Majestic Wilderlands – Military Intervention

We see action coming out of the manor as we start out. Ten spearmen, a couple of men-at-arms, and a few carts and wagons. We decide to anticipate them heading to Lervin, so we can set an ambush at the bridge (B) from Lervin to Phandalin – the route with the best road.

We guess correctly, and high-tail it first down the same road as they will take, but then cut cross-country to come at the bridge from the south.

We wanted to set a Rune of Boom on the bridge, triggering it when the bad guys are on the bridge, but the Glyph is not that easy to set up. We estimate it’ll only take 1-2 hours to get there for them, so we’re going to have to move it move it to get set up and prepared.

The good news is that we can probably move several times as fast to cover the roughly 2 miles from Highgarden to the bridge at Lervin. Even at 10 mph, that’s about 12-24 minutes. So we’ll have anything from abut 35 minutes to as long as 1 hour and 45min to get ready for them. Most likely is something like a bit more than an hour – just enough time to set up the Glyph of Explody Bits and then have a bit of time to wait for them to come.


We set up behind as much cover and concealment as possible, missile weapons at the ready. We figure if we can down the two knights first and foremost, the “host” will likely be ineffective even if we don’t destroy them all. 

The Glyph of Warding explodes in a 20′ radius, so we steer clear of that. Keyar Nailo sets up a very concealed trap (natural 20!) at the south end of the bridge. 

We set up . . . and wait. We decide anything fancy is not in the cards, and (potentially against my better judgement) fail to set up a classic L-shaped ambush. 

The small force approaches; the knights are riding to the east and west of the short column, with ten spearmen and a man-at arms.

They walk right into the spell trap. BOOM. The stone-plank bridge is on fire.

Sir Varius is up front, and he takes 23 points of damage, as he fails to save. The man-at-arms takes 9 HP; the seven spearmen each take 25 HP, wiping them all out.

We’re instantly down to a wounded knight, a less-wounded man-at-arms, three spearmen, and an unharmed Sir Colin. Keyar takes aim at Sir Colin; Mark at Sir Varius, and Aevin Steelhand shoots Sir Varius for 7 HP. Mark’s arrow ricochet’s off his armor (AC 18). Sir Colin is spared a similar impalement by his armor. Vognur whiffs as well.

Markbludiell continues his streak of poor initiative rolls, nearly at the bottom of the heap with an 11. The spearmen on the other side rock it with a 20, so they go first. we’ll see.

Aevin goes first, and shoots with advantage at Sir Varius, which also glances off the armor. Sir Varius snaps out of it, and charges at Markbludiell. His horse takes a tumble, and we hear the ugly snap of a broken leg as Varius hits the pit trap that Keyar set. He takes 10 HP from the fall; the horse is down, screaming.

Sir Varius is on the ground, and Vognur draws his sword and moves to the attack; Vognur has advantage due to his being prone.

The spearmen start to break and run, but Sir Colin strikes one down; the rest are well motivated, and charge the PCs. Sir Colin himself runs up next to Aevin, striking once for a crit, and missing a second attack. He hits Aevin for 23 HP!

Ouch.

Markbludiell casts Sacred Weapon, but misses Sir Colin with a sword attack anyway. The yeoman sergeant moves up and shoots Markbludiell with a crossbow, rolling 19 but bouncing off of his armor and shield.

Aevin invokes Second Wind to heal 1d10+4 HP, getting 9 HP back. He also does Action Surge for two attacks to Sir Colin, who was paralyzed by a spell in the prior round; Colin is hit twice for 27 HP of slashing damage. 

Sir Varius gets up (!) and attacks Vognur twice, hitting once for 16 HP. 

Vognur attacks Sir Varius, but misses. Keyar is up, and crits on Sir Colin, which we need, for 22 HP, and Sir Colin goes down. The horse goes into a frenzy and attacks Aevin, and +Rob Conley rolls another crit, doing 20 HP to Aevin. 

Even the f**king horse rolls 20s. And an attempt to use Animal Handling on the horse by Mark fails. Carmina attacks Varius with burning hands for 10 HP.  Kayar hits Varius for 21 HP, and with an arrow through his throat, goes down hard.

The sergeant at arms breaks and flees. Sir Varius passes a death check.

Vognur pursues the sergeant; we want to take him captive. Sergeant can’t run without disengaging. The horse critically misses against Mark, which gives him the opportunity to Dash after the sergeant without provoking an attack of opportunity or disengaging. 

Carmina casts a healing spell on Aevin for 7 HP. Keyar snipes a fleeing yeoman, dropping him. The yeoman sergeant snarls and says “I’ll die fighting, rebel scum!” He attacks twice, rolling 9 and 21, hitting Vognur for 8 HP. 

Aevin moves over to Sir Varius to tie him up as he bleeds out; Sir Varius survives another death check. One more and he stabilizes. 

