This encounter happens with the party about 300 feet from Richmond’s lair, which is a ruined castle. There is something of a clear path through the forest to the ruins, but there are thick woods to either side. I’ve included co-ordinates so you can follow along on a hex map with 28 columns of 19. (Originally, I’d had the encounter begin farther from the lair, by about 1000 ft, since that’s where Richmond could’ve easily seen the party and begun his attack, but it quickly became apparent that this would’ve turned into two consecutive encounters, rather than the showdown I’d initially planned for. Plus, as much as I’d like a hex-map big enough to fully map out an encounter that large, it wouldn’t be practical. Based on how this fight turns out, I’ll be adjusting Kadesh’s strategy accordingly.)
Richmond stands atop the crumbling ruins above his lair; he has seen the hunters by their torchlight coming through the woods by and has called to his wolves to surround the intruders.
The party hears the loud baying of wolves from the depths of the wood, growing closer. Sensing the immediate danger, Father Dowling and Alain cast Protection from Evil and Alonzo conjures his magic Shield. Greggory draws his sword and Musket holds his halberd ready. Skeeter is on the party’s far right flank, hoping to get the drop on whatever may soon have the drop on his companions.
Richmond@off-map (30ft, or 3 hexes NE of 2801)- Richmond summons 12 wolves; wolves appear at 0402, 0602, 1001, 1718, 2016, 2415, 2614, 0118, 0319, 2001, 2806, 2809
Wolves[AC 7, 10 HP (HD 2+2), 180'(60'), M:8 AT 1Bite 1d6, AL: N, Save: F1]
Also, because Richmond is a vampire, is looking down from a vantage point, and the party is moving through the woods with torches, he and his wolves gets initiative when combat starts. The party can’t yet see him (or his wolves), but strongly suspect that he’s nearby.
Father Dowling@0513 – Casts Protection from Evil, making his effective AC -2
Alonzo@0515 – Casts Shield. His AC is now 4.
Alain@0315 – Casts Protection from Evil, making her effective AC 1
Richmond hopes he can make it into the midst of the combat unnoticed by turning into mist while the party is distracted by the wolves.
Alain finds herself set upon by the two wolves that appeared behind the party. Fortunately, her magic aura seems to keep one just barely at bay, while another jumps wildly past her torch.
Father Dowling takes a few steps back, praying for continual light to shine down on the party that they may better see their attackers.
Though he hears the commotion behind him, Musket resists the temptation to rush to Alain’s aid, holding his ground, as he hears the rushing of pawed feet move towards the priest and himself.
Alonzo continues casting, this time taking to the air. With Father Dowling’s Continual Light in effect, he hopes to be able to see the wolves and get some magic missiles off while staying out of harm’s way.
Greggory runs to Alain, taking a chop at the wolf that lunged by her. The wolf whimpers as magic steel bites into it.
Alain strikes the wolf whose snarling bites were barely turned away by her enchantment. A skillful slash opens a grievous wound in the wolf’s side.
Knowing there’s no sneaking up on something that can smell him, Skeeter readies himself. The nearest wolf, however, seems to have been heading toward Greggory, so Skeeter finds the opportunity to waylay the beast, his blade swinging.
Richmond turns to mist, moves 60’ toward combat (to 2503)
Wolves: 1 to 0408, 2 to 0608, 3 to 0806, 4 to 1116, 5 to 1415, 6 to 1815, 7 to 2014, 8 to 0315 (attacks Alain, 15 hits AC 2 but misses because of Alain’s Protection from Evil), 9 to 0315 (attacks Alain, 6 misses), 10 to 1505, 11 to 2209, 12 to 2212.
Father Dowling to 0514 – Casts Continual Light (60’ radius)
Musket@0413 – Holds
Alonzo@0515 – Casts Levitate, hovers 10’
Greggory to 0315, (attacks Wolf 9, 7+3 hits AC 4, hits wolf for 4 (1+3))
Alain@0315 (attacks wolf 8, 11+2, hits AC1, hits wolf for 7(5+2))
Skeeter to 1116 (attacks wolf 4, Nat. 20, hits wolf 4 for 6)
The wolves press their attack against the party. Two wolves charge from the darkness, with a third behind, towards Musket and Father Dowling. The first wolf finds itself cloven in two and set aflame by the Dwarf’s halberd, and the second receives a firm rebuke from Dowling’s mace. The wolves who had beset Alain find their fangs are no match against steel and are quickly dispatched by the elf and Greggory.
