D&D West Marches 006 - Attack On Tanooki

The Paladin paladins.
Because every single day has to be filled with D&D adventure, Bridges is once again thrust forward into a strange and daring journey: Exterminate 20 Orcs. Sure why not.

Bridges Rhinestone Jr. College of Lore Bard.
Gisela Fade. Eldritch Knight Fighter
Orrin. Cleric of Civilization.
Vymphala Hotai. Devotion Paladin.

After the absence of Slapchop Blueisthewarmestcolor, there were reports of a large presence of Orcs in the area nearby, and adventurers are requested to go deal with them. And since Bridges was fresh off the boat(Literally in this case) from his last adventure, he was more than ready to join.

Seeing some familiar faces in Vymphala Hotai, the Dragonborn Paladin that joined him on his very first adventure, and Gisela Fade who cannot cough up blood on command to totally help a friend out when it comes to the delicate matters of negotiation. As well as some new blood in a gnomish Wizard Valdan, and Orrin, who was tasked with crafting Bridges some Studded Leather right before Bridges stumbled onto some magical studded leather so, damnit.

This group didn't immediately strike Bridges as being desperate for the blood of everything that stands in their way, capable of rational or logical thought or not, so he had a good feeling about the adventure. And before long they were off to it.

Making their way through the woodland area that will lead them to the Blackwood Estate, who was apparently named after someone, the party stumbles into a group of 3 people, two men and a lady. The argument is in a language the party doesn't understand(Save for the wizard who casts comprehend languages) but eventually after making their presence known they call the over to discuss things. It turns out, in no shortage of terms, that shit is fucked and the orcs aren't just orcs, but they also have devils and shit helping them out.

So, that's a bit of a complication, but they should still be good. So they all friend up, by this time the wizard's Comprehend Languages goes off and is able to understand the two guys and they argue like children, apparently. In undercommon. They all share their names with us and among them is Bryan, Alex, and Emily, which are names from a 1997 Mid-West American suburb, but whateves.

But whenever this lady speaks, literally every fucking thing she says, it just sounds so suspicious. I don't know if it was necessarily what she was saying or the way she was saying it, but the entire immediately felt like she was up to something and to not trust her. I guess it might have been the way she grinned all the time or smiled with her missing teeth or shit I don't know but Bridges and no one else liked it.

They all decided to set up camp, so the two boys ran off on their own, and the lady wanted to go hunting for food but Bridges didn't trust that for a second, so he volunteered to go with her, expecting to be immediately eaten to death, or worse. And when they went out they spotted a deer that had a bunch of spear marks in it, which the boys carried spears so that should be fine, but the deer also had a big ol' bite taken out of it. Which was probably fine but Bridges wasn't having that. Not only that bit the lady immediately picked up the entire deer and ran straight back to camp with it which seemed a little fucky.

Everything seemed a little fucky actually and upon the party inspecting this suspicious deer they found strange white puss leaking out of it along with a chipped tooth. Internal panic ensues and the lady talks about how, yeah, this deer is clearly not safe to eat what with it oozing strange fucking who knows what. So they burned it, which is apparently what you are supposed to do but that seemed strange.

Thankfully someone had a Leomund's Tiny Hut to spare us from the fact that there were orcs, devils, and some sort of crazy white ooze shit out here somewhere. So they all took up watches and prepared for the night, with a couple of people having to take one of the other group with them, which was fine except for the chance that they may try to kill us in our sleep and also, we can't understand at least the boys.

Everyone's watch goes by without incident, and then we get to Gisela. The one everything ever seems to happen to if I understand correctly. She is with the girl, Emily, and are both on their watch. Eventually however Gisela spots a whole bunch of glowing eyes poking out from the darkness of the surrounding area and before anyone knows anything shit is hitting the fan.

Bridges' first inclination that something was wrong was hearing violent screams coming from Emily who was apparently pushed into the Tiny Hut to alert us to the danger that awaits us outside. So he did what he did best. No, not negotiating with the deft touch only 12 years of bard college can offer. He cast his newfangled third level spell, Hypnotic Pattern on the area where a whole fucking bunch of lycanthropes were, not even aware that they were surrounding Gisela because she was covered in darkness, and also writhing on the floor like a weirdo.

The spell went off and managed to infect all but one creature, incapacitating an entire encounter during the first move. The Cleric ignited his wombo combo by going around and casting Remove Curse from the lycanthropes, turning them back into people and effectively ending the encounter, oh and also saving Gisela because apparently she had been cursed as well.

