Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 407 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 14:49
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Shiaran examines her options.  "I don't want to get too cocky, though those artillery pieces are so tempting.  Maybe we can find a sapping crew and take them out?  Start at one end of the wall and work our way around until we see something to big for us?"
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 435 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 15:00
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc nods. "Artillery pieces are usually less guarded on these types of sieges given that they're far behind the assault troops. Sneaking in and sabotaging a few might not be too far-fetched. We'll need an exit strategy should we spotted though."
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 408 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 15:44
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
"If we hit one at the edges, rather than in the middle, we have a pretty good shot at getting out of there the way we came in.  I can put invisibility on you and then sneak out."
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 436 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 19:53
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
"Alright, let's find a target then."

Beloc looks out over the battlefield, squinting to try and find an outlying artillery unit. Unsuccessful, he lets out a sigh. "Those shells are coming from units far beyond my visibility. We'd need to head out on foot to scout their position." He glances over at the raven still following Shiaran around. "I have an idea."

He leaps from the edge of the building. The height and distance he manages to achieve seems almost unnatural, but while he is mid-air his form shrinks, skin begins to take on a very dark hue, and feathers start to plume out. Arms become wings and his features become more and more avian in nature. Within less than a second, he is completely transformed into a small, jet black raven.

The bird flies over to Shiaran, caws a few times, then flies out over the battlefield.

Beloc uses Wild Shape to turn into a raven. He is able to communicate with the one following Shiaran, so assuming they have any means of communication, her raven would be able to tell her that Beloc said "I'm going locate the artillery and be right back."
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 409 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 20:24
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
"Leukos, follow him.  Stay high.  Don't be seen or shot down, please.  Be careful."  She points at Beloc-raven and Leukos follows, soaring high and out of sight as best he can.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 423 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 21:20
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
The pair of ravens takes flight, quickly gaining altitude well behind friendly lines before coming up over the lower portions of the city. The ruined top of the wall passes below, and the two see a large group of PCA troops hugged up against the bottom of the smoking facade. Riflemen above try to shoot down at them, but more troops further out to the south east pepper the Fildegarian Guard as they try to get an angle. Nearly three dozen enemy troops scramble and clamber around in a large pile down below, flopping and leaping on top of one another. None appear to be human.

The bodies being picked clean due east, upon getting a birds eye view, are actually arranged in a peculiar way. Every single one is facing towards the wall, and most all are lying face down. From a quick estimate, there appears to be somewhere in between 90 and 120. The siege engines are facing away from the wall for the most part, and bear the marking of the Fildegarian flag on top of them - likely so as not to be accidentally targeted by any aerial units. From the looks of things, the troops swarmed the siege engines and then just.. dropped. Closer observation will be needed to determine anything further. There are no indicators that a shot was fired towards the walls there, and no indicator muddy boots have walked the tops of the wall in that area any time recently.

Further to the south along the bend of the wall, and beyond the destroyed AA guns, several thousand troops are scattered all over. Trenches are dug, machine gun nests, sniper spots, the works. All facing against the wall. Some trenches are dug near the wall that look like they would have functioned outwardly towards the onslaught, but they are no longer manned. Only the walls are covered in Fildegarian Guard now, with mortar teams just inside the wall, and artillery teams set up on the streets of the city close to the dividing wall of the outer and middle rings.

All around the southern edges of the city, the same scene plays out. Some sections of the wall hold firm, easily out classing their opponents at range, while others are littered with still bodies being quickly carted off to make room for more able riflemen. The same can be said for the invading forces in their trenches. Large amounts of bodies both from human and undead lay in piles. Some troops have actually built barricades out of lifeless bodies to better their chances of cover.

All in all, the battle looks to be weak and weary with neither side budging any time soon, and both dug in as deep as possible. No signs of friendly troops outside the walls can be seen, and no signs of enemy troops within the walls can be seen as well.

