As the two travelers get closer, Aust notices a slight change in the demeanor of the pair. It is hardly possible that they could have noticed him, yet this is his cousin who has always been hard to hide from, and he was shifting position just before Farlanh reached for his staff.
Aust decides that they may have seen him, but he bets that the rope-trap is still unnoticed. He decides to distract the two from the would-be snare by bellowing out an an intimating yell in Common, "You are vastly outnumbered, lay down your arms and we may have pity on you."
Aust giggles to himself, hoping they fall for the bluff (11+2 = 13 bluff).
Rauno looses the song on his lips at the siblings cross the rise and finally see the carnage before them. In fact, the bloody mess almost makes him loose his lunch as well, the stench of charred horse meat thick in the air. The only thing that helps him to swallow the rising bile and see to the situation at hand is the fact that his petulant little sister is here and might now be in some amount of danger. There will be time enough for weak nerves later. He takes a moment to survey the wreckage, hoping to find any survivors (spot: 12).
*If he sees any potential survivors he will run to their aid before continuing on
*If he sees no survivors, or after helping any:
Rauno, agreeing that this atrocity could only be the work of Goblins, moves to help Esmerelda in her search for tracks, in hopes of being able to find those responsible (search: 15). While he does this, he also checks the string on his bow and the fletchings on his arrows, when the time comes he needs to know that they will fly straight and true with all the power he can muster put behind them.
A search of the area does not reveal any survivors. There are bloody spots around where humanoids may have been but no humanoids to occupy the spot where a dead body would be. You do, however discover a set of wagon tracks that seem to head off in the direction of the woods away from the coast. At least, for the first part they seem like they would be easy to follow. If you would like to follow give me 1 survival roll or 3 search checks each .. whichever would be better for you.
Following the wagon tracks (I assume both of you will go) the siblings track the wagon easily across the ground. Fortunately it had rained recently and the sod here was damp enough to leave clear tracks to follow. Eventually, once inside the woods though . the tracks lead up to a spot in the middle of the woods. You see a wooden cart as you approach the area.
Seeing the cart in the distance, Rauno motions to Esmerelda to hold and be quiet. Slipping off his horse Rauno hands Esmerelda the reins and attempts to creep quietly towards the cart to investigate further.
"Why this is just like one of those grand tales you are always singing, good brother." Esmerelda says to Rauno.
"But those always seemed like they would be exciting to be in. This is just so sad. See if you can see where the people went."
Rauno is tired of following this bloody trail. Tired of wondering what bloody mess awaits at the end of it. Tired, even, of hoping so strongly that there may be even one survivor. Tired mostly of all the blood. And yet, he forces himself onward, for if only one person can be saved it will be worth the nightmares that are sure to come in the next few days. And if there are to be no survivors, well then perhaps the filthy goblins can be made to pay for their transgressions. Maybe one day the little buggers will understand how to behave as members of a society, instead of bottom feeders operating outside everything else.
But alas, back to task at hand. Rauno shakes his head a little to clear the wandering thoughts and re-focus on the task at hand. That is what is important. He rechecks his string and his arrows, knowing that they are sure to be put to the test very soon. Along with his sister they follow the trail of blood to base of a tree. Looking as far as they can see into the branches of the tree they see:
"Ha! Why am I not surprised, Aust? Ambushing poor passers-by" I say with a smile on my face. "We were actually looking for you - I heard you were headed north, and thought we could travel the the Mierani forest together. I am bound to travel with Sarlana, and as long as we're both going the same direction, I thought we could travel together. What do you say?" I continue towards my cousin, and move to embrace him.
"Where exactly were you going, anyway? After all the excitement in Sandpoint we've had, I imagine I'll be going back. It's nice to feel needed."