We managed to successful thwart the ambush, tie up the one lycanthrope we couldn't cure at the time, and went back to fucking bed. Waking up from a long night of good rest for being the fucking MVP, Bridges was ready to take on the world. The party talks with the reformed lycanthropes who are now just a bunch of people, including one with a disease which Vymphala manages to cure because apparently that's a thing.

The reformed lycans and the party have a long talk about all kinds of shit that made Bridges' eyes glaze over because his own group had unleashed a world-shaking terror and this was something he wasn't really interested in getting involved in as his plate was full, but it involved the moon, a guy named moron and a bitch elf with a bad attitude and no tongue who was apparently a badass warrior from the abyss which Bridges wasn't buying because he and the Cleric took care of her in the span of 6 seconds. Some warrior.

The one guy who seemed to actually have a good head on his shoulders was recommended going back into town with his lycan friends and seeking help, even though the elf lady was an asshole and the other one, a dwarf, seemed like an asshole also. Some people just can't appreciate anything, but they went off and drifted from the party, but not before Bridges managed to get some information about the Orcs, which was apparently led by a SUPER POWERFUL BADASS DEMON ORC WHO COULD NEVER BE KILLED EVER BECAUSE OF HOW BADASS THEY WERE named Sarlac or something, who also had a SUPER POWERFUL BADASS PET NAMED PET WHO WAS VERY STRONG AND HARD. Which will be relevant information for later.

So, with the generically named Bryan, Alex, and Emily, the party make their way forth. Along the way they spot some dead Imps, which are able to be identified by someone in the party who has seen Imps before, which signified that they were definitely on the right track. And before long, they were there. Given the choice of which angle to infiltrate this massive fucking, 30+ guard ass, giant fucking mud house living orc base. Which was pretty big. And filled with creatures. And had mud houses.

So, Emily, saying that she's super stealthy and very deadly, had an interest to sneak her way into the nearby guard tower and assassinate the guard at the top so she could provide overwatch for the party. Everyone decided this was a pretty decent plan, so Valdan gave her some invisibility and she went in for the kill, but goofed up on the attack and left the guarding Orc alive and very, very screaming. So the jig was up fucking right away, and later it would turn out that even BRIDGES had a higher stealth score than her.

So battle starts and there's like 5 whole minutes of rolling initiative for the million something creatures that's roaming around this place. From what everyone knew, there was a big bad demon Orc of some kind who had a powerful devilish pet, and also commanded a whole bunch of orcs. It turned out to be a little different than that, what with spellcasters and Imp's showing up and whatnot, but in the end that was about the long and short of it. It took about 3 or 4 rounds before everyone was moving into place and getting around this very large map. Bryan and Alex just fucking went for it, rushing right into the fray with little regard to their well being.

The first few waves begin to rush forward, coming to some form of a group which Bridges hoped to take advantage of with the same Hypnotic Pattern that worked wonders the other day. Unfortunately it didn't get the 5 or so creatures that were there, but he did get 2 of them. Since the spell incapacitates them until they take damage, they would at least be out of the fight for a little while.

Again, misfortune finds Bridges with the group who managed to save against his spell using their turns to wake up their friends. It turned out that their initiative scores all complemented each other in a way where the ones Bridges could incapacitate came after the ones who could attempt to wake them up. So the first pass for Hypnotic Pattern only lasted about a solid round, and only really affected one creature.

Gisela somehow found herself stuck in a house of death where people just kept pouring in the backdoor and ganging up on her, though Bridges couldn't really get a good look inside from where he was. Bryan moved to the left flank where he managed to murderfy everyone that came his way, and, also, he's a fucking werewolf so it came a little more natural to him. Same with Alex taking the right flank and doing some dirty work. Emily slowly worked her way up the battlefield, leaving the tower and shooting whoever she could. Strangely, even though her goof'd up Sneak Attack resulted in the base immediately being alerted to our presence, she managed to get I think 3 critical hits in a row where she absolutely fucked shit up.

The Cleric, Orrin, summoned a Spiritual Weapon which also did a number on one Imp, where Orrin simultaneously ganks two separate enemies by using his own crossbow against one, and his spiritual weapon against another. It was very John Wick, or in the case of West Marches, very James Haft. (See D&D West Marches 001 for more information).

