Week 4 – Race Against Time

In the aftermath of last week’s panic, our adventurers retired to their tavern rooms to quickly re-equip and work out their next move. Lucan had mentioned that he was heading to Karrnath, and had no reason to be lying unnecessarily with the cover that had been provided by Neya. Some quick shakedown of the informants who had pointed them at the party revealed that although there were numerous transports headed in that nation’s direction, there were no ships or lightning rails due to leave that evening – leaving only a single House Lyrandar airship due to leave within a half hour.

By the time they’d made their way through the city’s streets to the air docks, they had precious minutes left to them, and an eighty foot climb up to the docking berth lay before them. Above them they could see workers preparing to cast off as the last passengers and cargo were loaded, so they rushed up, hoping to catch sight of Lucan and his sister.

Map of the docking berth on which the battle took place.

An eighty foot drop on each side? What’s the worst that could happen?

What they found instead was a reception party of dominated gnomish dock workers and marines who had been ordered to prevent anyone else from getting onboard the ship.

Seeing various crossbows levelled at them, the adventurers rushed into combat, hoping to clear a way through before the gangplank could be withdrawn and the ship left. They had roughly thirty seconds to fight along a seventy foot berth, blocked by cargo and armed gnomes.

With roughly six seconds to a single combat turn, this meant that an awful lot was going to happen in a very short period of time – and this single combat took the entire evening to resolve!

The fighters stormed in to try and break the first row of defenders, while Keil summoned a small air elemental to try and disrupt the centre of the formation. Too weak to blow opponents away with its whirlwind form, the minor spirit gamely began to buffet one of the defenders instead. Despite this, the dockworkers put up a stiff resistance, giving as good as they got.

Both sides made use of the terrain. There were crates that could be used for cover, or navigated to try and flank each other – and with a huge drop to each side of the narrow battleground, it was only a matter of time before someone fell. A successful sleep spell looked for a moment like it would cause mayhem, but only succeeded in dropping one of the crossbow users next to the ship. Then, with a talented gnome slaying the small air elemental, the druids summoned hippogriffs to aid the party. With the cleric summoning a small brace of celestial badgers into the fray to tie up more defenders, the tide soon turned and bodies began to fall to the cobbles below – snatched up and dropped by the avian allies.

With barely seconds to go, and after a mad dash for the gangplank, they managed to get on-board as the ship moved off – some rapid talking and a hefty bribe later to stop the ship’s captain from throwing them straight back off again and their voyage was under way.

They just hoped that the mind-controlled reception hadn’t been an elaborate double-bluff as they sailed away into the night.

Back to Week Three | On to Week Five

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