Here shall I, Cogglefree Bridgewomble, Halfling, relate the tale of the Battle of Walker’s Abbey, as I myself saw the action, and was related to me by the others involved.
Those others including:
Of our brave and noble party:
Melisande Mel the Mighty, warrior of great might.
Almaz, mighty sorceress, wielder of scary magicks
Mauldrit, Beloved of Nimbus, She of the Mighty Blows
Our Dwarvish companions on this fight:
Denerik, sister to one of the prisoners, brave fighter and boon companion,
Captain Dorria, Paladin, Leader, wise and fierce fighter
Sergeant Korsta, Warrior, whose bravery and sacrifice shall ever be remembered.
Brother Odrack and Sister Eddarockk, scholars of Torag, who channel his mighty energy towards victory!
And Burla and Eltu, fighters in the name of the Dwarves, who I will consider to be my friends forever.
We had a plan – to use an Invisibility Sphere to get into the carts in the mushroom field, and get delivered right to the storeroom below the controls for the front gate. There, we should hold off the enemy while we raised the front 87-D, so that the main force could come in and retake the Abbey.
We calculated that our part of the fight would take two hours, viz:
- Get into the carts towards the end of the shift, waiting approximately an hour for the filling of the carts themselves. (Note to self – pack a change of clothing for afterwards. That mushroom stuff STINKS!)
- Be wheeled to the back entrance where door D would need to be raised. The Dwarves would be forced to push the carts under as soon as the block was up about 4 feet, so that would be 40 minutes after arriving.
- Wait while the other shift go out and door D is lowered behind us – about 20 more minutes.
- Be wheeled to door C and wait while it, too, is raised – about 40 more minutes
- Wheeled into loading room, wait 5 minutes, then leap out and attack..
- Head into the upper gatehouse and take it. Break the mechanism for door B so that it is jammed open, drop the portcullises, start opening door A. Hope to hold the gatehouse long enough for the Dwarves to get into it.
We made sure that the spells we had, Disrupt Undead, Invisibility and Silence, were ready to go, and Mel promised to gag Roderick. I also made sure I had my Tanglefoot, my Alchemists Fire, and a pile of Holy Water. With so many bags, I waddled like a pregnant woman! We were hoping to co-opt some of the prisoners into helping us with the winches, guarding the doors, etc, and there would be murder holes to keep the local bastards under control.
And as a final help, I filled the Handy Haversack with as many maces as it would hold, to hand out to the prisoners once we could get to them.
(We kept counting the prisoner rescue team as 10, but in reality it was 11, once we included Denerik. 4 of us, her, and 6 on the highly-trained Dwarvish Team.)
There would also be a team of Dwarvish mine specialists who would shore up the dodgy parts of the mine while we went ahead, and a rescue team for the second shift of prisoners, who could be rescued 2 hours after they started their shift (to give us enough time to get in safely, but before the alarm was raised). That way, even if the mission was not a success, at least half the prisoners would have been rescued.
We also arranged that once we had taken the Gatehouse and were starting to raise door A, Al would send some dancing lights down the front murder hole to signal that it was really us and it would be safe for the main party to attack.
That was nearly everything. There just remained one last, important task. While the others were gathering their supplies and sharpening (and grooming) their weapons, I went to Denerik’s uncle (the armourer) and gave him a note that said “In the event that we don’t make it, please give ”/characters/wallace" class=“wiki-content-link”>Wallace to Denerik’s family". It’s odd – I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dwarves show as much emotion as I did when he read that note.
DM: “It’ll make a difference from flat goat!”
- On the way*
We traipsed out from the fortress and down to the mine hole with no problems., We had a cheery wave from Gragnog as we passed him, and there were already shoring teams (with rust-monster-lookouts) in place. It took almost no time before we were up to the area near the mushroom field. I wrapped myself in my lovely Elvish cloak, felt the strange tickle of the Invisibility spell fall over me, then raced for the trough and the person washing mushrooms there.
It was a different Dwarf, one I hadn’t seen before.
“Try not to react.”
A slight nod
“We need to come in and hide in your carts. Please let the others know. We’ll hide in the carts until the storeroom, splat the guards then get upstairs. And what’s your name?”
Oh god – Denerik’s brother, and no guarantee we’ll get him out. At least …
“Your sister Denerik is with us.”
A look of combined hope and joy. I hoped he’d be able to keep it together until we had the situation sorted. For once, I was glad of the Dwarvish dourness – if we’d been doing this with a bunch of Elves, it’d be a full cabaret dance with glitter by now!
I scarpered back to the others, barely making it out from the cavern as the spell wore off. We reiterated our priorities:
- Jam door B open,
- Drop portcullises
- Into the Abbey*
It was time. Up went the invisibility sphere, and we made our way to the carts. I had the sphere centred on a pebble I held, so I would get within 10 feet of a cart, the chosen cart occupant would scuttle straight from the sphere into the cart, and I’d go on to the next. Al and I were in the last cart, as there were only 10 and there were 11 of us.
Luckily, although Rorick hadn’t had a chance to tell the other prisoners what we were up to, they worked it out pretty quickly. It only took a couple of minutes before I was damping the spell, and Al and I were being smothered in mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. Smelly, heavy mushrooms – I could breathe, but only just.
Carts moved. Bumping. Bouncing. 20 mins then stop. Dwarvish yell. Response. Grindy scrapy noises. Squeak. For ages. Then stops after more than half an hour. (Door D) Carts jerk on – over bumps in floor. Sharp turn. Move more. Dwarvish conversation. Metallic clang. (Portcullis?) Scrapy noise, wheel further. Stop. Sounds of chains of prisoners clanking away from us. (Bugger). Clang again. Squeaky grindy again. (Door B) Shuffling noise. Lighter metallic noise. Carts moving again. Wheeled short distance. Stop. Metallic noise. (Portcullis again?)
