"That certainly seems to be our only true option." Linnix says, "Otherwise they'll have merged into a single strong force. Think of it like a wave; if you can't break it before it forms, you can't do much to oppose it when it is whole."
Taking a look back at the bridge they had just crossed, Linnix winces, "And y'know... that bridge looks pretty sturdy to me. It did take a strong magical blast to destroy the other one after all, and I don't think we have that sort of capability among any of us, at least not now."
"So then, the question is, which one of the camps do we want to try to attack?" Linnix asks, thinking aloud.
To Aelistae: "Sisters we are in battle and in goal and in deed. My name is Intella. My history, obviously, will have to wait. And I will accompany you, fot it seems to be Yondalla's will that I am here at this time to meet all of you." Her gaze then takes in all of the group present.
To Artanis: "Ah! I thank you, Artanis. My name is Intella of Luiren. This cloak is but the spoils won from the efforts of all of us, not just myself. Therefore, it should go to whomever here wishes it. It's much to large for me." (assumes a ta-da! stance, briefly to illustrate her point).
[[ If any others introduce themselves, she will respond accordingly, but briefly, in all cases, letting each know that more informatin will be available later, for she also senses the need for quick action ]]
When the drums started again, Intella simply sighs. "Somehow I knew that Yondalla's test was not over. I am here -- WE are here -- for a reason. We are not likely to find out that reason if we stand still. I will say that my skills and size are a bane as well as an embarrassment to the orcs. Except for my most recent foe, most have a frustrating time making contact with me. So I have some advantage against those big brutes, for what that information is worth."
"I also agree that we should take the fight to them. But it should be noted that thinking about acting, without action, is like rocking in a rocker-chair; it gives one something to do, but gets one nowhere for the effort. I am ready!" She assumes a challenging stance, fists on hips and feet spread to shoulder width, a smile on her face.
For many days now, the party of three had ridden long and hard in search of their objective. Stopping only long enough to rest their horses, and gain a scant few hours of sleep a night, almost every waking hour was spent in the saddle. Urgency provided an effective anesthesia to the stiffness in legs and back from remaining in straddled seating for so long, though the long hours did stack up over time to create a rather monotonous journey. Only their leader remained clear of focus and mind, his thoughts and heart so fixiated upon their destination that he sometimes thought of carrying on straight through the night, were it not for the need of his companions to rest.
Bearing proudly the raised fist of Helm in their wake, the trio turned many heads in their travel, the sight of a knight and two charges making such haste certainly being an influential sight, and perhaps even netting a few curious enough to attend sermons out of interest. But despite the icon borne upon horseback, there was no time to preach to the masses. That would have to wait until victory was secured.
Besides, the criteria of their mission was secret, known only to those three, and the clergy of the Temple of Helm back home.
Sitting tall in the saddle beneath the darkness of their sixth long night, the leader called for a halt to their march with a raised hand and a drawing upon his own reins. His large brown shire slowed to a trot before stopping altogether near a slow, trundling stream for a drink. The other two horses did the same, having worked quite a thirst in pursuit of their powerful vanguard. Torch light, and the thunderous sound of war drums had been detected, and even from his position so far away, the lapping flames gently reflected on the knight’s polished breastplate, giving it a gentle orange hue.
Dismounting, he ran his fingers through his mount’s mane, patting his powerful neck before turning and motioning for the slender woman in his company to investigate. Like magic, she blended with the darkness, and hurried out towards the camp. In silence, the proud holy warrior stood with his squire, waiting patiently for a response.
Though it was perhaps only twenty minutes or so, it felt much longer when the scout returned, relaying to them what she had seen and heard. Haste would be crucial in the decision-making process, and an armed camp would be more difficult to sneak up on. An ambush would be particularly difficult.
“Like lightning we strike, leaving thunder and broken enemies in our wake, eh sir?” The squire, a young fellow garbed in a goofy hat and seated atop a large charger of a horse exclaimed, brimming with excitement. A raised hand from the leader silenced him.
“Patience, Hawkrill.” A deep voice laced with authority said flatly. “This is not like our previous battles. We must assess the situation before crashing in upon them. Seleyon?” He turned to the beautiful elven lady who had done such an efficient survey of the area.
