Carrow touches the torch to the image of a bent grate. Unfortunatey this attempt fares no better than Dorgath's. The image disappears and three wraiths appear in the chasm behind the party. This time, though, everyone is ready for them...
-The Power Phase is 3 for this turn. -Revaethan's Wild Hunt Battle Markings fade away. He can no longer receive their bonus. -Ty's Pit Training doesn't kick in. -Jekaena admires the wraiths from a distance. They look menacing. -Tomas casts Rebound on Ty.
-Tomas casts Rebound on Dorgath. -Kelgar blesses Ty and Dorgath with Vanquish. They get +1 Attack this turn. -Carrow draws his bow to fire at the wraiths, but finds himself gripped by Terror. -Carrow almost lands a shot on a wraith, but his trembling messes with his accuracy.
-Carrow shoots a wraith (27/30). -Dorgath recalls the previous round of wraiths and steels his mind. He is unaffected by Terror. -Dorgath sinks his axe into the ethereal body of a wraith (26/30).
-Dorgath loses his balance pulling away for his next attack and completely botches the attempt.
-Dorgath throws a mighty blow with his axe, but the wraith darts to the side and avoids it.
-Dorgath kicks a wraith in the nether region (21/30).
-Dorgath clobbers a wraith with a gauntlet attack (10/30). -Dorgath throws a sloppy punch that should miss, but his magic gauntlet connects anyway somehow. It destroys the wraith. -Yes, yes. We can all agree that the Gauntlets of Damzhar are overpowered. I blame Games Workshop. -Throg remains unintimidated by the undead creatures. And they're trying to get to Carrow anyway, so what does he care? -Throg casually freezes the wraith in the back with his Ice Missile. -Throg fails to hypnotize anything. He can't reach any monsters, so he shrugs and goes back to doing whatever he was doing before. -Using the opening that Dorgath created, Ty slips past the wraith in front of him and moves behind the monster. -Ty becomes Terrified of wraiths. His attacks against them are at -2 to-hit. -Ty swings his morningstar and can't focus on his target. -Ty tries to stab a wraith, but again Terror takes hold of him. -Ty smacks a wraith in the head with his morningstar (19/30).
-Another wave of Terror afflicts Ty and causes him to miss his attack.
-Ty catches his opponent with his fist spike (15/30). -Revaethan moves up to attack the wraith that Ty is stabbing from behind. -Revaethan becomes Terrified of wraiths. His attacks against them are at -2 to-hit. -Revaethan incompetently swings one of his swords around and fails to get even close to hitting a wraith.
-Balking in Terror, Revaethan cuts at a wraith without connecting. -With tremendous speed, the wraith pinned between Ty and Revaethan lashes out at the pit fighter... -The Rebound spell causes the wraith to take damage (7/30). -A wraith attempts to grapple Ty, but the pit fighter is quick enough to evade the attack.
For the next round the Power Phase will be 5. I imagine that both wraiths will be dispatched before they can attack, but you never know...
Something occurred to me with the first set of wraiths and I neglected to mention it, thinking I'd wait for a better time. Might as well check though. At some point, Kelgar had a special blessing put on his warhammer that permanently made it a Magic Weapon and conferred a temporary benefit as well. So that became his default melee weapon. All temporary effects are now gone, and Kelgar now has the strictly superior Hammer of Spite in his inventory. Pretty easy to overlook so I'd better raise the issue. If this were just a simple +Strength or +to-hit upgrade or something like that, I'd assume the answer was an obvious "just switch weapons." But this item is very unusual...
"At the start of each encounter, the wielder may choose a monster for the hammer to target. The wielder may move past all obstacles to reach an available space adjacent to the chosen monster. The wielder gets an initial ambush against the chosen monster, and an additional attack against the monster every turn until it is dead. If the Hammer of Spite strikes the killing blow on its target, the wielder gains double gold. 1D6 + Strength damage, with an additional 1D6 if to-hit roll is a natural 6."
The ambush and bonus gold features of this weapon are pretty good. Plenty of better magic weapons compared to that, but they're nice features. But the unique aspect here is the power of this weapon to allow its wielder to pick a single target and move toward that target while ignoring all obstacles. This is obviously potent in cramped spaces or in situations where a monster is hiding behind other monsters. It also has inherent risks. The way we've been playing Kelgar, he's been prioritizing the use of his blessings to help his party, something only a Warrior Priest can do. He can compensate somewhat for his overall lower numbers in combat by focusing his blessings on himself, but that's still a calculated risk and a decision someone has to make.
To keep combat from dragging on even longer than it already does due to my own inattention, I've been making taking it on myself to make certain choices that could go to the players (i.e. instead of asking Mooseman to specify which monster he shoots with his bow every combat, I just pick one that makes strategic sense to me if he doesn't explicitly select a target). I'm totally willing to make some seems-good-to-me calls with the usage of this hammer, but because of how nuanced it is, I'd want some guidelines on that...