Every Time You Roll a 1, a Sheep Dies!

Caran Gehir Castle, Norimo Region, Northern Tarlanor, 7th April 1626

Having disarmed the survivors of their fight with Velran, Krizzen and Yoshin retraced their steps to the tower door and peered out onto the walkway. The guards on the west wall who'd been pursuing them had gone, presumably also drawn towards the unmistakable sound of the doors being rammed. Across the courtyard, they could see men gathering on the ramparts on top of the gatehouse, and headed off towards there to give the villagers what support they could. Emerging from the tower door, they discovered half-a-dozen archers taking turns to shoot down onto the drawbridge, directed by a leader armed with a sword and supported by a couple of spearmen. 

Drawing himself up to his full imposing height, Krizzen bellowed "Stop shooting now!" at them. Some quailed briefly and hesitated, while a couple of sterner souls continued to bombard the attackers. The wall captain gestured his spearmen forward; "They're on the walls already! Kill this one and block the door" 

Standing behind Krizzen, Yoshin had not yet been seen by the wall's defenders. Assuming an expression of terrified panic (an action that required no acting on his part), he dashed past the lizard man, shrieking "Run for your lives! Velran is dead, and his demon is loose! Everything is on fire! There's blood everywhere!" and hurled himself bodily over the parapet. The descending, fading scream was a nice last touch, he thought as he drifted gently in under the parapet overhang under the influence of his still-active Fly spell, unpacking flasks of Alchemists' Fire and preparing them. 

Whether or not this un-nerved Krizzen's opponents, it certainly riveted everyone's attention on that end of the wall, allowing Caitlin to walk softly out of the door at the far end behind them and approach the soliders stealthily, rapier in hand. 

The moment of surprise evaporated, and everyone started moving at once. Krizzen bounded forward and attacked the wall captain, who ducked frantically as the massive axe-blade hissed over his head. Positioning herself carefully, Caitlin slid her rapier into the kidneys of an archer who was drawing a bead on Krizzen, and he coughed blood and dropped his bow. Staggering around, he clawed out a dagger and jabbed at her, scoring a red line along her forearm. Trusting in the dreadful wound to keep the man from being a threat, she swiveled to face the now rapidly-approaching spearman.

Krizzen and the wall captain were going at it hammer and tongs, blades flickering and blood flying. Some of the archers had drawn blades to support him but most were still shooting arrows down on the villagers. These worthies were startled to see an elvish sorcerer emerge from hiding and swoop over their heads, across the walkway and down the inside face of the gatehouse, clutching three smouldering flasks. One had an arrow nocked at the right moment and tried a snap-shot which went wide. 

Battering Ram

A loud, grinding crunch from below announced the breaching of the gate. Caitlin cursed as the archer she'd regarded as settled persisted at trying to drill her with his dagger whilst holding his guts in with his other hand. Changing targets again, she jabbed with her rapier and ended his struggles, deflecting a stab from the spearman with her small shield. Ahead of her, Krizzen finally beat down the wall captain's guard and smashed him to the walkway, carrying the strike through to carve the second into collops on the backswing.

Yoshin, now facing down the inner wall of the gatehouse, could see large numbers of Velran's soldiers gathered behind the gate, struggling to prop it up with beams and clutter as it disintegrated. Others were hurling buckets of earth at it in a belated attempt to bury and support it. Grinning, the elf dropped his Alchemists' Fire down the wall to strike the men, sending several reeling away screaming as their clothes burned. Others, though, shrugged off the burns and continued working, so Yoshin followed up with a Fireball. A massive bloom of fire enveloped the whole area behind the gates, and the splintered edges around where the ram had pierced it immediately began to burn. Bodies were scattered around it and the bracing beams fell free, allowing the ram to complete its' work and smash the gates aside. With a deep shout, the villagers began to clamber over into the castle, and the slaughter began. 

Yoshin's satisfaction was interrupted by an arrow thumping into his arm; the archer had followed him to the edge of the wall and shot downwards. Swearing slightly, he glanced upwards, just in time to see Caitlin skewer the man and send him plunging into the flames below. The fire seemed to be intensifying, and glancing back towards the other towers, he saw smoke rising from them also. His own generous use of fire in combat, added to the tendency of invaders to set fire to captured structures, had Caran Gehir well alight.

Caran Gehir burns

While Yoshin looped aerially to the window of Velran's chambers to check that his improvised disaster had not come to pass for real, Caitlin descended swiftly to the ground floor and emerged into the gateway. Scorched and slashed bodies were scattered everywhere, and Monsarana was standing on top of the remains of the gates, directing the invaders this way and that to mop up the resistance. Seeing Caitlin, she called over. "Did you get him?" she asked. The New Tellaran nodded, a bit taken aback by the scale of the destruction being enacted upon the castle and it's inhabitants, trying not to think of all the dead among the villagers and the castle servants. "We've done what we came for," she said quietly, "let's get out of here."

Monsarana stopped a man as he crossed the courtyard - Robinton, the village mayor. "You'll need to go into hiding after this," she said, "the other nobles around can't let a revolt like this go unpunished. If they catch you, there'll be no mercy. If you can get to Sebril, Sir Arenlor will take you in, I'll see to it." Robinton nodded. "Thank you both," he said. "Whatever happens next, we've a good start and something to live on; and that bastard is dead." 

An hour later, four horses turned out of the village of Caran Gehir and headed down the south road, the burning castle a terrible backdrop to their passing.

Session Date: 2nd March 2014