BK
01
CH
11
SC
02

Armour of Thorns
Encircled

…continues from Book #01, Chapter #11, Scene #01

Synopsis

4th Day of Tarsakh in the Year of the Sudden Journey
Leaving the perils of the Stonemarch behind them, the group head east and north to meet up with Altair's Talons at the northern range of the Cairngorm mountains. A lone peak with a shattered outcrop awaits them for the meeting point; before they attempt to cross the mountains through the orc-guarded pass and finally reach the Nentir Vale.
Finding a magic circle within the foothills they start a chain of events with the music of the wind that ends in a blast of lightning and thunder. Reeling from the shock they recover to be warned of an insurgence of goblinkind!

For a chapter summary please see Chapter #11 Summary.

Cast List

Khalin Grundokri 

Level 8 Male Dwarven Marshal (Warlord)

Kireth Majere 

Level 8 Male Half-Elven Arcanist (Wizard)

Tradden Aversward 

Level 8 Male Human Weaponmaster (Fighter)

Zero Uhlit 

Level 8 Level Male Human Scoundrel (Rogue)

Beltak Ancaron

Scribe of Pelor (NPC)

Female Dwarf

(NPC)

Scene Length

This scene starts on Sunday 17th November 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of Sunday 15th December 2019.

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

Combat
Initiative Block

I

Round #07

Waiting for Kireth to take their turn


Khalin – Prepared for Anything: Allies gain +2 AC until they act
Khalin – Combat Leader: You, and allies within 10 that see and hear you, gain +2 to initiative
Khalin – Shield the Fallen: Grant adjacent bloodied, unconscious, or helpless ally +2 to saving throws and all defences
Zero – Cunning Sneak First Strike: At encounter start, get combat advantage against foes that haven't acted yet


Creatures in Play:

[27] Khalin HP:39/61 61,57,40,36,22,7,10,5,20,50,36,39

[25] Beltak HP:42/58 51,47,42,29,47,42

[14] Zero HP:56/60 60,56

[13] Female Dwarf HP:67/75 75,71,67+2 to melee damage rolls and Strength checks

[07] Orc Chieftain Dmg: 199 0,8,21,25,39,50,58,68,81,87,92,105,125,133,137,153,179,186,199BloodiedMarked by Tradden13 ongoing damage (Save Ends)

[De] Kireth HP:49/52 46,42,27,15,39,17,12,32,49

[De] Tradden HP:62/70 70,66,61,51,45,40,64,51,35,23,12,15,35,59,62Rain of Steel Stance


Removed from Play:

[29] Hobgoblin Soldier #03 Dmg: 53 0,25,29,39,43,53

[18] Hobgoblin Soldier #01 Dmg: 62 0,22,46,62

[18] Goblin Grunts

Goblin Grunt #01 Dmg: 19 0,19

Goblin Grunt #02 Dmg: 19 0,19

Goblin Grunt #03

Goblin Grunt #04 Dmg: 19 0,19

Goblin Grunt #05

Goblin Grunt #06

Goblin Grunt #07 Dmg: 20 0,20

Goblin Grunt #08 Dmg: 14 0,14

Goblin Grunt #09 Dmg: 8 0,8

Goblin Grunt #10 Dmg: 8 0,8

Goblin Grunt #11 Dmg: 37 0,37

Goblin Grunt #12 Dmg: 25 0,25

Goblin Grunt #13 Dmg: 25 0,25

Goblin Grunt #14 Dmg: 8 0,8

Goblin Grunt #15 Dmg: 8 0,8

Goblin Grunt #16 Dmg: 25 0,25

[16] Hobgoblin Warcaster Dmg: 57 0,14,39,47,57

[15] Hobgoblin Soldier #02 Dmg: 53 0,25,29,37,42,53

[14] Orc Rampager #01 Dmg: 91 0,33,57,67,74,83,91

[12] Hobgoblin Soldier #04 Dmg: 57 0,8,18,39,57

[11] Orc Rampager #02 Dmg: 100 0,25,42,50,61,80,89,100

Combat
Battlemap

BM

Combat
Features of the Area

AF

Illumination: Daylight.

Monoliths are Blocking Terrain.

Blocks Movement: Creatures can't enter squares of blocking terrain. A typical square of blocking terrain is completely filled, which prevents diagonal movement across its corners.
No Line of Effect or Line of Sight: Blocking terrain blocks line of effect. It blocks line of sight as well, unless the terrain is transparent.
Cover: A creature can gain cover by positioning itself near blocking terrain.

The shrunken vines are Hindering Terrain and Obscured Terrain

Hindering: Pits, electrifying runes, lava, extremely deep water, and other harmful environmental phenomena are hindering terrain, which punishes creatures that are in it or try to enter it.
Saving Throw: A creature can make a saving throw to avoid being forced into hindering terrain, whether it is pulled, pushed, slid, teleported, or otherwise moved against its will.
Damage: Hindering terrain almost always has the potential to harm creatures that enter it, either by causing them to fall or by dealing damage to them directly.
Heavily Obscured: Squares of heavy foliage, heavy fog, or heavy smoke are heavily obscured.
Cover: A creature can gain cover by positioning itself near obscured terrain.

The raised stones are Blocking Terrain.

Combat
Kireth Majere

There sure were a lot of them. ‘One, two, three… ah, screw it, this is going to get messy,’ the mage mumbled to himself. He was split seconds away from calling on one of his more “devastating” spells but then paused. These were just goblins. Certainly, they posed a threat in large numbers such as this, but…

Kireth strained his half-elven eyes to see past them and to the rear of the group scampering up the rise.

‘And who are you?’ he said out loud. ‘Something else,’ he answered himself. He had seen goblins deployed like this before, magic fodder if you like, draw the fire so that the real threat can do its work when our arsenal is depleted. ‘Very well, we shall see how this plays out,’ he said.

Clutching his staff he pointed through the gap between the monoliths and a small blue bolt of eldritch flame sped from his hand.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Goblin Grunt #09] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8] and [Dead]

The bolt smashed into the midriff of the onrushing goblin, catapulting it backwards head over feet onto the grass where it lay still.

Kireth smiled and whispered another incantation on his lips.

[Wizard's Fury]

[Kireth may cast Magic Missile as a Minor Action once per turn until end of the encounter]

‘Khalin!’ he called back over his shoulder. ‘Cover me as best you can. I think you are going to need all I have.’

[Move: NE, NE]

With a flourish of his robes the mage slowly backed towards the centre of the circle.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden took up as defensive a pose as best he could and surveyed the enemy. Lots of them — so many gobbos would never have been able to get so close without being noticed but for the rather unique circumstances of the circle, the storm, and so on, but that didn't matter now.

Many of the nearer greenskins, he noted, had bows sprinkled into the usual assortment of wicked looking blades. Not good. At least when they were out of melee range.

Just as he was wondering whether to move to defend Kireth following his latest demand, the decision was made for him.

‘Tradden!’ came the authoritative yell from Khalin. ‘Protect the mage as we fall back and get ready for their charge. Give them what ranged fury we can, boys!’ There was a short pause. ‘…And, um, lady!’

[Move: E, E]

Tradden didn't need telling twice. With swift, sure steps the fighter scuttled in a part-sideways-part-backwards motion to move right up to Kireth and place himself between the advancing horde and the mage.

[Total Defence]

[Tradden gains +2 bonus to all defences until the start of next turn]

With that, he leaned into a defensive pose, holding out his swords in a crossed motion in front of him.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #03

From behind the groups of onrushing goblins a larger figure, a hobgoblin, pushed through the ranks, its shield knocking the smaller goblins out of the way as it advanced with long strides.

[Move: E, NE, E, E, E, NE]

As it cleared the troop of goblins it disappeared behind the monolith of Bahamut.

[Move: E, E, E, E]

It didn't appear round the side of the stone, though, perhaps waiting at the far side.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Following the hobgoblin forward came one of the group of goblins. Two of them headed towards the northern end of Bahamut' stone.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Move: NE, NE, E, SE]

[Goblin Grunt #06 Move: NE, NE, N, NE]

The other pair scampered past them at pace, outstripping them with impressive speed.

[Goblin Grunt #07 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #08 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

As the others flew past, the first pair steadied themselves and drew back their bows, aiming for the centre of the circle when Tradden had backed up.

[Goblin Grunt #05: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 8 vs Tradden's AC (22+2)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #06: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 8 vs Kireth's AC (20)] - misses!

The arrows whistled past the group, harmlessly grounding in the scrub at the far side of the circle.

The volley gave the other goblins the chance to skip behind Corellon and Kord, however, as they kept up their sprint towards the northern end of the circle.

[Goblin Grunt #07 Move: NE, NE, SE, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #08 Move: E]

They did not appear back out in the open, skulking behind the stones.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin nodded in satisfaction as Tradden set himself in a squat, efficient stance before Kireth. The warlord had to bite his lip not to yell “Shield wall!” as his martial training in the kel-Morndin Border March kicked in. Instead, he responded to the half-elf's call. ‘We're sitting ducks out here, I hope you know what you're doing.’

Raising his shield to ward off the inevitable assault from more enemy arrows, Khalin deftly tracked sideways, grabbing the planted standard along his way.

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

He slowed next to Tradden, protecting Kireth and conscious of Beltak slowly rising from the floor. ‘Beltak, get behind me, lad!’ he called, before nodding to his kinswoman. ‘Anything you can throw at these gobbos, miss?’ he enquired.

[Total Defence]

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

Planting the standard for now, though not activating its powers just yet, he drew Aecris and prepared for the onslaught.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak managed to get on to his hands and knees, but still remained groggy. He seemed to have been hit harder than the others by the blast and was taking longer to shake off the effects.

[Stand]

[No longer Prone]

He slowly got to his feet, rubbing his temples, a little unsure of where he was.

[Beltak Saving Throw vs Dazed: 1d20+1: 15] - success!

[Beltak is no longer Dazed]

His head cleared somewhat as he gulped in the air and the ringing in his ears softened to a dull chirp. ‘What… what's going on?’ he stammered.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #01

Another one of the flail and shield sporting hobgoblins continued its march up the rise, heading through the throng of goblins towards the stone circle.

[Move: NE, E, NE, E, NE, E]

It veered further on than its colleague, heading for the monolith to the north, pushing against some of the smaller goblins that had already scampered that far.

[Move: NE, E, NE, E, NE]

Out of view behind the carved stone it could be doing a anything.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Ignoring the smoking body of their comrade, struck by Kireth's bolt, the goblins drew their bows, even at this far range, and let fly with some speculative shots.

[Goblin Grunt #10: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 9 vs Khalin's AC (23+2)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #11: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 11 vs Beltak's AC (20)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #12: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 12 vs Tradden's AC (22+2)] - misses!

The arrows flew long and wide and were no worry for the party, but even before the arrows thumped into the turf in the circle the goblins were off and running.

[Goblin Grunt #10 Move: E, SE]

[Goblin Grunt #11 Move: E, E, E, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #12 Move: SE, SE, SE, SE, SE, E]

Like the others they found cover behind the monoliths, likely drawing another arrow or slipping out their wicked blades.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

Far to the rear of the group strode an imposing figure, quickly making its way towards the circle.

