Post date: Jun 19, 2008 2:55:50 AM

Dodecitina 10, 999 PC

Our heroes have had a few days of rest, though Sparta drank them away.  Early one day, Tesela approaches the group with a new mission.  Grezeleziea's people are sending a transport for her, but there is a threat to it when it appears.  Along the ridge east of town there are four ballistae positioned to shoot it down when it arrives.  Tesela requests that our heroes disable the one furthest north along the ridge, so that it can be retrieved later for the town's defense.  Brezaya Talisin joins the group since Sparta is still recovering from his bender.

As the group climbs the slope up to the ridge, they are met by a pair of horsemen and several footmen that are guarding the ballista.  Nyza has a intimidating effect on them reinforced by Oliveryn's verse and they retreat to the top of the ridge.  Our heroes pursue them, but something is waiting which destroys the ballista, its crew and the guards.  The group approaches the carnage to investigate when a javelin sails over Ozimius' head.  It is a forest troll perched in a nearby tree.  Iyam and Brezaya are struck by the troll's claw, but manage to stave off the effects of its poison.  The troll is finally driven out of the tree where Brezaya and then Iyam deliver devastating blows to bring it down.

The troll proves to be quite rich.  While collecting what they can, the group hears several more forest trolls approach and quickly retreat down to the safety of the town.  There they rejoin the other units.  Two of the ballistae are retrieved successfully, but one of the town's guards is lost in the effort.

As our heroes arrive back at the Blazing Griffon Inn, a black object appears high above the ground next to the inn.  It is a githyanki astal skiff that sinks to the ground to which Grezeleziea is escorted.  Grezeleziea turns as salutes our heroes and then disappears into the ship.  Another githyanki carries a chest out and leaves it with the escort before returning to the ship.  The skiff then rises into the air and vanishes into the Astral Plane.

It has been three days since returning to Redemption.

Tesela approaches the group the morning after you get the money from the sale of your treasure.

Tesela Argrave: Redemption again requests you assistance.

Oliveryn smiles at Tesela and greets her.

Nyza perks up at that.

Ozimius: What can we do for you?

Oliveryn: Hello, good lady.

Tesela Argrave: Grezeliziea's people are sending a transport to retrieve her, but it will not be safe for it to approach until a threat is removed.

Nyza: What threat?

Tesela Argrave: Along the ridge Zuoclades are several ballistae placed to shoot the skiff down when it appears.

Ozimius: Ballistae? That wont be easy.

Tesela Argrave: Redemption and the githyanki would appreciate if you could disable the northern-most ballista, so Grezeliziea can go home.

Nyza: Do you know who is firing the ballistae?

Tesela Argrave: Githyanki-hunters.

Ozimius checks his bakcpack to make sure he still has a flask of oil.

Oliveryn: Anyone know of a knob?

Ozimius looks bewildered

Oliveryn coughs.

Oliveryn: Gnome... Sorry, I had a hair in my throat.

Nyza hops onto a chair and whispers to Oliveryn.

Nyza: Let's do it! Nyza already ran out of coin.

Ozimius bursts out laughing.

Tesela Argrave: The githyanki offer your group one thousand monarchs to perform this service.

Ozimius raises an eyebrow.

Iyam whistles.

Tesela Argrave: This is in addition to twenty-five monarchs each for services to Redemption.

Oliveryn: Maybe. How big is the risk?

Tesela Argrave: Along with you, my rangers, a squad of White Blades and a squad of town guards will each remove a ballista from service.

Iyam nods in affirmation with Oliveryn's question.

Ozimius: I think we should take it!

Oliveryn: So, the four of us are to do the same task as a whole squad? Maybe that is too hard?

Brezaya enters the inn.

Tesela Argrave: Brezaya Talisin will be joining you, as your ranger, Sparta, had fallen ill and is still recovering.

Ozimius: We will not be able to do a frontal attack, but we are a small enough group to use stealth.

Nyza waves to Brezaya.

Oliveryn: True, it might could be done, but 1000 crowns seems a little cheap for my life...and yours of course.

Ozimius: I think we will be OK.

Ozimius: And we can use the money.

Tesela Argrave: The hunters are using ballistae now, because they have been weakened by the White Blades.

Ozimius: Let's go for it!

Oliveryn nodes his head in agreement, but slowly.

Tesela Argrave: One other thing...

