BK
01
CH
09
SC
11

The Annals of Pelor
The Slave Caravan

…continues from Book #01, Chapter #09, Scene #10

Synopsis

The 30th Day of Ches in the Year of the Sudden Journey
In the dead of night the group have heard the trundle of a wagon and lay in wait to ambush a hobgoblin caravan.

Cast List

Scene Length

This scene starts on Sunday 27th January 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of Wednesday 20th March 2013.

Players are expected to be able to post at least once a day.

JAN
25

Combat
Initiative Block

I

Round #07

Combat Completed


Creatures in Play:

[31] Kireth - 1d20+9+2: 31 - HP: 48/48 48,44,16,31,48,40,39,15,28,13,6,23,48

[23] Zero - 1d20+6+2: 23 - HP: 45/55 55,47,55,21,45

[22] Khalin - 1d20+6+2: 22 - HP: 27/56 (Bloodied) 56,45,50,37,26,21,34,28,13,27

[15] Beltak - 1d20+6+2: 15 - HP: 35/47 47,41,47,41,31,28,22,35

[13] Tradden - 1d20+6+2: 13 - HP: 28/63 (Bloodied) 63,56,43,21,31,54,59,54,45,40,53,48,28


Removed from Play:

[24] Hobgoblin Guards - 1d20+6: 24

Hobgoblin Guard #01 (Dmg: 66) 0,11,33,42,45,59,66

Hobgoblin Guard #02 (Dmg: 71) 0,11,27,31,43,50,57,71

Hobgoblin Guard #03 (Dmg: 65) (Bloodied) 0,1,16,25,40,47,56,65

[22] Carrion Crawler - 1d20+8: 22 (Dmg: 97) (Bloodied) (Marked by Tradden) 0,5,24,34,38,46,55,79,97

[18] Hobgoblin Sentries - 1d20+6: 18

Hobgoblin Sentry #01 (Dmg: 11)

Hobgoblin Sentry #02 (Dmg: 11)

Hobgoblin Sentry #03 (Dmg: 8)

Hobgoblin Sentry #04 (Dmg: 9)

Hobgoblin Sentry #05 (Dmg: 8)

[09] Hobgoblin Warcaster - 1d20+5: 9 (Dmg: 56) (Bloodied) 0,5,19,28,35,44,56

[Sp] Dire Boar - 1d20+3: 15 (Dmg: 89) (Bloodied) 0,11,17,35,65,70,80,89

JAN
25

Combat
Battlemap

BM
Battlemap
JAN
25

Combat
Features of the Area

AF

Trees: The squares containing trees can provide superior cover and are considered difficult terrain.

Illumination: Darkness, with light provided only by artificial light. Visibility shown on map.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Strike first and strike hard. It was not only the luddites that swung swords that believed in that motto. Yet, not too hard, not yet. They did not know what was to be found within the cart these hobgoblins were guarding and it might be of benefit if Kireth did not blow it to bits… yet. And, guard would seem to be the correct word, judging by the formation they had taken around it on the path.

His first volley would show restraint. Soften up their bellies a little.

The darkness of the treeline erupted into light as lightning darted forth, snaking towards one of the hobgoblins.

[Shock Sphere]

[Burst 2 centred on F19] with [Damage: 2d6+5: 11]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 16] - misses!

[Half Damage: 5]

[Burst Attack vs Dire Boar’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 11]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #01’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 30] - hits!

[Damage: 11]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 19] - hits!

[Damage: 11]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Sentry #01’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 11] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Sentry #02’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 11] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Carrion Crawler’s Reflex: 1d20+9+2: 17] - misses!

[Half Damage: 5]

Kireth had aimed for the fattest of the goblins, one sat atop what looked like an equally fat boar, its whiskers twitching in the eerie light he had cast. The fat hobgoblin managed to raise a staff to ward off the worst of the jagged electricity that exploded amongst them, but the boar’s fur singed and burned with the shock.

The stark tendrils of electricity arced out to strike the guards and sentries walking in front, the guards lurching with pain, almost dropping their spears. The pair of hobgoblins at the front of the train fared worst, writhing in pain before they fell to the ground in seizures.

Even the large beast behind, dragging the cart, was not safe and it hissed and reared as its forward tentacles sizzled and vibrated.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero shielded his eyes from the ferocious lightning storm. When the strobing and crackling ceased, he gawked at the smoking corpses. Kireth was definitely one person he did not ever want to upset.

‘Right-o,’ he said. Gathering his wits and pulling up his collar, he raised his crossbow and fired at the wizard-ish figure he’d glimpsed in the flickering light.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+9+2-2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1+2: 6] plus [2d8: 8 sneak damage]

[Shift: SE, E]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 29] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies]

As the bolt whistled away, he darted into the undergrowth and vanished, leaving the hobgoblin to roar in pain.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Two enemies down already — Kireth had come to the party early this time thought the dwarf with some battle-fueled cheer. With his trademark roar and Aecris whirling he charged at the next opponent up, looking to make it three down…

[Charge]

[Charge: NE, E, E]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+10+1+2: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 16] plus [1d8: 4 charge damage]

The guard managed to raise his shield against the dwarf’s ferocious charge but the warhammer managed to find a way through, slamming into the goblin’s armoured shoulder.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak was at the end of the line, towards the western side of the road and could not see the approaching wagon train as easily as some of the others. As Khalin charged out with a roar and Zero slipped away into the darkness, the scribe moved towards the front of their own wagon to put himself in a better position.

[Move: SE, SE, E, E, E]

Content with where he stood he uttered a short pryaer to Pelor and readied himself for the battle ahead.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden was still looking at the very damp and very un-alight torch. So much for a cool start to a battle!

With a mighty hurl he threw the torch, javelin-like, at the nearest hobgoblin. It sailed over Khalin’s head and glanced off the leathery skin of the foul creature for no obvious damage or effect.

Tradden was already charging, however, and had whipped his other sword out. He crashed into the hobgoblin, narrowly missing the dwarven warlord next to him as he skidded into battle.

[Charge]

[Charge: NE, NE]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+12+1+2: 21] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 13] and [Bloodied] and [Marked]

Caught trying to protect itself from the dwarf’s onslaught, the hobgoblin couldn’t react quick enough to Tradden’s attack. Piercing the creature’s spear-arm with his longsword, the fighter drew a bloody line down the hobgoblin’s side.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Kireth considered the scene. He knew he didn’t quite fall under the category of ‘battle hardened’ but he was learning fast. He’d learnt not to expose himself unnecessarily, not to charge in, and when to hold back until you were sure of exactly what you were dealing with.

No, he would hold his line right here until the time was right. But, still, the hobgoblin right in his eyeline was too exposed to pass up.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1: 7]

The bolt shot through the trees and burst out onto the road over Tradden’s shoulder, catching the hobgoblin squarely in the chest. Its knees buckled for a moment, but it held its ground and raised its spear in defiance.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guard #01

There were shouts and cries from the hobgoblins, orders barked and oaths cursed. One of the guards, caught at the edge of Kireth’s electrical frenzy, span around and began to unhitch the large wormlike creature from the wagon behind, pointing his spear back towards the group at the other hobgoblins.

