BK
01
CH
10
SC
02

The Mouth of the Sleeper
Coilwood Creek

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

Synopsis

The 1st Day of Tarsakh in the Year of the Sudden Journey
The heroes head north from the Pineforest, across the treacherous Stonemarch, in search of a place called the Mouth of the Sleeper. They find an old and gnarled wood and venture within, spotting a group of goblinoid mercenaries across a frozen creek.

Cast List

Khalin Grundokri

7th Level Male Dwarven Marshal (Warlord)

Kireth Majere

7th Level Male Half-Elven Arcanist (Wizard)

Tradden Aversward

7th Level Male Human Weaponmaster (Fighter)

Zero Uhlit

7th Level Male Human Scoundrel (Rogue)

Beltak Ancaron

Scribe of Pelor (NPC)

Scene Length

This scene starts on Wednesday 5th June 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of Friday 28th June 2013.

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

JUN
05

Combat
Initiative Block

I

Round #07

Combat Encounter Completed


Creatures in Play:

[25] Tradden HP: 63/63 63,51,43,39,34,28,50,38,31,17,35,58,53,63

[25] Khalin HP: 29/56 56,48,27,53,47,42,56,49,44,48,43,29 Slowed (Save Ends)

[19] Kireth HP: 8/48 48,41,36,31,20,35,30,25,8 5 temp hp Ongoing 5 Damage (Save Ends)

[19] Zero HP: 55/55 55,55

[09] Beltak HP: 29/47 47,47,42,26,16,32,25,20,34,29


Removed from Play:

[25] Orcs

Orc #01 Dmg: 66 0,14,31,58,66

Orc #02 Dmg: 68 0,5,9,16,30,50,55,62,68

Orc #03 Dmg: 70 22,48,70

Orc #04 Dmg: 72 0,19,24,30,35,53,58,72

[23] Warcaster Dmg: 74 0,9,26,40,44,55,56,74 Marked by Tradden

[19] Trebuchet and Crew Dmg: 51 0,19,25,35,51

[11] Warmonger Dmg: 56 0,33,56

[04] Drake Dmg: 77 0,19,28,37,49,55,60,77

[Sp] Chillborn Zombies

Zombie #01 Dmg: 85 0,17,25,37,62,85

Zombie #02 Dmg: 71 0,7,32,39,56,71

JUN
05

Combat
Battlemap

BM
Battlemap: Coilwood Creek
JUN
05

Combat
Features of the Area

AF

Illumination: Daylight.

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

Rocks: The squares containing rocks can provide superior cover by blocking line of sight and are considered difficult terrain with an Athletics check needed to climb. The rocks are approximately five feet high.

Creek: The creek looks to be ice, and is considered difficult terrain as well as having the potential to be slippy.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden steeled himself, hands gripping tightly to the hilts of his twin blades as he took a few steps backwards.

‘Fireball looks good. Real good. Especially in the direction of that wooden weapon.’ He glanced a look at Kireth. ‘If that is what it is?’ Just before Kireth could answer, Tradden was already on his way. ‘Never mind, I will go ask them!’

With that the fighter took a running launch at the ice! It started with a graceful leap to clear the first few feet and that was soon followed by a faultless landing — both feet planting squarely on the ice allowing the fighter to slide forward as if ice skating once again on Manmaker’s Pond in the noble district in Deepingwald.

[Move: S, S, N, N, N]

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+11: 15] - failure!

[Slide: N, N, N]

[Grants Combat Advantage until end of next turn] and [Prone]

Sadly, it all started to go wrong from there. Tradden’s front foot decided that standing up was not the way to go and went from underneath him, causing the fighter to unceremoniously crash face first into the ice. For a couple of seconds he felt the cold chill of the ice rake his cheek until the momentum he had built up ran out and he came to a stop.

‘Ouch…’ came the muffled response to all of this, down on the ice. Tradden shook his head to try and clear the cartoon-like birdies that were circling his head.

[Perception Check: 1d20+5: 8] - failure!

Where was he? Oh, yes — in the middle of a frozen creek with orcs and hobgoblins all aiming various weapons of war at him. Best to get up then…

[Move: Stand]

Stood in the open, horribly exposed, there wasn’t an awful lot he could then do. He readied himself as best he could and gave the best taunt he could think of.

[Rain of Steel]

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

‘Hey — you, with the big… wood… thing! My grandma could whittle something better than that! I bet it doesn’t even fire!’

That made him feel a little bit more like himself and the world focused back to its usual clear definition. Tradden thought about what he had just said and looked down at his feet and the ice around it.

‘Uh, oh…’

Combat
Orcs

At the other side of the ice the orcs issued a cheer as Tradden went down and they started to move and shuffle forwards. They were brought to a standstill by guttural order from further up the slope by the large hobgoblin, however. The two orcs furthest away crouched behind the rocks as if waiting for something, the two closest to the break ducked out for a moment and hurled short but wicked-edged handaxes at the hapless fighter.

[Orc #01: Total Defense]

[Orc #01 gains +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of next turn]

[Orc #02: Total Defense]

[Orc #02 gains +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of next turn]

[Orc #03: Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5+2-2: 18 vs Tradden’s AC (21+2)] - misses!

[Orc #04: Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5+2-2: 7 vs Tradden’s AC (21+2)] - misses!

Both axes flew wide, even the strength of the orcs not enough to keep them on target at such a distance. One skidded across the ice on its side, eventually lodging itself into the snow at the southern side. The other tumbled end over end and thumped into the ice with a splinter, quivering as it struck and wedged itself into the blue sheen.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin cursed under his breath as the group’s crafty reconnaissance turned into a comical entrance. The dwarf was sure the increasing number of days without a couple of tankards of fine ale in his belly was impacting his judgement and effectiveness. A cosy tavern fire somewhere in Winterhaven seemed as far away as ever right now.

The dwarf quickly eyed the wooden contraption up ahead, and the ice between it and himself. ‘I have a bad feeling about this,’ he muttered as he headed onto the ice to try give Tradden some cover.

[Move: NW, N, N]

The dwarf raised his shield as he approached his comrade in an effort to defend them both from the next attack.

[Total Defense]

[Khalin gains +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of next turn]

Whatever happened, they had to close with the enemy and get out of this kill zone quickly.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The hobgoblin with the gnarled staff turned to the orcs at the wooden construct, barking some sharp guttural orders. With a flourish it turned back towards the clearing and began a slow but assured walk down the snowy slope.

[Move: S, S, S, S]

It stopped short of the ice, waiting on the far bank with a gleeful smile.

[Total Defense]

[Warcaster gains +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of next turn]

It pushed its staff out in front and began a low, droning chant.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Just when Kireth thought he had seen the worst of Tradden’s idiocy, the boy would step up (or fall down) and smash his previous record. Stunned. Kireth was quite stunned. Words… well, there just weren’t any. He just had this overwhelming desire to just turn around, right now, and walk home.

But then the dwarf sprang into action. His pudgy little legs skittering him across the ice in an effort to help Captain Dimwit. ‘Fine,’ snapped Kireth, to himself more than anyone else, ‘why not die out here? It’s as good as anywhere.’

