Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Assault

November 16th, afternoon in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

You continue along the tree-line, hoping to stay hidden until the last possible moment. You make it 25 feet, to within 30 feet of the dark woods and then the unthinkable happens: Shade stumbles and as he reaches out to steady himself he lets out a grunt. You all pause, breathless, and listen. Your heart sinks into your stomach as you hear a voice call out "they're over here!" and moments later another replies, "I think I see one!"

Please roll initiative.

(This is the map of the whole camp, which of course you can't see yet. The path wanders along and is squeezed between the dense rocks and scree of the foot of the hill on the right and the dense forest on the left of the map.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Into the Heart of Minx's Lair

November 16th, afternoon in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

The battle is over. You stop and look around, worried that the noise of your fight has alerted someone but a tense moment later and you hear no horns of battle nor horses.

The big bearded man carried a fine halberd and wore chain mail, he also carried 1 gp, 15 sp and a small ruby in a pouch on his belt. In his shirt pocket you find 6 fine cigars.

The other bandits carried short bows, short swords and wore leather armor. All told you find another 10 gp, 2 sp in random coins on their persons.

For the encounter you receive 350 xp total for the party.

(Looting the bodies takes perhaps 5 minutes if everyone helps so we'll begin play 5 minutes after the battle and I'll have you post your further actions.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Getting the Drop on the Sentries

November 16th, afternoon in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

You sneak quietly as you can around the edge of the forest to execute your pincer maneuver.

Dolgi's group heads toward the river. There is a tense moment as each of you crosses the path but you've moved far enough down that you aren't in any danger. The forest gets thicker on the other side of the path and you pick your way carefully. Sometimes going on hands and knees to get through.

Draymun's group has an easier time. It's slow going but you are rewarded when you come into earshot of the sentries and find that they are discussing tonight's dinner and wondering whether the cook will again serve them sheep's tongue.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Group Rejoins

November 16th, morning in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

At the Rawley estate:

Alis is good to his word and he trudges up to camp with purpose. He looks tired and at the edge of tears, but determined. Packing takes no time, Hamish it appears has spent some of his free hours re-arranging and organizing things. Your journey is also met with good fortune. The ground is again just frozen enough to allow the wagon easy passage over the plains. You meet the road and join up with another wagon train of pilgrims headed south. You reach Bremel by 10 am.

In town:

The celebration of market day goes late into the night and you can find all manner of amusements to bide your time. The Inn is packed but Ghalen works it so you each have a private room if you wish (1 gp for the night). Dolgi, when you come downstairs in the morning, you are delighted to see your friend Draymun sitting at one of the corner tables, having a hearty breakfast.


Map of the Entrance to the Valley

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to the Rawley Estate

November 15th, afternoon and evening in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

Those who choose to ride on to recover the wagon leave town quickly. It's a decent afternoon for riding and you make good time. You see rabbits and squirrels out and about, fattening up before winter and you have quite a start when a fox darts across the trail in front of you. You arrive at the manor near sunset and you find that the workers have indeed been very industrious. The hovels and grain bin all show signs of recent repair and the new graves on the hill are a reminder of the tragedy that came to the place.

You find that your wagon is all in order. Hamish is sitting on the tongue, sharpening his blade and making a show of guarding your supplies. Judging by the worn grass and nearby camp, he's done nothing but since you left. "Been a coupla days," he drawls, "hope you found the bastards what did this."

About Town

November 15th, afternoon and evening in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

Those who remain in town spend a leisurely afternoon perusing market stalls and enjoying the treats on offer. There is one booth manned by a gnome that proves to be interesting. He is of average size for a gnome and his hair is a bright lavender puff under his billed cap. He stands on the table and advertises his wares. His stall is covered in charms and baubles of all shapes and sizes and when Dolgi wanders by he squints his eyes and begins to sniff the air. He points at you and says in a shrill voice, "you, you've been marked by one of the fey!"

Friday, August 9, 2013

Assaulting and Insulting Minx the Banshee

November 15th, 9 AM in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

Here's the map. Minx is currently in hex 30.09. Thorvald is in hex 30.24 and Shade is directly behind him in hex 30.25.

You may move through the light green trees at full speed and they provide partial cover. Moving through the dark green trees is at half speed and they provide full cover if you don't move during a round.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Return to the Trail of Minx the Banshee

November 15th, 5 AM in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

There is a definite chill in the air and even some frost on the ground as you pack your belongings and load your horses for the trip. The group is in a somber mood and Thorvald especially seems keen to move forward as quickly as possible.