Tesela Argrave: Redemption would appreciate it if you would do no permanent damage to the ballista, as it will be used to defend the town when retrieved.

Nyza frowns at that. She was planning on lobbing rays of fire from a distance.

Ozimius: How many can there be? A ballistae crew. Even with support they cannot have more then a dozen men...

Oliveryn: So you want us to disable it, but not hurt it beyond repair?

Ozimius: If we just kill the crew, it is disabled.

Ozimius grins.

Tesela Argrave: The scouts have reported no more than a couple horsemen and three or four footmen guarding each ballista.

Ozimius: See? Simple!

Oliveryn: Uh huh...simple will be your last words Ozi.

Ozimius grins.

Oliveryn frowns a little thinking.

Tesela Argrave: The crews are only engineers, so they should not be much of a threat.

Oliveryn: Seems too easy for the price.

Ozimius: Oh, come on Oli! Let's try it!

Nyza: Well, it's not a huge price. 1000 thrones total, not for each of us.

Iyam: This is no game, my friend, Ozi...

Oliveryn: I am just trying to protect you...but you want to...that's fine. I will go along.

Ozimius: True, but it is 250 each.

Ozimius smiles.

Ozimius: Thanks, Oli.

Brezaya Talisin: May I have a cut?

Iyam: We can try to ask for more or have them front something.

Ozimius raises an eyebrow.

Brezaya Talisin: As part of your group?

Oliveryn: And that Sir Oli...Ozi.

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius grins.

Ozimius: Yea yea, SIR Oli.

Ozimius: I do not mind Brezaya, as long as it is OK with the others.

Nyza: Work hard as we do and you will get what you earn.

Brezaya Talisin: You can count on me.

Brezaya Talisin: The scouts say the engineers are pretty rich; well paid for being engineers.

Ozimius: Rich? Let's get going then. Not eveyone is rich like SIR Oli.

Ozimius grins.

Nyza nods.

Oliveryn: I need to cash in my gold any way. It is too heavy. Is there is gem place nearby?

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius rolls his eyes.

Brezaya Talisin: Deepwell is just across the road. They have lots of gems.

Oliveryn: OK, thank you.

Nyza: Maybe the vault could hold on to it.

Oliveryn heads over to Deepwell.

Ozimius: You can always let me hold it. Nothing will happen to it, trust me.

Ozimius grins wickedly.

Oliveryn: Uh huh. I will trust you with my... Well, maybe I should not trust you with even that.

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius chuckles.

After stopping at Deepwell and then coordinating with the other units, you make your way to the slope leading up to the ballista.

Ozimius scouts ahead, keeping to cover and moving cautiously.

The incline leading to the ridge is very sparsely wooded. In a slightly leveled-off area, two horsemen and three footmen await.

Nyza casts Mage Armor on herself and draws her crossbow.

Iyam focuses as he prepares his newly acquired composite longbow.

Iyam: Let us see what this baby can do.

Iyam manifests a force screen.

Brezaya pulls out a crystal wand and manifests a power with it.

Nyza: Are you skilled with a bow, Brezaya?

Brezaya hands the wand to Iyam.

Brezaya Talisin: Yes, but I prefer melee.

Iyam: What is this, my friend?

Brezaya Talisin: Use this when you get a chance, it thickens the skin.

Iyam: How?

She whispers something to Iyam.

Iyam: right then...

Brezaya manifests another power.

Iyam inserts the wand into his belt.

Horseman: Halt! Do not approach any closer!

Nyza: Psst, I think they saw us.

Nyza: We have come to disable that ballista! Leave now or we will cut you down too!

The guards are suddenly nervous and back up.

Oliveryn: Shall I talk to them now?

Horseman: You...must...leave (nervously).

Nyza: Please do.

Nyza advances menacingly.

Oliveryn walks up about twenty feet.

Oliveryn: Oh, you little men. Why do you run away? I tell you why. Because you have lost hope in defending youself. Put down your weapons and walk away from this foolhardy quest. You do not get paid enough to die.

Iyam follows Nyza, powerful looking longbow nocked.

Brezaya manifests another power.

The guards all move away, running back up to the ridge.

Ozimius moves to pursue.

Iyam: We must take advantage of this situation and quickly advance!

Ozimius: Yes.