The mage reached out his hand and cupped an imaginary ball. As he spoke forth the words of power a fiery spark ignited in his hand, quickly filling it with flame. ‘Strike true,’ he commanded the ball before launching it through the air.

[Book of Undeniable Fire]

[Kireth swaps Tasha’s Forcible Conscription for Fireball]

As it sailed across the frozen water it grew in size and intensity before crashing down on the opposite bank.

[Fireball]

[Burst 3 centred on H19] with [Damage: 4d6+5: 19]

[Burst Attack vs Trebuchet’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 19]

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

[Half Damage: 9]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #04’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 19]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warmonger’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 29] - critical hit!

[Damage: 29] plus [1d6: 4 critical radiant damage] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Rage Drake’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 19]

The ball hit the bank hard and exploded into a huge ball of flame that shot up the bank and engulfed the nearby trees. Snow melted away quickly throwing up a cloud of steam in an instant and rivers of warm water rushed down the slope towards the frozen creek.

Screams came from within the cloud and as it parted the group could see the crew trying desperately to put out the fires on the wooden construct and the large hobgoblin rolling around in the remnants of the snow to put out the flames that had swamped him. No one within the blast had seemed to escape without harm except the hobgoblin with the gnarled staff. He stared with unblinking eyes at the mage and growled.

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

The two figures near the wooden machine made short work of the fire, quickly patting it out and throwing snow onto the wood. They moved quickly, grabbing one of the rocks and placing it within what appeared to be a net of some sort. With practiced efficiency they lowered it briefly into the brazier, dipping it up and down before pulling it and mounting it within the contraption.

An adjustment or two on a lever and they appeared ready, pulling one final lever down.

There was a great noise, perhaps only matched by the explosion of the fireball, as the beams of the trebuchet swept at great speeds to propel the stone down the slope. It sailed through the air in a long arc, high in the sky, before coming down towards the middle of the creek and the two hapless warriors.

[Launched Stone]

[Burst 1 centred on Q17] with [Damage: 4d6: 12]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15: 32 vs Khalin’s AC(22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 12]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15+2: 25 vs Tradden’s AC(21)] - hits!

[Damage: 12]

The stone did not hit the pair directly, but crashed into the ice near their feet, sending up slivers of ice that sliced into them and splashing them with a caustic and sticky flame that stank of old tobacco, residue from the brazier.

The pair looked at each other, grateful they were not hurt so badly.

Then the stone began to melt through the ice, the sticky fire making short work of the blue skin atop the water.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero wasted no time in picking his target — the large hobgoblin in the middle of the slope was still preoccupied with the flames from Kireth’s spell. Drawing his crossbow from up under his cloak he shot on the run with style.

[Sly Flourish]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warmonger: 1d20+9+2: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+6: 12] plus [2d8: 11 sneak damage] and [Dead]

The rogue wasn’t even looking when the bolt struck the hobgoblin in the throat. It went down quickly, without the chance to call or cry out and landed in the melting snow with a splash of water and blood.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: E, E, NE]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 31] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies and gains Combat Advantage]

Zero skidded to a halt behind the rock, ducking down and gasping a lungful of air. He turned back to look at Kireth and winked.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak looked undecided on what to do. Unlike Kireth or Zero he had nothing he could use at range such as this. He did not particularly fancy being stuck in the middle of the ice like Tradden or Khalin, either.

However, the pair on the ice looked precarious, particularly with the ice breaking around them, and he ventured tentatively onto the slippy surface.

[Move: N, N, N, N]

Beltak prepared himself for the obvious onslaught of the enemies, raising his shield and readying his mace.

[Total Defense]

[Beltak gains +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of next turn]

He uttered a final prayer to Pelor, hoping the ice would hold.

Combat
Rage Drake

While the other enemies seemed to be holding back, perhaps in anticipation of something, the drake appeared to be enraged by the mage’s fiery attack. With a snarl it leapt from the trees, charging towards the ice.

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

It’s claws shredded the surface of the ice but it still slipped more than once, coming in a wide arc towards Tradden at the front. It charged in, heedless of the broken surface and the hole within the ice.

[Raking Charge]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+10+2: 29 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 8]

[Secondary Attack: 1d20+10+2: 14 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - critical miss!

The claws bit deep into Tradden’s hip, but the follow-up strike missed by a country margin as the drake slipped sideways on the ice towards the hole.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden had regained some of his compusure from his slip, but with the ice now cracked he found footing unsteady. The lash of the drake’s claws had pushed him towards the hole and he looked down into the black depths of the chill water to his side.

Then, startling the young fighter, a hand came up out of the depths, a filthy, rotting hand that grabbed the top of the ice with clumsy strength. Something was pulling itself out.

The ice creaked, shuddered… and broke — a larger hole opening up almost between Tradden and Khalin.

‘Whoa!’ shouted Tradden, whose weight at that particular moment had him teetering on the edge and almost tipping in. With all his effort he tried to stay on his feet, the soles of both feet dancing in little mouse steps along the frayed edge of the hole.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+11: 12] - critical failure!

[Tradden is Prone]

In the end, it was all he could do just to stay out of the hole — his only real option being to throw himself to the floor so that his weight didn’t carry him over the edge.

This was embarrassing. Really embarrassing. Time to get it together!

[Move: Stand]

[Pass Forward]

[Move: NW, NE]

Tradden flipped to his feet, oddly finding purchase where before there was none. Then, with a Cha-Cha slide he slipped around the drake, away from the ominous hole and slightly closer to the northern shore which was fast looking like the place to be, despite the fact it was filled with greenskins.

Combat
Orcs

With the trebuchet in action and the group split, the orcs moved forwards for the kill.

The first came out of the treeline, heading to the rocks, throwing its handaxe as it did so.

[Orc #01: Move: SE, SE, S]

[Orc #01: Ranged Basic Attack - Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5-2: 13 vs Beltak’s AC (19+2)] - misses!

The axe skittered across the surface, sending up shards of frost and ice, but disappeared into a bank of snow harmlessly.

The second orc came in from the east, again getting itself behind some rocks before hurling one of the short axes.

[Orc #02: Move: W, W, W, W, W]

[Orc #02: Ranged Basic Attack - Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 19 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

This orc also missed, the axe tumbling past the fighter and skidding on past Beltak down the icy creek.

The two orcs already behind the rocks threw their last axes before jumping out onto the ice.

[Orc #03: Ranged Basic Attack - Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 8 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

[Orc #03: Move: SE, SE, S, S]

[Orc #04: Ranged Basic Attack - Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 23 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+3: 4]

[Orc #04: Move: SW, SW, S, S]

The first axe was yet another wide of the mark, but the final one flicked off the young fighter’s shoulder with a nasty bang. Neither orc looked comfortable on the ice, continually looking down and checking their feet.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

The breaking of the ice toppled Khalin too.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+4: 11] - failure!

[Khalin is Prone]

As the dwarf was knocked prone and scrambled to get back onto all fours he wasn’t completely surprised to see an undead body pulling itself from the water in front of him. His earlier slip on the ice had brought him face to face with one, though the dwarf had rather hoped the bodies were dead and would stay that way. No matter. ‘Tradden!’ the warlord called, ‘we need to get off the ice, lad!’

