Trillian - will cast sleep - primarily at those in the wagon, but trying to get the ones on the ground next to it as well. Heck if the ones fighting near the dogs and woodsmen can be cught by it as well, even better!
Rat will use his sling against the ones on the groun.
T'Sal will attempt to avoid being an open target, but cmack one of the orcs in the wagon.
Hingatuli will attack one of the orcs on the ground.
Anvil - Will get up and attack an orc on the ground ... unless it is already asleep from a sleep spell. In that case he will turn on another orc - preferably the one fighting the woodsman. If not, the one the dogs are facing.
The battle continues as the woodsman gets in a hard swing of his woods axe biting deep into the neck of the orc he's facing dropping it instantly. The lead orc let's fly his bolt as the woodsman whoops excitedly in a victory yell but it is suddenly cut short as the massive bolt smashes through his head spraying blood and brain matter on all those around the rear of the wagon. Trillian then unleashes his spell as the orcs at the wagon are trying to get up to continue their assault. Strange lights issue from his hands as the 4 orc at the wagon suddenly go slack faced and tumble down in slumber. The remaining group makes short work of the sleeping orcs as the hack into the unmoving flesh staining the wagon and the ground a violent red. Sprinkles and Muffin finish of the last struggling orc, Sprinkles holding it down as Muffin rips out it's throat. with that it suddenly get quite. as you all look for another threat the command orc let's out a growl and points at the group. He yells in a gutteral stunted common "WE KNOWS YOU NOW SPELLCASTER!!!" as he retreats in to the smoke and is quickly gone from view. Turn toward the front of the wagon you see the results of another battle. Several men lay on the ground bleeding and dying as well as at least 6 orcs. Carus is shouting orders at the few remaining standing as he tries to pull free one of the great bolts out of his shoulder. There are no remaining orcs visible just the dead.
Hingatuli Hammer begins helping with the wounded and decides it is time to share with his companions what was revealed to him in the Vision while riding in the wagon earlier in the day
Your vision blurs as the sounding of a war horn fills your skull. You see a mass of decaying vegetation coverering a steam filled dark hole in the bowels of a broken tree.
Words suddenly come to your ear with no voice.
"HINGATULI! Know that my eyes are upon you. I see your need and your cause is just. Seek ye this dark forbidden place. It will bring you understanding of what you are now up against. These dark times are just begining for you and your companions, DO NOT FALTER! I will give you the means to overcome if you have the wisdom to apply it. Prove yourself to me."
With that your vision clears and your mind tells you that 3 new spells have been received.
1.) magical stone
"My Friends and Comrades in Arms! I Am Torn Between Escorting the Wounded Back to Town ... And Seeking This Dark Forbidden Place Revealed to Me By My Deity!"
"My War God Warns of the Beginning of Dark Times for Us All ... So I Must Find This Place to Receive Understanding of What We Are All Up Against ... Including Oaks Heart and Its People!"
Posted on 2008-10-22 at 16:16:16.
Edited on 2008-10-23 at 08:42:04 by Hammer
As the orcd leader fades into the woods, Anvil and the rest of the group briefly discuss what to do - with Hingatuli offering his vision to the rest of the group.
Those with medical skills will bind wounds and see if there are any who can be saved among the wounded.
Rat will quickly search the dead orcs for valuables.
Anvil will go talk with Carus
The rest will watch the woods for danger
Dogs on guard like good guard dogs.
Anvil will find out what happened to Carus - Carus is the wagon leader and may have his own plans - but the group wants to help the wounded and get them headed back towards town. They will not be going all the way back, however. He will want to share the info they found with CARUS, BUT NOT (DAMN CAPS LOCK!) on the field fo battle - once in safety.
hops to his task, scurrying around to all the dead, both friend and foe, and checking each for booty, interesting items, and intelligence. He does it quickly, but thoroughly, with the intent that any valuables are fairly shared with the "team" at the appropriate time.
He holds his trusty shortsword and uses it as a tool of investigating, having it ever ready if dangerous actions occur.
He lightly whistles "Dream The Impossible Dream" while he focuses on his work.
The smoke swirls as ash drifts down on the party. The surrounding woods are now shockingly silent after the fierce battle as the woodsman and the party members go about the business of treating the wounded and preparing the dead. Exhaustion starts to overtake many as the high tensions of battle start to fade. Smiles grow on the lips of the survivours as Rat starts whistling his tune. Backslaps and bearhugs are exchanged by many as all know that they are lucky to be alive.
"Everyone get the wagons turned around and the wounded ready to travel!" shouts Carus. "We're headed back to town and we need to get out of here quick!"
As the remaining woodsmen start to there duties Carus converses with Anvil.
"Damned strange. It's like the bastards knew who to go after. The battle was nearly over when we got to the camp, They killed my treesinger first thing. The men left said that it was a coordinated effort to kill him first. They took direction from one of those big dark looking orcs. Those are new, we haven't encountered them before. I don't know where in the nine hells they came from , but the tide of battle has certainly shifted. We encountered another one when we got back here and i could see that you were facing one as well. Dark tidings I'm afraid. I'm going to get everyone back to town and the get the town millitia out here and try to root them out."