Much further out and away from the city are the supply vehicles and command tents that have been erected. More groups of reinforcement troops, somewhere between 400 and 600 sit in camps. Large fleshy abominations are kept in hastily put together pens - likely some kind of juggernaut to wreak havoc within the city should it be breached. Beyond them, by nearly a mile, are artillery guns. Eight groups of 3 span out from one another, all arranged in roughly the same curve as the city's south wall.
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 410 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 22:49
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Leukos continues on toward the artillery, angling toward the outer edge of the line of them rather than the middle.  He is looking for defenses surrounding them and what might be between them and further back - away from the city.  If the PCA is overconfident, then they left their rear relatively unguarded.  An opening the special unit could exploit, at least momentarily.
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 437 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 23:32
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc continues flying towards the artillery as well. His flight path gradually gets lower the closer he gets to the artillery units in order to better estimate how well they are guarded. He specifically tries to note headcount per siege engine and relative threat. If possible, he also tries to identify any sort of leadership or officer in charge of the siege team.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 424 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 23:38
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
The rear is indeed barely guarded when observed. The amount of infantry is light and minimal, numbering at three operators per artillery piece, meaning each cluster has 9 troops, with 1 additional officer. The officer seems to be speaking in to some sort of crystal - likely receiving adjustments for fire. All appear to be human.

Given the approximate distance of 1 mile from the reinforcements, it wouldn't take long at all for a response team to come via vehicles from the camp, and en masse. This doesn't take in to account any potential snipers who are well hidden, or any sort of traps such as landmines. The grounds everywhere are disturbed and muddy, leaving plenty of hiding spots for potential snares or worse.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 425 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Sat 21 Apr 2018
at 00:21
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
An additional beating of wings occurs somewhere behind the pair of raven, closing in fast.

Roll initiative
Dungeon Master
 GM, 426 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Sat 21 Apr 2018
at 18:17
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc spies the assailant first: a Blackwisp Egret. The bird's eyes glow blue, making it a favored pet of reclusive marsh dwelling druids given that its jet black feathers hide it well in the dark, and its eyes are sometimes mistaken for wil-o-wisps at night.

It beats its wings fast to catch up to what it hopes is an easy meal. Short claws adorn its feet, but a long, curved and serrated beak threatens to tear in to Beloc and Leukos.

Turn order
Beloc
Leukos
Egret

Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 438 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Sat 21 Apr 2018
at 21:46
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc banks right and squawks at the egret bearing down on them. He reciprocates the aggressive posture but hesitates a moment. As if awaiting a response to disengage.
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 411 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Sat 21 Apr 2018
at 22:04
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Leukos does his best to keep Beloc between himself and the assailant horizontally while climbing vertically to stay above the enemy.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 427 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Sun 22 Apr 2018
at 11:46
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
The Egret pays little heed to Beloc's posturing and slams in to him, biting hard as he passes [4 DMG]. His attack does little to a wildshaped druid, but would have otherwise clipped clean through a normal bird.
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 439 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Sun 22 Apr 2018
at 16:11
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc rolls with the hit and gains some altitude for a counter attack. He circles around for a full attack, tucking his wings and legs in to gain as much speed as possible. At the last second, he extends his clawed feet. They hit with a great force, even considering his diminutive size [5 dmg]. As the momentum of his attack carries him forward, he nips at the egret with his beak as well [6 dmg].

Beloc attacks twice using power attack (6), taking 20 for the attack. 11 damage total after crit checks.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 428 posts
 Roller of Dice
 Giver of Trinkets
Sun 22 Apr 2018
at 16:46
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
The Egret tumbles over from Beloc's attack, shrieking in pain. As it regains its bearing, it sets out in a wide arc, circling the pair of ravens. It's eye shift briefly from glowing blue to glowing green, before it breaks off from its attack path and begins to descend down to the camp below.
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 440 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Sun 22 Apr 2018
at 17:56
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc beats his wings heavily, hovering in place as he watches the egret retreat to its master. Once it's out of sight, he climbs higher in hopes to avoid prying eyes before heading south.

He travels south for a minute or two before taking a wide arc to the west, and ultimately back north to return to Shiaran at the wall. He touches down on the north side of the building where he left the young wizard and shifts back to his normal form.

