Benders

Skeletons - R4

“Ummm…” Bex says, as he peers down into the hole… careful not to get too close. “Did we finish them all off?” Listening (d20+2=22) at the hole in the floor, Bex hears nothing. Feeling it must be relatively safe with no clicking of bones, Bex stuck his head down into the hole a bit to have a look (Spot check: d20+6=22). There were no bones and no skulls in the tunnel that he could see. There were weapons scattered on the floor, all of them near the hole. 1, 2, 3 . . . Bex counted in his head as he pointed at each one. 10. There was an assortment of weapons on the floor, 10 in number.

JohnM hopped down off the wall on the outside and start towards JohnE and Ice to help. It seemed unlikely that either of the two remaining skeletons would last even a moment or two longer, but he had seen them injured during the fight. If there was something else on the way, then healing would be in order.

CB turns on the parapet and yells down at the Lord of the Keep “All the skeletons in the tunnel seem to be destroyed – only two remain outside. What did they hope to accomplish with this, is this a diversion for another attack?”

She then straightens up and scans the surrounding area, looking for any sign of another attack.

Lord Pedraig looks around as well. “Keep your eyes open for the real attack!” he yells to the militia standing guard on the wall.

Ice swings with the long sword and misses.

The skeletons weren’t giving up yet. Both swung their weapons and both scored hits, one much better than the other (-1 hp for JohnE, -12 hp for Ice).

The militia stood there ground. There didn’t appear to be anything that posed a threat to the keep.

JohnE reached out and snapped the skull from the spine of his skeleton.

JohnM arrived to heal but instead took a McGuire swing with his staff at the last skeleton. Instead of flying for a homerun, the skull shattered and everything turned to dust.

Bex is feeling a bit uneasy… they were able to destroy these skeletons too quickly. This must be a diversion to get our attention away from something. “There’s still a spy in our midst. I think I need to check on the front gate…” Before he leaves, he asks Devon: “where is the most immediate threat to the safety of the keep?”

Devon pointed north.

“M’Lord,” Bex yelled at Pedraig, “our Diviner senses that the real danger is to the North!” He then hops up on the wall and races to the north end of the keep… trying to Spot (d20+6=18) anything askew. The North is where the 2 prisoners are… could they be the danger? Is there another group of undead? Perhaps a small Goblin army? Or the spy? Whatever it is, Bex hopes to spot it before it spots him.

Everything looked quiet to the north.

Mark grabs a stick/shovel/pick axe/rusty sword/whatever and jumps down the hole. He tosses anything that looks useful and isn’t made of dirt/rocks back up the hole and starts to poke at the ceiling (read that arms out stretched as far as they reach) in front of him to collapse the tunnel, ready to bolt back up the hole JIC is gets way too collapsy. With +9 to structural I think I can figure out how to do this safely?

Mark was able to collapse some of the tunnel near the entrance on the hill. It was an immediate fix but the tunnel would obviously need to be filled, especially under the wall of the keep where a collapse could be a serious compromise to defense.

;;; I’m going to open a new post. It won’t have much info but we need a fresh start for comments.

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Skeletons - R3

After the explosion, the dust slowly settles in the hut. “Excellent!!!” Bex says, smiling at Devon and the militia man who dropped the cask… “I don’t know what you threw on them, but it worked!” He then draws his machete, and looks over the militia in the room. He puts up his hood, and his face suddenly becomes black as night… “Steady your nerves and ready your weapons… now we crush them!”

JohnM called on his new-found connection with web of life and energy surrounding him and sought to unravel the magic animating one of the skeletons attacking JohnE and Ice (Disrupt Undead – for 1 whole point of damage). As weak as the spell felt, the skeleton’s bones fell apart from one another, dropping to the ground one by one and turning to dust.

CB winds up with the magic sling, shooting a magic sling bullet for good measure, letting loose at a skeleton outside the keep. The bullet shattered the skeleton’s skull and the skeleton fell to the ground, turning to dust.

Ice, beginning to feel the effects of his injuries, attempted to connect again with his longsword but missed. (ATK: 4)

Everything was quiet in the tunnel leading into the cottage.

