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Recap 34: Undead at the City Wall

June 26, 2010

City Defense Part II

Believing the mummies are the last of the attacks for the night, the soldiers carry away the injured, Oliver among them. Malouf goes with them to help. Most of the soldiers leave to rest while a few archers come to take their places on the walls.

By this time, Snow, Wind, and Rain have returned from their scouting mission. Wind and Rain, injured from an encounter with some undead, go to the infirmary to recover. Snow joins Flerm and Lieralyn on the wall. Brecaryn, Vain, Alana, and Josy keep a lookout on each of the two towers.

At first everything appears quiet. Suddenly, as if a mist has evaporated, hordes of undead materialize - 2 hordes of zombies, 2 groups of skeletons pushing catapults, 2 giant skeletons carrying buckets of pitch on their backs, and 2 skeleton champions bringing up the rear.

Brecaryn immediately Fireballs the zombies, killing 9 in each group. Unfortunately, neither catapult is consumed in the fire.
The skeleton champions move forward, brandishing swords. They cross their swords together and a glowing sphere appears. It slowly expands around the undead.

Josy takes out her holy symbol to turn them back. 7 Skeletons and 5 zombies are immediately destroyed. However, those within the skeleton champions' sphere remain unharmed. This is not good.

The remaining skeletons load the catapults with pitch and fire at the wall. Lieralyn and Flerm are hit. The pitch is not like regular pitch. It eats away at the stone wall, melting it bit by bit. Flerm runs into the West tower, but Lieralyn stands firm, firing off a few arrows, killing a zombie.

Just then, a terrible howling sounds upon the wind, growing louder and louder until it turns into a fever pitch of screams. Floating in the sky in front of the catapults are dark wisps.

Guard: They're sending wraiths! They can move very quickly, and the only thing that hurts them is sunlight. If you are touched by one, it will drain your life and sap your strength. We have to retreat indoors.

Brecaryn descends into the East tower. Josy casts Light at the wraiths before her retreat down the West tower. The wraiths scream in agony and flee. Snow reluctantly goes into the West tower.

Before the soldiers retreat from the tower, a cleric on the East tower casts Light on the trapdoor and slams it shut.

Alana kills a wraith before shooting a continual light arrow on West tower trapdoor and retreating inside.

Lieralyn is hit by more pitch before she has a chance to move. Then 2 wraiths swarm her. The remaining wraith flies over the wall into the city.

Trials and Tribulations of Brecaryn

Unfortunately, the door to the East tower from the wall had been left open, and a wraith flies in. Thinking she had retreated to safety by descending into the tower, Brecaryn is unhappily confronted by the wraith. She attempts to subdue it with a Hold spell, but it has no effect. She then casts Lightning. This time the strike hurts the creature. As an added bonus, her lightning bolt also hits a wraith attacking Lieralyn. The cleric then steps forward and repels the injured wraith with his symbol of Tyr.

As this wraith flees, the one on the wall changes targets and goes for Brecaryn. Unable to dodge, Brecaryn feels a numbing cold as weakness encompasses her body. Her left arm drops, paralyzed.

Seeing the repelled wraith fleeing past, the skeleton champs, swords still crossed, focus the sphere into a beam pointed at the wraith. The wraith stops fleeing and flies back to the East tower, back to Brecaryn. Josy tries to stop it by casting Continual Light, but the wraith easily flies out of the sphere of the spell. Brecaryn is hit by this second wraith as the first returns. Unable to cast any spells with one arm hanging useless at her side, she takes out her Staff of Striking and swings, slicing through the wraith as she releases a charge. This wraith dissipates. Yelling for help, she quickly runs further down the tower, away from the returning wraith.

The cleric attempts to turn it again, but fails, and the soldiers quickly abandon the East tower. Josy rushes from the West tower to the East tower hoping to get there in time to save Brecaryn and the cleric, but her legs are short and time is not on her side.

And Now...Everybody Else

Lieralyn, hurt from the pitch and weakened by the wraiths, makes one last attack, killing 1, before leaping off the wall into the city.
Flerm asks Snow for her continual light torch and teleports to Lieralyn to protect her from any further wraith attacks. He holds the torch up ,encompassing both of them, despite the pain to himself.

Far from appreciating this heroic move, Lieralyn proceeds to berate Flerm for abandoning her on the wall in the first place.

Hearing the sounds of battle, Malouf runs towards the screaming and sees a wraith charging at some villagers. He attacks it with his sword. Though it feels as though he is slicing air, the wraith screams in pain. Snow runs down the tower to aid Malouf. No longer in possession of her kau sin ke, she takes out the trident and prepares to attack. No way is she touching that thing, iron skin or no. Flerm gets Lieralyn onto her feet, and they amble towards Malouf with the idea of protecting him with the lighted torch. Lieralyn takes the opportunity to continue her harangue. Flerm, meanwhile, contemplates the pros and cons of teleporting to Malouf with the torch and leaving Lieralyn to her own devices.