[Tactical Deployment]

[Close Burst 5]

[Each ally within the burst can shift up to 3 squares]

Within moments of the hobgoblin entourage being attacked they now started to move swiftly and surely, years of harsh training pushing them into action.

Even the guard that had borne the brunt of the group’s ire so far jumped into action, pushing bruisingly between Tradden and Khalin.

[Hobgoblin Guard #02 - Shift: W, …] - interrupted!

Tradden was having none of that, though, cutting down swiftly with his longsword as the brute tried to push him out of the way.

[Tradden: Combat Challenge]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+11: 19] - misses!

But the hobgoblin ducked under the swing and continued its manoeuvre.

[Hobgoblin Guard #02 - Shift: …, SW]

From the other side of the wagon more of the hobgoblin poured forth. There were no outrageous cries or wasted shouts, just cold, calculated moves.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03 - Shift: SW, SW, W]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #03 - Shift: SW, S, SW]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04 - Shift: SW, SW, SW]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05 - Shift: W, W, W]

The larger hobgoblin atop the boar slammed its staff into the side of the beast it rode and headed away from the fighter and dwarf and into the trees.

[Hobgoblin Warcaster and Dire Boar - Shift: SE, S, S]

With its orders successfully followed the guard levelled its spear and charged straight at Khalin with a guttural cry.

[Charge]

[Charge: SW, SW]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+1+2: 30 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 11] and [Marked]

The move caught Khalin by surprise and the spear clattered into the warlord’s shield and pushed through to crack against his chest.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guard #02

The dwarf had no time to recover, though, as the hobgoblin that had shifted behind him whirled around and thrust its spear at his back.

[Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+2+2-2: 21 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - misses!

There was no time for Khalin to dodge the blow and he readied himself for the onslaught of pain. However, from nowhere Tradden’s sword appeared deflecting the blow, the fighter not even looking in the direction of the hobgoblin. It took Khalin and the hobgoblin by surprise.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guard #03

Before the warlord could thank his luck the remaining guard from behind the wagon had started to bark out further orders and the hobgoblins were on the move once again.

[Tactical Deployment]

[Close Burst 5]

[Each ally within the burst can shift up to 3 squares]

The hobgoblin sentries spread out through the trees searching for the weakest foes.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #03 - Shift: W, W, W]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04 - Shift: W, W, W]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05 - Shift: W, W, W]

As the other hobgoblins streamed past the guard spotted the armoured dwarf and charged straight at its hated foe.

[Charge]

[Charge: W, W, W, W]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+1+2: 6 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - misses!

He was never too sure how he did it, but Khalin managed to raise his shield against this last attack, deflecting the spear to the side and gaining a moment’s respite.

Merely half a dozen seconds had passed and an advantageous position was now teetering at the edge of disaster.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero could see Khalin and Tradden were under pressure. If he could just take out the offending hobgoblin the pair could fight their way out. He took a shot and headed towards the safety of the trees.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+9+2: 15] - misses!

[Shift: N, NW]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 22] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies]

The bolt whistled harmlessly past and into the trees at the far side of the road. The safety of the trees beckoned and the rogue managed to slip unseen into the low branches.

Combat
Carrion Crawler

With a creak and a clatter the giant wormlike aberration pulled free of the long bamboo poles that held it to the wagon behind, leather straps undone by the hobgoblin. It reared for a moment and even in the poor light Tradden and Khalin could see it was immense. Over a dozen feet long and six or seven fat, a grey-green segmented body, partially slimy, partially scaled.

Atop its head were vicious looking mandibles and long searching feelers or tentacles. It hissed a foul breath towards the young fighter and held him with unnearthly black eyes before wriggling forwards towards him along the road.

[Move: SW, W, W]

As it closed in the tentacles stretched out, feeling for the fighter as though the eyes were blind. When they struck, though, they stung…

[Tentacles]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 24 vs Tradden’s Fortitude (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d4+5: 7] and [Ongoing 5 poison damage] and [Slowed]

The tentacles merely brushed against Tradden’s legs but they sent a shock of pain that numbed his limbs as a thick mucus soaked through his leathers.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin shrugged against the aches from the blows that had so quickly rained down on him, and mentally chastised himself for his haste in charging in. He’d come across hobgoblins a couple of times since arriving on the old continent but had not seen a group as well drilled and organised as this one. Clearly these were not common or garden greenies that might scatter at a war cry and a few hammer blows. That in itself brought dark thoughts once more at what might lie ahead at Kiris Dahn. Was this a vanguard for a much larger host, trained and disciplined at that?

Putting the disturbing speculation to one side for now, the dwarf stole a glance about, trying to gauge his opponents’ next move. Several enemies had moved into the trees to his right, but they would have to wait for now. Behind him another stifled a scream of pain as it clutched at its wound. Before him the giant bug loomed behind two more hobgobs.

‘One at a time,’ grumbled the dwarf as he raised his shield between Tradden and the giant maggot, and let his hammer swing at the adjacent hobgoblin that threatened the two of them.

[Shielded Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #01: 1d20+10: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 22] and [Bloodied]

[+2 AC to self and adjacent allies until end of next turn]

There was a satisfying crunch of breaking armour and bone as the hammer swing pushed through the hobgoblin’s defences and the creature let out a cry of pain.

Combat
Hobgoblin Sentries

The longsword-wielding hobgoblins were already sprinting through the trees and showed no sign of slowing down. With long measured strides they plunged through the undergrowth, heading straight for the isolated scribe Beltak.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #03 - Charge]

[Charge: W, SW, W]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+1: 29 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 6]

Beltak tried in vain to block with the haft of his mace, but the power and weight of the hobgoblin’s charge broke through his defences.

Where one hobgoblin sprinted through another followed.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04 - Charge]

[Charge: W, W, W]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+1: 16 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

This time Beltak managed to get his shield between him and the sharp edge of the blade.

The third of the remaining standing sentries followed his comrades, heading straight for the scribe.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #03 - Move: W, NW, W]

As the thing raised its sword ready to plunge towards Beltak, though, the hobgoblin atop the boar shouted an order, gesturing back towards the wagon, its attention lured by activity back on the road. There was no arguing, though, the sentry obeyed the order and turned back, rushing through the undergrowth towards the rear of the wagon.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #03 - Move: NE, NE, E, E, E, NE]

It seemed to gesticulate when it arrived there, but the meaning was lost in the dimness and through the greenery.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak had hobgoblins trying to flank him and was no master at close combat. With an ungainly shuffle he moved backwards, hoping to give himself a little room.

[Shift: W]

Slightly away from the hobgoblins he could now see Tradden and Khalin being sorely pressed. Beltak felt for his holy symbol and uttered a short prayer to Pelor

[Sacred Flame]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Sentry #03’s Reflex: 1d20+8: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+5: 8] and [Dead]

[Khalin gains 5 temporary hit points]

Radiant light burst from the cleric’s symbol, bathing the hobgoblin before him in a fiery light. Metal, leather and skin charred as one and the creature fell to its knees, and then to the floor. The light spread across to Khalin, this time a pale yellow rather than an angry red and the dwarf felt some of his aches and pains receed.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

The numbing sensation in Tradden’s legs continued to ache and throb, making the young fighter grimace.

