Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 4

Session 4: Orcs Galore (20th February 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Solaran – Elementalist
The Silent Man - Assassin

A Ferocious Fight in the Forest (Day 27 – Late morning)

Sir Erich, Aethelfrith and the Silent Man all drew their bows and loosed a volley of arrows into the screaming ranks of the advancing orcs. When they counted the arrows, however, they noted that four had been sent sailing through the air. They swiftly looked askance to find the source of the extra dart, but noticed that the boggart and hobgoblin had not produced any missile weapons. They looked around behind them and noticed that their comrade Solaran had arrived back in the nick of time. In the meantime, the boggart and hobgoblin had cast a couple of enchantments; a handful of the orcs towards the back of the war band had fallen upon each other in mesmerised antipathy and a swarm of bats attacked one of the others at the front of the advancing tide of grey-skinned menace.

A second volley of arrows sowed confusion amongst the ranks of the orcs, but did not slow their advance. The adventurers dropped their bows and drew their melee weapons just as the horde reached the shield wall. The air crackled with magical energy as brambles erupted from the ground to engulf one of the orcs and a lake of ice formed around the hobgoblin causing many of the orcs to slip and lose their footing just enough for him to be able to join the ranks with the rest of the party.

The orc charge hit home and a flurry of blows led to Sir Erich being wounded. However, the party had chosen their ground well; between the cart and the shield wall, there was not enough room for the orcs to use the full advantage of their numbers.

The adventurers, with their faerie support, traded blows and magic with the orcs, gradually reducing their numbers until the orcs were finally overcome and their morale broke. At this point, their numbers had been reduced due to the magically induced in-fighting and the wounds caused by the fey magic and human steel. The sudden volte face gave the party a reprieve and they made the most of it by cutting down several of their retreating opponents. The retreat turned into a rout and only three of the orcs escaped the carnage, but not without injury.

In the aftermath of the combat, the party asked what their new found friends wanted from the cart; both the boggart and hobgoblin decided they wanted all of the honey that they could carry. This played nicely into the hands of the party who then proceeded to right the wagon and reload it with the spilled cargo it had carried. They then stripped the bodies of the orcs and divided the spoils amongst themselves – the rest they put onto the wagon to trade at Worsted or Glissom to allow them to finally pay off their debts. The boggart healed Sir Erich and the company parted their ways.

The party made their way to a safer locale and camped for the night, securing the wagon and taking stock of their situation. They decided they would head to Glissom to get the best deal for their gains and that the route they would take would be the safest possible.

A Repeat Encounter (Day 28)

The following day, the party retraced their steps of a few days before and headed towards the glade where they had encountered the talking trees. For some reason they felt that it would be a safe bet, and that it would offer some protection from attacks of opportunity.

The party travelled all day and finally made it to the glade when they were halted in their tracks by a challenge from the leader of another war band of marauding orcs. Not wanting to show weakness or wanting to give up their new found wealth, Aethelfrith and Sir Erich shouted back their defiance. The orcs advanced slowly, confused that so small a number of warriors would dare to challenge their obvious superiority. The leader began to brag about what he would do to them when he captured them. Sir Erich let fly with his own challenge and an arrow that hit the orc square in the chest. Not one to be out-boasted or out-shot, Aethelfrith also let fly with an arrow. It also found its mark in the chest of the orc that proceeded to crumble to the ground. The Silent Man found a couple of spears in the back of the cart and threw them at the advancing horde, both finding their mark and bringing an orc close to his death. A stream of elemental magic put another orc out if its misery before they decided they had had enough of the challenges and charged in for the kill.

Just as the orcs let out their wild war cries, the forest erupted in a cacophony of sound. The trees began to rustle wildly, stags were heard stampeding and snorting through the forest nearby and wolves howled and charged through the undergrowth.

The orcs, unperturbed by the commotion, carried on with their attack and tried to press home their numbers advantage. Just as the combat was joined, one of the orcs was crushed beneath the feet of a giant tree. Seeing that they were now surrounded, the orcs attempted to make a break for freedom, but did not make it far before they were cut down by the giant tree beings and the creatures of the forest. For the next few minutes the party could do nothing but listen to the agonised cries of orcs being brutally slain; they thought that their turn might be next so they prepared for further combat. When the last orc cries died away, the forest returned back to an eerie silence.

The travellers made camp in the same glade as they did before, and felt safe in the knowledge that the woodland creatures seemed to hate orcs to the point of destroying them on sight, but also tolerated other beings that happened to be just passing through.

A Third Meeting in the Forest (Day 31)

The next few days passed uneventfully and the party made good progress on their journey back to Worsted. However, after they had made camp on the evening of the third day after the woodland battle with the second war band of orcs the peace was broken by a call from the trees. Sir Connor and his cohorts cautiously advanced into their camp. The party were a little perturbed by the frosty demesne that Sir Connor and Counsellor Jarus showed them. However, after explaining how they had come by the cart of goods they had suddenly acquired and showing them the orc heads things warmed between the two parties.

The following morning, Sir Connor again bade the party farewell and resumed their journey to report on what the grey-skinned creatures were; all scepticism had been brushed away and the party’s amazing stories were believed by the lord and his party. They could report back on who was attacking the merchant caravans around Glissom.

The adventurers packed their camp and after a leisurely journey, arrived in Worsted the following morning; day 32 of their adventures in this new land.

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