With that Khalin pulled himself to his feet…

[Move: Stand]

…and swung his craghammer down at the monstrosity clawing up out of the ice, hoping to send it back into the watery depths for good…

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs The Thing in the Water: 1d20+10+2: 18] - misses!

…but the ice kept giving way underneath his feet, and it was difficult for Khalin to get in a clear strike.

[Chillborn Zombie rises from the depths to Q16]

Whatever the thing was — it was humanoid at best — it continued to rise out of the icy depths.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The hobgoblin with the gnarled staff seemed to sneer at the antics of the group in the middle of the ice. It had been only mildly effected by Kireth’s magics and did not seem to fear the mage. Instead it focused its attentions on the thrashing fighter with the two blades who barely seemed to be able to stand for even a moment on the ice.

It pointed its staff at Tradden and echoed a guttural laugh across the icy creek.

[Force Pulse]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+9: 11 vs Tradden’s Fortitude (22)] - misses!

For once the young fighter’s luck seemed to hold as the warcaster snarled and grimaced at its staff. Nothing untoward happened, and the hobgoblin remained where it was.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The hobgoblin mage had made its intentions towards Tradden perfectly clear and Kireth was having none of it. If anyone was going to kill the oaf it would be him. Staff readied, he moved quickly to the edge of the ice.

[Move: N, N, NW]

Looking at the hobgoblin and then quickly to the trees, a wicked smile spread across his face. Raising his arm he reached out as if clasping at something and then, with a sudden jerk, battered it aside.

[Spectral Ram]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Fortitude: 1d20+9: 15] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+5: 17] and [Push: N, N, N] and [Knocked Prone]

The hobgoblin seemed to lift off the ground for a moment and then was thrown backwards with force into the trees with a snap of breaking wood.

Kireth sneered. ‘Do I have your attention now?’

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

Buoyed with the success of their last stone the pair working on the wooden trebuchet started lifting another stone from the brazier, fire dripping from it in large blobs onto the snow below.

[Launched Stone]

[Recharge: 1d6: 5] - success!

They seemed to struggle to load the stone without burning themselves, but managed to drop it into the cradle just in time. They both quickly pulled on levers before a loud whoosh and the stone was on its way.

[Launched Stone]

[Burst 1 centred on S16] with [Damage: 4d6: 21]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15: 30 vs Khalin’s AC(22)] - hits!

[Damage: 21] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15: 16 vs Kireth’s AC(18)] - critical miss!

The stone smashed into the ice at Kireth’s feet, just missing the teetering dwarf by inches. It went straight through, scattering shards of razor-sharp ice to cut through Khalin’s beleagured defences and drawing rivulets of blood.

Kireth, however, remained motionless, his eyes fixed upon the hobgoblin mage at the far side of the creek, almost unaware of the peril he had so nearly been in.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero decided to stay where he was. From behind the rock he could pick his targets off with his crossbow whilst retaining some cover. And no way was he going on that ice. He took a good look at the drake near Tradden, paused, and then let fly.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Rage Drake: 1d20+9+2: 20] - hits!

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

[Shift: E, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 28] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies and gains Combat Advantage]

The bolt thudded into the creature’s flank, but it barely seemed to notice, all of its attention focused on the young fighter that was dancing around it.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak looked on in horror at the humanoid that had clambered from the depths. Another had started to pull itself out of the freezing water near Kireth, its lidless eyes staring out at nothing as it grasped for purchase on the ice.

The first of the horrors had been in the process of rotting, but the ice had started to preserve it. There was no smell, just the same vacant look and awkward balance as the other, but Beltak knew this to be an abomination of undead. As he grasped his holy symbol he could see the remnants of the shattered ice — scattered across the top of the iced creek — from the stone missile begin to frost over and the ice sheet dull with a new layer of rime. The cold spread out around the zombie as it turned towards Khalin, sensing blood.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Beltak takes 5 cold damage]

The scribe hesitated for a moment, holding his holy symbol of Pelor within his hand, unsure of what to do. Khalin was perched precariously at the edge of the gap in the ice — in fact two holes now — but there did not seem anything that Beltak could materially do. All he could offer was a short prayer for the warlord.

[Healing Word]

[Khalin spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+12+4: 26 hit points]

[Khalin is no longer Bloodied]

A warm glow spread across Khalin’s shoulders and the pain from the tears and abrasions of the ice began to melt away. Beltak began to back away from the zombie and the chill of the icy touch whilst uttering another prayer, stopping beyond the frosted edge, but near enough to try to stop the orc breaking through their ranks.

[Move: N, NW]

He finished his prayer and a web of gleaming strands shot from the symbol and lacerated across the area with the zombie as its focus.

[Light of Arvandor]

[Burst 1 centred on Zombie] with [Damage: 1d8+5: 12]

[Burst Attack vs Chillborn Zombie’s Will: 1d20+8: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 12 radiant] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage]

[Burst Attack vs Rage Drake’s Will: 1d20+8: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 12] and [Bloodied]

[Khalin gains +2 AC until end of Beltak’s next turn]

The web sliced through the zombie, bringing clouds of steam as the ice melted, and cast its net over the drake which howled in pain.

Combat
Rage Drake

The drake seemed to be caught between a rock and a hard place. It had been stung by a sharp pain in its side from nowhere, followed by strands of an intense radiant light and blindly staggered into Tradden’s swinging blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Damage: 1d8: 6]

As it tried to clear its vision a gnawing cold from behind sent a freezing chill through its bones.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Rage Drake takes 5 cold damage]

The blow from the fighter’s sword and the shot of pain from the ice did not help it find its footing, and the drake scrambled its claws across the ice to avoid falling through the ragged hole into the freezing waters below.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+3: 8] - failure!

[Rage Drake falls into water at Q17]

The extra rime from the zombie’s strange aura was its downfall. Claws could not find purchase on the ice and the creature lost one leg, then two, and then slid into the black waters with a splash.

Combat
Chillborn Zombie

With an ungainly slowness the zombie ignored the scrambling drake disappearing into the waters and turned its attention on Khalin. There had been blood before and the thing could sense it — perhaps there could be blood again.

It swung one of its arms in a great arc, intending on bludgeoning the warlord into submission.

[Slam]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 25 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 6] and [Ongoing 5 cold damage (Save Ends)] and [Immobilized until end of Zombie’s next turn]

The strike was like being hit by a block of ice. It paralysed the dwarf for a moment, freezing his limbs, and he found that his legs would not react.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

The icy frost continued to spread out from the zombie’s feet, crawling up Tradden’s legs like frozen ants and biting at his calves. No prizes for guessing where that was coming from but it was disturbing nonetheless. The cold embrace of death had rarely seemed closer.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Tradden takes 5 cold damage]

‘Get it together, Aversward!’ hissed the fighter to himself.

Taking one, large but firm, step he tried to marry the adoption of a better position with moving closer to the northern bank.

[Move: NE]

‘Hey, you two, your mothers were zombies! And you, your mother was an orc!’

[Come And Get It!]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #03’s Will: 1d20+12: 13] - critical miss!

[Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #04’s Will: 1d20+12: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8: 5] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Zombie’s Will: 1d20+12: 32] - critical hit!

