Troubles on the Road

Summary
Inn Attack
The party arrives in Verella and decides to take a few days to stock up on supplies. on the third night, assassins attack them in the inn common room with poisoned blades and mechanical dart launchers. Giles, Darwin, KG and Negral are poisoned, while the fighters melee with the assassins, Gyles and Darwin cast multiple Neutralize Poison prayers. Once everyone is cured Gyles uses Forceward to push everyone away and pin them to the walls. The badly wounded assassin leader escapes and when Negral runs outside, he is hit with a poisoned crossbow bolt from snipers on the roof opposite the inn. He ducks back to get another cure spell, Darwin goes into Wraithform with the Shrieking Staff and climbs the building, comes out of Wraithform and uses the Banshee Shriek on the two snipers. Then he Shapeshifts into a bear and attacks. The snipers flee, climbing down ropes. Darwin rips a rope with his bear claws, dropping a sniper to the ground, then jumps over the edge to land on one of the snipers, crushing him. The other escapes. Negral and Sya find the escaped leader, but he throws a packet of dust at them which flares into a blinding flash. The rest of the party rush to help, but by the time they arrive and the blindness wears off, the assassin is gone. Gyles is talking to the town guard and they start searching the assassins' bodies. They all have a black hawk tattoo on their right shoulders, they are members of the Nighthawks Assassins Guild. The party decides to leave Verella and heads off on the road. Once clear of the city, they make camp in a woodlot and get a few hours rest.

Ten Summoner's Tales
They continue their journey, the only interesting thing being a royal courier who pounds past them on his way to Verella. But then they encounter some merchants on the way south who ask if they're sellswords, the town of Eveningstar is being attacked by monsters. When they arrive at Eveningstar, they see a few buildings have fire damage and a sign on the town hall proclaims they are hiring adventurers to defend against monsters. They also notice the town cematery has a large mausoleum with a statue on it, something more appropriate for a noble's quarter in a rich city. At the town hall, they meet the mayor and the local priests of the High Lord and Torre and the priestess of Tyr. Gyles takes the lead, offering their services and the locals explain what has been happening. For the last three nights, monsters have charged into town, a mix of giant animals and goblinoids. The monsters attack the people and the goblinoids, which are usually bugbears or ogres, try to set fire to buildings. But, a few minutes after the monsters are killed, they evaporate. Sometimes it happens mid combat. The party thinks they may be some kind of summonings. They offer to guard the south entrance to town where the last attack came while the locals defend the east entrance on the main road where the first two attacks came from. After dark, three giant mantis like creatures attack them. Two giant beetles come next and pile on, but the party holds them at the bridge to town. While the rest of the party holds the bugs, Negral uses his Wings of Flying cloak and flies over to a nearby woods to see if the summoner is still there. He searches back and forth, hoping his Pendant of Vision will reveal the enemy. He hears a sound like a crossbow being cocked and heads in that direction. Eventually he hears a few human voices discussing how long things are taking, an authoritative voice says they have time, the treasure has been waiting for seventy years. Negral tries to be stealthy but his armor clanks. He draws three arrows and dips them in spider venom and advances. He finally gets close enough to spot a human fighter covered by an Invisibility spell and shoots him three times. The authoritative voice begins to chant an a cloud of mist appears and streaks toward Negral. It hits him and begins draining his blood. Back at the bridge, the party fights the giant mantis bugs, which spit digestive acid as an attack. Darwin manages a Dispel Magic which causes some of them to disappear and they finish the rest. They head off in search of Negral and find him fighting the mist. Then the enemy caster summons three shadows to attack them. Sya kills one and Gyles turns the rest, destroying them. The vampire mist is dispelled as well. The party sees fire in town and rushes there to find ogres were trying to set fire to the town hall. The ogres are down and the party helps fight the fires.
In the morning, the party asks about the mausoleum, it belongs to a wizard who was born here and wanted to buried in his hometown with his late wife. He died about 70 years ago and left the town money and put more aside, basically in a trust fund, for the church of Torre to use to maintain it. Visiting the mausoleum is easy, the above ground section is a mini museum of the wizard's career, the tomb is below ground and dedicated to his married life, with paintings of the couple at different ages. A Magic Mouth spell warns them not to tamper with the tomb, he gave away all his coin and left his magic to his guild. There's nothing left but defensive magic guarding the tomb… The party asks the locals questions and visits the old house the wizard was born in, there don't seem to be any treasures here either. None of his family lives in town anymore.