Rayla restores Dolgi's stats and introduces a dwarf named Jul. She met him on her shopping trip and found him to be a useful companion and eager for adventure.

The party leaves Bremel by 5 and rides for some time in near total darkness. You are shivering by the time the sun rises and begins to cut through the fog coming off the ground. You pass the camp where Rayna was killed and pause for a moment to pay your respects.

It is difficult but not impossible to follow the river on horseback and though you cursed the cold earlier, you find it helps that the ground near the water is at least partially frozen so the horses hooves don't sink too far in. The forest grows thicker as you make your way toward the camp. As the young bandits had said, the ground begins to rise more quickly up to some hills in the distance. You decide you are within half an hour of your destination.

As a reminder of what Armin said:

"Her camp is another 7 miles ride, probably a couple of hours at least through this brush. Just follow this stream til you get to a big hill then cut south. She's set up in a valley between two ridges. You'll ride right past it if you're not careful."

It is 8 in the morning and the sun is just now showing through the trees.

Monday, July 8, 2013

An Ignominious Return

November 13th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

You spend the morning packing up camp, securing Rayna's body and returning to town. Your intuition tells you that you should consult a priest on the matter and the local chaplain of the temple of Torag welcomes you. He asks after Khazad and when he hears of the young cleric's personal journey he nods with approval. He inspects Rayna's corpse and tells you that there is a chance of her returning as a ghoul. He says that cleansing her with holy water and burying her in sanctified ground will be enough to keep her from returning and he offers to do so.

With concern in his eyes, he asks if anyone else was bitten.

You may spend the rest of the day in town. Rayla will join the party today in whatever manner she wishes so if you just want to post and ask any questions, tell me what you want to buy and when you plan on leaving that would be fine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Bump in the Night

November 13th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning, early morning

The members of the first shift keep their eyes open but there is no sign of the two young men once they ride off. The camp they made is a decent one, with fallen logs used as benches and a nice fire with plenty of wood. There is a large tree to the West and a stream runs North of the camp about 20 feet away. Members of the group not on first watch fall asleep quickly after such a long ride. It is a quiet night.

At around 4 am, the second shift takes over. Dolgi, Rayna and Thor take up their places around the fire. It is quiet for a time and you think it may be an easy night when Dolgi hears something in the brush beyond the tree.

(The camp is laid out roughly in a circle, with a fire in the center and everyone sleeping around. I rolled dice and determined that the horses are tied up to the Northeast. Dolgi sits with his back to the tree, Rayna sits across from him and Thor sits to the south. The sound was then behind Dolgi and Dolgi was the only one to hear it. Dolgi, you have one action.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On the Trail of Minx the Banshee: Into the Night

November 12th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning, evening

You strike off into the growing night, moving southeast. For the first hour you founder in the darkness, moving back and forth in a wide arc, trying without success to find the trail. Finally, however, Dolgi homes in and you move with greater speed. The raven returns in the second hour and he tucks into a handful of grain. His mood is irritable but he is uninjured.

Your backsides are growing sore from a day's worth of riding and the ale in your bellies is making your eyelids heavy when Dolgi holds up a signal that the party is to halt and be silent. Up ahead, among a copse of trees 200 yards away, there is a fire. You see two horses outlined against the night and hear the strains of an old drinking song from the flat lands.

(You spent an hour searching for the trail and another 4 hours riding. It's 11 or 12 at night.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

On the Trail of Minx the Banshee

November 12th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

The Lady agrees to keep your wagon and hired men and provide Rethas any space he needs to study. Hamish complains a bit about being left behind but Alis is nowhere to be found. The Lady tells you with a smile that it appears he has taken a liking to a cotter's daughter and is working hard on her fathers house, in hopes of gaining favor as well as chances to flirt with her.

Dolgi easily finds the tracks you had crossed previously and leads the group as stated. He maintains that there were two riders, both heavily laden. You see that they rode at a gallop for perhaps a mile before slowing and turning again towards Bremel.You are glad you left the wagon, as the bandits took a path much better suited to horses than wagons. The trail leads lazily through thickets and across small creeks. It parallels the main road into Bremel but never joins up with the road. It is late afternoon before you follow the tracks to Bremel and lose them in the bustle of the town.