[Pull: N, NE] and [Damage: 1d8: 8] and [1d6: 6 critical cold damage] and [Marked]

[Cold damage reduced to 0 due to resistance]

Being face to face with one of the orcs he already had its attention. ‘Shush, you!’ snapped Tradden as he punched it in the face, his knuckles wrapped around the hilt of his sword. It drew a muffled snort of anger. The other orc merely looked miffed, but the zombie — well, it shuffled away from Khalin and towards Tradden with a look of spite so terrifying the young fighter went through fear, passed right through terror without stopping and came out the otherside as a fit of giggles. ‘Let's… be… friends!’ he chuckled maniacally as he lopped off its left knee cap.

So, here they all were, bunched up on the ice. The pressure was somewhat off Khalin now — the dwarf would have chance to hopefully compose himself. Beltak also had less potential heat and if Zero and Kireth could continue their usual “death from afar” antics they might all avoid an icy, watery grave after all…

Combat
Orcs

The orc furthest to the west broke from its cover behind the rock, drawing a huge greataxe from behind its bac and tentatively stepped onto the ice.

[Orc #01: Move: SE, SE, SE, SE, S]

Approaching Beltak clumsily, it swept out with its axe.

[Orc #01: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 21 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 16]

The axe bit deep into Beltak’s shoulder and the scribe let out a yell.

The orc furthest to the west also broke cover from behind its rock, moving swiftly to attack the surrounded fighter.

[Orc #02: Move: W, SW, SW, SW]

As it moved within the range of the creeping frost, however, it balked a little, as a cold numbness spread through its limbs.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Orc #02 takes 5 cold damage]

It grimaced against the pain and swung at Tradden.

[Orc #02: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8+2: 20 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

The young fighter seemed resolved to getting flanked but it didn’t stop him dodging the clumsy blow from the orc.

Joined by its comrade the third orc also reached behind its back to draw its axe and swung at Beltak’s head, ignoring Tradden’s calls as best it could.

[Orc #03: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 18 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

But the fighter’s antics seemed to have gotten to the creature, its swing wild and high.

The last of the orcs was trying its best to defend itself against Traden’s wild swings, but it appeared to be in vain.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Damage: 1d8: 6]

The creature also seemed to be suffering from the same effects as Tradden from the ring of cold surrounding the zombie.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Orc #04 takes 5 cold damage] and [Bloodied]

Despite these hindrances it still managed to swing its axe.

[Orc #04: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 27 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 6] and [Bloodied]

It pushed past the fighter’s defences, cutting Tradden just above the knee. The red blood dripped freely onto the icy whist frost and ice at the young fighter’s feet.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

The chill that had seeped up through Khalin’s legs after he had been struck by the zombie almost seemed to be like fire now. It burned his legs, leaving them numb and useless.

[Zombie: Ongoing Cold Damage]

[Khalin takes 5 ongoing cold damage]

Despite the cold rooting him to the spot, the dwarf was precariously close to two gaping holes in the ice. With his balance gone it was difficult not to fall into the black icy waters below his feet.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+4-5: 16] - success!

With arms pinwheeling, hammer and shield flailing in the air, the warlord managed to steady himself and gritted his teeth against the cold.

The battle had progressed swiftly and the beleaguered dwarf had been grateful for the touch of Pelor or Moradin that Beltak had summoned. The infernal fingers of ice had him unable to move to aid his comrades, and the dwarf was forced to content himself with smithing the drake struggling before him.

Winding up Aecris for what he hoped would be a trademark strike, Khalin went back on the offensive and swept the great hammer down on the creature’s prow…

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Rage Drake: 1d20+10: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 17] and [Dead]

The dwarf smiled as his hammer struck true and the beast slipped down into the icy depths. Raising his gaze back towards Tradden though, he could see the lad was beset on three sides. ‘Tradden! This is an ice dance at the Deepingwald Winter Fayre! Show ’em yer moves, lad!’ he called, then could scarcely believe the words had passed his lips.

[Inspiring Word]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+15: 22 hit points]

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

[Tradden is no longer Bloodied]

Still the quip seemed to have the desired effect and the fighter’s shoulders rose and squared against the enemy.

[Dwarven Resilience]

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

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

Buoyed by the kill of the drake, Khalin felt renewed. Trebuchet or no, they would prevail!

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

Dusting itself off the hobgoblin retrieved its staff from the floor and gingerly rose to its feet.

[Move: Stand]

It looked across the ice, looking for the mage, spotting Kireth looking down at the latest zombie to crawl out of the icy waters. The hobgoblin smiled to itself, it would not be needed to finish the mage off personally just yet.

[Force Pulse]

[Recharge: 1d6: 1] - failure!

It did not seem to have any help from its staff, though, the gnarled stick drawing a frustrated growl from the hobgoblin.

Instead of hurling any magics out onto the group it strode forwards towards the edge of the ice.

[Move: S, S, SW, S, S]

There it stood, surverying the scene, and shouting at the orcs in a guttaral tongue.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The zombie before Kireth was an odd sight. Already unbalanced in death, the ice was only contributing to its ungainly step. Its intent and ability to kill was not lessened however and the mage knew this well enough to take a protective step towards Khalin.

[Move: NE]

Hoping the warlord was able enough to back him up, Kireth let lose a testing missile.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1: 7]

The missile struck the creature in the centre of its chest, but the force had very little impact on its frozen body and it continued to stand, turning its head towards the mage revealing a long arrow sticking from its eye.

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

The orcs worked hard on the wooden contraption, using wheels, cogs and levers to bring the catapult back down and lock into position. With care they began to pull another doused stone from the brazier and drag it across towards the machine.

[Launched Stone]

[Recharge: 1d6: 4] - failure!

There was a creak of one of the levers as they loaded the rock and a curse escaped one of the orcs’ lips. A gear slipped and the taut arm leapt forwards, dislodging the stone and giving those on the ice some needed respite.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero kept behind the rock for the moment, confident in his friends’s abilities to see off the threat without too much injury. He levelled his crossbow at the zombie that was attacking Tradden, aiming for the middle of its back and let fly.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #01: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1+2: 5] plus [2d8: 7 sneak damage] and [Bloodied]

[Shift: E, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 26] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies and gains Combat Advantage]

The bolt was slightly off the mark and hit the zombie in the back of the shoulder. There was a shudder from the thing and the sound like the crack of ice. Its left arm swung sideways for a second before dropping off and falling to the ice below, shattering like glass upon the slippery surface with a crash.

The thing barely seemed to notice.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak found himself in a tight spot. Two of the orcish brutes were upon him, their axes swinnging wildly around him. Blood ran freely from his shoulder where one of the axes had found purchase. Behind him he could still sense the abomination of undead creatures and knew that his calling and destiny was with them.

Raising his shield he prepared to move, the risk worth the reward.

[Move: SE, …]

The orcs both seized the moment, swinging down their axes almost in unison at the retreating human.

[Orc #01: Opportunity Attack: Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 11 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

[Orc #03: Opportunity Attack: Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 10 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

The priest nimbly stepped backwards and breathed a sigh of relief as the axes sliced into the ice. He continued to move.

[Move: …, E]

As he came within range of the zombies, though, the chill that had affected the others took hold.

