Lathir Gibbon climbs down the well shaft easily, stopping at the mouth in the top of the cavern ceiling. Looking around, aided by the daylight streaming down the well shaft, and by the luminescent moss that covers the cavern walls and floor, Lathir Gibbon discovers what is actually down below; the golem is nowhere to be seen, but there are plenty of undead to be had, many of whom are clustered closely enough for a well-placed Flame Strike spell.
Since Lathir is hanging 20' above the undead, there is no need to roll initiative, since they cannot possibly hope to reach or affect him in any way.
Lathir, knowing that the Flame Strike spell will produce a column of fire that is 40' high, and knowing that the spell will start at a fixed point and travel downward, and knowing that the spell's overflow will cause it to expand in a confined area, sets the spell to begin at a point that is 15' above the floor. Thus, instead of a 40' tall column with a 10' radius spread, the flattened column becomes 15' tall, spreading out to a 35' radius (10' + 25' worth of overflow.) Spellcraft DC To Flatten Spell = 10 + Spell Level (4) = DC: 14. Lathir's Spellcraft check is +13, making his minimal result a 14, which means he cannot fail, thus there is no need to roll.
WOW THAT'S A BIG SPELL!!!
All 25 zombies fail their reflex saves, and take full damage (28 pts.) 18 of the 23 skeletons fail their reflex saves, and take full damage (28 pts.) 5 of the 23 skeletons make their reflex saves, and take half damage (14 pts.) ALL AFFECTED UNDEAD ARE UTTERLY DESTROYED!
The metal spikes, which were already weak with age and rust, are melted into liquid slag by the huge column of fire!
There are 7 undead foes remaining. Anyone wanting to travel to the bottom of the well via the ring of feather falling (or in Lathir Gibbon's case, via climbing and jumping) should go ahead and roll initiative.
Zombies: 9 (b)
Skeletons: 9 (a); i.e., tied initiative rolls = Skeletons win the tie, and go at 9a, while the zombies go at 9b.
I take the excess rope and tie my own to it as well before wrapping it around a solid tree and tying it off. I will wait to climb down until everyone else has made it down safely, acting as a rearguard. The ring of feather fall tied with fishing line will be offered to each member as a failsafe.
Sylvar places his Naginata on his back, unstrings his bow and manges to tightly tuck the bow stave in his belt as he uses the ring of feather fall to reach the bottom of the well. Upon hitting the ground he opts to restring his bow and nock an arrow.
Since the rope is secured, and also being held steady, and since each member has the backup of Feather Falling, there is no need to make any climbing checks. I will assume that everyone who acts BEFORE the undead do is able to descend safely. Descending the rope is a full-round action. Dewydd is delaying his action until everyone else is down. After the undead act, there might be attacks of opportunity.
Respen makes it down safely.
Lathir reaches the point he indicated on the map, and successfully retrieves his spear.
Tam-Tam makes it down safely.
The undead surge forward when they sense living humanoid beings in the cavern!
None of the undead have enough movement to be able to attack. They take double-moves to get to their ending positions. Lathir, you are surprised to discover that they ignore you completely, running past you unguarded. You can take an attack of opportunity one one of the adjacent foes if you desire, although once you do so, you suspect that they might THEN see you as a threat and stop ignoring you.
Thallok descends safely, making sure to land out of the reach of the undead.
Sylvar descends safely, making sure to land out of the reach of the undead.
Vale descends safely, making sure to land out of the reach of the undead.
Dewydd descends safely, making sure to land out of the reach of the undead.
~ Lathir certainly thinned the herd. Note to self: don't make him angry. ~
Respen thought quickly as he was climbing down. The light was sufficient in the center, but all he could see at the perimeter were the eyes until they rushed forward. He could identify them; zombies and skeletons, but as mutilated as they were and as quickly as he was weaving to the flank, he couldn't completely make out the type of humanoids they came from. So far, the smoldering remains of the mass that Lathir sorted out appeared to be a hodgepodge lot, what was left of them anyway.
As Respen landed at the bottom of the well, he moved with skill to flank the undead to their right, his left, nearly to the wall, utilizing all of his skill as a scout to maximize his defense and offense. He moved his fingers into a grip, and a medium-sized rock appeared in his hand. He whispered words in Elvish to himself, and the rock glowed hot. He threw the rock as the "tip of the spear" of the spell, and fire crackled from his hand toward the left most undead skeleton.
Kelgore's Firebolt: 5d6 dam. (Reflex 1/2) if fail to pass Spell Resistance = 1d6 dam.
~Too bad these are mindless undead or being attacked by a gibbon whose hand suddenly sprouts a flaming sword might have a more profound effect.~
Lathir/Gibbon holds his halfspear in his left hand concentrating momentarily on his right. A flaming blade springs forth. Lunging from his place near the wall toward the closest skeleton, Lathir/Gibbon bashes with his flaming sword like bashing with a club, hoping the flame may help.
Flame Blade (d8+1): GM, feel free to make appropriate rolls.
Composite shortbow in hand, with one arrow nocked to the string and ready for his second shot, Tam-Tam is a bit surprised by the sudden flaming disintegration of the skeleton before him; but, without missing a beat he shoots one, then two, at the zombie right behind where the skeleton was. He takes his two shots (Rollz: 15, then 12.).
If any hit, then the arrows do 6 and 4 points respectively.
The Zombie with a "T" next to him is the one that Tam-Tam targeted.
The Skeleton with the "L" next to it is the one that Lathir Gibbon is engaged with.
Tam-Tam Arrow #1: 15 (Hit)
Tam-Tam Arrow #2: 12 (Hit)
Arrow #1: 6 (-5) = 1 Damage
Arrow #2: 4 (-5) = 0 Damage
Not having had much experience with the undead, Tam-Tam is horrified to watch as the Zombie virtually ignores the two arrows that thunk into his decayed chest. A slight moan of aggravation is the only effect that the two arrows seem to have on the relentlessly advancing automaton.