There were only three skeletons left outside the keep. Two of them attacked Ice and missed. The last one slashed JohnE with a long sword (-8 hp).

The militia stood by in the cottage and on the walls but it seemed that the Benders were easily taking care of business.

JohnE jumped forward with an Ong Bak elbow to the top of the skeleton’s head, shattering bones down into the spine. The skeleton full backward and crumbled to dust.

Bex attacks the darkness with his machete (d20+1=8), and missed…

Mark takes a swing with his mace like Tiger Woods on a good day (d20+1=7) and slices into the bunker….(assuming something pops it’s head up)

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Skeletons - R2

Seeing things stabilized in the house for the moment at least, JohnM ran for the walls around the keep to see how Ice and JohnE were doing with their “assault”. Seeing them being surrounded by the skeletons, he hopped down from the wall and prepared to help them out.

CB stood on the wall watching the skeletons try to surround Ice and JohnE. She uses the first charge of the day out of the ring of concussion, trying to pick one of the skeletons trying to flank the warriors for her target. (ATK: auto hit? Yes, but they do get a saving throw. DMG: 11 to one skeleton.) The bones of the skeleton blew in an expanding arc away from the Benders. The bones turned to dust when they came to rest on the ground.

After having dispatched of his last opponent, Ice immediately closed in on the nearest skeleton and went straight for its legs, hoping that the blow would maim the undead warrior enough to cripple it so he could assist JohnE. Ice’s blade cut off one of the skeleton’s legs. The skeleton tipped over and turned to dust when it stopped struggling to stand up.

The skeletons inside the cave manage to hack apart one of the bands holding the barrel together. The slats splayed apart, leaving large gaps, barely held together by the band at the other end of the barrel.

The skeletons outside the keep pressed their attack on the Bender warriors, with one hitting Ice (-6 hp) and two hitting JohnE (-9).

One of the militia and Devon ran to the cottage, the militiaman carrying a small cask. Devon stopped at the door but the guard continued inside, unstoppered the small cask, and dropped it through the opening between the splayed slats of the water barrel.

JohnE did a jumping soccer kick like the skeleton’s head had just been put into play from a corner kick. The head came off the spine and went flying down the hill. Gooooooooaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllll!!! The rest of the skeleton crumpled to the ground. It laid there for a while as the skull bounced down the hill. When the head finally stopped, both the skull and body turned to dust.

Bex looks for an opening through the trap door where he’d be able to scorch some more skeletons… he bides his time until he spots the moment where he can do the most damage. He steps forward while screaming, “and the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!” Then blasts another fan of flames down the pit (7pt damage to anything in the 15’ cone).

The flames whooshed into the tunnel followed by an explosion as the small cask blew up as well. Flames shot up out of the tunnel. The slats of the water barrel gave up their attempt to stay together. One after another said, “Screw it,” and jumped into the tunnel. The bands fell in with the last two slats.

Wide eyed, Bex steps back again to let Mark smash some skulls…

Mark waited with his mace but nothing poked up through the tunnel entrance.

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Fire in the Hole

JohnM dropped the dynamite into the whack-a-mole hole and stepped back. There was a clattering sound that sounded like a skeleton was clamboring over or kicking the bones of skeleton that Mark had bashed in the head (you mean Mark can actually hit things with the mace?).

Bex stepped onto the door and crouched down. He held his hands inside the hole, hoping that nothing grabbed him. He thought about what it was that he wanted to happen, felt the magical energy from the air around him flow into his body and run down his arms. It warm and there was an appealing feel of power that was instantly intoxicating. He uttered the magical words that he had been taught would release the now-focused energy from his body. When he was learning, there was a bit of doubt in the back of his mind. The power that he could feel entering his entire body, running down his arms, and built up like a river against a dam, drowned all doubts from his thoughts. He invoked the magical words and removed the dam. Fire burst from his hands. He stared in the hole amazed. CB grabbed Bex by the shoulder and pulled him back a bit. He stood from his crouch and stumbled back catching his balance.

