The Battle for Monton, Chapter 13
The last words of the Pelorian high priest Amoros Twinge turn in the party’s mind. Twinge had gestured to the statue of the margrave in Monton’s town square as he spoke. It dawns on John and Nym that ‘Barabad’ is the name inscribed on the back of the onyx pendant recovered from the Usurer’s Tower when the party first came together. Nym being in possession of the pendant leaps from the balcony of the boarding house racing across the open courtyard. She makes it to the statue and holds up the pendant calling out the name ‘Barabad.’
At first, nothing happens. The pendant remains unchanged in her hand. However, after the word is spoken the cracks in the statue seem to suddenly be filled with a glowing, soft umber which quickly turns into a shining bright orange. A mysterious energy begins to emanate from within the statue of the margrave. There is a blast of light from out the cracks momentarily blinding everyone in the vicinity.
The light dims and the margrave statue turns to face the gnolls, Drow, warlord, and gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu. It is missing half of an arm but in its other hand holds a wide stone sword. It’s face is decayed and cracked but it moves with a surety of magical vision. The now alive statue, a stone golem, takes huge strides towards the invaders. It’s broken arm strikes the Fang flinging it across the courtyard smashing into the wall of the chapel of Pelor. A wide, slow arch with its stone sword deals a deadly crushing blow to the gnolls harrying Karen’s guards. The stone golem seems to know exactly who is an enemy and who is not as it moves to take out the invaders.
The party watches transfixed noticing around the stone golem all action seem to be moving in slow motion. Nym is too far away from the boarding house to return so she runs to Karen’s side as the two face the hobgoblin warlord. The Drow mage and warrior retreat immediately lost in a black cloud cast by Darkness. When the spell dissipates, the Drow have vanished.
Karen grabs Nym and the two engaged the hobgoblin warlord trying to make their way back to the boarding house. The pair succeed. Karen yells at one guard to evacuate the boarding house and send everyone through the secret tunnel to the mayor’s mansion. She grabs the another guard telling him to get to the chapel and have them do the same if they haven’t begun to already. Facing the party, Karen makes the case for complete retreat from the town. She is going to send the survivors to the mayoral mansion and then escape out of town. She explains they had set fire to the buildings around the mansion to camouflage it in a way from the invading army, so they’d think that portion of town was destroyed or about to be. Karen is fairly certain Swith Masmond is dead having confronted the invading gnolls when they burst through the passage way to the palace grounds. Karen’s units where able to slowly fend off the advancing hobgoblin army but once the army and gnolls were in the town, the strange spell dome came down.
Karen thinks staying in the town is suicide. However, the stone golem looks to be something that will buy them all time to get out. She encourages the party to escape as well. Suspecting the Drow mage’s spell has cut-off Roben from the rest of them, the party retreats to the woods. As they do, they fling one last round of spells and ranged attacks at the hobgoblin warlord dealing significant damage. Once out, they encounter Roben who explains the size of the force around the catapult.
As he relays the information to them, another huge fireball sails over their heads towards Monton. Now outside the barrier, John, Nym, and Jorg can no longer see the town and instead only see a black dome surrounding the whole of the town. The fireball strikes the barrier dissolving into nothing confirming for the party there’s no going back.
There is still a military unit outside the barrier with the party made up of hobgoblins, helmed horrors, and a demonic looking general. The party decides to engage the remaining siege army. Moving through the thickened under growth, the party discovers Pras has returned with several mercenaries of The Hundred to aid. With their numbers now even, the party is able to go toe-to-toe with the remaining army. However, while fighting the hobgoblins is relatively straight forward, the helmed horrors prove a more difficult foe.
The animated suits of armor glowing with a demonic looking fire behind the joints of their armor are resistant to attacks from non-magical weapons as well as immune to fire and lightning spells which are the primary damage spells of John and Nym. Even though the young sorcerer and druid’s spells do a fair share to thin the ranks of the hobgoblins, it is only Roben’s Sun Blade that’s really able to deal any significant damage to the helmed horrors.
After a slog through the forest to reach where the catapult is set up, the party faces off against the army’s general. Here Pras and Roben shine as they battle down the general–a demonic looking creature with no real face just a wide, gaping maw of razor looking teeth. This eyeless, noseless horror battles the two nimbly and with ferocity but ultimately succumb as the party destroys all of its soldiers.
Defeated, the general falls to its knees dropping its weapons. The party hear in their minds a voice at first speaking in Abyssal but then a stilted Common admitting defeat and surrendering to the party. Nym recognizes this voice as the telepath she overheard when the party was investigating the palace grounds.
This is the cambion general, Xahptaanetc Sarrozaxarainey. With the battle ended, the party begin interrogating the defeated general. X.S. reveals the army belongs to Kolo Illrym, the Drow who has been orchestrating much of what the party have been encountering, and had to speed up it’s assault due to losing the funds supplied first by Maise Pegoram and then by the oni pretending to be Wena Riffolk. That coupled with the destruction of the teleport and portal forge in the maze ruins forced Kolo’s hand. Monton had to be taken as well as Foxon as quickly as possible. Pras reveals not long after leaving Foxon with the handful of The Hundred he and Asher could muster, the town was sealed off by a barrier looking exactly like the one over Monton.
Pushing for more information, the party learn that Kolo was responsible for driving the Hag Coven out of one of the southern Corse Ruins. X.S. reveals there is or was a witch coven in each of the three Corse Ruins. The northern ruins are home to The Sparing Ones, a seemingly benign coven know for granting boons to those to pass their tests. The southern ruins were home to the Hag Coven and another that worshiped some unknown demon lord. Attempting to find out more about Kolo’s plan, the party is able to learn he seems to be trying to bring Drow and others out of the Underdark to this Osse county to live. X.S. doesn’t know where Kolo is located but that Vistra Xiloscient, Kolo second-in-command, is operating out of Bas Eldritch and fulfilling his plans there.
With nothing left to tell the party, X.S. is executed by them. They discover several Chroma Stones (an item I invented for this campaign)–
on the bodies of the hobgoblin captains and X.S. Now possessing several Chroma Stones, the party take a moment to figure out each other’s color so they know who is trying to contact them:
Karen, blaze orange
John, sky blue
Roben, glittery copper
Pras, bright green
Jorg, jet black
Not soon after, Karen appears ahead of the train of Monton refugees. She explains they were able to get out with little resistance and were not pursued. Exhausted, the party rests for the night around the catapult encampment deciding to make choices in the morning.