"I assume Leukos revealed much about their formation, yes? Their flank is vulnerable like we thought, but there is something new. The influence of the PCA is greater than I expected. It seems like they've been able to recruit druids of their own. While we were scouting, we were attacked by one's pet. When it realized we were no mere meal, it retreated back down to the camp below."

He glares back out at the battlefield. "If we're going to do anything, we'll need to do it quickly before they can set up a proper defense. Between the artillery, the supply depot, the pens of abominations, and whatever is growing in the field of dead below, we've got a lot of targets to think about."
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 412 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Mon 23 Apr 2018
at 03:12
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Shirian taps the bottom of her chin in thought.  "I think the biggest prize, the one that would do the most to help the city is the artillery.  I don't know what those strange lines of bodies are, but they look important.  Too much time and effort has been put into lining them up like that.  With druids scouting with their own birds..."  She trails off for a moment, the wheels within her mind turning.  "Sypher would say it is too much, too fast, with too little information.  What do you think?  You up for this?  Think the four of us can take one of those artillery stations?"
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 441 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 03:07
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Beloc furrows his brow as he contemplates the options. "Well, if we're gauging the level of difficulty then clearly the hardest would be sneaking our way past an entire army to get to either the supplies or the artillery. Couple that with the fact that our presence isn't really a surprise anymore... they might be expecting us."

He walks over and peers down the wall to the east. "Then we've got this unfortunate mess. Looks like they're trying to build a pile of bodies high enough to just walk right over the wall."

Finally, he points to the scattered field of undead troops a bit farther east. "I couldn't get much detail without getting closer, but that lot appears to have just stopped dead in their tracks. No signs that they put up a fight, they just went down. Like something just turned them off."

He turns back to Shiaran. "Thing is, we're no good to anyone or this mission if we're caught or killed, so targeting their back line poses the highest risk. This pile though could pose more of an immediate threat if they get a wild notion to send a few hundred more troops to create a pyramid. It also makes for a quick retreat, if needed."
Kallium Cairn
 NPC, 30 posts
 Ghost
 Wood Elf
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 03:15
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Kallium allows his face to appear, hovering next to Shiaran. "I could be of some use, if you'll direct me as to what you want. Though I'd like to express my desire not to get too close to their necromancers. The last thing I want is to be enslaved on the side of the enemy"
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 442 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 03:20
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
"Hmm. You think you could get a closer look at that field of bodies? Maybe get some clues as to what stopped them in their tracks."
Kallium Cairn
 NPC, 31 posts
 Ghost
 Wood Elf
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 03:23
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Kallium's disembodied head nods. "I thought you'd never ask" he says with a grin. It vanishes as soon as he smile.

While Shiaran and Beloc await his return, Beloc spies Apache skulking down the street, stopped here and there to sniff.
Beloc S'Viscus
 player, 443 posts
 Wood Elf
 Fighter/Druid - Gestault
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 17:32
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
While Kallium is off doing his recon, Beloc calls Apache back over from the streets, clearly unable to find his way to Irja.

He whistles him over, "Here boy, change of plan."
Kallium Cairn
 NPC, 32 posts
 Ghost
 Wood Elf
Wed 25 Apr 2018
at 01:04
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Belocm is able to summon Apache over to their location on the balcony. A few noisy minute later spent waiting in the din of battle, Kallium slips in through the wall while announcing himself first so as to not startle the trio.

"Something positively strange is afoot my friends. Each of the PCA undead down there.. their eyes and mouths show signs of extreme heat and charring. The outsides of the corpses show typical wear and tear for necromantic puppets, but the insides simply dont exist anymore. It's like.. like their very souls were burned out of them".
Shiaran Whiteraven
 player, 413 posts
 Human
 Wizard/Rogue Gestault
Wed 25 Apr 2018
at 01:18
Episode Four: In the Halls of the Mountain King
Shiaran shakes her head.  "Too many unknowns, now, Beloc.  Without information, the five of us aren't enough to do anything but get ourselves killed.  Those faults are too important.   I think we should wait and focus on the mission.  At the most, help out with that pile against the wall or something. "