Minion of the Unholy Fragnog is regal on his brontosaurus steed, surrounded by his bone man minions. Breath of New Moon rides an armored dinosaur whose flesh is transparent as her own. The dolm women tremble with awe in their sorcererous presence!
Festive looks disappointed at the stranger's flippant answer; the company is too heavily armed and menacing for this to be a simple test-drive! But her friendly demeanor does not falter as she replies:
"All may pass peacefully through the land of the Flower of Sublime Wisdom. But we depend on this delicate ecosystem [the Dolm word for "delicate ecosystem" is an untranslatable mash-up of the words for "web" and "healthy body"] for our survival, and these giant beasts trample the ground and frighten the animals...
"You must allow us to escort you through our territory. ["Yes! We will show you the way" chorus her dolm sisters.] These marshes are a maze, and we know the dry, safe paths where your 'sauruses can tread with least impact."
She offers her hand to Fated expecting a boost up onto his 'raptor...
[If the party votes to accept the dolm women as marsh-guides, who among you will offer the remaining 8 a ride on your dinosaur? They are slender and unarmored, so you can slightly exceed your dino's recommended passenger capacity in this case.]
"I concur." Breath says, "Perhaps we can divide them up among our dinos."
(The idea being so that on each dino they'll still be outnumbered should they wish to try to overpower us... unless they have some kind of non-physical attack or way of controlling dinos, in which case we'd be totally screwed ;D)
Snarf: 1 Andre: 1 Junior: 1 Little Brother: 1 Big Mama: 3 Big Daddy: 2 Princess: 0
Fated to Die offers Festive his hand. She vaults onto the raptor, wraps her arms around him, and rests her cool cheek against his shoulder. Her dolm companions saddle up and prove to be excellent travel companions, giggling and asking innocent questions about your foreign appearance, the dinosaurs, and your high-tech equipment. Their command of Babel (the common tongue) is conversant, but strongly accented, and some of their idioms are clumsy. It becomes apparent they have never seen a bone person before, as they can't stop staring at Minion and Breath. The doe-eyed youngest member of the group draws the short straw and is forced to ride with Shade and his deep one henchman; she holds her breath and tries not to gag at the fish-man stench.
At first your dolm guide's directions seem haphazard, sometimes traveling in the exact opposite direction of your goal. You are hopelessly lost and disoriented by mile after mile of identical marshland. Are they leading you in circles? But as the sun reaches its zenith and the heat and humidity become oppressive, you start to notice landmarks and are relieved to realize you are making excellent progress. You catch a glimpse of the ocean on both sides, indicating you are crossing the neck to the marshy peninsula known as The Flower of Sublime Wisdom. At your current pace, you are confident in reaching the beach by sunset.
A freckle-faced dolm woman is eager to answer Minion's questions and seems fascinated by his bone-man-ness. "May I?" asks Freckles. She hesitantly grazes his transparent flesh with her fingertips, and a shiver runs down his spine at the light touch. "Our village is hidden on the northern tip of the peninsula, near the water. We are a peaceful tribe and live a carefree existence thanks to the bounteous Flower of Sublime Wisdom. It is said that our ancestors were hot-tempered warriors until they learned the Wisdom under the tutelage of our spiritual leader The Dolm Crone and expelled hatred from their hearts."
Freckles and the other two dolm passengers share a knowing smile with each other, prettily, and lapse back into comfortable silence.
(sorry for the short update today, busy @ work, something cool is going to happen I promise--these marshland hexes are jam-packed with excitement
Big Mama howls and rears up, as if to say, "my child!" and Minion cannot control her as she charges Right Snake. Princess follows at a safe distance, mewling with concern for her mutant brother.
But first, missile fire is resolved.
Serpent's Scion and Dream Stalker fire their shortbows (needs 12 to hit unbarded "horse" at medium range) rolling 8, 4 and wasting their arrows.
A Gunnery Veiled charges up the massive radio cannon. He needs a 6 to hit at short range. The radio coils glow bright red and unleash an invisible beam of energy [8, 5] that strikes for a massive 4d12=28 hp of cauterizing damage, reducing Right Snake to 32hp and fusing its tail-scales together! [1 charge is used and 14 charges remain.]
Now the melee begins! Breath is right in the thick of things. She and her henchwomen desperately try to spare Junior from further damage by fending off the titanocobra with their glaives. [needs 6 to hit unbarded] 11, 9, 5; 7; 6. Breath opens two slash-wounds, and Devil Maw and Blasphemous Blade each hit once for a total 4d8=11hp glaive damage [21hp left].