“What is your command, my lord?” Her sweet voice replied from beneath her hood as she picked up the reins of her glossy Calim.
“Did you see any sentries deployed around the camp?”
She shook her head. “No, my lord. No official ones, anyway. The camp is in disarray. They are all arming for war, and are not taking the time to set up a proper perimeter.”
The knight nodded, rubbing his chin, which was beginning to prickle with stubble from not taking time to shave this past week. He would have to correct this when the chance presented itself. A temple knight must look proper and clean at all times to lend hope to the peoples. “We must take advantage of this disorder, and turn it into our triumph. You claimed one orc marshalling twelve or so underlings?”
“Then we shall attack from three directions.” He declared solidly. Motioning for the others to stand close, they knelt, and he reached down to trace a design into the dirt. A large circle for the camp and some surrounding trees that he spotted near the fires. “I shall approach from the south, where I will drive in and launch the initial attack.”
“And then I –“ Hawkrill began, but the noble leader held up his hand once more for silence.
“You will do as instructed, my friend. You are strong of heart, but you lack vital battle skill. Continue to do as I instruct, and you shall be a knight in the service of Helm soon enough.” A calm smile steeled Hawkrill’s nerves, as did a strong hand upon his shoulder.
“Yes, my lord.”
He continued, tracing a line straight from the south, followed by a sweeping line from the south-east that merged into the wake of the first. “Once you hear my war shout, begin your charge from where I deploy you. This second wave shall do to break up those who will surely attempt to surround me once I launch my attack. It will be your duty to cover my rear.”
Hawkrill practically beamed with enthusiasm and nodded repeatedly at this, raising his fist in seeking a blessing of Helm. Seleyon sat on her heels, eyes gleaming in the moonlight. “What would you have me do?”
From the west, a third line was drawn. “You shall put your stealth and speed to use, Seleyon. When Hawkrill appears in the battlezone, it shall then be up to you to strafe those left out in the open. Take great care not to strike either of us. Though I know that’s never been the case.” He winked as the elf opened her mouth in protest, and she closed it with a smug smile. “Speed is key here. We must all act as quickly as possible to eliminate them before the orc can organize the group. I shall attempt to fight it as soon as possible to destroy the leadership figure and damage morale. This shall break the back of the camp, and secure our victory.”
Though they were merely goblins, the warrior of god knew the threat the possessed in numbers. Enough of them could frighten horses, or simply overwhelm a combatant. He would have to remain tall to inspire the less experienced Hawkrill.
The knight called over Hawkrill to him, and together by the Shire, removed pieces of his battle gear from the saddlebags, donning his gauntlets, greaves, and shoulder pauldrons. Clapping his polished helmet over his dark hair and adjusting it for comfort, he truly fit the part of a crusader in the fight for good. Polished plate and chain composite covered his muscular frame, a crimson cape bearing the raised fist hanging from his shoulders. His large steel kite shield, still affixed to the saddle, carried a matching symbol crafted of silver. In each and every battle, he carried out the word of God, bringing retribution and glory in the name of Helm for those who might not be able to themselves. The squire stepped back and looked at his lord in admiration, who motioned for them to kneel again.
He extended his hands to his followers, and they took them, forming a triangle as they were accustomed to before a time of strife. He looked to the young lad, who nodded, and they all bowed their heads in prayer to Helm. A near-silent chant was whispered, followed by one from the leader himself. Waves of god-gifted energy washed over them, leaving them feeling powerful and renewed, and filled with a zeal to purge the land of this dark plague that swept over it. From this fortress, they would centralize their campaign to bring liberty to those oppressed by the greenskin tide, and push them back to from whence they came.
Rising, he issued out Seleyon to flank the camp, fully knowing she would do well in her directed role. She always did. Hawkrill was suiting up and wearing a grin partially inspired by the thrill of what lay ahead, partially inspired by the blessing of Helm upon them.
“Remember. Wait for my shout before acting.”
“Yes my lord.”
With amazing grace granted only by much practice in such heavy armour, the knight swung himself up into the saddle, lifting his large shield and unlimbering his horseman’s lance from its holster. Digging his knees into the horse’s chain-encased sides, he got moving at a fast trot, headed for the firelight and beating drums.
