|A. The north gate, cleared - except for the Queen drow. B. The west breech, cleared - the battle is fully in the courtyard now. C. The southeast breech. stuck - but not for long.|
This, I'm afraid, is my last image for the combat. I hope that the gentle reader does not hold me in too great disdain for not having saved every last round down to the death of the last goblin - this lack of final maps is part of the reason why I had left eventually publishing the whole combat until now. I hope that my description of the very end will satisfy the reader.
In the end, the party does win.
The Verger eventually takes a position with his back to the NW wall, where he dies. The dire wolf goes down to elvish arrows and while Ty is stunned at the end of the 29th round, he does live to come help Falun finish off those last three hobgoblins. Karl kills the giant toad and tears through the goblins that are approaching, while the glaivers kill those that are confused.
The purple figures on the map are the hobgoblins coming from the NE tower; Frederick the mage/thief uses his last spell, sleep, to knock them out. Ivan kills the giant toad on him and tracks down the Prince, killing him. He and the Old Man drow go at it for several rounds until well, see below.
At the North, the Queen (out of charges on her wand of fire, sorry party) teleports to the ground, where she fights Pikel (round 28), then Penn, the Pikel again. Falcon, Lyrial, Pikel and Penn all gang up on her until she goes down.
But the real end of the fight actually happens when Garalzapan moves to the doorway of the tower at the top of the stairs. For the first time, the mage has safe vantage to throw spells into the courtyard. His fireball evaporates all those orange goblins in front of Widda and Hig. He rushes out and fires a 10 hp sheet of death with burning hands gets rid of many more. Thus, Hig, Widda and Shalar are freed up to attack the courtyard defenders.
It is Shalar, moving at monk speed, that crosses the yard to take out the Old Man with Ivan. The goblins in the center are decimated - and from there, we called the combat over, simply counting up hit points for the remaining defenders. We were all quite done.
It's funny that the real key of the combat was to get Garalzapan into a killing position. No one really thought of that; after the battle, it was discussed that fighting to get into one of the towers and using it as an emplacement for the mage would have been great. However, the party did not know through this combat that the Queen drow had an arrow of mage slaying in her quiver. Which she never got to use, because at no time was she opposed by a serious mage. Falcon was only 1st level, Frederick fought on the SW and west sides and Garalzapan was jammed behind the SE mess. The party gained possession of that arrow - which I believe remains unused.
In a combat this size, things are going to go right and things are going to go wrong. The party, though we played this combat for about 10 runnings, often with only 2 and a half rounds a night, never got bored - or they said they didn't. I urge the reader to read my daughter's essay, that encouraged me to finally take up this task (which has taken me three days). One thing I did not want to do is bury that essay behind a massive wall of posts - so please, seriously, do read it.
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