Scales of War

45. The Siege of Akma'ad

_8/24/09: Connor rolled SEVEN CRITICALS tonight. My giant grey die responded in kind, and things got scary! Sam joined us for the first time and fit right in with the rest of Falling Force 7. Matt, who plays Anjou, made a logo for the team. It is pictured below and to the left. The translation: “In Damage From Falling We Trust”. _

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-08-2023131

Anjou Beurre *- Half-Elf Warden *Aramil *- Eladrin Wizard *Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes – Dragonborn Paladin Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 was on an airship speeding to a githzerai monastery that was under attack by the githyanki. On their way there, two githyanki lancers riding red dragons had swooped out from the clouds and attacked the heroes!

Anjou was riding a red dragon, its’ lancer plunging to his death. The other lancer was magically in love with Galasis, but getting pummeled by the wizard and Storm.

Anjou forced her dragon to fly over to the lancer. The warden then magically wrapped thorns around her and yanked. The poor lancer tumbled off of her mount and hurtled to certain death far below.

Reshkar and Arimel, on deck, loaded and took aim with a ballista. Storm forced his dragon to land on the deck (with a 30 Nature check roll!). He dismounted and prepared to attack it. Mari called forth a spectral claw, which began crushing the dragon, and immobilizing it. Galasis remained on the control deck with (“Hot”) Tokk’it, who was steering the ship. The githzerai continued explaining how to fly the ship.

Arimel fired the ballista, piercing the dragon’s hide with a massive bolt. Galasis opened the door to the deck, and found the dragon right outside. The heroes began to swarm it. The dragon slipped into the astral plane and back, teleporting above the heroes and unleashing a massive blast of fire down on them. The other dragon closed in on Anjou, and bit into her, causing a bloody wound (a crit, the first of many from my grey die).

Storm headed over to the one menacing Anjou and tore into it with radiant vengeance (a critical). Mary covered the hovering dragon in dragonfrost, dropping it dead.

Corth headed into the control area, and grabbed the wheel. He told Tokk’it to head up top and man a ballista. Anjou tied a rope to the bolt. Tokk’it fired, plunging the ballista into the heart of the lone remaining dragon. The heroes reeled it in and mutilated it.

The adventurers had defeated the dragon-riders. They basked in victory as the airship sped towards the githzerai fortress of Ak’Maad. Anjou hung off the side and finished painting the new name of the ship. It was no longer “The Conquerer”. It was now “Falling Force’s Flying Fortress”.

After a half hour of travel, the heroes saw Akma’ad up ahead. It was built inside a valley wall, and had a cave overhand with towers on top. A githyanki airship hovered over the smoking fortress, while a horde of githyanki soldiers surged at the entranceway, trying to get inside. As the heroes took in the scene, another githyanki defender emerged. A lone githyanki dragonknight riding a red dragon!

The dragon knight relished the opportunity for battle, and swooped down onto the deck. Mari surrounded the dragon in a chaos storm, sending the lancer hurtling off the dragon’s back. A wispy, translucent silver tendril appeared, connecting the githyanki to his pact dragon. He suddenly flew back onto the saddle of his mount.

Relishing the challenge, he fired beams from his lance, striking each hero in turn. As he swooped past Reshkar, the dragonborn pierced the dragon’s hide with his voidcrystal blade, sending the dragon to a demiplane for a moment. The dragon knight fell to the deck, and found himself surrounded!

Anjou used a thunder ram assault that punctured a lung and sent the dragon knight teetering on the edge of the ship, nearly plummeting to the ground far below. Storm sent off a radiant blast of energy that wracked the villain with pain (another critical from the avenger). Storm tried to teleport the dragon knight over the side, but he grabbed onto one of the Flying Fortress’ many ropes, and held on for dear life.

Galasis stuck his head out of the control deck window and teleported up onto the main deck. Reshkar plunged his blade into the prone knight, immobilizing him. The dragon emerged from its’ voidcrystal banishment, and reared up on the heroes. It heaved forth a devastating blast of fire (a critical on Galasis – 48 points of damage and ongoing 5!).