[Carrion Crawler: Tentacles]

[Ongoing 5 poison damage]

‘Ah. A carrion crawler. Great.’ thought Tradden as he nursed his numb leg.

[Ignore Weakness]

[Saving Throw vs Poison: 1d20+5+1: 13] - success!

Stretching his toes out in a way that he recalled would combat the odd ache, Tradden was rewarded with a surge of life back into his lower limbs and he was fleet-footed once more!

Turning back to the actual danger itself he remembered how tricky an opponent these creatures could be and realised that despite the ominously organised appearance of the hobgoblins, the key to this battle could be taking down this beastie.

[Action Point]

[Tradden uses Khalin’s Bravura Presence]

[Villain’s Menace]

[Primary Attack vs Carrion Crawler: 1d20+12+3: 21] - misses!

[Marked]

[Tradden gains +1 to attack and +2 to damage Carrion Crawler until end of encounter]

[Khalin: Bravura Presence]

[Tradden grants Combat Advantage to Carrion Crawler until end of next turn]

At Khalin’s unspoken command, in a practised move Khalin faded one way and Tradden the other, both doing their bit to get the drop on the crawler. It would have been perfect too, had Khalin not faded left and Tradden… faded left. There was a coming together of hammer and sword and the same dwarven swear-word muttered in unison.

Tradden glanced around. The hobgoblins were all over the place, but in a structured and organised way.

Time to change all that.

‘Hey!’ he quipped in Khalin’s direction. ‘These hobgoblins look different to the last ones we slaughtered, they must be females of the species!’

[Come And Get It!]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #01’s Will: 1d20+12: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+3: 9] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02’s Will: 1d20+12: 15] - misses!

[Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03’s Will: 1d20+12: 27] - hits!

[Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Carrion Crawler’s Will: 1d20+12+1: 33] - critical hit!

[Damage: 1d8+3+2: 13] and [1d6: 6 critical frost damage] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Will: 1d20+12: 14] - misses!

[Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Dire Boar’s Will: 1d20+12: 19] - hits!

[Marked]

The taunt certainly seemed to have some effect, which was good. The more balled up the enemy were the more likely the magics of Kireth and Beltak would be able to affect more than one of them!

Realising this fight was only beginning, Tradden began to duck and weave, spin and slash. That might be the only way to keep these enemies at bay!

[Rain of Steel]

[Enemies starting turn adjacent to Tradden take 1[W] damage until stance ends]

‘Ah!’ Tradden commented to the warlord as they fought back-to-back, ‘nothing like an evening with the ladies!’

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The hobgoblin atop the boar took a long look at the young fighter, whirling and spinning his blades. The crawler would deal with him, the warcaster had other targets to skewer.

With a kick of its booted heels it made the boar squeal and the vicious beast started to paw at the ground in front of it. The hobgoblin tightened its grip on the coarse reins and the boar gave out a large grunt before picking up speed and charging to the east.

[Charge - Staff]

[Charge: W, W, W, W, …] - interrupted!

The hobgoblin appeared to ignore Beltak, concentrating its efforts on the black shadows behind the scribe, brandishing its staff aloft. Beltak thrust out his mace as it sped past him.

[Beltak: Melee Basic Attack - Mace]

[Opportunity Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+6: 21] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+1: 9]

The mace struck the quickly departing rear of the hobgoblin, nearly unsettling the rider, but it kept on going.

[Charge - Staff]

[Charge: …, W]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+1-2: 24 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+2: 4]

[Dire Boar: Rabid Charger - Gore]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+1-2: 21 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+4+5: 28] and [Push: NW, W] and [Knocked Prone] and [Bloodied]

The pair crashed into Kireth sending the mage hurtling back through the trees to land unceromoniously on his backside in the mud, winded and dazed.

Combat
Kireth Majere

For a moment Kireth didn’t have a clue where he was, then the world swam back into focus and the pain hit him like a sledgehammer… again.

His hand moved to where it hurt most, his ribs. Cracked, maybe broken. He tried to get up and quickly sucked in air as the pain jolted him like a lightning bolt. Taking a different route he rolled onto his front, slowly pushing to his knees and then, with the aid of his staff, to his feet.

[Move: Stand]

The boar and rider were but a short distance away. Tradden was at hand but he couldn’t yet count on him keeping the foe away. He had to buy some time to recoup, perhaps give the healer the opportunity to show some worth.

It might be enough.

[Shadow Claws]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar’s Fortitude: 1d20+5: 7] - misses!

[Dire Boar will take damage if moves on next turn]

Wisps of shadow blew up from the ground like a rising morning mist to surround the trotters of the snorting boar. They did not grip, clasp or freeze the animal as Kireth had hoped, but at least they might give it something to think about should it try and charge once more.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The hobgoblins surrounding Khalin and Tradden sneered at the pair, circling and brandishing their spears. They seemed to save their disdain for the dwarf the most, but could not help but be irked by the flambouyant blades of the fighter.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Guard #01: Damage: 1d8: 3]

[Hobgoblin Guard #02: Damage: 1d8: 7]

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Damage: 1d8: 1]

Despite their wariness they could not avoid the young fighter’s blades, however, and all of them suffered the nicks and slices of the flashing blades.

Barked commands passed between the three as they weighed up their options and choices.

[Hobgoblin Guard #01: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 2] - failure!

[Hobgoblin Guard #02: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 2] - failure!

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 2] - failure!

None of them appeared to have the tactical edge they desired, so switching their attention onto the human, they launched their attacks, one by one.

[Hobgoblin Guard #01: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 26 vs Tradden’s AC (21+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 13] and [Marked]

The first plunged its spear into Tradden’s midriff, holding the young fighter with a leering gaze, taunting him, just as Tradden had taunted it.

[Hobgoblin Guard #02: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+2: 32 vs Tradden’s AC (21+2)] - critical hit!

[Damage: 2d8+4+2: 22] and [Bloodied]

As the first spear struck the second hobgoblin darted in from the rear and thrust its weapon into Tradden’s exposed back. There was a sickly sound as flesh was pierced and a thin spurt of blood cascaded down the fighter’s armour.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+2: 17 vs Tradden’s AC (21+2)] - misses!

Despite the pain, Tradden managed to ward off the final attack with a skillfully placed shortsword, but the flurry of blows left him reeling.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero braced himself and took aim at the hobgoblin guard he’d narrowly missed. ‘OK, you lucky little bugger,’ he whispered, ‘let’s try that again…’

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1+2: 9] plus [2d8: 5 sneak damage] and [Dead]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 24] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies]

This time the bolt thudded into the armoured back of the hobgoblin, puncturing the thick woollen cloak and the scale mail beneath. It did not take long for the creature to sink to its knees and to slip face down into the mud of the road at Tradden’s feet.

