Ut Victor Spoilum and the Scales of War

Night 1: Bar Fight!
How fast could the fire possibly spread?

Twas a cool evening in Brindol, cooler than was usual for this time of year. The normal humidity that hearkened the arrival of the late summer rainy season was noticeably absent. Tonight, as is common in this part of town, local folks had gathered at a quaint tavern on the corner of Main. A sign hung above the door, with the title “The Antler and Thistle”, etched into the wood. The bar keep, Vlad Muzatchik, a grizzled human male, as stout as the ale he served, was wiping mugs with a cloth and keeping an eye on his patrons from behind a well worn wooden bar.

As the members of Ut Victor Spoilum rest from their travels, they discuss business and the matter of the new hires. Suddenly, the front door of the bar is blown off it’s hinges and a squad of hobgolbins rush in. Swinging wildly at the nearest unsuspecting civilians they shout “For Sinruth! For the Hand!”.

Lornak jumps into battle first with his keen reflexes, slipping behind a table and out of sight. Pyrrhus gets up and charges a hobgoblin attacking the bar and misses. Aodan touches a gold piece to a stone in his pocket, and a spectral archer appears next to him. Leaping onto a table, he flings a shiruken that kills the hobgoblin that Phyrrhus missed just moments before. Artemis moves in on a hobgoblin and severs the poor sap’s head with a swing from his greataxe. Croaker runs toward the pack of civilians at the front of the bar, grabbing the nearest one and pushing him to safety. Ardwinna, incorporeal as she may be, launches two very real arrows at two targets; one finds its mark, the other falls short. Carmen fires a shot from his longbow, but misses. The civilians at the bar, only now reacting to the danger, begin to panic and run. Additional hobgoblin re-enforcements enter, including a goblin carrying torches, who chucks a lit torch at the bar, setting it ablaze.

The hobgoblins continue to assault the unarmed civilians, and one takes a swing at Croaker, but he deflects the blow with his shield. Lornak draws his crossbow and fires at the unsuspecting hobgoblin who had just attacked Croaker, taking the villain out of the fight. Pyrrhus reacts quickly to the fire, and leaps atop the bar to pull the bartender to safety. Aodan flings another shiruken into the melee, but misses. Artemis decapitates another hobgoblin, and then in a blur of motion charges into a second, killing two hobgoblins in mere seconds. Croaker swings his longsword and adds to the quickly rising death count with another lifeless hobgoblin. Ardwinna fires two arrows from her longbow, which both strike true on the goblin carrying the torches, felling him as quickly as he had entered. With no threats present, Carmen uses the brief pause in battle to begin ordering the civilians out of the bar; they seem receptive to his commands and start running for the back door. No sooner had the civilians move away from the front of the bar, when more hobgoblins crash through the front window and blow out a portion of the back wall, filling the bar with fresh troops.

A brave (or foolish) hobgoblin rushes in and body-checks Croaker, toppling him to the floor. Around the bar, another hobgoblin swings fruitlessly at Ardwinna, but other blades find purchase in Lornak’s and Aiodan’s backs. Yet another goblin carrying torches arrives, and lobs one at Carmen, setting his clothes on fire. Lornak conjures a cloud of darkness with his Drow magic and blinds his two hobgoblin assailants before slipping away and killing one of them with a shot from his crossbow. Pyrrhus moves to counterattack the hobgoblin that just injured Aodan, but misses. While it’s destracted by Pyrrhus’s attack, Aodan flips over the hobgoblin and out of reach, before planting a shiruken in it’s head. Artemis sees the hobgoblin gloating over Croker and takes the momentary distraction to cleave the hobgoblin in twain. Croaker, wet with a fresh coating of hobgoblin blood, gets to his feet and rushes to aid the injured bartender, stablizing the burned man. Ardwinna backs up and attempts to fire at the hobgoblin attacking her, but misses. Carmen unleashes a lyrical assault on torch bearer who had set him ablaze, his clothing, however, remains on fire.Hobgoblins continue to pour into the burning bar, attacking both Carmen and Aiodan, reminding them the hazards of adventuring. In the scuffle, Artemis is hit by a lit torch, and he too begins to burn, as the fires in the bar begin to spread.

