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Defense of Calamentum

General Summary

The Plan

The party had entered the walls to see burnt out houses on either side, and a straight path towards a fire damaged grove near the center of the city.A few people were moving that direction - most looking scared and lost. They decided to follow along, and they found that not much of the town had wholly escaped destruction.

When they reached the center of town, they saw that the grove had been burned, with most of the trees dead and blackened. The buildings around the circle had mostly been spared, although not for any obvious reason. At the larger building, facing onto the path they were on, the people left in town seemed to be gathering. There looked to be a few hundred gathered, although that could be as little as a tenth of what could comfortably live in a town this size. There were two groups formed, the larger of which looked like miners, strong armed from digging, and the other with a mix of men and women of all ages from early teens to elderly.

The group approached the man gathering the larger group, and asked who was in charge and how many were available to fight. The man grunted at pointed up to the balcony, where they had seen a man dressed in clothes that were once quite fine, but were now bloody and torn. They headed into the building to find him.

The building proved to be the Courthouse, and a couple of acolytes of Iuris were burning documents in a fireplace. They found the stairs, which led to what appeared to be a group of offices, and found the balcony.

As they filed out the door, they found the man seated at the wooden railing, watching them each intently as they came outside. They asked if he was in charge, and what was being done about the invaders, as he continued to stare at them. After an uncomfortable silence, the man clapped his hands together and smiled.

He turned to Durdeg, and asked about the arm. Durdeg showed him, along with V8. The man quickly grasped the concept of the arm, and asked about the capabilities of the defender. He then moved to Kasret, asking what he was capable of. Somehow Kasret's reply offended the man, and he invited Kasret to go over the wall and kill the giant for them, ending all of their problems. Sif jumped to his defense, and asked who the man was, which led to him confirming he was Ian Swaren and turning his ire on her. He told them that they were welcome to go look over the wall at what was coming, and that though they may be good, they weren't that good.

Durdeg took him up on the offer, and went to start making preparations at the wall. He left V8 with the others, in case they found a use for him. When he arrived at the wall, he began by setting up the bolt launcher they had taken from the ogres attacking the shipping on the river. With it in place, they just needed someone strong enough to use it - he did not have the time to make a more effective cranequin to allow for anyone to use it. He kept an eye on the gathering brutes outside of town and tried to get as much done as he could.

The others talked with Swaren, and discussed what they could do about this. Kasret decided his place was on the wall, shooting anyone approaching with crossbow bolts as fast as he could fire them. If they made it through the wall, he could change his role then. Faora made it clear that she was most useful as support behind the lines, using her connection to her God to heal or help any of her companions. Sif and Sharlot, however, started to discuss their magic and what they could do with it, coming up with grandiose plans that could help in any area.

Ian told them that there would likely be three fronts - the wall, the hole, and the stairs. The initial plan was to put as few people as possible at the stairs and hole and as many as they could at the wall. The arrival of the heroes changed the calculation - they could minimize the people at the stairs, those that couldn't do much more than drop rocks over the side, and put almost everyone else at the hole. The hole was where they expected a repeat of the assault by the goblins, and ringing the entire thing with people would be their best shot at saving the town from their torches. The stairs were fairly easy to defend - much of it had already been destroyed, and dropping rocks on their heads would be relatively easy. As Sif and Sharlot discussed tactics, they thought it may be worthwhile to use Sharlot's newly learned magic to help at the stairs. After thinking it through, however, they realized that it would probably be overkill, and they would almost certainly need her at the wall.

They eventually decided that they would all fight at the wall, along with Swaren's bodyguard Daniel. When asked about someone that could fire the bolt launcher, they came up with 'Fat' Bill, who turned out to be as advertised. He was several inches over six feet in height, and had to have weighed over 400 pounds. While a lot of that was fat, it was also clear that there was a lot of muscle packed on that would allow him to use the bolt launcher. Swaren sent them off to the wall, promising rewards of free property if they could succeed in saving the town.

With everyone in place near the wall, they did what they could to help improve their odds. Traps were laid out in several places behind the wall, so that if a wave made it through at least some would be slowed. They used all of the various barrels and crates they could find, including stripping the nearby tavern of everything down to the doors, to create a killing zone just inside the gate, while at the same time fortifying the gate to slow down anyone trying to get in. They soaked the ground, making it difficult to walk on, and put a thin layer of oil on top to allow them to use fire to break a mass movement through the gate. Durdeg set up a pot on the platform above the gate, and got to boiling water that could be dumped on anyone approaching. With all of the preparations they could do complete, they watched as the sun inched towards the horizon, eventually making it nearly impossible to see.


The Assault

Shortly before sunset, a hill giant finally arrived on scene, with two rock trolls in tow. The trolls began to beat their drums, and with a scream from the giant, the assault began. They had waited until the sun was in the perfect position - the defenders were staring into the sun, only able to make out silhouettes while the attackers had a clear view of their enemies. That was, however, where tactics ended.

The creatures charged clumped together, with little indication that they had any thought for how best to deploy. The orogs at least held together in a battle formation, although this turned out to be the worst thing they could do. At first, all the defenders could do was launch long distance shots in an attempt to get lucky and hit their foes. But as the enemy approached, Sif saw her opportunity to turn the tide of the battle in their favor before they came close to the wall.

