Keep on the Borderlands

17. Hold The Gate

1/17/11: We missed last week due to snow, so we are a week behind. We were given some of the new d&d fortune cards to try out. They seemed cool but didn't get a lot of actual use.

RPGA Sanctioning #:    10-10-2499715

Eldeth - Dwarf Slayer
Hirbe
- Eladrin Mage
Merric
- Halfling Thief
Tornam
- Dwarf Cleric
Varian
- Eladrin Mage



The adventurers returned to the keep and rested, knowing that Benwick's forces would arrive the following day. They were woken in the morning - the lizardfolk were on the horizon. And to make things worse - the Curse of Clarissa was back. Varian was again marked. He had thought that donating money to the church was enough, but now he wondered just what he'd have to do to permanently have it removed.

Benwick and a black dragon were with them. Lord Drysdale handed each of the heroes a battle horn which could be used to order the other soldiers around. He asked them to help defend the front gate, and then meet him in fountain square.

The heroes rushed to the keep's gatehouse. Lizardfolk warriors were scaling the walls, emerging to battle soldiers atop the ramparts.

Inside the gatehouse was an enormous portcullis. A winch atop the walls looked as though it could raise and lower the iron gate.

Beyond the portcullis was a set of wooden gates. The gate shuddered as a pair of huge horns pierced some of the planks. A bestial roar echoed from the other side of the wall. It looked like the gate wouldn't hold much longer.

Eldeth and Tornam set up by the portcullis, waiting for the behemoth's head to break through the wood so that they could hack at it through the bars. Syradon, Fallek, two swarms of tiny samurai and two guards were on the battlements ready to fend off the lizardmen, who climbed the walls. The heroes had Syradon raise the portcullis, hoping to trap the behemoth in it when it passed under. The behemoth broke through the wooden doors, but as Merric pulled the lever, it stumbled back, avoiding the portcullis. Then it tried to gore Eldeth through the bars, but missed.

Eldeth backed away, and the behemoth gored her through the bars. She was bleeding badly. Tornam healed her.Up top, a band of tiny samurai swarmed a lizardman and chopped it to pieces.

The heroes raised the portcullis as the dwarves below tried to lure it closer. It lunged, and Merric pulled the lever. The behemoth roared as the portcullis pinned it to the ground! I began lashing out and wriggling, trying to free itself. 

Up above, a lizardman bit and swallowed a swarm of samurai. On Hirbe's shoulder, Nanako wept. There was a marsh mystic among the lizardfolk. He stood on the ground, and cast spells through the portcullis. He created a spectral swamp fog, which hindered movement beyond the portcullis.

Hirbe was up on the wall. As a band of lizardfolk climbed up (they were arriving in waves of 8) he cast a burning hands spell, killing four. Down below, Tornam and Eldeth slashed into the pinned behemoth. Varian cast a spell, momentarily taking control of the behemoth. He forced it to gore the marsh mystic. The lizardman screamed out in pain and surprise. The behemoth regained control of its' faculties and pulled itself free of the portcullis. It was on the outside again. The portcullis slammed shut.

Another wave of lizardmen came up. Hirbe cast a fire shroud spell, creating a massive explosion that killed five more lizardmen!

Eldeth threw a javelin through the bars of the portcullis, hitting the mystic. Lizardmen above threw javelins down on Varian, who had inadvertantly marked them all with the curse. Tornam charged up a ladder and killed one of the lizardmen with his lightning-charged hammer. 

Fallek was nearby, and stabbed a lizardman through the heart. He turned and stabbed another in the gut, killing it. Syradon killed another. Hirbe looked down on the mystic, and cast a phantasmal assault spell on him. Tornam charged across the battlement and and kicked a lizardman right over the side. Varian fired off a magic missile, killing the last of the 24 lizardmen.

Merric jumped down and landed next to the mystic. He slashed into the lizrdman, who screamed as blood poured from his wounds.

The mystic dodged another swipe, and frantically scaled the wall, hoping to get to the lever. He hoped to open the portcullis so at least his behemoth could rampage into the keep. As he got to the top, Hirbe cast beguiling strands, sending him careening across the battlement. He nearly fell off the far side down to the feet of Eldeth, but he was able to stop his momentum. Varian killed him with one last magic missile.

Tornam called down lightning on the behemoth.  It tried to gore Merric, but the halfling dodged. The behemoth's horn was stuck in the wall. Merric sprung off it and jumped, climbing the wall and getting back on the roof.

Merric threw a dagger into it. A bit of blood trickled from the wound. The behemoth let out a pathetic groan and ran away.

The heroes could hear the sounds of battle from inside the keep. They made their way to fountain square as Lord Drysdale had planned.