The group of 10 undead Arboreans continued to march towards the West Gate, these gate-breakers would soon be on the gate and the slayers knew if the gate fell the warriors on their side were both outnumbered and outclassed. It would be a slaughter. They continued to furiously battle the undead strike force that had been teleported in behind the palisades.
Magiia the Ferenoi power attacked the Bone-Lord with the axe she had taken from Bers’ corpse but the blow was parried easily. Vorwulf shot the Arborean zombie that was attacking Magiia. The undead captain, the Bone-Lord, missed Magiia with a clumsy slash of his mean-looking bone-sword. Grom directed his inferior earth elementals to slam the standing Arborean which had little effect due to the hardness of its worm-eaten body. He then used his sling to take a shot at the “skull knight”, his bullet bouncing harmlessly from the Bone-Lord’s bone-plating. One of the sword-wielding skeletons which Magiia had just smashed down suddenly reassembled its bones and stood next to her ready to attack. The downed deadwood Arborean at the gate began to stir and stood up its body still studded with Vor’s arrows. The other slammed its club-like fists into Maggie (Magiia) whom attempted to dodge but failed. Another blow from the undead captain’s bone-blade was deflected by Maggie the amazon and an arrow from the ranger’s bow thudded into the newly (re)risen Arborean. The newly reassembled skeleton picked up its sword and stuck Maggie with a natural 20 wounding her badly; she made a recovery check to remain standing yet again. Grom sent his elementals to grapple the Arborean at the gate while he shot another sling-stone at the skull of the remaining sword-skelly cracking its skull a good one. Maggie struck the sword-skelly smashing it to pieces sending its cracked skull flying out into the snow. She parried another blow from the Bone-Lords blade and the Arborean that had slammed her earlier went for another but missed completely. The other undead Arborean broke free from the grip of the elementals. Vor put an arrow in the Arborean that was attacking Maggie and another in the one at the gates just before it smashed another hole in them. Grom used his sling to shoot Maggie a healing potion which she easily caught.
The amazon downed the potion after backing out of the reach of her foes. Vorwulf continued to shoot the deadwood Arborean at the gate and Grom turned his attention towards the oncoming gate-breakers as they drew too near for comfort. He called down lightning upon their heads splintering wood and blackening their bark-skins but not dropping a single one of the five he managed to hit. His elementals continued to harry the deadwood zombie at the gate. The Bone-Lord followed the Ferenoi and continued his assault, she easily parried his blows. The Arborean that had been fighting with Maggie, with the Dragon-Blood Warrior out of the way, moved to the gates ready to begin battering them down from the inside. Vor knocked one of his magic arrows, an ice-steel frost-burst arrow, and shot it into the Arborean readying to bash at the gates. Frost burst over its fire-blackened body then Magiia shattered him to splinters with a powerful blow from her axe. The shaman tried to cast another Call Lightning spell but failed but his elementals held fast the last Arborean on their side of gate. The bone-knight swung at Magiia again but she was able to parry him yet again. Vor shot the still-standing Arborean and the amazon hacked into the Bone-Lord whom struck her in a simultaneous attack. He came out the worse. Vor drew his bow again and the bowstring snapped. Grom pulled out a potion of Greater Fireball, essentially an arcane grenade, and used his sling to great effect launching the weapon at the nearing gate-breakers severely damaging 9 of the 10. Vorwulf pulled the longbow from his back and shot at the deadwood Arborean missing it by a mile.
The gate-breakers were now in charging distance of the West Gate. Vorwulf activated the Ring of Orbs spell on one of his many magic rings and launched the acid orb at the “skeleton knight” doing little damage. Magiia power attacked the Bone-Lord who “simuled” her again but she smashed him down the second before his blow could land. Meanwhile across the battlefield the general of the Blackbrow army, one of the two remaining of the three disciples (see The Dragonslayers II: Pt. 5 & Pt.6), was busy trying to cast a spell that would devastate the archers along the top of the palisades, fortunately for all he failed his casting check. Back behind the gate the grappled Arborean broke free and the Bone-Lord leapt back up from the ground worse for the wear but completely reassembled.
Grom: “Oh! Hey! I just remembered I have that magic rod of Quicksand!”
The shaman whipped out an electrum rod from his bag and used one of its charges. The ground directly in front of the gate in a 75 ft radius instantly turned into a slushy quagmire catching all of the gate-breakers whom immediately began to sink, the archers and javelineers on the wall were quick to take advantage. The gate-breakers were toast. Vorwulf launched the fire orb from his ring of orbs which were rotating about his person at the Bone-Lord again dealing little damage. Magiia struck at the lone Arborean cutting it down for the last time. Grom slung a stone at the undead captain doing no damage and Vor followed with a magic alloy arrow which did deal significant damage to it. Magiia followed that up with a blow that knocked it down again. Vorwulf, seeing the fight was now in their favor and under the control of the Dragon-Blood Warrior and the shaman pulled out his spyglass and turned his eye to the enemy line.