You are in Bremel, it is 5 in the evening and the shadows are already growing long. What do you want to do?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

After the Fire

November 11th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

The afternoon is difficult for all involved. You are sore from hauling buckets of water and tired from moving rubble to ensure the safety of the survivors. The worst part of the day, however, comes after the immediate threat is past. When the fire is out, the shock wears off of the survivors and they begin to realize what has happened. Their spouses and children are dead from steel and flames and many of their homes are destroyed. You realize now what little these peasants have.

After asking around, you discover that the lord of the manor, a Sir Rawley, is one of the bodies. Lady Rawley is unceasing in supporting her people. She moves from family to family, calling everyone by name. She has her men bring food to the hungry and gives honest condolences for the lost. Families that have lost their homes are moved into what's left of the hay shed. The Lady is swift in her decisions and businesslike in her actions but there is kindness too.

The burial is quick and without much ceremony. The friar says a blessing and the bodies are put in a mass grave. The Lord Rawley is laid to rest apart from the peasants, in a small family sepulcher on the hill behind the manor.

When pressed about what the bandits took, the Lady will again defer, this time with a chill in her voice that warns you away.

Asking some of her workmen brings suspicious glances and whispers of "I hear it's a cursed artifact of her grand-daddy's" and "it's the Lord Rawley's treasure that he stole from the pagans during his adventuring days" or "nothing but some old love letters."

It is late in the evening when you finally bed down for the night and you all sleep soundly.

The next morning, you are awoken before dawn by workmen already clearing rubble and hauling in what straw is left for re-thatching those roofs that were saved. The whole lot of you are sore and tired and cold.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Onward Toward Bremel

November 10th in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning

The rest of the day passes uneventfully and you find a nice place to camp. The night is calm and clear, but very cool.

The next morning you awake and head out again. The road is empty and you make good time. Around lunch, however, you see a plume of smoke rising from the east.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Leaving Ashmont

November 5th, in the year 670 by kingdom reckoning

The weather is turning cool and there is frost on the ground.

The air is practically buzzing with excitement as you break camp and pack up your belongings. Alis asks a thousand questions about where you're heading next and what the plan is. Rethas is no where to be found until right before you get ready to leave and he stumbles into camp with bloodshot eyes and a haggard look. He climbs into the wagon and meets any questions with harsh words and a glare.

You ride throughout the day and you meet many caravans of peasants moving in and out of the city. Everyone is cheerful enough except for one wagon, loaded down with cargo, that comes up behind you. The driver is a surly man who yells "hey, get that eyesore off the road you idiots! We're passing!" It's about 1 in the afternoon and you are on a bare stretch of ground. The road is wide enough for one wagon but you could pull off easily enough to let them by.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Last Week in Ashmont

You settle into the routine of life and for a time, things are easy. You make a little coin, you spend it on ale and food, you put on a few pounds. But somewhere deep inside you, the need for adventure grows. It starts slowly as you inspect a weapon and imagine running it through a kobold. You find yourself growing jealous of those dirty, exhausted souls who stumble into the tavern late at night and holler for ale. When you practice with your weapons or contemplate using spells, you find a renewed desire to use them in the heat of battle: to release yourself to the wild and see where fate takes you.

It is during one of these sessions of contemplation that the scribe assigned to your guild, a small mousy man with a tuft of white hair on the top of his head, approaches you. Your scribes name is Wilfred Withers, but you've all taken to calling him Willy, to his great consternation.

"Sir, I posted the offer to transport goods or persons in the Guild Hall and have received several offers.

First, a caravan of animals and three wagons is requesting a guard from Ashmont to Bushwick. They are offering 1500 gold up front.

Second, a rather wealthy family wants you to transport their son to the military academy in Formby. I informed them that you might be looking for multiple jobs and they insisted that he be your only charge. They offered to pay 1000 gp in Ashmont and insure another 1000 gp when you reach your destination.

Third and finally, a merchant who wishes to remain nameless offered you 1500 gp to transport a wagon of goods to his associate outside of Bushwick. He would give no other information and insists that you provide the wagon. I fear his goods won't fit in your wagon, if you are to supply yourselves as well.

In addition, I regret to inform you that you have been censured by another adventuring guild called the Riptide Rangers. They have been telling anyone who will listen that you are "a no good crew of two-bit hustlers" and "the worst thing to happen to Ashmont since the ogre uprising." Their leader, a Lars Dran, holds himself in highest esteem and obviously wishes to steal business from you."

