Choosing the method of frontal assault, the party enters the bailey of the fortress at the center of the city’s walls. (-GM)
4th day of Sarenith, 4717 AR
After dealing with the mob of skeletons, leaving them dead (again), we realized that we were still in danger. In the middle of the large courtyard was a tower, and from the arrow slits came a continuous stream of arrows. Not many hit their targets (us), but it got annoying, and so I took a few shots at one. It stopped firing for about 30 seconds, then kept shooting. We quickly had Alucard’s roc fly us back up to the ramparts, saw a door to our left, and went inside.
We found ourselves in a barracks, with beds, an armory, and a kitchen. A careful search revealed some dust, and a few cobwebs. We took the time to heal, and discussed our plan of action. I remembered seeing a door above the side of the entrance gate leading into the central fortress, and we decided to go into that. I knew my lock-picking prowess could get us in, and Dio could get us out.
We ran over to it, and of course the arrow slits opened fire. I wanted to stop and take a few shots, but it would slow us down, and I decided against it. A disappointing surprise awaited us at the door however, as the whole thing was covered in spikes. Even I can’t pick a spike, and there seemed to be no obvious way to open it. We went back to the barracks, healed, and decided to try and open the main doors to the stronghold.
This time, I had an idea. I snatched a few tower shields from the armory, and when we made our mad dash to the door, they blocked more than a few arrows. A different problem awaited us here. The huge wooden doors had some kind of magical runes carved into them, but Dio was able to identify them, and he said that they were inactive. This door had no visible handle or lock as well, to my dismay. It seemed that what prevented it from opening was entirely on the inside. I silently cursed the creators of this evil place.
But it wasn’t all bad, as the far-off inner gates to the actual city opened, and a group of skeletal centaurs charged on out. I laughed at them, and promptly shot the torso half off of the centaur. Dio quickly cast a few spells, and suddenly they weren’t running so fast, and Tony (Khithni’s tiger) sprinted over and tackled another centaur. Khithni himself is quite handy with a bow and took out another of the centaurs, while Jackie Sparrow readied her scimitar and smiled. Alucard jumped down from his roc and got into the fight, while the great bird carried me higher up, my blessed railgun putting holes in undead heads. The skeletons tried to circle Jackie, but she danced away, and decapitated two of them on the way. Nonek waded into the midst of the fighting and sliced and diced with his sword. The evil creatures had bit off more than they could chew, and soon they were back to their correct state, which was lying on the ground in pieces.
We had used a lot of spells in the fight, and we healed, and decided to leave. As we trudged out, the perpetual gloom of the city seemed to lift, and as we got back on our horses, we realized that it in fact was the afternoon. We were all tired though, and we rode back to camp.
On the way back, I noticed a glowing ball a couple hundred feet away. I pointed it out to Dio, and he told me it was a Will-o’-Wisp, and that they can disappear at will, and they feed on fear and dying creatures. It disappeared, and Dio cast a spell on me, and I saw the sneaky thing about to latch onto him. I quickly shot it, and it seemed to melt. I looked around, and saw another lurking around. Another shot, and it melted as well. I laughed, as these little balls of light seemed to have misjudged our strength just as the centaurs did.
The rest of the ride back to camp was uneventful, and we all got a good night’s sleep that night. That’s the end of our tale for now, but there will be more to come, don’t worry.
– Neptune (Marco)
Alucard, ifrit paladin 11
Dio, elven diviner 11
Khithni, undine beast-master ranger 11
Neptune, undine techslinger 11
Nonek, human armor-master fighter 11