About that time Rat returns from searching the orc bodies. He has found 85 shiny new gold pieces. 5 on each corpse. Carus studies the coins and then curses loudly.
"Zhenterium Gold!!" He shows everyone the coins. "Those Cowardly Dead God Worshiping Son of Bitches!!"
"Hear Y'all keep the gold. I'd melt it down if I were you though, not many decent folk will take it around here."
he says as he calms himself "I'm afraid that this is even bigger than i feared."
"Y'all do as you must, but we've got to get back and fast."
With that he goes back to barking orders and getting the wagons on there way. the party now has 85 gold and various weapons of orcish make are avaliable if any body wants them. Nothing else of any importance was found on the dead. it will be about 15 mins. before the wagons depart. Carus ifs very distracted at the point and will only give you brief answers to any questions. His advice is for y'all to come back to town with them and talk to Finneous, but he doesn't push the issue.
As Rat scrounges for gold and everyone attempts to help the wounded, Anvil briefly discusses the situation with Carus.
The group will accompany the wagons back towards town - we want to make sure that everyone gets out of this smoke alive. Everyone that still is alive at any rate.
"We will go with you for awhile, but our objective is to find out what is going on. Sitting in town and waiting for the enemy to come to us does not seem like it would fulfill the task set to us. But letting more townsfolk die won't help either - so we want to make sure you get back. But as soon as it seems safe, we will veer off - and begin our search again. As soon as the wagons can move we should go, but I want to talk to you as we move. We found some things that might be of interest."
With that Anvil helps the group get ready to move out. He requests that one of the party with some medical knowledge help bind his leg wound. If time allows and there is space, Anvil will put spare orc weapons into the wagons - the town will need weapons soon enough.
The group will also open the scroll tube themselves before moving out - it might be hard to read once moving and the group should see the contents first. Rat can check the scroll for traps again before Anvil opens it. Assuming the contents are fair to share with Carus, he will discuss their overall finding with the caravan leader as they move.
Specifically, Anvil will show him everything found with the orc at the hangman tree - noting in particular how it appears that an attack on the town is planned and that the enemy seems to know a lot about the place. The various symbols will also be shown. (SD - Is the seal we found the same as the sign on the coins carried by the orcs?)
Anvil will also ask:
1. How far is it to the logging camp? Is there shelter there if we need a roof over our heads?
2. When you were attacked at the camp, did it seem like the orcs were waiting for you - or were they there for some other reason?
3. Do you know of any orc lairs in these parts? If so, where? If not, do you have any guess as to where they came from?
4. Where is the "Heart of Darkness" in terms of these woods?
5. Is there anything else we can do to help you before we take off to carry out our task?
6. How far away is this group (Z...?) that seems to be involved? Whereis their keep?
7. Has that group ever made a play for these lands before?
The group will travel with the wagons for at least an hour. They will depart whenever things seem safe. In particular this means when the smoke has cleared and no noise has been heared off in the woods for some time. They will attempt to leave at some point where their departure from the larger group might go unoticed - for example, around a bend and up a slight rise and over a hill.
Rat does a trap check on the scroll and everything else in the satchel, and presuming AOK, he gives it to "the boss" to read and share as appropriate. Rat also quickly goes to each adventurer, giving them 17 Zhent gold pieces, telling them ..."carry your own booty, pal, unless you want to give it to me." He zips off a dozen one-hand push-ups and about the same sit-ups, goes and spits on a dead orc, and hops up into the assigned wagon for the trip. He sheathes his short sword and makes sure his sling is ready in hand. He is ever alert. He whistles "Proud Mary" as he enters the wagon. He is "feelin' good." he wonders to himself "When do we eat?"
Posted on 2008-11-13 at 11:13:16.
Edited on 2008-11-13 at 11:14:49 by Consortium
It's not long before all the wounded are tended to and loaded into the wagons. Everyone gathers up the scattered weapons so that nothing is left for the orcs to regain. After all the orders are given and Carus is sure they are being followed he settles in for a conversation with the party. He eyes Rat curiously as the halfling quickly goes through the satchel again checking for any traps. When Rat nods his head to Anvil they present the contents to Carus.
"Vital information." Carus says as he surveys the maps and drawings. "There is certainly an attack of some sort planned."
"I'll take this stuff to Whisper and let him get to work on our defenses." he says as he puts it back into the satchel."This scroll does have a form of a Zhenterium mark for a seal but, I'm not sure who's mark it would be.""open it and see what it says."
As Anvil opens the scroll case a small audience of woodsmen surround him listening for the dire news they expect.
The scroll reads:
I write to you with a hurried hand for i know our time here to be precious and we all have much more to get done before the glorious return of our Lord Bane. I have good news to relay to you and hope this find favor with you.
I have been successful in our negotiations with the Ogres of the Broken Skull clan. They have agreed to all terms and will be traveling to your location soon. They currently number 9 fighting members and their chief Mangle makes 10 strong. Hope they will bring you good service for the upcoming struggles.