[Zombie #01: Chillborn Aura]

[Beltak takes 5 cold damage] and [Bloodied]

[Zombie #02: Chillborn Aura]

[Beltak takes 5 cold damage]

Standing in the centre of the melee he turned to face the zombies, ignoring the orcs behind him. ‘You will flee back from whence you came!’ Beltak roared as a light flared out from his symbol.

[Solar Enemy]

[Close Burst 2 centered on Beltak]

[Zombie #01 gains an extra Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak’s next turn]

[Zombie #02 gains an extra Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak’s next turn]

[Orc #01 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak’s next turn]

[Orc #03 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak’s next turn]

Beltak raised his symbol above his head as he uttered words to Pelor and twin beams of light shot from its centre to burn at the zombie’s torsos.

[Turn Undead]

[Close Burst 2 centered on Beltak] with [Damage 1d10+5: 15]

[Burst Attack vs Zombie #01’s Will: 1d20+8: 16] - hits!

[Damage: 15] plus [10 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Push: E, NE, NE, NE, NE] and [Immobilized until end of Beltak’s next turn]

[Burst Attack vs Zombie #01’s Will: 1d20+8: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 15] plus [10 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Push: S, S, S, S, S] and [Immobilized until end of Beltak’s next turn]

The creatures howled an unearthly scream as the light hit them, falling to the ground and sliding on the ice, burning all the way. They staggered to their feet where they stopped, turning and ready to return to the battle, but their limbs were frozen. Pelor’s grace held them firm.

Combat
Chillborn Zombies

The zombies strained against the divine power that held them firm, but they could make no move.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden looked, right. Looked, straight ahead. Looked ahead and a bit to the left-ish. Surrounded. Good!

Twisting his shoulders to give himself momentum and pirouetting on the toes of one pointed boot, Tradden twirled around effortlessly on the ice, holding his long sword out in a braced, horizontal position.

[Cleave]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #04: 1d20+12: 32] - critical hit!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 15] plus [1d6: 3 critical cold damage] and [Marked]

[Orc #02 takes 4 splash damage]

The fighter felt some resistance just where the first orc should have been, but oddly not that much, and then a harder impact followed by a howl.

The second hit was certainly the other orc — he had nicked its arm nicely judging by the way it was now holding it.

Strange though — he was sure he should have landed a solid hit on the first one! Still — there it was, stood before him. Oddly still actually. On closer inspection there was a thick, frosty line across the front of its throat. He had sliced right through its neck! Bah! Only an orc would be stupid enough not to know it was dead — just his luck, the ice had sealed its head in place! It started to lift one green arm, intent on taking revenge despite the fact its last seconds were ticking away…

‘Erm…’

Combat
Orcs

Despite Tradden’s whirling blades the orcs kept on coming. The first quickly chasing after Beltak as the scribe retreated, swinging its great axe over its head.

[Orc #01: Move: SE]

[Orc #01: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 11 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - misses!

Its swipe was wild in its haste, though, and Beltak easily blocked it with his shield.

One of the orcs near Tradden was the next to act, trying to duck under the young fighter’s sword, but without any luck.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc #02 Damage: 1d8: 7]

The orc took the slice on its shoulder, before returning with a great swipe of its own.

[Orc #02: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 27 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 12]

The third orc joined its comrade in chasing after the scribe, bringing its axe down in a huge swipe.

[Orc #03: Move: SE]

[Orc #03: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 9 vs Beltak’s AC (19)] - critical miss!

The last, its frozen neck and face a grotesque sight, blindly staggered into Tradden’s blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc #02 Damage: 1d8: 5]

But it did not fall. Instead it swung its axe with enormous speed, hoping to lop of the young fighter’s legs in one fell swoop.

[Orc #04: Warrior’s Surge - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 16 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

Although surprised, Tradden managed to leap over the axe head, landing lightly on the ice. A bead of sweat gradually cooled and froze upon his forehead.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin’s legs seemed to be working again, but the ice was a slippery foe. With two great holes right next to him, the warlord struggled to maintain his balance without slipping into their icy waters.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+4: 12] - success!

His balance maintained and his legs free once more, Khalin hurried to Beltak’s aid.

[Move: NW]

Raising his shield to cover the priest with his left arm, Khalin brought his hammer round and across at the nearest orc…

[Shielded Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #03: 1d20+10: 16] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 22]

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

There was a satisfying crunch as the craghammer connected with the orc.

‘Kireth, get behind me!’ called the warlord, looking to cover both his comrades as best he could.

[Inspiring Word]

[Beltak spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+11: 16 hit points]

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

[Beltak is no longer Bloodied]

‘Keep going, Beltak,’ the warlord urged. ‘We have them on the run!’

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

At the edge of the ice the hobgoblin with the staff had plenty of time to plan its next move, watching the group slip and slide.

[Force Pulse]

[Recharge: 1d6: 5] - failure!

It seemed perturbed, though, as though something was not quite right with its powers. It still had plenty of magics to expend, though, and cast out its staff before it, spraying a trace of blue light that expanded and then exploded across the creek.

[Force Blast]

[Blast 5] with [Damage: 2d8+5: 15]

[Blast Attack: 1d20+9: 18 vs Tradden’s Reflex (20)]] - misses!

[Half Damage: 7] and [Bloodied]

[Blast Attack: 1d20+9: 13 vs Beltak’s Reflex (16+2)]] - misses!

[Half Damage: 7] and [Bloodied]

[Blast Attack: 1d20+9: 11 vs Khalin’s Reflex (15)]] - misses!

[Half Damage: 7]

The energy though seemed to fizzle as it crossed the ice, and although Khalin, Beltak and Tradden felt its force, it was weak and subdued compared to what they expected. The hobgoblin looked on in anger.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Kireth found himself alone on the ice next to one of the gaping holes from which a zombie had crawled out. He looked down into its inky blackness with no fear of the chill and shadow that lay under the ice. His footing, however, was not as sure as his mind and he needed to gain his balance to avoid slipping in.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+5: 18] - success!

It took only a moment to steady himself before he looked over the ice and decided upon his action.

He began to shape a force in his mind, channeling it strongly through his staff. The orcs had bunched together and the mage had to take his advantage. Tradden may be caught in the centre, but, well, Kireth was sure the gangly youth probably wouldn’t even notice. Perhaps it might even knock some sense into him.

Pointing his staff towards the middle of the orcs he conjured a ball of force, sending it streaking out towards them, its size and intensity growing as it moved, exploding outwards when it hit the ice.

[Shock Sphere]

[Burst 2 centred on N16] with [Damage: 2d6+5: 14]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 18] - hits!

[Damage: 14] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #01’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 13] - hits!

[Damage: 14]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #02’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 14]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #03’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 29] - critical hit!

[Damage: 17] plus [1d6: 4 radiant critical damage] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Orc #04’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 13] - hits!

[Damage: 14] and [Dead]

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

[Damage: 14]

The shock of the lightning felled one of the orcs instantly, another screamed with pain as it scorched its skin. Tradden felt the crackle rise up his skin and a sharp jolt of pain, weakening his grip on his weapons for a moment. Kireth, however, seemed pleased with his work and moved behind Khalin and the safety of the warlord’s shield.