I waited for the signal from Maul – the casting of the spell. Instead, I heard some far-off clanking, then close by:
Then the joyous sound of Maul’s incantation, and then wonderful silence.
I leapt out of my mushrooms to see Denerik facing a bundle of 10 undead Dwarves, her weapon raised high and her voice even more so. I fired at one of them, as I saw Mel leap out of her cart, into a target rich environment. She whacked at the creatures, then fell over as it turned out she was standing on top of the Sergeant. Her landing was on top of another one of our people, who also had trouble getting up.
Maul stood, and waved her arms – her energy flew out and hit a pile of zombies. Denerik took one down as well, and I suddenly realised that her brother would have been taken back ot the slave barracks, and I had no idea if she’d stay with us or go to him, for he’d be in danger of being slaughtered.
Scanning the area, Al took at shot at one of the zombies upstairs with his crossbow, a nice solid hit that left the bugger lurching.
Burla stood up, as did Dorria, and one of the zombies tried for Mel, but missed her. More of our force climbed out, or readied their weapons. One hit Denerik, who turned and took off his arm – alas, not his sword arm.
I took out one of the ones standing over Mel, who managed to stagger to her feet and then swing at the one beside her in a wonderfully decisive manner – such that when I next looked there wasn’t even a pair of feet left. In fact, this meant that there were not many left downstairs, but plenty upstairs firing down on us. Denerik copped a hit or two, and the Sergeant started for the stairs, as the last of our mushroom-hidden people pulled themselves out of the carts. Maul’s energy burst flared over the undead nasties again, dropping all of them. Then another stalked over to look at us, and it seemed to be a bit uglier than the zombies, if that was possible.
This, of course, was where Al’s acidic ray came in really handy. She shot it towards the one who’d hit Denerik, splashing it nicely and sizzling it in a rather satisfying manner – but the splash caused another to run away (hopefully not towards the A block). Dorria headed for the stairs too. Denerik fired but missed, so I decided to head for the stairs (after tugging at the robe of one of the clerics with us to give her the idea). It had suddenly dawned on me that, no matter what, we had to meet the priorities, and that meant getting upstairs as quickly as possible.
One of the guys upstairs started heading for the Guard Room, but the Sergeant got up and charged at him with a pick and whacked him hard. Brother Odrack finally worked out he needed to get out of the cart, and Maul hefted something in her hand and threw – it was a mushroom! What was she planning? (It turned out that the mushroom was what she had cast the Silence spell on, and she was trying to send it upstairs.)
“How bad would that be? Her farts would be silent!”
“Silent but deadly!”
“But at least her snoring would be silent too.”
The wight charged at the Sergeant, but luckily his nasty pick missed. Clambering over the mushrooms, Al fired an acidic ray a tthe wight, then moved towards the stairs.
Captain Dorria, using the power of her paladin abilities, called upon her god, who answered her prayer with a Holy Power of Glory and gave her the power of a Mighty Smite
Denerik also shot at the wight, and her hatred of them and love for her brother sped the shot on even faster. I got to the top of the stairs, took one look at the pile of people fighting at the next corner, and realised I had an important job – to get around the other way, dodge the nasties, and jam that smegging lever. Mel came racing behind me. The Dwarf at the guardroom door got it open, despite the Sergeant’s best efforts.
Brother Odrack finally worked out what to do, and ran for the stairs, and suddenly we could hear clangs and whacks. The wight went for the Sergeant, and there was a woof noise as Al’s FBNS hit the wight. The rest of the Dwarves finally got out of the carts, and upstairs, Dorria swung her sword as Sister Eddarack used her own clerical abilities to render the wight useless.
And I got to the top level, with Mel right behind me.
Then I realised what Korsta was doing, and my heart sank.
The rogue went for Sergeant Korsta again, missing with vigour, and the Sergeant kicked him through the door and then followed, closing the door after him and yelling “CLOSE IT!”
With a yell, Maul scarpered to the stairs and up them, as the wight went for Sister Eddarokk. She blanched, staggered, and reeled back, but that was the wight’s last action – Al’s Flaming Bloody Nuisance Sphere got the bastard good and proper. She headed for the stairs as well, just behind Maul, just as an alarm rang through the whole complex.
Then the bastard who had set off the alarm headed for the door B lever.
The captain slammed the guardhouse door shut behind Sergeant Korsta, and barred it. I hope they name an entire Military Training School after him, and a spell, and a medal.
But the Dwarvish blighter was heading for the lever for the B door, which HAD to stay open so that the main party could get through.
So I had only once chance.
I had to jam it. I had something in my hand that would jam it. So I raced across the floor and jammed it in the lever.
My beautiful, Masterwork, saved-my-life-I-don’t-know-how-often crossbow.
And I got it in the machinery just as the guy went for me and whacked his pick into my back. The bars went crunch onto the bow, and then held.
Roderick slammed down beside me, slicing off some of the crossbow, but it was ok – the door was jammed.
Maul ran along the edge near us, and Al not only moved her first FBNS up, but set up another one just behind the git who was going for me.
Who was trying to pull my crossbow bits out from the lever. Mel whacked at him but hit his enormous shield. There were good Dwarves running everywhere, trying to stop this guy from screwing the whole thing, and we needed to stop him, so I ran behind him and stabbed him in the back – hard! The Bastard got a whack at me in the meantime, but I don’t care – and it meant Mel had a better chance of hitting him too – which she did.
But there was no time to be gloating (or mourning) over the dead. We had a job to do.