(GM’s Note. The attack on Valdrik/Waterview was something new to my experience as a GM. I did not want a straightforward combat with the creature – especially as it’s attempting to destroy the city. So I wanted to do something a bit different that also would give the players a chance to take an active role in defending their city.
To implement this I ignored the normal time for “Combat Rounds” to be much more fluid. They could decide where within the kingdom they wanted to be as well as what actions they wanted to take to help the city.)
A great roar/hoot bellowed across the city of Waterview. In moments the claws of the creature smashed into the castle – with a host of Owlbears climbing out of the fur and feathers and running inside to start running amok!
The members of the ruling council still within the city began to organize a counterattack as best they could. Korin rushing through the halls of the castle striking down Owlbears while Alanea was calling for an evacuation of the city with a simultaneous retreat to the inside walls of the castle.
Ogg rallied the troops of the castle to contain the dangers while making his way into the city proper – seeking the temple of the Silver Flame and their archers.
Sidney in the mean time had been making his way up to the top of the castle with a small team of siege engineers and had been firing arrow after massive arrow into the creature’s hide – to varying effect. Ever the inventor however Sidney had also summoned a Furtive Filcher homunculus that leapt onto the giant owlbear’s hide and had transferred a Heat Metal effect onto the armor of the creature. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention that someone had gone through the trouble of creating a massive Studded Leather Barding for the giant owlbear). This also revealed something rather curious – a large metal band around the creature’s left arm.
Cassie had setup a makeshift clinic inside the castle to begin tending to the wounded, which took up her time for the majority of the battle.
Cassie was the one who also realized just what this creature was – the legendary First Owlbear. The Talonquake. The walking natural disaster…able to appear and disappear without a trace while leaving only destruction in its wake. But why here? Why now?
Ogg traveled through town which also had Owlbears swarming through it and found the paladin Mirasandra already making the temple a safe-haven. Archers were placed along the roof doing their best to create safe opportunities for members of the town to make it inside. Collaborating quickly a group of archers following behind Ogg made a direct attack on the creature just as the top of the castle was buckling under the assault of the monster.
Ogg rode past the Talonquake, piercing its leg deeply with a spirited charge as he moved to the side of the creature. A group of silver flame archers met Ogg on the other side of the owlbear that was peppering it with arrows from a distance.
As the Talonquake turned to face its attackers that were trying to lead it away from the castle the creature paused…and slowly turned its head back towards the city despite the obvious threat Ogg and his forces presented. Both Ogg and Sidney realized a second piece of the puzzle at this point, that this creature was under some sort of mental compulsion to attack their city.
With a silent pop the giant owlbear vanished and suddenly reappeard in the middle of their city turning its wrath upon the buildings this time!
Our heroes, save for Cassie who was running her clinic before rushing off to the Silver Flame temple to see if there was a method of breaking enchantment available there, moved to the city proper as they tried to draw the Talonquakes ire away from the city and towards themselves. Precious barrels of ale were taken from Korin’s brewery and rolled down the hill to be smashed under foot and quickly set on fire providing a nice dose of hot foot for the creature.
All around them the familiar faces of people they had met fought throughout the town. Auchs was clubbing owlbears in the streets. Kobolds were leading owlbears into alleyways where they were quickly greeted with overwhelming numbers with pointy spears. Mirasandra was firing arrows and giving orders from atop the temple of the Silver Flame. Kundal the half-orc was wielding a battleaxe to provide more melee support for the traditional archers of the Flame.
The combined attacks of our heroes raised another great bellowing roar/hoot from Talonquake forced its pattern to change again. Raising its arms into the air the first owlbears feathers ruffled and stretched as massive wings spread down from its arms. The flap of its wings sent out powerful gusts of wind that sent people and debris rolling down the streets of Waterview.
(Yes, the First Owlbear can Fly.)
Korin by this point had managed to leap onto Talonquakes body and had been climbing up its body to get closer to that mysterious metal band the Furtive Filcher had found. Cassie had finally arrived at the Silver Flame church and managed to get a scroll of Dispel Magic from them. Rushing close enough to be within range of the spell as well as actually be able to see it (Oracle Curse and all) Cassie drew forth the divine magic within the spell and combined it with her own spiritual prowess before smashing any magical spells that had been placed on the Talonquake.
Talonquake paused as its wings slowed their flapping before landing once more on the ground with a great THUD that shook the ground. Another roar/hoot emitted from the beast as all of the Owlbears within the city stopped and turned to follow their leader. The creature turned and made another silent pop as it disappeared and reappeared within the forest and began lumbering back into the wilds of Xen’drik – the owlbears following swiftly after.
The immediate danger was gone…but the city was still in danger. The fires from the powerful ale of the brewery were spreading, buildings were in the process of collapsing, and many people were still injured and missing.
It wasn’t until a few days later that enough calm and peace had returned to the city that the other members of the ruling council realized they could not find Korin! He must still be…oh god he was still on the Talonquake when it left the city!