Combat
Carrion Crawler

The wormlike creature did not seem to be hindered by Tradden’s flashing blades, paying the steel little attention as it focused on paralysing its prey. As it moved in for the kill on the wounded fighter the blades cut deep.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Carrion Crawler: Damage: 1d8+2: 10]

Its mandibles clicked together in a threatening posture before it stretched out its tendrils to sting and subdue the fresh meat before it.

[Tentacles]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 23 vs Tradden’s Fortitude (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d4+5: 8] and [Ongoing 5 poison damage] and [Slowed]

The tentacles wrapped around Tradden’s sword-arm and the shock of the touch nearly made him drop his sword to the ground. A weakness overcame him and he felt sluggish and weak.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

‘Rust and ruin!’ cursed Khalin as he watched his friend take the brunt of the latest attack. He turned back to the giant worm before him and raised his hammer aloft.

‘These gobbos haven’t yet learned to fear the Krakens!’ he shouted, his voice ringing out loud between the trees. ‘Time to show them their folly!’

[Stand the Fallen]

[Primary Attack vs Carrion Crawler: 1d20+10: 14] - misses!

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 12+3: 15 hit points]

[Kireth is no longer Bloodied]

[Last Legion Officer: Kireth gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 15+3: 18 hit points]

[Last Legion Officer: Tradden gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

[Beltak spends a Healing Surge and regains 11+3: 14 hit points]

[Last Legion Officer: Beltak gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

The warlord swung mightily at the crawler, but the blow glanced off its hide and the creature was unmoved.

‘Up and at ‘em, lad!’ he urged Tradden.

[Inspiring Word]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+15: 23 hit points]

[Tradden is no longer Bloodied]

Not wasting a moment to lament his luck, the dwarf swung again, hoping to draw the thing’s attention away from his comrade and perhaps give Tradden a chance to strike back…

[Action Point]

[Provoke Overextension]

[Primary Attack vs Carrion Crawler: 1d20+10: 16] - misses!

The swing was wild again, though, and it too bounced off the wormlike aberration’s hide.

Combat
Hobgoblin Sentries

The hobgoblin nearest Beltak threatened the scribe with its longsword, poking and prodding at him. It moved closer, trying to flank Beltak with the threat of the boar and the warcaster behind him.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Shift: NW]

The hobgoblin was close enough to strike and brought the blade across in an arc aimed at the priest’s head.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10-2: 26 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 6]

Beltak tried to dodge back but the longsword cut across his face, drawing a thin line of blood.

Through the trees, by the back of the hobgoblins’ wagon the remaining sentry was seemingly animated. Suddenly, another figure appeared from the back of the wagon, perhaps humanoid, rushing quickly eastwards and away. With a vicious slice at its legs the hobgoblin cut the figure down before another figure appeared, this one more hesitant.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak jerked back from the sentry, nursing the cut on his face. He feinted one way and then withdrew a little to give himself more room to act.

[Shift: N]

Free from the attentions of the sentry Beltak held out his holy symbol and began intoning a prayer to Pelor. Within moments a vibrant blue pulse of light threw itself outwards, covering everything within more than a dozen feet of him.

[Beacon of Hope]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Will: 1d20+8: 18] - hits!

[Weakened]

[Burst Attack vs Dire Boar’s Will: 1d20+8: 20] - hits!

[Weakened]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Sentry #04’s Will: 1d20+8: 24] - hits!

[Weakened]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #01’s Will: 1d20+8: 17] - misses!

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03’s Will: 1d20+8: 14] - misses!

[Burst Attack vs Carrion Crawler’s Will: 1d20+8: 18] - hits!

[Weakened]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Will: 1d20+8: 20] - hits!

[Weakened]

[Khalin regains 5 hit points]

[Tradden regains 5 hit points]

The large worm shuddered as the blue wave cascaded across it, as did the hobgoblin atop the boar. The other guards, however, seemed unpeturbed. To Tradden and Khalin the wave was a warm caress and their wounds closed instantly at its touch.

Beltak turned to find Kireth, the mage staggering in the trees. With a word he sent the grace of Pelor to the half-elf.

[Healing Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+12+5+4: 27 hit points]

His strength returning, the mage smiled and gripped his staff tightly.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

The cold and tingling in Tradden’s arm grew, slowly moving up to his shoulder.

[Carrion Crawler: Tentacles]

[Ongoing 5 poison damage]

Tradden’s attention was on the enemies right in front of him. Feeling better due to the ministrations of Khalin and Beltak he lunged at the nearest hobgoblin, looking to finish off the clearly injured fiend!

[Cleave]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #01: 1d20+12: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 14] and [Marked]

[Carrion Crawler takes 4 splash damage]

Whether it was the hobgoblin’s strength, or Tradden’s weakening arm he was not sure, but the hobgoblin managed to stay on its feet much to the young fighter’s surprise.

[Saving Throw vs Slowed: 1d20+1: 2] - critical failure!

[Tradden is Immobilized]

The exertions of the battle were already starting to take their toll and the fighter couldn’t shake off the gnawing weakness which pulled at his already heavy limbs.

As the pain reached his shoulder and neck it grew worse, ice running through his limbs. He did not feel sluggish any longer, he felt rooted to the spot.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The hobgoblin atop the dire boar brandished its staff in fury, waving it in a circle above its head.

With an emphatic gesture it cast the staff down and a blast of sound rang out as it struck Beltak.

[Shock Staff]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 28 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+5: 20] and [Dazed]

[Damage reduced to 10 due to Weakened]

The scribe was left reeling and the hobgoblin urged the boar to move off to the west whilst Beltak was incapacitated.

[Move: SW, W, W, W, W, W]

As it moved off, the thin wisps of shadow left from Kireth’s last spell gripped tightly at the boar’s trotters.

[Kireth: Shadow Claws]

[Dire Boar takes 2+4: 6 damage]

The boar snarled and managed to tear through the shadows.

It whirled about, the boar pawing at the ground and snorting, ready for another charge.

[Saving Throw vs Weakened: 1d20: 1] - critical failure!

[Dire Boar: Saving Throw vs Weakened: 1d20: 16] - success!

Combat
Kireth Majere

The mage observed the boar dip its head in preparation of the charge and lowered his own in acknowledgement. ‘I will not,’ he slammed the butt of his staff into the ground firmly, ‘go down,’ the electricity began to whip up and swirl about him, ‘to a pig!’

The end of the mage’s staff glowed brightly, lighting the forest around him before the force could be contained no more and the ball of light shot forth towards the tusked beast.

[Force Orb]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 18] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+5: 18]

[Secondary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+5: 7] and [Bloodied]

It exploded on the beast’s tusk, ripping its muzzle to shreds, but the thing was made of hardy stuff and simply let out a defiant bellow. The hobgoblin mounted upon it fared worse, though, catching the shreds of force that sparked up from the boar, tearing into its skin and drawing a number of sharp cuts where thick red blood oozed out onto its armour.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The pair of hobgoblins around Tradden and Khalin tried their best to ignore their comrades’ bodies at their feet and the wounds closing on the young fighter before their eyes. The first was weak and pale, blood dripping, his jaw open and panting. The last looked hale and healthy. They still tried to advance, trying to duck under Tradden’s wicked sword thrusts.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Guard #01: Damage: 1d8: 7] and [Dead]

The first took cuts as it encroached Tradden’s circle. A telling blow that sent it spiralling to the floor.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 1] - failure!

