Junn having been perhaps alittle to gunho in his eagerness to catch the three had forgotten all his sences and tired himself out long before he should have been and tryed his best not to show it so when the small Kobold jumped out of the underbrush and spoke words of peace he was relived that he wouldnt have to fight and for the moment have a chance to rest and think, he sat on a nearby rock and listened beginning to formulate a plan in his head. Deep in thought he went over all the factors then in an instant got up and pushed past everyone to stand before the kobold.
" Listen and answer with nods if you dont understand what I'm asking ask Syl to translate it for you, do you think you could get ahead of the three that came before us and lay a trap to disrupt there travel the only reason they've been able to get so far so fast is smooth is the horses they travel on if we can somehow get rid of those then that may buy us alittle more time to catch up no only that but the added strain of having to walk the remaining distance my weaken the two bandits further"
(well assume there was a pause here for the answer to these questions so ppl can post but I wanna get all of this down while its in my head so bare with me)
Junn then turned to the group
"Reguardless once we reach the bandit camp we cant just charge in I suggest that as well as the aformentioned we also have our new.... friend map out the camp if we know where everything is we have a much better fighting chance at this second our main objective should be their leader I think if a few of us could sneak in an capture or remove her from power during the night, the rest will fall with ease, were dealing with bandits not savages and they obviously have a hierarchy, without there leader they will decend into chaos and either surrender or weaken themselves fighting to elect a new head, this is my plan so I'll take full responsibility for it and I'll take Achuak as my backup, there no doubt already confused since happs and company have not come back and are either prepareing to or have already sent out a party to try and find them, we cant waste much time I know and this plan has its risks and if things go wrong I would want you all at the ready to charge in but.... we can talk of this later if they reach the camp we'll have far more to worry about .... let us march on"
Sylvia listened then looked at Achuak. "Did you understand all that Achuak? If your not clear on anything I'll happily translate for you as he said. But for the gist he wants you to get ahead of our prey, and find away to remove the horses from the equation, and back him up when we reach the main bandit camp and help him kill, or kidnap their leader. We are in agreement to assist you with your noble task after. But we have to eliminate the bandits first so our friends and hosts at a fort a little ways back are safer and we have somewhere secure to return to." She took a breath after and smacked her lips an odd look of confusion on her face. She hadn't spoken this much Draconic since her early years, it felt od but reliveing to her.
Posted on 2011-12-25 at 19:09:31.
Edited on 2011-12-25 at 19:09:52 by Zeakol
Nothing more than a quick Ret-con; carry on with your plotting.
After eight hours of walking without sight of the traitorous Lloyd and the bandits, it was beginning to seem unlikely that they’d catch up to them before they made it back to camp. Nevertheless, knowing that their quarry was injured and thus limited in travel capacity, they decided to press on should the bandits be only a few hours ahead of them.
By the time the Greenbelt party came to the river, an hour had passed and hopes had dimmed somewhat. The tracks in the soft ground around the narrow thorn-lined river were not difficult to spot, even for the untrained, and Ortlieb could even point out where the original party’s passage going north was still marked. It seemed they had passed this way not so very long ago, as short as a few hours, by Ortlieb’s guess.
In all likelihood, that meant they did not manage to catch the bandits, they reasoned. Following the river downstream was the last and shortest leg of the journey, and with a few hours lead on them, it was more than likely they had already made it to camp. Moreover, Junn was beginning to look haggard from the pace they’d been keeping up, and all were beginning to feel sore from the forced march.
As they discussed plans for making camp for the night, a small green kobold made his move and stalked forth out of the bushes to introduce himself to the group, rabbit carcass in tow.
On the Road Again? Or maybe on the off-road again?
Thorn River Camp
Even two days old, the hoof tracks in the soft ground along the thorny riverbank were still easy to follow for any casually perceptive tail. Led by Ortlieb and Achuak, the Greenbelt party continued downriver.
In the first hour of travel, Junn’s keen eyes spotted a ford across the river ahead which could open up the forest on the southwest side of the river. With renewed caution about possible bandit activities, Achuak was sent ahead to have a look, avoiding the risk of attracting undue attention.
