We pick up in media res, as we always do. The team at the gatehouse is first up in the list, and they managed to pick up three hirelings. One medium infantry with a crossbow, and two light infantry with spears and shields.
They nab the knight-killer crossbows that are “spare,” with 10 bolts each, and otherwise loot weapons from the gatehouse. They also find 6 arrows.
They beat feet after Mark Bludiell, who is busy escorting the bishops, and as they pass a Charcoaler, and as they do, they see a secret sign used by the Rangers of Silvanus discreetly marked on the sign.
But after this bit of conversation, things heat up very rapidly . . .
As the group mills about in a bit of confusion, Keyar strides over to the charcoaler. Mark is striding towards the Temple of Mitra with the two clergymen in tow. A small crowd, many with clubs, have gathered in his wake, and I think are generally being swept along by interest and curiosity.
Over towards Varius’ Bridge, we see a porticullis go down, with a guard taking advantage of the crenelations to not get shot. Any river escape is cut off.
Who’s that? A paladin? Crap! Close the gate!
The gate near us is closed and locked, so I use the Command spell to order the closest one to Flee for their lives. Random townspeople start taking kids off the street. I rush in, and drop two with two solid blows. He’s still got his light going on, so he’s in full Wrath of God mode. In fear, the two remaining miss badly.
Mark demands that they both surrender, one tries to bull through me, and bounces off as he rolls 7 and I roll 21. I drop him with one miss and one hit. The last fellow has knelt in submission, and I inform him he’s chosen wisely. The townsmen look for a battering ram to open the temple.
I check the overall map; I’m in the wrong place, and the townspeople are busting down the correct door. Still, at least I’ve driven off the guards.
Keyar goes to chat with the charcoaler, who informs Keyar that the Settites had nothing to do with the dragon Pan Calderax, but that the merchants under Herone have been the instigators. She has been visiting with a known associate of the dragon, Pardan Malorn.
He relates that we set Pardan straight and six feet under, that we have killed the sheriff and his son, and scattered and disorganized the soldiery. We mighty um, eight or so, will free the town and put the Lords of Mitra in place of the old rulers.
Um, says the charcoaler, we can certainly provide some force of arms.
No, no, we need you where you are.
Leshar is standing outside making sure that no one violent comes knocking. Well, other than us. Since we’re not exactly forces of stability here.
And now there are two guys on the gatehouse looking over the edge and keeping a low profile. Mostly people are trying to stay off the street.
Keyar fills up his quivers, grabs some more torches (pyro!), and generally re-equips to the extent they can be.
Oh – and some are priests, with ability to heal! A healing potion (2d4+2) is handed off, and 9 HP are restored. They wave off an offer of payment, and also Leshar is the beneficiary of an extra 8 HP. So now he’s at 24/45 HP, and so they hit with 18 HP more, bringing him to 42/45. Everyone else is within a few HP of max save Carmina (and Mark, but he’s not there). Carmina gets boosted also to 3 HP from his max, and we in general request that all these guys stay safe and prep more healing spells under the assumption that the townsfolk (and us) will need it.
Back to the Temple. The inner courtyard is the Ostler’s common, filled with horses and people trying to (badly) hide. I march my captive over to the main gate to the temple, and arrive in time to meet up with the other characters as the door to the temple is broken down.
They’re mostly poorly armed or unarmed, though.
And Mark feels a Myrmidon of Set approaching. He strides through the gate, and sees about 100′ away a Myrmidon. Myrmidon challenges Mark with “who are you and why are you here?”
“I’m a Paladin on quest. Sent to prevent the scourge of the dragon Pan Calderax from laying waste to the entire land!”
“So why are you here in Tain fomenting rebellion and death?”
” . . . .”
Well, honestly because Keyar the itchy-bow-hand decided to feather the Sheriff with a few arrows, and well, the crap rolled downhill from here. I believe I’ll start having an existential crisis about my purpose here now, thanks. This is what happens when I forget to take heed of the visions that +Rob Conley provided me at some point. Oops.
We start trading some spellwork and blows, and we quickly take a few points of damage and vanish the three acolytes in the front rank pretty fast. The battle starts into a larger melee.