On a less hopeful note, I have met with a thrall of the so called "Bandit King" Ronson. We exchanged plesentries and gifts(your is in the box I send with this letter), But we have not found any common ground thus far. I fear this Ronson fellow thinks to highly of himself as he keeps trying to up his price. We may have to deal with him in a more personal manner, if you get my meaning. Anyway i will continue talks but can't give you any promises on his help.
Lastly, I have been picking up on some rumors that a young Red Dragon has moved into a mountain peak some miles from our most South Western post in the mountains. I hope to pinpoint his location soon and appproach it with an offer. It should be interested in loot and this young stage and who knows we may get him on our side before the Dwarves find out about him and try to run him off.
I will forward more information as it becomes avaliable
your devoted servant,
With that an excited chatter starts up amongst the woodsmen.
"Get about your work men." Says Carus "not much we're going to do about out here."
The group quickly goes back to work as Carus looks to the party and says.
"Now for your questions."
1. The camp is about a mile and a half from here and when we left the bunkhouse and blacksmith shop were still standing.
2. The battle had already begun when I arrived but I do feel that it was a planned attack.
3. Orcs have been in and out of these woods for as long as anyone can remember, just not that well commanded. There are some caves north along the big creek, that is where i would imagine most came from.
4. There are some Ruins of an old fort deep in the twisted area. It's always given me the creeps and some strange tails about it have been going around for years. That's the only real structure in the area and would probably be what your looking for.
5. The only help I could ask for would be to hunt down that Ogre chief and kill it. With out there leader most of the others will probaly go back to the mountains
6. Many miles north and east of here. The city is along the Moonsea.
7. The Zhenterium have always got something going on in the region. They hate us honest working folk and have been trying to dominate all the heartlands for many years. Since the Time of Troubles we have not dealt with them much though. They have been very focused on bringing back their dead god Bane. Since they are here now I can only think that the are looking for something that they think will help them recover their god.
As the group moves out and heads back to town, Anvil and the rest outline their plans with Carus.
"It seems likely that the ruins you speak of are the place we need to go. We have found some useful information, but this seems like something big. We were sent to find out what is going on, and we still intend to try. We'll start with the ruins."
"Since you know about where they are we would be grateful of any help you could offer - such as identifying the best place to leave the road and strike off through the woods. Also, what direction will we go from that point and about how far into the woods is it? We would like to avoid the orc caves for now. We don't want to get side tracked. Finally, we will need to rest soon after we leave the road - if you know of a good location in the right area, as always, advice from those who are familiar with these woods would be appreciated."
"It seems like the rest of you are likely to make it back safely at this point. Good luck. Warn the town."
The plan is for the group to leave the road and strike out towards the ruins. They will follow Carus' advice as to the best location - if it is left to their judgement it will be about where they left the road earlier when the dogs took off after the orc. They will use the same marching order identified earlier.
They will be looking for a good place to rest - they want some shelter - free from prying eyes, but also hopefully with a good view of the surrounding land if possible. They do not want to go far before resting.
"well" Carus shruged "The only real path to the old fort is going to be diffulcult to get to if your looking to avoid the orcs."
"The best way is to go to the bridge and follow the creek north."
"You go about a mile or so and the creek will go down into a gorge. Just as it drops off is the old fording site for the road to the fort. you should still be able to make out the wagon ruts that will lead you to the ruins but, that gorge is real close to where the caves begin and i would imagine it's crawling with thos pig faced bastards by now."
"If you go back to the spot where y'all went in before it will be tough going. Very wild terrain, easy to get turned around and no real trails to follow. If you go that way stay to the ridge tops and just keep go to the north north east and your likll to run into it. It's up on top of a good sized hill and in the daylight you might be able to spot it."
"Both are a risk though. That area has all manner of strange creatures in it and the Orcs are no where near the top of the food chain."
"for shelter tonight i'd either stay on the road or under the bridge."
The wooden parts of the bridge are gone but the stone supports and first sections on either side should still be up. the ford was for wagons and is basicaly a shallow area with a hard bottom it should still remain unchanged as it is a natural site.
After discussing things with Carus and making sure the woodsmen are out of the apparent danger zone, the group decides to continue their quest.
"Ok, Hingatuli, it's your vision. At this point you will really be the guide. I think we are all guessing that the ruins are the source of things, but speak up if that seems not to be the case. The camp is SE instead of NE, but it doesn't seem to be far out of the way. And like you said, it will offer shelter. We hope. We will head back there to camp for the night."
"Be very careful guys, we know these woods were crawling with orcs just an hour or so ago. They might have left. Or not. I want shelter, but I'd prefer to get it without a battle. If orcs do appear, spellcasters need to keep their heads down."
"Unless anyone objects, we will head to the camp for some rest. In the morning, with the sun on our side, we'll strike out for the ruins. The bridge might be an option. We can talk about that when we get to the camp."
If the area as they approach the camp is still filled with smoke the group will stop to reconfirm if they do want to move on to the camp.