Keyrie is pleased to see no new injuries or illnesses. In fact, the flying monkey seems to have recovered from its recent illness. And the panther's limp appears to be no worse, although it is hard to detect any significant improvements since yesterday.
With his portion of the packing completed, all the props he's responsible for stored as carefully as the circus's equipment allows and a decent list of repairs to start in on tomorrow, Tyrol ambles over to the animals and their current caretakers. "Hullo, then, you two," he says, giving Tock and Keyrie each a cordial nod. "Good show tonight, wasn't it? How's everyone doing over here?"
Doggear and Feytok come running back into camp at full speed. They rush up to Bazza, imparting their news between gulps of air. Work has stopped as everyone looks on for news of brigands. It is worse than that, obvious due to Bazza's reaction to the news.
"All hands to the center!" he says in his loudest commanding voice. "Kruk," he says, pointing to the dwarf in the crowd, "pull out the chest of weapons. A fight is coming. Fiends, most likely. Tick and Leybar, drive the animals east as far as you can. Everyone else, grab a weapon. Armor if it fits you."
Kruk drags a heavy chest from the office structure to the center of camp and opens it up. Inside are a stash of weapons and a few pieces of armor.
Inventory of the chest:
5 short swords
2 long swords
2 short bows
1 long bow
1 hand crossbow
3 leather armor
1 chain armor
Mr. Crowley comes out from the office, following Kruk to find out what is going on. "Fiends, really?" he says. He picks up a long sword. "Save what you can," he says. "Everything can be replaced except you." He sounds resigned to taking a big financial hit, perhaps regretting paying the employees early this time.
(Get ready for battle! Choose a weapon and, if there is any, armor. The fiends will probably arrive in about 10-15 minutes.)
Feytok tucks a dagger into his belt and picks up the greataxe before walking front and center looking back towards where he'd been ..."they're coming for us, we could try and hide, let them in and get the jump on them"
Gasping for breath after his run and telling Bazza about the stampeding fiends, Dog rushes to the chest. A montage of mercenary equipping-in-a-hurry memories flash through his mind, and he tries on the chain [OOC: chain shirt or full armor?], and if it fits, slips it on. If it doesn't fit, he dons the largest leather armor he can find.
He also grabs a dagger and a longsword, and asks if no one wants the net and the last bow (and grabs both if no one does). He examines the prop shield and hopes it can pretend to be at least a buckler.
"Alright then, we can survive this and protect your investment, Mr. Crowley," he says. "Distance fighters and spellslingers to the back or go climb a tree. Kruk, Bazza, should we prepare an ambush to surprise our new guests? Maybe push that old rickety junk wagon to the front and use it for cover. It's not nice to try to come to the circus without buying a ticket. Anyone fought fiends before?"
A tense look comes across Keyrie'sface, for a second she is back as a young child running from her burning village, but then she takes a deep breath. This time she is older, this time she is stronger, she won't let her family and her home disappear again. Keyrie grabs a club and a dagger. She will wait for others to take the armor first if there is any leather armor left over she will equip it.
"If anyone gets severely injured retreat back to me, I have a couple spells that can help. Do we know how many there are?"
"Hrrm," Tyrol mutters as he sifts through the crate, collecting a spare club, the crossbow and the largest leather he can find—a bit of a squeeze on his hulking gray frame, but it'll have to do given the urgency of the situation. "Don't know about that, Feytok. How many fiends've you managed before, exactly?" He sets his spectacles back on his snout and squints through them down the crossbow's sight. Hopefully the accuracy is up to snuff...
(OOC: If someone else needs the crossbow more, I do have cantrips if I need range, so Tyrol's willing to hand it off.)
(If you'd like to specify a location to hide or wait for the enemy to arrive, here is the map as it stands now. Let me know where you are starting and I'll include that on the map when the enemy arrives, otherwise I'll choose for you. The enemy is expected to arrive from the northwest.)
Q'waisets aside the chairs he is carrying toward the wagon the moment he hears Bazza's voice. After picking up a pair of shortswords, the monk widens his stance, twirls the blades, and makes a few practice stabbing motions at an invisible foe. He then turns, faces the opposite direction, and repeats the same movements. "Just as I remember," he remarks to no one in particular.
(OOC: Tyrol's going to want to stay inside at first if possible, though maybe near a window/door/other opening he can fire through. Maybe near the backstage door at C-24? Or somewhere in the office if that would offer a better vantage point.)
Q'waidecides to follow FeyTok for a short distance. As the fire genasi moves forward and takes his position behind the tree, Q'wai pulls up short and crouches near the southwest corner of the office (F13).
Dog heads to the tree [OOC B6] with FeyTok and readies his long range weapons for the first sight of a fiend, peering into the distance and doing his best to hide his hulking form against the tree.(Stealth 9; Perception 17) "Wish I had time to pull that old wagon over here to give us more cover, but never mind -- arrows first, then as soon as I can see their eyeballs, I'll throw this net at them to snarl one or two and draw the sword," he thinks to himself.
Tockis confused and a little scared - he's not a fighter type at all. And the animals are not reacting too well either as people around them act more anxiously. He will force himself to act calmly and makes his way towards the equipment. He picks up a short bow and 5 arrows while also hiding all three daggers into his feathers.
With a grim face he points to himself and the back towards the loaded carts and heads that way. (Hiding behind the corner at C26. Stealth if needed: 10)
Kruk picks up the remaining shortbow and arrows. Finding the leather armor too large for him, he leaves it and grabs a whip and a short sword, then hastens after Tock, positioning himself between the remaining unhitched wagons. Mr. Crowley heads to the office, standing nervously by the entrance, and Bazza follows him after donning the leather armor and picking up the two remaining short swords. He emits an a calm air of readiness as he waits by the smaller tree south of Feytok and Dog. Keyrie, unsure where to go, instinctively checks on the remaining animals: the elderly panther, Jonda, with its arthritic limp and the flying monkey, Wei Wei, which is sleeping on its perch. The other animals are hopefully a mile away to the east by now.
And then a tense silence settles over the circus camp. Painfully long minutes go by and a few of the defenders begin to hope that maybe the fiends are not coming this way after all. Perhaps they will pass right by or perhaps they never were and it was all a mistake.
These hopes are dashed with the arrival of 4 abyssal wretches, each leading a pair of manes. While not especially stealthy, the fiends are provided with cover in the long grass and with scatter trees and hills until they burst forth into the camp.
(As the fiends are expecting resistance and the circus workers are expecting them, nobody gets surprise on this first round.)
Abyssal wretches: 8
To keep things simple: All players and NPCs may attack first in any order. The fiends will go after that in any order.
Karbet Crowley was always a strong leader of his circus misfits. He took no guff but he was always protective of his people. They were his livelihood after all. So it was no surprise that, as nervous as he was to fight, he was the first to jump in front of danger, swinging his long sword wildly at the abyssal wretch (#3) that emerged from the long grass by his office.
Longsword Attack: 13 Damage: 9
Bazza has been loyal to the circus for years and would willingly die to protect, as evidenced by his leaping into action against an abyssal wretch (#2) as well with two short sword attacks.
Short sword Attack: 16 Damage: 3
Short sword Attack: 3 Damage: 1
Kruk was relatively new to the circus and never quite felt at home there, even after 4 months of good pay for hard work. Still, he put in his own effort, firing an arrow at the first creature he sees (M5)
Shortbow Attack: 9 Damage: 7
All three manage to land a first strike against their target, with Mr. Crowley's attack being particularly effective.