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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 7: The Lost Art of the Impromptu Ambush

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

'Ah gravity, thou art a heartless bitch . . .'

As another day of undead death bringing (their words, not mine) begins, our party can be seen marching down the stairs of the curtain wall's innards. They might be excused for starting the day a bit later than previous days. As you'll recall they had some commotion in the middle of the night. We'll not name names or point fingers at this time.

As the stalwart group passed through the stubborn inner gate they came to a cliff overlooking the entire town. The path curved left before branching in two. The main path curved back to the right and down into the town. But a smaller path could be seen continuing straight before curving left around a bend in the mountains.

There was little time for site seeing though, as a group of zombies had thoughtfully formed a welcoming party for the group. Emboldened by their previous successes the group waded right in, only to realize that their dastardly DM had once again switched things up for them. As it turned out the Apocalypse Zombies and Black Skeletons they knew so well had friends; namely a Blast Shadow and a Spell-gorged Zombie.

This became apparent when the Spell-gorged launched an 8d6 fireball into the melee, hitting not only most of the group but the Blast Shadow as well. A Blast Shadow that had already taken quite a beating. That explosion added to the original fireball was enough to knock Quagrim out; it was almost enough to kill him.

Fortunately the group was armed with the mace of bullshit, so the fight didn't last much longer. With the group healed back up they chose a more stealthy approach into the town's interior. Tanic proved his worth by scouting threats within the buildings and drawing them into ambushes. Of course they found almost nothing in said buildings. It was almost as if they'd already been picked clean, but by whom?

After two houses the group entered a smithy. An open notebook mentioned the owner's difficulty in convincing the leaders of Augerhead to allow him into their school's main library to learn what he needed to make a likeness of Arumdina. Apparently they were quite stodgy old scholars, those academicians. What else is new?

After this they came across a dwelling with a blast shadow and a spellgorged zombie on the second floor. Not wanting a repeat of earlier tactics by such a duo, Tanic snuck into the building. Fortunately they'd wandered into separate rooms so it was a minor task to lock one away and draw the other downstairs and outside. The ambush was working perfectly, until . . .

For reasons unknown even today Calith decided to loose a whistling arrow. The sound was loud enough to draw the attention of all undead within a quarter mile. Casting a quick glare at Calith (as a group) they tore off back to the curtain wall from whence they'd come, a horde of zombies on their trail. As they reached the cliff overlooking the town Tanic paused long enough to tell Calith to loose another whistling arrow back into the town, that any zombies out of visual contact might follow it. Hero Point awarded: Tanic.

After that it was a race. Could Tanic (the fastest of the group) reach the gate switch before they were overrun by the zombies still in play? As he shot up the stairs the others turned to create a line of defense inside the inner gate.

But it turned out to be unnecessary. By some fluke of design the time it took for Tanic to fly up the stairs was exactly the amount of time for the closest zombie to reach the inner gate. Not to be before it, or after it. Nope he was directly under the damned thing. I counted it. Three times I counted it.

But hey, zombies don't take up the whole five feet of a square right? Neither does the gate. Most humanoids take up about 2 feet. So I had the lever master roll percentiles. 0-33% and the gate fell right in front of the zombie. 67-100% and the zombie made it through. But:

The dice giveth and the dice taketh away

And favoritism is clearly the order of the day

Low could have been rolled

Or high could have been told

Instead that rotting bastard was split in twain.

The rest of the session was consumed by Zornesk playing a deranged version of Whack-a-Mole with the remaining zombies at the gate, made more so by the mace of bullshit.

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