An end to Greg and his Scurvy Mob
Cast of heroes:
- 1/2-Jack the Halfling Rogue
- Br Abram Gaunt, cleric of Tempus
- “Banjo” Carrick, Elf mage
- Martel “Hammer of Justice” Guerra, paladin of Tyr
- Red the Elf ranger
- Ryhab the ship’s captain
- 7 village warriors equipped with javelins and wicker shields
- Greg the villainous pirate captain
- His lieutenant
- About 10 pirates armed with crossbow or scimitar
Our heroes have surged up through Port Tarfoot (the pirate village) and have Greg pretty near cornered in his escape cavern.
Round 0: A light has been shot into the cavern, Martel has called Tyr’s blessings down, and Carrick has distracted some pirates by running an illusion of us all forward.
Round 1: Red races forward, and finds the end of the short tunnel into the cavern flanked by pirates! He slices the nearer, right-hand pirate with his scimitars and the wretch falls with a scream! As the blood sprays in a bright red arc in the light from within, Red can see around a dozen pirates ready and waiting across the cavern! Red shouts this information and is joined by Ryhab, who has chosen to fight with fists alone. The captain is promptly hit by the left-hand pirate, but does not fall.
Outside, ½-Jack has dashed to the outside of the cavern mouth and is waiting to see if a shot presents itself. Martel walks forward from cover behind the nearest hut, calling Divine Favor. Inside the cavern, Greg grins an evil grin but waits.
The warriors run forward, crowding into the tunnel, shields up. Two are shot by pirates behind Greg, who had waited for such an event, but the wicker shields do their job and the shots are not disabling. Gaunt trots forward around the hut, merging with the column of villagers and looking for Greg. Carrick emerges from cover in the hut and pushes his illusion forward, reshaping it to look like more villagers.
Round 2: “Get back, Ryhab!” Red cries and slides right, over to a corner, and takes a defensive stance. Sheathing a scimitar he unslings his longbow. The pirate “marking” Ryhab hits him again but the blow seems ineffective [Monk iron root defense]. The pirate moves away and immediately Ryhab’s fists blur and several strikes connect! Around four other pirates fire at the easy targets but only manage to wound one villager. ½-Jack rolls forward through the mass of stamping feet, ending near Red, and targets Greg. His arrow strikes but Greg looks unfazed. From the front line, ½-Jack can see that both Greg and a lieutenant are well-armored in chainmail. Ryhab fast-steps after the withdrawing pirate, then leaps, drops the man with a well-planted kick to the head, and leaps back.
Martel’s booming voice exhorts the warriors from behind. They finish their rush up the tunnel and hurl javelins as they spread out laterally to either side. One has a rush of blood to the head and wastes a shot on Greg but the others stick to the plan and two pirates fall. Gaunt can now see Greg as the crowd thins and hurls Tempus’ Sword, a red incarnation, at the pirate chief, but misses. Gaunt continues to move forward, Martel with him.
Carrick casts Mirror Image and a small copse of tall skinny Elf mages crowds into the tunnel.
Round 3: Red aims his longbow diagonally at another wounded pirate and fells him. The four missile-armed pirates fire, all quarrels missing or simply sticking in the shields. There are only three pirates ready for melee: Greg, his lieutenant, and one other: the latter two charge the left-flank warrior, whom Ryhab stands behind, wounding him gravely but not killing him. ½-Jack shoots a crossbow-armed pirate, wounding him. Ryhab slides out into the front line, kills the pirate crewman, and slides back, avoiding the lieutenant’s cut.
The warriors use their second javelin, killing one pirate and wounding another. Gaunt slices his Spirit Sword at that wounded pirate, moves forward to the cavern’s center, and comes to a painful halt: it has been sown with caltrops!
Martel has held off acting, in the expectation that Greg would charge the middle of the line. He sees the danger the warrior on the extreme left is in, and urges Carrick to save him. Carrick, heeding Martel’s shout, races to the right, swings round to where he can line up the lieutenant on the opposite end of the fighting line, and rocks the man with a barrage of arcane bolts! “I was saving that for Greg – don’t see why you couldn’t do your own heroing” Carrick snarls at the paladin in much the same tone that Gaunt uses to wish everyone a good morning. Or order breakfast.
Round 4: Red swashbuckles across the fighting line and finishes the lieutenant with a hard cut of a scimitar. The two crossbow-armed pirates shoot and flee, but are intercepted by Ryhab and 1/2-Jack: none manage to harm anyone. Martel shifts behind Carrick to get a line of sight on the pirate 1/2-Jack has intercepted and his heavy crossbow pins the wretch to the cavern wall [17 damage]. Greg is now out of sight in the tunnel, any view of him blocked by a fleeing, wounded pirate. Gaunt uses his spirit sword to slay that man and heals himself as he moves out of the caltrops. Carrick dashes to the tunnel and to where he can see Greg, who bears a small light, and tries a Ray of Frost to slow the pirate down: but he misses.