The second was distracted by its comrade’s fall and had no time to utter any orders to those that remained before it needed to spring into action of its own.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 20 vs Khalin’s AC (22)] - misses!

Khalin pushed out his shield at the hobgoblin’s clumsy thrust, knocking it to one side.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero peered out from behind the tree cautiously. With Tradden and Khalin managing to cut down hobgoblins at will the rogue decided to pick off the isolated one on its pet boar. With a flash he let off a bolt and swiftly tried to get behind the tree once more.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #02: 1d20+9+2: 17] - misses!

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 16] - failure!

The bolt whistled harmlessly past the hobgoblin’s shoulder and the creature turned around to see Zero scampering into the low branches. The rogue’s legs poked out, though, and a toothy smile spread across the hobgoblin’s lips.

Combat
Carrion Crawler

The carrion crawler’s stench began to grow as it became more and more agitated with the glint of Tradden’s swords in its dark unblinking eyes.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Carrion Crawler: Damage: 1d8+2: 8] and [Bloodied]

It appeared mesmerised by the blades and could not avoid the shortsword when it struck against the underside of its neck opening a large wound. Its mandibles clicked furiously and it lunged forwards at the young fighter.

[Bite]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+12: 26 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+4: 18]

[Damage reduced to 9 due to Weakened]

It grabbed Tradden’s already numb arm and clamped down, but to the fighter’s relief it did not hurt as much as he thought it was going to.

[Saving Throw vs Weakened: 1d20: 15] - success!

With a hiss it reared back, ready for another strike.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin regarded his craghammer for a moment, raising an eyebrow suspiciously for an instant at its ineffectiveness thus far, before returning his full attention to the enemies about.

‘Come on, lassie,’ he muttered to the weapon, and swung once more at the hobgoblin to his right, which still looked almost unscratched by the melee…

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+10: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 15]

Khalin’s swing clattered into the hobgoblin’s elbow, but the creature was tough, taking and reeling with the blow before bringing its spear back up in defiance.

Combat
Hobgoblin Sentries

The closest of the three sentries, next to Beltak, swung around with its sword at the scribe, trying to catch the priest whilst he was concentrating on healing the others.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+2: 28 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 6]

[Damage reduced to 3 due to Weakened]

The sword cut skittered over Beltak’s shield and along his upper arm. It wasn’t deep to the scribe’s relief, but the hobgoblin quickly ducked and moved to the north.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Shift: N]

The other sentry, far across to the east, moved swiftly to cut down another figure from the wagon.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05: Move: NE]

It rounded on the back of the wagon, brandishing its sword.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04 Saving Throw vs Weakened: 1d20: 20] - success!

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak was in a bit of a whirl. He’d managed to use the grace of Pelor to heal his friends, but the blast from the warcaster’s staff had left him reeling.

The hobgoblin next to him was strong, but for now Beltak had to try and help the others get rid of the strange worm-like creature so they could assist the others. Without fear for himself he kept his holy symbol raised and uttered another prayer to his god.

[Light of Arvandor]

[Burst 1 centred on Khalin] with [Damage: 1d8+5: 9] - interrupted!

The sentry saw the scribe become still and start to chant, taking the opportunity to attack.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Opportunity Attack: 1d20+10+2: 23 vs Beltak’s AC(19)] - hits!

[Damage: 6] and [Bloodied]

It cut down on Beltak’s arm opening a deep cut, but the priest continued his chant almost without noticing. As he finished a web of gleaming strands cascaded down from the night sky, cutting into the guard and the aberration.

[Light of Arvandor]

[Burst 1 centred on Khalin] with [Damage: 1d8+5: 9]

[Burst Attack vs Carrion Crawler’s Will: 1d20+8: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 9]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03’s Will: 1d20+8: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 9]

[Khalin and Tradden gain +2 AC until end of Beltak’s next turn]

The stands of web settled on Khalin and Tradden, too, but instead of pain they found strength and resolve.

[Saving Throw vs Dazed: 1d20+1: 18] - success!

Clarity returned to the scribe and all at once he noticed the pain in his arm.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

With the enemies around him just starting to thin it was only at this point that Tradden noticed the hobgoblin near the cart apparently cutting down someone of something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good!

Without a thought for his own safety the fighter started to run around the carrion crawler, ducking and dodging tentacles heroically before charging over the ground between it and the hobgoblin and lopping off the greenskin’s head with contemptuous ease!

Well, that is what would have happened had Tradden’s legs singularly failed to work at all. They remained completely still, as if rooted to the ground.

‘What the…?’

As if on cue a sliver of shooting pain ran up from his legs through his veins, causing him to grimace in pain.

[Carrion Crawler: Tentacles]

[Ongoing 5 poison damage]

‘Right, fine!’ spat the fighter, instead focusing on the beast in front of him, swinging round his frost-edged long sword at the thing’s head!

[Surprising Stab]

[Primary Attack vs Carrion Crawler’s Reflex: 1d20+12+1: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 4] and [Grants Combat Advantage] and [Marked]

[Secondary Attack vs Carrion Crawler: 1d20+11+1+2: 32] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+7+2: 20]

It was a trademark feint from the human fighter. As the beast looked to defend against the longsword, the shortsword was coming in from the other side and Tradden had the satisfaction of feeling the tell-tale soft resistance of a hit into flesh. The thing seemed to squeal in pain, or possibly anger, and waved a tendril at the fighter.

‘Ah, shut up!’ was the reply as Tradden lopped off said tendril at its mid-point.

[Saving Throw vs Immobilized: 1d20+1: 5] - failure!

[Tradden is Stunned]

The feel-good factor soon faded however. Tradden felt a clammy sensation all over his body before a tightening of all his muscles. Suddenly, he was unable to move — frozen in mid twirl!

‘Ugh, ohh…’

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The warcaster looked at the bloody scribe, gripping the reins of its boar-steed tightly. The frail human would wait, he was besieged by one of the sentries and would be quick to fall. It turned its head towards the hateful mage and kicked ruthlessly at the sides of the boar, its staff held out before it.

[Shock Staff]

[Recharge: 1d6: 5] - success!

It began to utter a short arcane phrase and pointed the staff between the mage and the now-visible rogue.

[Force Pulse]

[Close Blast 5 bottom-left at I9] with [Damage: 2d8+5: 16]

[Damage reduced to 8 due to Weakened]

[Blast Attack: 1d20+9: 26 vs Kireth’s Reflex (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 8] and [Pushed NE] and [Knocked Prone]

[Blast Attack: 1d20+9: 24 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 8] and [Pushed NE] and [Knocked Prone]

The shock wave hit the mage and the rogue in an instant, bowling them backwards and over.

The warcaster waited only a moment, before digging in its heels and roaring at the boar.

