"hail to you Anvil! Welcome back!" says the young woodsman. As the group approaches you notice that all the wagons are whole but there are only five woodsman present. the three drivers and two of the younger lads. all 5 have weapons out and are peering down both forks. 1 young lad speaks up "Carus split us up when we started getting into this smoke. Hard to tell where it's coming from. He took a couple of men and went toward the camp and sent the others down the road toward the bridge. i guess about 10 minutes ago. we've been seein' shapes in the woods and things seem to be moving about but nothings come out yet and no one has come back."
Anvil responds to the young mans cry - "Hail and well met!"
Anvil and the group approach the wagons slowly and carefully with eyes on the woods and the wagons themselves to make sure all is at is seems to be. Anvil inquires of the woodsmen how far it is to the bridge and camp. Unless he hears something from the young ma n or the woods to change his mind, he indicates that the group will stay at the wagons until the other groups return or something is learned.
The group will then take up positions around the wagons. Anvil will stay on the ground with weapons drawn. He is facing out towards the path to the camp with his back to the wagon. The group keeps a very careful eye on the fugures in the woods.
The group quickly surrounds the wagons and prepares for the unknown hoping for a break in the smoke as the afternoon is quickly fading and the sun begining to set. It's not long until the loud sound of horses hard at the gallop can be heard approaching from the left branch of the road. A shout comes out "Hail the wagons!!! We have returned from the bridge!!"
One of the wagoneers replies "Hail the riders!! Come forward!"
everyone tenses as the horses approach until faces can be made out of the returning woodsman.
"It's as Carus feared." exclaimed the leader. a grizzled looking vet of war and wood. "The Bridge is gone. It' and the surrounding woods are afire. Orcs! Lot's of them! There all over the place. Some where trying to follow us but we lost them in the smoke but, hell if they can follow a road they'll be here soon. better get the wagons out of here!! Where the Hell is Carus!! They've had to attack the camp."
The wagoneer's look to Anvil wondering what to do?
Anvil glances at the group and says, “We didn’t come here to leave anyone behind. If the camp is under attack, we need to go there and get Carus out of whatever is going on. We need to get everyone back together. So we go to the camp as fast as we can."
Turning to the Waggoner’s he says, “Get those things rolling right away. Let’s have the horsemen ride in front. They should have the greatest mobility that way – I don’t want them trapped and unable to move behind the wagons. But don’t go charging into anything without backup! We act as a group!”
“Rat! Where . . .there you are. Ok, you want more fire? Ok, go. Quickly. I will be there and watch your back in a moment. Block the road. Try to NOT start the whole woods on fire! Fast. Get back. Go! Now!"
Turning back to the group Anvil continues, “Following the horsemen come the wagons. T’Sal – your spells might be best served in the wagon. Trillion – I’d think the same for you, speak up if you want to argue the point. Hingatuli – Why don’t you take the dog and walk near the front of the wagons. We need your eyes up there incase the fire lets infravision help. I’m going to make sure we don’t lose our rat. As soon as he’s done, we will bring up the rear. Rat’ll probably end up in a wagon. In the wagon – someone is watching each direction.”
Turning back to the wagons he says, if you have a couple extra men, a couple guarding the rear with me would be helpful. We know there are orcs behind us and in front – all eyes open!”
“Ok, I’ll be back with the Rat in a moment – those wagons are ready to go – move out to the camp!”
With that the wagons start to role. The marching order should be:
Hingatuli and dog
T’Sal and Rat in wagons – Trillion if room allows
Anvil and remaining woodsmen
Rat was only going to spend a tiny amount of time building a fire – so he will hopefully be done as the wagons start to move. If not, Anvil drags him away as their spot in the rear comes up to move out.
Hingatuli will drop back long enough to cast his stones spell when Rat joins the wagons. When that is done he will return to the front of the wagons with his crossbow at the ready and axe available.
acting on Anvil's direction runs 15 feet behind the last cart and begins igniting timber and brush to deter or slow down the orcs. He is quick with his flint. He drags some smaller pieces of timber and logs and brush across the road and assures they are lit. It may not be a magnificent pyrotechnic job, but it is the best he can do in less than ten minutes. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Anvil watching out for him. When he is done, he intends to hop on the last cart with sling readied. (and maybe with the stones from Hammer available) Rat hums "Come On Baby, Light My Fire" to himself as he works. (Is he thinking of T'Sal or the fires he is igniting, or both?)
Trillian waits with a wary eye and nocked arrow watching the surrounding areas. The smoke is a great hindrance, but the elf is confident in his sight as keeps watch on the unrecognizable and moving shapes in the distance.
Rat begins to spark small fires in the forest and Trillian watches around the halfling for any surprises that may overtake his small friend. When the fires are started, Rat makes his way back to the wagons and Trillian will offer him a hand into the wagon.