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

It covered the ground quickly in loping strides, its tattered black cloak fluttering behind it. Clutching a crooked staff of some kind it was almost a comical figure, the weight of the thing obviously making it hard to balance, yet the creature continued its pace.

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

Like the goblins before it, it managed to reach the monoliths, finding cover behind them and bided its time.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #02

With its flail held high one of the large hobgoblins darted forwards, splitting the goblins to its north and south, and darting through the gap between the monoliths.

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

It uttered a guttural shout as it breached the circle's edge and kept on running through, the flail still high and its shield out in front.

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

With the others holding back it looked in an exposed position for now.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

As the flail-wielding hobgoblin burst into the circle, the northernmost group of goblins took their cue and headed off at some speed.

[Goblin Grunt #01 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #02 Run: E, E, E, E, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #03 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #04 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

Their little legs covered the ground in no time to get to a point of some cover, before they veered off even further north.

[Goblin Grunt #01 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, E]

[Goblin Grunt #02 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #03 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #04 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

They were hard to pick out between the stones and even more so as they were obscured by the remains of the shrunken black vines.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

‘Off your arse,’ Zero huffed to himself, though he wasn't sure whether he was mimicking the warlord or pushing himself into action, his head still hurt. With an effort he rolled and pushed himself up, quickly surveying the scene.

[Stand]

[No longer Prone]

The others were stood in the centre of the circle and he could see goblins beyond them running and hiding behind the huge stone statues. Perhaps they hadn't seen him, so far away, and he decided to keep a low profile.

[Fleeting Ghost]

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

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+15: 19] - success!

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

He kept low, scuttling towards some small boulders to the south of the circle and slid in behind them, taking cover and drawing his crossbow, still trying to shake some sense into himself.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

One of the orcs at the rear of the enemy group began to charge towards the circle up the rise, running at full pelt with both hands grasping a huge flail.

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

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

It dwarfed the goblins it passed, shoving them out of the way.

[Run: NE, NE, NE, E, E, E, E, E]

It ended up near a small gaggle of the goblins, spittle flying from its twisted lips.

Combat
Dwarf Female

As the group moved into action, the dwarven woman quickly looked around her. Seeing the group were moving to defend against the approaching goblins, she surmised they were not an immediate threat.

Bursting into action herself, she broke into a run towards the remains of the thorns, her short legs pumping.

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

As she closed on them, she took her hammer in her right hand and span it around, so the head was pointing groundward. She came to a halt by the thorns and took a wide, bracing stance.

With a quick move she thumped the head of the hammer into the ground whilst simultaneously reaching groundward with her left arm, fingers spread, palm upwards. She shouted out, as if in pain, or perhaps feeling the pain of the ground itself as it started to shake. A low rumble permeated the circle as small tremors throbbed underfoot. She raised her arm from groundward to pointing skyward as her shout intensified.

[Raise the Stones]

[Stone monoliths raised at L18, K19, F23, E24, D30, D31]

The ground between the monoliths of Bahamut and Corellon, Corellon and Kord, and Kord and Pelor started to shift and move, tufts of grass and turf moving upwards and seeming to roll outwards as the nearby goblins stepped back in alarm. In the blink of an eye, several shafts of grey granite stone burst from the ground and wedged themselves into tight groups between the gods. The fingers of stone were rough, but flat, making an effective wall, some ten feet high, sealing the entry from Bahamut all of the way to Pelor.

She took deep breaths, seemingly physically worn by the action, before she pointed her hand to the gap between The Raven Queen and Bahamut to the west, shouting out in a gruff voice.

‘Kill every shit-eating skunk-weasel who comes through there!’

Combat
Goblin Grunts

The last remaining troupe of goblins started to make their move. They appeared unsettled by the sudden emergence of the granite slabs from the earth, as if their plans had been wrecked and their orders now in tatters.

[Goblin Grunt #13 Move: SE, E, SE, E, SE, E]

[Goblin Grunt #14 Move: SE, E, SE, SE, E, SE]

[Goblin Grunt #15 Move: E, E, NE, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #16 Move: E, SE, E, E, SE, E]

Three of them headed towards the south of the monoliths, perhaps still following their initial plan, but the other headed towards the western entrance to the circle on its own.

[Goblin Grunt #13 Move: E, SE, E, E, SE, E]

[Goblin Grunt #14 Move: E, E, SE, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #15 Move: E, NE, E, NE, E, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #16 Move: E, E, E, E, E, E]

The one heading north burst through the gap between Bahamut and The Raven Queen, keeping close to the hobgoblin. The others continued their path around the south of the circle.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #04

Following the goblin troupe towards the circle came a hobgoblin, marching quickly with shield and flail.

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

It too headed towards the western gap, following the stray goblin before it.

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

It came to a stop not far behind its hobgoblin comrade, just through the gap.

Combat
Orc Rampager #02

Another orc with a huge flail charged up the hill, not appearing to care if it were a target for arrows.

[Run: E, NE, E, NE, E, E, NE, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

Spittle flew from its lips as it charge and it carried on headless, stamping on the corpse of the fallen goblin as it continued its run.

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

It only came to a stop when it barged into one of the hobgoblins, squeezed by the tight path into the circle.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The final figure to the west began a very deliberate march up the slope, its long strides covering the distance quickly, but not without due care to the melee that had ensued.

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

It was the largest of the orcs, broad and muscled under a thick chain vest and carrying a huge double-headed axe. Its eyes were fixed on the group as it continued its steady ascent.

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

As it neared the gaps between the monoliths it became easier to make out the markings on its face; black patches smeared across its eyes that even in the growing gloom were obvious to those inside the circle.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The enemy was upon them but, for Kireth, not quite close enough. He had some spells that could be used at this distance but it would be better to wait. It certainly would not be right to move from the protection his allies were offering right now.

[Delay]

[Kireth delays until all enemies have completed their movement]

No, he would wait. Wait for just the right moment.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden sensed, rather than saw, the slight tensing of the mage behind him, and immediately knew what it meant.

‘Alright… makes sense…’ he half-whispered over his shoulder. ‘Do your thing, and then I will be ready if any get through.’ With that, the fighter twirled both swords once in a vertically circular motion.

If either the words or gesture made any impact on the half-elf, it wasn't apparent.

[Delay]

[Tradden delays until after Kireth]

Tradden tightened his grip on the pommels of his blades as the greenskins started to pour through the closest gap and he watched. And waited.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #03

A moment of confusion ran over the hobgoblin soldier's face as the granite boulders burst from the ground between the monoliths. It progress blocked, it turned and marched back towards the other opening.

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

With its shield held before it, it strode through the opening, past the goblins and into the circle.

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

It approached the group somewhat cautiously, shield guarding its body and taking one short step after another.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

At first the goblins quaked at the sign of the stones sprouting from the ground, but shouted at and corralled by the hobgoblins, they began to take flight, heading sunward around the monoliths as fast as they could.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Run: N, N, N, NE, NE, NE, NE, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #06 Run: NE, N, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #07 Run: NE, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #08 Run: NE, NE, NE, NE, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

With entrances to the stone circle blocked they had to continue their sprinting, circling as far as they could before a gap was found.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Run: NE, NE, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #06 Run: NE, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #07 Run: E, E, E, E, E, SE, S, S]

[Goblin Grunt #08 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

At the end of its sprint, one of the goblins could be seen through a gap to the northeast, the others not too far behind.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin was suitably impressed by the dwarven woman's intervention and nodded appreciatively towards her in acknowledgement at the geological feat. ‘Aye, that should help nicely, thank you m'lady,’ he called.

Seeing his comrades set themselves for battle, the warlord breathed a rather redundant “Steady!” to the others. They had a tight formation and though he felt an almost pathological urge to charge at the lead foe, he raised Aecris and set his feet.

[Ready An Action]

[Khalin will perform a basic melee attack if an enemy moves into an adjacent square]

The dwarf, human and half-elf formed the point of an arrow aimed at the enemy whilst the dwarf waited for the enemy to attack.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak had finally come to his senses, the ringing in his ears now only a faint tingle and his sight was back to normal. With the others grouping together he decided to move into formation with them, though no-one had given many orders.

[Shift: NW]

Khalin and Tradden seemed ready with their weapons, so Beltak hoisted his mace and checked his symbol of Pelor was free, glancing quickly at the monolith to the north of the circle with a short nod. Kireth seemed calm, almost smiling, but the priest had no idea where Zero was. Over Tradden's shoulder, though, he spotted another dwarf, which was confusing, near the remains of the vines.

[Total Defence]

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

With a measured movement he shifted his shield, preparing for the onslaught.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #01

The raised stones were still causing confusion in the goblinoid ranks and their troops had to resort to sprinting to find any gaps to get into the circle.

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

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

The hobgoblin did not seem encumbered by the weight of its scale mail nor the flail and heavy shield that it carried, sprinting around the top of the monoliths with long loping strides.

[Run: NE, NE, E, E, E, E, NE]

As it caught some of the goblins its chided them, ushering them on and barking orders in a low guttural tongue.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

On the bark of some order the goblins just outside the monoliths directly to the east began to pour through the gaps and into the circle, splitting their paths diagonally.

[Goblin Grunt #10 Move: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #11 Move: SE, SE, E, SE, SE, SE]

[Goblin Grunt #12 Move: SE, E, E, NE, E, E]

They covered the ground quickly, their eyes always on the group before sliding to stops almost in unison and drawing back the strings of their bows.

[Goblin Grunt #10: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 23 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #11: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 26 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - critical hit!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #12: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 15 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

Short black fletches nicked at the young warrior and the warlord — a volley with intent of things to come.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The hobgoblin with the staff followed its line around the monoliths, heading for one of the gaps.

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

It followed the goblin archers through and into the circle, pausing for a moment to examine the group in the centre.

[Move: NE, E, E, E, E, E]

It wasn't long before it set off again, striding eastwards in parallel to the huddled defenders, waving its staff at the other goblins in encouragement.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #02

As the goblins burst through into the circle around it and fanned out, one of the soldiers strode forwards at a measured pace.

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

It moved almost within striking distance before stopping, protecting itself with its massive shield, a veritable barrier in front of it and then started to bang on the rear of the metal with its flail.

[Total Defence]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #02 gains +2 bonus to all defences until the start of next turn]

Slowly and rhythmically it kept up the banging, grunting in unison, taunting the group from only a couple of dozen feet away.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Spurred on by the soldier the goblins at the northern side of the monoliths picked up speed, hurtling around the stones.

[Goblin Grunt #01 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #02 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #03 Run: NE, E, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

[Goblin Grunt #04 Run: NE, NE, E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

They moved together, sometimes almost tripping over each other in their lust for battle, rounding the corners and looking for a gap into the circle.

[Goblin Grunt #01 Run: E, E, E, E, E, SE, S]

[Goblin Grunt #02 Run: E, E, E, E, SE, SE, E]

[Goblin Grunt #03 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, E, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #04 Run: E, E, E, E, E, E, SE, SE]

As they neared the northeastern edge of the circle they were funneled into the gap, barging into each other clumsily.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero took careful aim from his hiding place and loosed a bolt at the distant target.

[Sly Flourish]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+10+2-2: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+6: 10] plus [2d8: 4 sneak damage]

The bolt flew gracefully across the stone circle and buried itself deep in the hobgoblin's voluminous robes. Its head snapped quickly around from staring at the group to searching out the archer.