[Action Point]

The boar responded with a snort of its own and charged towards the prostrate mage.

[Charge - Staff]

[Charge: NE, NE, NE]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+1+2: 28 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+2: 3]

[Damage reduced to 1 due to Weakened]

[Dire Boar: Rabid Charger - Gore]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+1+2: 31 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+4+5: 23] and [Push: NE] and [Bloodied]

The warcaster’s staff struck Kireth on the shoulder but caused little pain. The boar, however, drove in its tusks into the mage’s midriff, rolling Kireth backwards and into a low bluff where the wind blasted out of him.

Thin trickles of dark blood seeped from the mage’s nose.

[Saving Throw vs Weakened: 1d20: 13] - success!

The warcaster roared with pleasure and levelled its staff at the hapless Zero, looking up from the dirt.

‘You next,’ the hobgoblin rasped in broken Common.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Pulling his hand from the wound, he held it before his face. It was bad. Covered red and even the linings of his robe’s wrist area was soaked through. He felt woozy and his breathing was now coming in short, sharp, rasping breaths.

His head swimming he looked around the tree line. The canopy of the wood was casting eerie shadows about. Shadows that were watching him intently, smiling… waiting.

[Move: Stand]

‘No!’ he shouted. ‘It is not time yet.’ Defying the pain he rose from the ground and with firm command called out, ‘You will have to sate your hunger on this.’

The mage reached out his blood-smeared hand towards the boar and clasped the air before him. ‘Now YOU will feel my pain.’

[Spectral Ram]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar’s Fortitude: 1d20+9: 29] - critical hit!

[Critical Damage: 2d10+5: 25] plus [1d6: 5 critical radiant damage] and [Push: SW, SW, SW] and [Knocked Prone] and [Bloodied]

[Hobgoblin Warcaster pushed SW, SW and Knocked Prone]

For a moment nothing seemed to happen except for a darkening of the forest at Kireth’s back. But the mage appeared to be in control, raising his hand slowly as he grasped his fist tightly. A smile cut across his lips and he jerked the fist upwards. The hobgoblin was catapulted off the back of the boar, tumbling away behind, as the hapless porcine was slammed into the branches of the tree some twenty feet above.

With another punched gesture the boar flew backwards, tumbling end over end over the top of the hobgoblin to lie squealing in the mud of the road beyond.

Kireth slowly lowered his fist.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The last remaining guard looked over at the sentry next to Beltak, shouting orders at it.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 3] - failure!

The other hobgoblin failed to respond, though, so the guard changed tack, moving across to stand next to the sentry, pulling up its shield and trying to get into formation.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03 - Shift: W]

With its comrade at its back it thrust out at Khalin with its spear.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 29 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 18] and [Marked]

The warlord was concentrating on the carrion crawler rearing up behind him and the estrangled cries of Tradden, and was slow to respond to the thrust.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero gathered his wits and his breath before quickly scrambling forwards on all fours to get behind the tree.

[Crawl: S, S]

He was distraught over the way the mud and pine needles stuck to his embroidered tunic and almost stopped to brush himself down. The unnearthly sound of the worm-like creature and the cries and clashes of battle brought him round, though, and he lay still, aiming his crossbow at the warcaster now laid upon the road, moaning.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+9+2-2: 13] - misses!

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 17] - failure!

The bolt stuck in the stock, weighed down by a thick glob of mud from the ground where Zero had crawled. The rogue growled with disgust and slammed the crossbow into the ground to free the bolt. It shot up into the tree, giving his position away.

Combat
Carrion Crawler

The carrion crawler’s tentacles twitched, hovering above the stiffening Tradden, its mouth agape and dripping with a silvery saliva. Mandibles clicked before it turned its head slowly towars Khalin, ready for its next victim.

With one of its prey now subdued, and perhaps ready to eat later, it turned its attention to the dwarf, casting out its tentacles in an effort to subdue the warlord as well.

[Tentacles]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10-2: 27 vs Khalin’s Fortitude (17)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d4+5: 11] and [Ongoing 5 poison damage] and [Slowed]

Khalin tried to brush off the strange creature’s assault, but the tentacles lurched and swayed before striking him square on the chest. A cold numbness grew and his legs began to ache.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

The ache in Khalin’s legs turned swiftly to pain, slowing his movements are he turned to face the aberration with a grimace.

[Carrion Crawler: Tentacles]

[Ongoing 5 poison damage]

Tradden had shaped to make a run for the wagon behind the melee, but the crawling monstrosity had put paid to that for now at least. But looking beyond Khalin too could see some sort of commotion.

‘There’s definitely something afoot,’ he mused, more to himself than anyone else, but the crash of battle behind him brought his focus back to more immediate matters. He’d heard Kireth’s groan of pain, before a tremendous clatter that could only be the half-elf’s riposte.

‘You don’t want to be riling our wizard y’know!’ he challenged the enemies about. ‘And never mind a man of the gods!’ he added, his voice rising to a roar, lifting both Kireth and Beltak and their allies about.

[Stand Tough]

[Khalin regains 10+3: 13 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

[Kireth regains 10+3: 13 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

[Tradden regains 10+3: 13 hit points]

[Zero regains 10+3: 13 hit points]

[Beltak regains 10+3: 13 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

With that he set about the giant crawler once more, his craghammer looping round gracefully as his words rang out, accelerating as it arced back towards the beast. This time Khalin muttered under his breath, invoking his magic bracers to augment the strike…

[Flame Bracers]

[Next time hit with an atack deal extra fire damage]

[Warlord’s Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Carrion Crawler: 1d20+10-2: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 13] plus [1d6: 5 flame bracers damage] and [Dead]

The hammer came round and cracked against the side of the aberration’s skull, cracking through the mandible and shattering its jaw. The flames that followed engulfed its head and the thing went down in a smoking hulk, crashing to the floor in a heap.

[Saving Throw vs Slowed: 1d20+5: 24] - success!

With a roar the feeling returned to Khalin’s chest and legs and he whirled around ready to face the next foe with pride.

Combat
Hobgoblin Sentries

The hobgoblin next to Beltak seemed oblivious to the carrion crawler’s demise, transfixed with the scribe’s actions. The human appeared not to be paying it much attention, so it drove the longsword in on Beltak’s side.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #04: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 16 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

The scribe saw the sword thrust at the last moment and defly moved to one side to avoid the blow.

The other sentry, over by the wagon, seemed content with its work, bodies lay strewn at its feet. Looking back at the main group, it lifted its sword once more, and charged through the undergrowth.

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05 - Move: SW, SW, W, NW]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05: Charge - Longsword]

[Charge Attack: 1d20+10+1: 24 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 6] and [Bloodied]

The momentum of the hobgoblin brought it through Khalin’s defences and the dwarf took a nasty wound to his side.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak staggered back, away from the hobgoblins around him, trying to clear an area for him to work effectively.

[Shift: W]

With the freedom to act he continued to hold out his symbol, chanting all of the while to Pelor, before a radiant light burst from his hands and exploded against the nearest enemy.