[Move: NW]

There the mage gathered his energies for his next strike.

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

Atop the slope the orcs moved quickly, trying to load another stone into the sling.

[Launched Stone]

[Recharge: 1d6: 2] - failure!

Whatever damage the team had done to the trebuchet before, though, they had not managed to repair, the levers stuck and no matter how hard they stomped and bashed against the wood they could not free them.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero watched the effect of Kireth’s spell with awe, but also saw Tradden’s swings becoming wild and weary. The young fighter was in trouble. The rogue lined up his crossbow to take the remaning orc by Tradden out.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #02: 1d20+9+2: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1+2: 8] plus [2d8: 12 sneak damage] and [Bloodied]

[Shift: E, E]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 31] - success!

[Zero is hidden from all enemies and gains Combat Advantage]

The bolt thudded into the orcs shoulder, splattering Tradden with its hot blood. It did not fall, though, but roared with pain.

With half an eye on the shuffling zombie over to the west, Zero edged to the far side of the rock, keeping himself, he hoped, hidden.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak had managed to push away the zombies, for now, but the pressing need were now the orcs in front of him. Khalin had managed to cover the scribe with his shield for a while, but Beltak knew it couldn’t last — they had to strike at them hard.

At the same time he could see Tradden panting, covered in blood and isolated. Well, the scribe would see what he could do about that.

Rather than rely on his symbol, Beltak swung his heavy mace at the orc in front of him, calling for Pelor to strike the creature down.

[Healing Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #03: 1d20+6: 26] - critical hit!

[Damage: 2d8+1: 17 radiant] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Dead]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 14+4: 18 hit points]

[Tradden is no longer Bloodied]

With it was Pelor’s grace or Avandra’s luck the mace caught the orc on the temple and it crumpled in an instant, a searing radiance cascading across its face as the blow struck.

Even as the orc fell Beltak was already whispering another prayer.

[Healing Word]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+14+4: 23 hit points]

In a matter of moments Tradden had been sliced by an axe, pushed by a blast of force from the warcaster, surrounded by the crackling pain of lightning, and now bathed in the warm glow and soothing powers of Pelor. It was a little disorienting!

Combat
Chillborn Zombies

The powers that held the zombies firm began to wane and the creatures began their shambling march back towards the throng.

[Zombie #01: Move: S, SW]

The first zombie stepped out onto the ice, coming around the side of the rock. It was slow on the ice, its jerking steps not finding much purchase. It kept coming towards Tradden.

[Zombie #01: Move: W, W]

The second zombie had easier progress on the snowy bank and headed straight for the group near the southern bank of the creek.

[Zombie #02: Move: N, N, N]

It came right up behind Kireth, who whirled to face the creature as he had once before. The arrow that stuck from its eye was now broken and bent, perhaps by Beltak’s force, its ancient chainmail rusted and rimed with ice.

It drew an arm back and threw a wild swing at the mage.

[Zombie #02: Charge: Slam]

[Charge: N, N]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+1: 22 vs Kireth’s AC (18+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 7] and [Ongoing 5 cold damage (Save Ends)] and [Immobilized until end of Zombie’s next turn]

The chill of the zombie’s strike rooted Kireth to the spot and frost began to creep across the mage’s cloak.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Renewed and buoyed by Beltak’s prayer Tradden readied himself for another surge. As the zombie drew near, though, a familiar chill began to creep up his legs.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Tradden takes 5 cold damage]

Tradden took a fraction of a second to take in the scene, something his ever-improving battle senses allowed him to do.

So many threats — most significant. The trebuwhatsit had been in his mind as a primary target since the start of the battle, but those zombies were also big trouble and no mistake. However, time and time again Tradden had seen that magic could turn any battle in the blink of an eye, and so the hobgoblin mage was top of the Tradden List. It didn’t look to be in great shape and infact neither did the other nearby orc — by the way its garish, yellow teeth chattered it seemed that the warmth-leeching effect of the zombies was hurting it as much as him. Perhaps that could be used to his advantage?

Once again utilising Ol’ Faithful, the Cha-Cha Slide, he duped the bigger orc into chopping down way after his big frame had moved on.

[Pass Forward]

[Move: NW]

Moving into melee range with the hobgoblin magic user, he roared as his longsword came round in a sweeping motion towards its head.

[Surprising Stab]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster’s Reflex: 1d20+12: 25] - hits!

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

[Secondary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+11+2: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+7: 11]

The long swing was just a ruse however, and although Tradden was rewarded with a satisfying “snick” which left the magic user with only half one ear it was the short sword coming in past its far-too-late attempt to parry with its staff that did the damage, the human’s blade sinking deep into its abdomen.

Satisfied that both enemies were now on their last legs, Tradden set himself to strike further, smaller hits with his continual whirling and twirling, hopeful that a combination of these hits and the cold effect of the zombie might yet see them dead before they could strike back!

Combat
Orcs

Although reduced in number the orcs did not relent in their ferocity. The first could see Beltak faltering, the human’s strength failing despite its fancy magics. With a huge swing of its greataxe, the orc went in for the kill.

[Orc #01: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 19 vs Beltak’s AC (19+2)] - misses!

It looked as though the axe would cleave Beltak in two, but at the last moment Khalin reached in with his shield and deflected the blow to one side, leaving the orc to falter.

The orc over by Tradden was having a worse time of it. The zombie was closing in behind it, bring the frost and chills back and it could feel the sapping pull of the cold.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Orc #02 takes 5 cold damage]

The cold slowed the orc’s movements and there was no way it could avoid Tradden’s swinging blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc #02 Damage: 1d8: 7]

Through gritted teeth the orc managed to stay on its feet, blood flowing freely from its wounds onto the ice below. It swung its axe and a wide arc, hoping to use its brute strength rather than any innate skill to fell the fighter.

[Orc #02: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 13 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

But Tradden was too quick for it, dodging the blow with a slide.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

A crackling frost had appeared around Khalin’s feet as the zombie closed in from the south and now it crept up his legs and gnawed at his bones.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Khalin takes 5 cold damage]

The dwarf also had to contend with the gaping holes in the ice at his feet.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+4: 10] - success!

Khalin almost lost his balance once more as he teetered on the very edge of the whole beside him. ‘Time to move,’ he chastised himself, and took a bead on the orc still harassing Beltak.

[Move: NW]

The warlord raised his craghammer to challenge the nearest foe: ‘sOi, snot features, you are one ugly rockrunt! Come and pick on someone yer own size!’

[Provoke Overextension]

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

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 17]

[Orc #01 must make a Melee Basic Attack vs Khalin]

[Khalin gains +3 to AC vs this attack]

The dwarf goaded his opponent as he struck, knowing that Zero would be waiting in the shadows for an opening to strike.

The orc wheeled from its assault on Beltak and snarled at the dwarf, swinging its axe down hard on the warlord.

[Orc #01: Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 20 vs Khalin’s AC (22+2+3)] - misses!

[An ally of Khalin may make a basic attack with +3 to damage rolls vs this target]

The orc overextended itself as it switched to confronting Khalin, exposing its flank. Zero almost couldn’t help himself, and pulled the trigger on his crossbow.