The general melee continues, and a Mitran plugs the Archon for 15HP with a knight killer crossbow, but he’s promply healed.
He steps up to me, and Mark uses a deferred 2nd attack to hit him (he’s AC 21) for 18 HP of damage, expending one of my two 2nd level spell slot to vastly increase the damage. Myrmidon uses a bonus action to hit me with a Hunter’s Mark. So he’s Mark squared now.
They continue to fire off healing spells at their friends, doing a very effective job at erasing our damage.
Keyar kills one with longbow fire. The immediate field is basically clear of acolytes at this time, but we’re still facing the Myrmidon, an archon, a high archon, and an acolyte. Leshar charges the trio and hits the High Archon for 29 HP of damage in two mighty blows with his 2H sword.
The High Archon casts Hold Person at Leshar with DC 13; Leshar resists.
Mark swings and misses at the Myrmidon; he nails me back for 21 HP, pushing an attack through my armor with a Channel Divinity ability.
Leshar crits against the High Archon, followed by another crit by Leshar – massive damage ensues, and the High Archon goes down.
The throng of Mitrans engages with the miners. Two or three miners go down.
Myrmidon gets surrounded by Mitrans, giving Mark Advantage. He hits again, once, for 25 HP, which ain’t bad. The Myrmidon casts a spell, reappears behind me, and misses twice (phew!). He backs off (but doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity, alas).
Two Mitran townspeople are felled by the enemy.
Keyar fires two arrows at the lesser archon, hitting twice for 28 HP. The lesser archon is much, much lesser – he goes down thanks to the effects of Colossus Slayer.
Leshar charges after the Myrmidon, hitting once for 11 HP (“which does not bounce off his armor”).
The Mitrans deal with a few miners.
Mark Bludiell strikes home once, for 10 HP, forcing the Myrmidon to use Lay on Hands to heal 30 HP on his turn. “In the name of Set, I declare enmity against you, Paladin!” He now gains Advantage against me.
The miners continue to be whittled down by the Mitrans, which is good because the lot of us are running out of special abilities. On the other hand, the Big Dogs on the other side are mostly gone. Keyar shouts to ensure that the High Archon stays down, and hits once for 8 HP. I’m guessing Myrmidon has maybe 25-30 HP left at this point. Leshar also hits once, for 11 HP more.
The Mitrans start hacking the downed Settites. Mark hits once, and uses his last spell slot to do 14 HP total . . . he’s down to a single HP left.
The Myrmidon stares at me and attacks twice with advantage. He hits twice for 30-some points of damage, bringing Mark to -11 HP (really just 0). He goes down.
Carmina steps up to flank the Myrmidon, and casts Beacon of Hope. This gives Advantage on Death and WIS saving throws (me!), and any healing thrown at me gets max results.
Keyar misses once, and then hits! The Myrmidon goes down. He turns and screams at the miners and Settites to the south, “Now you are mine!!”
Rob allows him an Intimidate roll; he rolls 14. And six Settites fail morale checks.
Leshar inflicts four failed death checks on the Myrmidon, killing him.
To the south, the remaining archon and many of the guards turn to flee. As do the miners.
Carmina casts Cure Wounds on Mark restoring 12 HP. He then casts Spare the Dying on anyone who’s failed Death Checks, including the miners.
Keyar, on the other hand, is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. He fires at the departing back of the fleeing archon.
Two guys, one with plate armor and a two-handed sword, the other in plate and shield, step around the corner of a building, and explode a fireball in the middle of the melee.
“Stop. This. Fighting!” they say. They are two members of the Twilight Company: Yonnoc and Vander.
We end there.
We all get 600XP for quasi-liberating the town, and the battle.
Paladins may have nifty spells, but frankly nothing at 1st or 2nd level other than Command seems useful, certainly not as useful as spending his spell slots for crazy damage.
We’ve been hard at this for three or four adventures, and the lack of short and long rests really took its toll. Some of the stuff that I (and others) can do was expended several adventures ago.
All things considered, when we were done, one Archon, three guards, and two miners were all that escaped. On our allies side, we had 17 effectives left standing, Mark took a bad beating, but no one else was seriously hurt.