‘Come on…’ He whispered hopefully, sensing the creatures closing in around them.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

With a growl one of the rampaging orcs outside the circle struck out at the granite stones blocking its path in frustration. With the route to the group blocked it had to turn and head back to the south.

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

The passage between the monoliths to the west of the circle was getting crowded now, with many of the creatures trying to find their way through. The orc bullied the goblins out of the way, pushing through to charge into the circle.

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

As it cleared the throng it bellowed, raising its flail with one hand whilst fingering the haft of an axe at its belt with the other.

Combat
Female Dwarf

Gathering her breath and wits, the dwarf woman watched as orcs, goblins and hobgoblins spilled through the gaps in the stones to the west. She glanced at the three figures in the centre of the circle and wondered why they were not moving to fight. She muttered something unintelligible under her breath, finishing with the more legible.

‘I'll do it me bloody self.’

But as she hefted her hammer, looking at the nearest goblin, she turned to see the second group had continued their move sunwise around the outside of the circle and were now moving in. They were being outflanked anyway, despite her blocking intervention. For a second she paused, looking between the two groups.

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

Gritting her teeth, her mind made up, she turned and started to sprint towards the goblins to the north, shouting out a battle cry as she moved and looking to engage them before they made use of the space inside the circle.

[Move: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

She covered the ground quickly, but not recklessly, heading off the goblins coming through the northwestern gap.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

The goblin group to the southeast skittered through the monoliths, pouring into the circle like a river torrent through rapids, their bows held out before them.

[Goblin Grunt #13 Move: N, NE, NE, NE, NE, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #14 Move: SE, SE, SE, E, NE, NE]

[Goblin Grunt #15 Move: NE, NE, NE, NE, NE, E]

[Goblin Grunt #16 Move: E, E, NE, NE, NE, E]

Spreading out they took up a stance and pulled back on their bowstrings.

[Goblin Grunt #13: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 11 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #14: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 22 vs Beltak's AC (20+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #15: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 24 vs Kireth's AC (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #13: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 12 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

One of the arrows stuck at Beltak's flank, despite his attempts at defending himself as he had seen the others do. Another one grazed Kireth's calf, drawing a scowl from the mage.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #04

Striding through the centre of the western goblins came one of the hobgoblins, shield pushed out before it.

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

It was soon not so far behind its comrade, one of the other shielded hobgoblins, and the pair seemed to flow together as they shifted into formation.

[Shift: NE]

With flail against shield, it too joined in the rhythmic banging, shouting at the group, the pair of them hardly to be seen behind the great barrier shields.

Combat
Orc Rampager #02

Orcs kept coming from the west, another slowing its pace as it entered the circle to a more considered approach.

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

With the two soldiers in front of it, forming an effective barrier, it grabbed the axe at its belt. Twisting it with skill in its hand it planted its feet and with a guttural shout threw it towards the group.

The two soldiers ducked and lowered their shields in unison and the axe skimmed their heads as it tumbled end over end.

[Ranged Basic Attack - Handaxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 24 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6: 17]

The axe thudded into Khalin’s dark mail before he knew what was happening and the orc let out a scream of victory.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

What seemed like far out to the west now, beyond the ring of monoliths, the larger of the orcs kept up its measured approach. It wasn't slow, it just kept coming at the same pace, its great axe held before it.

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

It reached the gap in the monoliths and surveyed the scene. The enemy were pinned in the centre of the circle, cowering and its troops had them covered. There was no rush, it could savour this battle.

[Move: E, E, NE, NE, E, E]

Finding space for itself on the battlefield it stretched its limbs, cracking its elbows and its neck and then let out a fearsome bellow at the group.

Combat
Kireth Majere

Waiting, waiting and… now!

The time was right and the words came to his lips in an instant, his eyes dancing over the copper-plated book that had just seemed to fall into the fingers of his left hand.

[Book of Undeniable Fire]

[Kireth swaps Acid Mire for Fireball]

His right hand held his focal staff out in front of him, while his left, now devoid of the book it held only moments ago, deftly danced, weaving patterns so attuned to him he barely knew he was making them. His left hand then glowed red, before turning a burning white, bursting with fire and energy.

The mage drew the staff back for balance as his left hand thrust forward, hurling the ball of fire over his companions and into the enemy's ranks.

[Fireball]

[Area Burst 3 centred on V23] with [Damage: 4d6+7: 25]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #03's Reflex: 1d20+11: 30] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Rampager #01's Reflex: 1d20+11: 31] - critical hit!

[Damage: 31] plus [1d6: 2 radiant critical damage]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Rampager #02's Reflex: 1d20+11: 18] - hits!

[Damage: 25]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02's Reflex: 1d20+11: 19] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #13's Reflex: 1d20+11: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #11's Reflex: 1d20+11: 31] - critical hit!

[Damage: 31] plus [1d6: 6 radiant critical damage] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #16's Reflex: 1d20+11: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #12's Reflex: 1d20+11: 21] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster's Reflex: 1d20+11: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 25] and [Bloodied]

The flame was devastating, the energy ricocheting from the monoliths back onto the goblins and incinerating the grunts where they stood before they had chane to react. The soldier behind the shield fared better, although it screamed with the pain from the heat, but the orcs were made of sterner stuff. The warcaster, off to Kireth's left staggered backwards a bit with the blast, but somehow managed to keep its feet.

Energy still crackling down his arm he turned to the left. ‘And you shall feel more of my wrath.’

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8]

The blast nearly finished the creature off, leaving it reeling uncertainly on wobbling legs.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden heard the words from behind him, and felt the “whoosh” shoot past him. Just in time to protect his eyes from the flash, the fighter held a forearm over his face and was already moving by the time the first goblin casualty hit the floor.

‘I will hold this group. Take any stragglers!’ he yelled over his shoulder as he scampered forward.

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

Arriving into the middle of the now scorched earth, Tradden summoned up a war cry to attract the attention of the greenskins, and at the very last moment decided to change it into dwarvish to try and buoy the spirits of Khalin and their new comrade.

‘Yerhir o fa detten, holflikk fran!’

Whether the goblins understood this grammatically imperfect and overtly etiquette-laden battle-shout wasn't clear (although there was a strangled sigh from behind him), but it certainly seemed to get their attention.

[Come And Get It!]

[Close Burst 3] with [Damage: 1d8+3: 8]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #15's Will: 1d20+13: 16] - hits!

[Pull: S, S] and [Damage: 8] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #10's Will: 1d20+13: 21] - hits!

[Pull: E] and [Damage: 8] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Will: 1d20+13: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 8] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #04's Will: 1d20+13: 20] - hits!

[Pull: N] and [Damage: 8] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #03's Will: 1d20+13: 20] - hits!

[Cannot Pull] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Rampager #01's Will: 1d20+13: 33] - critical hit!

[Pull: NE, NE] and [Damage: 11] and [1d6: 3 cold critical damage] and [Marked] and [Bloodied]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Rampager #02's Will: 1d20+13: 17] - hits!

[Cannot Pull] and [Marked]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02's Will: 1d20+13: 29] - hits!

[Cannot Pull] and [Marked]

With various roars of rage, the horde descended on Tradden. As they closed in from all sides the fighter stood nonchalantly, again waiting. Waiting. As multiple greenskins closed to melee range, the human sprang, literally, into action, leaping from a standing position and somehow torqueing and twisting at the same time, his two blades arcing out in a vortex of steel death. The goblins were cleaved, cut and carved time after time, and by the time Tradden's booted feet hit the ground again a number of bodies lay around him.

Without pausing for breath he shouted out. ‘Khalin, we can keep this lot busy. Go help the Lady!’

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #03

Enraged by the flames and the sweeping blades and the taunts of the thin human the hobgoblin lost a little of its discipline, changing its focus from the group in the centre to the immediate attacker.

[Move: N, N, NE, NE]

It still took a considered approach to reaching the young fighter, joining at Tradden's flank to gain what advantage it could.

Keeping its shield to the fore, it drew back its flail and chopped at Tradden over the top of the steel barrier.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 28 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+4: 5] and [Slowed] and [Marked]

The flail arced down and crashed onto Tradden's shoulder, numbing his side and drawing his full attention.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

As Tradden's attention was torn away by the force of the blow, the goblins where he had indicated Khalin should concentrate his efforts scampered around the gap where the “Lady” was making here stand.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Move: E, E, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #06 Move: E, E, E, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #07 Move: S]

[Goblin Grunt #08 Move: E, SE, S, S, SW]

Where the dwarf was holding the gap, the goblins found it hard to make their entrance, fighting for access in the tight passage through the monoliths, funnelled into the waiting path of the dwarf.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Move: E, E, E, E]

[Goblin Grunt #06 Move: E]

Two of them had managed to get through, however, discarding their bows and drawing wicked looking blades. Closing in on the dwarf they slashed out with speed and surprising force.

[Goblin Grunt: #07: Melee Basic Attack - Shortsword]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 21 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt: #07: Melee Basic Attack - Shortsword]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 11 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

A glancing blow from one of the goblins caught the dwarf on her thigh, not cutting through her worn hide armour, but the force would leave a bruise.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin let out a heavy sigh and raised an eyebrow at Tradden's enthusiastic but idiosyncratic stab at the dwarvish tongue. The warlord had been fair chomping at the bit to attack but, though Kireth's frequent jibes and barbs were annoying, the dwarf nevertheless trusted his half-elven comrade's judgement in these matters.

The dwarf snatched the standard and stowed it almost in one movement then, wasting no more time, Khalin heeded Tradden's call and turned to sprint after his kinswoman, winding up Aecris as he barreled towards the goblins to the northeast.

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

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

Sweeping the mighty craghammer round, down and back up in a majestic arc, Khalin charged into the fray, the point of the weapon aimed squarely up into the chest of the nearest goblin.

[Charge - Vanguard Craghammer]

[Charge: N, NE, NE, N]

[Primary Attack vs Goblin Grunt #08: 1d20+12+1-5: 16] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+8: 13] plus [1d8: 1 vanguard craghammer extra charge damage] and [Dead]

The point of the craghammer crashed home, lifting the goblin clean off its feet, dead instantly.

‘Better late than never,’ Khalin quipped as he skidded to a halt and set his feet alongside his fellow dwarf, Aecris raised in defiance against the enemy and shield at the ready to defend himself and his countrywoman.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak was definitely feeling more composed, the ringing in his ears and dizzyness finally gone. The party had split into multiple groups now, with Khalin charging off to the northeast to join the other dwarf. Here in the middle he stood with Kireth, with Tradden throwing himself into the midst of the goblins further west. Zero was gone, as usual, likely somewhere hidden in the growing darkness.

It made sense to protect Kireth, yet Tradden had managed to get himself surrounded.

[Shift: NW]

He shifted quickly in front of the mage, closer to the goblins, and held out his symbol before him.

[Lance of Faith]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #04's Reflex: 1d20+9: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5: 10]

[Tradden gains +2 bonus to next attack roll against Hobgoblin Soldier #04]

A searing light shot from Beltak's symbol, striking the hobgoblin flanking Tradden and leaving a smouldering burn on its shoulder.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #01

The soldier urging on the goblins outside the northern edge of the circle slowed its pace, the gaggle of smaller goblins before it getting in its path.