(I've moved us forward to the beginning of week 8. Feel free to post your activities from the past weeks and ask for any clarification.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ashmont, Week 2

September 18-24 by Kingdom Reckoning.

It's a busy week for the party and everyone gets a lot done. You find yourself slipping into a routine very quickly and it's nice to have some time to enjoy labor for the sake of labor. It's also nice to have a bit of time away from the harrowing life of an adventurer.

Kring sees a man he thinks was a former gladiator's trainer but he fades into the crowd before Kring can get a better look. Kring is sure the man didn't recognize him though.

Shade hears rumors of one of the town magistrates, a Lord Algais, is dying of an incurable infection. His wife is advertising a handsome reward for the doctor that cures the man.

Everyone else has an easy week.

What would you like to do?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The City of Ashmont, Week One

September 11-17 by Kingdom Reckoning.

You camp on the outskirts of the city, outside the walls and wake early in the morning to the bustle of a throng of people entering the city. Peddlers and peasants, traders and travelers, con-men, clergy and ordinary citizens are all making their way to the town's Southwest gate.

If you wish to enter, you must pay the gate toll.

If you are entering the city, tell me what you'd like to do and I'll reply. Same if you don't want to enter.

If you are spending a week doing something, let me know and we'll figure it out.

Again, a list of things to do in town:

You can buy supplies. All mundane items, potions and scrolls are available. Magical Items are also available so let me know what you're looking for and I'll tell you if you can get it. There are craftsmen who could be commissioned to make other magical or non-magical items for a price.

You can carouse for xp. Roll a d6 and pay the result times 100 gp for ale, food and pleasant company. Gain that as experience points and then make a Fort save to see if you made any enemies or got anyone pregnant in your inebriated state.

You can do magical research for xp. Roll a d6 and pay the result times 100 gp for supplies, books and lab rentals. Gain that amount as experience points and make a Will save to see if you accidentally summoned a demon or burnt yourself with acid.

You can look for rumors. Roll d20 and add 1 for every 10 gp you spend greasing palms. The better your roll, the better the info.

You can sightsee. 

You can recruit hirelings.

What do you give Rethas, do you have any specific instructions for him and do you wish to retain his services?
What do you give Alis, do you have any specific instructions for him and do you wish to retain his services?
What do you give Hamish, do you have any specific instructions for him and do you wish to retain his services?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Onward to Ashmont

September 6-10, in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning.

You wake up in the morning to a sound you haven't heard in days; birds chirping happily. Before you open your eyes you half expect that the forest will be green again but you are disappointed to see that the landscape is still bleak. The camp rouses later than normal, obviously worn from the previous days' battles and Dolgi especially is impatient to get on the road.

The first day is rough going. Maneuvering the wagon around all the fallen trees and through the rough ground takes time but your horses are strong and eventually around evening you settle into a natural cove in between two hills that offers shelter and some protection from any lurking eyes.

The night of the first day passes without mishap and Thor especially is happy to get a night of uninterrupted sleep.

The second day goes much faster than the first. You make good time and everyone is cheering up at the prospect of a warm bed and something other than trail rations. It is midday before you cross the border into the less ravaged forest and it is a gift to see some green again.

On the second night you camp in a stand of live trees. The fog is diminished here and the fire seems cheerful and bright. On the second watch Kring thinks he sees a floating head again and spends 30 or 40 minutes crashing around in the brush before you settle him down and convince him he was seeing something.

The third day goes much as the second and in the late morning you pass out of the forest and into the plains proper. Draymun actually dismounts and rubs his face in the grass he's so relieved to be out of the blighted forest. The bear also seems happier and the daily training with Draymun is seeing some fruit: when you feed him he doesn't bite your hand any more. You still have to be careful not to walk behind him or he'll growl and bare his teeth.

The night of the third day is cooler, fall is coming. Again the night passes uneventfully and Khazad quietly considers the luck of having a bear accompany the party.

On the fourth day it is cooler still and a light rain begins to fall as you pack up camp. It's a miserable day of travel and you are soaked to the bone when you stumble upon a small Thorp. There is no Inn, but one of the farmers allows you to sleep in his barn, provided the bear stays far away from his livestock. 

