Rise of the Planar Trade Consortium

Run 32 Rise of the PTC: Drive To the Railhead Pt. IV, "Showdown in Wycliffe"

The session begins with Pieter, back in the chuck-wagon w. Melissande and the drive. He is terribly fevered, and delerious, but is driven to consciousness by the voice of Erathis speaking in his head. She urges him north, immediately, saying if he does not hurry Wycliffe will surely perish. Despite opposition from Simkins and Melissande Pieter mounts up and rides north, swaying in his saddle. The next several days are a blur. Exhaustion, divine will driving him onwards, and visions of a vicious cavalry officer all combine such that Pieter recalls little as he rides down a valley towards a small town. All he can recall well is that this is the town in his visions, and that if he doesn’t warn his companions that the Oni Mage Davakara (summoned with an evil scroll by Vailor) is coming as an assassin in the night they shall all surely die, and Wycliffe with them. He stumbles off his horse and up some stairs in the building he’s been shown by Erathis.

The party wakes to Pieter pounding on their doors. Just in time as Davakara, disguised as Mary, appears at the top of the stairs and blasts most of them with lightning before retreating downstairs. Alruna charges after her, clad only in nightclothes, bearing sword and shield. Aeran and Rook are close behind. In common room of Mary’s a battle of wait and watch begins, some blows are exchanged before Davakara pulls back to the street. Outside, in the street, the battle resumes for a few more swings. But once bloodied Davakara declares “I haven’t been paid enough by Vailor to die for him. You’ve won safety from me this time.” He bows as he rises into the air and vanishes.

Pieter is given some critical help in tending his wounds and the disease that’s been ravaging him. The fever drops enough that he is no longer dazed all the time, and when told of the situation he begins preparing for battle.

The first of the Roughriders to arrive is Captain Viridian, sent ahead by Col. Vailor for a sneak attack on the town after he found his own point force was wiped out. Viridian charges into town and towards Alruna who is standing in the center of Main Street waiting for him. He then sees a third of his force fall prey to the trap the townfolk have dug. He leaps the pit to spar with Alruna, several of his Roughriders try to leap the pit but fail and fall into the pit or are thrown from their horses when the horses balk. His sergeant begins shooting the party with deadly-accurate poisoned crossbow fire. The party attacks, and calls the townfolk atop the roofs to join in firing down on the Roughriders. In the end Viridian dies, and most of his troops with him, the sergeant and a few riders escape to return to the Colonel.

The main force of Roughriders sets up an HQ atop a low hill a few miles from town. From there the Colonel directs units of men to begin burning the fields and the outlying buildings. In the town the villagers begin to despair. The party considers briefly, then waits for a time when the detached units are too far from the Colonel to support him. They come charging out of Wycliffe, heading straight for Col. Vailor and his HQ. Seeing he can’t call back forces before they get to him the Col. detaches his sergeant and troops to attack the five as he takes his headquarters company into the field. He uses bugle calls to direct some of the detached units to unite with his headquarters.

The sergeant and his unit rapidly close with the five heroes charging out from Wycliffe. The skirmish turns nasty as he directs sub-groups of Roughriders to deal with each hero. He uses his net to restrain Alruna, leaving her tied up with Roughriders. Wythe runs into some trouble as a quartet of riders surround him, he is forced to teleport off his mount to take shelter near Rook. But in the end the Roughriders don’t have the strength to stand against their opponents, and the sergeant perishes soon after all his men are down. A few minutes to catch their breath reveal to the heroes the tactical situation.

Col. Vailor has taken his reformed headquarters into the town center and is raising hell. Robb and Luke are both leading forces of town-folk fighting units of Roughriders who have charged in at the Colonel’s command (damn bugle-calls), one on each side of the town. As they watch Luke falls trying to turn the tide as his town-folk’s battle-line begins to collapse against the bandit’s pressure. Robb has left his unit and is charging to the town-center to face Colonel Vailor. Realizing the moment in which the battle is decided has come the party charges the town-center!

As the five charge into town they find themselves facing the same trap Capt. Viridian had been up against. To them it proves less of an obstacle. The Colonel and his berserker bodyguards prove quite vicious and, with support from other Roughriders, do some serious damage to Alruna and Wythe. Neither Rook nor Aeran escape the enemies notice. Pieter is forced into summoning his healing spirit lest the battle be lost. But after the Roughriders are mostly downed the berserkers fall. Once the berserkers are down it soon comes down to Colonel Vailor standing alone. Golden hair waving in the wind, having lost his cavalry hat, Vailor refuses to die. He swings at everyone around him, but in the end is brought down by the combined strength of his enemies. He dies in the middle of Main St., Wycliffe, his story ended. Robb on the other hand does not die, he lies unconscious, critically wounded by the Colonel. But is saved from death, to spend a few days recovering in the company of Alise.

The folks of Wycliffe rejoice and celebrate, after fixing up things a bit. Several days pass as Pieter recovers in a sick bed. Magic items are found. Eventually Simkins and the drive will arrive. Picking up their wounded Simkins and his men will proceed onwards to the lightning rail. There they summon engines and cattle-cars to take the herd to Kanda City, where Boss Simkins will sell it. He pays out everyone absolutely fairly. Herd owners get the value of their herds, less the cattle contributed to paying for the drive, everyone else gets an equal share of the contribution. Shares are set aside for the family of those who died on the Drive to the Railhead.

Thus endeth the story.

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absimiliard

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