Vognur swings and misses. The yeomen flee for their lives. The horse bolts away, and Sir Colin fails a death check, his first one. Mark Bludiell misses badly again, despite Sacred Weapon. 

Mark has not done a single effective thing the entire fight; Keyar drills the final yeoman, who is slain.

Yeoman Sergeant draws a shortsword and attacks with two weapons, hitting with the shortsword for 4 HP.

Vognur finally connects, much to his player’s relief, doing 9 HP.  Sir Colin passes a death check, so he’s not out yet. Mark Bludiell finally connects, doing 11 HP, plus 3 HP for Divine Smite, which is so puny he takes Veritas’ name in vain. Come, on, really? Nothing is going well for Mr Paladin today.

Mr. Yeoman Sergeant misses three times with two longsword attacks and another shortsword attack. Keyar makes a Medicine roll for Colin thanks to a Bless ability. Sir Varius misses another death check. 

Mark actually hits again, and does 13 HP of damage, again most of it’s due to spending a spell slot for more juice.

Carmina plays horse whisperer, rolls 20 on Animal Handling thanks to Guidance, and calms a fleeing angry warhorse. Go him.

Keyar hits the sergeant with an arrow in the throat, and he finally goes down. He yanks the arrow out of Varius’ throat, which kills him. 

Mark stabilizes the yeoman sergeant for later interrogation. 

We loot the bodies, finding 100d on Sir Varius; another 50d on Sir Colin. Sir Colin’s armor is actually worth something – his full panoply and the warhorse is worth about 4,000d. Not bad. The carts hold 1,000d worth of supplies, which we can take back to Phandalin. Plus a pair of mules.

That just about makes up for the diamond dust we spent on exploding runes.

We get a short rest in, and Sidwin comes walking up the road from the South. He was supposed to be in Tain. 

We head to Phandalin, it’ll take us about two hours to cover the 4.5 miles to the town. Keyar goes to scout out Lervin to see what was going on there, why no one came to see the fight, nor the explosion. Sidwin was delayed in his journey to Tain when he had to fight off some ghouls, losing his henchman but saving some commoners in the process.

He did find a courier’s sash, though, as well as an iron rod, with a dragon’s claw holding a broken glass orb. We hand it over to Keyar; we inspect it, and it was clearly once magical. But the real treasure was the courier sash, which came from a fresher body; the orb came from a skeleton. Wands in that style were used by elven mages involved in creating magic items. You are not sure exactly; it’s definitely not a traditional wand. Maybe it’s a focus for creation, control, or focus. It’s definitely from 400-1,000 years ago.

We arrive in Phandalin between 3-5pm. We see the barricade manned by two militia. We introduce ourselves, and while being cheered for our victory, we head back and incarcerate Sir Colin and his Sergeant at arms. 

We take a Long Rest, and chain up the Sergeant and Sir Colin. 

Sir Colin eventually wakes with a grunt, spitting out some half-congealed blood. “Nice bit of spell work; only way you would have taken me down. You’re lucky we had a pretty little lady to cast these spells for you.”

We ask if Sir Colin is willing to give us his parole, as a properly captured knight. He says he can’t speak, he says. 

Yeah, right.

“Hrmph. You’re smarter than you look. Your best bet is to kill me here where I stand. I’d never give my parole to scum like you.”

Mark asks about the priest captured and tortured back in Highgarden. Last time Sir Colin saw him he was just blubbering. 

Markbludiell slams a sword through his chest, ending the life of a brutal, evil thug (he asked Vertias first. Sir Colin was the very definition of evil). 

Sidwin shakes his head, walks out of the building, and keeps walking. Night falls as Sidwin heads for Tain.

***

That’s the session. 

“The only bad time to cast explosive runes is inside a room of less than 20′ radius.”

We chat for a bit, trying to figure the next move.

2 thoughts on “Majestic Wilderlands – Military Intervention

  1. Doh–arrows are cheaper than Explody spells–but whatever works eh? I vote we go find the priest of Mitra if he is still alive in Highgarden and declare Aevin as Knight and Lord proper.(i'm only half joking) Perhaps we should find a leige lord?!

  2. Sounds like it was fun, despite all the missing. I actually find that although GURPS combats have a high so-called "whiff factor" due to successful Active Defenses, people don't get as frustrated by enemies that defend well if they keep hitting. They keep feeling like they're doing their part and it's just a matter of time before one really gets through. But I know in my own experience playing D&D-based games, missed rolls make me feel completely useless in a fight. 3+ whiffs in a row and I'm like, my job is fighting and I can't even do that. Perception, and how you get to the "no effect" result, really do matter.

    "classic L-shaped ambush" – I don't think those work nearly as well in RPGs, especially fantasy ones, as in life. Without firearms, with PCs shooting point targets (no one says, "I spray the area with arrows"), a strong need for melee, and area-effect magic, it's probably not as critical to set up like a real ambush would now. You're generally better off just treating an abmush as an opportunity to hit a target by surprise and from more than one angle of attack instead of a specific formation.

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