Lornak unsheathes his mace and brains another hobgoblin. Pyrrhus flows through battle and kills a hobgoblin that was menacing Carmen. Aodan chucks another shiruken, but misses. Artemis decides to answer fire with fire, and unleashes a gout of flame from his mouth at the two goblin torchbearers, but only minorly singes one of them. He follows his flame breath with a swing from his axe, but misses as the fire on his armor sputters out. Croaker grabs the bartender and attempts to move him away from the fire that is rapidly consuming the bar, but finds the bartender too heavy to move on his own. Not wasting time, Croaker charges the nearest hobgoblin and squewers him on his longsword. Ardwinna fires an arrow, misses, fires a second, and hits. Carmen utters a word of bardic magic and heals himself, then unleashes a vicious psychic assault against one of the goblin torchers, critically ridiculing him. In the heat of battle, however, Carmen knocks a bottle of spirits over and only worsens his fire situation. The fires in the bar begin to spread even quicker now, gaining purchase in the old, whiskey-soaked wood and creating a wall of flame down the middle of the bar. Croaker finds himself the target of a burning torch, and ducks behind his shield for safty. Sadly, the shield is wooden and he, too, is now on fire.

The combatants find that they’re rapidly running out of space in which to continue the fight, and begin to retreat. Croaker returns to the injured bartender and singals Lornak and Aodan over. Lornak, singed from the leaping flames, grabs the barman’s legs; while Aodan and Croaker grab the arms. Maybe the exhaustion of the battle had begun to set in, or maybe the heat from the fire was sucking all the air out of the room, or maybe Croaker should have hired a couple of Fighters instead of Rogues, either way, thier combined strength was still not enough to carry the immense man more than a few feet before colapsing. Artemis and the goblin he was fighting glance around at the encroaching fire, and with a fierce glare of unfinished buisness, the two break away from each other; Artemis leaping over the fire, and the goblin scrambling out the broken window. Croaker, still trying to save the dying bartender, pulls him a few more feet before giving up and makes his way twoard the back door, brushing off the fires on himself. Ardwinna takes note of the retreat, and follows the rest out the back door. Pyrrhus, with his natural affinity for fire, runs into the blaze, in order to cover the rear of the retreat. Carmen speaks another word of bardic magic to heal Artemis’ wounds as he, too, retreats.

The fire seems to almost chase the party out of the bar, further burning Carmen, Aodan, Artemis, Lornak and Croaker while the rest of the goblins retreat. Pyrrhus follows the group out the back, unaffected by and seemingly unaware of the flames. Croaker notes that Carmen is looking rather badly burned, and helps the bard extinguish the flames, and says a firm word of inspiration to the bloodied Aodan. The seven regroup at the back of the bar to catch thier breath, watching the bar burn itself to the ground.

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Night 2: Back-Alley Brawl
Pyrrhus' Finest Hour

The seven adventurers round the charred skeleton of the Antler and Thistle and head into the narrow city streets of Brindol. All around them, the sounds of battle can be heard: clashes of steel, occasional screams in the darkness, and the shrill warcries of the hobgoblins. The night sky is a hellish orange and red from the glow of the Hobgoblin’s efforts at arson.

”...But what I’m asking is, are you WITH us? One minute you’re not there, the next, there you are.” Croaker is asking Ardwinna as they walk.

She finds this funny and laughingly replies “I wasn’t firing arrows AT you, was I?”

“Look, she’s with me. Thats all you need to know.” Aodan says. Croaker consideres the two of them for a moment, then exchanges glances with Carmen.

“All right, lets go.” Croaker says. As the group stands on the street conversing, a pair of town gaurds come scrambling up the alley twoard the bar.

“You all ‘re the ones who drove off them hobgoblins?” One of them says. “Thanks for that, we’re runnin’ ourselves ragged tryin’ to keep up with the little bastards.”

“Look, if you guys can keep this area secure for us, we’re gonna run back to command and get new orders.” The second gaurd adds, and the two of them run off back into the night.

Only a short time passes before the sounds of battle begin to get closer. Soon a crowd of civillians rush the street, chased by an ogre towing a cart of hobgoblin archers. one of the hobgoblins on the cart hands off a barrel of something to the ogre, while the other archer picks off a fleeing civillian.

