The Devil’s Riddle: Session 49

Fyn takes a deep breath to steady his nerves. Dammit, Fyn, Tomas and Rufus are out there, toe to toe with that thing! If it doesn’t go down soon they’re likely to get torn to pieces! He draws the bowstring back, rises and lets another arrow fly. This time his timing is perfect; just as the scourging light begins to burn once more in the angel’s eyes Fyn’s arrow plunges deep into its shoulder. It howls in pain and the deadly light dies. Fyn can’t resist a triumphant “Hah!” before ducking behind cover once more.

Fyn’s jubilation is premature however. The angel gestures with one hand and to Lisandra’s astonishment Rufus’ shield of light flickers and dies. “How is that possible…” she gasps. Her surprise turns to horror as the Angel reaches out with the other clawed hand and the fiery greatsword vanishes from the ground to reappear in its fist. The subsequent swing is so unexpected it catches both Rufus and Tomas completely unprepared. They drop without a sound, blood gushing from their wounds, and the chained angel roars in triumph.

Briar-kin scuttle around its feet, spitting their little needles, while more continue to clamber over it, puncturing it with spines. Some of their attacks strike home and draw blood, but the angel seems almost oblivious.  Cayleb’s expertly placed crossbow bolt elicits a roar of pain though.

Lisandra clasps her hands together and once more waves of healing energy flow out over her allies. Both Rufus and Tomas blink back to consciousness. As they do so Idril gestures and snaps “Nebula!” Thick fog swirls up around the angel’s feet, completely enveloping it, the briar-kin and the two warriors.

With nothing to shoot at Fyn waits for his moment, bowstring taut. He doesn’t have long to wait. Tangled as it is in a swarm of thorny plant creatures the chained angel is unable to fly, but it can still beat its mighty wings sufficiently to disperse the fog cloud. Fyn fires, but the arrow is knocked harmlessly off course by those wings.

Tomas and Rufus grab their weapons and rise to their feet only to see the entire swarm of briar-kin fall upon the chained angel in a killing frenzy. Blood sprays from countless tiny wounds, and the angel lifts its face to the heavens and lets out one final, horrifying shriek. As it sinks beneath the tangle of thrashing, blood-soaked children of the briar the listeners imagine there is almost a note of gratitude in the sound.

One of the diminutive spiny creatures looks up at Rufus, its eyes gleaming like polished walnuts. The needle-toothed grin, now stained scarlet, never leaves its face. Rufus assesses options and reaches a decision instantly. 

“Tomas! The Darkspawn is down, it’s time we were gone. Run!”

Tomas waits only a heartbeat before complying; the angel has vanished beneath an ever-growing tangle of thorny brambles, but more of the creatures are beginning to eye them hungrily. “Everyone back to the tunnels!” Rufus yells. “Go! Go!”

The tiny plantlings come racing after Tomas and Rufus. The two warriors, Fyn close on their heels, leap back down into the destroyed cellar and sprint for the hole. As they do so Idril pauses just long enough to whip up another cloud of fog to cover their retreat, and the patter of tiny footfalls at their back falters. In short order the whole party are back in the tunnels, with a few precious moments to regroup bought for them by Idril’s quick thinking. With the single minded focus of a seasoned military tactician Rufus swiftly organises them as they race down the stairs.

“Everyone back down the corridor. I want a shooting gallery down here. Lisandra, Idril, you’re at the rear, backs to the wall. Healing if we need it, damage if we don’t. Idril, I want grease on the stairs. Have the door to the trunk room open next to you in case we need to fall back in a hurry. Cayleb, Fyn, fire into them as they come. Tomas, you and I are the front line. Nothing gets past us, understand?”  

Everyone takes up positions, sweat beading on brows, hearts hammering. “Get ready” Rufus growls. “Here they come!”

One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 49”

  1. Round 3

    Well, shit. Fyn crits the BBEG only for it to take down both my melee combatants in response; with its piercing resistance they are the only ones that can really hurt it! Worse still they were both earlier in the initiative order than Lisandra, so they end up doing nothing this turn. Things are looking a bit grim. The Children of the Briar are still chipping away at it though. With just a little luck next turn the party might take the angel down, but it’s going to be a close run thing. And even assuming they pull that off, there’s still the question of the remaining briar-kin…

    Round 4
    The angel is grappled, so no movement, but I rule it can use an action to disperse the cloud. The briar-kin then choose this point to hit with almost every attack after missing with most every previous round; the very last attack from the very last twigling takes the angel’s very last HP. Time to get the hell out of this place. The party are pretty banged up, and the spellcasters don’t have too much left.
    Q: Do the briars pursue? YES
    Oh dear…
    Q: Into the tunnels? YES
    Oh dear…
    Well, at least tactically this is a far more defensible spot for the heroes. Hopefully this next round will go rather better for them…

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