The explosion of the dynamite blocked any skeletal sounds and seemed to shake the little cottage a bit, although that could have been imagination. Dust and wood splinters shot up out of the hole in the battered door. The explosion was enough to finish off what remained of the integrity of the door. After heaving upward a few inches, it fell back to the floor and then the rain-water barrel fell on top of the door. The door cracked in half, each half sliding away from the center toward the walls of the cottage, and the barrel fell into the hole. It was like a large cork, as it didn’t fit all the way down into the tunnel.

Outside, a wave of dust tumbled out of the tunnel and slid down the hill settling as it went, like a wave running up on a beach.

(JohnM)

(CB)

(Ice)

(Skeletons)

(Militia)

(JohnE)

(Bex)

Mark takes a swing at the skelly that pops it’s head up through the hole (assuming here at this point) He smashes another in the noggin for 6 points of damage.

;;; PPD – 11/8 @ 1500 MST.

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Here's Johnny!

The skeletons on the outside of the keep split into ranks of five and started climbing the hill toward JohnE and Ice. Their bony toes seemed to dig into the ground nicely and give them traction as they worked toward the warriors, fanning out. They held their swords, maces, and morningstars ahead of them as they spread out to overwhelm the two foolish enough to leave the safety of the keep walls.

JohnE’s shot went over the skeletons and seemed to have no effect on them.

Inside the keep, the sword from the tunnel continued to cut into the door and into the bottom of the rain barrel. Eventually, the water drained from the barrel and even though there wasn’t much weight on the door, the sword continued to chop the door. The door rattled in place with each strike and the sword came through at one point so that over a foot of blade was showing. It was pried to the side and pulled free, taking chunks of wood with it.

It went quiet for a few seconds.

Inside the cottage, two skeletal hands grabbed the sides of the hole and a skull popped through the hole as a skeleton tried to pull itself into the room.

Outside, the skeletons opened their jaws like they were screaming silent war cries, and they charged the two warriors.

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Stealthy as an Avalanche

CB looked around outside for anything that might help hold the door down. She was able to find a barrel used to catch rain water. She had a couple of the militia go get it and roll it toward the little cottage.

Bex cast his Mending spell and the damage to the door was fixed. The thudding and splintering continued as if the skeleton didn’t notice or didn’t care that the door had been fixed.

JohnE and Ice tried to sneak down the hill to the skeletons (with Ice rolling worse than JohnE). Small rocks were kicked loose and rolled clattering down the hill toward the skeletons, who “heard” the noise and turned to look up the hill. Five of the skeletons started to circle around the boulders to the left and the other half went to the right. It was going to be an interesting battle on the loose rocks.

The militia men rolled the sloshing water barrel into hut. With a bit of planning on the timing, the bed was moved to the side a bit and the water barrel was placed on the door. The thudding from beneath continued but the door stayed in place. With the bed moved, the Benders had a better view of the door and were able to see the tip of a sword poke through the door a bit on one of the thuds. The Mending spell had bought some time but the door was being chipped away from beneath.

JohnM and Mark waited for the inevitable before they launched their attacks.

;;; Any last minute preparations?

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Trick or Treat

CB climbed back down the ladder as JohnE unhinged the door. Placing the dagger in place, JohnE was able to give the pommel a couple of smacks, knocking the pins out. The pins clattered to the floor and rolled away a bit. The Benders placed the door over the hole and then looked around. What now?

CB saw Lord Pedraig walking along the west wall. He was looking over the edge as he walked, probably keeping pace with that half of the skeletons. There were guards on the south wall doing the same thing. It looked like the skeletons were going to come back together at the southwest corner of the keep.

CB yelled at Pedraig as she closed in on the house. She let him know about the breach. He immediately yelled for some of his militia to converge on the little house. He was pointing around at who he wanted to go because all of his militia (if you want to call ten part-timers a militia). Four guards started making their way toward ladders to come down into the keep.

The Benders could hear Pedraig yelling at a couple more guards to get back to their posts. They were all following the skeletons on their march even though there didn’t seem to be anything the skeletons could do until they got to the tunnel. Everyone on the wall was just an observer to the battle that was about to commence.

