Setesh, the snake strikes. The wolf’s yelp of pain turns into a low gurgle. Blood pours from the wolf’s now open throat. Then, the beast flinches and collapses to the ground spasming. Before long, it’s completely still.
Karl, Bram, Dynis, Arala, and Riona, take your turns.
Karl, The wolf you dodged has already turned and is ready to attack again.
Bram, you're able rip the wolf off your thigh, but it's ready to strike again.
Dynis, you're on the ground after the wolf took a chunk out of your calf.
Arala, you managed to step out of the wolf's lunge, but it's already turning back to lunge again.
Riona, the wolf on you backs off a step to size up where your armor doesn't protect you.
What do you all do?
Initiative order round 2:
17 - Setesh 16 - Karl <======
13 - Bram <======
12 - Dynis [prone] <======
08 - Arala <======
07 - Riona <======
06 - Wolves (A, B, C, D, E)
Dead - Wolf F
A cantrip isn't enough for this. With cold clarity, Arala reaches deeper into the flow of magic. She stretches her senses over the spirits of the wolves, visible as dim flickers in her mind's eye. The spell's pattern settles easily despite the flow of battle. (It's moments like this that she wonders if her mother was right, if the actions she took were justified.)
Arala can feel Angel Bones' anticipation. With a pinch of sand and a gesture, Arala commands, "Sleep!"
Riona raised her free hand and made a quick gesture before speaking in elvish. She will cast sacred flame on the wolf attacking her and then turn around and cast healing word on Bram. "Come on, we can handle a couple of mutts!"
@WlfSamurai Doggo must make a dexterity save DC 13 to take.... 1 damage. @DanGriin Bram is healed for 6hp!
Bram was not going to die SOBER. As his wound bled out and stained his pant leg red. Bram pulled his Morningstar off of his belt. This was his signature weapon, an iron sphere on the end of a lengthy chain. He chose to use this because of its practicality, versatility and because it allowed him to stay a good distance away from his enemies. On this occasion, Bram chose to reach out for the beast in order to grapple it. His plan was to wrap the chain around its neck and force the iron ball into its mouth so he could choke it to death. When it looked like the wolf was about to attack, Bram leapt forward with his Morningstar in hand. Unfortunately the wolf was much too quick for him, getting away at just the last second.
Karl, you break the wolf’s (E) jaw with your quarterstaff, then snap it’s neck with your iron kick. The limp body drops to the dirt.
Bram, the wolf (D) ducks your chain and bares its teeth with a low growl. It luges at you again, but only wings you this time (4 damage). Still, it might be enough to knock you down (DC 11 STR to avoid being knocked prone).
Arala, your spell is enough to put the wolf (C) in front of you asleep. It closes its eyes, lays down, and puts its head on its front paws.
Riona, you singe the wolf (B) near you it yelps, then growls. At your word, Bram’s leg wound begins to knit itself closed. Seeing its chance, the wolf in front of you lunges at you, but its teeth can’t seem to penetrate your scale mail.
Dynis, take your turn whenever you’re ready. The wolf (A) on you poises for attack.
Your turn again, everyone.
What do you all do?
Initiative order round 3:
17 - Setesh <======
16 - Karl <======
13 - Bram <======
12 - Dynis [prone] <======
08 - Arala <======
07 - Riona <======
06 - Wolves (A, B, C, D)
Dead - Wolf F, E
"I gotchu, Bram!" Karl shouts. He jumps into a flip. While upside down in the air, he swings the quarterstaff at the wolf attacking him. Then, as he lands, he uses the momentum of his jump to slam his foot into the wolf.
Staff: 15 to attack, 8 damage
Kick: 24 to attack, 5 damage
Setesh watches the wolf meet a swift end with cruel satisfaction, using to opportunity to tend to his wound. The battle rules say: finish the enemy first, then deal with the wounded and dead, but this time he feels that if he didn't cure his arm, he could go from wounded to dead pretty fast. It only takes a moment for the bite to stop bleeding and Setesh can look around to assess the situation.
It is good to learn that another beast has already been taken down; unfortunately, slain by Karl, who will undoubtedly rub it in his face later. Out of the others, Riona seems to be in most accute danger - aside of the unknown palladin, but that one has low priority seeing as none of them know her. He focuses his mind on the beast attacking the half elf and commands the snake to strike.
Cure wounds 7+2 = 9 (full)
to hit 5+6=11
Poison 9 (const. saving throw 11 - success:half damage)
Knocked on the ground unceremoniously and with her calf already injured, Dynis rolled over on her back to take a look at the attacker. He entrance was unceremonious to say the least and she could almost picture the Morninglord shaking his head at her incompetence.
