We were all sleeping in the castle when the alarm bell began to ring loudly! We grabbed our stuff and ran downstairs (some more efficiently than others – all were without armor, and Sir Didymus didn’t even grab a weapon). Guards were also headed for the gates and other battle stations. Next to the bell in the courtyard, the stable boy was grappling with a man dressed in black.
Zamaia reached the courtyard first, and hexed the stranger. He dropped the stable boy and headed for the stable doors; Zamaia slipped through a hallway to enter the stable by another door. The main stable doors were open and swinging. The injured stable boy shouted something about Racven.
Cora followed Zamaia, and cast Haste on the entire party. Luhluh also ran into the stables, and noticed that it was a mess. Equipment had been damaged and strewn about, there were drops of blood, a horse could be heard whining, and many horses were not in their stalls. She could just see a stranger through the open door, and shook the rod at him. The multi-color segment sent out a sheet of flame to engulf the target! And then the color faded.
When Brinn reached the exterior stable door, he found three men running across the garden toward the wall (and one charred corpse on the ground). One held a shortsword, one had hands free, his weapon sheathed at his waist, and the last (and beefiest) held a heavy flail and wore a mask. Brinn threw a dagger at the nearest. Sir Didymus was right behind him, and observed that the three were evil. He cast a spell to compel the empty-handed person to approach him.
Zamaia headed off the guy who had been in the courtyard, and gave him a tongue-lashing. A literal one, turning her tongue into a whip of magical electricity. Not only was the enemy injured, he also fell to the ground laughing!
The strongest-looking intruder vanished over the top of the wall. Cora came up behind Brinn and shot an arrow at the second, who was still climbing. She missed, but then she looked to the last corner of the stable and spotted the feet of someone lying prone. She swore in Elvish.
Luhluh ran out into the garden and leapt up to grab onto the man climbing the wall. Brinn also jumped up the wall, then he climbed to the top and hopped down to land on the escaping intruder. Sir Didymus grappled the man he had forced to approach him.
Zamaia again lashed at the still-giggling man in the courtyard (hereafter referred to as Giggles). The man Brinn had landed on (let’s call him Beefy) grabbed Brinn, and whistled for backup. The climbing man (Blue) and the empty handed one (Red) tried to shake off Luhluh and Sir Didymus, but could not. Giggles rose to his feet only to be hit by Zamaia again.
Cora ran to the corner and found Racven slumped before Prisa’s stall. She cast Cure Light Wounds to heal him, and shouted to the others asking what they could see happening. Racven revived, clutching an aching head.
Luhluh pinned Blue to the wall, Brinn took control of his grapple with Beefy, and Sir Didymus began punching Red. Zamaia lashed at Giggles again, so hard that she turned herself invisible! Also, Giggles died. Then Zamaia headed out to join the others near the garden wall.
Suddenly all heard a frightening wail from beyond the wall! Zamaia was shaken, but the rest managed to keep their cool. The large creatures causing the wail began to shake the wall; no one had yet looked directly at them. The grappled intruders continued to struggle.
Satisfied that Racven was on his feet, Cora ran for the stairs at the corner of the wall. Luhluh stabbed Blue with her dagger, and told him to stay still.
Brinn finally looked up at the wailing things – and rather regretted it. He recognized them as ogres, but something was wrong with them. Terrifyingly so. They were not undead, but something perhaps worse. The sight made Brinn feel nauseous and weak. He dropped his opponent, scaled the wall again, shouted a warning to Sir Didymus, and jumped down to his previously-abandoned sword. Sir Didymus continued to punch Red and ask unheeded questions of him.
The ogres’ punching collapsed two sections of wall. Cora emerged atop (a still-standing part of) the wall, and was disgusted and weakened by the sight of the ogres. She fired an arrow at the fleeing Beefy, but missed badly in the dark. Luhluh, now on the ground, tried to stab Blue again, but lost her grip on him. Brinn took his sword to the nearest ogre, landing two of three blows. Sadly the blade did less damage than expected. Sir Didymus demanded that Red tell him what the intruders were doing here.
Zamaia tried to hex the first ogre, then lashed him with her tongue when it did not succeed. The second ogre entered the garden (knocking over our wagon), and dropped his greatclub to grab at Brinn. The first ogre also stepped in and tried to grab Brinn, managing only to be hit by his sword again.
Blue stood (Luhluh stabbed him as he rose), then tried to mash a tomato from a nearby basket into Luhluh’s eyes. Luhluh backed away and used the rod’s Gold setting. We were all further hastened! She hid behind a bush, and found an unconscious guard there. She rifled through his pockets, and tossed his flail toward the unarmed Sir Didymus. Meanwhile, Cora’s arrows did some damage to the second ogre while Brinn continued to hit the first.
Sir Didymus was still punching Red. Red spit a bloody tooth at him and said “our enemies will be crushed in the fist of the Oppressor!”
Zamaia concluded that the ogres were neither arcane nor extra-planar. Normally, ogres have tough skin but no special resistances such as these two seem to show. Zamaia’s tongue-zap caused the first ogre to fall!
The second ogre kept trying to grab Brinn, who was moving far too fast to be caught.
Having lost sight of Luhluh, Blue turned to hitting Brinn instead. Red still could not shake Sir Didymus’ hold.
Cora finally managed to place what was wrong with the ogres. There are stories of the House of Shackles torturing victims to the point of breaking their souls. Such abuse could cause the disturbing appearance and strange behavior of these creatures. She hit the remaining ogre with two more arrows, which did no damage.
Luhluh sneak-attacked Blue, and he fell. Brinn swung at the remaining ogre, landing one solid hit, and then issued a challenge to it.
Sir Didymus gave one final punch to Red, who cried out “to feel the whip is to feel the burning kiss of the Overlord” before falling unconscious.
Zamaia magically Confused the ogre, while Cora continued to shoot it ineffectually. Luhluh clicked the rod to White and shook it, receiving a luck bonus to use on a future action. Brinn then landed two blows with his sword which finally felled the ogre!
The battle won, we turned to the wounded. Red and Blue were still alive; Cora stopped Blue from bleeding to death. Luhluh tended to the unconscious guards. Other guards were found to have helped the stable boy.
Sir Didymus grabbed his horse and chased after the last of the intruders, the stronger-looking man who had fled into the night. Zamaia followed running swiftly on foot. They captured their quarry and hauled him back to the castle.
In addition to weapons and armor (and rather a lot of cash), the intruders were found to be bearing a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds, a Cloak of Resistance +1, an assortment of acids, poisons, and potions, and a small case of torture devices.
“All [Tommy’s] hexes live in Texas.” -Mike
“Cats? Oh they’re totally Chaotic Evil.” -Kara
Tommy: “I’m invisible and frightened.”
Meghan: “Well if you pee your pants no one will see!”
Kara: “And you pee yourself.”
Mike: “My crotch is right over the dude’s face, too.”
“We’re gonna need a catapult.” -Mike/Brinn
Meghan: “How do you become un-shaken?”
Mike: “You need to be stirred.”
“I’m used to things. I just licked a guy to death.” -Tommy/Zamaia