He could see the force was being led by a disciple of Blackbrow, a mage (necromancer) dressed in a crimson robe with a red silk hood over his head painted with a black skull on the face and he could see another commander a vampire in bronze armor and a black cloak appearing as a pair of bat-wings levitating above the heads of the man force. The disciple was surrounded by 6 deadwood Arboreans, the vampire had 10 wudu zombies and 10 skeleton warriors beneath him. There was also a lich fighter with the same behind him and a force of 25 soldiers in bronze plate and well-armed beneath the banners of Poisonwood, mercenaries. The line was marching towards the gates. So Vorwulf activated the Thunder-Arrow ability on his longbow launching a storm of crackling arrows composed of pure electricity towards the enemy line which rained down on their heads exploding with the crack of thunder. The disciple halted his forces and pulled them back probably in an effort to get them out of spell range.
Gil (Grom’s player): “Their pulling back? Really?”
Cris (Vorwulf’s player): “Yeah they don’t know what we got.”
Gil: “And they can’t get across to the gate.”
Magiia finished smashing the Bone-Lord to dust after he raised one more time, his magic bone-sword crumbled with the rest of him. Vorwulf took back to his spyglass. After a few seconds he passed it to the shaman. Grom could see the enemy army was staying put; it appeared that they were waiting for something.
Jenn: “Aw, no.”
Cris: “They did have a dragon with them.”
Cris [to me, the GM]: “That runner never came back did he?”
I acknowledged that he did not.
The 20 men along the battlements were cheering after finishing off the gate-breakers with arrows and javelins and were in high spirits some roaring taunts over the palisade they definitely believed they could take on any enemy at that point. The slayers all laughed, they knew better.
Vorwulf was contemplating going back to “the rat” to fetch the superior quality arbalests that they had for dragon-slaying to reinforce the gate-defenses when he and Magiia heard and felt something heavy moving possibly stomping about. They all heard the unmistakable roar of a dragon ripping through the air from the city center. Vorwulf took back his spyglass from the shaman and directed it towards the city center able to see over almost all of the buildings, most were a single story after all, from the battlements. He could see what appeared to be a zombie dragon. He tried but couldn’t quite identify what type it had been in life, it was fighting with the sheriff, his deputies and the Achaánal warriors. The druid tree in the town center was acid blackened and bubbling puddles of acid pocked the site of the battle, a few dead warriors lay strewn about. The fighters seemed to have just retreated to cover most seemed to be terrified and/or nauseated.
The wind was howling now and the snowfall was getting heavier. Vorwulf dismissed the power of the Ring of Orbs and then rubbed some Oil of Mend over his armor and activated his Boots of Haste. The shaman used his healing touch on Magiia and she donned the chain mail she had taken from Bers’ corpse. They also finally got around to letting her know that the helmet was magic and had the ability of Shield on it.
Gil: “Man guys, I’m out of spells, that’s it for the day.”
Grom pulled out his Mace of Supernatural Power.
The Blackwings abandoned the palisades and ran towards the city center. After several minutes, Vor waited to engage the dragon until the others caught up to him, they made it to where their quarry was and charged it as soon as they got the chance. It spat a gout of acid at them which Vorwulf was able to evade and the other two dodged. They chopped the zombie dragon down in record time. Every time that it had rose back up they simply hacked it back down.
Jenn: “It didn’t even get to hit anybody.”
After the dragon was done Vorwulf surveyed the area for any additional enemies. He spotted a robed shadow with one arm fleeing down an alleyway then suddenly disappearing in a flash of green. He guessed it was Zancor. He was right.
The slayers made their way back to “the rat” and delivered the arbalests to the guards on the West Gate. They found that the forces of Blackbrow were retreating from the field, for now. After that they took their leave to rest in their tavern, they had been relieved by the Achaánal clan warriors, they had lost 2 of their number but were still a formidable force (against the average mortal foe that is), who had volunteered to hold the gate while the Blackwings rested. Grom retreated to his quarters to pass out, he was utterly spent. Later in the day the snow and wind ceased and the a few breaks in the clouds let in a few golden shafts of sunlight. Vor took Magiia to the secret vault where they had stored their treasure chests in order to equip her with some more powerful items. He found two of the chests, the ones they had bashed the locks off of before trying the keys they had on the third, were light on gems and coin by about half.
Gil: “Aw! What the hell!”
Cris: “It was the ratlings.”
Gil: “What!? Really? Didn’t we pay them off!?”
Cris: “Yes. It was the ratlings. It was too much for them [to ignore].”
To Be Continued…