As fast as she could manage, she stood up and took out the battleaxe, poised for the attack.
Arala walks up to the sleeping wolf. She pulls her hand ax from her belt, rests a hand at the back of its head, and places the blade at the base of its skull. With no hesitation, she severs the spine. A quick, merciful kill. "Rest well," she says, standing up. It won't suffer in Death's embrace.
With a minor effort of prestidigitation, she cleans her blade and returns it to her belt before taking stock of her companions. Bram appears to be... trying to shove his weapon in a wolf's mouth. It doesn't work. Alright. Then Karl loudly announces his intention to help Bram and catapults himself to the wolf.
... They probably have that covered, then.
Setesh just sent his snake to defend Riona, having already slain his own wolf attacker. That leaves the possible paladin. She stares at the wolf about to attack, prepared to cast an evil eye on it if needed.
Riona frowned at the lack of damage her attack seemed to do as the wolf was barely hurt. She gritted her teeth and looked at her companions who seemed to be fairing much better than her. She repeated the same motions for sacred flame after she saw the snake attack the wolf.
Setesh, your snake slithers to Riona's aid. Reaching the wolf (B) near her, it curls and springs toward the beast's neck. The wolf, catching the movement out of the corner of its eye, deftly leaps to one side.
Karl, you land with grace near Bram and lash out, striking twice. The wolf (D) takes your staff to its eye, lifting it off the ground. You finish your combination strike by axehandle kicking the beast's skull to the turf. The wolf doesn't get up.
Dynis, you roll to your feet and sink your battleaxe haft-deep into the wolf's (A) flank. It yelps in pain and draws backward, blood pooling underneath it. It backs up further (disengage), turns, and flees toward the woods.
Arala, you end the wolf's (C) miserable existence. Seeing Dynis nearly kill the wolf she's dealing with, you use your evil eye and the wolf (A) is distracted (disadvantage).
Riona, you singe the wolf (B) again, this time in the rump. You burn a good chunk of its hide and it yelps. It leaps backward (disengage), turns around and runs, trying to get away. Riona, it's at that moment you notice the dire wolf with the glowing red eyes fade away into the mists and disappear.
Initiative order round 3:
17 - Setesh
16 - Karl
13 - Bram
12 - Dynis
08 - Arala
07 - Riona 06 - Wolf A (9 damage taken) <======
06 - Wolf B (4 damage taken) <======
Dead - Wolf F, E, D, C
END INITIATIVE (unless you guys want to run down the wolves, in which case you do and can kill them.)
Act freely, now.
Setesh, if you look at the letter again, you notice the script used in both letters are different handwriting.
She watches the wolves flee. The ones they'd slain appear to be just that: wolves. But the direwolf with the eerie eyes... that concerns her. It's a matter for later, however. They have more pressing issues.
"Is everyone alright?" she says to everyone. Karl, Riona, and herself appear to be untouched by the wolves, but Bram and Setesh had taken injuries. Her gaze lingers on them, mild concern visible in her eyes.
Speaking of the injured... Arala nods at the wounded stranger in armor. "Thank you for joining the fight." Yes, the woman didn't have much of a choice about it. The alternative was to up-and-die, but it's still prudent to be polite. (Though, Arala thinks ruefully, other members of her party might not agree.) "What brings you down this path?"
Turning to Setesh, Arala asks, "What does the letter say?" She doesn't think the others heard or paid attention to her observations due to the wolf attack that immediately followed. Arala will repeat them once she learns the letter's contents and gets a better feel for the situation they're stuck in.
Setesh finds it disappointing that some of the wolves escaped, but he is not going to chase after them, especially since no one else seems to be willing. The direwolf, however, concerns him. He has never seen one of those cooperate with a regular pack… or rather, observe them like a boss. If all wolves in the area are organized - and who knows how many there might be - the trip is going to get a lot more interesting.
"I'm fine," he replies in his usual, mildly displeased tone and rolls his sleeve back down, as the wound has now fully closed. He bends down to pick up his snake, almost too heavy for him to carry, and allows her to wrap herself around his neck and shoulders, most of her body hanging down like a glossy shawl. There's a bit of blood on her head; Setesh wipes it away and pets her, opening the letter with his other hand.
"Here's the thing," he starts, recalling what had been on his mind before the attack. "Apparently, this letter is from the same Burgomaster like the one we got yesterday, but here it says that Ireena is already dying from a vampire bite. Instead of looking for a cure, he's asking to be abandoned along with the entire village, sealed and purged by priests… or something. But the timing is off, because this has been lying here for a while. Also, the handwriting is different, so one of them is a fake, but I have no clue which."