The small kobold vanished into the underbrush with scarcely a sound, and returned moments later with even less warning. Ahead there was a shallow creek that joined the Thorn no more than a dozen feet past the ford, with a narrow trail following along side it to the north to where a wagon lay across the way. The tracks, Achuak says, lead up the path along the creek, not across the ford.
Ortlieb took stock of the land. The ford would be invaluable to any bandits seeking to control travel through the area. It was likely no coincidence that the tracks turned here. The camp itself was probably not too far from the ford on the north bank.
If the plan was going to be to find the camp and ambush it at night, it would seem they had come to the close of the first task. All that would be necessary now would be to send reconnaissance to determine the exact location of the camp, and to find a place to wait until nightfall.
Achuak seemed more than adequately capable of completing that first task, maybe sending someone else quiet who could keep watch in case he needed backup, so he himself could take care of finding a suitable spot not too far off but not so close that they risked a premature encounter. After perhaps he though he might like to go hunting in these new woods; familiarize himself with the wildlife on his own and bring back something to eat, perhaps.
(To speed certain processes along: Achuak observes the camp from nearby bushes, completely unnoticed. He identifies that there are no less than eleven bandits in the camp currently, counting the two wounded, the man with the mask, and the leader, and that the camp is on high alert. Apparently Happs was right about drawing the whole camp back and setting a double sentry.
(Achuak draws a quick mock-up of the camp’s layout and, to apparently everyone’s surprise, the camp is not a fort, but a simple tent-and-clearing camp, but with less tents. There are two watch platforms that he could see erected among the trees on either side of the shallow creek, each manned, which is why he didn’t dare venture closer without the cover of night.
(You successfully await nightfall without detection and under the cover of near absolute darkness lit only by the stars and the half moon, filtered through the treetops, you return to the ford once again lead by the acute night-vision of the kobold and half-orc. From here you can see the light of a campfire dancing among the trunks and leaves.
(I leave you there to comment on or refute on what I’ve given your characters to do so far while I get some sleep. I plan to launch pretty much immediately next post into the results of Achuak’s subterfuge, followed by, according to plan, stealthy raid.)
Sylvia chewed in the last few bites of her stew, letting the taste of the meat envelope her sense of taste. "Seems....to simple...I don't like it they probably have traps or something set up. Would make sense considering the layout..." She mulled and mused to the group and herself, her hand absentmindly petting Fang, who looked up at her with his snakey stare. She was seated cross legged and back straight. After a few more minutes of mulling she decided to busy herself while she waited for further insight into what to do. "Aria would you mind if I borrowed one of your knives for a moment? I need to uh, freshen up." Se held up the crisped burnt ends of her hair, showing her intent to carefully remove those parts. She felt anger boil inside her when she saw the damage again. Her face went from thoughtful neutrality, to downright unpleasentness. "If Happs lives long enough for me to get to him, I'm going to fill him with so much venom his head will explode rainbows." She said through gritted teeth. She was serious to, if she could get her hands on him her fangs would find his throat, or so she hoped.
Junn crouched over the map, drawing several plans in the air with his finger and eraseing them before finally standing and walking over to the tree line and grabing a long stick so he could stand and draw at the same time
" I have a new plan it involves risks and a good deal of luck"
he smirked slightly
"but this wouldnt be an adventure without a bit of chance eh?"