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

It pushed a couple out of its way, barging between the monoliths.

[Move: E, SE, S, S, SW]

It came to stop right in front of the female dwarf and adjacent to Khalin, thrusting out its shield as a barrier.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The warcaster, that had looked fearsome when it first entered the circle, now looked bedraggled and confused, swaying on its legs. The side of its face was burnt and twisted where Kireth's magics had taken their toll. It snarled at the mage in the centre of the circle and took a few shaky steps forwards.

[Move: N, NE, N, NE]

As it approached it held out its crooked staff, shaking it with the remnants of the warcaster's energy.

[Force Lure]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 25 vs Kireth's Fortitude (17)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+10: 15] and [Slide: NW, NW, NW]

From the warcaster's staff a barely imperceptible shaft of force sped out and caught Kireth in his chest, taking the wind out of his lungs. The force clung to him, however, and the warcaster swept his staff across in an arc and the mage found himself being flung towards the northwest like a rag doll.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #02

Raising its shield somewhat, the soldier just to the south of Tradden picked up the pace, shaking off the sting of the flames from the mage and circling in an arc around the young fighter’s blades.

[Move: NE, N, N, N, NW, SW]

Its arc led around to the northern flank of Tradden where it slipped into position next to its comrade, their shields interlocking in a subtle movement.

From behind its shield it drew back its mace and reached out to strike at Tradden.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 12 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

Tradden was wise to this, however, after the other soldier had used the same trick and deftly sidestepped the blow.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

The goblins to the northeastern end of the circle were clumped together now and were drawing back their bows. One of their number was out of position and the others shouted at it to come to them.

[Goblin Grunt #03 Move: E, E, E, E]

With them all in formation they took aim and let fire.

[Goblin Grunt #01: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 14 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #02: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 20 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #03: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6+2: 10 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #04: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6+2: 19 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

The shafts flew through the tight space between the monoliths, but only one hit its mark, scratching the side of the female dwarf's arm.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero kept the little cover he had behind the rocks and tried to spy out an easy victim. The closest bedraggled figure he could see was the warcaster, moving up slowly to the group at the centre of the circle, waving its crooked metal staff.

He took a shot at it to see if he could finish it off.

[Sly Flourish]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+10: 13] - misses!

The shot was mistimed, however, and flew harmlessly past, striking one of the monoliths beyond his target.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

The ball of flame from Kireth's magics and Tradden's skill with his blades and irritating taunts had driven the flail-wielding orc to a frenzy. The thing thrashed about, looking for an opening in Tradden's defences, bringing its flail around in a mighty heave.

[Melee Basic Attack - Heavy Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 24 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6: 10]

The flail crashed down onto Tradden's shoulder, spinning the young fighter around and keeping him within the cage of orcs and hobgoblins.

Combat
Female Dwarf

As the dwarf woman arrived at the gap, the goblin's were already spilling through. She was also aware of someone else running up behind her. As she readied her maul, the other dwarf came into view at her flank and smashed the first goblin down. However, an armoured hobgoblin quickly pushed in the vacated space, its shield pressed forward.

The second goblin caught her thigh with a cut, but this only seemed to make her more angry.

[Earthforger's Might]

[Female Dwarf gains +2 to damage rolls and Strength checks until end of encounter]

Pausing for a moment, the woman reached towards the ground once more, fingers outstretched. For a second the ground seemed to shake once again, but much more lightly, then her very skin seemed to turn a slight grey and take on a stone like texture.

[Hack and Hew]

[Primary Attack vs Goblin Grunt #07: 1d20+13: 23] - hits!

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

[Female Dwarf gains 4 temporary hit points]

[Secondary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01: 1d20+13: 18] - misses!

[Marked]

Eyes wide, and teeth gritted, the woman snarled as she made a savage two handed uppercut, taking the second goblin in the chest, the blow carrying on up through the neck into its head. It was dead before it left the ground. She did not stop her run though, and let her momentum carried her forward into the gap between the monoliths.

[Move: NE]

As she passed the hobgoblin, she reversed her swing, turning to her left to bring the maul down. An arrow clipped her arm, sending blood flying and disrupting her aim. The hobgoblin followed her movement, shouting, spittle flying as it raised its shield in time to intercept the blow. It staged back a step from the force, wooden splinters flying, but otherwise stood its ground, its attention still focused on the wild dwarf woman.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

As the bolt from the rogue skittered across the circle, the last remaining goblin in the southwestern arc poked its head between the monoliths and spied the rogue.

[Goblin Grunt #14 Move: NE, NE]

Getting some cover of its own it kept its bow nocked and when Zero poked his head above his own rock the goblin let fly.

[Goblin Grunt #14: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 21 vs Zero's AC (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

Despite the rogue's ducking the arrow slipped past the rock and tore another hole in his embroidered shirt, drawing blood with a cut across the top of his arm, almost forcing him to drop his crossbow.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #04

Tradden was surrounded by hobgoblins and orcs and was doing his best to fend them off. Some of these creatures, however, appeared to be trained not just in the power and weight of attacks, but in tactics and guile. The hobgoblin on his southeastern flank moved up to his east, trying to circle him.

[Shift: N]

It no longer flanked the young fighter, but it still had a chance to strike when Tradden was busy with another foe.

[Formation Strike - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 23 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+4: 6]

[Shift: N]

It struck a glancing blow before moving up in formation next to its comrade.

Combat
Orc Rampager #02

Another of the orcs, just south of Tradden, fought hard to resist the temptation to charge at the young fighter. The taunts form the blade-wielding human were hard to ignore, but it had its orders and charged off towards the robe-clothed mage.

[Move: E, NE, NE, NE, N]

The half-elf was already off balance after being pushed away from the centre of the circle and the rampaging orc closed in for the kill.

[Melee Basic Attack - Heavy Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11-2: 22 vs Kireth's AC (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6: 12] and [Bloodied]

The mage was an easy target and the orc howled with a sense of victory after crashing its flail into the unprotected body, the spikes on the head of the weapon ripping a short gash in Kireth's abdomen.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The largest orc out of them all had been drawn towards Tradden's taunts, swinging its greataxe in a wide arc. There didn't appear to be much finesse with the weapon, just sheer power and brute force. It took a heave at the young fighter's back as Tradden attempted to fend off the hobgoblins gathering in formation to his north.

[Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 17 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

The young fighter sidestepped the swing of the axe as it came down, swirling on the attacker, but leaving his flank now exposed to the hobgoblins.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The throb of the wound to his chest caused him to instinctively place a hand defensively over it as he backed away from the drooling rampager.

[Shift: E]

Backing off further would achieve what? Delay the next attack a mere few seconds? No, better to fight. Go down swinging as the fighters would say. It seemed he had to protect himself anyway. The dwarf had once again chosen the better part of valour, leaving the mage to get pounded on, unprotected.

‘Beltak,’ he shouted to the cleric, ‘I need your aid.’ A spasm in his chest punctuated his final word.

The orc roared in delight at the mage's visible pain, swinging its weapon above its head.

‘You think me weak?’ Kireth snarled, spitting blood down at its feet. ‘Many have. None of them are here to tell you about it though.’ The rampager half cocked its head, slightly confused by the mage taking up dialogue. ‘Yes, you're right, of course. This is no time for chat. Goodbye.’

The mage threw a right-cross that any pugilist would have been proud of, only where the mag's fist ended a shadowy spectral fist continued and smashed the creature full in the chest.

[Spectral Ram]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Rampager #02's Fortitude: 1d20+11: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+7: 17] and [Push SW, SW, SW] and [Knocked Prone]

The creature was lifted clean off its feet and sent sprawling backwards several yards, before landing roughly on its back, the impact momentarily knocking the wind from its lungs. Blue bolts followed in its path and crashed into the orc's body as it tried to raise its head.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Rampager #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8] and [Bloodied]

The mage lowered his staff, pointing it directly at the rampager. ‘That was the warning. Do not come at me again.’

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Tradden had enraged the orcs and hobgoblins about him, but none more so than the rampager to his southern flank. Blood dripped from cuts the young fighter's sword had drawn and the thing seemed to have driven itself into a rage.

[Berserk Flailing]

[Tradden takes 5 damage]

Once again the internal debate raged in Tradden's mind about the wisdom of standing in a large group of enemies and encouraging them to hit him. Still, it was done now.

May as well double down…

[Sweeping Slash]

[Close Burst 1]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #03's Reflex: 1d20+13: 26] - hits!

[Push NW]

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02's Reflex: 1d20+13: 15] - misses!

[Burst Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #04's Reflex: 1d20+13+2: 18] - hits!

[Push N]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Rampager #01's Reflex: 1d20+13: 20] - hits!

[No Push]

[Burst Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Reflex: 1d20+13: 26] - hits!

[Push SW]

Waving his glistening longsword in a head-height frenzy around his head, a number of the greenskins stepped back, although a few ducked, cannily. Irrespective, Tradden used the opportunity to take a tactical step closer to the nearby Kireth and Beltak.

[Sweeping Slash]

[Shift: E]

[Secondary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02: 1d20+14-2: 13] - critical miss!

As he nimbly doe-se-doe'd towards his comrades, he took a prospective strike at one of the hobgoblins, but missed wildly, overreaching and nearly going so far as to fall flat on his face!

Hmm, this wasn't going well, but the strategy was still in play — stall them and hope that Kireth, Beltak and Zero could take them down from afar.

[Rain of Steel]

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

Setting his jaw with grim determination, Tradden settled in for the long haul, looking for every opportunity to lash, stab and chop out at the enemy.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #03

Incensed by the buffeting from the scrawny human with the twin swords, the hobgoblin set its feet and approached around the top of the throng.

[Move: E, E, SE]

Lining up in formation with its fellow shield-bearer it formed quite a barrier for the young fighter's attacks. With their shields locked in place it heaved its flail over the top in an attempt to crush Tradden.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 21 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

The strike was wide of the mark, catching on one of Tradden's whirling blades and deflecting off to one side.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

The goblins at the northeastern passage of the monoliths kept their bows drawn, knocked another arrow and took their time to steady their aim. In unison they let fly.

[Goblin Grunt #05: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6+2: 24 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Goblin Grunt #06: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 25 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

Both of the arrows hit home, though the goblins' bows were not strong enough to puncture fully through the dwarves' sturdy armour.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin could hear the commotion of battle behind him, and by the sound of it Tradden and Kireth had their hands full. Though the marshal had every confidence in the combat abilities of his comrades, he was nevertheless uneasy at not having their backs. Or perhaps he did — there was no getting round it, if this horde to the northeast broke through, the fighter and mage would be beset on all sides. Still, he and his new sister-in-arms would need to make short work of this bunch and get back to support the others.

The dwarf woman was apparently no stranger to battle, and had deftly manoeuvred the hobgoblin between them. Khalin wasn't going to pass up the opportunity.

The hobgoblin was snarling at the other dwarf. Khalin roared in challenge, goading the brute to face him before adding a shout for Moradin's blessing as he brought Aecris down upon it in fury.

[Provoke Overextension]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01: 1d20+12+2: 31] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10r2+8: 22]

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

[Khalin gains +4 to AC vs this attack]

Sure enough the blow struck home hard, the hobgoblin turning towards the noisy dwarf in perfect time to take a craghammer square in its chest. Despite being winded it tried to strike back quickly.