“Glory is ours, friend. Helm watches over us and guides us on our path. By his blessing, we shall triumph where others have failed. Once more, Raykle, we ride into danger, and once more, we shall rise above the darkness in the light of victory.”
Raykel picked up the pace as if to acknowledge this. A quick glance backwards showed Hawkrill deploying into the correct position, waiting for the command. The knight’s eyes searched the nearing camp, trying to pick out the figure of the orc. That foul creature must fall, he told himself silently, and with more force of knees into flanks, pushed the Shire into a full gallop. Lowering his lance, the sound of thunder blasting by hoofbeats, and his cape trailing out behind his polished figure, he broke into the torchlight like an arrow launched from a bow.
And rising above the sound of Raykel’s mighty footfalls, the knight’s powerful voice shouted for all to hear, resonating across the countryside in a cry that inspired hope to those who heard it, or terror in the hearts of those receiving his fury.
“Your reign ends now, foul creatures!” Atharam bellowed at the goblins and their leader as he plowed in, lance aimed for the orc and carrying the full weight of his courage and brawn behind it. “Like the night chased away by dawn, you shall fall! For the glory of Helm!”
((OOC: That’s right! He’s back! Hopefully this does him justice. Its been a long time since I’ve used this guy, so bear with me as I get back in the mode of things. Its good to be back, folks!
Atharam has directed Hawkrill to Bless them all, and Atharam has used Protection from Evil on them, as well. He’s laying out (Go figure) a full-blown charge at the orc with his lance. Whether he hits or misses, he’ll drop it, and draw his longsword to fight it out afterwards. He’s riding with no hands as he uses his weapon and shield.
His war shout is the cue for Hawkrill, who will now be mobilizing to cover Atharam from the rear.
Elendil and Bronwyn lay still as rocks, albeit one said rock shivered with fright atop the cool night air. As first one, then two, then another pair of goblins marched passed, Elendil and Brownyn dare not look up more than a cursory glance, lest movement give away their positions. As more and more goblin’s passed, filtering out into the trees in all directions, soon the camp was deserted. Too good to be true, one would think, for indeed it was, for soon afterwards out from the mine entrance came the Orc who had left earlier, accompanied by a trio of Gnolls, each one barking in their obscene high pitched yapping. The gnolls, wearing shreds of hide and carrying glaives and shortswords at their hips took a position around the cage bearing the human. Two of them bent low and lifted the small cage, hefting it between them while the other pair, encircled it at the front and the back. The orc meanwhile watched at the four gnolls began taking the captive right past Elendil and Bronwyn, likely towards the keep farther south. As for the Orc, he spat a viscous glob of saliva upon the earth and turned to reenter the mine.
Once all were out of ear shot Eledil got Brnwyn up with a finger over her lips to signal silence and then heads the direction of the Gnolls.
Posted on 2008-09-11 at 21:40:29.
Edited on 2008-09-11 at 22:32:51 by Dragon Mistress
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Browyn waited until the strange barking and growling voices had come and gone. SHe heard them pass close but remained frozen under Elendil's cloak. Finally she felt she could take a deep breath which she exhales slowly.
Thanks the Goddess," she whispers. "Now can we leave? Please"
Elendil stands and removes the cloak from Browyn she feels naked and revealed now.
"No, four Gnolls are taking the cage that way," she points the way there are headed. "We follow the Gnolls. We will hit the first two not carrying the cage. I will take the front one, you hit the back and keep him from running for help. Then we go for the other two. I am hoping that we can down them from a distance. When you hear the bow twang you fire.
Elendil leads Bronwyn through the trees parallel the Gnolls who, because of the weight and awkwardness of the cage have to move slowly over the forest trail.
She moves to get in front of them, luckily there is much noise in moving the cage, which was of great help to Bronwyn not being heard. Elendil gets to a good spot for an ambush leaves Bronwyn in good cover, so the anyone trying to attack her would have to go around a log and she moves up about 8 feet and brings her bow to ready, three arrows under her left two small fingers and an arrow notched and half drawn.
Posted on 2008-09-11 at 22:34:44.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Bronwyn in a panic
Bronwyn Stared in disbelief When Elendidl said she waas going to go after the Gnolls, Gnolls were big and strong and more animal than person.