He walked over to the dirt map and began to draw on it
"I suggest we break into 2 teams the first consisting of myself and Achuak we will move the the north to this watch tower and with luck take out the guards atop it or at the very least provide a distraction for team 2 which will consist of the rest of you to move across the river bed and to the south of the camp where you will wait a few feet into the tree line, if team one does manage to take out the tower we will move to the north of the camp once there I will call for a charge and both teams will advance on the camp dividing there attentions and causeing mass confusion*he paused briefly* if team one is captured or other wise incapasitated team two can eiter fall back into the woods or attack while the camp is distracted by the scuffel at the tower at the very least then you'll only lose two people but should it come to that I'll try to hold off the guards while Achuak escapes his small size will make him less of a target then me"
Junn turned and pointed the stick towards the camp
" I dont know what all your intentions towards these "people" are but I for one feel that spareing them giving how that worked out last time, we should loot the place and burn it to the ground "
(Junns map not the x's should be further back into the tree lines on both sides)
Moving slowly through the darkness, taking care not to trip over some errant root or be snagged on a low-hanging branch, the party stalked toward where the camp lay. The light of a small camp fire flickered between the trees, illuminating the shapes of some half dozen tents viewed through small gaps in the forest clutter.
Sylvia let out a small, involuntary shiver at the sight of the fire. The night was cooler, and if they could see anything at all, they would probably see their breath floating away.
Achuak was the first to notice that the wagon that lay across the side of the road during the day was absent. Whether the camp’s tactics had changed or they simply stored it for the night, it was a waste of time to stand around speculating now.
The party split into the pre-discussed divisions, with reminders to stay safely hidden and out of sight until the signal was given. Sylvia, Ortlieb, and Sordin went one way into the night, relying on Ortlieb’s vision and woodlore to arrive them safely, while Achuak led Junn and Aria silently to the west watch post to take care of business.
With the fresh spring growth beginning to bud, the square shape of the platform was just visible as a silhouette against the backdrop of the stars. While a single bolt from his crossbow would likely be sufficient to finish off whatever guard was posted there, the mechanisms of Achuak’s crossbow were a riskier noise than the soft twang of a bowstring. Instead rather Achuak guided Junn’s sights to where he could clearly see the platform with his keen cave-dweller eyes.
Once he was satisfied that Junn’s arrow would fly true directly over the platform and hopefully into whatever surly outlaw was stationed just out of sight, he let the elf draw and release a shaft into the night.
They waited half a breath. No scream. No meaty thock. Barely the soft whoosh of the arrow’s flight and the creek right flowing south to the river.
Quickly Junn plucked another arrow and fired again into the same space, to similar results. No alarm raised—no shouts of a man realizing he was being fired upon. Time to investigate further.
Entirely invisible and in near perfect silence Achuak crept to the base of one of the trees supporting the platform. There was a rope ladder hanging down from the platform. If there was a guard up there, it was sloppy work leaving a backdoor. Achuak put away his crossbow and climbed the ladder, stopping at the top to re-arm himself with one hand before he took a peek.
There was no one on the platform. No cause for alarm. He climbed back down and spotted one of Junn’s arrows nearby, sticking out of the ground. He took it back to Junn and told them the news. Instead they made their way around to the northern side of the camp, Achuak preferring to hop across the stones in the stream visible to him than brave the water, even at only a foot deep. At a height just up of two feet, one did not take any depth of moving water lightly.
Soon their group was in position. Invisible from here they knew that the other group must be ready in position somewhere behind the log benches on the south side of the camp.
The camp itself was a haphazard collection of tents and logs to sit upon strewn around the central fire with no sense of purpose or design, and a loose pile of kindling to one side. Of the tents, the largest was back from the fire a bit further than the rest—likely for Kressle and her first lieutenant. The second watch platform, standing above the camp itself was visible from underneath, but the top was obscured from the ground.
It was now or never. What was that signal again?
This here is a map of the camp, with some notes in the description.
(Those logs at the bottom are seats, not blocks like the ones to the west. They only prevent charging, and you can cross them by spending 5ft. of movement to hop on (in addition to the movement it takes to get across). This watch post doesn’t dangle a ladder. That fire is big enough to hurt if you tried to walk through it. Those logs around it are obstacles like the aforementioned benches at the south. The platforms are 20ft up. The tents open on the narrow end, let’s say the one closest to the fire (maybe the next update will show where the flaps are You can walk underneath the trees—those branches just show you where they cover and are otherwise mostly inconsequential. Just don’t try to walk through a trunk.)
