Kevin B. Smith
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(This is a continuation of a story that started in here: Lini and Merisiel take down Pillbug (0.2))

In the previous episode, Lini and Merisiel had freed the ranger prisoners from the ogrekin clan, and had agreed to help them retake Fort Rannick. One of those rangers, Vale Temros, came up with a plan where someone could infiltrate the fort through a tunnel to the Garrison. Lini was nominated for that task, while Merisiel was tasked with creating a distraction at the Guard Tower.

Early on, Lini encountered a Skull Ripper (along the lines of a giant scorpion). Since she didn't have an attack spell handy, she cast a Sanctuary to hold it in place, and used her spyglass to see what else was going in the fort. She didn't see anything interesting, and once she found her spell, she continued in the Garision. It was good she was alone there, because the monsters there would have multiplied if the party had been larger.

Merisiel was plowing through the Guard Tower, Bandits kept coming after her, but she was able to evade them all. Brodert Quink showed up and told her exactly where to find a beautiful woman named Lucretia, who seemed to be worth talking to. Lucretia was near the back of the tower, and as soon as she saw Merisiel, she turned into a half-serpentine monster. She was actually another lamia matriarch, who had the ability to charm humans. Fortunately, because Merisiel is an elf, she was immune to such tricks.

Merisiel killed Lucretia, and then faced a decision: Should she banish her trusty crowbar to close the tower? She chose not to, partly in the hopes that the last few cards might be valuable. They weren't, so that choice wasted a few valuable turns. She left one card for Lini to clean up, and headed off to the main gate.

Meanwhile, Lini was fighting through the tunnel. She actually used a heavy crossbow she found in one fight. Although she did OK with a weapon, it really just confirmed that she prefers to fight with spells, or when necessary, with her animal power.

She had searched almost the entire tunnel before finding Kaven, another ranger. However, under questioning, he turned out to be the traitor who had distracted the scouting party, allowing the fort to be taken. He put up a fight, but Lini subdued him. He would have to answer to the authorities later, but a 7-pointed tattoo revealed that the ogre attacks were somehow related to the Thassalonian cult. Lini didn't close the Garrison immediately, because she had seen a potential ally in the darkness. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a low-level guard, so that was another waste of a turn.

Merisiel met up with Vale Temros at the gate, and soon afterwards, they passed through and started searching the Fort itself. Lini got to the gate soon after, and used her spyglass to see Dorella and Hookman Kreeg, a very nasty pair of ogres. Lini knew she just had to guard the gate to make sure the boss ogre couldn't escape the fort when confronted by Merisiel. So she left the Kreegs alone, and sat around and tried to remember her blessings.

With 3 cards left in the fort, and time running out, Lini went inside the fort and used a spyglass to see an archer, and a large bell that seemed poised to fall at any moment. The archer was too scared to be of use, so they let him run out of the fort. Merisiel then evaded the bell, and couldn't explore again. That left her just one more turn before running out of time. Lini went back to the gate, and Merisiel fortunately encountered Jaagrath, the enormous ogre who had taken the fort. Lini was able to defeat a tough bandit to temporarily close the gate, so it was all up to Merisiel.

In her first volley, Merisiel used her +1 light crossbow, with some blessings and other boosts, to hit using 2d12+d8+2d6+4. On her second attack she had 4d12+d8+2d6+4. Jaagrath was dead, with no time left. Technically, Lini would have had a turn, but there was no way she could have done anything to try to win.

So that's 2 scenarios in a row that have gone right to the final round. In this case, Merisiel never found her Holy Candle to give them more time. In this one, they had to go all the way to the bottom of 3 of the locations, although they could have skipped 5 cards if they had chosen to close 2 locations immediately.

8 basic cards were removed from the game (one monster, and the rest were boons). The only available card that they didn't get, but would have liked to, was a Frost Longbow +1. But Merisiel might not have kept it anyway. There was also an icy longspear+1, and some so-so magic armor.

Merisiel picked up a couple more great ranged weapons (Light Crossbow +1, Longbow + 1). She took a weapon card feat, allowing her to keep a total of 4 weapons. She still had to discard at least one great one.

Lini found nothing of interest. She ended up adding a spell card feat, and chose a basic Sanctuary spell. That would allow her to explore more confidently even if she can't remember an attack spell.

Both gals seriously considered taking an extra blessing, but in the end each one decided that improving their specialty was more important than getting general help.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Mercer Island
Washington
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The story continues...Lini and Merisiel: Here comes the flood! (3.3)
 
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