Elendil said there were only four but it might as well have been fourty or four hundred for all the difference it made to Bronwyn.
"I am not going to recuse someone with four Gnolls and who knows how many other goblins and orcs are about."
Elendil just looked at the smae human woman actually more girl than woman and nodded "Okay you stay here. I will fo what I can myself."
Bronwyn stood firm until she saw Elendil vanishing into the night-the her courage failed "Wait, you can't leave me here by myself. Bronwyn exclaims although lowly. She hurries forwrd tucking her robes in tightly to her body. She take out one wand and taps herself giving herself mage armor. then puts it away and takes out her wand of magic misiles.
"Don't leave me here with who knows how many goblins, orcs and gnolls running around." Bronwyn hurries to follow Elendil. "Elendil let me give you Cat's Grace before you do anything. It may help you." Bronwyn mind quickly tries to figure out what spells she has that could be used in a fight. Color Spray would be good if she could get them looking her way. she tucked the end of her robe into her belt and followed in Elendil's footsteps.
Into the night Atharam rode, hard atop Raykel crashing into the clearing shouting his war cry and scattering shocked goblins like a wave breaking upon the shore. One unfortunate greenskin’s reaction was slow, and it was crushed underhoof as the brave standard of Helm charged forth, his line of sight narrowed into a tunnel vision, where all the world faded to black save his singular purpose, the orc lined with the point of his lance.
The orc, somewhat more attentive than his lessers, turned to regard Atharam and his mighty charging horse, and grabbed a javelin from a nearby goblin, setting it for the charge. The only problem was of course, that the 3 foot crude weapon was no match for almost twelve feet of steel. Atharam's lance smashed into, and through the orc's hide armor, the tip of the weapon jutting neatly out the back of the creature's shoulder just below the collar bone. The orc howled in pain, but miraculously-and a testament to his fortitude- clung not only to life, but to the lance itself, threatening to pull Atharam from his horse with the orc's additional weight.
The Paladin simply dropped the lance as he continued his charge's momentum to the middle of the camp where he turned, longsword drawn. (successful overrun)
The Orc grimaced, and stood, the uneven distribution of the weight of the lance making it lean on a diagnoal from earth to wound. In a language of foul tongues he yelled, waving an open palm at the knight before crushing it into a symbolic fist.
As expected, a swarm of goblin's converged upon the lone warrior, only to find he was not so alone as they once thought, for from the southeast came a flash of white, a second steed bearing a mounted warrior, this one gleaming in white armor and bearing an enchanted spear with a illuminated tip surrounded in a blue aura crashed into their midsts.
"Like Lightning we strike, swift and powerful. For the Glory of Helm!" Hawkrill called, bolstering his own spirits as much as mimicking his iconic leader. Much to his credit though, and his respect for the tactics of his mentor, Hawkrill's spear point neatly impaled the nearest goblin in his path, and the white dyed studded leather barding, with crimson tapers protecting the aptly named 'Charger' fended off a series of crude weapon strikes as he rode passed to rear alongside Atharam, his horse postioned opposite the paladin's, nose to arse as it were, to better cover his partner's rear.
The goblin's hesitated a moment, expecting a third rider, or more to come bursting forth from the brush and darkness, their enhanced vision not belaying any information of use to put their paranoia to rest. Nestled in the cover of darkness, however, dark brown eyes sighted her targets, as a bow hewn from the leg of a drider, and strung with a strand of web as strong as steel and with a tensile strength capable of holding the creature from which it was taken was drawn over her shoulder. She plucked twin arrows with crimson 'wings' crafted from the feathers of a cardinal and placed one between her lips, the second notched against the string and resting atop a slender finger. In a single fluid motion she drew back the string to it's limits, the bow stretched taught her arms, small in size bulging with toned muscles. As soon as she released the string, he hand continued it's retreat, only to pick the second arrow from her lips and restring it for a second shot; all before the soft twang of the string's release had even finished dancing in her ears.
As the teeming goblins encroached upon the twin riders, two jolted upright, nearly lifted from their feet as powerful projectiles of precision took them in the chest, the arrow heads puncturing flesh and muscle tissue, blasting through organ's and skin as though they were insubstantial things, killing both before they even knew what hit them.
