Bigulf smashes open the door, and Theo darts in, only to be immediately clobbered by two more automated guards. The room also contains several heavily armed guards as well as the guard Captain, and a man who is obviously the Commander. They are stunned for a moment, being obviously caught arguing, probably over their situation. There is also a very small, winged creature standing on the Commanders desk. These are all obviously well armed, armored and trained adversaries, and now they outnumber us (with Theo being unconscious). However, the automatons save the situation in an ironic twist. After felling Theo, they move past him to get to the rest of the Party, effectively blocking the door. The rest of the Party is able to fight them individually, while the other bandits can do nothing to help. Lassidil also takes this opportunity to revive Theo, who is now behind the door guards.
Just before we entered, we clearly heard someone (probably the Commander), say, “No, you can’t take them, they were given to me!” In the seconds after Theo was revived, the small creature could be heard rasping back to the Commander, “No, you are finished here! You have failed our Master utterly and these things are forfeit!” It then lunged and grabbed a glossy black& gold rod (topped with an ivory skull), and a small-ish leather bag. He then leapt for a window.
Theo, groggily witnessing this, decided the better course was to try to capture this creature and discover what it was “rescuing”. He lunged for the …thing, but it struck back with a surprisingly strong swipe of its claw, then the other occupants of the room battered Theo back into unconsciousness. The creature made it to the window and flew off.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Party is able to deal with the automatons piecemeal, and then face the remaining bandits with an advantage. Backed against the wall, the Captain and his soldiers give the Commander a look of utter, pure hate, and then rush the Party. They fight hard, dying to a man. To his credit, the Commander is no coward, and fights as long and hard as the rest. As he finally falls, a clatter can be heard back in the hallway. Rushing to face this new threat, the Party discovers an obviously still unwell Ardadan, hobbling and limping up the stairs. He’d smuggled himself amongst the Militia, wanting to lend a hand.
_NOTE: I brought Ardadan back to the fight in a sudden panic that I’d made this fight over powered for the Party. Theo had been knocked out twice, and ALL the opponents were equal to or higher than the PC’s. In the end, it all worked out, and he wasn’t needed, so I just decided he arrived as I’ve just described.
Between them, the Party once again revives Theo, and then proceed up to the final two floors. On the fifth they find the armory, it’s thankfully deserted. The only level left is the roof, which they know was packed with bandits and heavy weapons. However, they discover that the ships crew had done a fantastic job of clearing this area with ballistae and arrow fire. There are one or two survivors, but they are cowering against the walls and make no attempt to fight. The battle is over.
- End of Chapter 1*