Continued from here
We headed through the corridor past the Ballista, managing to avoid getting hit by the bugger. They tried – oh they tried – but we were just too good for them. (Actually, if that was their accuracy, they’ve got great careers ahead of them as Stormtroopers. But I digress.) (OK, they might have hit us a little.) (Maybe)
The barred door near the prison was open, and the one after seemed to be guarded. Or at least that’s what we surmised when Mel opened it and got hit right in the face. She looked drained, and staggered a bit, but she hit back damned hard!
Then a guy behind with a glaive tried to whack Mel, but failed. Maul couldn’t get through so she cast a Magic Circle against evil, touching Al to centre it. (I would have expected that to cause a few problems for Al, but maybe she’s not quite as bad as she pretends to be. Tough, but not evil.) The spell covered the area right up to Mel, who still got hit hard again. I tried to squeeze through past Denerik, and manage to get through and to the other side of the wight, but that left me rather vulnerable. Luckily the three other dudes couldn’t hit the side of a barn door. The taunting Squirrel Dance worked well, but the ugliest dude still hit Mel. There were cries of “MEL GET BACK!” as we faced the undead ugly.
Al was unimpressed, and went straight for the Disrupt Undead, giving the wight a hard time. And I stepped behind and stuck a dagger in its ugly hide – really, really really hard. I really need to start working out. Lifting tiny weights. Footstool presses. Something like that. Didn’t do much damage, but every little bit helps.
Then Mel got back out of the way, and Denerik went for the wight with her own pick, proving that the right weapon at the right time will do the job.
Maul decided that the energy of Nimbus needed to be laid upon Mel, and cured her bigtime. I love our team.
The guy with the glaive poked at me, but missed, so Al threw acid at him and I stepped up and stabbed him, keeping him on his toes. Or separated from them. Hey, I can’t reach that high, so I go for the easiest target, ok? Behind me, Mel started moving up to the prison bars, tucking Roderick away and hefting the large and ugly axe. At this point, Denerik yelled “YAH THE DWARVES” and charged in, hitting the glaive dude as well.
Glaive Dude dropped the glaive and pulled a mace, but still missed me, while of the two at the back, one was being held by prisoners. Very helpful – and I think the prisoners were taking the chance to rip bits out of him. The other shot into said prisoners and hit one, which Al took as an insult and shot over my head, (although it didn’t hit).
I tumbled past the dude with the glaive, and took advantage of the fact that one other dude was held fast by the prisoners to stab him with my vicious stabby attack. He looked a lot sicker, and started bleeding, but didn’t drop like I hoped he would. I need to take lessons in vicious from Al.
Mel started on the door with the prisoners, and Denerik took advantage of my distracting presence behind Glaivy Dude to hit him from the front, doing a solid whack. Maul started firing away, distracting them a little while other things were happening. The other dude shot one of the prisoners holding his buddy, dropping one, but the buddy dropped down as well. I stabbed Glaivy guy in the back, not doing a lot of damage, but keeping him busy with the bleeding. Mel whacked at the lock again, a nice hit, and reckoned one more would do it. And Denerik showed that one more DID do it, and dropped Glaivy Guy with a hard whack. I could almost fall in love with her for that, were my heart not given to Mel.
Maul ran up to the prison, trying to see what state the dropped state of the prisoner dwarf was, and calling for the prisoners to move him up to the bars, while Maul called to Nimbus with the depth of her soul, asking for mercy and relief from death for this poor benighted prisoner. Either that or she used a “Summon Electrical Energy” and with three jolts he was back.
I searched the undead dude, but no keys. Then Al found them in Glaivy guy’s pockets. And there was cheering and telling and in one corner, Denerik and Rorick hugged as hard as they could.
Enough of the cute stuff. I whistled so that I had everyone’s attention, then emptied the sack of maces I’d brought all that way. The prisoners leapt upon the weapons with an eagerness I’ve only seen before by a bunch of gnomes at a fishing rod sale. Then we went back to the gatehouse, where the block was about 4 1/2 inches off the ground. Denerik took the speaking tube, and told her fellow dwarves that we’d freed the prisoners, and that there is a guard room full of dudes and probably a dead good guy.
I calculated it would be 18 minutes until the door was high enough to allow dwarves to crawl under, and another 20 to get it to 4 feet, to allow them to run under. Then 10 minutes for the dwarves to loot the bodies and equip themselves. The upstairs had become really deformed, and was losing strength quickly – we didn’t really have 18 minutes, let alone 38. I considered the options. Alchemists Fire? Ochre Jelly on a grump of bunchy dwarves. The others pointed out my error, but hey, it works. We kept up our spirits with choruses of “Do you hear the dwarves sing? Gold, gold gold gold!” “I hear knocking but you can’t come in.” and other classic tunes.