To top it all off, when a dozen eyes fell on the area from where they thought the arrows had flown from, they found nothing, for Seleyon the swift, was already a dozen yards away, waiting for her next chance to strike.
The Orc, gritting his teeth, could only curse something Atharam couldn't understand, though he made out the name Bolikar clearly enough. Perhaps this was fearsome indeed, for his name spurned the goblin's into action, and as one, they charged.
The eight remaining goblin's swarmed around the two rider's with their javelin's and morningstars bared, jumping around and speaking in jittered rants about the chance to savor man-flesh.
(Goblins 1-4 vs Atharam. Atk's= 3,8, 9,20)
As strong in armor as he was in spirit, Atharam seemed invulnerable to the blaspheming blows of the goblins; there poor craftsmanship ineffective in harming the man of steel.
(Goblins 5-8 vs Hawkrill. Atk's=13, 8, 5, 14)
Not to be seen as weak or unworthy of traveling with one such as Atharam, Hawkrill too avoided any blow which might have caused him harm.
The orc, unable to effectively move from the pain and detrimental lance sticking out of his shoulder, reached behind him and pulled a horn fashioned from a hollowed out ram's horn with brass accents. With a deep breath that caused him to wince, he blew for all his might, the deep bellowing sound of the horn mixing with the distant drums, and carrying out into the night.
NOTE TO OTHER PARTIES , Elendil and Aelistae, as well as Intella can all make out the faint Horn sound amidst the war drums)
From the tree's a second pair of arrows flew, one catching the horn mid-blow, arrow shaft protruding from the curved horn while the second one was slightly lower, catching the Orc in the chest and stealing the breath, and life of the creature as he toppled over, the lance propping him up at a awkward angle as he fell.
Atharam, sword drawn, and Hawkril, still with his longspear both swept out across those encroached around them. Atharam's sword swing came about high as Raykel reared missing his intended target, but Raykel as trained in the art of warfare as his master came down with twin hoove's stomping the life from the goblin before it with iron clad 'shoes'. Hawkrill's spear came short as well as Charger mimicked Raykel, but like its master the equestrian held an ideallic repect for the now Magically graced warhorse of the paladin, and so too did Charger's hooves come down to claim the life of another foe, twin imprints of horseshoes left deep into the goblins' leathers, the ribs and life below them crushed.
(Recap of Round 1: 8 goblin attacks miss, Atharam and HAwkrill miss while their horses do all the work claiming two gobbos Seleyon takes out the orc.
Enemy count: 6 Gobbos remaining
The above was typed on a 3 inch screen on a cell phone, so please forgive any typos and Tek you better be thankful for doing this at work on my lunch break )
Posted on 2008-09-12 at 14:47:41.
Edited on 2008-09-12 at 15:29:42 by Kaelyn
Elendil wanted nothing more than to spill gnoll blood and free the captive, while Bronwyn wanted nothing more than to be curled up next to a cozy fire, in the company of a good book and a nice glass of wine, not shivering at the fear of some goblin, orc, gnoll or thus-far unknown enemy catching her. As Elendil moved to leave however, fear of being alone out here with the aforementioned was enough to make her choke down the rising sensation in her throat and tuck her robe into her belt and continue on after her guide, who it seemed had a penchant for leading her directly into more danger.
Bronwyn tapped her wand and encased herself in a Mage's armor (49/50), a most useful of spells for any novice arcanist to learn, before calling upon her prepared spell for a Cat's Grace, bestowing enhanced dexterity to her elven companion. Then, without so much as a word, Elendil was gone, her mind focused on the singular objective; rescue the poor sod in the cage. Circling through the trees alongside the path, Elendil tries to find a good vantage point for an ambush, but no fallen trees or such provide the security of an obstacle to bar the enemies path should she be spotted. What was worse, was the trees would only become more sparse the further along the trail they went, so the ambush would have to happen now if at all.
