Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Duendewood: The Ambush, Part One

We're preparing to ambush the servants of Vecna as they bring the Apparatus of Kwalish overland to Titan's Reach, a very deep lake at the edge of the rainforest section of Duendewood; we're up in a tree. This is an old forest, so the branches start at about 75' up, and extend to the canopy at about 150'. Geddy uses Sphere of Invisibility to hide us as the Vecna-ite caravan approaches at mid-afternoon.

(It's around the 15th of May, in game.)

Azrael's familiar owl, Horatio, is flying through the woods to keep an eye on the approaching caravan; but honestly, the swarm of harpies orbiting the Apparatus is a dead giveaway. There are close to twenty of the things, which is a massive problem. It also means that Horatio wasn't able to get close enough to see how the Apparatus is being transported.

We discuss strategy as the Apparatus approaches. We've left a large mud pit on the far side of one of the two bridges in the area, in hopes of sinking the artifact into the mud. It's passably well hidden, and even if the Apparatus doesn't reach it first, it should still bring everything to a stop and hopefully make our enemies bunch up.

We wait, invisible, as the caravan moves closer, watching from inside a Rope Trick spell.

A pair of hulking corpses are pulling a carriage in the front; a mechanical device is crab-walking along behind it; and a second carriage is in the back. There are additional harpies on the caravan itself, and they look tougher than the others; one seems to be armored and possibly some sort Harpy commander.

Azrael tags himself with Greater Invisibility and floats down out of the Rope Trick. Martini tags Ruin with Greater Invisibilty. Geddy casts Haste on us -- including Rita.

One of the harpies lands in front of the pit and begins picking at the leaves covering it, suspiciously. She squawks something, and stops the lead wagon on the bridge, just before it would have gone in; the other harpies spread out, searching the area.

Azrael drops Incendiary Cloud right between the two Hulking Corpses that are pulling the lead carriage; it's big enough to get the Harpy Priestess as well. The harpies are agile, and dodge the worst of it; the hulking corpses take the full damage. Piling out of the carriage, coughing and choking and burning, are civilians. They... don't survive the experience. What the hell are they doing there? It seems the servants of Vecna anticipated a possible attack, and brought them along -- possibly as hostages, possibly just to mess with us. They're elves, of course, and Ruin goes from 0 to Homicidal Fury in 0.03 seconds.

Azrael then throws a quickened Magic Missile at the Harpy Priestess.

Ruin bamfs down to the rear carriage, and throws open the door. "EVERYBODY RUN AWAY!" The people inside are more elvish civilians, as he expected, and he basically just scared the shit out of them. Unfortunately, they're not moving just yet.

Geddy emerges from the Rope Trick, and begins a countersong to keep the harpies from charming us. He's basically just lounging on a branch, invisible and singing, and keeping the rest of us from being easily killed.

The harpy priestess flies straight up to get out of the Incendiary Cloud, and casts Invisibility Purge because she's not an idiot. Azrael becomes visible, but he was the only one close enough to be caught by this. Unfortunately, it's not just the spell; it's an aura, and it moves with her.

The hulking corpses do not like being burned, so they run forward and fall into the pit; the wagon explodes, and this weird disgusting flying creature busts out of it and hurls itself forty feet into the air to get above the Incendiary Cloud. It seems to be some sort of horrible, winged, rotting thing that scatters filth all around it. The Apparatus turns aside, trying to navigate around the cloud; the two other Hulking Corpses follow, still dragging the rear wagon behind them. Ruin moves up to the edge of the cloud and attacks one of them, wounding it.

The harpies start singing, but with Geddy doing his thing none of us are affected. The harpy archers take shots at Azrael, since he's the only one they can see right now. The first arrow connects, and damages him but also triggers his Mirror Image defense. The remaining four archers hit images instead of him, but that first arrow had a frost enchantment on it and it does a fair amount of damage.

A fireball shoots from the rear window of the Apparatus and lands just behind Azrael; he avoids the worst of it, and is still in pretty decent shape. He moves the Incendiary Cloud closer to the ground, and also a bit further towards the next set of Hulking Corpses.

Azrael tries to drop Maze on the Angel of Decay, but doesn't get past its spell resistance. Which is a damned shame, because this thing is horrible.

The harpy priestess tries a flame strike, hoping to remove some of Azrael's mirror images. Azrael takes the whole thing and is still standing, but not in good shape.

The Angel of Decay isn't fooled by our invisibility; it moves over towards Geddy. The two lead hulking corpses climb out of the pit. The rear hulking corpse that Ruin attacked tries to hit him, but fails; the other one moves away.

Azrael begins singing an ancient Elvish ballad: "I tried so hard, and got so far... but in the end, it doesn't really matter."

The harpies swarm around Azrael, but they all miss; they don't even hit his mirror images. The Apparatus continues on its way.

Whoever's in the Apparatus casts Tasha's Hideous Laughter on Azrael. Azrael manages to resist it, though: "Not. Funny."

The harpy archers attack Azrael again, taking him down to a single Mirror Image. The last one takes out Azrael, though; he falls to the ground, taking more damage. He isn't actually dead, but he's out of action and badly hurt.

Eva sees Azrael go down, and swoops down to grab him and swoop back up into the air. She plucks him off the ground and pulls him out of danger. He vanishes as they depart the range of the Invisibility Purge Aura.

The Incendiary Cloud continues on its way, pouring over Ruin and burning the poor bastards in the back of the wagon. Ruin takes some damage, and moves to the back of the Apparatus. Martini crosses the creek and joins him beside the door into the Apparatus, which is locked.

The Angel of Decay flies up beside Geddy, who is still lying on the branch and singing his countersong. He drops his countersong to cast Greater Dispel Magic to send the Angel of Decay back whence it came. If this thing was summoned, or created by a spell, he has a decent chance of getting rid of it. He's struggling against the Hierophant that created this thing, and... miraculously, he manages it. The angel of decay falls.

The harpy priest moves in on Geddy, and tries a touch attack -- since Geddy is now visible. It casts Harm.

Geddy saves, and avoids the worst of it. The hulking corpses move out to try to tree Geddy and avoid Azrael's fire cloud.

Sixteen harpies start singing in chorus, and we all start wandering towards various different harpies.

Eva manages to shrug it off, but the rest of us are kind of fucked. They attack Geddy, shaking him out of the charm.

Eva hits Azrael with Cure Light Wounds. He can't heal himself, but he is invisible... Eva stays outside of the invisibility purge aura, but positions herself to take out as many harpies as possible.

Azrael is restored to consciousness, and drops a Stinking Cloud on the harpies.

We'll pick up with the effects of that next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!