The fifth day is also windy and cold, but the rain stops and the air is crisp and clear. You make good time on the road and by evening the open fields give way to cottages and smaller farms. 

The capital city of Ashmont is in sight.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Out of the Lair of the Hive Queen

September 5, in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning. Afternoon

You are relieved as you watch the Hive Queen fall and release her grip on Thorvald. You have to quickly shush Kring before he bellows his triumphant war cry. Remember, there had to be something upstairs to throw the corpse you saw drop.

It takes little time to push the bodies into the green goo and they float for but a moment before sinking below the surface with a gurgle.

The party debates quietly for a moment and then a decision is made.

What will you do?

Into the Lair of the Hive Queen

September 5, in the year 670 by Kingdom reckoning. Afternoon

Chronicles of Ashmont Live Session, Part One: Desecrated Lands

Morning arrives after an uneventful night and Tom still has not show
up, leaving everyone very distraught. As everyone ate their breakfast
in an uncomfortable silence, no one spoke about their missing
companion, until Draymun finally broke the silence.
“He did say that wanted us to continue on,” the druid said between sausages.
“Aye,” Thorvald chimed in. “That is what Tom said to me before he
left… His goal should not have taken him all night however, and I fear
that if he has not returned to camp, then he has fallen.” Thor paused
as he let his words sink in and whispered a silent prayer to Thunor.
“We don’t have any evidence of his death,” Draymun replied, “so we
shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. We should continue on to the grove,
Tom will follow us if he is able. I have left markings that Tom will
most certainly notice, and any ranger of his skill would be able to
follow our wagon tracks with one eye closed.
“Agreed,” Khazad said as everyone around the breakfast fire nodded in
Packing up had become second nature to everyone, and especially Hamish
and Alis, who cleaned up after breakfast and ensured that the animals
and equipment was loaded and stored for the day’s journey.
“We should head to the north-west,” Thorvald said as he mounted
Hildabrun. “That is the direction Tom believed the Defilers were
making camp, although he did admit that it was no more than intuition.
“Agreed,” Khazad said as he set a box down upon the ground to give him
enough of a boost to clamber up into the front of wagon next to Alis.
“I have no preference for direction,” the half-orc chimed in as he
climbed atop his mount, “so long as there will be enemies to be
slain.” Hamish tied Tom’s mount to the back of the wagon and climbed
into the back to join Rethas, and Draymun nodded stoically as he
turned and whispered softly to Arktas, before taking his place upon
his mount and joining the others.
The path is not clear as the group makes their way north-west, not
seeing any sort of tracks. The blight upon the land seemed to be
getting worse faster as they made their way. What had previously been
scorched earth and fallen trees was now cracked ground and rotted
remnants of wood. The light fog that had risen from the ground grows
increasingly thick and the smell of sulphur can be distinguished.
Draymun grows increasingly unsettled and can feel himself becoming
physically sickened as the nature of the world around him becomes
increasingly defiled. As Draymun examines the evidence around him, he
begins to notice similarities between the land itself and the strange
ritual performed by the Eagle druid upon his fallen comrades.
Meanwhile, Khazad concentrates on the magical energies at work,
sensing divination and transformation magics at work. The group
travels for several hours along their path and sees no sign of any
Khazad eventually stood and climbed atop his seat. He closed his eyes
and softly whispered a prayer to Torag, asking for his guidance. When
he opened his eyes, he scanned the horizon for any signs of movement.
Not believing his eyes, Khazad notices a small group of five figures,
outlined against the horizon, about half a mile away. Reaching down,
he placed a hand upon Alis’ shoulder, as he spoke firmly.
“Come to a halt, lad,” Khazad said as those on mounts followed suit,
but moving up beside the wagon. “There are five figures out there,” he
told the others. “I can’t tell much more from this distance, but looks
like they’re heading to the grove. They’ll cross our path eventually.”
        “So what do you think?” Draymun asked, pushing his nausea at the
condition of the natural world around him to the back of his mind.
“They could be more Defilers,” he continued, “I can’t imagine anyone
else being found this far out into this tainted blight.”
        “We should attack them now,” Thor said gruffly, taking the reasons
for his statement to be self-explanatory.
“I’m always in the mood to kill,” Kring commented, showing his tusks
