The Devil’s Riddle: Session 47

“It’s as good as dead!” grins the irrepressible swashbuckler as the party respond to Lisandra’s call to action. Drawing his bow Fyn dashes for a pile of rubble in the far corner of the destroyed cellar and attempts to use it as a springboard to reach and swing up from the jutting beams above. The rubble shifts underfoot however, leaving him clinging, one-handed, to an overhanging beam, feeling somewhat foolish. He doesn’t realise how lucky he is to be out of sight of the combatants above.

Overhead the chained angel shrieks once more, an inhuman, ghastly sound that makes the flesh crawl. Blindingly bright light suddenly erupts its eyes with deafening roar; the few thorny creatures that had been clinging to the angel are blasted clear. They tumble from sight into the manor ruins.

The angel’s blazing gaze rakes over everything it falls upon, throwing up showers of dust and debris. Caught out in the open, Idril and Lisandra are blasted from their feet and crash to the ground ten feet away. Idril lies unmoving where she falls, blood pooling around her grey hair. Rufus too is thrown backwards and lands heavily but shakes his head groggily, still conscious though badly hurt. Tomas grunts in pain as he too is struck, but he keeps his feet.

Cayleb, who wisely ducked back into his hole the moment he saw danger, pops up as the beams of radiant light pass by, takes a panicked shot and ducks quickly back out of sight. Unsurprisingly his crossbow bolt flies well wide of its mark.   

More of the thorn-covered creatures emerge, scampering up beams and over crumbling masonry. Two of them open grinning, spine-toothed mouths and razor-sharp thorns spit out, flying twenty feet to rip into angelic flesh. Distracted by this assault the angel barely sees the other two that leap down from the gaping hole in the roof to land on its back. As they cling on tangled, thorny briars burst from their tiny bodies and spread between them. The tendrils interweave and wrap swiftly around the angel, threatening to bind it completely.

The angel gathers itself; powerful wings flex and tear through the thick binding briars like wet cotton. It is all the briar-children can do to hang on.

Tomas bellows in fury; down here he can do nothing. That abomination up there is free to cut down his companions at will unless he can somehow reach it. He takes a running start and leaps for an overhanging joist. Even with his great height and strength he only just reaches it and manages to hang on by his fingers.  Rufus meanwhile drags himself to one knee, nocks an arrow and despite his swimming vision he fires. The pain is too much though; his shot lacks power and the arrow falls short of its target.

Lisandra rises unsteadily to her feet and staggers over to the fallen Idril. She reaches out a hand and closes her eyes. White light, similar to that emitted by the angel, washes first over the elderly gnome and then out to envelop all her companions. “Awake, bright heart” she whispers, and to her great relief Idril’s eyes flutter open. “There is hope yet.”

One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 47”

  1. Squire Pro 5e really earned its stripes here. I was able to quickly add the Chained Angel and Children of the Briar to the monster database, along with all stats and features, and then use the tool to run the encounter seamlessly for me. It even spotted where damage was piercing and halved it for me when it was targeted at the piercing-resistant angel. With such a handy, self-contained tool I’m going to ditch tracking combat encounters in the notes.

    The downside for the party was the huge damage dealt by the angel’s opening nova attack, and the absolutely terrible rolls so many of them made in reply. They did next to nothing this round, either missing, fluffing saves or checks or in Lisandra’s case providing woeful healing. I can only hope Lisandra’s optimism is well placed, and that round 2 goes better for them…

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