(In case you were wondering about that signal, one suggestion points out that Aria knows a couple of light-producing spells that may be of use. Use, that is, to make me have to calculate more illumination radii and draw in more of the map.)
(Oh, as for placing, Group A is probably near that one large tree at the top, while Group B is probably just off the map to between the two large trees on the bottom. Feel free to designate a square around one of these areas as your spot. First come first serve. (For Group A that's A23 through C26 Group B can use letters Y, Z, and AA, numbers 26-30)
Posted on 2012-01-29 at 23:47:00.
Edited on 2012-06-15 at 22:28:59 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Things were not adding up. There was no one at the guard post and the cart was missing. And with one of their own companions switching sides and giving information, things were not looking good right now. The kobold was even beginning to wonder if anybody was at this camp now – though why would there be campfires then?
It was time to do some further reconnaissance. Sneaking to the tree beside the camp, he peers with his eyes and strains his ears to hear if there is anybody else in the vicinity.
-Stealth (half speed, no penalties) to D26 (Double movement)
Aria silently crept up so that her back was against the trunk of the tree, just hidden by the shadows cast by the light from the camp. She didn't trust herself to be able to follow Achuak's footsteps without being a hindrance, so she didn't try. Instead, she remained here, poised and ready, letting the anticipation flow through her muscles and keep her ready, her heartbeat steady even as she remained still, listening, for the opportune moment.
The group and their monkey (and Ramathu) to the south of the camp waited patiently for their comrades to take out the sentry presumed to be in the other tree and come around. All they needed was the signal that would begin the attack. They didn’t know whether to be relieved or worried that they couldn’t hear anything of their companions’ progress. That no alarm had been raised was good. Probably.
On the opposite side of the camp the others moved into their positions and crouched in the perfect darkness beyond the furthest reaches of the firelight. Achuak crept forward on all fours into the murky half-light. Thanks to their racial heritage, Junn and Aria had no trouble seeing through the dimness, but to their human prey, Achuak was as invisible as his shadow.
He strained his ears and listened to the quiet sounds of the forest at night. Between the crackle and pop of the fire and the faint babbling of the river there was almost no sound. A small animal in the undergrowth somewhere not far brushed by a bush. There was nothing to hear besides the standard sounds of a forest at night—
There was the slightest creak and scuff of a creature shifting his or her position, coming from the darkened vicinity of the remaining watch platform.
The creaking was quiet and a bit distant, but it was enough for his keen senses to pick up amidst the overall silence of the forest night. It was coming from above: a sentry posted at the closest watch tower. And from the way that these sounds were made, Achuak came to the conclusion that it was actively trying to be silent. Now he was no expert on warm-bloods or their sentry postings, but he did know that among his own people it was hard to keep a guard attentive and silent at all times – generally it was a dull job where nothing was expected to go wrong. However, if a threat was known to be immanent, then the attitude and performance changed dramatically. They knew that his new allies were coming.
Now there were several ways to deal with this: Achuak could return to the ones named Junn and Aria. From there they could decide how to deal with this sentry before pressing on. There was a problem with this plan however: sniping from that distance would be difficult without a beacon of light – Achuak’s nightvision did not allow him to see that far away. From what he could tell, the elves had even less to go off of. Then there was the question of how many sentries were posted. If there was one, then no problem would arise if they silenced him with a bolt/arrow. But Achuak could not be certain that there was only one, and they would not find out until the alarm sounded.
He let out a silent sigh. They would not be able to do anything about it for now. However, he would not leave his new allies clueless. He would return to them, and explain where the one guard was. Once informed, he figured he would proceed further into the camp. Something was amiss – only one guard when they knew that a force was coming? Things were not adding up in Achuak’s mind. But then again, he did not exactly have the same mind process as a warm-blood’s…
-Move Silently (half speed) for two movement actions, then explain things to Junn and Aria.
-Unless they argue with his plan, he will proceed further into the camp with stealth and see if he can find anyone else within.
Aria frowns a bit at the information relayed by Achuak.
"That does seem rather strange." She murmurs, crossing her arms in thought, "I wonder..."