[Hobgoblin Soldier #01: Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7-2: 6 vs Khalin's AC (23+4)] - critical miss!

[Female Dwarf may make a Basic Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01]

Khalin easily evaded the clumsy riposte from the hobgoblin. Seeing the creature turn its back on her, the dwarf woman seized the opportunity. She swung her maul around and upwards, to head height to a hobgoblin, foregoing finesse in favour of power.

[Female Dwarf: Wicked Strike - Maul]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01: 1d20+11+2: 31] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+11+2+4: 24] and [Bloodied]

The thick head of the maul smashed solidly into the side of its skull with a dull thump and an audible crack, sending it savagely sideways.

The hobgoblin's eyes rolled and blood flew from its mouth as it staggered, almost senseless, critically injured, but still clinging to life from the most slender of threads.

Sensing a chance to finally dispatch the most dangerous opponent they could see in the phalanx before them, Khalin followed up swiftly.

[Action Point]

[Khalin gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

He struck with his weapon once more, sweeping the point of his hammer back at the beleaguered hobgoblin.

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01: 1d20+12+2: 18] - misses!

Swaying on its feet unsteadily the hobgoblin should have been an easy target but in one last effort it managed to raise its shield to deflect the warlord's clumsy blow.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak heard Kireth's shout for help that was then followed by the mage catapulting the orc end over end away from him. The scribe wasn't sure what assistance the half-elf actually required, but called on his deity to soothe the mage's pains regardless.

[Healing Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+13+4: 24 hit points]

[Kireth is no longer Bloodied]

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

With Kireth filled with Pelor's vigour, Beltak strode confidently towards Tradden and the throng of orcs and hobgoblins.

[Move: NW, W, W, W]

As he walked he held his shield before him, muttering a prayer to Pelor under his breath.

[Shield of Protection]

[Beltak and Tradden gain Resist 10 until the end of Beltak's next turn]

As he joined Tradden in the fray the scribe matched his movements to the scything blades, bearing the shield in the gaps when the blades moved away.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #01

The hobgoblin staggered to one side, avoiding further blows from the pair of dwarves more by luck and the size of its shield than by any skill.

[Shift: SE]

It careered to one side, trying to dodge the blows of the craghammer and move away from being pinned between the loathsome dwarves. It had just about enough strength to swing its flail in hope of getting itself out of the mess it found itself in.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 14 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

Its strength faltered however, the weight of the flail and the injuries from the attacks stopping the head reaching any sort of speed and the impact was barely noticed by the female dwarf.

Combat
Hobgoblin Warcaster

The warcaster did not look in much better shape than the hobgoblin to the northeast, leaning on its staff and panting heavily, blood streaming down its face. It took a moment to compose itself.

[Force Lure]

[Recharge: 1d6: 6] - success!

Then with long strides it marched towards the mage, a growl playing out upon its burnt and twisted lips.

[Move: N,N,N]

Holding its staff out once more it muttered a guttural word and gestured at Kireth.

[Force Lure]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 20 vs Kireth's Fortitude (17+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+10: 22] and [Bloodied] and [Slide: N, N, …]

The energy and spirit that Beltak's radiant light had filled him with mere seconds ago were withered away with the blast from the staff, striking Kireth in the stomach and pushing him back with force. He staggered back towards the black vines, trying to regain his balance, but the power was too much for him. He teetered on the edge of the vines, trying to summon what strength he had to avoid falling in. Falling in to the black once more.

[Kireth Saving Throw vs Forced Movement: 1d20: 1] - critical failure!

His strength failed him.

[Force Lure]

[Slide: …, N]

Kireth fell backwards into the black and darkness of the vines. Although they were shrunken and shriveled the vines still bore the thorns and they clutched at the mage's body, piercing his robes and tangling around his arms.

[Black Vines]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 23 vs Kireth's Fortitude (17+2)] - hits!

[Ongoing 5 poison damage] and [Slowed (Save Ends))] and [Restrained]

The thorns pierced his legs and the mage felt a numbness, not pain, slowly work its way up his calves and past his knees. As it rose the numbness turned to an excruciating cold and the mage could feel himself slipping away as nausea and dizziness threatened to turn his world black.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #02

One of the hobgoblins in the throng Tradden had barely been able to touch so far, however the young fighter's whirling blades would soon catch it out.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #02 Damage: 1d8+3: 4]

It had mastery over its own shield though and only took glancing blows along the metal, not enough to disrupt its own attack that it launched over the top of the shield.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7: 23 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+4: 10] and [Slowed] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 0 due to Resist 10]

The flail came down heavy towards Tradden's shoulder, but the shield of Beltak was suddenly there, deflecting the blow to an almost harmless strike. Almost. The head of the flail hit just the right place on the young fighter&apsos;s lower leg and his movement was stalled.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

To the northeast, despite the battering the hobgoblin had taken before their eyes, the goblins stood firm, drawing back their bows and letting fly.

[Goblin Grunt #01: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 11 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #02: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 11 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #03: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 12 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - misses!

[Goblin Grunt #04: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 13 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

Despite the short range the arrows missed, the two dwarves moving with combat grace around the hobgoblin.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero looked on in horror as the bent hobgoblin pushed out its crooked staff and threw Kireth into the vines. From his position behind the rocks he felt reasonably safe and was not quite ready enough to make a heroic charge to the rescue.

He could try and get rid of the loathsome creature, though, and stop it causing Kireth any further pain. It was a little further away than he would have liked, but he poked his tongue out to help him concentrate, steadied the crossbow on top of the rock and pulled the trigger.

[Sly Flourish]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Warcaster: 1d20+10-2: 19] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+6: 10] and [Dead]

The warcaster had already started to advance towards Kireth, a wicked smile playing across its bloodied lips when a look of surprise came over its features. It paused for a moment and its staff fell from its hand with a clunk to the ground. Its raised its arm to the side of its neck where a short dark bolt protruded. For a moment it looked as though it would try to yank out the bolt, but then it fell face forwards into the dirt and lay still.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

Bloodied by cuts and battered by fire the rampager concentrated on the young fighter in front of it, trying to dodge the blades that whirled around in what seemed a random, deathly pattern.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Rampager #01 Damage: 1d8+3: 10]

As it tried to move inside to get a better opening the smaller of the blades caught it across its check and it barked in frustration. Just further on was another human, a bit smaller and trying to cover them both with its shield. The rampager wanted to attack that one, but the taunts and sweep of blades kept it fixed on Tradden.

As the blades swirled round it swung heavily with its flail at the young fighter's exposed flank.

[Melee Basic Attack - Heavy Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 16 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

The head merely caught in Tradden's blades and then bounced off Beltak's shield, leaving the orc with a numbed arm.

Combat
Female Dwarf

The plan had been simple. After blocking off the goblins route into the circle and forcing them to move well away from their own main force, the dwarf woman wanted to plug the next gap and wade through the enemy. This hobgoblin however was starting to annoy her.

It was off balance and reeling, however. This time she swung with a little more thought and a little less power. Bringing the maul back around from her left to right and smashing it into the hobgoblin's left flank. A little less power, but still plenty enough.

[Melee Basic Attack - Maul]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #01: 1d20+13: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+7+2: 16] and [Dead]

The hobgoblin gave little more than a death wheeze as it crumpled to the floor.

She stared at it with a hard look for a heartbeat, before lifting her gaze to the young, fancy dwarf. She jabbed her stubby finger back towards the centre of the circle shouting:

‘Go help your friends. I've got these maggot folk!’

It was not meant as a suggestion.

[Move: N, ...] - interrupted!

Without waiting for a response, she turned and sprinted at the goblins, starting a long drawn out cry. The first goblin looked on wide-eyed as the seemingly crazed dwarf ran straight at it.

[Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Opportunity Attack: 1d20+6: 13 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - misses!

It quickly drew back on it's bowstring and let off a panicked shot, but it flew wide of its mark.

[Move: ..., NE]

As she drove on, the woman brought the head of the heavy maul right over her head, her shout growing louder.

[Action Point]

[Female Dwarf gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

Gripping the haft of the maul with both hands she smashed it down into the ground in the middle of the group of goblins, her shout growing louder still and rising in pitch as she did so.

Again, the ground heaved. It seemed to ripple and crack from the point the maul had struck. Great chunks and shards erupting in all directions as if the ground had been struck be a small meteor.

[Stone Panoply]

[Close Burst 1] with [Damage: 2d6+8+2: 19]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #04: 1d20+11: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 19] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #02: 1d20+11: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 19] and [Dead]

[Burst Attack vs Goblin Grunt #01: 1d20+11: 16] - hits!

[Damage: 19] and [Dead]

[Female Dwarf is Slowed until end of next turn] and [Gains Resist 1+4: 5 until end of next turn]

[Burst creates a zone of difficult terrain to enemies that lack Earth Walk until the end of the encounter]

The three nearest goblins were blasted and shredded by the flying stone, buffeted and spun away by the force of the blow. The woman stood hunched and panting, in the centre of the small crater she had created, staring wide eyed and with gritted teeth at the remaining goblins, and holding her maul horizontally across herself with both hands.

‘Come and die you little bastards!’ she shouted.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Hiding behind its own stone, the remaining goblin to the southwest of the circle tried to spy the sniper over to the east. There he was, a human probably, and the goblin had struck him once. It drew back its bow in an attempt to hit him again.

[Goblin Grunt #14: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6-2: 13 vs Zero's AC (20)] - misses!

The arrow bounced harmlessly off the rock protecting Zero, startling the rogue, but not harming him.

[Goblin Grunt #14 Move: SE, E]

Quickly the goblin moved from behind its rock to another, slightly larger one, keeping cover.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #04

The soldier had been pushed back by Tradden's last sweep and it was now out of formation with the others.

[Shift: SE]

It was one short stride, however, and it was back in the line, the trio of soldiers in close alignment and their shields together. With formation established, it struck.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 19 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

The young fighter was too quick, however, dancing now, with blades outstretched, in a world of his own.

Combat
Orc Rampager #02

Flat on its arse the rampager bellowed and rolled over.

[Stand]

[No longer Prone]

Getting to its feet it looked for the human that had bowled it over. The human was moving about, waving swords about, but with another human behind it now, trying to protect him. Rage overcame senses and the orc decided to charge at the new enemy through the circle of swords.

[Charge - Heavy Flail]

[Charge: E, NE]

[Primary Attack: vs Beltak's AC (20)] - interrupted!]

As the orc charged past him Tradden's eyes lit up and as the creature attacked Beltak he tried to cut the thing's legs from beneath it before it could lay harm on the scribe.

[Tradden: Combat Superiority - Frost Longsword]

[Opportunity Attack vs Orc Rampager #02: 1d20+13+2: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 11]

The blade sliced into the orc's legs but it was made of stern stuff and it continued its charge.

[Charge - Heavy Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+1+2-2: 29 vs Beltak's AC (20)] - hits!]

[Damage: 2d6+6: 15]

[Damage reduced to 5 due to Resist 10]

The flail crashed into Beltak's shield, ringing out across the circle and crushing it against the scribe's body. The orc seemed to revel in the cuts, burns and blood it had spilt as the melee was just starting to heat up.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The largest of the orcs, despite being pushed about by Tradden's blades, did not seem too worried about the human. Confident in his own strength he roared at the other orcs and hobgoblins to crush the frail enemy before them.

