DGA15.03: Red Hand of Doom, part II – The relief of Tiri Kitor

The Vale heroes for this session

Phoenix, human barbarian/Sea Eagle Totem warrior, wielding Mocair the greataxe;
Cat, human warlock/Titania’s pact, wielding Staff of the Seas and the rod Osuz;
Seck, human rogue/Hunter, wielding Red Whisper the shortsword and Maelsauga the throw-blade;
Ulric, human paladin/Vengeance Oath, wielding Kinslayer the warhammer

Supported by NPCs:
Lothair, hill dwarf barbarian/alchemist, piloting the air raft Liberator;
and Vir and Kestrel, rangers

It is about three hours shy of dawn

by the time corpse, prisoner, and loot are all piled into the Liberator. Each hero manages a short rest as they stand watch shifts during this time.

A few minutes’ flight and Lothair asks, “do we land in the village or are we landing wide?”

The verdict is landing wide, then walking in using Cat’s Arcane Eye. For a landing zone, Seck and Cat confidently indicate a certain patch of blackness amid the black night!

Phoenix has been feeling a little guilty, not having Communed with Nature diligently on the last leg. Now, he mutters:

“I shall speak to my totem, the Sea Eagle will spy out our enemies.”

“What should I seek wisdom on?”

Choking back the “everything” that is on his lips Seck suggests not worrying about planar enemies but rather fiends; Ulric agrees and undead as well; Lothair wants to know about a dryish patch to land; and the general number and type of enemy is obviously going to be useful.

After a time contemplating the fine ritual powder that streams from his fingers – all the while the Liberator follows a wide circle holding pattern – Phoenix gives Lothair a more detailed description and the craft squishes down on a dry finger, more or less a sandbank. By this time Seck has spotted blasts of eldritch power from around the besieged village. It remains but to decide whether to attempt to scout from this station, or walk in.

Again the decision is to walk in, with Cat being navigated (ox-goad style) by Dis, and Ulric being rearguard and whispering to Seck and Phoenix when they begin straying.

After a good while slowly pushing north through the muck, Cat picks up the first camp, that of a command unit: two priests, guarded by six monks, and with three unwinged, black, dragonform fiends! Priests and monks alike are all dragonborn and wear the sigil of Tiamat proudly. The camp is due south of Tiri Kitor.

Party order: Ulric, with Seck right and Phoenix left; then Cat about 30′ back

As they work closer Ulric’s presence is heard and the battle is on!

Inits: Phoenix, Cat, Monks, Ulric, Fiends, Priests

Three immense black fiends loom up

out of what must be a water channel right in front of Ulric, and as Phoenix leaps/glides at one, Cat sends up his Crown of Stars and the fight is bright-lit! A Mote – sent at the same one Phoenix has deeply wounded – blasts the fiend’s forequarter off! Seck is left with two other targets, and waits for Ulric to make his move. Then, three couple of monks zip out of the dark, skimming over the water and belaboring the front team. Then vanish! Ulric slams his glowing Kinslayer into the next fiend. From far behind in the dark the priests begin sending out alarm ravens and bringing up protections.

Hobgoblin Iron Shadow

Phoenix leaps at the next one, cutting high and landing with it between he and Ulric: and Seck’s sneak attack finishes that one off too. The third takes a terrible wound from Cat and another from Ulric and dives back away.

It’s time to take the fight to the monks. Cat locates the priests and sends Synaptic Shock in, killing all the (smart) ravens, and two monks, while shaking a third. Phoenix glides/leaps across the channel, avoiding pit traps, and assails the three other monks. Seck sneaks over, using superior balance and reflexes to avoid the pit traps. Cat falls victim to one, Ulric frees his leg, removes his Faerie Fire condition, and they wade across together.

The two priests are defended by Guardian Dragon Spirits, and once those are whittled away and the guard monks are down they have little left in their arsenal that would offer a challenge. One escapes with one last monk.

With reinforcements arriving from half left and half right Seck makes the call to plow quickly forward and gain Tiri Kitor. Phoenix glides over, yelling a caution to archers among the friendlies!

“Welcome, heroes! Where is your guide and our bard, Trellara?” – Sellyria Starsinger

“We, eh, left her body in our craft, we’ll bring her in once the way is safe.”

“But on the other hand, we have a prisoner!”

“Haw yeah, that rat of a goblin can’t wait to squeal.”

“I wonder, are you much hurt? Are your powers diminished?” – Sellyria

“No and no, I had rest enough and few of us got more than a scratch.”

