Lord Ordin's keep

GAME EIGHT: March 12, 2005

Last Flight of General Dismemberment


We get the intelligence report, which entails the Tiger Nomad army of 20,000 causing lots of trouble up north and the Wolf nomad army (who are coming our way) rolling over small groups (such as one group of 500). We begin our preparations in earnest, knowing we have about a month before the enemy shows. Our last instructions from Lord Ordin were to protect the gate in our basement. We know from some form of prognostication that we should be fighting on open ground, not at the castle.

So we explore the area before the pass and find ground on which to meet the enemy.

Their forces split in two. We end up meeting the smaller force, the one headed for the pass. They send out 12 men to speak with us. It turns out that they want us to give up the gate and they will leave peaceably. We are not ready to comply. So they ask us about "rules of combat". (This strikes both my characters as odd, but Krayden likes rules)

So we put some basic rules into play: No plunder (If we los they can't raid the countryside; in return we can't take their stuff), Individual surrender is allowed, fair treatment of prisoners of war, Ransom allowed for captives, etc.

Next day we meet on the field of battle. We let Jeff set up first then deploy our forces. We end up with a few major benefits...

The enemy has...

We set up the battlefield to our advantage, with walls of stun, areas of mud, the catapult on a high hill, and a nice defensible position for the men to wait in.

Immediately, Jim's characters starts peppering the enemy with catapult blasts, softening up the troops. Gaedin eventually starts casting various Spike Stone spells and other Plant growth's to break up their forces. Some of them manage to separate the commanders from their troops, helping to remove their morale bonus.

Finally, when the enemy gets in range they proceed to attack Gaedin's forces who are in the woods. They have better range than our archers, but the groups in the forest manage to pull back at times preventing attack due to cover.

Eventually, their commanders disappear. They are undoubtedly redeploying somewhere. Eventually the General reappears at the to of the hill next to the catapult that is trashing his troops. He puts a cage of force around the catapult. This works great except that Joe's beholder is there now; He turns off the magic with his gaze, they push the catapult back out of the cage, and then he reactivates the cage! It's now empty, but for the wall of fog that was up there protecting the catapult before. The catapult still has cover because he's behind the cage and wall.

Zam utterly trashed the General with spells, taking him down quickly. Leif (or was it Ashen?) proceeds to animate the dead body of the generally figuring it will demoralize his troops. But at this distance they can't tell he's dead! So they maintain their general-based morale bonus.

So... Ashen then suggests the general get into the catapult. Next thing the enemy troops know, the general is flying through the air via catapult, his head ripped from his body by the velocity, and crashing directly into the enemy forces. Some are immediately shaken, needless to say.

The rest of the fight is pretty much a route, as primitives whack on anyone who comes near the forest troops, and those that charge our pikemen are met with, well, pikes. Enemies get stuck in mud, etc. Eventually the enemy forces surrender and the the commanders who appear atop our hill are slowed up by one of the Catapult's patented clay pots full of caltrops.

Ashen tries to sick the winterwolves on the surrendered enemy, but they do not attack, but merely herd the group.

Totals: We lost 1 unit, 1 additional man, and had a few injuries in this total domination of the wolf nomad army.

And that, in addition to a discussion of handling of prisoners (that entailed accepting their goods as ransom and sending them home), was the night. We are victorious due in no small part to one nasty piece of machinery, a whole bunch of fireball wands, a beholder's ability to neutralize magic, and a crafty druid.