We were still on a Mission from God - or at least a Mission from Elder Karl's god, the Great Bear - to wipe out the giant carnivorous apes south-west of the Broken Obelisk. Before setting out, we hired a quartet of archers to accompany us. We retraced our steps, followed some new roads from the statue of the vulture-headed death goddess, and then made our way to the mostly intact warehouse we'd discovered before when we heard the sounds of apes on our trail.
|My rendition of the statue|
When we got to the warehouse, we found some corpses lying around. They were of the Vulture Men we'd heard rumors of. We quickly debated what to do - charge into the warehouse and possibly face Vulture Men or Spiked Circle baddies, but have a narrow easily defensible door to battle the apes from (but possibly become trapped between two hostile forces), or stand our ground.
We decided to put our archers on the roof. Ripper and Elder Karl decided to come up at the last minute, but the apes attacked before we could. With the two of them on the ground and the rest of the party firing from the roof, we battled the apes, who threw stones instead of closing to melee. Elder Karl used his stone fist to good advantage at my suggestion, lifting up one ape as high as he could then dropping it. It made a satisfactory splattering when it hit the pavement. We managed to drop one other ape with missiles for sure, possibly one more as they fled from the screams of the Vulture Men.
Before we could do anything, the Vulture Men were upon us. A large party, around 24 or so, attacked from all sides (luckily they don't fly!). While Ripper and Karl battled them on the ground, Maya used her Sleep spell to good effect and the rest of us battled a squad that climbed to the roof. Thidrek took a solid hit in the guts (a critical), but luckily with his new Heroic status, survived the wound that would have finished him before. Strider the Archer got knocked unconscious (0 hp, Matt took over the last surviving archer, Pliny the Younger for the rest of the combat. Strabo and Pliny the Elder didn't survive the onslaught.) Once the Vulture Men on the roof were dispatched, we rained down missiles on those waiting to close with Karl and Ripper, who fought back to back against the wall of the warehouse to keep too many from closing at once.
With a Frazetta style mound of corpses that Conan or John Carter would find respectable around their feet, Ripper and Karl managed to hold off the horde. And we finally all learned a valuable lesson about firing into melee. Thidrek, all pumped up on his success (I don't think I'd rolled a single miss all night) decided to shoot at the last guy on Elder Karl. Of course I rolled a 1. Sorry, Elder Karl! Thidrek had to wait until we got back to Fort Low to get healed for that one.
After the battle, we roped up the sleeping Vulture Men (I suggested we only take one back, but was talked out of it by Karl) and headed back to Fort Low with our prisoners. Justin informed us by Facebook post that the Vulture Men tried to escape, killed some guards, and one made it out of Fort Low alive and back to wherever they nest. I knew we should have only taken one prisoner. No one could speak their language anyway. Well, that's another lesson learned for the party.