[Zero: Ranged Basic Attack - Hand Crossbow]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #01: 1d20+9+2: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4+3: 12] plus [2d8: 15 sneak damage] and [Bloodied]

The warlord’s ploy worked as the bolt buried itself deep in the orc’s flank.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

For the first time the staff-wielding hobgoblin came toe-to-toe with the enemy. It squirmed a little as the twin blades of Tradden whirled around, tentatively pushing out its staff to ward them away.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Warcaster Damage: 1d8: 1]

The slices from the blades did not hurt as much as the warcaster had feared and a renewed hope flickered past its eyes.

[Force Pulse]

[Recharge: 1d6: 3] - failure!

[Force Blast]

[Recharge: 1d6: 3] - failure!

It snarled before thrusting out the staff further, trying to club Tradden with the butt.

[Shock Staff]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 17 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - misses!

But the fighter parried the gnarled staff away with his shortsword.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Feet frozen to the ice below him, Kireth could feel the chill from the zombie’s strike slowly work its way up his legs.

[Zombie: Ongoing Cold Damage]

[Khalin takes 5 ongoing cold damage]

The zombie had also brought its own strange aura with it, frost burgeoning atop the ice and clawing at the mage’s already frozen limbs.

[Zombie: Chillborn Aura]

[Kireth takes 5 cold damage]

Kireth was not in a good position. Next to the hole in the ice and with hindrances to his balance, he began to feel his arms swaying just to keep him upright.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+5: 25] - critical success!

With his usual grim determination and sheer force of will Kireth kept himself upright, staring into the unblinking eye of the zombie. He quickly span through his spells in his mind, discarding those that he believed would have little effect on a creature of undeath.

He had one, a spell he usually reserved for swarming masses, but it would have to do in a pinch. He gathered his strength and conjured the small ball of force, pushing it out through his staff and let it impact upon the zombie’s chest.

[Force Orb]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #02’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 14] - misses!

The orb exploded harmlessly against the zombie, though, the arrow in its eye wavering slightly the only effect upon the creature.

[Saving Throw vs Ongoing Damage: 1d20: 11] - success!

Angry at his power being wasted as least the mage satisfied himself that feeling was beginning to return to his legs.

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

Atop the hill the two orcs still worked furiously to get the contraption working.

[Launched Stone]

[Recharge: 1d6: 3] - failure!

One of the orcs started slamming the wooden device furiously as it refused to work as expected.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero half-appeared to be enjoying himself. So far his bolts had been quite effective. But now his cover had been blown by his enthusiasm to shoot at the orc near Khalin and he needed to get back to some cover as best he could.

It was a single movement to tumble to one side, gaining cover near the rock, shooting from the hip.

[Fleeting Spirit Strike]

[Shift: W, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 31] - success!

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #01: 1d20+9+2: 15] - misses!

[Shift: E]

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

[Zero is hidden from all enemies and gains Combat Advantage]

But his bravado and showmanship let him down, as the shot aimed under the zombie’s swinging arm missed by a mile and clattered against the rock at the far side of the bank. Zero cursed and dodged back behind the rock, just before the hobgoblin caught sight of him.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak wanted to turn and confront the undead but the orc in front of him, although injured, was still too close for the scribe to turn his attention away from. Nor had Beltak many prayers of healing left, all that was left was his trusted mace.

[Zombie #02: Chillborn Aura]

[Beltak takes 5 cold damage] and [Bloodied]

Trying his best to ignore the chill emanating from the zombie, with a heave he swung the mace upwards, aiming for the creature’s chin.

[Invigorating Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Orc #01: 1d20+6: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+1: 8] and [Dead]

[Khalin gains 4 temporary hit points]

The swing made good contact, knocking the orc off its feet and landing with a crunch on its back on the ice. It did not move. Khalin cheered with the sight, already wheeling to confront the zombie with renewed vigour. Beltak, too, turned thunking quickly on the next best course of action.

[Move: W, SW, S]

The scribe turned in a large arc and readied himself for an assault on the zombie with the full strength of Pelor, despite the chill that ran through him as he neared the abomination.

Combat
Chillborn Zombies

The first zombie continued its slow move towards Tradden.

[Zombie #01: Move: W]

However, its focus was not the young fighter, but the first warm-bloodied thing it could find, the orc. The orc did not see it coming, concentrating on felling the human. The zombie struck.

[Zombie #01: Slam]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 18 vs Orc #01] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 6] and [Dead]

Frost covered the orc in an instant when the zombie made contact and the orc collapsed to the floor.

The other zombie already had Kireth immobilised, there was nothing the mage could do to get out of the way of its powerful swings.

[Zombie #02: Slam]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 27 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4+5: 11] and [Ongoing 5 cold damage (Save Ends)] and [Immobilized until end of Zombie’s next turn] and [Bloodied]

There was no room to dodge or to weave any magic to avoid the blow. It came hard and bloody for the mage, with a chill that began to freeze Kireth’s boots onto the ice below.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

‘Thanks — you’ve been a great help…’ quipped Tradden through chattering teeth to the zombie behind him as it squished the orc into a greenish pulp on the ice.

[Zombie #01: Chillborn Aura]

[Tradden takes 5 cold damage]

A muffled cry from Kireth indicated that the battle was getting heated at the rear of the ice. Time to better their odds.

‘You’re next, greenskin!’ he snarled with a venom that came from nowhere and surprised even himself.

[Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+12+2: 34] - critical hit!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 15] plus [1d6: 3 cold damage] and [Dead]

Using both blades at once in an ungainly but effective fashion the fighter cleaved down and cut the warcaster in two, a jagged, frost-lined severance being made from shoulder to hip. The two pieces of orc slopped to the floor.

Tradden took a second to stare at his blades. ‘Hmm, odd,’ he muttered to himself, a spine-tingling chill running down his whole body.

Fighting bloodlust back he assessed his position. There were only two enemies left on the ice now. One was looking like it could fall apart any time now — well, more than usual. The others could handle them. If the remaining orcs got anymore shots off from that big weapon and broke the ice the day might yet be lost. With that he made his decision, running as fast as he could after skipping up onto the bank.

[Run: N, NE, N, N, N, N, NE, NE]

[Tradden grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn

‘Hi,’ he said to the two orcs suddenly surprised to see the human stood right in front of their machine.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

The tide was turning, but the battle wasn’t won yet. Kireth and Beltak were both bruised and battered but Khalin felt they could handle the zombie between them. He turned for the farther shore, running for the other undead being between him and land.

[Move: NE, NE]

As the warlord closed in on the zombie its frosty aura clutched at his limbs.

[Zombie #01: Chillborn Aura]

[Khalin takes 5 cold damage]

Looking to raise the spirits of his friends, Khalin swung once more…

[Stand the Fallen]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #01: 1d20+10: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 3d10r2+7: 23] and [Destroyed]

[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]

[Beltak is no longer Bloodied]

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

Khalin’s shout as he struck the zombie buoyed the troops, but the warlord’s joy was short-lived.

The zombie shattered into slivers of ice, exploding outwards and riddling Khalin with cuts.

[Zombie #01: Death Burst]

[Burst 1] with [Damage: 2d6+2: 14]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+9: 20 vs Khalin’s Fortitude (17)] - hits!

