The party was once again in a "bottle episode" being inside the mining camp. Something had happened here as the miners were no where to be seen and parts of it looked like it had been broken into and looted. But not by the K'Morat, that was obvious.
What there was though were lots of raw supplies to be gathered, but maybe too many. Not everything was going to be salvageable and time was ticking. The K'Morat were going to keep trying the defenses of the camp, looking for new ways to get in and get the group. Every 15-20 minutes was another mad attempt at the wall.
The third wagon with all the hay, lumber, and simple wheeled carts gives the kobolds a big advantage. It allows them to set multiple fires to the walls and not force them to use the main gate as their one point of entry. They are working on a battering ram and when the attack comes it will be with 80-100 of the K'Morat, with a dozen plus supporting atlatl fire to keep the party's head down.
Write up follows:
Negan and the helpful teamster were continuing their work at the main gate, Larry and Conall were heading back to the Foreman’s house to give the place a second look over, and Avilstein and Einar were heading to the back of the camp to find out how Korsdottr was doing as well as find out what happened to the 3rd teamster who was supposed to head off to the back to gather rocks to drop from the guard tower later.
Upon arrival the half-orc and the wizard noted that some of the rocks had been displaced but the teamster wasn’t loading the rocks, instead he was cowered in the corner and complaining that he heard noises from under the rubble. Terrified he’s hidden in the corner and waited for either some help to arrive (the group) or this all to go away (a bad dream). He was chastised by the two party members who went to investigate the rubble…and sure enough, there WAS the sounds of someone groaning underneath.
We shifted stones and dug around until we managed to unbury one of the guards, a human fighter and master slinger named Darius. We let us know that when the explosion happened he shoved the rest of the group ahead of him while he tried to dance backwards and out of the way. He had managed to make most of the distance but a few of the larger stones hemmed in and then he passed out from the rock dust and smaller rocks pummeling him to unconsciousness.
Once he was upright we castigated the teamster who was cowering here, reminding him that the K’Morat kobolds were not going to just let us go and we all had to help out and do our part. He was inspired by our words and anger to gather some rocks again and bring them to the front to help Negan out. On his way, Larry and Conall has emerged from the Foreman’s house and further yelled at the Teamster to move on as well as call out to Darius and the others.
It was here that Einar heard something from the North wall and taking a good look, was able to see a 4 count of K’Morat warriors had snuck up to the Slag Gate and were trying to force it open while perched on top the wall. The call to repel them was shouted out and the group sprung into action. Conall charged towards the other side of the compound while Darius took a few steps closer and let fly two sling bullets, striking one of the K’Morat in the head and hurling it off the wall while a second one broke a 2nd K’Morat’s arm and he too slipped off and fell to his death. Einar went running and Larry loaded his crossbow, shooting a third one off the wall.
The last one refused to leave and was trying real hard to lift the locking bar but was unable to get it open in time. Conall hit the wall of the Ore House and clambered up top, rolling to his feet and tried to run and intercept the last K’Morat. But Darius was even closer now and let more sling stones fly, knocking the K’Morat off and he fell – but NOT off the cliff! Instead he was on the other side of the wall. The distant K’Morat were yelling and cheering him to get up but he was stunned and hurting. Einar ran up to the top of the slag pile and started hurling rocks over the wall trying to knock the K’Morat free. Then Conall leapt to the slag pile and helped the Half-orc on knocking the K’Morat free.
Once it was over we regrouped, reminded the teamster to keep on gathering rocks, and went through the wagons. We made a list of bags and supplies on what we wanted to bring with us and between loading our packs we also made sure there was enough food and supplies (and oil!) ready for us to bring into the cave once they way was clear.
Larry stayed up top the guard tower watching the distant K’Morat (we were now over 50) many of which were around the bend in the path and were doing something with the cart that had the hay and lumber.
Then the K’Morat started atlatl-ing stones and spears at the top of the south wall, knocking the aqueduct apart, breaking the water trough and preventing any new water from running into the camp. The Cistern was full but the K’Morat wanted to prevent us from getting any new water. Why? What was the purpose?
We found out shortly when a 15 count of K’Morat with simple wheelbarrows, a hay bale loaded on top, and a shield of hammered wood protecting the running K’Morat from hot burning hay and flying arrows. And they were running the wall. Lots of them. And cheered on by the other K’Morat in the area. When we dared to stick our heads up we were shot at. It was here that the flasks of oil and crossbow shots were plied. The areas in front of the K’Morat was hit, sending a few of them careening over and dropping their barrows. But at least a dozen made the wall and dropped their burning hay at the base where they then turned and fled. We pot shotted them but our concern was now the burning fires on the other sides of the wall.
The palisade was 14’ tall, with 2’ of the logs set into a trough in the earth. They were roped together towards the bottom, towards the middle, and towards the top. The strength was in their combined unity. And if the ropes burned through, we would have to face the K’Morat sooner – and not through the main gate as Negan had prepared.
So we gathered water from the cistern and ran to the fires, tossing them through the slats and gaps, soaking the ropes and hopefully keeping the fires low. Avilstein, and the two teamsters were pivotal in the keeping the fires low at first. But there was something wrong; this seemed to be effective…but also a distraction. Larry remained at his perch and watched carefully.
That’s when we looked around and noted a 12 count of K’Morat warriors scaling around the southern cliffs and attempting to make the walls and over them. Negan, Einar, Darius, and Conall made their way to the Foreman’s house, clambered on top, and then Negan dared to stand up (shield blocked by his friends) and hurled one of the 2 gallon barrels of oil at the cliff wall in an attempt to knock the K’Morat free.
He failed. The barrel slipped and did not hit nearly where he expected, coming up short. 2 of them did fall to their deaths but the other 10 had no issues and continued to climb. Wearing tightly woven quilted armor and sporting a number of sharpened knives we knew these were going to be more difficult to fight. So we clambered off the building and ran to intercept them when they jumped down and tried to tackle Negan to the ground. The Half-ogre twisted and blocked and stomped and most of them were unable to get a grip, only two of them on his shield arm.
As the rest of them clambered over the wall, Darius was slinging like mad and Einar grew angry, the Half-orc swelling up with barbaric rage. Negan, Conall, Einar, and Darius fought the K’Morat hard for 4 solid minutes until they finally broke their morale. Three of them mad a mad dash towards the slag gate but two were torn apart with Einar giving terrible chase to the last one, his sword whistling wildly. He caught the kobold and finally ripped him apart.
From here Einar grew tired as his rage faded and we were being called by Avilstein that the fires were growing up and out of control. They needed help. The party scavenged around, getting two more cauldrons from the mess hall and adding their efforts in bringing the fires down and under some control. Negan stood in the lumber yard and through the wall called to Odin to create water, smothering one fire at a time.
Some of the fires were guttering low, others were growing huge. And a few were behind the walls of other buildings. Running into the latrine, Darius used a sledge hammer to bash at the back wall in order to get to the fire behind it. However it was a load bearing section of the wall and the roof of the latrine fell in on him, burying the slinging fighter once again.
It was now ten after six and the walls were slowly getting more burned. We needed to put it out as best we could, and time was ticking. It was at least another half hour before Korsdottr has the opening clear enough for us to crawl in. We needed to decide what to do now and soon while we still had the opportunity to make these sorts of decisions.