Round 5: Red recovers his longbow and begins looking around for loot. There seems no point in busting a gut trying to catch up to the front line. Ryhab follows suit and shepherds the warriors back into the village. In the tunnel, 1/2-Jack catches Greg with a swift silent run [cunning move, Stealth and Advantage] and slices the pirate chief in the hamstring! As Greg limps further down the tunnel with a shriek, Carrick empties his last Magic Missile barrage into him. The pirate staggers on but as he carries a light he is easily marked. Gaunt and Martel follow up as best they can.
Rounds 6-7: 1/2-Jack dogs Greg’s fleeing feet, slices him in the hamstring again, and brings him down. As Greg bleeds out the Halfling cold-bloodedly rifles the pirate for loot but is quickly caught up by suspicious comrades. Loot is identified and cataloged and the pirate’s body dragged back to where it can be stripped of the chainmail. Greg had a nice longsword of damascene style blade, and a ring that has waves etched into it.
The other pirates are also stripped of loot and over the succeeding 24 hours work details bury the dozens of bodies and thoroughly investigate the huts. The Winehouse is careened ready for stepping a new mast and water barrels transferred.
The original four characters have now gained Level Four, the level at which a Feat or Attribute gain may be taken. Here’s how it breaks down:
1/2-Jack Tarfoot the Halfling rogue: takes the Lucky feat and standard average hp. He has 3 luck points to spend on more cool stuff per day.
Br Abram Gaunt, cleric of Tempus: takes the Heavy Armor Master feat and standard average hp. The Heavy Armor Master is particularly valuable for him, as it allows full speed, and acts as DR for his Con bonus.
Banjo Carrick, Elf mage: takes the Arcane Archer feat and standard average hp. He can imbue an arrow with a spell, a potentially devastating extension of his powers.
Martel “Hammer of Justice” Guerra, paladin of Tyr: also takes Heavy Armor Master which is not at present quite so valuable as for Gaunt, as he has a decent Dex bonus and is not slowed by Scale. The DR against normal combat damage is attractive enough for a front-ranker for now. He too opts for standard average hp.
Penetration of the Mainland
We have laid our plans. We have said farewell to the villagers. We have loaded Yolanda and Ryhab and part of his crew man her. Now, we paddle the outrigger Yolanda towed, and make a soggy landing as best we can on swampy shores.
Red shows us how to conceal it and takes the lead, probing through the swamp. Oily black trickles of water ooze through shaggy, insect-ridden sedges. We have taken care with our lading so none of us slow our pace. Even Br Gaunt moves as swiftly as Martel: he has mastered heavy armor now.
About four hours of hard slog later, we have to make a choice. We are no closer to finding fresh water: and fresh water would signal that we are on the track of whatever lost treasure or lost city exists here in this nameless isle. We must strike out in some particular direction, or begin a slow pattern-search.
After some debate, Martel opts for the north-east and this proves a good guess: we soon come to open streams, flowing clear of silt. Searching around for fords and camps, we find a broken barrel and enough evidence to prove that this was where the pirates watered. So not only have we found a clue as to an inland destination, we have a very significant find if Pirate Island has no fresh water!
Martel hands Red the ring of water-walking that we looted, with instructions on how to find us again. Red distributes his load amongst us and runs off south to report this to Ryhab. We for our part probe the streams for a crossing-point to the clearer plain that lies beyond.
As we complete our fording, Martel walking rearguard, he [rolls a 1 on Perception and] is set upon by three Lizardmen that launch themselves up out of the river! More swarm up at our flanks!
Surprise round: Two of the Lizardmen manage to connect, nicking Martel.
Round 1: One of Martel’s attackers manages a savage bite on the paladin, and three more Lizardmen flank the rest of us: Carrick is bitten and scratched quite badly, and Gaunt nicked. With a pained squawk, Carrick drives his two attackers back with a Thunderwave then falls to foully swearing: he was hoping to knock them down as well. Calling Tyr to bring down the wrath, Martel slices a Lizardman nearly in two, then sheds his spare equipment. Gaunt strikes twice [War-priest] at his attacker, and seeing that Lizardman wounded, ½-Jack sneaks up and stabs it to death.
Round 2: Undeterred by magic, the same two Lizardmen rush Carrick again, and he is bitten further. Martel’s usual defensive strength protects him from the two remaining at his end of the line: claws rake another scar into his shield! Arcane blue strakes leap from Carrick’s fingers to impale and kill both his attackers. There are now only two Lizardmen left, both at Martel’s end of the line. The paladin again smites one to death. Gaunt’s new magic sword, liberated from Greg, slays the other.
We now prepare a safe camp and stand ready while Carrick rests.