After interrogating Elzid for a few hours and resting. The party prepared to exit the dungeon. While Artemis and the group fidgeted with the knock scroll and talked to each other. Erilyn approached Remiel and offered him a golden bracelet. She told him that it was for protecting her and showing kindness. Remiel tried to give the bracelet back to Erilyn, but she refused.
The party then moved into formation and traversed the circular stone stairs back to the surface. The PCs arrived at the top of the stairs and were greeted with the sounds of battle. A dozen hooded figures wielding vicious looking battleaxes were engaged in battle with six other warriors who appeared to be elves. The hooded figures wore black tabards and their cloaks were adorned with various types of coins. Although the party couldn’t see their faces, they noticed long white reptilian like tales protruding from their backs. At that time they witnessed one of the hooded figures hack into the leg of an elf. His screams were quickly ended as the other figure flanking him followed through with a strike to the back of his head killing him instantly. At that moment, two of the elves tried to flee, but the cloak figures engaged with them didn’t hesitate to embed their large battleaxes deep into their backs, severing their spines.
Near the bottom of the hill beside a large tree, the party saw a lady wearing an elegant white gown that was embroidered with gold and silver. The Lady had a slender figure and long flowing golden hair that covered her face. Her graceful stature and pointed ears clearly revealed her elven heritage. The lady was armed with a longbow and a long sword rested in a scabbard attached to her belt. She did not appear to have noticed the party.
Standing about 20 feet away from the hooded figures was a man wearing a black hooded robe over a layer of chainmail. He carried a black bladed khopesh in one hand and a wooden triangular shield in the other. A silver holy symbol adorned his neck and the symbol of Tiamat adorned the center of his robe. The man barked orders at the reptilian figures saying, “That’s right! In the name of Tiamat, show no mercy!” He then turned around quickly to look towards the east.
From the east, the PCs could hear the sound of heavy galloping. Seconds later a fully armored knight on horseback charged into the melee. The Knight was covered from head to toe in finely crafted plate armor and his black stallion was equipped with chain barding. A white plume adorned the top of the knight’s helm and the tabard he wore identified him as a Knight of the Golden Cup.
As the horse picked up speed, the knight lowered the visor on his helm and pointed his lance toward the group of cloaked figures. Within seconds, the lance pierced the chest of the closest figure. Upon impact, the creature fell backwards, but the bloody tip of the lance jutted out several feet from its back, stuck firmly into the ground, and impaled the creature upright. The Knight continued his charge through the ranks of the enemy trampling another creature under the hooves of his great stallion. At that point, the horseman rode away from the skirmish, drew a broadsword, and turned around for another charge.
Surprisingly, the elven maiden expertly fired two arrows in rapid succession into the exposed back leg of the stallion. In response, the horse reeled up in pain, collapsed, and threw the knight to the ground. The elven lady then looked up at the dark blue sky and into the setting sun. She then moved behind the large tree.
Then only a few feet away, the party spotted a female half-elf hiding in the main floor of the tower. She appeared to be observing the battle, but she quickly turned around when she heard the party walking up the stairs. When the party was up the stairs the half-elf gestured in a friendly manner by playing her lute. Remiel suggested that the party help the knight and Loki wanted to kill the elven lady. It didn’t take long for the party to swiftly enter the battle.
The battle continued with one of the white claw soldiers slashing his battle axe into the side of one of the three remaining elves. At this time, the man wearing black robes noticed the party and decided to watch them before acting. The female wild elf engaged in melee tried her best to parry a strike from one of the soldiers, but she wasn’t strong enough to stop the attack and screamed as it hacked into her arm. After regaining his composure from the fall, the knight stood up and calmly brushed the dirt off his armor. One of the soldiers then charged the wild elf archer while he was trying to reload, but the attack only slightly wounded him. Another soldier attacked the wild elf male and slashed his battleaxe deep into his leg. Seeking revenge the female wild elf embedded both of her swords into the belly of the beast and severely injured it. Her companion slashed into another one of the creatures with his long sword. Artemis charged into the fray and pointed his long sword at one of the soldiers invoking his Lighting Lure power, teleporting him away from the two elves fighting for their lives. The battle quickly became a chaotic melee with everyone unsure who the enemy was.
