Massive army fight, this single ‘encounter’ took the entire night. Unfortunately, the city was a total loss and was burned to the ground, but not before most of the citizens scattered.
Adventure 7 – The Beleaguered Village (CR9 – miniature army)
The town is under attack by the orcish army. This battle will put each PC in charge of a squad of soldiers to defeat the incoming attackers. Strong understanding of the Miniatures Handbook is advised before you run this adventure
The defeat of Bremen and your timely removal of the Grandmother have left you in good graces with the town. You and your friends are certainly popular – everyone seems to know you. It is not uncommon to find you training with the local guards or to see someone asking for some advice for their particular trouble. Two long months have passed since you vanquished Bremen and the undead he commanded. During that time, you have turned to some other activities.
Party members that have clearly spent some time thinking about a craft/profession and are ready to discuss what they are doing ranks in Intimidate/Diplomacy, Int/Wis/Cha 13 or higher, Paladin or Fighter.
-1 to command score: Chaotic, Int/Wis/Cha 8 or less, Rogue, Sorceror, Wizard.
Or player’s may use their Marshall’s base score of 1 ATK, DMG, Saves – stacks with bard song). Those that do poorly will receive the opposite effect. Those that do mediocre receive no ill effects, but also no benefit. My goal is to make it a two part process: I want to hear the role play of the speech, but will also allow dice to help govern how well it goes over.
You hear creaking in the trees, the drums boom loud. The sun has barely risen when the first of the orcs appear at the treeline. More and more pile up and everywhere you see the snarling twisted face of these simple creatures. You have bested many an orc in your adventures, but you wonder to yourself if you are prepared to deal with such an army. You look to your left and see one of your friends looking back to you – you give a confident grin and nod, and then turn back to the task at hand. A few foolish orcs launch some wickedly barbed arrows from their shortbows, but they fall short. Heartened, the citizens of Ryndanhaven let out a confident cheer. The orcs respond with a rapid beating of the drums and an accompanying warcry, and then charge out of the trees!
Play some combat themed music, keep the players on edge. Stand up; keep things moving as rapidly as possible. Don’t let the players take too long with their turns, move on to the next person if they can’t make a quick decision. For the most part, remember there is no need to roll damage dice; all the NPCs just deal average damage every strike.
This adventure should be different and memorable. Remember to have fun. Remember to make sure they have fun. Here are a few ideas to help bring some brief, memorable situations:
• If the townsfolk are decimating the orcs, perhaps the orcs use siege engines;
Catapults deal 3d6 to a 10’ area (DC16 Reflex for half).
Ballistae deal 3d8 in a straight line, no targets more than 20’ from each other (DC18 Reflex to negate).
• If the orcs are decimating the townsfolk, perhaps Niac Drakced lends some magical assistance;
Archers from the tower feather a target or two, dealing 3d8.
Fireball deals 10d6 to 20’ area (DC23 Reflex for half).
Lightning bolt deals 10d6 in straight line (DC23 Reflex for half).
Chain lightening deals 15d6 to one target, 15 additional bolts deal half damage DC26 Reflex for half).
• If play is too slow, perhaps some of each of the above options are activated.
• If play is too fast, perhaps each side receives occasional heals from NPCs not directly related to combat.
• Story moments – every so often have the group do spot checks. If they beat DC15 Spot, here are some things they could find:
The walls are on fire in a few different places, the townsfolk are trying to beat the flames back with water.
A guard tower topples in flames, the archers within screaming their pain.
The walls are on fire in several places, the reserves of water have run out.
The defenders are dropping from the walls, some burning, some with orcish arrows piercing their bodies.
The city is on fire, there is palpable heat behind the fighters.
The city is burning fiercely, smoke clouds their vision, the screams of the dying is one large cacophony.
(Music: The Watchful Guardian)
You give pause, breathing heavily – the extended fighting has certainly taken its toll on you. You look around for more enemies to kill, but the only living orcs to be seen are either fleeing or being mercy killed by the town’s defenders. You turn from the forest towards the city. The outer wall and towers are totally engulfed by flame or missing entirely. You look on in dismay as townsfolk flee the town by any means available. Black smoke raises in patches all around, the flames spreading throughout the city. You recognize screams of the dying coming from inside the city and make a move towards the walls, but a compatriot restrains you shaking their head – it is too late for them. You and your friends reassemble, taking stock of the situation.
Towards the main gates, you see Duncan and his banner men, their blades bloodied, their armor dinged and broken in places. There is a large group of townsfolk milling about, as if unsure where to go or what to do next. Some are just coming to terms with the fact that their homes and all of their remaining belongings are what they carry on their backs. Others look relieved to be alive, that the orc threat has diminished. Through the smoke, you see a group of townsfolk separate from the rest, heading directly towards the party. You feel some measure of relief as the wagons and horses draw closer. One wagon holds the weathered old men, Lysander and Niac Drakced and crates full of who knows what. The second wagon contains the Kroejers, Batrim, Kathryn & Emileanna. They didn’t fare so well, their clothes are dirty and soot stained and what was left of Batrim’s hair has now been singed away. Their wagon is noticeably less full than the first. The final wagon is boldly painted ‘Ironforge’, you can see Kesta filthy and sleeping, her head resting in Hendel’s lap. The wagon is sitting very low, carrying a heavy load and despite being dwarf sized, is being pulled by full size horses. You peak in the back and see the stout dwarf managed to get his anvil, hammers and a variety of different implements stashed away. Your horses are secured to the backs of the wagons, the belongings you aren’t carrying strapped to their saddles.
You start to ask what happened, but Niac interrupts with a raised hand, “the fire spread too rapidly, and the overfull city was not easy to get water to where it was needed.” He looks sadly at the flames burning higher, the screams of the dying. “Forget that now. Your brave efforts allowed Ryndanhaven to save what was most precious – its people.”
A Fork in the Road
He turns back to you, “What we need to focus on now is where we go from here. We can head to small villages, smaller than Ryndanhaven, roughly 3 days journey by wagon. Or, we can head towards a larger city:
• In the Northwest, the Citadel of Udkig guards against island raiders and pirates. This seafaring city has access to the sea and its broad shipping lanes.
• In the Southwest, Porta Ponte squats over the bridges leading to the mainland and the Badlands of Pustny. This border city guards against the “free” cities and beasts of the badlands.
• In the East, over the mountains, the capital city Geweldig Mesto rests on the Straight of Maith. This civilized area has limited connections to the sea via the straight, but the politics of the upper class have a stranglehold on the cities populace.
Where shall we go? I will give your group a small amount of time to decide, but we need to get moving soon. Once you have decided, the others and I we will journey with you, if you’ll have us. Our fates seem bound together, and where you go, events of the time are shaped.”
• Level 7 = 1) 16000gp.
• The gear and cash looted, including paying off the help of your guards, rounds out to 2000gp per person. All gear found was easily sold to others to help protect themselves from any orc stragglers.