The Fate of the Mages and Mercenaries, continued.

1. Thinking about idea #28 in the last post, I figure what doomed the two trolls to dancing forever was that when the freemage (going to make this one word from now on, just like the word “hiremage”) cast Otto’s Irresistible Dance, the two trolls were crouching in part of the jagged scar of stone that runs the length of the tomb.

2. This was bad because the entire scar had just become a fixed area area of tattered magic, including the trench-like scar itself, and everything above and either side of it out to 10′. (What’s tattered magic, you ask? Think of it as an area where the fabric of magic is in shambles, and waiting to be repaired. The best way to fix it is to cast powerful spells in the area. Tattered magic doesn’t form when the Weave of all magic is present, and as of 1479 DR it’s not)

3. I figure the very fabric of magic itself had been rent by the backlash caused by the freemage’s apprentices in their attempt to control the self-destruction magic present in the double doors at area 1 (see two posts up), so when the freemage cast her spell in area 8 it not only went off as planned, but being a 6th level spell it helped drive magical energy from the surrounding area into the tattered magic space, causing the fabric of magic to settle and mend itself–and in so doing it endowed the area in at least a 10′ radius around the target troll with a permanent Irresistible Dance effect. Unfortunately, this mean no saving throws.

4. Trolls are Large giants, but they are also long and lean, so I think there was room for them to fold themselves into a crouch and hide in order to try and surprise whomever came through rooms 6 or 7. I figure that scar runs at least 5′ deep in most places.

5. Assuming the mercenary captain ordered her last surviving lieutenant to fan their forces out (so as not to be caught bunched up), the trolls were probably spotted and they engaged the surviving mercenaries (6 left, at last count) as they approached the scar in the stone.

6. The trolls probably attacked as the surviving apprentices (2 left) were busy igniting rooms 6 and 7 to end the existence of the regenerating trolls within them.

7. Note: When it comes to illumination for the mages and mercenaries, the freemage and her two apprentices could each have cast Light once each (since the spell ends if you cast it again, they could only have cast it once). The mercenary commander probably has a magical source of illumination on her person, and the mercenary soldiers no doubt came equipped with torches, which at least one mercenary would have carried at the front and back of the marching order. Torches and the Light spell both provide the same illumination (20′ bright, 20′ dim). As for the Tomb, all the magical illumination inside it was at least temporarily shorted out by the backlash (as was the magical portal leading from the Waymoot Catacombs, lest we forget).

8. I figure at least two mercs and one lieutenant were caught up in the Irresistible Dance effect, along with the trolls. This might seem comical, but for the giants and humans it was a mad fight to the death, while the freemage tried and failed to dismiss her spell (she stopped concentrating, but it just kept on going), and the mercenaries outside of the area of the dancing switched to ranged attacks on the trolls.

9. The humans were rent into bloody ribbons by troll claws and fanged troll bites, and the trolls were sorely wounded by the humans. I figure at least one troll had a head or arm lopped off (being 5′ lower than their human attackers, this would have been a little more likely), but that won’t stop a troll. The troll bodies were ultimately left to dance by the freemage’s choice. She had ordered everyone away from the jagged scar and took the time to study both it and her spell’s unexpected effect from a safe distance. She figured out what happened, warned her apprentice to mind their magic, then explained that the trolls were doomed to dance forever.

10. After that, the survivors bypassed the dangerous area of the spell and headed straight for the south end of the main chamber. The freemage was driving them hard at this point; she knew where she wanted to go (the Tombs) and getting there mattered more than anything. This probably cost lives earlier in area 5, since the freemage ordered the mercenary captain to *not* explore rooms 3 and 4, and instead to watch the alcoves leading to them as the mages and mercenaries passed by.

Headcount: 0 mercenary lieutenants left. 4 mercenaries left. 1 mercenary captain left. 2 apprentice mages left. 1 freemage left.

Note: Because the freemage cast Otto’s Irresistible Dance, she’s at least an 11th level caster. Probably 12th.

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