Croaker gives a shout for the group to ready themselves for battle, and launches a javalin at the Ogre, but it bounces off the monster’s thick hide. The ogre chucks a barrel into the crossroads, which explodes and sets a few small fires in the area. Pyrrhus darts in to attack the Ogre, but his blade proves ineffective. Aodan takes a running start and leaps up to a rooftop, but missjudges the hieght and falls flat on his back. Carmen stops out the fire nearest to him and tries to sap the Ogre’s will to fight, but realizes he’ll have to use smaller words. Lornak also puts out a fire, and flings a dagger that never finds a target. Artemis charges into battle and plants his greataxe into the Ogre, then unleashes a blast of dragon’s breath against the cart and it’s explosives. It is perhaps a fortunate thing that none of the barrels catch fire. With etherial grace, Ardwinna leaps to the roof of a nearby building, and takes careful aim with her longbow.

Croaker moves in closer to the battle, and picks an easier target to hurl a javalin at, but the Hobgoblin archer easily ducks out of the way of the missile. the Ogre swings his club at Pyrrhus, but the scrappy Genesai quickly dodges the attack. With the Hobgoblins and Ogre distracted, the civillians flee from battle and take refuge in houses and behind any piece of cover they can find. The two hobgoblin archers take a shot at Croaker and Lornak, but neither arrows hit. Pyrrhus, confident in his ability, skirts around the Ogre to take up a flanking position, but the Ogre whollops him with his club so hard he nearly knocks Pyrrhus off his feet. The poor swordmage staggers and catches his breath. Carmen once again attempts to taunt the Ogre, but can’t think of anything insulting enough. Aodan picks himself up, and flings a shiruken that sticks itself in the Ogre. Lornak puts out another small fire, and mutters a few dark words in his native Drow toung, but nothing seems to happen. Aremis sweeps his greataxe around him, somehow missing the Ogre but lands a good hit on the Hobgoblin archer nearest him, blooding the archer. From her pearch atop a house, Ardwinna fires two arrows at the Ogre, but she and the arrows fade away before they can hit.

Around them, the villagers continue to flee. Croaker steps into the fight alongside Artemis and slashes at the Ogre. He shouts a word of inspiration to Pyrrhus, and quick command to Artemis, who strikes the ogre with his axe again. The Ogre winds up to strike Pyrrhus, but Carmen interrupts the attack with an arrow of his own, giving Pyrrhus a moment to dodge the incoming club. The hobgoblins both drop thier longbows and draw thier swords. one of them misses Artemis, but it’s companion draws blood from Pyrrhus. Behind the melee, a group of children run out into the street from an alley, pursued by two hobgoblin grunts, Carmen shouts to Lornak to cover the rear. Pyrrhus attempts to pull a faint on the hobgoblin next to him, but fails. Carmen unleashes a sonic attack on the Ogre, and speaks a word of bardic magic to heal Pyrrhus. Aodan makes a second attempt to get onto the house’s roof, but fails in the same spectacular way a second time. Lornak breaks off from the battle heads off to the south to deal with the two stray grunts, ducking into cover. Artemis lands a devestating strike against the Ogre, drawing blood from the massive brute.

Croaker shouts another command, and Artemis strike the ogre again. Infuriated, the Ogre turns around and spies Croaker and swipes at him with his massive club, Croaker raises his light shield in defense but it does him little good. There is a puff of smoke and flame, and Pyrrhus teleports from his position into the air above the Ogre and plants his broadswoard hilt-deep into the back of the Ogre’s skull, who’s lifeless body topples to the ground. With uncanny reflexes, Pyrrhus pulls his sword from the Ogre and spins around in time to parry an attack from a hobgoblin assailiant. the other hobgoblin lands a sound hit on Artemis. Meanwhile, behind the battle, the grunts catch up to the pack of fleeing children and strike down one of them. Pyrrhus marks the hobgoblin attacking Artemis, and strikes the one attacking himself. Carmen hurries down the street and fires two shots from his longbow, one of them lands in between the shoulderblades of a hobgoblin grunt chasing the children. At that moment, Lornak steps out from cover and puts a crossbow bolt into the back of the other maurauding grunt. Aodan picks himself up from the ground for a second time and flings a shiruken that goes wide and misses. Artemis brings his axe down onto the hobgoblin nearest him, and severs it’s head.

Scrambling over the still-cooling body of the ogre, Croaker strikes the remaining hobgoblin and steadies himself with a warcry. Unintimidated, the hobgoblin strikes back at Croaker, drawing blood. Pyrrhus focuses himself for a moment, and then becomes a blur of fire and steel, striking the final hobgoblin three times in rapid succession, ending the miserable creature’s life.

After the battle, the adventurers collect themselves, and a crowd of civillians gather around them. Later, the two gaurds return and ask the group to help stand guard at the bridge overnight.

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