Oliveryn takes out his bow and advances with the party,

Iyam: You nearly scared me too there, little one! (to Nyza with a broad smile)

As you advance up the hill you hear terrifying shouts and the sound of battle.

A ballista bolt sails high over head.

Ozimius readies for combat.

Nyza laughs. But because of her reptilian voice, it sounds more like a hiss than anything.

Nyza: After them!

The tree-lined ridge is quite when you arrive at the location of the ballista.

Nyza: We scared them off! Yay.

Ozimius grins.

It appears that someone or something has preempted your mission, as the ballista is destroyed and its crew and guards lay dead amongst its wreckage.

Ozimius: This is not good. We were supposed to get it intact.

Nyza: I do not believe it.

Iyam: Is it damaged?

Nyza fires a crossbow bolt at one of the corpses.

Ozimius: It is smashed.

Iyam frowns.

Ozimius: Nyza what do you see?

Oliveryn: I told you this smelled fishy.

Nyza: I see a broken ballista and a lot of corpses.

Brezaya Talisin: There are some really big foot prints over here.

Ozimius: What are you shooting at?

Nyza: But what could have killed everyone so quickly? Nyza thinks it is an illusion!

Nyza casts Detect Magic.

Oliveryn: Let us all hold hands and will ourselves not to believe.

Ozimius examines the remains.

Iyam (seriously) Does that work?

Oliveryn: Sure.

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius: Watch yourselves everyone.

Ozimius: Something is still around.

Iyam switches to greataxe.

Oliveryn watches for something, but does not know what.

A javelin flys from the tree over Ozimius' head just as he moves.

Ozimius: Hey!

Ozimius: Watch out everyone!

Iyam looks over to Ozimius.

Ozimius: Javelins!

Ozimius: Troll!

Iyam frantically looks around for source of attack.

Ozimius: To the right of the ballista!

Iyam holds action until sees something.

Ozimius: In the tree!

Ozimius: Up in the tree!

Ozimius: Nyza try to burn down that tree.

To anyone who is watching Iyam, he seems to run straight up the nearby tree.

The troll rakes into Iyam and bites him.

Everyone hears a loud roar of pain from the tree, which Iyam just ran straight up, against gravity.

Iyam: Aaaaaaarrrrrgggggg!!!!!

Nyza fires a bolt at Iyam's attacker.

Nyza's bolt strikes true.

Oliveryn begins an inspirational tune.

Oliveryn: Ill shoot him with my shortbow

Ozimius moves closer, but does not fire yet.

Brezaya appears to skate toward the tree and makes an astounding leap.

Brezaya's slash as she lands on the branch injures the troll.

Iyam, again, runs down the vertical surface, as though on land.

Iyam: Heal me, Ozi!

Iyam: Do not let that troll damage you, all!

Iyam manifests vigor.

Ozimius: I dont have it.

Iyam: Damn!

The troll slashes back at Brezaya and connects.

Nyza moves into range of the troll then lets loose a blast of fire.

Nyza's flames strike the tree.

Oliveryn fire an arrow at the troll.

Oliveryn's arrow strikes true.

Ozimius draws his bow and fires.

Ozimius' arrow bites deep into the troll.

Brezaya's sword finds its mark again.

Iyam pulls out wand, points to himself and shouts "bark!" (and curiously waits for the effects)

Iyam's skin thickens.

The troll takes a swipe at Brezaya and leaps out of the tree.

Nyza: Nice shot Ozi!

Nyza casts more flames at the troll.

Ozimius grins at Nyza in thanks for her compliment.

Nyza's flames strike the troll this time and lights it on fire.

Oliveryn moves and fires his bow.

Oliveryn's arrow sails into the forest.

Ozimius moves and fires.

Ozimius's arrow finds its mark again.

Brezaya leaps from the tree onto the troll, burying her sword in it. They both crash to the ground with the force of the attack.

Iyam feeling overcome by a sense of pay-back (and damaged ego), charges, heaving his greataxe.

Iyam buries his greataxe in the troll's back.

Iyam splits the troll in two.

Oliveryn: Burn its body. Kill it.

Now that you are standing over this troll, you notice that it is quite small.

Iyam pants from excess adrenaline.

Nyza watches gleefully as the creature burns. The flames almost seem to reflect in her eyes.

Ozimius wonders why this troll is so small.

Nyza: A baby troll?