Moving ahead, Elendil sat in wait, bow at the ready for the last of the Gnoll's heads to come into clear view. As soon as it did, she loosed a pair of arrows towards the lead gnoll, unburdened by the cage and prisoner. Both arrows struck him clean in the chest, the creatures eyes rolling back into the hyena shaped head even as it died. At the sight of this the remaining gnoll's snapped to attention, dropping the cage ungracefully to clatter and thud upon the ground, the man inside giving an 'oof' as his sudden drop ended abrubtly. The gnoll in the back, shortbow drawn peered out into the night, and caught a glimpse of a form just before a small spark of light flew forth (47/50) striking the gnoll square in the chest eliciting a whimper of pain. In response, the gnoll gritted it's teeth, before a long wet tongue dangled from a salivating mouth and the creature began laughing like well, the hyena of which it bore a strong resemblance.
(Gnoll 3 Vs Brownyn Atks= Fumble)
It licked it's lips and fit an arrow to the string, drew it back, and with a twang, the arrow flopped sideways while the bow itself snapped back, smacking the gnoll in the face, dazing it. The other two gnoll's were already charging Elendil however, their darkvision having spotted the elven ranger. Battleaxes at the ready they struck in unison trying to flank the lone elf..
(Gnoll 1-2 vs Elendil. Atks = 20& 17)
The gnoll's charge was reckless, but the quickness of their actions had caught Elendil off guard. Before she had a chance to properly defend herself they were upon her, and both axe blades met soft elven skin and the flesh underneath, finding gaps in her leather armor. Elendil (37/49hp)
(Strength Check Failed)
From somewhere between the gnolls the human's voice could be heard as he called out something in Gnoll. Whatever it was he said only made the creature's yap all the more, their blood boiling at the chance for combat, the chance to feed on intelligent creatures.
Not that either woman had a clear enough line of sight to notice, but the man, whose gloved hands were previously bound behind his back were now free, and he gripped the cage testing the bars, cursing and then giving a resigned sigh when he realized they were still a sturdy obstacle between him and freedom.
(as the previou post, this was updated on a cell phone, please forgive typos)
Aelistae craned her head. The wind brought the sounds of drums beating in the distance, and whispers of something more. She could make out the feint sound of a horn blaring above the bass of the drums. It did not sound like any instruments the Elistraeyn used. There was no tone or pitch to the horn but just a crude, wailing cacophony.
“Did you hear that? …That horn? I think the orcs and goblins have found some other prey.”
Aeliste hitched over her bow over her shoulder. “We can’t wait here any longer. We should go if only investigate what that sound was.”
"You hear something?" Linnix asks, before trying to hear herself, "I can't seem to make it out."
"Well, I don't think it'd do much good to rush in blindly; perhaps Xaris and I ought to scout ahead, where you think the sound came from, and if they need immediate assistance, one of us can help right away while the other returns here to gather the rest of the group. Does that sound alright?" Linnix suggests.
"You didn't hear it?" Aelistae inquired, looking around at her companions. The blank stares told her they hadn't - except for Intella.
"Well it's good to know I wasn't imagining it," she added with a nod as she looked at the halfling. "But I don't think Linnix and Xaris should go alone. We should go together. The sound was quite distant, and it would take too long for you two to scout all that distance."
Posted on 2008-09-12 at 19:24:30.
Edited on 2008-09-12 at 19:39:49 by Ginafae
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Bronwyn was surprise when suddenly the lead gnoll falls with two arrows in her chest, Elendil had apparently started the fight without a word to her. With the wand at the ready she lifted it quickly and targeted the guard in that back of the cage. Her missile struck true but didnot down him. It almost fatal fascination the gnoll guard drew his bow and knocked an arrow and aimed it at Bronwyn. The two other gnolls carrying the cage dropped in unceremoniously and charged in the woods at Elendil with axes drawn Bronwyn feared for her . It happened before her eyes as she was seemingly frozen in place--it seemed like forever but was only a movement.
“Amaterrana I am a good person, protect me. Maiden, pure, I am a virgin protect me.”
The gnoll drew his bowstring back and then......his bow broke and smashed him in his face.
That broke the spell, that held Bronwyn frozen instead of being a deer startled in the light she took a(5 ft.) step towards Elendil and spoke the arcane words that sent three energy sparks flying at he gnolls attacking Elendil. She held Burning Hands Spell ready to cast if the gnoll with the broke bow came after her.
Posted on 2008-09-12 at 19:31:56.
Edited on 2008-09-12 at 19:35:56 by Brianna