SESSION 38: DAY 17 – CAVES OF CHAOS
Malandir replies to Kord that he is keen to search the store, but perhaps they should exploit the surprise they've achieved and dispatch the gnoll King. Gnolls are easier to search, and skin, when they are dead.
Lucien approaches and adds “Surprise has worked with wonder against these creatures. Gnolls are tough enemies, were we not blessed by our Infernal Master's gifts... well, lesser parties would not have fared as we have I am sure of it.
We are still in the blessing of our Master, destroying disorder and civilizing the area by culling the tribe. I say we finish the task, not just cull, but eradicate them in haste, we can count spoils later.
Asmodeus has blessed these inspired tactics, we should continue I think. Gnolls rule though brutality and fear, so we should expect their leader to be especially hard-hitting. Not that we should be dissuaded, just be prepared for a brutal and harrowing fight ahead.”
Lucien thinks over his tactics for the upcoming fight. He’ll drink potions of Shield of Faith and Expeditious Retreat just before the assault on the leader begins. This will improve his AC and movement for 1 minute (12 rounds). He will time the drinking of his potion of True Strike for the round before he can attack with his spear, providing he can do it with provoking an Attack of Opportunity.
With a movement of 50ft (10 squares) options should reveal themselves to maneuver into strike range. He thinks it best to gang up on and take out a wounded enemy completely over attempting to strike a fresh one.
“Oh yes, to the King and low shall his crown bring him” adds Talmark.
Lucien warns, "The gnoll ruler's quarters are close. It is quite likely he and his have heard the battle, and while it is almost a certainty there is no elaborate trap awaiting, gnolls have a base cunning nature... murder holes in the walls manned by his kin with spears would be an easy defensive measure to watch for, tactics we would use - caltrops or oil to set alight underfoot, be alert."
Talmark considers this and offers, “Indeed Malandir, you could scout ahead, wary of ambush. But not too far ahead. We’ll keep the bone torch ready and all our steel keen.” Talmark loosens the potion of healing in his belt, just in case.
Malandir nods his assent and readies himself for another scouting task. Bow ready, arrow nocked, he will wait until everyone looks ready then sets off slowly, listening and checking for traps and sounds, anything that might suggest the enemy is ready for them...and anything that tells him they are not!”
The party form up behind him and he quietly sneaks forward to the corner that turns to the north east. Peeking around it, he sees that it continues into the darkness 30ft ahead.
He cautiously moves forward, signaling the others to come with him at a safe distance. A little way down the corridor he sees a door and signals the rest of the party to stop.
Picking his way forward he takes his time, listening for any sounds which may indicate monsters entering the corridor whilst also checking for traps.
After 10 or so minutes he eventually reaches the door safely. He listens. He can hear several male and female gnolls in the room. The males are planning an up-coming raid. Clearly, they haven’t heard the battle that has raged and destroyed the rest of their tribe.
Malandir creeps back to the party to tell them of what he has learned. He believes there are probably two to four males and another two to four females in the room.
They decide to boom the door and use the element of surprise to get the upper hand on their opponents.
Talmark and Lucien will lead the way, followed by Fremont and Barret and then the rest of the party. As they ready, Kord casts Shield of Faith upon himself and Lucien takes the potion of Shield of Faith and the potion of Expeditious Retreat.
Talmark and Per attempt to break the door. It’s a Stuck Simple Door and has a Break DC of 13 (see page 413 of the Core Rule Book). As Per has the higher strength he’ll attempt the challenge with the assistance of Talmark. Talmark rolls d20 = 5 + 3 str = 8 < 10DC check for assistance. Whist he has tried to help, he hasn’t assisted Per’s attempt. Per rolls d20 = 20 + 4 = 24 >13 and smashes the door open.
Beyond the door, they see a large room, perhaps 20ft by 40ft in dimension. There is a bed, fireplace, dirty mattress on the floor, old carpet and an old, crude dresser. The King is a massive gnoll, some 8ft in height. He is flanked on either side by his sons, with whom he had been discussing the upcoming raid. His harem, of four females, are also in the room, listening to the plans for the raid.
They are totally surprised by the sudden incursion into their lair.
· Realising that the party has a numerical superiority Talmark attempts to capitalize on this and his Cleave ability by 5ft steeping to the east and attacking nearest the flatfooted female. He swings Felldrac at her but unfortunately misses.
· Fremont 5ft steps to the north to take Talmarks spot and to try to fell the first female but stabbing with his sword he also misses.
· Per will try to clear the way and he stabs at the nearest female with his glaive but the luck isn’t with the party and he misses too.
