We rejoin our heroes in the foothills near the Sea of Rhun and the mouth of the river, having captured a dark elf who was moving to prepare a ritual magic site. In addition the General Guthwyn and her retinue, we have with us Corp and his company.
Our captive has stones and water from 4-5 places along the river. After some questioning, the captive reveals where the ritual was going to happen: a spot of hill where they can see both, with a source of water into the river. The ritual group consists 72 dark elves all with magery
Araphor ponders starting a forest fire, to take out the whole area, but is concerned it won’t catch.
The party ponders whether or not it’s feasible to switch out the components for the spell, but feels it’s difficult to accomplish and of unknowable value.
Corp’s guy knows the area – he can get us to the area quickly, perhaps before the main group of elves arrives.
Approaching the clearing from a forest path, we notice cart tracks leading into the clearing. From an advantageous spot, we see two humans(?) at a lean-to, with 6-8 baskets of stuff. We’re about an hour ahead of the main body of elves, who are spreading out and slowing down.
Guthwyn walks up and chats up the men. They offer her coffee. They talk to her about the rocks in the baskets and even she can tell that they’re lying to her. She avoids the mistake of leaning into the lean-to at their suggestion.
Guthwyn gives the signal and Bo fires, killing one of them on the spot. Guthwyn quickly disables the other, capturing him (?)
We search the lean-to, and find river rocks (six baskets) and water (two leather containers).
Bo thinks about having Araphor make new useless water, but again it’s not clear whether that will have any more effect than no water at all. So instead they Araphor suggest dumping the water, and throwing the rocks far and wide in all directions. He recruits most of Corp’s men to assist with this while Nwalme questions the prisoner about the ritual, the elves, the plan, etc…
In ten minutes we were able to toss one and a half basket’s worth of stones. We continue as Nwalme questions them.
The elves are slowing down even farther. About a mile and a half away, they start spreading out and disperse into the woods.
Guthwyn wasn’t sure why the two men didn’t kill her.
The prisoner isn’t hard to question. He’s telling us things but we’re not sure if he knows much. He’s here to make sure that no one takes off with the rocks and water. He’s OK with working with orcs, as long as they pay. He thought 100 or so allies would be showing up, at which point he was to quietly accept his pay and take off, as they’re a touchy bunch. The leader was Benwa. He doesn’t know much. The elves won’t be showing up until a half hour before sunset.
Stormdancer is keeping an eye on the approaching groups of elves. They are in three loose groups and they stopped. They’re sitting with their heads down. Still far enough so that attacking one of the groups isn’t an option.
There’s a path out that he recommends. It’ll go toward the fort that’s nearby.
Guthwyn asks for a good spot to dam the creek/water. It’ll be hard because it’s not a fast-flowing water. The best is a few swampy areas that will become swampier. They are about a mile down the creek, an hour away, too far away.
When the baskets are light enough, we head out and scatter rocks as we walk.
As we’re clearly outnumbered, we discuss bringing in more troops to take out the elves.
We can spot section leaders, but not the overall leader. We can set up an ambush, but we could set up an ineffective fire.
Araphor recommends watching to see what they do and maybe listening by linking up with a local varmint. Bo watches, ready to fire into a ritual if needed.
Araphor uses his magic to reach out and find a helpful rabbit, to sneak in closer to the ritual area and be his eyes and ears.
Half an hour before sunset, the elves start coming up the hill. They mark out a ritual circle. Spotting the blood from the slain human, they become agitated and set up a perimeter to guard themselves.
They have their own baskets of water and rocks.
Araphor doesn’t understand what they’re saying; they’re speaking an Elvish tongue he doesn’t know. Nwalme gives Araphor the gift of tongues so that he can suddenly understand what’s being said by the elves. They talk about what they don’t have and how to assemble what they’ll need.
Nwalme can tell that the ritual area is a very high mana zone.
As they’re still setting up, the party decides that they’ve a good enough vantage point, and open fire. Bo gets two shots into both of the main spell casters. Nwalme gets a strike blind into one of the other ritual mages.
The rest of the troops (primarly Corp and his men) catch up and fire arrows into the elves, and the ritual is disrupted. The cauldron glows blue (leading Bo to surmise that it’ll be creating water rather than destroying it) and then it turns into a geyser, shooting water 100 feet or more into the air. It slows down after a few seconds, but water continues to pour from it steadily.
Nwalme blinds the elf bowman closest. We attack. The elves form two lines. Elves are down to 20 each. Bo snipes at the leaders as usual.
20 elves from the inner circle were washed away by the geyster, flooding, and some psychic blow-back from the spell collapse. Our forces approach to try to knock ’em down.
The elves ask for quarter. Guthwyn bypasses them and tries to kill those slow to speak. 27 captives, 22 dead, rest of the 72 missing…
Among those captured is one of the inner circle (#3 or #4), as well as several squad leaders.