Sonntag, Januar 07, 2007

Debugging Smokey the Bugbear, locking up the Mad Dog and Ex - filing Smoulder while getting rid of Bad Man

So surprising the next group of monsters was impossible, as they had been alerted by that escaped Gnoll to our presence.

That was what we expected.

And what we got.

But before all that Fendor was healed by the magic prowess of Fendwig after being almost run through by one of the Gnolls. Our party of seven advanced deeper into the damp, dark and mouldy smelling underground beneath the moathouse.

Luckily the fleeing wolfman seeped some of his precious blood to give us an idea that he must have met someone in one of the rooms ahead of us. The marks he left in one big room, which were identified and read by Don, indicated that after a, heated(?), discussion with several other individuals instead of him going to the left doorway, as he originally intended, he was persuaded by whatever means they employed to take the right of the three doors in front of us.

The presence of more than one person in this room besides the gnoll led us to the belief that we were entering into an area of an ambush targeted at us. So we redoubled our efforts at being rather silent and vigilant. Karina readied one of her marvelous balls of fire, it´s red light adding to that shed by the two enchanted coins provided by Luxenor, aiming at the center door along with Llewellyn who pointed his ready crossbow at that target. Fendor had his spear-thrower loaded with a javelin and pointed that at the right door as both Marvin and Don advanced towards the opening in the right wall and closing the distance to the right door on the wall facing us. Don pushed the door open while staying on the side of it, that saved him being hit by a crossbow bolt which was fired by the wounded Gnoll in that room. Our foe being separated from us by bars, we decided to let him be there and his howl of alarm did the rest to start the action rolling.
Truly letting himself being locked up behind bars spoke of a madness about the Dog, so Mad Dog was his name henceforth.

The bug-infested bugbears which had split up in two groups of three were storming into the room at the same time as Llewellyn and Fendor shifted their aiming focus to the left door. That same door was opened quickly and three foul-smelling, ugly and big furry creatures, roughly similar to a very well toothed teddy bear, stormed into the room. They were greeted by a launched javelin which stroke the shield of one of the bugbears getting stuck in it. The leading bugbear was felled by a well aimed crossbow-quarrel shot at the head, while an instant later the second bugbear was hit by the intensely hot flaming ball thrown by Karina instants after he had advanced a couple of steps into the room. That staggered his resolve and shortly after that both our smoking bugbear, his fur had caught fire from the flames and heat of the fireball, let´s dub him Smokey, and his buddy with the javelin in his shield decided that running was better than being impaled and/or burnt. They both fled the room through the left door.

On the right side of the room meanwhile Marvin and Don were fending off three bugbears trying to enter the room through the opening. With Fendor joining the fray shortly after it´s beginning the fighting was quickly ended in our favor.

We decided to lock the Mad Dog up in his kennel, Don enabled the locking powers of the lock on the door leading to his captivation room. Llewellyn tried to follow the two fleeing bugbears but was not quick enough. Stopping the pursuit at the left door leading to a rather long corridor with another corridor joining it some ten yards further into it. That corridor was brightened up by oil lamp fire further down which indicated the presence of humans or some other species needing light. It was an indicator of the rooms beyond being occupied by forces which surely were to be alerted to our presence at that moment by the bugbears.

So we decided not to loose time and to advance into the corridors. As we were nearing the lit doorway at the end of the second corridor we heard command tone voices. That let us scuttle back to the junction and ready our missile weapons to greet the foes which would be starting to enter the corridor in a short time. Fendor positioned himself to the left of the corridor at the junction. Marvin stood to his right having brandished his throwing hatchet. Karina was next having readied the next fireball. At the right side Llewellyn steadied the aim of his crossbow by bracing it against his knee as he was kneeling. Don, Luxenor and Fendwig were ready in the corridor leading to the junction out of sight to any foes in front of us.

It did not really surprise us that in an instant six men-at-arms and their sergeant had entered the corridor in front of us through the door. The two in front had shields and swords and the next two ranks in the file were occupied by armed men holding loaded crossbows. Last was their apparent leader who was the only one clad in armor, the others rushing us only in their clothing. That was their demise as our initial barrage incapacitated three of them and their desperate return shots luckily failed to hit any of us.

It was an unpleasant feeling to have three crossbow bolts hit the walls of the corridor around us. The other unpleasant sight was the fact that one of our foes was screaming and smouldering from a firebolt hit at the same time, large potions of his clothes were on flame and it looked like much of his skin was blackened. He broke from his position in the file and ran straight at us, howling loudly out of pain. Thus was Smoulder advancing at us. That advance was stopped by Fendor´s thrown javelin catching Smoulder low and grazing his foot, which in the end overwhelmed Smoulder and sent him to the floor.

But our series of luck ran out a bit as their leader managed to hit Karina with an aimed shot, sending her to the ground. Don and Fendwig dragged her around a corner to take her out of harms reach. Fendwig stated that he would take care of her, which filled Don with enough confidence that he could join the ranks of the fighters a short while after that, but not fast enough to take part in this initial engagement.

The three remaining men at arms in front of their leader were changing from crossbow to Shield and Sword as another round of missiles reduced them to only one standing foe. Meanwhile both Llewellyn and the leader of the bad boys, hence Bad Man, had reloaded their crossbows.

Marvin, Fendor and Llewellyn decided to rush the corridor to get rid of the remaining two foes, the sole remaining men-at-arms and Bad Man. The remaining men-at-arms saw that he stood not the slightest chance against us three and chose not to fight, surrendering his weapons and hugging the wall. Bad Man had a hard choice to make.

  1. Shoot at one of the advancing men holding a melee weapon

  2. Shoot at Llewellyn who slowed to take a counter shot at Bad Man

  3. Save his skin and try to run

  4. Shoot his subordinate for surrendering

  5. Do something entirely unexpected

Now that decision had to be taken in a split second and his alternatives were

  1. That would possibly take care of one foe, but leave one missle and one melee weapon still threatening him. The chances that the shot might glance of the shield of the advancing well-armored foes not to underestimate, too

  2. That is the easiest target as Llewellyn is not holding a shield at the moment, but two guys with melee weapons are closing quickly.

  3. Now the decision to run might be influenced by such things as courage, madness, fear of superiors and the personal general speed, but in the absence of marvelous other options tactically one of the best choices

  4. Shooting a former subordinatewould be an evil act, irrational, not doing any real good, but who says Bad Man is sane? Maybe he is not Bad Man but Mad Man?

  5. Now summoning a Demon, a barrier blocking the corridor or just pointing over our heads wild eyed shouting
    "Oh my God, Look at that!"
    might have been the best choice anyway. If it had worked.

The choice taken was shooting at Llewellyn, missing him entirely, being hit hard by the countershot, his chain-armor did not help greatly there, and collapsing to the ground.

That enabled the party to enter the room beyond the fought over doorway. The social gathering room beyond was full of furniture but devoid of foes, but more voices could be heard from another corridor so the party begins to prepare for a fight in this room.

But that is a different tale told on another day.