Aragon Preps the Sniper's Nest
Aragon is roused early by the Elves Sairalindë and Findecáno. Both are equipped for battle. “We want to get Fin into position in some ruins on top of a hill just across from the entrance to the Library so he can provide cover fire, but we need one more Elf to join us. Are you in?” Sairalindë says quietly to the Bladedancer, who is already getting up and prepping his gear.
Findecáno continues, “The battle should start shortly, but I want to be ready before you all move out. If you can accompany us there, then you and Saire can get back to the main force just in time. It’s still dark out, so we will have to be careful. Once I get into position, I should be able to conceal myself until needed.”
Aragon quickly and silently strapped on his armor and swords. The tension in the darkness before a battle was palpable. These two Elves were finally getting to take the battle to the enemy, one they had been fighting for years. Of course he was in!
He was ready. With a quick nod, they moved to the edge of camp. Fin led them past the perimeter, and soon they were on the road to Celwynvian.
Aragon could see that the rest of the camp was stirring and preparing for the main battle shortly. He noted several smaller bands heading out on preliminary missions and other tasks. He even saw Bodi heading off into the forest with Eärwen and a few other hunters. Aragon smiled, thinking about Bodi’s wager with the dour Kaerishiel.
As they traveled, Sairalindë handed out cakes of Elven waybread as they traveled. Aragon ate his without a word. Findecáno talks as they move through the darkened forest. “We will skirt around the entrance to the city and move in from the north. We will cross through the some ruined buildings and set up in a bit of ruins on a hill just across the main avenue from the Library. I will be able to cover your approach, and if needed, retreat from the Library. It will also put me in a good position to support the main troop when it moves up to your position.” I have only seen this location from a distance and have not actually been on the ground there, so we will need to be careful. Saire will monitor our approach for magical traps and obstacles.
Aragon nods. “How much cover will we have from the forest for our approach? I can be sneaky if I have to be, but my friends will verify that it is not my usual style. However, I am guessing we want to get you in place as quietly as we can.”
Aragon ate as he walked. Fin led, then Sairalindë, and he followed. While he did not doubt his ability to move quietly when needed, he was impressed with the pace the other Elves set. Clearly they were in their element.
After a short time, the three Elves reached their destination. Sairalindë leads the way into the ruins of a small structure. She motions out through the wide open doorway and up a rocky slope ahead, “That’s it. Just past that rise is the library. From there Fin can cover the entire building. I’ll bet there are some Drow up there, it’s a common sentry point for them. It overlooks the main avenue leading into Celwynvian.” She peers at the slope ahead of her. Several spots of crumbled ruins dot the hill. The remains of some type of structure can be seen at the top of the hill. Aragon can make out the upper reaches of the library past the hill. “Yes, there, I can see something moving up on top of the hill, there can you see it?”
|Approaching the sniper's nest|
Findecáno draws his bow and sights down the arrow at the hill ahead. Though it is still dark, there is enough light for the Elves to see clearly. “Yes, I can see at least 2 people moving around up there. Wonder if there are any more in the area?” he muses. He turns and looks at Sairalindë and Aragon, “What do you think? Should I start shooting, or do we want to get closer first? Neither of you have a bow.”
|Taking cover in a ruined building|
Sairalindë stares out onto the slope for a moment then turns back, “I detect a magical effect stretching between those two ruined towers and out to about 15 feet to either side. We can maneuver around it or get close to it, use those ruins for cover and I can dispel the ward in the middle somewhere.” Both Elves turn to look at Aragon.
“I would prefer to avoid the magic if we can. Let us try and sneak around it. I think we can get around to the left, there. That overgrown wall could keep them from flanking us, too.” Fin nodded, and they moved silently through the grass.
After making it safely to cover, they started moving slowly toward a semi-ruined building past the magical field. Just as he drew close, a Drow assassin popped out and took a quick shot with his hand crossbow. Startled, Aragon responded with Cat Plays with Leaf, but was not fast enough to knock the bolt out of the air. It pierced the armor on his leg and promptly exploded in flames!
Aragon swore and started to press on through the pain, but the foul underdweller hid in a quickly-summoned magical darkness. Aragon moved instead to his right, away from the assassin, and soon found daylight. Where he spotted another Drow, this one a warrior! Now this was more like it! The warrior shot at Aragon, of course, but Aragon floated out of the way with Leaf on the Wind.
Then the warrior hid himself and Aragon in darkness as well.
Aragon stopped. This was getting frustrating. Then he remembered some of the training from the Temple of Air and Steel, and LISTENED. It was more than just using his ears, it was taking in everything he could sense and letting it paint a picture in his mind, a picture of his swords, his foe, and the terrain between.
Then he charged, and as he did he heard the slightest intake of a surprised breath from the Drow. He shifted his weight slightly, flowed into a perfect Lightning Crashes Down, and felt both blades strike home! The fiend had obviously underestimated a Bladedancer’s ability, and was woefully unprepared for the attack! Zenith sliced deeply, driven through his plate armor, and Aragon soon heard the rattle of the Drow’s last breath leaving his body. (crit attack, then 3 on crit table, works out to 51pts of damage. Boo-yah!)
Then the darkness lifted (due to Sairalinde’s magic). Aragon started to search his fallen foe, when more crossbow bolts flew from the top of the hill!
He charged, trying to minimize the time they had to reload, but they were too fast!
As he hit the top, the darkness dropped again. He turned back, thinking to learn if the darkness lasted very long on its own, but then Sairalinde dispelled it, so that was moot.
He charged again, but that had given the fiends time to reload. When he came around the corner, another bolt, acid this time, punched through his left leg. He tried valiantly to cling to consciousness, but before he could open a can of Elven whoopass, he passed out.
Aragon opens his eyes to see Sairalindë leaning over him. She has just finished pouring another Healing Potion down his throat. “Come on, you should be able to walk now. Fin is in position, we have just enough time to get back to the camp, get us both patched up and be ready for the battle.
Pausing for a moment, seeing the confused look on Aragon’s face, she continues. “You took some more bolts, looks like from one of the Drow’s acid bolts. Tore your armor up a bit. I think maybe we should have planned a bit better. The Drow are good shots with those crossbows.After you went down, Fin and I finished the remaining scouts off. I took a flame bolt, but nothing a little magic can’t fix. We stashed the bodies as best we could, though we didn’t spend any time looting them. In my experience, most of the enchanted gear they use is only usable by Drow. Some sort of limiting enchantment, though I did gather up several healing potions,” she nods toward the vial she has just given Aragon. “Come on, let’s go.”
Looking over toward the ruined pavilion where Findecáno was going to set up, Aragon sees a seemingly disembodied arm stick up from a patch of shadows and wave at him before disappearing again into the shadows. Sairalindë winks at Aragon, “Shadow Cloak. It comes in handy in his line of work!”
This "session" was a short side trek designed to give some extra playing time to those who wanted it during a bit of a slow spot in the campaign (due to my hectic party schedule in October and November). It was played out as a combination of play by post continuing story like we often do and a one-on-one live session in Roll20. This was my first real test run of using Roll20 as a GM and I liked it. Our group is making the switch over to Roll20 from MapTool due to some Java issues one of the players is having. We have played using MapTool for about 5 years now, and it's sad to see it go, but I think it's time to move on. I have been playing in a great Roll20 GURPS campaign run by +Christian Blouin revolving around a group of Dwarves from Erebor on a mission to retake the Mines of Moria in the 4th Age of Middle Earth. It has worked well and I felt comfortable making the leap.
As usual for a continuing story, my text is BOLD and Arne's text is normal font.
As usual for a continuing story, my text is BOLD and Arne's text is normal font.