[Sacred Flame]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Sentry #04’s Reflex: 1d20+8: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+5: 9] and [Dead]

[Tradden may make a Saving Throw]

The hobgoblin was catapulted backwards into the scrub and the radiant light bounced off towards Tradden. The young fighter felt the warmth of Pelor’s light despite the cold numbness that covered his body.

[Tradden Saving Throw vs Stunned: 1d20+1: 5] - failure!

The warmth was short-lived, however, and the swordsman remained held fast.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

The poison from the now-dead worm still ran virulent across Tradden’s skin, numbing his senses.

[Carrion Crawler: Tentacles]

[Ongoing 5 poison damage]

Tradden’s elation at having seen his friends cut down two of the enemy and give them the advantage of numbers was quickly neutralised by the recurrence of shooting pains throughout his body.

That said, did he feel a little… could he just… was it possible he could now…

[Tradden Saving Throw vs Stunned: 1d20+1: 11] - success!

‘Ah HA!’ he yelled triumphantly as he finally felt the warmth of Pelor take effect. Slowly but surely he shook his arms and legs back into working order again.

‘Tch,now, now,’ he chided Khalin and Beltak, ‘no need to be greedy. Leave some for me!’

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The warcaster rolled over gingerly in the road and gradually got up onto its knees and then up on its feet.

[Move: Stand]

Shaking its head and looking around it noticed the boar wallowing in the mud, its legs in the air. With a fierce shout, the warcaster berated the beast gesturing intently towards Beltak and the prostrate Zero.

It then turned around back towards Kireth, the mage still smiling at the hobgoblin.

[Force Pulse]

[Recharge: 1d6: 1] - failure!

It raised its staff, aiming the butt at Kireth, and uttered some arcane words.

[Force Bolt]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+9: 28 vs Kireth’s Reflex (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+5: 15] and [Slide: SE, SE, SE] and [Bloodied]

A white bolt of crackling energy leapt from the end of the hobgoblin’s staff and flew towards Kireth, a tendril of light connecting the bolt to the staff. Kireth tried to get his staff in between him and the bolt, but to no avail, it struck him in the chest and held fast, blowing the wind out of him and crushing his already tender ribs.

The hobgoblin swung its staff to the right in a sharp motion and the bolt dragged Kireth through the low branches and threw him almost to the feet of the hobgoblin guard.

Combat
Dire Boar

The boar ungainly rolled over and got to its feet with a snort.

[Move: Stand]

Shaking its head it bellowed out another snort and lowered its head in the direction of Beltak. Pawing the ground, it began its charge, only veering at the last second when it spied the prostrate form of the rogue.

[Charge]

[Charge: E, E, NE, E, E]

[Charge Attack: 1d20+11+1+2: 34 vs Zero’s AC (19)] - critical hit!

[Critical Damage: 2d10+9+5: 34] and [Push: NE, NE] and [Bloodied]

The tusks dug into Zero’s side, puncturing the skin even through his leather armour. With a heave the boar lifted the rogue up and tossed him through the undergrowth and the rogue landed with a crack, a collarbone or perhaps ribs broken.

Combat
Kireth Majere

For a moment Kireth, laying on his back once again, wondered if it was worth the effort getting up. He hadn’t been knocked down this many times since he first joined the college and was forced to play ‘Pig Skins’. Hmm, they laughed at him then but didn’t laugh quite so much when their post-match bath ‘accidentally’ froze solid with all, bar Kireth, in it. Still, he considered as he looked about him from the prone position, at least he was with his colleagues now and not so much exposed on his own.

[Move: Stand]

With a certain degree of resignation he rose once again. Through the brambles and branches he could make out the goblin caster. It was by no means a clear line of sight but not all things required this… no, not all things.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1+2: 9]

The bolt of force struck the hobgoblin in the chest, wiping the smile off its face. It looked dazed and badly injured now, wobbling slightly on its last legs.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The remaining guard quickly scanned the group of bodies in the centre of the melee.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Tactical Deployment]

[Recharge: 1d6: 3] - failure!

It did not take any time to bark out orders or command the others. Their numbers were down and it was now all about survival. It needed to protect the warcaster, though, so turned its attention from the loathesome dwarf and onto the exposed back of the magic user within this human party, drawing back its spear and thrusting it into Kireth’s back.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 27 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 7] and [Marked]

The spear cut through the mage’s robes and scraped along his back, but to Kireth’s relief it failed to puncture any vital organs.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero stayed low in the mud, his belly settling in a large mud patch. With a flourish he let of another bolt, this time at the boar, before rolling over and over into the nearest undergrowth.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar: 1d20+9: 19] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1: 5]

[Shift: SW, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 32] - success!

The bolt spiralled into the boar’s side and it grunted in alarm. Zero took the opportunity to roll quickly behind the tree and slipped into the shadows.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin could hear the rasp of Kireth’s laboured breathing behind him. This battle needed finishing and fast.

‘Don’t fall now,’ he called over his shoulder. ‘They’re just getting a taste for your lightning bolts!’

[Inspiring Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+12: 17 hit points]

With that he turned to his right and lashed at the hobgoblin guard with his craghammer…

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+10: 12] - misses!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 15]

The swing was tired, though, and the hammer plunged into the mud by the hobgoblin’s feet, sending up a wet and filthy spray.

Combat
Hobgoblin Sentries

The remaining sentry looked in glee as the dwarf turned to attack its comrade. In one short movement the warlord had slammed his hammer down into the mud and his back was exposed. The sentry swung its longsword down in an arc that would surely cleave Khalin in two.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Sentry #05: Damage: 1d8: 8]

The hobgoblin’s smile was wiped off its face literally as Tradden’s swinging sword came around and lopped off its head before it had time to strike the dwarf.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak wasted no time in swinging his mace at the oncoming boar, muttering another prayer to Pelor under his breath, hoping that he would not suffer the same fate as Zero.

[Healing Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar: 1d20+6: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+1: 10]

[Zero spends a Healing Surge and regains 13+4+5: 22 hit points]

[Zero is no longer Bloodied]

The scribe then stepped backwards, away from the boar’s menacing tusks.

[Shift: E]

Stood next to Kireth the scribe began to chant once more. A sharp pain took what little breath Kireth had left out of his lungs, but then a warm tingling sensation passed through the mage as strength returned and the pain subsided.

[Healing Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+12+5+4: 30 hit points]

[Kireth is no longer Bloodied]

With a loud exhale Beltak bravely raised his shield against the boar and waited for its attack.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Looking around there were a selection of targets, each suggesting different reasons for being attacked.

In the end Tradden made a decision and stuck with it, deciding to try and end the threat of enemy magics in this battle.

[Move: W, SW, W, W, W]

Starting slowing and picking his way through trees and over prostrate rogues, the fighter ended by cannoning into the dazed-looking hobgoblin magi.

[Charge]

[Charge: SW, SW]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+12+1: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 12] and [Dead]

The weakened hobgoblin tried to hold up it staff to ward off the attack but to no avail. The human ran it through with its long, frosted blade!

