Post War Group 29/12/2010 (Part 2)

06:01 – 06:03 – The chest bursts open and the group explode into action, catching the guards completely by surprise. Their initial attack is both focused and massively effective, and by the time any of the 'forged knows what is going on, the hammer bearer is almost out of action, chopped and crushed to the point of almost total failure.

However, with the group's intent now made clear, the discombobulated living constructs get their acts together, and are soon reinforced by guards posted nearby, and by a robed spellcaster who emerges, screaming jets of flaming gas and lightning exploding from its fingers from within the building. The area outside the stout building, clearly a forge shoppe of some kind, becomes increasingly brutal as the group's magic users call upon the powers of the universe and of logic to blast their foes with seething rays of fire, logic, radiance and frost, to conjure zones of power that scour foes and heal allies and to manipulate reality so that the odds are swung in the favour of the party and against their foes. The warriors call upon either primal rage and fury or calculating strategy to do the same with more mundane tools, though with equally deadly effect.

Jaeger, seeking to end the mission quickly, uses the cover of the battle to climb onto the roof of the shoppe, and slides over to the wide chimney. Looking down it, he gets a face of hot, dry air, suffused with the sharp bite of sulphur, and can see coals glowing sullenly below – a forge. Aware of how potentially stupid his move is, but determined to accomplish his goal, the assassin enters the burning, soot slicked tube of the chimney, and quickly clambers down it, badly scorching his foot as it slips into the heaped coals below.

Biting back his pain, he finds himself in an orderly smithy, empty but for tools and the warforged spellcaster, who blazes away at Emmiven and Varracuda from the doorway with his back to the assassin. Tools lie on a huge anvil in the middle of the room, and soot covers everything in a thin layer. A large set of bellows are connected to the underside of the forge itself by a rune scribed tuyere, and as he silently drops down to its side, the assassin notices that the exterior of the forge itself is inlaid with strange, angular glyphs; clearly some kind of artifice enchantment. Sensing that there may be more to the forge than is immediately apparent, the assassin takes a longer look at it. He notes several runes that he recognises, and is vaguely aware of their connection to elemental fire, and also gets the feeling that something is off about the forge, though he cannot say what.

However, from the yells and thudding shockwaves outside the still darkness of the forge, he realises that his allies are finding the battles momentum slowly turning against them, and sliding his envenomed blade from its sheath he moves towards the spellcaster, and strikes a vicious, poisonous blow.

Out front, and several of the warforged lie broken; the initial hammer bearer (a soldier of the Forging Flame) cut almost in two by a huge blow from Shnecke's axe, whilst another soldier has been laid low by repeated blasts of gibbering power hurled by Seren and the endless pounding of Varracuda's swords and the barbarian's blade. The group have also taken some serious wounds, courtesy of the hammers of the Forging Flame soldiers, the well timed and expertly delivered blows of the New Forge guards, and the bear trap like jaws of the skirmishing Defender. Grigori calls upon his most potent spells of healing to keep them going, confident that this battle is all the group will face before missions end – unaware of the assassin's discovery that if the renegade is home, he isn't anywhere immediately accessible - before unleashing waves of disorienting power that hugely reduce the 'forged's battle effectiveness.

Varracuda finds himself being dragged about the battlefield by the modified Iron Defender, and works his blades furiously against it, stripping away its armoured exterior to expose its steaming, organic innards. Emmiven strikes at it with his rune-scribed hammer, as well as at the spellcaster – some kind of Forging Flame adept – who flanks him with one of the soldiers. However, he is suddenly freed up as Jaeger's foul attacks do their job and end the adept's life, and is able to help his allies finish off the remaining monsters.

06:04 - What began as a sudden, precise strike has gone on far too long however, and by the time the final warforged is taken out, the word has got out that there is trouble by the town's heroes home, and an ominous bellowing trumpet can be heard booming through the dingy air of the town – the battle cry of a warforged titan. The group, completely without wounds thanks to the cleric's incredible healing spells, but somewhat expended after the surprisingly tough battle, are suddenly faced with two undeniable facts; that they are going to have to face down at least one warforged titan (possibly three, as they know that two more apart from the Ferrus Flamma watch over the settlements boundaries) unless they think fast, and that unless they make some startling discovery in the next few moments, Balskus is going to get away.

Neither fact fills them with anything other than dread.