Death Knows No Honor

Chapter5:Session6

Death From Above and the Walking Dead

Cast: Archibald, Cedric, Dellin, Jacq (new character played by Jenna).
NPCs: Lord Bismark, Lord Roenker, Josef Krunk, Herre Stormur, Guy Margeaux (in a surprise return)

With the silhouettes of the giant flying creatures growing ever-larger in the sky, the crew order the boatmen to pull hard for the nearest shoreline. Unfortunately, many of the crew have come down with swamp fever and remain huddled below-decks while the able-bodied jump ashore and secure the boat. With the flying beasts nearly upon them, most of the oarsmen run away in fear into the forested hills. The more courageous lot, including Jacq, a down-on-his-luck ex-bodyguard, move in a more coordinated fashion to draw danger away from the boat and the defenseless sick members of the party.

Only a few minutes after distancing themselves from the boat, the Jabberwocky descends upon them from above, crashing through the trees like a bull charging through a cornfield. The Jabberwocky is enormous and terrifying. Josef Krunk flees in terror, screaming all the while that the dead are rising and darkness will eat the sun. Several of the others are taken aback for a short while as well, but eventually manage to gather their courage to face the dread Jabberwocky.

The beast is not entirely as depicted in Dellin’s pilfered drawing, torn out of an ancient book found in the Altdorff Library. It is larger and more solid than depicted, with a fringe of webbed spines around its neck. From the spines, a noxious vapor is emitted that shrouds the monster in an acidic haze. As expected, the Jabberwock possesses a scorpion-like tail with a three-foot-long poisonous barb at the end.

Bismark rushes in, shield held high, in an attempt to smite the beast’s head. The beast swats Bismark, crushing in part of his shield, and sending him flying several yards, where he lands gasping with a few cracked ribs. A short, desperate fight between the over-matched heroes and the Jabberwocky ensues. At one point, Karl Roenker lands a solid blow to its neck. Dellin manages to score a gash against the beast’s flank as well. However, both Dellin and Karl suffer acid burns from the noxious cloud. Cedric attempts to get lucky by shooting arrows at the beast from a distance. As the heroes stagger against powerful blows and barely evade its deadly-poisonous tail, the Jabberwocky’s meager wounds stitch themselves back together.

From the outskirts of the battle, Jacq looks into the air and tracks the other flying monster through a break in the dense forest canopy. It is not a Jabberwocky. Rather, it is a giant hawk-like creature with a small girl riding on its back. As it circles through the air currents, out of arrow range, it sounds a strange screetching call that sounds something like “kheeeeaaaa…jubjubjub…” Cedric’s magic sense sees a densely woven tapestry of Dhar connecting the rider of the Jub Jub Bird with the Jabberwocky.

Archibald is surprised by a flash of light and then a hand grasping his shoulder from behind. Herre Stormur has landed next to him and, in the classical language, tells Archibald that he must distract the Jabberwocky. Stormur, currently an ally to the heroes, plans to invoke a great spell, but he needs protection during the casting time. He indicates his plan to “snic snac, cut the tapestry of Dhar woven between Die Jung Hexen and the Jabberwocky.”

While Stormur summons a great magic, Archibald brilliantly charges the Jabberwocky, shouting orders to the other heroes to attack. He runs UNDERNEATH the enormous beast and tries to stab it from below. The Jabberwocky, in bewildered confusion, doesn’t think to simply sit on Archibald and crush him like an insect. Instead it tries to grab him in its maw, reaching under its own body and off-balancing itself and stumbling onto its side. A few moments later, Archibald uses Dazzling Brightness to temporarily blind the beast. With additional distraction from the other heroes lasting a few combat rounds, Stormur manages to summon a cloud formation and a great column of lightening that races into the sky towards the Jub Jub Bird. The lightening column blasts the bird and rider, and additional forks of lightening cascade out of the clouds. The bird and rider fall from a great height into the center of the lake. The Jabberwocky screetches in anger and confusion, leaps into the air and flies away.

After a brief respite, they realize that a new threat has approached. A hooded man accompanied by a force of undead soldiers and two Bandersnatches has arrived. The hooded figure reveals himself to be Guy Margeaux, an erstwhile priest of the light whom at one point was Archibald’s prisoner because Margeaux had dabbled in necromancy. Archibald let him go in thanks for Margeaux’s timely assistance in fighting off Augustus Grimm. “Oops” might be an understatement. Banter ensues and Margeaux states that the players are free to leave and not interfere with the coming events. An eclipse is coming, Archi knows, and Margeaux seems to believe the power of the light is fading.

One of the undead soldiers was one of LAnduin’s heroic banner men, and an expert marksman. He draws his bow to fire an arrow at Herre Stormur. Some recognize the arrow as the Heartstring Arrow. Stormur has time to conjure a protective wind blast, and while it manages to protect many in the party from the other undead archers, the Heartstring arrow flies true.

Perhaps miraculously, or perhaps because there wasn’t any life force in the shooter of the arrow, Stormur survives the shot to his chest, although he is seriously wounded. In the heat of the ensuing skirmish, a Bandersnatch snatches back the arrow from Stormur’s chest and steals his warp stone staff as well. With these treasures in hand, an the eclipse anon, Margeaux and his forces withdraw.

Thus ended the session.

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