[Blood of the Enemy]

[Aura 5]

[Bloodied allies in the aura deal an extra 2 damage with melee attacks]

As they returned his call with a singular shout the orc strode forwards to fill the gap in the group encircling the young fighter, though keeping a cautious eye on the whirling blades.

[Move: E, E, NE]

As he arrived in the slot he brought his huge axe to bear, swinging it in a wide arc, aiming for Tradden's flank.

[Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 32 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 8]

[Damage reduced to 0 due to Resist 10]

Again, Beltak's shieldwork was masterful, deflecting the axe down into the ground instead of slicing into the young fighter's side.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The vines and brambles held Kireth fast, the thorns pulling at his robes ans scratching at his legs and arms. Where the thorns punctured the skin, particularly at his legs, the cold burnt him, searing agony all the way to his bones. He struggled to avoid blacking out.

[Black Vines]

[Damage: 5]

With each move he made it seemed the vines wrapped a little tighter. They had not held onto flesh for such a long time, they would not let it go easily. Kireth knew time was of the essence, he could feel the poison within him, killing him, and it would not be slow. He felt his left side loosen ever so slightly, this might be what he needed.

[Kireth Acrobatics Check: 1d20+6: 13] - failure!

The mage tried to roll to his right side but the vines reasserted themselves upon his slender frame. He grimaced as the thorns cut deeper but this only steeled his determination and he yanked upwards with all his might.

[Kireth Strength Check: 1d20+4: 6] - failure!

Nothing. If anything, his movements had only caused him to sink deeper into the mass.

[Action Point]

[Kireth gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

Panic almost overcame him, the vines literally choking the life out of him. Kireth forced every fibre within to calm, he closed his eyes and slowed his breathing. He had escaped entrapment spells many times at the school of magic.

[Kireth Athletics Check: 1d20+4: 23] - success!

[Kireth escapes from the Black Vines]

[Shift: S]

Strength was not always the answer some times it required a little… the half-elf suddenly burst forth from the vines, rolling neatly forward and to his feet. In his anger he looked up and saw the first thing in front of him — a goblin cowering behind some rocks and the mage’s instincts took over.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Goblin Grunt #14] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8] and [Dead]

The goblin was peering over the rock, trying to spy Zero, and never knew what crushed its skull and sent it hurtling towards the nearest monolith where it smashed against the hard stone.

Kireth took a long, steady breath.

[Kireth Saving Throw vs Poison: 1d20: 12] - success!

Relieved as he was to be free, the mage knew this ordeal was continuing to cost him, he looked at the many tears and welts upon his skin and kept his breathing calm.

[Kireth Saving Throw vs Slowed: 1d20: 17] - success!

The coldness in his legs began to give way to the needles and pins of pain that gave him some hope that he was not succumbing to the effects of the black thorns too badly. There was no sense in just hoping, though, and he turned his head towards the throng of melee to his right. ‘Beltak,’ he called. ‘I am poisoned!’

Combat
Tradden Aversward

Surrounded. This was a relatively normal position for Tradden, so it didn't worry him as perhaps it might.

There were ways to deal with this kind of situation. Often it was a battle of attrition, and the plan had always to been to keep these greenskins busy.

[Cleave]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02: 1d20+13: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 8] and [Marked]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #03 takes 4 splash damage]]

Cleaving round in a wide arc, Tradden's glimmering longsword drew a thin, white line across the shoulder of the hobgoblin that was trying to harry him, a wound that stood out in contrast on the exposed light green flesh.

A fraction of a second later, as the human rotated around, his shortsword, which seemed to have a rhythmic pulse all of its own, swung round at a lower angle, nicking the thigh of one of the others.

As he whipped his head around Tradden saw Khalin in the far distance looking like he was about to head their way, which would help with the numbers game. The fighter also saw Kireth bursting out of the morass of thick, black vines. Neat footwork actually… had that been a “Side-Palace-Two-Step”!?

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #03

Settling behind its shield, alongside its warrior comrades, the soldier felt relatively protected. They had the human surrounded now and although he was a whirl of blades — one had just nicked his ear — it would not be long before he succumbed.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #03 Damage: 1d8+3: 10]

In its confidence, however, the hobgoblin let its guard down for a second, a slight lowering of its shield, and in that instant Tradden's blade was there, slashing out at the creature's face, drawing a thin line of blood across its cheek.

It snorted with rage and swung round its flail at the young fighter in retaliation.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 18 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - misses!

The swing was wild, though, and Tradden merely skipped to one side to avoid the blow.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Cut and grazed by chunks of stone from the ground beneath them the two goblins looked on in shock and fear. The hated dwarf before them looked wild, panting and shouting at them from the centre of a large depression she had wrought in the ground.

One of the goblins quivered, then dropped its bow, and then in a flash it was gone.

[Goblin Grunt #05 Run: N, N, N, ...]

[Goblin Grunt #05 is Removed from play]

It scampered into the brush to the north and in a moment was lost to the dwarf's sight. It companion backed off a little, perhaps a tiny bit braver and pulled back on its bow.

[Goblin Grunt #06: Ranged Basic Attack - Shortbow]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+6: 19 vs Female Dwarf's AC (19)] - hits!

[Damage: 4]

[Damage reduced to 0 due to Resist 10]

Though the bow was shaking as the goblin released, the arrow flew true, heading for the dwarf’s chest. Rather than puncturing through and felling the dwarf, however, the arrow snapped at the impact as though it has struck solid stone and simply fell to the ground.

This goblin too turned tail and fled.

[Goblin Grunt #06 Run: N, N, N, ...]

[Goblin Grunt #06 is Removed from play]

It managed somehow to keep hold of its bow in its clutches, crashing into the brush and disappearing to the north.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin regarded the scene of devastation before him with due respect. He hadn't exactly considered that they might have to “carry” the newcomer, but nevertheless the fact that she was so combat-savvy was a huge bonus given the numbers they faced.

‘Aye,’ he responded, for a fleeting moment wondering how he'd apparently so quickly lost the leadership role in this melee, before pushing such unhelpful thoughts aside and turning to aid the others.

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

He scrambled across the newly upturned ground, careful not to lose his footing, before picking up his pace as he charged into the fray.

Kireth was rolling free of the vines — how had he ended up in there? The dwarf chided himself that he'd not completed the task of burning the infernal thicket earlier before the storm had distracted the group.

Angling his run to give the thorns a wide enough berth not to be snagged himself, the marshal careened full pelt into the nearest hobgoblin, which was wedged between Tradden's swirling swords and the oncoming dwarf.

[Charge - Vanguard Craghammer]

[Charge: SW, SW, SW, W, W]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #04: 1d20+12+1+2: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+8: 16] plus [1d8: 5 vanguard craghammer extra charge damage] and [Bloodied]

Aecris crashed home with satisfying force, knocking the hobgoblin clean off its feet.

‘Nice moves, Kireth!’ the warlord shouted to the unusually unkempt looking mage, who was scrambling to his feet behind him.

[Inspiring Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+13: 20 hit points]

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

[Kireth is no longer Bloodied]

‘Now let's finish this!’ he called, his voice sonorous once more as he rallied the Krakens.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak was very close to the melee now, and could smel the stale sweat of the hobgoblins and orcs, rank and putrid over the smell of blood. Tradden was sorely beset and although Khalin had crashed into the hobgoblin at Beltak's flank, they were still outnumbered.

As the skies began to darken he whispered a simple prayer to his deity, and a pulse of yellow light sped out across the battlefield from the symbol around his neck.

[Solar Enemy]

[Close Burst 2 centred on Beltak]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #02 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak's next turn]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #03 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak's next turn]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #04 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak's next turn]

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

[Orc Chieftain gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak's next turn]

[Orc Rampager #02 gains Vulnerable 5 to radiant damage until end of Beltak's next turn]

For a moment it blinded the orcs and hobgoblins and they howled as if struck. Beltak wasted no time in taking the distraction to continue his prayers, kneeling down and blessing the ground beneath him.

[Consecrated Ground]

[Close Burst 1 centred on Beltak]

[Enemies starting their turn in zone take 1d6+2 radiant damage]

[Allies starting their turn in zone regain 1+2+5: 8 hit points]

A web of crackling yellow sparks sprang into existence upon the dirt of the stone circle, surrounding the scribe and engulfing the calves of Tradden, Khalin and some of the enemy. Tradden, still spinning his blades, let out a whoop of joy and the hobgoblins shifted uncomfortably in their formation.

[Shift: E]

Not yet a veteran, Beltak was still unsure of his close quarter battle skills and took a step backwards out of the melee. ‘Khalin,’s he called. ‘Shore the gap!’

[Action Point]

[Beltak gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

[Beltak uses Khalin's Bravura Presence]

[If Beltak takes attack and hits can make basic attack again or take a move]

[If Beltak takes attack and misses will grant combat advantage until end of next turn]

With less foes around him, he took stock, and tried to smash the shield out of the nearest hobgoblin's grasp.

[Healing Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #04: 1d20+7: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+1: 13 radiant damage] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Dead]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 20+4: 24 hit points]

The mace was like a searing torch now, lit up with radiant energy as if illuminating the way for all to follow. It crashed down on the hobgoblin's shield, not only knocking it from the creature's hand but following through and cracking through its ribs, drawing another cheer from Tradden.

The scribe was a little surprised himself. ‘They fall, Kireth!’ he shouted behind him, trying to rouse the spirits of the beleaguered mage.

[Shift: E]

The successful strike reverberated along Beltak's arm and the scribe backed away, opening up the avenue for Khalin.

Combat
Hobgoblin Soldier #02

With Tradden's blades whirling around it the hobgoblin soldier had to show its shield more than it swept with its flail. It waited patiently, though, for an opening.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #02 Damage: 1d8+3: 5]

It thought the opening had come and lowered its shield for a moment, only to be nicked again by one of the young fighter's blade slashing in from the side.

With a growl it took heart from the huge orc opposite, waiting for Tradden's attention to be drawn, and then struck with energy as his back was turned.

[Melee Basic Attack - Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+7+2: 25 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+4+2: 13] and [Slowed] and [Marked]

This one got through, catching Tradden on his lower back and rooting the young fighter back into the centre of the group.

Combat
Goblin Grunts

Its comrades gone, its leaders far away at the other side of the circle, and this mad, crazed dwarf in front of it, the remaining goblin's tiny mind was made up in an instant.

[Goblin Grunt #03 Run: N, N, ...]

[Goblin Grunt #03 is Removed from play]

This one managed to keep its bow in its shaking hands, but fled like the others, into the scrub to the north.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Having secured the local area very successfully against the goblin incursion, Zero felt pleased with himself. His work was not done, however, his friends to the north were now in a tight melee.

[Move: N, NW, NW, NW, NW, NW]

He crouched and began to run across thr circle, aiming for the centre, where the remains of some rocks near where the statue had stood lay.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: NW, NW, W]

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+15: 26] - success!

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

As he kept low he picked up the pace, sliding the last few yards into a crouching position with litheness that belied his frame and within an instant was invisible behind the rocks.

