Kingmaker in Eberron

Book 2 Chapter 08 - Welcome to the Jungle

Eight lumberjacks had come wandering into the clearing where Corax and his lumberjack community had been staying. Caught red-handed with a small collection of gnomes trapped under the floorboards of the guest cabin, and Tarvis blatantly stating they had been tracked down by the group, there seemed only one course of action to take.

Before the eyes of our group of heroes including Mirasandra the paladin of the Silver Flame, Corax the lumberjack, as well as the survivors of the Narthropple expedition and the other lumberjacks the ousted group of eight dropped their axes on the ground and began changing into the now familiar form of a werewolf. Initiative was rolled and the pack of Big Bad Wolves seemed to be at complete ease within their favored environment of the forest. With a simple gesture from the alpha of the pack, three of the wolves broke off to circle around the clearing, Lucius and Boudreaux recognizing this as a pack tactic. Surround your prey to prevent anyone from getting away.

Rather than keep a track of round by round tactics, the following is a general record of how each character spent the fight. Taking down eight Big Bad Wolves pretty much took the entire session this week, and we will be picking up at the aftermath of the battle next session.

The rest of the pack, including the alpha charged at the most threatening members of their prey – Tarvis, Boudreaux (and Eleanor), Lucius, and Mirasandra. Valerie at this point was still hidden by the door of the wolves’ cabin, and Cassie was playing the part of a helpless blind girl.

The battle was fierce, the vicious rending claws and terrible bites of the Big Bad Wolves proved to be almost fatal on multiple occasions. Cassie let loose her full array of living energy during the battle, transforming into a creature of pure positive energy that healed with a touch, bursting positive energy around her to heal her allies, and calling upon divine energies to heal others as well. Mirasandra was not a slouch in this regard either – most Paladins of the Silver Flame were taught to master the bow and thus also learned to heal allies at a distance.

Boudreaux and Eleanor used their own pack tactics when dealing with the wolves that bore down on them but even their normally iron-clad attacks weren’t as effective as usual. The druid and his lovely elegant lady companion were constantly rotating around the two wolves that assaulted them in the attempt to gain the upper hand if even for a moment.

Lucius being a ranged specialist without any ability to heal himself spent most of the battle trying not to bleed profusely while leading his own werewolf on a merry chase around the battlefield, eventually climbing on top of one of the cabins to get a higher ground advantage. The Wolf snarled “You really think hiding on a roof will help you?” before kicking in the door to the cabin – knocking it off its hinges. Realizing he would have only moments until the wolf would try and break through the roof to get to him Lucius quickly laid a firetrap on top of the roof – silently stepping away from where he just was. Sure enough the wolf came bursting up through the wooden plates in a vertical Kool-Aid Man moment and was set on fire by the ranger’s trap.

Mirasandra claimed divine retribution on the wolves, filling her opponents with divinely infused arrows that glowed with a silver flame though even she was tackled by one of the wolves, and was forced to draw her silver blade to fend off the creature. Near the end of the battle Valerie charged to her defense and skewered the wolf with her silver rapier – the tip coming out of the were-creatures mouth before dropping to the ground dead.

Valerie remained hidden for the beginning of the fight and stepped out of hiding to help Tarvis face down the alpha of the pack. Her face was still partially covered due to the recent growth of her Dragonmark…but she had to tap into her newfound power until now. Drawing forth a burning energy from within, Valerie electricity crackled across her hand and struck the alpha wolf in the shoulder. Quickly realizing that this new power was more taxing on her body, the CEO of Valdrik drew her silver rapier and joined the battle saving Mirasandra from one of the wolves. (Valerie’s new Aberrant Dragonmark power has manifested as an electricity themed Scorching Ray power)

Tarvis wins the “Tommy Tough Nuts” award for this battle, facing down the alpha of the pack with his +1 quarterstaff and a lot of moxie. The alpha tried, and failed, to intimidate Tarvis by sundering his quarterstaff – barely leaving a scratch in it. In an almost mocking response Tarvis reinforced his staff and retorted with a few spellstrikes – easily bypassing the DR of the BBW after enhancing the magical power of the staff with his arcane pool. After trading blows for a few rounds the alpha finally just disarmed the magus and snatched up the staff in his mouth – moments away from snapping the quarterstaff like an oversized walking stick. A magus without his staff is still a magus however, and after taking a single step backwards Tarvis plugged three holes in the alpha killing him where he stood with three well placed magic missiles.
The rest of the pack was demoralized at the death of the alpha but were determined to fight on. Slowly but surely the BBWs were brought down but not without leaving their marks on our heroes.

Finally there was one wolf left. Valerie had attacked it to take its attention away from Lucius who had plugged it with an arrow. The wolf lashed out at Valerie in kind staggering her as it sank its fangs into her neck. In utter defiance the ruler of Valdrik stabbed the wolf in the side with her silver rapier before losing consciousness trying to kill the creature with her last attack…unfortunately for her however the wolf remained standing with the rapier embedded in its side. Tarvis charged to her defense critting not only with his staff strike but with the shocking grasp he channeled through it as well – striking the wolf in the back of the head so it released Valerie and then slamming its head into the ground with electricity coursing through the BBWs body like an overcharged cattle prod.

The battle was over and somehow our heroes had survived. A few of the bystander lumberjacks and gnomes had been killed by the rampaging wolves, Mirasandra (and possibly others) had witnessed Valerie’s aberrant dragonmark powers, one of the guest cabins had been damaged and lit on fire, and one of the wolves had survived but was unconscious.

Have our heroes tracked down the Big Bad Wolf? Did they already kill him? Let’s find out…next time on Kingmaker!



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