I will watch the areas around the carts, especially to the rear. If I see anything moving towards us in a hostile manner, I will shoot first and ask questions later (but only to our rear). I will also fire in any direction at Anvil's or other party member's request. I have an arrow nocked and ready to fly.
The crack of the whips and the relentless barking and baying of the dogs fills the air as the nervous horses strain to get the wagons rolling. 3 Horseman start out in front followed by the dwarf with his dog fighting the urge to bolt into the woods to find some sport. The wagons slowly pull out and get underway a driver for each with the other 2 woodsman following close behind. T'sal stands in the back of 1 wagon with Trillian in another as Rat finishes playing with matches and jumps in the back of the last wagon. Anvil forms up behind the last wagon with the other dog staying close and the whole party starts down the logging trail toward the camp.
The smoke starts to thin as a small breeze helps lift it to where some vision is possible. wildlife is seen in abundance moving away from the threat of fire. Deer bolt wild-eyed, fox run low to the ground, all many of animals dart out of the underbrush there quick movements and noises keeping everyones nerves on edge. 15 minutes pass and good time is being made when the call comes from a horseman in front.
"Halt!! I see something in the road ahead!" At a slow walk he leads his horse forward. tense seconds go by................"Bodies!! 2 or 3 they look human!!" the group surges foward to investigate but, out in the smoke filled distance the blair of a crude warhorn sounds!
Anvil Sees heat signatures coming from behind initial count 8 to 10 figures.
Upon seeing the group coming up from the rear, Anvil calls to the train to halt. Believing Rat to be fast he urges the little rogue to rn up front and warn everyone about the impending fight in the rear.
Specifically, he will tell them:
1. Figures, probably orcs, approaching from the rear.
2. The wagons will stop so we can defend ourselves.
3. The horsemen should stay up front to guard the front AND keep an eye on our flanks. Presumably they will look at the bodies at that time.
4. Extra woodsmen, walking or driving the wagons, should move to the rear to defend the wagons.
If there is time to turn the back wagon a little to give archers and mages a little something to hide behind we will do so. Regardless, the wagon will be used to offer whatever protection it can. The general pattern will be to give the archers room to fire, which they will do as soon as something that can be confirmed as an orc emerges fromt he smoke. They will coordinate - Trillian shoots the first, back woodsmen the next, Hammer the next, other woodsmen. Then keep shooting. This way the first orc to appear doesn't get 5 arrows and the second none. Trillian also noted the preferred order of shooting.
Individuals will do the following unless they post specifics for themselves:
Trillian - shooting arrows unless a group emerges big enough to warrant the sleep spell. (Specifics in Q&A forum)
T'Sal - Will save the magic missle spell for a wounded orc unless posted otherwise. Will get daggers ready to throw, but generally try to stay protected behind the wagons, keeping an eye on the flanks. Throwing daggers if the opportunity/need emerges.
Rat - Will go forward and deliver the message and then return, sling in hand to fire stones where he can. He will stay back to do so as any good rogue would.
Hingatuli Hammer - will come to the rear as quickly as possible with the dog when he hears from Rat. He will fire an arrow first, then switch to his axe.
Anvil will keep his sword and shield out. He will stay back a bit out of the way of the archers at first, but then jump in front of them if the orcs close for hand-to-hand combat. If they don't close, he will get his bow out.
Both dogs will be kept close until the orcs are near. At about 15' - when Anvil would be jumping out (With melee woodsmen and axe-wielding Hammer) the dogs will be released to attack. We don't want them charging out way in front of everyone.
To the group - there are a few assumptions in here (especially T'Sal) - I based this post on what was said in the Q&A, best guesses, and a desire to get the post up fairly soon - and most had posted something. Especially now that we are in life and death situations, please post away if my assumptions are faulty.
scurries to the front with Anvil's message, and then follows behind Hammer hustling back to the "rear" for the fight. Rat will hold back initially during the action flinging with his sling from the rear. (rear compared to the fight locations) Rat has never seen an orc before, and he had thought them to be something like wild hogs, but a conversation with T'Sal sort of put the fear of the gods in him and he is anticipating 10 foot behemoths with tusks and fangs. He envisions back-stabbing one with a slash through his achilles heel. But first the sling.
Sees the figures approaching from the rear and turns her attention that direction. As they approach she grips her staff more tightly in anticipation of clobbering anything that is unwelcome. She knows that her staff is a last resort and she calmly focuses and readies her spell for any orc that she sees that is wounded or if someone is in need of help.
