Boss Hoger and Yavuz are conducting a ritual at the bridge, sacrificing the local priest of the Gods of Light in order to consecrate the town to the Dark Gods! The PCs, accompanied by a band of Red Shield soldiers who’ve turned against Hoger, must carve their way through a wall of enemies to reach them and stop the ritual.
Llandrin Trawscoed’s player was running late, so his not-elven wizard had the misfortune of serving as a cautionary example for the others: he levitated into the air in order to see the lay of the land, and was struck by a bolt of magical energy that transported him to the realm of the Dark Gods. Oops.
Aenor sent her raven skyward to do the scouting instead, and he reported back that there were a lot of bad guys occupying the main square leading to the bridge; and that the townspeople looked ready to riot against the Crusader’s forces for burning down the mayor’s house and preparing to sacrifice their priest.
The party joined the crowd fof townspeople, and got the riot under way with a well-aimed thrown rock and some shouted encouragement. While the larger battle raged, the party took on the forces that stood between them and the bridge.
It was a long, bloody, difficult fight. (The escalation die reached 5!) Mobs of wretched conscripts, and the even more wretched magic-using Avenging Orbs made life really challenging for a while, and the Red Shields who stayed loyal to Hoger dealt some truly disturbing amount s of damage to the PCs. But when Elanesse made some exceptionally good rolls with her breath of the Green spell, the opposing forces melted away. Like, literally: she unleashed tornados of corrosive gas that dissolved about 10 enemies into puddles of organic waste.
That battle done, the party raced to the bridge where Zara stood between them and Hoger. She was already staggered from the larger battle going on in the background, and the corpses of townspeople lay at her feet. As the PCs watched in horror, Yavuz hanged the Priest of Light from the bridge.
OR DID HE? Hochnor Half-Hand used a 6 with the Crusader to provide a flashback which revealed that Hochnor totally knew this was going to happen, and conspired with rogue elements within Hoger’s platoon to replace the victim with one of their own — and rig the sacrifice so that the replacement dangled harmlessly from the rope. Ritual foiled!
Meanwhile Nureddin Wolf-Father used his own 6 with with Crusader to talk some sense into Zara. Persuaded by his words, she confronted Hoger with her own misgivings about what they were doing, and begged him to stop. “It’s been nice working with you,” Hoger said, and unleashed lightning on her. The battle was joined!
Zara fought well and heroically, but ultimately fell against her former commander. Aenor used a 5 with the Three to recharge her lightning fork spell and unleash some whoop-ass on Hoger. Llandrin used a 5 with the Emperor to flash back to the time he fought in the Red Sorcerer’s Rebellion and actually saw Hoger in battle fighting on the Red Sorcerer’s side. Llandrin used that sudden recognition to recall a weakness in Hoger’s fighting style and used it against him to land some major damage. Finally, Hochnor summoned his hammer of faith and brought it down on the ogre mage, destroying him. Hoger’s physical form dispersed amid the scent of cherry blossoms, the sound of otherwordly music, and the sensation of alien philosophies passing through the PCs’ minds and then vanishing.
The town of Shatter Creek has been liberated, and harsh justice dealt to the wicked.
Time to resume the hunt for Thurash…