· Kord decides to chance his hand and to move up into a better position to split the attention of the gnolls. He moves forward 20ft and pushes past the first female. As he does she gets an Attack of Opportunity against him but she misses. Kord drops the bone torch to have his hand free for next round.
· The gnoll King, Marius, is within 25ft of Lucien. Lucien decides not to attack in hand to hand this round but rather to cast Murderous Command upon the King. It’s a DC15 Will save and the King has a Will save modifier of +3 and thus will need to roll a 12 or better. He rolls 7 and succumbs to the spell and will attack one of his nearest allies at his next opportunity.
· Malandir has a relatively open shot at the first female (only -4 to hit) and fires an arrow at her but he too misses.
· Clovis moves up to Fremont’s old position in the line to provide close support.
Monster Initiative: Roll d20 = 13 – 1 = 12
Party Initiative: Roll d20 = 17 + 0 = 17
· Kord 5ft steps to the northwest and casts Burning Hands for 2d4 = 5pts of damage. He catches one male and two females under the template. It’s a DC12 Reflex save for ½ damage with the male having a Reflex save modifier of 0 and the females having a Reflex save modifier of +2. They roll 11, 7 and 7 and all fail.
· Fremont 5ft steps to the northwest to clear the way and he attacks the nearest female, trying to remove one of the threats. Stabbing at her with his sword he hits her in the chest for 4pts of damage, killing her.
· Talmark renews his attack against the female to his east and hits her across the throat with the two handed sword, delivering 15pts of damage, killing her instantly. He immediately Cleaves the female to the north east and the blade of Felldrac buries itself deeply into her stomach. Vital organs are ruptured as he delivers 10pts of damage, killing her. He 5ft steps to the east, clearing the way for more of the party to enter the fray.
· Per 5ft steps to the east and decides to attack the King to try to wound the big monster before it starts to get into the fight proper. He stabs with the glaive and hits it in the face. He inflicts a terrible wound as the blade enters the monsters cheek nastily gashing its face and he delivers 19pts of damage.
· Sensing an opportunity to fire an arrow unimpeded, Malandir advances quickly through the party and takes a stand where Talmark had previously stood. He fires an arrow at the still flat footed King and hits him in the right leg. As the King is still flat footed, the shot is considered to be a sneak attack and rolling his damage Malandir delivers d8 = 3, d6 = 4 + 1 point blank shot feat + 1 ambush training = 9. The King is still up but he is almost dead.
· Clovis pushes forward 10ft and stabs at the remaining male. Lucien yells to him not to attack the King just yet, as it is still under the power of his spell, and thus Clovis stabs at the heavily wounded male to his north which he misses.
· Barret close 15ft to the north west into the middle of the now very confused melee and stabs at the female, trying to reduce the numbers of the gnolls but he too misses.
· Sensing that the time is right, Lucien takes the potion of True Strike. He will launch his attack with certainty next round.
· With such a sudden assault and having taken their first casualty, the gnolls will need to take a morale check against the Kings leadership of 9. They roll 7 and will fight on.
· The King sickenly turns his own hands against one of his sons and slashes at him with his massive two handed falchion. The blade bites deep into his sons chest, splitting ribs and exposing his lungs as he delivers 15pts of damage, killing him instantly.
· The remaining female draws her sword and stabs at Clovis but misses him.
· The remaining male 5ft steps to the south and attacks Talmark and delivers a sharp spear thrust to his chest, penetrating his armour, producing 10pts of damage.
· Kord 5ft steps to the north east and attacks the now flanked and last remaining female. Bringing his heavy mace over his head he misses her though.
· She is now flanked however and Fremont takes his chance to try to remove the threat. He stabs at her with his long sword and also misses.
· Barret does the same and also misses.
· Clovis does the same and also misses. This concubine has a charmed life.
· Disgusted that a clear path hasn’t been cleared by the men at arms, despite the fact that Kord had provided the opportunity for them to do so by flanking the female, Lucien none the less decides to run forward and engage the King. With his Expeditious Retreat potion aiding his speed he easily picks a track through the throng and, with his True Strike in operation, automatically hits the big King. The blow strikes the King in the stomach and does 7pts of damage. As the King drops to the ground, Lucien raises the spear above his head and shouts “ALL PRAISE ASMODEUS!!!”
· Talmark 5ft steps to the east and engages the remaining male but he misses.
· Per moves 10ft to the east, between Malandir and Clovis and stabs at the monster with his glaive and hits it in the stomach for 15pts, instantly killing it.
· Malandir fires an arrow at the almost surrounded and definitely flanked female and hits her in the left shoulder for 3pts of damage, finishing her.