Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Ballad of the Pigeon God #69 The Giant Sphere of Annihilation

For a breakdown of what's transpired, check out the Ballad of the Pigeon God Page.  The "Apocalypse" starts with Episode #64.

The Morning of the 2nd of DecDec 1072
The Chateau d'Echleon, Outside the Village of Eding
Echelon, former Baron of Eding, and his fellow adventurers, Kane, Sigard, and Thorrin Slatebelt, arrived just in time to save his wolf companion Pathfinder from a messy death by falling.

**Thanks boss!  These guys are too tough for me.... All yours**  the wolf telepathically spoke to his master.

"Hold on a second, Pathfinder," Echelon spoke aloud, "Start running towards the giants."

The wolf paused a moment and began walking towards the monsters.  The square sides warped outward and turned into an sphere.  As Pathfinder began running faster, the sphere picked up speed, until it crashed into a collection of stone giants.  Kane and Sigard took out a hill giant, and Baron Felix, Brutus, and Thorrin fell two more.  Despite whatever calling was compelling them to attack, the remaining giants turned tail and ran.

With the coast clear for the first time in hours, Babette and Zoe were set down the steep path to the stream below and the secret rendezvous in the caves upstream

Most of the Chateau d'Echelon, the old stone farmhouse everyone had turned into a home these last few years, was in ruins.  The only benefits of the giants' rampage was that some of the supports collapsed away from the portions that were on fire.  It would be a total loss, but it wasn't a total flaming loss.

It would be mere minutes until the next wave in this mindless attack would commence, unless the giants, minotaurs, and trolls turned to the village of Eding, but something seemed to make the larger monsters avoid the fray between the goblins and the local militia.

Standing outside the Chateau's large barn were the last adventuriers left to stop the hordes:

Echelon:  Priest of the Eastern God of the Sea, Tshang Kai Ching, pigeon aficionado, former Baron of Eding, and rabble-rouser against the now-dead Dread Lord.  He wielded Wave an ancient trident whose special abilities he was still discovering.  His wolf Pathfinder, whom he shared a telepathic link, skulked around the back of the barn.  After rolling spheres and giant attacks, he needed a moment to compose himself.

Kane: an Eastern monk with elemental control of water.

Sigard:  a young paladin of Akana who threw in his lot with the adventurers before the return of the God-King turned into a horrible, evil hoax.

Thorrin:  a dwarf blacksmith that Echelon and company had only met a few weeks before this apocalypse.

Ariel: a feisty bard that gave up the adventuring life, only to return to defend the first place that was ever offered as a home to her.  She scanned the surrounding woods with her bow from the hay loft.

Felix: the current owner and caretaker of the Chateau.  His middle-aged frame and constitution was beginning to fail him.

Brutus: the large, hulking ex-gladiator had somehow lost his shirt in the fighting.  Brutus practiced swinging a huge two-handed sword, oblivious to a huge head wound that, oddly, did not seem to affect him.

There was no sign of Echelon's leg-less mentor, Mohammad, who had been holed up on the second story of the demolish Chateau.  There was no time to mourn friends.

While they stood around the barn, waiting for demons or titans to attack next, a certain dwarf nearly walked up to them on their flank.

"Allo, everyone!  It's just me, Norm!  You are missing the monster as well?"

After some precautions  to ensure the dwarf wasn't one of the evil spider-people doppelgangers, our heroes were finally relieved.

Norm explained that his army delayed the goblin hordes from assaulting Eding, but ultimately most of his men were pushed into the river and into the Nightwood Forest.  Thanks to his loyal lieutenants, most survivors were able to cross the river on the other side of the village and reinforce the villagers.

The village/baronial militia, led by Torm Touchberry and Lady Iris stood firm against the goblin onslaught.  A strange elf cleric by the name of Markuus marched behind the lines, pulling the injured away, healing them, and filling holes when needed.

Things had begun getting desperate when a great commotion came up from the village square.  Everyone turned, to see the halfling militias from Lowdale, Welldale, and Elmshire arriving.  Leading the charge atop a halfling pony was ten-year old Baron Timmy himself!   His mother, Jenny was close behind, armed with a shortsword and a morning star, but it was the surprise the villagers needed to push back the invaders.  More were soon to come, but for Norm, it was a perfect time to sneak out and see how his friends were fairing.

With that, a snarling pack of gnolls came around both sides of the ruined Chateau.

"Hey Norm," Echelon exclaimed, pointing his glowing trident at the dwarf.  "Prepare to start running..."

GM Notes: Finally, after all the chaos, our heroes were catching a break.  The endless waves of humanoids and monsters seemed to at least slow down.   Not enough time to sleep, but with Wave and Overwhelm ready for action, they seemed poised for anything. 

As I discussed the last great battle of the finale, Norm's player, Nate, brought up an interesting fact that most of us had forgotten:  Wave could create cubes of force, usually for oxygen for air-breathers underwater, or perhaps a land-locked aquarium.   Nate fondly remembers Echelon casting them around Norm and Norm pulling off "the 'ol hamster ball" versus giants, ogres, and the like.  Things are going to heat up awfully quick as we race towards the finish, but it felt wrong if I didn't mention the only battle tactic Echelon had that didn't seem to include running away. 

On a different note, there will only be a slight modification to Tuesday publishing of the episodes while I participate in #RPGaDay for August.  The #RPGaDay posts should appear early (by US Eastern Time Zone), and the Pigeon God posts should follow around Noon.

Next: #70 The Return of the Kings?

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