Combat
Dire Boar

The boar squealed and turned about as it heard the final death throes of the warcaster. With a snorted bellow it pawed the ground and set off at speed with tusks down at the back of Tradden.

[Furious Charge]

[Charge: W, W]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+1: 25 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+4+5: 20] and [Bloodied] and [Pushed W, W] and [Prone]

The young fighter barely had time to turn before the boar caught his legs and tossed him into the air. A long bloody gash opened up on his left thigh as he was catapulted along the road, landing face down in the dirt with a cry.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The inspiring words and healing gifts of his comrades had the desired effect, Kireth’s strength and sharpness returned.

This fight was won. There was now only one possible outcome. The boar could be forgiven for not realising this but surely the remaining guard knew where the chips lay, the question was how strong was his desire to live? Surrender or flee were the only possible options that produced the ‘live’ result. Meh, the others could worry about that.

With an awkward step he moved away from the hobgoblin.

[Shift: NW]

The guard had done a fine job of unsteadying Kireth and his next move would be hindered, but, though his physical actions could be affected, Kireth’s mental sharpness was another thing. A mere flick of the mage’s wrist sent death towards the boar.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Dire Boar] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1+2: 9] and [Dead]

The bolt hit the boar directly on it’s rump, shattering its pelvis. The thing squealed once, loudly, before slumping to the floor.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The remaining guard had no allies left, its comrades silent and lifeless in the mud at its feet. It would not surrender, though, not today. With a feint aimed at taking the dwarf by surprise it lowered its guard before springing back into action and jabbing at Khalin with its spear.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03: Melee Basic Attack - Spear]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10: 24 vs Khalin’s AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 15] and [Marked]

The thrust pierced at Khalin’s already bloodied side and the dwarf growled under his beard.

With another feint the hobgoblin managed to get the dwarf to raise his shield, and at that moment it took the opportunity to run.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03 - Move: ...] - interrupted!

The warlord was not caught off guard enough, however, and Khalin swung his hammer at the retreating foe.

[Khalin: Opportunity Attack - Craghammer]

[Opportunity Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+10: 16] - misses!

It was too late though as the hammer tasted only fresh air behind the departing enemy.

[Hobgoblin Guard #03 - Move: SE, SE, E, SE, E, E]

The hobgoblin rapidly disappeared into the trees.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

There was an encouraging grumble from the rogue, something about ‘roast pork tonight’, followed by a roll and a spring to his feet.

[Move: Stand]

With a smile on his face he let fly with the crossbow…

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+9: 11] - misses!

[Shift: SE, SE]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 24] - success!

Another shot thudded into the trunk of a nearby tree, but it didn’t appear to dampen the enthusiasm of the rogue who’s stomach started to rumble in anticipation of his next meal, thoughts of his aching ribs and muddy garments almost forgotten.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

One to go then, and despite all the martial posturing with its comrades of earlier the greenie had soon returned to type and turned its tail and fled. The dwarf steeled himself before setting off in pursuit.

[Dwarven Resilience]

[Khalin spends a Healing Surge and regains 14 hit points]

[Khalin gains +2 to all defences until start of next turn]

The loss of blood made the warlord feel weak, and his last swings had been laboured and ineffective. Nevertheless he soon closed on the remaining guard, legs pumping, hammer raised ready to crash into his opponent.

[Charge]

[Charge: SE, SE, SE, SE, E]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+10+1: 13] - misses!

Despite attacking from the hobgoblin’s rear the warlord found the mud and roots of the trees difficult to navigate and the final swing was a way off the mark.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak was torn between the compassionate action of letting the hobgoblin go and the rational one of cutting it down. Khalin had burst into the trees, but the scribe could see the creature still stood.

With a sigh he started a long loping run through the trees to try to aid the dwarf.

[Run: SE, E, E, E, SE, SE, E]

[Beltak grants Combat Advantage]

Closing in on the hobgoblin, Beltak began a soft chant, and his holy symbol began to flare with a golden radiant energy.

[Solar Enemy]

[Close Burst 2 centered on Beltak]

[Hobgoblin Guard #03 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage]

The light spread out from the scribe covering the hobgoblin which had to shield its eyes against the brightness.

The cleric did not end there, though, continuing his chants and a crackling web of light began to spring from the mud and thorny underbrush around him, swamping both Khalin’s and the hobgoblin’s legs in an eerie glow.

[Consecrated Ground]

[Close Burst 1 centered on Beltak]

The effect did not seem too apparent to begin with, but Khalin could already feel its warmth, whilst the hobgolin looked uncomfortable.

The scribe continued to chant.

[Action Point]

[Beltak uses Khalin’s Bravura Presence]

Beltak steeled himself as he raised the symbol up and thrust it out towards the hobgoblin’s face. A beam of brilliant light shot out and exploded against the creature.

[Lance of Faith]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03’s Reflex: 1d20+8: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5: 10] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Bloodied]

[Khalin: Bravura Presence]

[Beltak can make an additional Melee Basic Attack]

The strike knocked the hobgoblin back and buoyed by his success and the roaring Khalin the scribe followed through with a swipe from his mace.

[Melee Basic Attack - Mace]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03: 1d20+6: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+1: 7]

Combat
Tradden Aversward

‘Not another one!?’ spat Tradden as he hauled himself up of the floor slowly.

[Move: Stand]

The thought of another chase through woods after a fleeing foe brought a shudder throughout his whole body, and the fighter set off at best speed to try and catch up with the throng now heading east.

[Run: SE, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

Combat
Kireth Majere

Kireth continued to dust himself off, conscious of the pain flowing from his ribs regardless of the ministrations of the scribe. The hobgoblin had set off at speed, but this time the mage would not follow. He would not lower himself to scampering through the trees once again. Even if it survived, he knew he would be able to find it eventually.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Guard #03] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1+2: 9]

With another flick of his wrist another bolt sped through the treeline and slammed into the hobgoblin’s chest. It took the wind out of it and it sank to one knee.

Combat
Hobgoblin Guards

The hobgoblin tried to stand, breathing heavily, but the intricate lattice of radiant light spread out around Beltak held it fast.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Damage: 1d6+2: 4] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Dead]

With a final exhale the creature slumped downwards into the light and became still.

Combat
Completed

CO

[Combat Encounter Completed]

Combat
Short Rest

XP

Healing Surges

Healing Surges are applied.

[Khalin spends 2 healing surges (7 left) to get to 55/56 hp]

[Kireth spends 0 healing surges (6 left) to get to 48/48 hp]

[Tradden spends 3 healing surges (5 left) to get to 63/63 hp]

[Zero spends 1 healing surge (5 left) to get to 55/55 hp]

Encounter Powers

All encounter powers are recharged.

Milestones

No milestones reached.

Experience

Experience awarded.

[Khalin gains 416 xp to reach 10,520 xp]

[Kireth gains 418 xp to reach 10,508 xp]

[Tradden gains 415 xp to reach 10,537 xp]

[Zero gains 417 xp to reach 10,515 xp]

Levelling

No one is ready to progress.

Combat
Completed

End

[…continued in Book #01, Chapter #09, Scene #12…]