Sword Coast Guard, Episode 18 – The Siege of Gauntlet Hall, Part 2

Session Date: December 30, 2017

29 Eleasias, 1367 DR

When we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of lifting a siege from their castle, Gauntlet Hall. The besieging army — composed of orcs, ogres, and giants — had the fortification surrounded and were preparing a grand assault. The Sword Coast Guard disabled a massive battering ram, and they had just reached the army’s catapults and the crew that guards it, lead by a frost giant named Tralavor “Big Grin.”

Looming over the heroes — who currently appear as orcs thanks to a seeming spell — the frost giant leader demands a report of the humans that supposedly ambushed them north of Gauntlet Hall. Xavier then muddles through a poor explanation, rousing the giant’s suspicions.

“What tribe do you serve?” Big Grin demands.

Blank looks.

“And how are you even still standing?” The giant prods one of Belwar’s zombies, animated from dead orcs.

No response.

“These are the imposters that attacked the battering ram!” the frost giant commander roars. “Kill them!”

And then Belwar casts banishment on him.

As the giant’s pet winter wolves engaged the heroes, the ogres that had been manning the catapults also move to attack.

Nigel then casts greater invisibility on Elodin, who then sneaks around to the catapults and drops a wall of fire across three of them. The wizard drops a fireball on the fourth and smiles as the fires engulf the catapults, ensuring their fate.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Sword Coast Guard is killing winter wolves, orcs, and ogres. Belwar manages to cast some doubt into the minds of the ogres about whom they should be fighting, but when the dumb brutes realize the deception, the fury of their attacks increases threefold.

Just as orog reinforcements are moving into the battle and the frost giant reappears, banishment having run its course, the heroes take to the air by various means and make good their escape back to the castle. Big Grin curses them as they fly away, but is powerless to stop them.

Belwar, polymorphed into a giant eagle, and Iantorin, riding his magical pegasus steed, make slow circles of the orc encampments to gather more information about their forces. While they do so, they notice the frost giant leader gather up fifty some orcs and a handful of orcs and then head north, presumably to find the secret entrance to Gauntlet Hall.

Belwar and Iantorin return to the castle and relay this information to the others. Then the heroes head down into the catacombs to defend the secret entrance in case the giant and orcs manage to find it.

They attempt to take a short rest to gather their strength back but are interrupted as a resounding boom echoes through the tunnels and the pitiful gate the blocks the secret entrance is blown from its hinges. Outside they ogres and orcs ready to stream into the tunnel.

The heroes take up defensive positions, and Elodin drops a fireball outside, immolating over a dozen orcs and wounding several orogs. Meanwhile Xavier and Iantorin easily dispatch a couple ogres that enter the tunnel.

And then an orc sorcerer riding a nightmare — a fiendish horse from the Abyss able to travel to the Ethereal plane at will — appears outside the tunnel, drops a fireball in the midst of the party, and then flies away.

As the adventurers recover from the fiery blast, they move back into the tunnels where it will be more difficult for the sorcerer to lob spells at them.

Several minutes go by, and nothing happens. The heroes aren’t sure exactly what the frost giant — who is positioned outside the tunnels a safe distance away — is planning now, but they take advantage of the respite to rest.

Once they are healed up a bit and feeling at least a little better, they prepare for the giant commander’s next move. The heroes aren’t disappointed.

Out of thin air, four orc lieutenants riding nightmares, appear in the tunnels, surrounding the party. However, they aren’t alone. Each lieutenant carries two soldiers, either orcs or ogres, with him. The lieutenants drop the soldiers off and then move away to safety, further down the tunnels.

Surrounded on three fronts, the heroes fight frantically against the renewed assault. Belwar even polymorphs into a T-rex despite the cramped quarters. After a few moments, though, the heroes manage to drop all of the attackers, proving once again that they are up to anything Big Grin can throw at them.

However, in the chaos of battle, the heroes had spread out a little too much, and when the lieutenants and nightmares appear again, they drop off soldiers all around them and in their very midst. And this time the troops are their elite soldiers, battle-hardened orogs.

In just a few moments, the orogs unleash hell on the heroes.

Nigel, beset by two of them, takes several horrendous wounds, casts invisibility, crawls into a corner, and curls up into a fetal position. The rest of the heroes, cursing their luck, wonder how much longer they can hold out.

And what happens when the lieutenants just bring in more soldiers?

The heroes are beginning to wonder if this battle can even be won. The thought occurs to them, too, that they should have killed Big Grin when they had the chance.

The Sword Coast Guard

the adventurers formerly known as the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls

Not photoed: Iantorin Mournsoul - Half-Elven Paladin of Helm

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