Before any of them can reach him, Malouf dispatches his wraith, but not before he too is hit.
Seeing he no longer needs their help, Flerm and Lieralyn change directions and limp back to the East tower where all the action seems to be now.

Enough of This Not Killing Stuff

Snow intercepts Josy as she's crossing to the West tower and asks Continual Light to be cast directly on her body as protection against the wraiths. Snow, tired of not being able to help her comrades, decides to take the battle over the wall.

Inducing Speed, she kills the skeleton champions, exploding one, before landing a few hits on one of the giant skeletons. The protective sphere on the undead disappears.

Flerm and Lieralyn run up to the second level of the East tower and finish off the wraith before it can get to the cleric.

Alana picks off skeletons from her position in the West tower.

The remaining skeletons abandon one catapult and band together to move the other closer to the wall while firing off another glob of pitch, melting the city wall further.

Snow moves to attack the remaining giant skeleton.

Josy, finally reaching Brecaryn, proceeds to heal her injuries, removing the paralysis.

The cleric thanks Flerm and Lieralyn for saving his life before ascending to the top of the tower.

Lieralyn: He just walks away? He doesn't heal me? (calling up the tower stairs) I'm a little injured here!

Flerm: That's gratitude for you.

Unhappy that he previously hadn't been allowed to engage the mummies directly, Malouf now eagerly runs onto the field, seeing Snow has left the city to fight the skeletons.
Flerm teleports onto the field to lend a hand, and they quickly dispatch the remaining skeletons.

Looking back, Snow sees more undead slowly making their way to the wall. She helps Flerm and Malouf turn one of the catapults around to face the undead army before retreating to the safety of the city wall to rest from her recent exertions.

Malouf and Flerm manage to reset the catapult, launching a glob of the acidic pitch at the approaching skeletons. It explodes, sizzling. Though some skeletons are thrown back by the explosion, the hole is quickly filled by more skeletons. Seeing they will be easily overrun in a short time, Malouf and Flerm pour the remaining pitch on each of the catapults before running back to the city.

Reinforcements arrive bearing bolts for the ballistas, pitch, and more soldiers and clerics.

The clerics manage to hold the undead at bay until sunrise. As the sun appears, the undead stop where they're standing. The attacks are over for the rest of the day, for reals this time.

Lord Miles comes to greet the party, expressing his gratitude. He heard how they directly engaged the wraiths instead of fleeing and hiding. For the first time since these nightly attacks, no citizens lives were lost.

In an unusual display of generosity, Flerm quickly points out the cleric who stayed and fought with them. Some of the party look at him oddly.

Lord Miles informs them that the priests of Tyr can restore those who have been attacked by the wraiths. Unfortunately, the materials needed are very expensive, and the city does not have the funds to cover the cost so the group would have to pay for the whole thing themselves.

The group starts to split up to complete their various tasks and to get some rest, but before they get very far, a messenger stops Lieralyn and hands her a letter.

Alana: What's that about? Is it from our people? What's it say?

Lieralyn (smiles gleefully): Hmm? Shh..shh..shh. (puts letter away and continues walking)

Restoration Time

Arriving at the Temple of Tyr, the party is informed that payment for the restoration process must be in gems, not gold, because the gems are part of the process. The priests are willing to use up their supply of gems as a thanks for the Crew's help, but more will be needed to restore all of them.

Going through their inventory, they realize that although they have plenty of money in gold, they have none in gems. Lieralyn sighs and begins taking gems out of her pockets. Brecaryn and Snow look at her with raised eyebrows.
With a small pout, she pries the large amethyst out of a necklace setting.

Lieralyn (looking up at her companions): Well, I just got something else from a boyfriend, so I guess it's ok.

Fully restored, the Crew (sans Oliver and Josy who are resting) meetup with Lord Miles and Venetto to discuss what Snow saw on her scouting mission.

Although it's clear the vampires are at the pavillion at night, there's no guarantee they remain there during the day. The dragonkin cave is not that far and it's possible they would retreat here when the sun comes out. They will need to do further reconnaissance.

Malouf suggests using the consecrated ground as a jumping off point as it is closer to both the pavillion area and cave. It would take less time to scout out these areas from a closer starting point.

Lord Miles offers to send Goxx Jarrick (the weapons master), Battleaxe Harold, and Venetto with them as a special forces unit. It is decided that the group will go into the mirrow while Malouf runs back to the camp carrying it. An archer will shoot a flare from the city wall signalling Thornfriend to bless the river, thus clearing a path for Malouf.

Wizards and Wights

Once there, Malouf, Snow, Wind, and Rain ask Thornfriend to cast Invisibility to Undead on them so they can go out scouting. It starts off promising. They see the skeletons have started digging a trench bisecting the existing trenches from Topo Pass towards South Luka. It's still unclear why they are digging trenches at all as the South Lukans have no catapults. They see more ballistas and catapults are being constructed. Oddly, there are many more war machines built than have been brought to bear during the nightly sieges. Why are they holding back? Why only roll in the catapults in pairs when they have so many more ready to use?