Eventually the big bad of the battle showed up. A gnarly, very large, very intimidating looking orc who had been corrupted, or enhanced, or in whatever way was clearly demonic in nature. I believe it was a she, and she ran up trying to get one over on Gisela, because that's just the status quo, but got unlucky as MVP &2, Valdan, cast a Hold Person spell on her, and wouldn't you know it she failed her save. Because Orcs are humanoid, that meant she wasn't going anywhere, and Gisela could breathe a little easier aside from the 4 or 5 other creatures trying to get into the building to get at her.

Vymphala, the Paladin, seized his opportunity of a lifetime and rushed down the Tanooki, which I believe is what this Demon Orc species was called, and launched his two attacks. Due to the Hold Person spell, any melee weapon attack within 5ft that hits is an automatic critical hit, which meant this very, very fucking Smite having Paladin was about to do some very nasty business. If I remember correctly his first attack was a crit regardless, because even the fucking fates want to see this shit happen, and his second attack was also a hit. So his two hits connect, become critical, and he also Smites, which causes the damage to increase magnificantly, and also the Tanook is a fiend which means it take even more damage.

In the end the Big Bad Sarlac The Tanooki or whatever it was called, had been completely fucking obliterated, but not before exploding into a mess of shit, because apparently it could do that. Saves were made, very little damage was taken, and this intimidating, what did Bird Brain call it? "Boss?" was dead. That honestly caught a lot of us by surprise and added some oomph to the fight because if the leader of the bunch is that weak, then we should have an easier time, eh? Eh? EH!?

Well, it came back down to Bridges' turn and a whole hell of a lot more creatures showed up in the same place his last Hypnotic Pattern had gone off, so he decided to try again, and cast it once more. This time it was much more successful as it managed to incapacitate several more creatures. One of the creatures who had been incapacitated before managed to be "saved" by his companion by being attacked by it, and since taking damage "wakes" them up, he was able to rejoin the fight. And it happened once more, by being incapped and woken up by being assaulted by his friend, which was funny because we couldn't hit him yet he's taken quite a bit of damage by his own people.

Spells were cast, Vymphala rushed forward into a field of grease which caused a lot of slipping and sliding, but managed to bring the full force of his, uh, force down on "Pet" who managed to last longer than its owner, which was highly ironic and hilarious.

Gisela, still pretty much flanked by a whole bunch of people, kept the fight going and doing what she could, although Bridges could now see because he moved up to the doorway. Bryan, Alex, and Emily were doing quite a bit of work by taking down a whole host of the smaller enemies, and before long they all started to flee or surrender. The battle was pretty much over, all that had to really be done was figure out exactly what the Orc was supposed to be looking for, figure out what was up with all of the devils, and also deal with the Orc prisoners we now had.

Loot was gained, it turned out the orc was looking for a Wand whose details I don't remember, and had help by the devils. It also turned out that the orcs actually had much, much more forces at their disposal and this huge fucking group was actually more or less the leftovers who decided to hang around for the endeavor.

Bridges had an opportunity to speak with the Imp to ask about that Cambion who charmed him, asking if the Imp knew him, or what he was up to and various miscellaneous things like that. The creature Implied that Bridges was a racist for assuming that all devils know each other, but Bridges was asking IF he knew him, not assuming he did, and also why the fuck is he explaining himself to this Imp. Why does the Imp have any moral highground at all? The fuck happened!?

Well Bridges was not satisfied with the answer, so someone killed the shit out of it, which someone pointed out as not really being a big deal since Imp's apparently just go back to their home plane when they die. So that's cool. Shame Bridges doesn't have that feature installed.

As for the Orcs, they were given an ultimatum: Come back with us to town, serve us as laborers and actively help to support this place in whatever limited capacity your monstrous race can allow, or be killed. Well, Orc's gonna Orc, so they declined the offer and were summarily executed. Bridges wasn't necessarily a fan of the execution but they, unlike Cynvard, had no real interest in cooperation so there wasn't anything that could be done. So in the end he wasn't exactly too bothered by it.

The job was done, lots of magical items and money was acquired, and there's something about a moon or star guy who uses lycanthropes as his workforce? But Bridges wasn't really listening to that part because his own group has unleashed a Death Knight unto the world so he's a little more concerned with that.

And then the group argued for 45 minutes about killing Bryan, Alex, and Emily for extra experience points.

They all go back to town at the end of their adventure and find that the three cured lycanthropes never made it to town. The Dwarf was very angry at being cured, and the Elf was a bitch, so it was theorized that they must have turned on the decent one in the group and done something to him.

That brings us to the end of another Bridges Rhinestone Jr adventure. Who knows what else the future will hold for him, but Hypnotic Pattern turned out to be a total clutch spell, so he likes his odds.

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".

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