Year of the Shield

Session Four Spotlight: "Into the Pit"

(Trying something a little different with this one: I'm writing up a description of what I feel was the most memorable moment of the last session. Feel free to add to this post or post a separate log with the usual bullet point summary, if you wish.)

*

Chaos erupted in the strange, purple-lit chamber. The barbarian had drawn steel yet again and now goblin voices cried out in alarm.

Without a moment's hesitation, Red drew her own blade—the weight of its light elven steel feeling strangely comforting in her hand—and rushed forward, keeping the perimeter of the yawning, root-rimed pit to her left.

A quavering goblin stood in her way. She whispered the words of one of her incantations, still not sure of the syllables yet pronouncing each with an ease that bespoke hundreds of hours of forgotten practice. All around her, a swirling, phantasmagorical shell of ghostly blades sprang to life.

Despite their ethereal appearance, the blades bit all too deeply into the goblin's flesh as Red closed the distance. The pitiful wretch cried out in pain.

She could see the massive, powerfully-built hobgoblins all moving towards Shademehr. Thinking fast, Red grasped the goblin by its scrawny neck and, with effort, sent it arcing on a chord over the circular pit, aimed directly at the nearest hobgoblin.

Amazingly, the tiny creature connected with the target. The goblin bounced off his larger cousin with a crunch that sent it, wailing, into the inky blackness of the pit. The hobgoblin stopped, lips curling back over fearsome fangs, as it trained its beady eyes on Red. Nervously, she retrieved her shield off her back and went into a defensive stance.

The hobgoblin, moving with terrifying speed, was charging in on top of her in the next instant. Bellowing a war cry in its own harsh tongue, it brought its huge mace swinging down in a broad arc that would surely have dashed Red's brains across the cobblestones were it not for her shield, which she brought to bear just in time.

The blow shivered her shield, sending wooden slivers flying in all directions. Red recoiled from the force of the blow, her arm numb from shock. The hobgoblin smiled, somehow making it look even more threatening than before, as it advanced.

Her shield arm useless, Red clutched her sword even more tightly. And then…a memory expressed on the tip of her tongue. Perhaps it was the fear welling up within her, her desperation for something comforting and familiar summoning this from within the depths of entombed memory. She began to sing.

It was an Elven song, and one of great antiquity—somehow she knew this to be true. As she sang, her voice rose in confidence, giving her hobgoblin opponent a moment's pause.

But then Red realized this was more than a song. The melody and the words contained a mnemonic map that was activating muscle memory.

Shaking off the numbness in her arm, she sank into a combat stance, flourishing her blade, then suddenly sprang forward into a handstand, still singing.

Propelling herself forward off the handstand, her ankles wrapped around the hobgoblin's tree-trunk neck; the creature gave an oath of surprise.

Now using her momentum, Red swung herself by her ankles around the hobgoblin's neck, throwing it off balance.

As she completed the maneuver with a deft roll, Red turned and, as she completed the song's first stanza and with a satisfied smile, she watched the hobgoblin pitching headfirst into the pit, listening as its screams receded only to end abruptly with a sickening crunch.

*

On the other side of the pit, Khelgar saw the half-elf's acrobatics. The hobgoblin he was fighting was proving a tough opponent indeed. Inspired, he grabbed his foe by a leather strap and fell backwards, planting his booted feet in the hobgoblin's stomach.

The momentum of the maneuver sent the hobgoblin, twice Khelgar's size, pitching overhead and then into the pit to join his doomed brother.

Khelgar rose, breathing heavily, a triumphant smile upon his face. He edged up to the rim of the pit.

"And that's what we call dwarven wrestlin—arrrggghhh!!"

The pit's masonry, loosened and cracked by the extensive curtains of vines growing up its sides, gave way under Khelgar's bulk and he quite literally felt the ground falling out from under him. He reached out desperately for a vine, but to no avail. He was falling.

"So this is how I am to die," he thought resignedly as he plunged into darkness…

*

At the first sign of trouble, Glasha had moved to bolt the entrance to the chamber, then readied her crossbow. It was from this vantage point that she watched in horror as her friend Khelgar plunged into the pit.

The words of the spell were on her lips before she even thought about it. It was a quick incantation, just a few words—but did she utter them quickly enough? 

She rushed to the pit's edge and looked down, then breathed a sigh of relief; Khelgar was still falling, only now with all the speed of a drifting downy feather.

Comments

Excellent, I love it! I’ve been working on a bullet point list for the last couple of sessions— it should be done by today or tomorrow. I’ll add a hyperlink to this post as a sort of “magnifying glass” on one specific moment. Nicely done!

LordBattle LordBattle

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