I took a moment to thank Rorick for his help, to which he replied “Thanks for coming. Not bad for a non-dwarf.” I was rather chuffed and terribly pleased. Glad I don’t have to show how easily I cry…
We made a barricade in front of the door, and I set myself at the side of it, on the top, ready with an Alchemists’ Pretty Burny Fiery thing. Al set up her crossbow with the bolts coated with spider venom, and crawled on top of the other winch. We could hear yelling from the other side, which Al worked out was some sort of opening spell. Filthy Bastards.
Crossbow bolts started flying, but bounced off the tower shields as the zombie dwarves broke through the door and started at the barricade. Mel went for them with the glaive, but her lack of expertise in the weapon showed. The joy of a bless hit us, along with “The filth of your coming will be washed away with the coming storm!” and the lovely feeling of a positive energy surge, even if it wasn’t aimed at us. I do love our team! From the groans below us, it was doing its job on the bastards. A Thud-squish-YAY elicited a cheer from me, and I dropped my Alchemist’s fire. The “Woof” and the total stink told me I’d hit something that had been dead a loooong time – and was now toasty. Then a squeak from one of those on our side meant there was a bit of a splash – whoops – sorry.
There were whizzes and thuds from various sides, which I caught a sight of. I could hear spellcasting going on, which sent a chill down my spine, and I could just make out some seriously strange moves by the guys with shields. I made use of my amply augmented curves by sending another Holy Water boob down. The sizzling THUMP meant I’d done well! Alas, one of our rogues copped a hit from a zombie, but our side was doing fairly well, for all that some of those glaives were waving around in a really random manner. Maul threw some sort of “You can’t see me” on the damaged people, while I threw down another Holy Water – I thought it had missed, but something got splashed as it groaned most piteously, and seriously, our guys wouldn’t mind getting a bit damp in battle. Arrows flew, and glaives and picks waved, Burla went down and had to be revived quickly, and a voice on the wrong side of everything started chanting. Then Al, who had been waiting for exactly that, fired – and while it wasn’t a great hit, it was enough to make the spellcasting stop with what I think is a very wrong word in Dwarvish. I filed the word away for use later, and beamed at Al who was looking nicely pleased with herself.
Then I realised I could just make out a big dwarf coming up from the back, and the dwarves started yelling “It’s Renda!” “Elder Renda!” I could see something large swinging around him, as Maul whacked back. I went to do a last AF, but it slipped from my fingers and splashed somewhere useless. Mel, however, swung hard and something went “Splorch” and we were pretty sure it wasn’t one of us. A moment later, though, from the other side, Maul went “OW”.
“Dwarves’ Wights Activists?”
Finally, though, Maul took out the Wight! I realised I couldn’t see well enough to tell friend from foe, so I moved back so I could see the two guardroom doors, while the others fought on in the gloom.
There were cries of “Renda! Surrender!” Maul yelled “You bastards” or something in Orcish – I think it means the same thing.
I could see dwarves beside the other two doors, and things looked under control, but I readied the bow anyway. Every now and then I could see the flash of a sword or hear a grunt from one side or another, and on a couple of occasions a “clang” of a chain.
Then a “Whizz” “Whack” “Urgh”
Al had used her abilities and steadied herself and hit the guy.
“Al – did you just save the paladin? That’s almost a good action!”
“I was just aiming to hurt this guy as much as possible.”
“That’s the Al we love”
There were more grunts and hits, and the occasional excited barking. Roderick really is magnificent when he hits his stride. More scuffling, a cry of “Don’t you do that to her, you bastard!" and then there was a very satisifying “Squelch” noise. Crossbow bolts were also flying around, and that chain was clanking in a rather nasty way. And there was an ARF and a THUNK and a cry of YES! from Mel as apparently she took down the nasty guy. She took his arm off. All the usual puns ensued. And then a similar scream from Maul of “The only one allowed to hit on dwarves is ME!” followed by a spray of guts around and Renda’s head apparently went rolling down the corridor.
By now the gate was 18 inches up.
And the guy with the crossbow ran back, and the Captain yelled “resecure the barricade!”
Suddenly, we heard a surprisingly high-pitched cheer from the front gate, and through the periscope, Maul could see that the dwarves outside had miniaturised themselves and were running underneath the door.
About a hundred dwarves poured in, and took out the rest of the abbey.
Alas, when they opened the door to the guard room, it was obvious that the Sergeant didn’t make it.
“Shame we don’t have a bard to sing his story.”
“But we do have a bucket to take his remains up top to be resurrected.”
We all traded information. The prisoners that escaped out the back had made it! The inside dudes told us that a few months back, Elder Jontar and a couple of acolytes came back from the deeps with an old journal of Venerik’s. Elder Torva spent quite a while studying it.
Then, after a while, Torva, Renda and Dern started acting … oddly. They may have been recruiting, especially from among the acolytes. There was an “Accident” – the Abbot, the deputy and guard, and elder Granda too, found themselves under a block that came down rather too fast. Renda then took charge, and gave an order to “seal the abbey so that no-one hears about the losses before we can strengthen the defences”. Anyone who protested were imprisoned.
Then Elder Aberast Leatherhands was murdered. Elder Ganrak Granitecarver was framed for it, and taken out of the picture.