An ogre with a battering ram was charging ahead, with orcs and orogs keeping pace, and the orcs shaman just behind. They headed straight for the gate, where the ogre was sure to use the ram to crash through. As soon as they were in range, however, Sif unleashed an explosion of fire, engulfing the bulk of the force. The orcs on the edge had some success in escaping the worst of the flames, but those closest to the ogre fell to the ground in charred heaps. The ogre staggered, his flesh burning, but it was not enough to put him down. The orogs survived, but none unscathed, and several were barely staggering forward. The shaman was burned badly as well, and fled back to take shelter by the giant. The rest immediately started to scatter, but the worst had been done.

At the same time, an ogre was approaching the wall with a howdah on his back, and four goblins being carried along. One of them stood out to the group, as it seemed to be the first to react to anything and was crying for blood. It, along with the others, were armed with short bows and began sending arrows as soon as they could. Another ogre and some orcs were headed towards a different section of the wall, and the giant had caught up to the shaman. As the orcs tried to get close enough to bring their spears to bear, the giant showed why it was so fearsome. From several hundred feet away, it lifted a rock and threw it towards the wall. With uncanny accuracy, the rock slammed into Sharlot. She was dazed by the blow, and blood began to flow from her head. Faora started to move to her to help, but their defenses made it difficult to arrive quickly.

Durdeg, Kasret, and Daniel were on the makeshift platforms around the gate, launching crossbow bolts at the approaching horde. Sancho and 'Fat' Bill were on the roof of the guardhouse, launching arrows and bolts as fast as they could. Although at first the sun was too much to let them hit, eventually they were able to dial in as they got closer (alas, not 'Fat' Bill - his only hit came too late). They picked off a few stray orcs that survived the blast of fire, and harrassed the ogre with the ram, while Sif targeted another group.

This time, Sif focused on the howdah ogre. She was able to get a number of orogs in the blast, although not nearly as devastating as the first. The goblins on the howdah tried to flee, but the overly excited one and another were effectively vaporized by the blast. The goblin cheiftain survived, although wounded, which wasn't a complete shock, while one of the goblins looked almost unscathed, which was. The ogre continued to stagger towards the wall, while the goblins took their shots with their bows.

The orcs had closed enough to start throwing javelins at the defenders, but they did little damage. As hill giant and the shaman closed, things changed substantially. The hill giant took another rock and flung it at Sharlot, connecting again. She felt woozy, and nearly passed out. The two realized it was time to enact the second phase of the plan, and as Sharlot began her newest mystical song, she changed. She grew at an alarming rate, her body morphing into the powerful form of an ape they had seen during their journey to the magic tower. But she didn't stay the roughly bugbear sized gorilla they had seen - she grew until she towered over the rest of the field. Jumping down to the killing ground before she collapsed the wall, she gave a howl of challenge to her foes.

The shaman cast a bubble of silence to drive Sif away from the wall, and stayed near the giant. The orcs changed their target to the rampaging beast in their midst. Javelins flew, with far too many striking the bard's new form. Her mind focused on holding on to the magic, while her body took over dealing out damage. She quickly brought down the ogre with the ram, and turned to the orcs and orogs.

Durdeg and Kasret moved up in the bubble of silence, not needing to hear to pepper the approaching ogre with bolts. Faora brought down the blessings of Adalci on them, allowing them to focus fire - along with Sif, they brought down the howdah ogre before it could reach the walls. The goblin chief was killed as well, while the other reached the ground safely. It charged the great ape, and did a surprising amount of damage with its claws.

One of the remaining ogres ran for the wall, while the other ran for the ram. The orcs and orogs surrounded the ape, and fell swiftly, although Sharlot was being worn down quickly. With a last gasp, she killed another orc, then sprang for the palisade. The orcs took a few last blows, but, wounded and bleeding, she made it over the wall. She let the magic go, turning back into herself as Faora came to grant health from her God.

The attackers had reached the walls, with the exception of the hill giant and shaman, who seemed content to do damage from a distance, and the rock trolls that continued to beat their drums far from the actual battle. The ogres began to chop at the wall with their axes, while the goblin and orcs that had survived mostly were sheltering from the onslaught. The palisades held long enough for Sif to throw a flaming sphere at a few of them, and a few more arrows and bolts to find a target, and Durdeg to dump his cauldron of boiling water on an orc that ran for the gate. The hill giant tossed more boulders, but no more connected.

As the walls fell on both sides of the gate, the last of the attackers broke through. On the side that Sharlot had fled over, one orog, still smoldering from the flaming sphere, charged in. As it approached, Faora broke from asking for divine aid for long enough to call down a bit of radiance, which felled the orog before it could raise its axe.

The ogre on the other side was in better shape, and encountered Durdeg, caught in the open. It went in for an attack, but did not succeed. it did draw enough attention that the goblin slipped in behind him and raked him with its claws. V8 came up behind it in time to snap, but the thing was far tougher than it appeared. The ogre wasn't, however, and Durdeg pounded at it with his arm, and Kasret and Daniel stuck it with a series of bolts. As it fell, the only things left alive beside the party was the hill giant, the shaman, and the one goblin.

Amazingly, the goblin said something and a rift in space opened. It stepped through and the rift disappeared, leaving behind no trace of the creature. The giant and the shaman also decided it was time to go - with one last thrown boulder, they turned and fled. The heroes realized they were too far away to catch up, so they watched as the giant and shaman ran, followed after a moment by the rock trolls and their drums.

Character(s) interacted with

Ian Swaren  Daniel Harcomb
Report Date
21 Feb 2021
Primary Location

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Cover image: by Chance Rose


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