[Action Point]

[Zero gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

[Zero uses Khalin's Bravura Presence]

[If Zero takes attack and hits can make basic attack again or take a move]

[If Zero takes attack and misses will grant combat advantage until end of next turn]

It was a heroic move, but he wasn't finished, taking a bead on the large rampaging orc on Tradden's flank and letting fly.

[Confounding Attack]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Rampager #02: 1d20+10+2: 18] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+4: 10] plus [2d8: 9 sneak damage]

[Orc Rampager #02 makes attack against adjacent creature of choice]

The bolt took the creature through its shoulder, just as it was about to strike at the young fighter. The pain was intense and in its confusing the creature's blow swung round towards its own comrade rather than the human in front of it.

[Orc Rampager #02: Melee Basic Attack - Heavy Flail]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 26 vs Orc Chieftain's AC] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6: 13]

The flail crashed into the legs of the orc chieftain leading to a howl of rage from the creature.

In a flash the rogue was up and off again, heading towards the vines.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: N, N, N, NW, NW]

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+15: 18] - success!

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

Taking care not to entwine himself or touch the dreaded black things he melded into the darkness they offered, just out of sight of the melee, ready and waiting for the next chance to fire off a shot.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

Bloodied and battered the orc rampagers were now worked up into a frenzy and it was difficult for them to avoid the slashes and sweeps of Tradden's blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Rampager #01 Damage: 1d8+3: 7]

Despite the cuts and nicks the orc was still standing and determined to wreak its revenge. Without fear for its own well-being the frenzy took over and it went on a true rampage.

[Rampage]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 27 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 16] and [Bloodied]

[Shift: E, NE]

[Secondary Attack: 1d20+11: 28 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 14] and [Bloodied]

[Shift: E]

[Tertiary Attack: 1d20+11: 14 vs Beltak's AC (20)] - misses!

In a rapid flurry of blows and sharp movements the creature struck out at Tradden, landed a blow that drove the wind from Khalin's sails and narrowly missed crushing the scribe's skull.

Combat
Female Dwarf

The dwarf woman watched the remaining goblins flee north into the woods, and had a strong desire to give chase. But the fight behind her was still on, and whoever these people were, they were still in danger. Besides, she had a lot of unanswered questions.

[Run: SW, SW, S, S]

[Grants Combat Advantage until start of next turn]

[-5 to attacks until start of next turn]

She started to pick her way across the blasted terrain she had created, the down side of her last assault, then broke into a run, but not directly towards the fight.

[Run: S, S, S, S]

She kept on going, in a long wide arc.

Combat
Orc Rampager #02

The other orc was also in a frenzy, heedless of Tradden's flashing blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Rampager #02 Damage: 1d8+3: 9]

Blood flew in all directions as the steel ripped flesh. Where the blood rained down the radiant light from below its feet crackled upwards, clutching at its calves and searing the flesh where it reached.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Orc Rampager #02 Damage: 1d6+3: 6] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage] and [Dead]

It was too much for the creature, the force of the blades and the energy of Beltak's radiant light finally took its life.

[Savage Demise]

[The orc may make a standard action before death]

Before it fell, however, some inner strength kept it moving, its last action in life, hatred spurring it on to exact as much chaos and pain it could.

[Rampage]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 32 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 12]

[Shift: E]

[Secondary Attack: 1d20+11: 26 vs Beltak's AC (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 13] and [Bloodied]

[Shift: NW]

[Tertiary Attack: 1d20+11: 27 vs Khalin's AC (23)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 15]

The blows were like forge hammers from the flail, slamming into all three of the group, leaving them reeling.

At the cast of the last blow the orc went with it, falling into the dwarf and bouncing off Khalin's shield unceremoniously, landing flat onto its face with its energy spent.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The chieftain looked more set than the rampagers to avoid the young fighter's blows, but could not fend off all of the angles and directions that Tradden seemed to find.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Chieftain Damage: 1d8+3: 4]

Similarly, it could not avoid the light from below that crept into the bones of his feet and bottom of his legs.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Orc Chieftain Damage: 1d6+3: 9] plus [5 radiant vulnerability damage]

The orcs were on top now, or so the chieftain thought. Its rampaging guard had staggered the group and it was now only a matter of time before they were victorious, despite one of the orcs falling. It roared an approval before striking out at the weakening Tradden.

[Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 24 vs Tradden's AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 11]

The axe swept through Tradden's defences, knocking aside his blades and cutting into his midriff only moments after the orc that had fallen had hit the young fighter in the same place.

Combat
Kireth Majere

In equal parts, Kireth was as keen to be away from the vines as he was to be next to the bulk of the party. Still shaking off the last effects of the poison he move, a little unsteady, to the side of Khalin and Beltak.

[Move: S, S, SW]

Considering the remaining enemy, now much fewer in number, the mage gambled that perhaps taking down the leader would demoralise the others enough that they might seek to retreat. He wasn't sure if he had enough power left to accomplish this aim but he would try.

Brandishing his staff aloft before him, he caught the attention of the chieftain and their eyes locked momentarily.

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Will: 1d20+11: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 11]

Without waiting to see the effect of his spell he followed it up quickly with one of his missiles.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8]

To the mage's dismay the chieftain barely flinched at the visions that must have crossed its mind with his first spell, and the creature hardly noticed the force bolt following it moments after. Whether it was crazed with bloody fervour or was simply made of some harder stuff, Kireth could not tell.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

As the bolt of force slammed into the orc's chest, Tradden hoped it would go down, but the great beast still stood. His despair was lightened by the honeycomb crackling of Beltak's web of radiant energy that swam round his calves, supplying him with energy to continue the fight.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Tradden regains 1+2: 3 hit points]

Ouch. Those blows had hurt. Tradden felt the all-too-familiar aches and pains of having bruising, cuts and possibly a fracture or two of the ribs.

[Second Wind]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 20 hit points]

[+2 bonus to all defences until the start of next turn]

‘No time for that, Aversward, gotta push through,’ he whispered to himself through gritted teeth, still feeling sluggish but determined to fight on. The others were relying on him to stand and take the pain.

[Action Point]

[Tradden gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

[Tradden uses Khalin's Bravura Presence]

[If Tradden takes attack and hits can make basic attack again or take a move]

[If Tradden takes attack and misses will grant combat advantage until end of next turn]

Steeling himself, Tradden took in the situation. They had the advantage in numbers now, but the larger orcs had proven themselves dangerous, and the danger was very, very real. This was not a time for playing it safe.

[Cleave]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #02: 1d20+13+3: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 11] and [Dead]

[Hobgoblin Soldier #03 takes 4 splash damage]

The first hobgoblin finally succumbed to the myriad of sword strikes, Tradden's last wide arc of a blow shearing its head from its body. However, whilst his blades gouged another chunk out of its compatriot, it still stood.

‘Not bad,’ said Tradden, catching the gaze of his cleric friend. ‘Lady Corellon smiles on us today, eh Beltak?’

‘Yes!’ agreed the cleric wholeheartedly, whilst parrying a strike from the larger orc facing him. ‘Although,’ there was a pause, and for a second the priest of Pelor stopped, lowering his guard. The orc, confused momentarily, did the same. ‘Corellon is of course a male deity, not a Lady.’

Seeing this suddenly unfold, the hobgoblin also paused. For a moment, all the combatants were still.

‘No! Are you sure?’ asked Tradden, panting slightly. Swords now down by his side.

‘Oh, yes, very much so, the scriptures are very clear on that point.’

The orc looked at the hobgoblin, who shrugged.

‘Although,’ Beltak continued, ‘it is understood that as a god, “The Divine Muse” may at one time been quite sexless, and I recall that there are passages within the longer version of “Lateu'quor” that make a compelling argument that amongst the forms Corellon can take, the anecdotal evidence was that the form of a female elf had been such a form, from time to time.“

The hobgoblin looked at Tradden, who raised his eyebrows. Who knew?

‘Maybe that's what I am thinking of. I am sure that I was told, by…’

At this point there was an exasperated shriek from Khalin, not unlike a kettle going from nearly, to full boil. An angry exclamation of fiery steam and anger erupted from the warlord, and the fury was matched by the orc chieftain, who howled with rage so as to encourage his distracted kin back into the fray.

‘Hit the damn greenskins!’ came the dwarven shout.

Tradden looked at the hobgoblin in front of him.

‘Oh, yeah.’

[Melee Basic Attack - Frost Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Hobgoblin Soldier #03: 1d20+13+3: 24] - [hits!]

[Damage: 1d8+7: 10] and [Dead]

With a casual flick of his sword, the other hobgoblin’s head fell to the floor.

[Shift: E]

With a strangled snarl, the orc in front of Beltak once again picked up its rampage, and hurled blows against the cleric once more, whilst at the same time Tradden had to sidestep a scything downward attack from the chief orc.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

The web of crackling light around Khalin's feet warmed him, despite the chill of the air and the pain in his bones.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Khalin regains 1+2: 3 hit points]

The warmth of Beltak's radiant light was not enough to put off the orc in front og him, however, the thing striking out in all directions as if taken by madness.

[Berserk Flailing]

[Khalin takes 5 damage]

There hadn't been many hours of any day of late when Khalin's thoughts hadn&spos;t drifted, even just momentarily, towards the thought of a huge foaming tankard of ale, and a comfortable chair by a roaring fire in a tavern, of which he presumed Winterhaven must surely have at least one. Now was such a time — his shout had mercifully snapped his comrades from their increasingly bewildering interlude, and mercifully the result was another dead hobgoblin, Moradin, and Corellon, be praised. But though the enemy's numbers thinned, the battle was not won yet.

The companions had taken a beating, and if one fell the rest might topple too.

Raising his voice above the din of the battle, the marshal shouted, his voice clear and strong: ‘Krakens to me! For the Islands! For the free!’ and brought Aecris crashing down on the nearer of the two remaining foes.

[Stand the Fallen]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Rampager #01: 1d20+12: 17] - misses!

[Beltak spends a Healing Surge and regains 14+4: 18 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 13+4: 18 hit points]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 20+4: 18 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

The blow was a mighty one, to be sure, but the orc had used the momentary breather well, setting its stance and bringing its flail up to deflect the hammer. The dwarf's companions drew strength nevertheless.

[Dwarven Resilience]

[Khalin spends a Healing Surge and regains 15 hit points]

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

Seeing the determination harden on the faces of his friends, Khalin steeled himself once more.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

The scribe stood as the edge of his own zone of radiant light, trying to pen the orc into the burning light. He was too close to the rampaging orc, however, and despite his best effort with his shield, the creature's strikes still slipped through.

[Berserk Flailing]

[Beltak takes 5 damage]

He kept his concentration, however, ensuring the radiant light did not fade.

[Consecrated Ground]

[Zone is maintained for a round]

The scribe could see Khalin was faring worst of all from the group and reached over when the orc was engaged with Tradden to let the dwarf's wounds heal with the power of Pelor's radiance.

[Cure Serious Wounds]

[Khalin regains 15+15: 30 hit points] and [No longer Bloodied]

With the dwarf on the mend, Beltak raised his shield and cautiously stepped back.

[Shift: E]

With his shield high, Beltak waited for an opening.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero was nicely nestled by the side of the vines, calmly watching the melee unfold. Somehow, the group had managed to contain the thrashing orc, surrounding it. In fact, it was becoming hard to hit with all of the bodies in the way.