as a smile crept over his face. Khazad stood back up and surveyed the
landscape further, looking for any advantage in the terrain. He spots
what appears to be the remains of a small river valley, part way
between them and the strange figures in the distance. Khazad instructs
Alis to steer the wagon to the riverbed and the rest of the party
continued to follow.
When they reached the riverbed, they could see that it was fifty to
sixty feet long and was more than enough to provide cover from the
approaching enemy. It ran parallel to the path of their foes, so they
decided to set up the wagon halfway through the valley and set up
their ambush at one end.
Without much time to prepare, the group established basic battle
lines. Kring, Hamish and Thor took up positions near the front while
Draymun, Khazad and Rethas took up positions behind them, and they
waited as the calm before a storm. Alis was told to hide under the
wagon and wait for them to tell him that it was safe to proceed. After
ten minutes, the five travellers began coming down the path, and the
heroes surprised them.
There were three figures carrying quarterstaves and wearing homespun
robes, one of which had a head of hair made up entirely of snakes. The
second humanoid figure looked to be a she-wolf, covered in very thick
fur, while the third appeared to be made entirely of grasses. The
three were leading, in-between them, what appeared to be two
prisoners. The first was a terrified human in simple, homespun
clothes, and a surly dwarf stripped down to his unmentionables. In the
moment where they came into view, the party instantly recognized them
to be Defilers, despite their differences in appearance to those the
party faced in the Battle of the Tainted Wood.
Raising his weapon in the air, Khazad let the battle be joined,
hurtling his hammer with all of his might at the slithering
serpent-haired druid. The Hammer struck true before returning to
Khazad’s hand. As the hammer flew past him, Thorvald allowed the rage
of battle to consume him and as his blood boiled with a desire to
attack, he charged off in the hammer’s wake. Having come to recognize
his companion’s rage-fuelled attacks, Draymun offered the barbarian
the guidance of nature, using his powers to aid in the onslaught.
Thorvald reached the snake woman before she had regained her balance
after the hammer strike, and he brought Thunor’s Vengeance down upon
her with a mighty battlecry. His blade was slightly off-centre and it
came down hard and stuck into the snake woman’s skull, chopping off
the writhing snake-heads from her hair and sending them soaring in
several directions.
Kring was also overcome with rage of his own, and charged off to
attack the grass-druid. He brought his weapon down with a fury and
left a gaping hole in the grass upon the druid’s chest and torso. Not
wanting to be left out, Hamish joined the fray and charged after
Kring, attack the grass druid as well, but only succeeding in a
glancing blow, but as the grass-druid avoided Hamish’s assault, he
stepped into the magic missiles conjured forth from Rethas’ hands,
falling to the ground.
“Volag tobai,” Khazad shouts in dwarvish.
The surly and disrobed dwarf attempts to escape, and having seen two
other dwarves amongst the attackers, he makes his way towards them.
“Come this way, friend,” Draymun shouts out, hoping to ensure the
captive’s safe escape. “Can you defend yourself,” Dolgi asked as the
prisoner came close.
“I have no weapons,” the dwarf replied. Draymun decided to arm the
prisoner. Tossing him a sling, he took a moment and spoke the words,
crafting three magical stones which he handed to the other dwarf.
Meanwhile, the she-wolf recovered quickly from the ambush and stepped
forward, and with a vicious snarl, she reached out with her clawed
hand and grasped Thorvald by the shoulder, draining his strength and
leaving a desiccated mark upon his flesh.
Khazad responds in his kind as he reached back and threw his hammer
once more. Again the hammer sailed true and struck the she-wolf upon
the shoulder of her outstretched arm, knocking her off step, which
gave Thorvald the opening he needed. With a bestial roar even fiercer
than that of the she-wolf, Thor swung his blade at the Defiler, but
she managed to stumble out of harm’s way.
In his nearly-blind rage, Kring’s attention remained focused solely
upon the grass druid, despite having fallen unconscious. Kring raised
his mighty axe high and brought it down upon the grass druid’s face,
causing a puff of grass to hit the air in all directions as the
druid’s head exploded under the assault.
The former prisoner accepted the weapons and ammunition from his
fellow dwarf and proceeded to arm himself. As he watched Thor’s attack
fall short of the she-wolf, he took aim and let one of the magic
bullets fly through the air with all of his might. The stone struck
true, hitting the she-wolf in the stomach and causing her to lose her