Oliveryn: This troll actually looks different.

Ozimius: How so?

Iyam (trumphantly) A dead troll.

Oliveryn: A dead troll is a good troll.

Ozimius searches the body.

Iyam rubs his wounds as he swings the greataxe over his shoulder.

The troll has a backpack full of stuff; gold, gems, swords and bows.

Nyza hands Iyam her potion of cure light wounds.

Nyza: Here, you take this Iyam.

Iyam: Thank you, little one! I will save this momentarily.

Ozimius examines the contents of the backpack.

Iyam: I only need very slight healing and I will feel whole again.

Ozimius: Look at this everyone.

Iyam: It seems this troll may have been paid.

Iyam whistles.

Iyam: Look at that.

Ozimius thinks it might be a person polymorphed into a troll.

Nyza: Nyza looks through the corpses of the githyanki-hunters.

Nyza tries to see if Ozi is correct.

Iyam: Paid well, it seems.

Oliveryn: Anyone need healing from the wand?

Iyam: I shall hold my own for a little while... who has the wand?

Nyza: You have it, Oli.

Oliveryn: I do.

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius grins.

Oliveryn: The Wand God wishes to heal anyone that steps forward.

Brezaya Talisin: I could use some healing.

Oliveryn: Well, my lady. I would love you heal you.

Nyza: Brezaya is fierce! She jumps so far out of tree to slash at the troll!

Oliveryn winks.

Brezaya Talisin: Maybe back in town, SIR.

Oliveryn smiles wider.

Brezaya Talisin: So, are you touching me with that wand, or not (smirks).

Iyam: Looks away nervously and awkwardly at the sound of that.

Nyza: Touch her, Sir Oli! She needs your healing.

Oliveryn: Maybe I will, maybe I will not. Depends on how you like it.

Oliveryn smiles.

Ozimius: IF you do not touch her, I will.

Ozimius grins.

Brezaya Talisin: Now, behave yourselves.

Oliveryn: Ill bluff her into thinking im better looking

Oliveryn plays a wonderful song about how awesome he is and how uncool Ozi is.

Ozimius scowls at Oli.

Brezaya Talisin: Hey, I am bleeding here!

Oliveryn: Oh, sorry.

Brezaya Talisin: Thank you. That stopped the bleeding.

Oliveryn: Your welcome, kind lady.

Oliveryn: lol

Oliveryn inspects the ballista seeing if he can fix it.

There is a chorus of yells in Giant from deeper in the woods.

Nyza: Can the ballista be saved?

Oliveryn: I think another troll is coming!

Iyam perks up....

Ozimius listens intently.

Oliveryn: Nope. To badly damaged.

Ozimius: More coming!

Ozimius: Take cover!

Nyza: Then let us go.

Ozimius dives for cover.

Brezaya Talisin: That sounds like a lot of trolls coming. Let us get out of here!

Oliveryn: I agree with the nice lady.

Ozimius reluctantly follows Brezaya.

Nyza: Yes! There's no need for us to keep fighting; our job is finished.

Iyam: Is the ballista fixed?

Oliveryn: No, it is unrepairable.

By the time you get back to the town wall, there is a huge amount of wailing and nashing of teeth at the top of the ridge.

Oliveryn: At least thats what my Knowledge tells me

Ozimius yells in Giant "Your are too late. We killed Lumbertrunk!"

Tesela approaches looking like she had a rough time with her group.

Ozimius: What happened?

Nyza: A troll destroyed our ballista before we could get to it.

Tesela Argrave: Troll?!

Nyza: It is good to see you made it back safely, Tesela.

Oliveryn: I heard weeping and wailing and nashing of teeth...everything ok?

Iyam: It had absolutely nothing on its body.

Ozimius chokes back a laugh at Iyam's words.

Tesela Argrave: Those are forest trolls. They will stay up there, but it is good you got down here as fast as you did.

Oliveryn: Are you having problems?

Tesela Argrave: We are OK. Just a little roughed up.

Iyam: Why have they not bothered the town? They seemed capable and violent enough.

Tesela Argrave: They catch too many arrows from the walls.

Iyam: Ah, of course.

Oliveryn: Catch, as in catch, or as in their bodies fill up with arrows?

Tesela Argrave: Bodies fill with arrows.

Ozimius looks at Oli like he has two heads for a moment...

Forest Troll