The construct entangled with Tanakir suddenly festoons into a huge killer whale, expanding through the tower and smashing through the ceiling of the hallway. The corner of the ceiling caves in from the sudden impact of the whale's form, spilling debris onto the combatants. Karst and Tanakir both manage to step back from the debris safely. Aradurk exchanges his bow for a sword and shield as the party retreats to the other side of the hall. The sounds of fighting have stopped by the time you reach the central staircase of the tower, which leads both upward, and downward into the courtyard. Shouts for help can be heard from a room ahead of you.
OOC: Each character has received 2,900 XP for a clever "defeat" of the constructs.
Through Petunia, Wes learns that the room opposite the hallway is similar in size to the waiting room where the constructs attacked the party, though much more regal. Gold inlays run throughout the stone walls, and a large throne-like chair sits at the end of a long table. A number of guards are dead or badly injured throughout the room, being assisted by the few left standing. One, a man you recognize as Sergeant Dugan, charges out of the smoke pouring from the room into the central staircase as the party arrives.
"Those metal monsters took Ser Mary Glendale and fled!" he shouts, pointing upstairs. "Quickly, to the airship! We have to give chase or they'll take her to Denorian!"
About Ser Mary Glendale and Sergeant Dugan:
Mary Glendale is the Warblade of Sundabar, the leader of the city's martial forces. Aradurk and Karst were tasked with an investigation by her in Blade Bizarre, and met her again when accompanying her to the site of the Devilsfall Pact in Betrayal at Devilsfall. She is a stoic former adventurer and powerful paladin.
Sergeant Dugan has become her right-hand man since Rowan, her former companion and Watchblade, failed in an attempted assassination and betrayal during the Devilsfall Pact.
"No, Captain Roccar has not yet arrived," Dugan says as he crests the top of the staircase with you. From the roof, you can see the full extent of the attack. Rubble and bodies line the courtyard. Smoke billows from your own waiting room, where four of the metal constructs fly through the air in the direction of at least a dozen other constructs, into the distance. In the arms of one of them is the slumped form of a redheaded woman in plate armor.
The airship has the name Dumb Luck III painted onto its side, and is large enough for a crew of at least twenty, with two levels of cabins and a set of stairs leading from the deck to both the bow and stern of the ship a level higher than the deck. After climbing the ladder, Dugan rushes to the wheel at the stern, shouting directions at the party to unmoor the ship from the tower.
"Haul in the ladders! Swing that beam left, and cut the rope! Prepare the ballistae!"
The Dumb Luck III has a ballista on each side of the deck. Basically a crossbow 10 feet wide, the "bolts" are little more than javelins lined up to the side of the device, ready for loading.
Throwing her bag into a spot where it's out of the way, Rycider pops back into vision and runs over to one of the ballistae. Giving it a good once over she gets to work loading it, checking to see if the javelin like ammunition has a way of attaching rope, giving them a chance to haul in their prey.
Tanny Dear, If y'all can't see Rocky comin' would ya be so kind as tah cut our mooring.
OOC: The constructs are well out of range of even the ship's ballistae currently.
Roccar does not show, and Tanakir cuts the rope free. Unmoored, the Dumb Luck III takes to the skies. Dugan quickly sets the ship to rise. For a short moment, it looks as if the constructs will be out of sight, but then the airship is soaring at full speed, gaining ground on the kidnappers, very slowly, but surely.
"The ballista is a two or three man job with a full crew," Dugan shouts to Rycider, who has loaded a javelin into one of the ballistae. "You'll need to aim with the crank in front, and then fire from the back."
OOC: A ballista has a range of 120/480 feet. Without a javelin loaded, it takes the work of three to fire it in a single turn (1 action to load, 1 action to aim, and 1 action to fire).
Karst assumes the firing position as Aradurk begins the aiming process "Ready when you are Aradurk, call the shot when you see it. We can't shoot Glendale's captor though, if they drop her we can't catch her!"
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Karst and Aradurk man the loaded ballista as the ship slowly closes in on the fleeing constructs. Five of the constructs suddenly peel away from the main group and turn around, heading straight toward the airship.
OOC: The constructs will be in range of the ballistae soon. Rycider, Aradurk and Karst are at one ballista, which has been loaded. Wes is at the front of the ship. The other ballista is unmanned and unloaded.