T'Sal will crouch in the back of the wagon to try an keep out of ranged weapons. If she sees a wounded orc she will use her MM spell and if an orc attacks her in the wagon she will use her staff.
from a warhorn, a loud gutteral shout, the roar of many more harsh voices in response and then the sound of many feet pounding the ground announce the beegining of the assault. 12 Orcs pour out of the smoke running hard toward your group. They come with all manner of weapons and armor, howling and screaming some make ready to cast spears as a huge Orc, head and shoulder above the rest, shouts what can only be orders to the war party. He alone wears black plate mail and he is taking aim with a huge crossbow. in all 5 orcs are preparing to throw as six more charge directly towards the wagons. you can see swords, axes, and a mace being wielded. As the clash races toward you, another warhorn sounds in the distance on the road ahead. i will need all members to roll init. please post your rolls on the Q&A and give me an idea of actions in this order missle, magic, melee, all other. also i will need Anvil to make a morale check(charisma)roll for the woodsman.
The quick and nimble Rat's sling spins with amazing speed as the bullet suddenly flies out toward the Orcs. A loud 'PING' is heard as it hits the helmeted head of one of the spear throwers knocking him head over heals. The other 4 manage to launch thier spears as Trillans's bow string hums with the rapid release of 2 arrows. Both find their deadly mark as 2 more orcs crumple to the ground. The spears arc and plummet toward the group of wagons and the the other 6 orcs draw close enough for combat on the ground as the young woodsman in the rear let's loose an aroow from his bow. A loud 'THWACK' announces the release of the massive bolt form the command orcs giant crossbow as if in answer another 'THWACK' crackles through the air as a bolt is launched from the Dwarven crossbow. with lightning speed the missles try to find their marks.The massive bolt from the Orcish crossbow blurs across the battlefield and impales one of the woodsmen at the rea of the wagons killing him instantly and pinning him to the wagon itself suspended in a death's grin. one of the sword wielding orc takes the woodman's arrow in the leg and stumbles as Sprinkles bolts toward it to deliver the death blow. the dwarven bolt cracks as it bounces hard of the armor of the mace wielding orc . the orc rushes Hingutulli to return the favor mace accelerating in a crushing downward stroke only to stopped in mid swing as Muffin leaps into it to protect the dwarf. Spears come raining down striking one of the wagoneers knocking him down in the midst of a scream. another finds it's mark in a gap in Hingutulli's armor striking a glancing blow close to the hip. 1 sinks up into the wood a T'sal feet as she darts for cover and the last strikes one of it's fellow orcs in the back as Anvil's sword leaps for it throat killing it in a gory spray of blood. an axe wielding orc cleaves the skull of the young woodsman his bow no match for the cruel edge of biting steel. The last on swings wide trying to reach the Rat but alas the Rat is to quick and avoids the blow. this conclude the first round. at this point hammer deduct 2 HP from the spear. everyone roll there damage dice per weapon so ican see which orcs are dead and which are maimed except anvil i know yours is dead. the other 2 wagoneers arecoming up on Anvils side of the back wagon to join the battle . you have sprinkles engaged wioth an orc on the ground, Muffin is also engaged with the mace wielding orc, 2 orcs are at the back of the wagon between Hammer and Nomad attempting to hit those in the wagon. and the remaining orcs are getting ready to begin a charge. The command orc is reloading and keeping his distance. consult in the Q&A and ask away if i've missed anything thanks, SD
The battle continues as Rat launches another bullet from his sling that unfortunatly flies wide of the target as he ducks under the wagon. Anvil is knocked hard to the ground by an orc as it stands over him sword slashing down for the killing blow. Luckily T'sal manages to smash her staff into the orc's head changing the swords path as it tumbles and the sword slices into Anvil's leg instead of his heart. The orc continues down to the ground with a stunned look in it's eyes. The Orc's are screaming with bloodlust as the battle rages on. Hingutulli send his battle axe down with tremendous force in to the Orc struggling with muffin splitting it in twain as Trillian unleashes with his bow at close range the first drives deep into the shoulder of the other orc at the wagon and drives it down to the ground as the other arrow misses just high of the slouching creature. Sprinkles run hard at the other charging orc's and slames into one knocking it flying as the massive dog seeks it's throat. Muffin jumps up from the corpse at it's feet looking for another victim as the charging orc rush hard into the fight. 2 Orc's launch themselves into the air and on into the wagon. 1 slames into T'sal knocing her hard into the front of the wagon. The other smashes into Trillian sending him flying out the side of the wagon, he's bow fly's off into the air as he collides with one of the wagoneers coming around the side, both go down hard onto the ground. The other wagoneer comes hard around the other side of the wagon and runs head on into the last charging orc. they grapple and both swing but neither connect as the battle rages. Off in the Distance the lead orc has loaded his massive crossbow and now sights it in looking for a target. In the backs of all your minds you can hear the noise of another battle taking place at the front of the wagons. at this point none of you can see what is taking place. this concludes the second round of battle. Anvil takes 3hp damage, T'sal 1hp damage, Trillian 1hp damage. ask away for any clarifications you need on locations and such.