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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Session 11, Part 2- assault on the Drezen environs

    This next part deal with the strategic planning and the tactical mass combat where the party's army struck into the Drezen environs. It would be difficult to understand the surroundings without havign the map in the module, but I'll try to make do.

    The war council- making plans
    Since I don't know what sources you have, and I can't post the map, I'll try to explain the environs. Skip it if you have the map.
    Spoiler: Battle zones of Drezen environs
    - The Ahari gorge divides the environs to north zones and southern zones. The army approaches from the east. The slope enabling the siege and horses to come up on the south bank, in the SE corner. The gorge can be passable to climbing forces, but not to mounted ones or siege weapons.
    - "The south bank" is a long strip of roads and ruined houses, stretching to the west. For clarity purposes it is divided to two segments: SE bank, and S bank. From the SE bank there is a bridge crossing the gorge up north to a hill called Paradise Hill. From the S bank there is another bridge north leading to the fort of Drezen itself. to the west of S bank there is a mist shrouded cemeteryץ
    - The cemetery can access only the S bank.
    - Paradise Hill and Fort Drezen comprise the north half of the map. There is a side branch of the gorge separating them too. Near the top of the territory there is a broken bridge spanning the two.
    - Drezen Fort is quite big, and with in it a big citadel. The walls are slightly damaged, but stand tall, and though most guards towers are non functional, 4 remain- 3 near the main gate, and one towards the small ruined bridge.

    Ok, I hope this makes things clear, though I hope you do have the map in front of you.

    Anevia returned with the other scouts, bringing news. She allocated 6 main targets, 3 of them for mass battle, 3 for more "surgical strikes". She first emphasized that the place looks deserted, a bit like a ghost town. The forces seem somewhat disorganized, disjointed. She pointed out the following targets:
    - In the south bank, they spotted 2 medium armies of dretches (100 each), along with a big host of tielfings (200). A bit to the west were humans- cultists serving the lords, seemingly better equipped.
    - Paradise hill is a paradise no more. It was used for luxury apartments and workshops, but now it is in ruins, but has some fortifications. There are some tielfings there, with long bows, but also an army of Schir demons. Something is going on there though, as some tortured shouts come from there.
    - To the west of the south bank there is a mist shrouded cemetery, and the dead walk in it- ghouls and skeletons, with rotting crusader armor on their bones. There seem to be an area of darkness within, unpierced by light, but the scouts couldn't defer what it was.
    - The bridge leading to Drezen directly has been weakened, and four Aurochs are tied to the pillars, ready to break it down. The place is guarded by a small group of tielfings, but if a massive army will come close, it would surely be felled. If the bridge isn't saved, mounted troops and siege weapons may not pass the gap!
    - The four surviving towers od Drezen hold siege weapons. With the height benefit, they could out reach groudn siege weapons. These need to be sabotaged in order to succeed. All 4 towers...

    Another info comes from Julian's familiar- her hawk. It circled around Drezen itself. It saw some Schirs, some cultists, tieflings, dretches, but also some worrying signs- The citadel itself grew in some pulsating greyish red light. Something very, very wrong about it. Also, there were some pillars just at the front of the citadel, glowing in a neerie pale grey light, and some strange.. structures? placed around the citadel. But the hawk surveyed it but slightly, for it suddenly felt something, some presence, some power, staring back at it! and so it flew.

    Ok, Planning time!
    As usual with this group, they started making overly complex plans. Two things worried them- capturing the bridge before they'll decide to drop it, and avoid being caught between the cemetary and forces from paradise hill if they rush to the bridge.

    Feeling another "no end in sight" discussion coming, like in Keeper's Canyon, I limited the discussion to 10 more minutes. And it seemed to have focused them on a different plan alltogether! They planned to strike to the SE bank, and WHILE FIGHTING THERE rush towards Paradise Hill and conquer it, trying to catch them by surprise, and then pushing all the forces into the hill, and fortifying their base of operations there. Then, possibly rebuild the broken bridge to Drezen, thus not needing to rely on the "suicide approach" bridge to Drezen. Plus- they'll need to face only one tower, which they intended to sabotage.