At that point, a man dressed in leather armor and wielding a long sword leaped out from hiding and charged Artemis. The ducal guard thrust his long sword into Artemis causing blood to cover his entire left side. Then, just as the female wild elf managed to dodge another battle axe, Elzid exclaimed, “These are duke Konrad’s men!” Chotuk then used his Sacred Flame power to attack one of the soldiers, but missed. The halfling cast his healing word prayer and healed Artemis who was now badly injured. Hoping that she chose the right side, Tulani helped the party and attacked one of the soldiers with a psychic spell that injured his mind. Loki then invoked a scorching burst over the Inquisitor and three of the dragon men beside him. Three of them avoid the flames but one of them became completely engulfed in the flames. Tulani addressed the party, “I like how I take a break from traveling, you guys emerge from nowhere and we start attacking people” Torment was quick to reply saying, “Trouble seems to follow us around” At which point Remiel interjected, “As long as you are on our side lass.”
A white claw soldier then ran up and hacked into Artemis, injuring him severely. Remiel then invoked a Forceful Denunciation prayer at two of the soldiers and the ducal guard. “Stand down servant of the Dragon Queen” Remiel commanded as his spell killed one of the soldiers and severely injured another. The ducal guard, however simply shrugged off the attack. One of the white claw soldiers’s charged at the knight and managed to hack through his heavy plate armor. The solider then released his dragon breath on the knight, but missed him. The wild elf archer moved away from the warrior engaged to him and fired an arrow into the side the soldier that was attacking his companion. Sharke then attacked the Ducal Guard using his magical broadsword and slashed his chest wide open. The attack filled Sharke with a renewed strength against the soldier. Torment then took two swings at one of the soldiers and severely injured him.
After observing the party, the inquisitor launched a Ray of Black Ice at Artemis. The ray hit Artemis and drained some of his life-force away sending it into the ducal guard empowering him. Elzid moved to the back of the towers main floor in an attempt to hide from the battle. Then the soldier attacked the female wild elf, but she easily ducked under the blow. In anger, the white claw soldier released a blast of cold breath on both of the wild elves. She dodged away, but her companion wasn’t as fortunate as his arms became frozen. Another soldier took advantage of the male elf’s pause and hacked at him with his battleaxe. It then released a blast of dragon breath at both of the elves. The heartless creature even hit one of his own soldiers in the process.
Finally able to act, the knight slashed his broadsword into one of the soldiers twice. That soldier moved away from the knight and attacked Torment by slamming the side of his axe into Torments arm. Responding to the attack, Artemis teleported the creature away from Torment and made him reappear adjacent to him. The teleported dragonborn took advantage of the situation and released his dragon breath on Sharke, Loki and Remiel who are were now in range. Everyone dodged the blast, but Loki, whose face and hands became frozen. The wild elf female leaped around and attacked with both of her swords, but only managed to slice open her opponent’s leg with her long sword. The wild elf male found an opening and scored a critical strike, embedding his short sword deep into the chest of one of the soldiers. Artemis invoked a Sweeping Frost blade at the ducal guard and three of the soldiers. The ducal guard dodged the attack, but the soldiers were blasted with magical cold that even their natural resistances failed to protect them against completely. Everyone in the path of the sword became immobilized from the attack.
Then in a great rage the ducal guard transformed into a creature that was half man and half snow leopard (a were-snow-leopard). The creature ripped off its armor and leaped at Artemis and attempted to rend him with his rear claws. Artemis managed to dodge out of the way, but noticed that many of the creature’s wounds were completely healed over. Then one of the other soldiers attacked the wild elf male and chopped into his left arm. The soldier beside him attacked the female wild elf and slammed his axe on her to her foot. The creature then blasted its freezing dragon breath over the wild elves, Artemis, and one of his own companions. Chotuk Hab then invoked his divine glow on four of the soldiers. The prayer was powerful enough to kill one of the soldiers and greatly injure another. Chotuk also called forth a healing word prayer on Artemis healing his wounds.
Tulani then attacked a soldier with her Vicious Mockery power causing psychic injury to him. She then shifted the ducal guard around so that the party could later gain a flanking position. Loki invoked a scorching burst spell on four of the soldiers, killing one of them and burning the other three badly. At that time, one of the soldiers jumped up high into the air and slammed his battle axe over the wild elf males head sending the elf convulsing on the ground. Another soldier took a strike at Artemis, but it stumbled and missed. Sharke, while flanking one of the soldiers, slashed at him with his broadsword and caused him to shriek in pain. Remiel invoked a Crown of Retaliation on the ducal guard and severely damaged him. Remiel then followed with a sun strike prayer and killed one of the soldiers. Another soldier attacked Torment with his axe. Torment tried to dodge out of the way, but the strike was too fast and it hit him hard. The solider then used his dragon breath on Torment and the Knight, but they both leaped out of the way.