Corth was tearing into the prone dragon knight. His heart sank as he looked off in the distance and saw the githyanki enemy ship heading their way. The ship was full of githyanki, in full armor. He brought his mace down on the knight, crushing his leg (with a critical).

Reshkar tore into the knight as well, as the dragon hovered and breathed again (I rolled a recharge a few times in a row, unfortunately for the players. The dragon got another critical on Galasis!) The raging blast of fire dropped Galasis and Anjou. Arimel stood for a moment, then succumbed to the burning as well.

Storm knew that the dragon needed to be dealt with. He glanced at the githyanki ship, and saw it turn so that the ramming spike was facing the Fying Fortress’ side. The enemy ship was called “The Sacrifice”. The Avenger sped over to the dragon and began to cut into it. The dragon responded by slipping into the astral sea for a moment, and appearing 20 feet away. It then snarled and charged the avenger, devastating him with a series of strikes (it got to make 3 attacks with an extra 2d6 damage each on a charge, and all three hit).

Corth laid hands on Galasis, bringing the eladrin to his feet. Galasis stood and fired icy rays at the dragon, who shrieked in pain. Corth then activated his alliance band ring, and healed his other two fallen comrades. .

Storm couldn’t reach the dragon, so he focused his enmity on the dragon knight. He plunged his blade into the githyanki (a critical on his bond of pursuit!). Corth fired off radiant delirium, surrounding the hovering dragon in a cage of radiant energy (a critical). The dragon retaliated by shattering the radiant cage with a massive fire blast that scorched the heroes. Mari teleported to the relative safety of the middle deck. Reshkar succumbed to the flames and fell to the deck, dying.

Corth brought up his mace above the prone dragon knight.. and crushed the githyanki’s skull with an earth-shattering blow (another critical). As the dragon continued to menace them, the heroes saw The Sacrifice bearing down on their ship. A female githyanki was giving the crew a rousing speech, and her men were chanting in response – ready for war.

Galasis was hurt from the flames, and stumbled into the control area. He asked Tokk’it if he could fight, and the githzerai nodded (he was a cenobite with a power that allowed him to stun people with a punch!). Galasis angrily pointed out The Sacrifice, which was bearing down on the Flying Fortress. Tokk’it apologized, admitting that he was daydreaming about Gallia, the painter.

Tokk’it headed out on deck and too a shot at the dragon, but the beast dodged his stunning strike. Corth, the blood of the dragon knight’s skull dripping from his mace, closed in on the dragon. He called forth a radiant crown of glory which wracked the dragon with pain (another critical!). He bashed it in the face a final time, dropping the beast.

Galsis steered the ship as best he could as The Sacrifice began firing ballista bolt at The Flying Fortress. He pulled out evasive maneuvers, and handed the wheel back over to Tokkit. Falling Force 7 hid below decks for a few minutes, healing each other and strategizing for the fight to come.

They assembled above deck as Tokk’it shouted a warning. The Sacrifice’s ram pierced the side of the Flying Fortress! The two ships were entwined, with the Fortress half-split in two! The githzerai captain shrieked at her men to open fire.

As they aimed their ballistas, Mari cast a tempest surge that killed a soldier manning the closest ballista. Anjou called forth a lightning pillar, placing it on the narrow wood section that connected the two ships.

Storm crossed onto The Sacrifice and began to duel the Captain. Her men swarmed him, and the avenger was quickly bloodied.

The githyani fired. A bolt struck Arimel squarely in the chest (a critical!). He stumbled back and then responded by casting a wall of fire, which blocked the ballistas’ line of sight! Galasis followed up with a devastating fireball that killed both soldiers manning the rear ballista.

In an expert display of tactics, the heroes had taken out the threat of the ballistas. But the dragon had left its’ mark, and the captain’s men were not the last wave of githzerai that the heroes would face in The Siege of Akma’ad….

Everyone should have: 33,939 XP

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