    I loved it! Time to try and put things to action! As the party gathered their forces and set the army in motion Julian's player did a quick tally "Wait, I counted more than 2,000 people we're facing all in all in this siege? With our 700? Against a fortified location?" Sena's player replied "Let's hope they are reaallly disorganized!"

    A bad beginning...

    The armies come close, and I put out the tactical map. Most of the area has ruined buildings, which gives the enemy a home advantage. Reaching the SE bank, they first meet with two armies of Dretches, and a larger unit of tiefling rogues. The army moves cautiously but... the Lions move far ahead, and meet the Dretches head on. Within 1 round the two dretch armies tear through the Lions, destroying the army! By our rules, Mad dog escapes with half hit points, but that does little to ease his mind.

    Sena's player ask: "Who in their right mind rushes straight at them ahead of the army?!"
    Mad Dog: "Barbarians?"

    Which is exactly the time when this is heard, all over the Drezen Environs coming from Drezen itself.

    The party: "What the hell was that?!" But there were other things to worry about. Through out the session I would use various roaring clips to have the party WELL aware that something BIG is hungry!

    Mad dog retreated and joined the Silver Banner. "For the Lions!" Dumas shouted, which became their battle cry through out this battle. The armies engaged, and suffered some wounds but managed to destroy the forces. The tiefling in the meantime moved towards the bridge of Paradise Hill, when they noticed a new danger/

    The cultists from the western parts of the south bank were hidden at the edge of an open field, covering the bridge. They held long bows, and an open space between them and the armies of the PCs. They needed to time their assault right, or else a good volly could repeat the case of the Lions.

    Spoiler: Picture of the situation

    PC armies to the right, Bridge in brown to the north, and cultists to the left.

    Triple charges! And Paradise Hill
    The Queen's Knights and the Silver Banner can move fast, and have timed their dual charges to catch the archers before they could fire! Yet even in close combat, while not a match to the two mounted troops, they could occupy them for a time, and inflict wounds.

    But the army wouldn't wait for them to join. The tiefling strode over the bridge, and surveyed the hill- 2 armies of tieling long archers, an army of quasits (?) which went and turned invisible, and an army of Schirs...

    Spoiler: a picture of the situation

    At the top the two red are the tieflings, between them the Shcir army. The quasits have disappeared. 4 forces are at the bridge, with the tieflign occupying it's length. Below the two mounted units face the cultists)

    And the Schirs rushed powerfully charging down, while the tielfing taunted them (Tactic), and their sorcerers cast defensive spells (Resource). Those, along with good rolls made it that the Shcirs didn't hurt the tieflings TOO bad. though the tielfings failed to hit them at all. ("That is what happens when you are mooning the enemy instead of fighting it!")

    Remember that saying about bridges and bottle necks? Well that is exactly what happened here. The Schir- tieflign conflict locked the battle, as the two tiefling archer units came down and started shooting. More than that- the quasits went soon after the Bartlets. With focused fire and a lot of effort they got them down before they could make real damage, But meanwhile the archers were doing small, but persistent amounts of damage, as was the "main event"- the tielfings were worn down slowly, and they barely damaged the Shcirs, who proved to be a TOUGH unit!

    They needed a change...

    The feint and victory

    So the tiefling quickly withdrew! and went back, with the other armies forming a sort of a cul de sac.

    Spoiler: picture of the cul de sac

    I rolled a dice to see if they'll fall for it. (Obvious tactic, but not too smart and winning so far) They fell for it... As they came in the party gathered round their forces and managed to dispose of the Shcirs. One of the tiefling unit's broke due to moral and fled, and I decided to end the battle there and just declare they kill the last unit.

    Two major battles were one, but one unit was lost, and the rest were nicely battered and wounded. They quickly rushed to the hill, to find what was there (with some scouts to quickly gather resources from the south bank, and prepare to make this a temporary base, from which to plan further attacks on Drezen! And lets not forget, the Schirs were guarding something here...

    It's still not the end of the session! In the next part I'll discuss some preparations, ideas, and the party trying to tackle a "surgical strike" which turns out to be a bit of a fun mess!

    I hope you're enjoying, please feel free to comment!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-10-19 at 01:11 PM.

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