breath as she let a whoosh of air. Draymun steps forward to stand
beside his dwarven comrade and takes a dart from his pouch. He holds
the dart aloft in front of him and brings his hammer forward to strike
it, sending it sailing forward. The dart caught the she-wolf in the
torso and acid splashed across her body as it exploded on contact. She
cried out in pain as she fell to the ground. Hamish took one step
forward and, flipping his sword so the blade pointed towards the
ground, he clasped it in both hands and brought it down upon the heart
of the she-wolf, killing her.
 “Is everyone alright,” Khazad asked, surveying the damage to his companions.
“Save your strength friend,” Draymun said walking up to Khazad and
placing a hand upon the cleric’s shoulder. “My goodberries will
restore our friends.”
Thor feels his blood stop boiling as he calms himself and returns his
breathing to normal. Shaking off the searing pain in his shoulder,
Thor began searching through the fallen for any valuables. He first
sees a bag with dwarven symbols upon and looked up to the newly-freed
“I take it this is your equipment?” Thor asked the dwarf, who nodded
and caught the backpack as Thor tossed it to him.
“Come friend, speak your name and tell us, what compels you to journey
in such a barren waste as this?” Draymun asked.
“My name is Dolgi Orcsmasher, and I thank you for the opportunity you
have given me to escape. I was tracking orcs in the woods when these
three set upon me and took me captive. I am a woodland skirmisher and
I have made it my responsibility to keep the encroaching orcs at bay,”
Dolgi paused and a smirk came across his face as he continued.
“Sometimes even half-orcs, if they look at me funny,” he joked as
everyone had a good laugh. Kring, however, was little amused.
As he heard the raucous laughter from the band of adventurers, the
frightened human who had hid under his arms throughout the entire
battle, finally arose from his cowering position. As he approached the
others, he finally worked up the courage to speak, and once he
started, his nervousness kept him rambling on.
“My name is Irid, and I was travelling with a caravan from Ashmont. I
was taking a leak in the trees and the next thing I knew these things
had me and I was travelling with them. I don’t even know where I am,
can you help me?”
“Do you have any useful skills?” Thor asked, sceptically eyeing the
man up and down.
“I can hoe a good row of corn,” Irid replied, unsure if that was the
answer Thor was looking for. The indifference upon Thor’s face was
enough for most to guess that it wasn’t. “Go sit in the wagon, with
Alis, our driver, and we’ll ensure you have the basics for survival
looked after.
“Where are you headed?” Irid asked.
 “You have two choices,” Kring growled at the farmer, imposing himself
in front of the man. “Get in the wagon or hit the road.”
“Are you heading to L-L-Lark any time soon?” Irid asked, even more
nervous at Kring’s overbearing nature.
“We can drop you off at Ashmont,” Khazad started, stepping between
Kring and the frightened man, “and provide you with some gold to be on
your way,” he finished.
“Gold pieces?” Irid asked with a gasp as his eyes grew three times
their former size. “You have gold pieces?” he asked again, looking
from one adventurer to another. “You must be travelling Sultans or
“We own a mine over by Lark,” Draymun chimed in, hoping to change the
subject away from their collective wealth. “It is possible that we
could be heading there in the near future.
“Aye,” Thor spoke up again, “we’ll keep you safe, or you can take your
chances alone, out there,” he said, pointing his arm in a slow
sweeping motion meant to draw Irid’s attention to the desolate
landscape. Irid looked out at what used to be a living forest and saw
only the desolation. Turning back to the group, he pointed at Kring.
“That one looks strong,” Irid said, trying to sound confident, “I’ll
stand behind him.”
“From the looks of him, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t stand down
wind from him, ha!” Dolgi said, slapping his knee as he began to laugh
heartily.  When the initial laughter died down, Kring farted as loud
as he could and again, the adventurers all had a good healthy laugh
When everyone had finally settled down, the Defiler corpses were
thrown down into the riverbed and pushed up under one of the overhangs
in the bank, so that they would not immediately be discovered by any
other Defilers who happened to pass through. As they loaded their new
equipment into the wagon, Draymun gathered everyone together.
“The Defilers were heading southwest,” he said to everyone, “so that’s
the direction we should go.”
“Aye,” Khazad piped up, “I agree.” They all nodded their agreement
before Khazad turned to their newfound companion. “Dolgi, would you
care to join us and exact some vengeance against those who had
captured you?”
“I’ll eat them for breakfast,” Dolgi said with a sly grin, as he
looked at each of the others, “and then perhaps we’ll go find some
orcs for dessert!”