The four guards came running to the house with swords drawn but there was no more room inside for them. The clicking of the skeletal march seemed to fade away as if the skeletons had continued on past the keep, like it had just been an obstacle in the way of their morning march. Everything seemed to go quiet except for the heavy breathing of the guards that had just sprinted to the cottage.

Then the clicking could be heard echoing on the other side of the door that was lying on the floor. Faster this time, like the skeletons were running now.

Something thudded into the door.

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Divide and Conquer

The men took off for the southwest corner of the keep while the women watched the skeletons approach the northeast corner. Pedraig’s militia was coming alive, trying to strap on armor while climbing ladders at the same time. They seemed a bit panicked by the attack, like they didn’t have much experience in this sort of thing. JohnE and Ice had practiced with the militia and knew that they could indeed fight. It’s one thing to know how to do something and quite another thing when a squad of undead were circling your keep. As was pointed out by the Benders, skeletons really didn’t seem like much of a threat to a keep, as long as they could be kept on the outside. Yeah, most missile weapons might not have much effect but since the skeletons didn’t seem to be armed with any missile weapons themselves, they weren’t much of a threat.

When the skeletons reached the corner of the keep, they split directions. Every other skeleton went either south or west. Leisha leaned out over the edge of the corner watching them go, 10 down one wall and 10 across the other wall. CB leaned out over the gates and saw half of the skeletons clicking along her wall. The lead one “looked” up at her, if you can call it looking when there are no eyes in the sockets (as opposed to not having any sockets at all wink). Did he smile? No, of course not. Skeletons can’t smile. Whatever it was, CB “knew” that the skeleton was looking at her and “smiling”.

The men ran between the barracks and the apartments to the southwest corner where there were three single family dwellings. They ran past the little houses and made it to the wall and looked around, not seeing anything but a solid stone wall. The sun was up over the east wall and there were no shadows at this end of the keep. An illusion?

“Where?” JohnM asked Devon.

Devon pointed behind them at one of the houses, the western-most dwelling.

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What the Point?

;;; Added a bit more description to the post. Trying to get back into my writing groove.

The skeletons kept their morning march toward the keep, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was no way that they were going to be able to take the keep. Skeletal feet just kept marching down the path from the cemetary. The skeletal squad clicked as it moved toward the keep. Even though they had seen enough of this world to not be completely freaked out by anything anymore, it was still a tad grating to hear the bone on bone of ankles, knees, and hips clicking together and then apart with each step.

The guard didn’t need to be told twice. He went inside the keep and with the help of the Benders, closed the gates and dropped the bar in place. The bar thudded in place and seemed sturdy enough to keep skeletons out. It was hard to judge, of course, because skeletons didn’t have any visible muscle. How strong were they really? As strong as the humans they used to be?

JohnM asked Devon where the passage into the keep could be found. The boy pointed toward the southwest corner of the keep without thinking. After he pointed, he looked the way he had pointed, trying to see what he was pointing at.

When Devon was asked about the spy, Devon looked at Leisha. Leisha looked back at him. Leisha glanced at each of the Benders and then back at Devon, who seemed to be thinking. Everyone seemed to hold their breath. Devon finally looked away, glancing around in different directions, like he was confused and searching for an answer. “I don’t know,” he said.

CB climbed the closest ladder to get a view of the countryside. Leisha followed her up the ladder and pulled her bow from her back, even though it wasn’t the best choice for skeletons. The two women were the only ones up on the wall at the moment. The skeletons were still marching toward the keep, about 150 clicks from the keep wall. Not kilos but actual clicks. Looking around, the women didn’t see anything else heading toward the keep.

“Easy pickin’s,” Leisha said, glancing at CB and pulling an arrow from one of her quivers.

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Dead Man Walking

CB walked over the gates so that she could have a look at what the guards were looking at. It took time to register because the brain tries to interpret what the eyes see based on known reality. This, obviously, wasn’t real. Couldn’t be real.

So, the skeletons that were marching single file down the path from the cemetary took a long time to register on her brain. About 20 of them, heading for the keep, armed with a wide variety of weapons. They had short swords, long swords, there was a morningstar, and a few maces.

The guards figured it out about the same time as CB.

“Go tell the lord,” one said to the other as he drew his sword.

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