The wild elf archer expertly fired an arrow into one of the soldiers and killed it. Sharke attacked the ducal guard, but the guard, who was now half man and half snow leopard, simply leaped high into the air and landed 15 feet away. Torment attacked the soldier with a radiant vengeance prayer blooding it. The inquisitor charged at Sharkey and viciously swung his black bladed khopesh at him. Fortunately, Sharke parried the attack, but not before he became overwhelmed by the evil presence that surrounded the man. The presence was so intense that Sharke began to loose confidence in his abilities. The Inquisitor then tried to attack Sharke for a second time, but could only curse as Sharke evaded his attack yet again.
The Knight called forth a holy strike and crushed the white claw soldier’s head under the pummel of his sword. Fighting for her life, the wild elf female feinted with her long sword and then, after creating an opening in the soldier’s defenses, embedded her short sword deep into the creature’s ribcage. Artemis attempted to invoke another Lighting Lure on the inquisitor, but missed. He tried the same spell on the ducal guard, but also failed to injure him. At that time the ducal guard, roared like a great cat, regenerated, pulled out a black scourge, and charged at Artemis. The swordmage was far too quick for the attack and stepped aside, clearly he found the attack very predictable. Despite his failed attack, the lycanthrope managed to shake off Remiel’s Crown of Retaliation. Then another soldier slashed his battle axe low at Artemis, but he simply jumped away and parried the attack with his longsword. The swordmage, however, wasn’t as fortunate against the soldier’s breath weapon, which froze his legs and caused him to grimace in pain.
In a rage, the soldier fighting the wild elf female, crushed the male elf’s skull into the ground. He then hacked into the female elf with his axe and used his freezing dragon breath on her. At that time Chotuk invoked a bless spell on the party and launched a Sacred flame on the lycanthrope, but the spell went high into the air and completely missed. He then quickly tried again, taking more time to aim, and scorched the creature with holy fire. Tulani then used her Majestic Word, healed Torment, and then invoked a Shout of Triumph on the Inquisitor, one of the soldiers, and the ducal guard. The ducal guard and the soldier were battered with thunder magic. Loki then launched a scorching burst at the inquisitor and one of the soldiers. The flames set the Inquisitor of Tiamat’s black robes on fire and seared his flesh. The soldier that was caught in the attack suffered a similar fate.
It was a this time that the party noticed that a giant eagle launched itself high into the sky from behind a tree. It was the same tree that the Elven lady moved behind.
One of the soldiers leaped at the wild elf female and slammed his axe into her knee. The blow was just too much for the elf and she fell to the ground unconscious in a pool of her own blood. Another soldier then hacked into Artemis adding to his many wounds. Seizing the opportunity, a soldier came out of nowhere and charged at Artemis and embedded his axe deep into his shoulder. Remiel called forth another Sun Strike prayer and killed the lycanthrope instantly. At that point, Remiel called out, "May Ilmater have mercy on you for your cruelty! At that point the wild elf archer fired and arrow at the inquisitor, but the projectile was blocked by the man’s wooden shield. Then, torment focused his fury at one of the soldiers and embedded his two handed battleaxe deep into its chest, which caused the creature to howl in pain.
After witnessing the quick death that the ducal guard suffered at the hands of Remiel the inquisitor ran away. Sharke and Artemis tried to attack the fleeing inquisitor but he blocked the attacks with his shield and ran as fast as he could. Then the giant eagle, which was flying high above the battle, swooped down, picked the inquisitor up off the ground, and proceeded to fly towards the city of bloodstone. The battle continued and the party was able to cut one more of the soldiers down, but not before three others escaped. In addition, the wild elf archer took the opportunity to run away towards the river as fast as he could.
After the battle, the knight introduced himself as Sir Holland. He offered to return Erilyn to the town of Windless and told the party that their reward was waiting for them at Grohmbar’s tower. Sir Holland told the party that Grohmbar had asked the knight to check up on the party (see the conversation with Sir Holland on the forums)
DM’s Notes: The party made quick work of the dukes men. The battle never became the challenge it was meant to be. Even the Inquisitor saw a few of his most powerful attacks completely fail. I was surprised that the party didn’t make more of an effort to save the wild elves.