"I'll stay here anyhow, I can't get close enough, and I don't trust my steps to be as light as yours. Do keep an eye out though. The possibility of a counter assault is always there, but I suspect you've thought of that already."
"Dammit I knew the good "Doctor" would be formidable but I cant even tell what the bastard has for a hand, hummm"
Junn ran the map Ach had drawn for them over in his head then an idea came to him
"Alright change of plans there is a tent on the right at the south easteren end of the camp the largest one... Achuak I want you to sneak around the camp to that tent, and light it on fire"
Junn turned to Aria
"At the first sign of smoke and flame I want you to light up our friend in the tower there so I can get a clean shot then, you and I will rush in... with any luck the otehr wont have jumped the gun and will get the signal in time to meet us in combat"
*Your going to kill us both if this fails you know that~*
Junn spoke under his breath to the voice in his head hopeing that Aria and Achuak couldnt hear him
Junn had muttered something to himself under his breath, but Achuak did not catch it. He was already on his way to the tent to execute the new plan. If anything else, it would make for an excellent signal for the others to attack as well. Achuak decided that he still need to be cautious: he would have to creep to that tent in the same manner as he had scouted. Hopefully he would not alert the guard.
-Stealth checks full round actions until he gets to the tent, then pull out the flint & steel from the backpack and start a fire.
Achuak once again all but disappeared into the dimness at the edge of the fire’s light, even to the sensitive eyes of the elves (not that the kobold could tell that one of them was actually only half-). It took him just about half a minute to creep up to the dark side of the largest tent—the only that was situated far enough from the fire that the light wouldn’t give him away.
The small kobold took his flint and steel and went to work on the corner of the tent. It took him some time to get a proper spark, trying to be quiet as he could, but at long last a tiny flame appeared on the tent cloth. He blew on it gently to coax it into a sustained fire and then snuck off to a safer location once his work was finished to wait for the ensuing chaos.
The flame crawled up the side of the large tent and when it reached the top Achuak turned to watch the platform nestled between the trees, waiting for the signal.
The sentry shifted his weight again—he hoped he wouldn’t have to wait up here all night for these idiots to show up. It was pretty damn cold out here and—wait—a flicker from one of the tents. Fire! He jumped to his feet in alarm—they were here! He blinked a double-take as he noticed whose tent was alight.
“F-FIRE! Fire in the camp! They’re already—augh!” The man was cut off short when four lights burst into existence around his post, throwing light all over the canopies and illuminating his platform as bright as day.
Almost immediately a small, high-powered bolt from Achuak’s crossbow lodged in the man’s abdomen (-5dmg), and a second later a longer shaft sprouted from his arm, courtesy of Junn (-3dmg). That the arrow hit his arm instead off his body saved him, for he would almost certainly be dead by now otherwise.
His assailants, seemingly populating every hidden corner around the camp, remained completely invisible to him. Very wisely, he dropped down and pressed himself flat to the platform, obstructing view of him from anyone on the ground.
Before the ambush could begin in earnest, descending upon the bandits as they emerged from their tents, a ruckus arose from the forest behind Achuak. The small kobold tried to press himself deeper into his hiding place, knowing that he wasn’t very well hidden.
Three bandits carrying bows burst out of the woods from the north east, apparently oblivious to anything but the fire growing on the tent. They made no effort to hide their approach, and even Sylvia could see them running up in the half-light. Despite obviously being positioned to ambush their ambushers, they seemed unaware of the party surrounding their camp. There was no sign of the other seven bandits reported to be in the camp.
“Look out!” cried the sentry, obviously laboured in his breathing, not even daring to raise his head to see. “They’re all around us!”
(It is Sylvia’s turn (please, don’t let that stop you from posting). I have provided a small box in the corner to show Group B where they line up. Note that while in the dim-illumination indicated by the grey squares on the map, the bandits have 20% concealment from anyone lacking low-light vision or other means to locate them—here’s looking at you, Sylvia and Sordin—which means that you may have a slightly harder time hitting them.)