The larger orc, the chief, was a different matter, though, with a much more measured style. It was at the far side of Tradden, but Zero had time to still himself and wait for an opening.

[Bloodbath]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Fortitude: 1d20+10+2: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 10] plus [2d8: 13 sneak damage] and [13 ongoing damage (Save Ends)]

The chieftain raised its axe, ready to take down Tradden in front of it, the young fighter's flank exposed as he dealt with the rampager. It coughed, splattering blood all over the back of Tradden, and found it couldn't bring down the axe, needing to cough again.

For a moment it staggered, letting the axe fall limply to one side as it clutched at its face. Stuck in its jaw was a short, dark bolt, puncturing its cheek and trapping its tongue to the floor of its mouth, blood pooling out in vast gouts.

It tried to howl, but it came out more of a low moan.

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

Zero scampered off around the vines, looking for another spot to unleash his mischief.

Combat
Orc Rampager #01

Still foaming at the mouth, the rampager swung back its flail, but was caught by Tradden's whirling blades.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Rampager #01 Damage: 1d8+3: 8] and [Dead]

Like the hobgoblin's before it, the creature was finally sliced across the neck, ultimately taking its life.

[Savage Demise]

[The orc may make a standard action before death]

It still managed to thrash even though its heart gave way, rounding in a vicious circle of swept flail at those surrounding it.

[Rampage]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11+2: 23 vs Tradden's AC (22+2)] - misses!

[Secondary Attack: 1d20+11: 29 vs Khalin's AC (23+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+6+2: 14]

[Tertiary Attack: 1d20+11: 19 vs Kireth's AC (20+2)] - misses!

It was clumsy in its death throes, however, Tradden easily dancing to one side and even Kireth able to sidestep with some alacrity. The dwarf was not as quick, though, and took the full brunt of the force of the flail's head before the creature fell into the dirt.

Combat
Female Dwarf

Continuing her run, the dwarf woman glanced at the ongoing fight and was pleased to see it was nearly won. Or at least that the orcs and goblins had nearly lost. Only what she assumed was the leader remained. Given it was now heavily outnumbered, she assumed these others could finish the job.

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

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

She carried on her wide loop, angling to charge the orc from the rear but expecting not to have to do so.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The orc chieftain was now beset, its comrades all slain by the steel and sorcery of the group. It weighed up its options, trying still in vain to dodge the blades of Tradden.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Chieftain Damage: 1d8+3: 6]

The sword tips rang out against the rings of the orc's mail as they buffeted the figure and where the blades did not cut the radiant light from below burned.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Orc Chieftain Damage: 1d6+3: 5]

It staggered back a little, trying to buy some time and space, but slipped on its own blood, still flowing freely from the lodged bolt in its jaw.

[Zero: Bloodbath]

[Orc Chieftain takes 13 ongoing damage]

It's breathing became ragged, not just because of the wound, as it hefted its axe from hand to hand, looking for an opening to strike.

[Melee Basic Attack - Greataxe]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+11: 24 vs Tradden's AC (22+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 1d12+5: 6]

The blow was against Tradden's blades, trying to knock them from the young fighter's grasp, but it was poorly aimed and only deflected them for a moment.

[Shift: SW]

The moment was enough, however, to allow it to back away safely, moving out of the crackling web of radiance and allowing it to catch more ragged breaths.

[Orc Chieftain Saving Throw vs Bloodbath: 1d20+2: 9] - failure!

It tried to dislodge the bolt in its jaw now it had found itself a moment, but just grabbing the shaft led to sparks of pain, and the orc let it be.

Combat
Kireth Majere

The orc chieftain had backed off slightly, perhaps it was looking for a way out now that the odds were distinctly against it. Perhaps his comrades would chose to take it alive, obtain some information. Kireth would have chuckled if he wasn't in so much pain, it didn't seem that the party ever thought about taking some one alive. That suited him.

‘Well,’ he thought, ‘I will leave that option on the table for them, but first, let's see if we can put this orc on his ass.‘ He whirled his hands around, one over the top of the other until the ball of energy glowed within them, and just as the build up was almost more than he could contain he thrust it forward, hurtling at the chieftain.

[Force Orb]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Reflex: 1d20+11: 26] - success!

[Damage: 2d8+7: 20] and [Bloodied]

His right arm, pulling back from the force of unleashing the ball, quickly shot forward once more releasing the trusted razor sharp darts once more.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+5+1: 8]

The two bolts struck almost as one, thudding into the orc's midriff and releasing a gargling howl of anger.

Combat
Tradden Aversward

For once Tradden could breathe fresh air, no longer surrounded by the stinking bodies of the orcs. He kept his blades whirling as the radiant energy of Beltak's web of light soothed his limbs.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Tradden regains 1+2: 3 hit points]

The fight was nearly won, only the boss orc was left, although he looked close to falling right now. Time to finish him off!

With a burst of energetic footwork, Tradden skidded and twirled around to cut off the slow attempt to escape.

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

With a final flourish, the fighter swung round his longsword diagonally upward, at face height, so as to make the orc dodge backwards.

[Surprising Stab]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Reflex: 1d20+13: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 4] and [Marked]

[Secondary Attack vs Orc Chieftain: 1d20+14+2: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+9: 16]

Despite the frosted longsword tracing a white scar over the bridge of the orc's nose, it was, however, all a ruse! Taking the opportunity to step right into almost body contact, Tradden brought his shortsword up with perfect rhythm, aiming to strike the blade upwards, to complement the crossbow bolt already lodged there.

It was a solid stab as the blow crunched into the orc, taking the fletching off the bolt and almost half of the orc's ear.

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

Khalin's calves bathed in the sweet, warm radiance of Beltak's strange web of light.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Khalin regains 1+2: 3 hit points]

This final orc seemed to be clinging to life with the sort of grim tenacity that, had it been any other sort of creature, Khalin might have been impressed with. As it was it was annoying, almost as annoying as Khalin's patchy form with his craghammer. The dwarf found he missed the regular drills of the kel-Morndin Guard. Certainly, it was no substitute for real battle, but practice made perfect, and the marshal was forced to acknowledge his fighting had been anything but, of late. But there was no more time to muse over how this would be remedied for now. Instead he shook the doubt from his mind and concentrated on striking true. One more blow might do it.

[Vanguard Craghammer]

[If hit with your charge attack, all allies within 10 squares of you gain a +1 bonus to attack and gain +4 bonus to damage rolls until the start of your next turn.]

Winding up his arm with precision, the dwarf advanced on their final foe, quickening his pace with a roar of anger as he brought the mighty hammer down for what he hoped would be the crucial blow.

[Charge - Vanguard Craghammer]

[Charge: S, SW, SW]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain: 1d20+12+2: 16] - misses!

The dwarf's roar of attack turned into a howl of frustration as the stricken orc once more did just enough to deflect his strike.

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

Beltak held his position for a moment, concentrating on the radiant web before him, praying to Pelor for its continuance.

[Consecrated Ground]

[Zone is maintained for a round]

The crackling energy remained where it was and Beltak's thoughts turned to the orc, still standing, before the group.

He raised his symbol from the chain around his neck and began the prayer. A searing ray of light shot from its centre, straight into the orc's face.

[Searing Light]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain's Reflex: 1d20+9: 12] - misses!

Despite the intensity of the light the orc seemed unaffected.

Combat
Zero Uhlit

Zero continued his movement, skirting around the black vines.

[Fleeting Ghost]

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

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+15: 29] - success!

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

He came to a stop at the southwestern edge of the diminutive bush, just behind a rock and composed himself for a shot. He aimed for the orc's melon. Its head seemed to look like one; one of the juicy ones from “The Fisher's Prize”, brought in from one of the smaller islands up the Silver River. The rogue's stomach growled.

[Sly Flourish]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain: 1d20+10+2: 13] - critical miss!

His last shot had been deadly. This one was wild, he needed to concentrate on his shots, not on his rumbling gut.

Combat
Female Dwarf

On the one hand, this fight was starting to drag. She had covered a lot of ground running to and fro, thwarting the orcs and goblins and funnelling them into areas she could batter them in. She had also called upon the earth a lot using the land as a weapon. It was exhausting, and she was well past her youth, her face wrinkled and her hair turning grey. But on the other hand, she was still whole and hale, have only suffered light wounds so far, and was still fully capable of handing out further batterings to those who needed them. And this was keeping her occupied. This whole situation was utterly baffling. But right now, questions would wait. Smashing her maul into Orcs was something she fully understood and was quite good at.

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

The large orc was still engaged by these others and she continued her wide run to bring her around to attack from behind. She contemplated trying to put the thing on the floor, but it seems unnecessarily complicated. Just hitting it as hard as she could seemed a simpler and satisfying course of action.

[Wicked Strike]

[Charge: N, N]

[Primary Attack vs Orc Chieftain: 1d20+13+1+2-2: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 4d6+11+2: 26]

She set the legs pumping faster again as she charged the orc, not caring for quarter. Her maul smashed into its upper back with a bone jarring crunch. To its credit the large orc took the blow well, but it was a suitable way for her to introduce herself. That and the full blooded scream she gave as she smashed it.

Combat
Orc Chieftain

The orc was beset from all sides, now, with the dwarf crashing into it. Tradden's blades were still whirling around in arcs and there was no blocking them.

[Tradden: Rain of Steel Stance]

[Orc Chieftain Damage: 1d8+3: 7]

The bolt in its jaw was still surrounded by gouts of blood — the orc must have lost a huge amount, yet it still stood.

[Zero: Bloodbath]

[Orc Chieftain takes 13 ongoing damage]

Rather than swing its axe around, the orc let go with one of its hands and went to its stomach. Khalin could see it grab some linen cloth at the base of its chain harness and it choked a laugh, bubbling up blood and spitting it out over Tradden's blades.

With a short yank it pulled the linen cloth, tearing it in two. Tradden took the opening to bring down a heavy strike with his longsword, but there was a pop and a gush of air and the orc appeared to have fallen to the floor.

[Transposition Harness]

[Orc Chieftain teleports to R28 and corpse of Hobgoblin Warcaster teleports to R23]

Tradden's strike continued down and sliced into the body at his feet — the corpse of the hobgoblin mage Zero had dispatched with a bolt through the neck not long ago.

The group quickly looked round for the orc and spotted it where Zero had felled the warcaster, orienting itself and looking for a route of escape. With a loping and limping run it headed for the south of the stone circle, blood dripping from its jaw.

[Move: SE, SE, SE, SE, SE, S]

It covered the ground quickly but carefully, looking back as if in anticipation of another missile from the rogue.

[Action Point]

[Orc Chieftain gains an extra action (standard, move, or minor) to use during the current turn]

It continued its movement, getting further away from the group as best it could, heading for the cover of the stones and perhaps out into the scrub beyond.

[Move: S, S, S, SE, S, S]

With one hand on its axe, the other strayed to the bolt, still firm and proud. The orc tried to push and pull to see if he could remove it, howling and gurgling in pain.

[Orc Chieftain Saving Throw vs Bloodbath: 1d20+2: 5] - failure!

It was no use — the bolt was stuck — so the orc continued its run towards the south.