Junior flees the attacking snake, luring it into the waiting jaws of Andre who attacks as 3 medium horse [vs. light horse rolls 3 dice, hits on 5+] who rolls 6, 3, 6 and tears into the yummy snake for 2d6=6 damage [15hp left].
And then there is Fated to Die who valiantly tilts at the ancient swamp monster (with Festive screaming and hanging on for dear life!). He needs a 7 to hit with his spear and rolls 9, 5, 9, impaling the snake for 2d6=2hp and reducing it to 13hp. Snarf is agile and whirls around for another attack on the next round, shrieking in battle-lust.
Finally the lumbering Big Mama is there, 9hd of raging brontosaurus, rearing up and rolling 2, 4, 5 to strike for 1d10=10hp of stomping damage, leaving Right Snake at a mere 3hp and pinning it to the ground!
Right Snake has no choice but to retaliate against The Mama [rolls 2, 1, 6, 4, 4, 1] and it snaps at her for 1d8=4hp, reducing her to 27hp, a wound she barely feels! She rolls 19 on her save vs. poison, indicating the hypodermic teeth have failed to inject their venom into any vital parts.
Meanwhile at the rear of the column, Little Brother is left to fend for himself against Left Snake. Attacking as 2+2 HH he rolls 4+2 dice and hits on 5+ and rolls: 3, 4, 1, 7 headbutting the monstrosity for 1d12=9hp which reduces it to 81hp.
Left Snake needs a 6 to hit and rolls 1, 6, 3, 5. It merely holds its ground and meets the headbutt, the recoil damage to Little Brother is 1d6=4 reducing him to 21hp. The brontosaurus is momentarily stunned [6 on his save] and the titanocobra siezes the opening to puncture his barding with its swordlike fangs! Little Brother collapses and his passengers are thrown to the ground! [Uhhh, someone please remind me who was riding him? He can carry a crew of up to 3, plus I believe he was carrying 1 dolm woman.]
Prepare for Round 2! Once again, initiative is tied and actions will be simultaneous, so choose your strategy wisely! Firing the radio cannon is unwise now that the melee has descended into stomping, smashing chaos, and smaller missile weapons will have a chance of striking an ally on a miss.
Last Edit: Jun 17, 2012 9:47:43 GMT -6 by mushgnome
((No PCs or Henchmen were assigned to Little Brother, presumably some of the Quarry crew were riding him.
((Gunnery, atop Big Daddy, should be able to get a good shot in at Left Snake now that Little Brother is down??...))
Princess, feeling emboldened by Big Mama's presence, joins her in attacking the nearly-dead Right Snake. Serpents Scion and Dream Stalker hold on tight, now that they cannot use bows they are only armed with short saxes.
Breath, mounted on Junior, spins about and shouts: "Little Brother is down!" She will circle around west and south towards Left Snake in an attempt to lure it away, but will not engage it in melee upon the wounded Junior at this time, retreating instead.
That is a good suggestion kipper; shall we say the 3 Quarry Boys and 1 dolm woman were Lil' Bro's crew?
If Gunnery is going to swivel the massive turret around and take aim at Left Snake's tail, he can do so without hitting Little Brother or the spilled passengers, but it would be risky for anyone else closing for melee... remember it is a beam effect, not a pulse. The other riders would be wise to keep their distance and use missile attacks as well, if the cannon is to be employed.
Don't forget each dino is equipped with howdah pistols... they are basically double-barreled arquebuses with limited range (4/8/12" instead of 6/12/18") and a 1 round per barrel reload time.
Little Brother goes down and stays down. The Quarry Brothers and their dolm passenger are thrown into the muck!
Right Snake hisses and attacks Big Mama (1, 3, 2, 3, 2, 5) but is pinned under the big bronto's bulk!
Snarf makes a second pass and Fated is ready with his spear. [3, 9, 5] He pierces the the titanocobra for 1d6=5 damage, enough to kill Right Snake (-2hp).
Gunnery fires again with the radio cannon [11, 5] for 4d12 = 16hp and Left Snake is cauterized down to 65 hp!
The remaining heroes move into Medium range (safely out of reach of the cobra's jaws, need 9 to hit) and unleash double-barred howdah pistol action!
Breath: 8, 8, 4 Minion: 8, 8, 3 Shade: 3, 11, 5
There is a thunderous noise, a choking cloud of dark smoke, and a volley of .577 caliber lead slugs! The party has terrible aim with the unfamiliar weapons, and only one of Shade's shots connects for 1d6=5hp reducing Left Snake to 60hp.