Night Battle
The party knows the wizard will be back. They talk to the town priests and mayor and suggest evacuating town to make the enemy overconfident that the town is undefended. The towns people agree and some leave to go along with the charade, others abandon their homes near the cemetary and go stay at the inn on the river north of town. Some of the local priests and militia stay behind to guard the churches and town hall. Nightfall comes and a thunderstorm rolls in. Darwin and Gyles take cover in Tyr's temple, KG and Symond are in an empty building across the way and Sya and Negral take cover in the inn to the South in case the attack comes from that direction. At the usual attack time, Darwin casts Call Lightning, but the wizard is late, the attack doesn't come until 40 minutes later. Three ogres come down the road with torches, High Lord priest Arin leads his men against them. Then a loud drone comes through the storm, giant bees come from the North and Darwin kills two with his lightning and cripples the third, burning its wings off. Then giant spiders appear on another road coming from the North as well. Darwin Dispels one and Gyles uses Holy Smite on the others. KG, Sya and Negral finish them off with arrows. The crippled bee is killed as well. There is a pause in the battle for a few minutes, then something new appears, a giant made of stone comes in from the North. Gyles attacks it with Seeking Sword and the fighters hit it with arrows, but most bounce off. KG tries to shoot Fire Arrows from his bow, but accidentally hits the house he's in, starting a fire that he and Symond need to put out. And someone starts sniping at Gyles and Darwin with a crossbow. Darwin hits the giant with lightning and as the giant approaches the mausoleum, a magical force wall appears in a sphere around the tomb. The giant hits the tomb, but it slides off without damage. The giant turns to the temple and knocks down part of the wall. KG finally hits it with a Fire Arrow and Sya runs up and hits the giant twice with Nightwatcher. The giant finally crumbles under the Seeking Sword attacks and Gyles heads towards the crossbow sniper while KG comes around from the side. Three shadows appear and attack Gyles. KG sees the crossbowman and starts exchanging fire with him. The wizard appears next to the crossbowman and hits KG with lightning balls shot from a wand. Darwin hits the wizard with a Thorn Spray spell and he disappears. Sya kills a shadow, Gyles kills another and the last is destroyed by Negral, KG and Gyles. KG and Darwin finish off the fighter and they go to examine him. But a group of the mantis like bugs appears behind them, the wizard is still in the fight. The bugs burrow underground to attack from below and Darwin warns everyone to scatter and Gyles yells for everyone to stick close to him so he can cast Forceward to keep the bugs out. The wizard hits Darwin with the ball lightning, but Negral has come up from the other side and hits the wizard with two arrows dosed with venom. While the wizard tries to fight off the venom, Darwin hits him with Thorn Spray again and the wizard drops. The bugs burst from the ground, attacking Darwin, Sya and Negral. One vomits acid on KG and he collapses. Darwin heals KG in the midst of battle while Negral, Sya and Symond battle the bugs. The bugs are finally slain and the night is quiet. They check the wizard to make sure he is dead and check for loot. He doesn't have a spell book or any travelling supplies, Darwin realizes he must have a camp nearby. The party heads back to rest and heal up. In the morning, Darwin uses Speak with Animals and learns there is a camp outside of town. Checking the camp, they find the dead fighter Negral killed and recover the rest of the wizard's supplies.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Talking about still travelling to KG's castle that he got from the Deck of Many Things
Lee "You have a castle, but it sells hamburgers"
MC "White Castle!"
Lee "Darwin and KG go to White Castle"

Gyles is making a tithe donation to his church
Lee "Official church looting"

Rolling initiative
MC "Chmiel" (She got a nine…)

MC "Can we figure out where the poison came from?"
Lee "It's Mexican poison"
Jim "Even if you save, you still get diarrhea"

The party decides not to stay at the inn after the attack
Mike "I'm going to rip them apart on Yelp"

The party squeezes into a lean to, five guys and Sya
Lee "I've seen enough German porn to know where this is going"

Lee fails his roll for Dispel Magic
Jim "It happens to 1 in 10 druids"

Jim is using cartoon paper miniatures from the Order of the Stick webcomic
Lee "Your NPCs are two-dimensional"
Jim "They're not worth the paper they're printed on"
Lee "They're sketchy"

Darwin casts Call Lightning
Lee "Don't fuck with the First Tree, Bitches!"

The battlemat slipped off the table, dumping all the minis on the floor
Michael "Earthquake, we all die"
Lee's miniature fell out of sight and we couldn't find it
Jim "You fall into a dimensional rift"
Lee "It's so cold and dark"

Darwin has been chatting up the female priest of Tyr
Michael "Tyr has a place for you"
Lee "In my bed"

Shadows attack Gyles, but he doesn't want to drop his Seeking Sword spell to turn them
Lee "What kind of cleric are you? I would have been like 'the power of Tyr compels you bitch' "
Michael asked if he could have turned them automatically, Jim relies he would have destroyed them with no roll
Lee "Worst. Cleric. Ever"

Darwin hits the wizard with 32 thorns from a Thorn Spray spell
Lee "He got the point"
Jim "Booo" takes a chip from Lee
Lee "It was a thorny issue"