“Then would you be willing to make a strike against the siege commander?”

“If he were captured we could learn much about their strength and plans. Come, let me show you the layout: many loyal ravens died to bring us this information.”

It seems that a dragonborn monk named Skather commands the siege, off north-east on a dry islet. If they strike while the iron is hot the disturbance they created in the south should allow them to penetrate and bring back a prisoner.

Two rangers, Kestrel (known to the Long Roaders) and Vir (known to all) have volunteered to help guide them and to cover their retreat.

Phoenix uses his mighty strength and native watercraftiness to punt the little raft along at full speed. Up ahead a faint graying of the sky suggests dawn is not far away. But dark wings above – bats or night sighted birds – signal that the attempt has been spotted.

With a muttered “good luck” Kestrel drops away to build a hide. Phoenix keeps the pace up tirelessly. As Vir guides his little craft off to offer a challenge to a fire-bladed priest on one flank, it’s time to make final prep and decide who leaves the raft and with what.

Seck slips into the water, using his Ring of Swimming to get around further to one flank. His target is the priest that Cat’s Arcane Eye has picked up. The only feature of the islet is a single bog oak, sporting an overgrown harpy-hut sort of roost in it.

Cat takes over the pole duty from Phoenix who prepares to leap. But an arrow soars from the hut, and becomes a swarm of arrows! Cat is riddled. He poles on grimly. Another arrow – with the same results!

Meanwhile Seck stalks the priest…

Phoenix alights and is hit by the priest’s Banishment, disappearing off to a happier dimension where everyone likes him…

As Ulric plows up the bank the big bad, Skather himself, floats rather than leaps down from the hut, bringing up his ki with elaborate kata. Cat tries a prison attack but he saves. “Darn it, shoulda tried the priest!” Ulric runs at Skather, only to be met by two vast kicks, hammering him back into Cat who ends squashed beneath the armored paladin! With a Bonus Action Skather kicks a bag and it sprays caltrops over the intervening area.

Seck lands a huge hit on the priest! Phoenix reappears – having been just about to get married and settle down – and after a stunned moment rages, and charges – into the caltrops.

Seck hurls Maelsauga and though Skather deflects it, much of the force damage transmits to him. Cat, still prone, hurls two very badly aimed bolts, which hit Phoenix, and one well-aimed bolt that hurls Skather back, though unlike Phoenix he is well balanced and kicks the barbarian back into the caltrops.

Ulric rises and Holds the priest, then stalks Skather.

Seck finishes the priest off, and joins with Phoenix to deliver the death-blows to Skather. Ulric hastily prevents him from dying outright! Then ties him with the elf rope given them for the purpose, and away! (After looting.)

Loot

Saint Misael’s Quiver

Unique item, requires attunement by ranger or creature with wood elf heritage.

The gentle brown-hued leather quiver pairs with either a javelin, dart, bow or longbow, adjusting its shape for length. Its sling is adjustable for the height and position of the wielder. When not in use it seals. The seal opens at will. When sealed the quiver is afforded the same dimensional properties as a handy satchel.

As a bonus action you imbue the ammunition selected with an effect that multiplies the ammunition into a volley of magical arrows that are lost once used. This bonus action can be used any number of times up to your proficiency+1, recharging on a long rest.

You can use your action to make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon’s range. You make a separate attack roll for each target, but not each arrow.

The total number of arrows that can strike a single target is your proficiency+1, each doing a d6 damage.

If the ammunition selected has a magical effect or a heavier natural damage, this is ignored. All ammunition used by the imbuing of power is lost after striking the beaten zone. If you attempt to use a cursed arrow in this way, you still face the same difficulty/penalty of ridding yourself of it as ever; the ammunition is not imbued until withdrawn.

Batsblood Elixir

Potion, uncommon
This potion is inky black and usually comes in a spiral-shaped glass bottle with a tin lid. For 8 hours after drinking this potion, you have blindsight out to a range of 30 feet. If you already have blindsight, this potion increases its range by 30 feet.

Anklets of leather tassels that sweep up the wearer’s footsteps when they walk.

A single bronze earring: conveys Comprehend Languages between one creature and the wearer, once per day.

A pass, in draconic, scribed on copper. It appears to let the bearer into Tiamat’s fane.

Remaining Loot: 800 gold coin, 70 platinum pieces. The design of the latter suggests something about the location of Tiamat’s fane.

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