JOURNAL of Francis D’Angelo, faithful tempest cleric of Zeus
After defeating Jax, the vengeance paladin, we searched his tower. Access to the upper levels was through a hole in the ceiling that led mainly to empty and long-abandoned rooms. A giant spider occupied the uppermost chamber, which we dispatched without difficulty. Other than a few paintings and ancient scraps of parchment, it seemed to me that there was little of value to be found. But Kat, it turns out, is quite bright and was able to discern from the historical record that the owner of the tower was assassinated around 800 years earlier, while attempting to defend the nearby obsidian mines from invaders. While some mines were depleted, and others simply collapsed, most, it seems, were attacked and overrun by marauding bands of humanoids. This could be important as we investigate the possible reopening of the mines.
We resolved to return and report to Joy Crustyleaf the unfortunate fate of her son. Along the way, we set up camp near where we encountered the first bugbear. This would prove to be only the first of a series of foolish decisions we made that night.
As Garomon stood watch that night, two bugbears ambushed him, inflicting a nasty wound. He stumbled into our tent, waking only me in the process. Upon seeing the injured warlock, I grabbed my hammer and charged out of our tent, ready to face alone whatever foe I might meet. I nearly ran into the two pursuing bugbears. Drawing on the power of Zeus, I immediately unleashed a hellish blast of thunder, grievously damaging my foes. They turned tail and ran, leaving me to wake the barbarian and the monk, both of whom were still murmuring gently in their sweet slumber.
I advocated for breaking camp and moving on, given the difficulty of tracking, engaging and defeating multiple and formidable opponents at night. But the barbarian opposed me and persuaded the group to mount a counter-assault on the unsuspecting bugbears. This would prove to be the second foolish decision we made.
The warlock, moving invisibly through the forest, was able to locate the bugbear camp nearby. Upon his return, he reported seeing SEVEN tents set up in a clearing about a half mile away. Again, I lobbied my compatriots to choose discretion as the better part of valor, but they would not heed my wise words. I reminded them that the warlock and I had limited spellcasting abilities remaining, but they would not listen. The scent of blood in the air was too strong for the others to resist. Foolish decision number three.
The warlock, it would seem, had hatched a clever plan in his mind to stealthily approach the camp; to split the group by luring off some number of that force; and to diminish the camp defenses. Whether for lack of communication to the rest of us, poor execution or the barbarian’s inability to walk quietly, the plan went quickly awry. In no time at all, we found our own group split and facing three hulking, angry and well-armed bugbears, with their chieftain and three others nearby.
Vik launched herself viciously into the fray. I conjured a spiritual weapon and began hammering away with both metal and heavenly steel. The warlock placed his hex. And Kat died. Again.
We were not in a good place. We were outnumbered and outmatched by an enemy that was organized, outfitted, motivated and strong. But we never lost hope. Shortly after Kat went down, I broke combat and cured her wounds, returning her to life and to battle.
Garomon, I will say, was the one who turned the tide. By speaking cruel and fearsome words directly into the chieftain’s mind, the warlock was able to disrupt and demoralize our foe, one at a time. This tactic allowed Vik, Kat and I to systematically reduce the bugbear numbers. As each tried to get away, the warlock would pick them off with a blast of something unpleasant. I was able to do the same to the chieftain, using my last spell to explode a ball of energy upon him as he ran like a coward.
Notwithstanding our serial foolishness that night, we all survived to tell the tale. And we captured a chest full of gold coins in the process. Only by the grace of Zeus were we able to turn an almost certain and devastating loss into a modest gain. The scriptures are apparently true: to the bold goes the victory.
(magical?), a scroll of lightning bolt, a suit of halfling chain mail, a helmet, a light crossbow with 7 bolts, a metal shield (Francis), a morning star with leather grip (Francis) a crown of bones, and a banner of the fort (Vik).
Character(s) interacted with
6 Bugbear and 1 Bugbear Chief with 2 of the 6 fleeing.