As before, the group is spotted by a trio of skeleton wizards. Malouf and Wind stay to engage them while Snow and Rain continue ahead. If this invisibility spell is like the potion, once they attack, they will become visible to all the undead, and they don't want to lose this advantage before getting to the pavillion.

Malouf and Wind manage to kill 2 of the skeleton wizards, but Wind is badly injured and is sent back to camp.

The third skeleton wizard is nowhere in sight so Malouf assumes Snow and Rain have killed it. He runs to catch up with them. Despite having engaged the skeleton wizards in battle, he still seems to be invisible to the undead.

At the pavillion, it's obvious that all 3 tents are heavily guarded which confirms their suspicions that the vampires are sleeping here. Feeling it would be difficult to enter the tents undetected, Snow decides to head towards the dragonkin cave to explore that area further.

Just as Malouf catches up to them a bat flies down and morphs into the third skeleton wizard. It opens its mouth and emits a cry. The undead in the area all turn towards them. They are no longer invisible. Worried they will be overrun, Snow sounds the retreat.

Back at the spring, they discuss what they've found. Worried that if they wait until night for their companions to wake or the next day to act, the vampires will move to a new location. So they decide to attempt another run to the pavillions in order to tear off the tents and expose the vampires to sunlight.

Obviously, they are expected now. The skeleton wizard from before stands in front of a wall of fire that appears to ring off the entire hill. Malouf moves to attack it while Snow jumps through the fire and Rain runs around to see if there's an opening.

Before Malouf can kill the skeleton wizard, it retreats back behind the fire. It emits a cry like before and now the undead are aware of Snow's presence. Seeing that it would take too much time to pull up each stake on the tents, Snow takes out her dagger. Jumping over the largest tent, she cuts it open as she goes. The tent falls to reveal a large, ornate coffin in the center. 3 skeletons stand around it while 2 wights stand directly on top. Great.

Trapped on the outside of the wall of fire, Malouf runs around it and spots 3 more skeleton wizards. Their attention is drawn by Rain so Malouf takes the opportunity to run up and attack. He manages to kill one, but before he can do more damage, he suddenly realizes that the skeleton wizards are on the right side of this fight and that it's the monk who needs to die.

Inside the fire wall, the wights move to attack Snow as the skeleton wizard positions itself over the coffin. Luckily, Snow successfully dodges the wights. She decides that this is not a fight she can win, especially not alone, and retreats back through the fire. Glancing around quickly, she sees Malouf engaged with 2 more skeleton wizards and runs up to assist. As she kills one, Malouf feels as if a cloud has lifted from his mind.

Malouf: What was I doing?

Snow: What are you talking about? Kill the wizard! They've got wights in there!

Having failed in their objective once again, the three retreat back to camp and spend the rest of the day resting. It occurs to them, belatedly, that it would have been an infinitely better idea if they had used the mirror to bring the entire group to the fight instead of going alone. *sigh*

Regroup and Replan

At nightfall, Brecaryn opens the mirror.

Qikko: Brecaryn! How are you? I've been waiting all day to talk to you! Did you get those papers I left you? (grins)

Brecaryn: Uh....yeah.....thanks.

Snow suggests Brecaryn stay to speak to Qikko while she and Malouf go into the mirror and discuss things with the rest of the party.

Snow: Make sure you get that shield spell from him.

Later in the night, while the group is discussing options inside the mirror, Brecaryn notices Qikko waving furiously from outside. The rangers spotted a giant zombie headed towards South Luka carrying a barrel of explosives. They must stop it from reaching the city walls, but it is too far for their rangers to hit it.

Snow: Get Alana.

Out of fire arrows, Alana uses her wind arrow instead, hitting the barrel and turning it into air. Brecaryn throws a fireball at the giant. Before it reaches the giant, the fireball explodes on a shield. The giant zombie contines shambling towards South Luka, out of range of any arrows or spells. Though the problem of the giant zombie was not removed, at least it can no longer blow up the wall. Now they just have to hope the city defenders are well stocked with ballista bolts.

In the morning, Venetto takes Goxx and Battleaxe Harold to see if they can do something to stop the skeletons digging the trenches. The group decides that although going after the vampires during the day gave them an advantage against the vampires themselves, it would also mean more undead available to guard them. If they wait until night, the main force of the undead army will be concentrated on attacking South Luka and the magical barrier to the east. Perhaps the vampires will also be distracted with directing the attack. They will also be easier to get to as they will be out in the open instead of hiding in their coffins. At least, that's the hope...

Happy Birthdays!!!!

Tags: Alana, Battleaxe Harold, Brecaryn, Flerm, Goxx Jarrick, Josy, Lieralyn, Lord Miles, Malouf, Oliver, Qikko, Rain, Snow, Thornfriend, Vain, Venetto, Wind

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