"MOTHERFUCKER! This is all an elaborate trap isn't it?" said Bram as he tried to patch up his leg wound with a bit of cloth. It all made sense now, the mysterious stranger, the invitation. The fact that the body looked like it had been dead for a while. Even the silent and stifling atomosphere was proof that something was up. It was highly likely that the letter Setesh just found is the REAL one. This place should have been marked for destruction by whatever religious organizations that can be mustered. The fight just now had sobered Bram up completely, everything seemed so much clearer now. Which meant that he could see the beginnings of an elaborate plan. "Guys.... Whose to say we're the first to come here? Call me crazy... but there's a chance that "Saving Ireena" has been a job offered to a few other morons before the lot of us". They've been had....this is a trap. The only question on Bram's mind was....can they really leave now?
"Yes, I have a feeling that the letter we didn't receive is the real one, and we probably aren't the only fools stuck here." Arala frowns. Well, this is unfortunate. "Could I see the letters, Setesh?" Something about it is sparking a memory, something in her mother's library... "We should decide whether to continue onward, or if we should warn the authorities to seal this place off," she says. "I could send Angel Bones back to the gate to see if it's open."
After Setesh mentioned the plea to seal off the village, she thinks back to the gate creaking shut them. Her thoughts were along the same lines as Bram's. Did they just get sealed in?
"You are welcome." Dynis managed a strained reply, though she did not believe that she had much choice in the matter. Not being the one to lie, she responded to the woman that addressed her, "To be honest, I came to find your group. You were approached by an interesting man last night and I wanted to offer my help in the quest you are on, if you don't mind me."
She stepped toward the person holding the letter, trying her best not to pry and rather piece what little she could out of their conversation. But then she noticed the man with the ball and chain who got the brunt of the wolf attack much as she did. He did a sort of a flimsy job in tying his wound.
"Do you need help with that?" She asked, gesturing to his injury.
Karl smugly grins at Setesh. Just as the snake-man predicted, Karl gloats, "Not so useless now, am I?"
The half-elf crosses his arms.
"You're right, Bram. We're not the first to come here," Karl sighs, "But I don't think it's a trap. Well, the wolves definitely weren't. That'd be a shoddy trap, we just killed a few of them pretty easily and they ran away. There's more to it than we can see, but maybe Ireena really does need help."
Setesh glares at Karl, unsurprised yet mildly displeased that he had been right about how their interaction would continue. "Sure, congratulations. You are no longer the least valuable person in the group, the honor of going first into dark caves and vampire lairs now goes to... her," he gestures towards the palladin, not recalling if she's even told them her name or not.
He passes the letter to Arala, once again taking the seal into account. "If the B is any clue, then it is indeed this letter that has been written by the real Burgomaster." Considering all that's been said, he cannot but agree that they've been lured into a trap. It might easily be that the vampires have run out of food and desired a fresh supply of nutrition, and because nobody would ever visit these parts without a promise of wealth and other benefits…
"I do believe that we should ascertain that we can leave the way we came here," he nods, somewhat upset that it hasn't occured to him sooner - about at the time when the gate magically let them in and immediately closed again. "But someone has to go in person. The gate won't open for the bird like it did for us, nor will she be able to test if it can be forced open."
That said, he waits for others to decide whether all of them would head back, or whether they'd split. In the meantime, he returns to the dead body and starts searching it more thoroughly in hopes to find if the man was carrying something else, other than the letter. Weapons, coins, personal belongings, some sort of identification perhaps...
"My name is Dynis." She responded in a friendly manner, patient with the insult she got. It was only truth after all, she was far from showing her worth, she would need to work for it.
"I wouldn't mind going first." She accepted immediately even if it had been only retorical, looking ahead. No glory was to be had in the back after all, she'd much rather rely in her god's wisdom to lead her through danger safely. Though he didn't start off great that day.
"Why would you want to go back?" She asked then, giving them all a confused look. "Your quest lies ahead. No better way to proceed but by pushing forward. Clearly there's something unholy at work here that needs to be dealt with."
It doesn't happen very often that something (or someone) renders Setesh speechless, but Dynis has managed to come close. He gapes at her, unable to wrap his mind around her way of thinking, and then clears his throat loudly. "Listen, Lady. This is not some kind of holy quest. This is a job," he explains in a tone poeple use when talking to small, particularly underdeveloped children. "If the Burgomaster doesn't pay us anything, which he might not, because he obviously didn't send for us, there is no reason why we should stay here and get mauled by wolves."
As if by magic, another howl comese from afar in the very moment Setesh mentionswolves, which is yet another reason for concern. For all he knows , the direwolf has already put together a new pack, or will do so once darkness falls. "Besides, even if we decide to investigate the matter after all, it would still would be good to find out whether we have an escape route or whether we're locked here."