Skeeter begins to regret not running back towards his companions at the first sign of trouble. Despite the displacer cloak, one wolf manages to sink its teeth into the thief, while another snarls nearby. He strikes out at one of the snarling beasts, cutting away some fur and flesh. Unfortunately, he hears more feet pattering in the woods, coming towards him
Several shadowy forms scurry about the edge of the magical light, some on the edge of the woods, others gently silhouetted against the winding road to the ruined tower.
Richmond to 2005
Wolves: 1 to 0413 (Attacks Musket, 15 but misses Musket’s AC 0), 2 to 0514 (Attacks Dowling, 17-1, hits AC 1, missing FD’s AC -1), 3 to 0511, 4 at 1116 (Attacks Skeeter, 4-2, Misses), 5 to 1116 (Attacks Skeeter, 16-2, hits AC 3, hits Skeeter for 4), 6 to 1215, 7 to 1414, 8 to 0315(Attacks Alain, but misses), 9 to 0315 (Attacks Alain, but misses), 10 to 1410, 11 to 1612, 12 to 1611
Father Dowling@0514 – Attacks Wolf 2, 7+3 hits AC 4, hits wolf for (3+2) 5 Damage.
Musket@0413 – Attacks Wolf 1, 12+3 hits AC -1, hits wolf for 4+3+3, killing wolf.
Alain@0315 – Attacks Wolf 9 w/shortsword, 18+2 hits AC -6, (4+2) 6 damage killing wolf.
Alonzo@0515 – Hold’s Action
Greggory – @0315 – Attacks Wolf 8, 6+3, hits AC 5, (8+3) damage killing wolf.
Skeeter – Attacks Wolf 5, 17+2 hits AC -5, does (2+2) damage.
The wolves are realizing their prey will not go down easily and may be on the verge of breaking. Richmond is beginning to wish that there had been some dire wolves in the area.
The wolf that Father Dowling had cracked with his mace, snarls and snaps before dashing back towards the darkness of the woods. The third wolf, which was previously lunging toward Father Dowling, makes a cut and follows his injured companion back toward the rest of the pack before catching an arrow from Alain’s shortbow; the wolf rolls briefly just as one of Alonzo’s magic missiles ceases its existence.
Skeeter, being the weak and isolated target, is having a harder time of things. Rather than think he’s getting what he deserved for stealing Greggory’s Amulet of Dexterity, he’s thankful he has something to protect him. Even so, he’s bitten twice more by the darting creatures, and nearly missed by a third. He is able to hit the third, but he is unsure of how many and which wolves have attacked him, there seem to be so many.
One of the wolves who attacked Skeeter, and another who has appeared on the edge of the light are struck by Alonzo’s missiles.
The rushing forms in the darkness seem to have slowed as they skirt the border of the magic light.
Richmond to 1809
Wolves: 2 (Attacks Father Dowling, but misses) to 1111, 3 to 0911, 4 to 1012, 5 (Attacks Skeeter, 18-2, hits for 5) to 1112, 6 to 1116 (Attack’s Skeeter, 17-2, hits for 3), 7 to 1412, 10 to 1211, 11 to 1116 (Attacks Skeeter, 4, misses), 12 to 1009
Father Dowling@0514 – Holds
Musket to 0712
Alain to 0513 – Attacks Wolf 3 with Shortbow+1, 17+1+1(for short range), 4+1 damage to Wolf 3.
Alonzo hovering @0515 – Casts Magic Missile, targeting Wolf 3(4+1, kills), Wolf 4 (1+1), and Wolf 5 (4+1).
Skeeter@1116 – Attacks Wolf 7, 18+2, 3+2 Damage. Moves to 0815
A few things should reasonably happen around this time in the encounter. The wolves, were they not being directed by a vampire, would probably either disperse into the woods or flee in direction of Richmond, leading the vampire hunters’ in Richmond’s direction. Richmond should also realize that he’s at a huge disadvantage. He can maybe afford the overwhelming tactical defeat he’s facing, as the heroes have yet to discover his coffin, but played smartly he would try to lead the party away from his lair at all costs.
Richmond has screwed up and lost the element of surprise, but he might be able to do some damage yet. He still has one advantage: the party does not yet know he’s a part of this encounter. There is a chance that the wolves just happened to be in the forest and the party stumbled upon them. Even though they’ve been hunting undead for some time, sometimes a wolf is just a wolf.