[Damage: 14] and [Slowed (Save Ends)]

The cuts and cold slowed Khalin down, his limbs heavy and weary.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Kireth teetered on the edge of the ice, trapped between the oncoming zombie and the chill black waters at his feet. The shadowy depths, black and endless against the stark pale frost of the ice gave him a sense of vertigo.

[Acrobatics Check: 1d20+5: 13] - failure!

[Kireth is Prone]

The mage slipped, falling backwards, but somehow managed to prevent himself falling nto the waters. The touch of the ice, the last strike from the zombie, and its deathly aura were starting to mount up, and the mage could feel himself shivering and slipping away.

[Zombie #02: Ongoing Cold Damage]

[Kireth takes 5 ongoing cold damage]

[Zombie #02: Chillborn Aura]

[Kireth takes 5 cold damage]

His legs aching Kireth thought momentarily of staying where he was, but made the huge effort to stand and confront the beast.

[Move: Stand]

The mage had little option. Deserted by his comrades and unable to move away from the one-eyed zombie before him, he had to rely on his most trusted spell and his wits.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4+1: 7] and [Bloodied]

Kireth had aimed for its other eye — not because he thought he could blind it, he doubted that it truly needed its eyes to see, but at least to stop it looking at him. The force missile exploded in the zombie’s face and now the one-eyed thing was a no-eyed thing.

[Saving Throw vs Ongoing Damage: 1d20: 5] - failure!

The pleasure of striking the zombie, however, had no impact on the chill he felt in his legs.

Combat
Trebuchet and Crew

The orcs at the trebuchet cowered around the far side of the contraption as Tradden arrived with whirling blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Trebuchet and Crew Damage: 1d8: 6] and [Bloodied]

They kept working on the pulleys and levers even as Tradden spun, chipping away at the wood and severing several important looking ropes.

[Launched Stone]

[Recharge: 1d6: 6] - success!

Despite Tradden’s harrassment the orcs seemed to manage to finally prime the trebuchet, the flame dripping stone sat perfectly in the catapult. With a triumphant yell one of the orcs pulled the lever and released the stone.

[Launched Stone] - interrupted!

As the lever swung back Tradden managed to swing one of his own swords, hoping to sever a vital rope or spring and disturb the stone.

[Tradden: Opportunity Attack - Frost Longsword]

[Opportunity Attack vs Trebuchet: 1d20+12+2: 31] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 10]

The young fighter took a huge chunk of wood out of the frame of the trebuchet, but the stone was catapulted high in the air and sailed down towards the ice of the creek.

[Launched Stone]

[Burst 1 centred on R15] with [Damage: 4d6: 17]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15: 23 vs Kireth’s AC (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 17] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+15: 31 vs Zombie #02] - hits!

[Damage: 17]

The stone plunged straight through the ice at Kireth’s feet, shattering the ice and throwing up debris that cut the mage in so many places. The effect was similar on the zombie, shredding its rotting clothes and flesh.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero took a very concerned look at Kireth. The mage was in a state, with the zombie still bearing down on him. Taking aim, the best thing the rogue could do would be to try to knock the thing off balance and get down towards the ice to lend a hand should the mage slip towards the water.

[Unbalancing Shot]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #02: 1d20+9+2: 18] - misses!

Zero cursed as the bolt flew wide and skidded across the ice to the west and broke from his cover, running towards Kireth.

[Move: W, W, W, W, W, NW]

At the edge of the ice, just short of the mage, Zero began fishing in his pack for some rope. Just in case.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak had put himself in a good position to attack the zombie with all of Pelor’s grace, but when he had seen Khalin destory the other he worried about Kireth’s safety even if he destroyed the thing.

The chills from the zombie reached out over the ice to tug at Beltak’s calves, though, a piercing cold that could not be ignored.

[Zombie #02: Chillborn Aura]

[Beltak takes 5 cold damage]

Still, the abomination had to be destroyed, or Kireth’s life would be in jeopardy in any case. The scribe held out his symbol and chanted the words that he knew would bring forth a searing light.

[Sacred Flame]

[Primary Attack vs Zombie #02’s Reflex: 1d20+8: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+5: 10 radiant] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Destroyed]

[Kireth gains 2+3: 5 temporary hit points]

The zombie exploded when the radiant light from Beltak’s symbol struck its back. Shards of icy flesh tore past Kireth.

[Zombie #02: Death Burst]

[Burst 1] with [Damage: 2d6+2: 10]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+9: 12 vs Kireth’s Fortitude (16)] - misses!

The mage stood resolute against the barrage of ice, his feet finally released from their frozen prison.

Beltak moved across to the mage, to offer assistance should it be needed.

[Move: E, E]

Kireth, however, did not seem to want any help.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

The sounds behind him were reasonably positive-ish, but Tradden didn’t have time to look.

Instead he lashed out wildly, chopping at wood, slicing at ropes and stabbing at orcs — anything to stop the infernal machine and orcs sending another deadly stone towards his friends.

[Melee Basic Attack - Frost Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Trebuchet and Crew: 1d20+12: 32] - critical hit!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 15] plus [1d8: 1 critical cold damage] and [Destroyed]

Tradden was on his game now and his controlled ferocity was a sight to be seen. Chunks of wood were hewn from the orcish structure, pulleys were cut and the orcs cut and stabbed by the onslaught.

The orcs were frantically trying to load another stone, protected as they were slightly out of Tradden’s full reach. Despite his best efforts Tradden realised they were going to have time to launch another one — even now the projectile was set and the long, sturdy central rope taught. In desperation he tried one, last swing at the larger rope. His hands screamed in pain as his blows simply bounced off — it was tough than it looked and all he had succeeded in doing was cutting a couple of minor ropes on the rebound.

At that moment there was an long, ominous groan and a set of snapping sounds. Almost by instinct the fighter ducked as he sensed something moving behind him. His reactions were not matched by the two orcs. They completely failed to see the remnants of a particularly taught secondary rope which flashed around wickedly, wrapping itself around the wooden structure as it did so. The green fleshy things were no barrier and it sliced completely through them leaving even more bits of orc on this particular battle field.

The trebuchet, set and primed to fire one last time was ominously still.

Tradden turned to see most of his comrades seemingly alright, but a very weak looking Kireth teetering on the edge of one of the dark openings on the ice…

Combat
Completed

CO

[Combat Encounter Completed]

Combat
Short Rest

XP

Healing Surges

Healing Surges are applied.

[Khalin spends 2 healing surges (5 left) to get to 56/56 hit points]

[Kireth spends 3 healing surges (2 left) to get to 44/48 hit points]

[Tradden spends 0 healing surges (6 left) to get to 63/63 hit points]

[Zero spends 0 healing surges (7 left) to get to 55/55 hit points]

Encounter Powers

All encounter powers are recharged.

Milestones

No milestones reached.

Experience

Experience awarded.

[Khalin gains 443 xp to reach 10,883 xp]

[Kireth gains 444 xp to reach 10,866 xp]

[Tradden gains 442 xp to reach 10,894 xp]

[Zero gains 444 xp to reach 10,873 xp]

Levelling

No one is ready to progress.

Combat
Completed

End

[…continued in Book #01, Chapter #10, Scene #03…]