, so it was kind of a confirmation more than anything.

This was a pretty fun time, despite it being a long fight. We are sixth level, and had enough tricks up our sleeves to stay creative through most of the fight. Except Arashi. Those wolves really messed with his game. He lost enough actions that he was still sitting on Dailies, even though Jasper, Phedre, and K'rrul had been using theirs. . .kind of an admission that this fight was maybe a touch out of our league. Despite that, all the attention paid to Arashi (and deservedly so, with his pre-fight role as bait) kept them off of us long enough for us to whittle them down. Had they honed in on our two archers early and taken them out, or shut down Jasper's controlling, it would have been a very different fight.
Next week . . .exposition, roleplay, and possibly a surprise or two!


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