The undead minions attack in concert, going after whomever is closest within their reach;
Lathir Gibbon is attacked by the Skeleton he previously attacked, along with another Skeleton and a Zombie. (3 Opponents) Tam-Tam is attacked by the Zombie he shot at, as well as by a Skeleton. (2 Opponents) Respen is attacked by a Zombie. (1 Opponent)
Zombie vs. Lathir: 20 (Hit); Damage = 5 pts.
Skeleton vs. Lathir: 13 (Miss)
Skeleton vs. Lathir: 19 (Hit, Confirm: 16, Critical); Damage = 9 pts.
Zombie vs. Tam: 15 (Miss)
Skeleton vs. Tam: 2 (Miss)
Zombie vs. Respen: 18 (Miss)
The Zombie that tries to grab Respen is repelled by some sort of magical barrier, which seems to emanate from Respen's staff; otherwise, the Zombie would have found his flesh.
Tam-Tam, being light on his feet, easily avoids his clumsy attackers, although the Zombie on him doesn't miss by much. Tam's small size enables him to escape the Zombie's grasp.
However, Lathir Gibbon is not so lucky; he easily dodges the first Skeleton, much in the same manner as Tam; but out of all the party, he has the most opponents, and they are simply too many, and too close; the Zombie slams his cold fist into Lathir Gibbon's back, knocking the wind out of him, and pushing him forward onto the Skeleton's waiting scimitar, which gives him a nasty cut. Luckily, it is not a direct stab; instead, the sword catches him on the left side of his torso, just under the ribcage, not low enough to pierce the kidney.
Lathir has taken a total of 14 pts. of damage.
Lathir's Skeleton has taken a total of 4 pts. of damage
Tam's Zombie has taken a total of 1 pt. of damage.
Vale's first dwarven instinct is to wade into the melee; nothing would give him greater pleasure than dispatching these poor creatures. Mindless undead could certainly be deadly, but they were hardly there of their own accord. The dwarven cleric would most prefer dispatching the evil creature who created them.
Holding his axe in his left hand, Vale opens his hands wide and takes as much as possible of the meager light from the center of the well, and prays to the dwarven pantheon, particularly the arch-deity Clangeddin Silverbeard.
He chants in formal, high dwarven, "By all that is holy and upright, be gone! By all that is holy and upright, away wretched creatures. Release your souls to the afterlife, and be DONE."
And holding his right hand toward the foul creatures advancing on the party, he nearly goes to his knee, the hilt of the axe biting the ground, the holy symbol within the back of the axe facing the creatures, blade toward them, flat.
"Be gone foul creatures, in Silverbeard's name!"
Vale's priestly garments permit turning at 6th level: #1d20+3 = 5; Turning Level = 4th. Total Hit Dice Turned (collective): 16. All undead within the 16 HD that have 3 or less hit dice are destroyed vs. turned.
Good job, you're getting the hang of this!
Skeletons = 1 HD; Zombies = 2 HD; You turn 4HD creatures, which means you can DESTROY creatures of 2 HD or less. There are 3 Skeletons (3 HD) and 2 Zombies (4 HD) for a total of 7 HD worth of creatures. You affected 16 total HD, which means that you utterly destroy the remaining undead.
As Vale pronounces the judgment of Clangeddin, the undead creatures are bathed in holy light, and burned to ash in a single instant.
COMBAT HAS ENDED. But the story continues... i.e., when I have some more time, I will award xp, and resolve a few loose ends, thereby wrapping up Chapter 3. STAY TUNED!!
Vale: ~ Thank you Lord Silverbeard and all the Dwarven Lords and Arch-Lords ~
Vale wastes little time to notice the effects of Lathir's spell, their short melee, and his turning. He notices remains, that particular word being the best to describe it. He moves quickly to a position northwest of the well's aperture.
7 spaces across, 5 down
His eyes narrow, looking north up the passageway, darkvision focused to the edges of its range. He searches the sides and ceiling of the cavern with his native dwarven gifts navigating underground spaces.
search 1d20+5 = 24; What part of the cavern looks recently excavated vs. old?
This is a natural cavern, including the upward 'vent' to the surface; this vent was simply widened by man-made processes to make water access easier.
" The rest of you search this area. I'm paying attention down the tunnel. Thallok, would my watching my back. " Vale is struck by the irony of a red orc guarding a dwarf's back. He chuckles to himself.
Respen: ~ Let's shed some light on the subject ~
Seeing Vale move to the edge of the opening from the well to the tunnel extending north of the well, Respen thinks about the immediate cavern. He opens his backpack and removes a large sack and two Sunrods, putting one in his belt and striking the other against one of the wall of the cavern to activate it. "I have torches as well, but I think illumination is preferable to fire at the moment. While we have daylight, I want to protect this hole, as it is our primary way out. These will last for 6 hours. " With the Sunrod, Respen moves through the cavern, examining the spiked poles in the aperture.
Are the poles easily removed from the ground?
The spikes were melted into liquid slag by Lathir's Flame Strike spell. The slag is beginning to cool now.
He also quickly moves around the cavern walls examining for any alcoves or secret doors or other tunnels. ~ This is a well, or at least it was. Where did the water recede to? This is a forest, and there appears to be no drought. Where is the water? ~
That will be explained in my next post
He scans the ground littered with remains from their onslaught, looking for anything interesting, magical or otherwise. He deposits anything worthwhile in the sack. He specifically avoids the area that Vale is in, but he does examine the corners of the hole.
Is there loose dirt or traces of recent activity, especially in the southwestern corner of the hole?