Travelling on your little group of survivors from the massacre of the Fayre came to a sharp ridge in the forest, going around the defile would have taken you out of the way for some considerable distance. While the group pondered how best to proceed Boggis rejoined them having evaded the Orc he had been left to distract, and although covered in small scratches and sporting a burned hand the Gongfarmer lived!
So without further ado a rope was fetched and Felix the Halfling heaved up the embankment. He seemed to land easily but the fellow didn’t seem to get what was required of him and the the thrown rope was thrown back again by the drooling Hobbit.
But it was a small set back and soon others stood atop the ridge when a voice called out a warning. Two wolves were closing rapidly. The other halfling, (the angry one) was mid climb as the first came into sight. In some confusion Big Jon’s axe nearly cut the rope the Halfling held onto, but he scrambled up none the less.
Arrows, bolts and stones flew out to rake the bushes about the charging animals but still they came on. SOme of the group still awaiting their turn on the ground were separated by the Wolves charge. Rodger Magee being bowled over and into thick bushes by the first attack. With an Oath his brother scrambled back down and dove after them.
Split by the Wolves sudden charge some confusion reigned. More shots were fired some wildly into the bushes at anything thta moved. Then suddenly a cry of pain rang out. The Halfling had stabbed Big Jon! As the stricken woodsman toppled down the slope the bellicose Halfling scrambled back down eager it seemed to spill more blood.
At that moment the Orcish handlers of the trained wolves arrived and a sharp fight ensured. At the end of it the maddened halfling had joined Big Jon in death (possibly to the relief of many) and perhaps a third of your number was now lost at the foot of the rise. With more orc possibly on the way woulds were bound but the reduced group pressed on…
Still at the foot of the ridge a fierce fight ensued as a half dozen Orcs caught up with the Magee brothers and Arvid the Hunter and a few others. The fight was long and everyone suffered a wound but in the end the companions prevailed slaying all but one of the Orcs, before the last of them fled.
Meanwhile on the top of the ridge it seemed that your guide had deserted you! However trusting to fate the group rallied and pressed on along the path he had indicated as fast as they could. This was not really that fast as Bormir the dwarf was badly hurt. He had fallen in the fight with the Orcs but had merely been stunned rather than slain. Still the Dwarfs brains had been addled as it took two to half carry half drag him down the earthen trackway.
Perhaps a mile down the way the familiar aroma of Boggis again was discerned. Evidently he had slipped after the errant guide and they were now returning somewhat shamefacedly to the group.
“The Manors not a mile further” the exhausted young mercenary rasped out. “But there no way to get there the damn Orcs are ahead of us and sieging it!”
A spyglass was produced and the situation indeed seemed dire. A little over a mile down the road there was a clear camp of Orcs with bonfires burning and arrows being exchanged (you guessed) between them and embattled fortified Great House.
But all was not lost, riders from the Justice Moon company came across your position before too long. The few dragoons left at the Manor had been ordered out of the confines of the stone building and ordered to comb the surrounding area: avoiding combat if they could to warn and bring News to any bands of survivors such as yourselves. Even better than that they had a flask of Healing elixir of master Zathabarius’s own manufacturer. Oe draught of that and the stout Bormir was clear headed and back on his own too feet!
Seeing some of the group was still injured it was decided they could take Master Felix with them as they circled the camp and hoped to rejoin the fortress via the rear gate. As they discussed this suddenly the mysterious Phaedra began to shake he Bone rod and cried out in prophetic ecstasy. The forests light seemed to darken and the peal as of distant thunder echoed over the land as the Shaman spoke.
Deeply impressed one Dragoon offered her his horse saying she belonged back at the manor where her (apparent) powers might best assist the Master Zathabarius. He would stay and firm the defence of the group as it wa snow inevitable that the Orcs would stumble across their gathering ere long.
Moving into the forest where the trees would cover the flanks, the diminished group set themselves to make a stand if the Orcs should discover them before help did.
Zaltor and Boggis hid in the bushes a length of chain strung between them to trip the unwary. Temerian and Skirelli climbed a tree each and strung thier bows. The rest gathered in the center of the small clearing as bait to any that stumbled across the crude trap.
Trap? Wishing Rats were still with them hurriedly some stakes were sharpened and some snares hastily fashioned out of the remaining rope. Then the group settled in to wait the storm.
Ere long Temerians’ elven eyes spotted movement. Wolf scouts heading your way, and what had to be their handlers not far behind. Suddenly one wolf stopped as if scenting something and they came bounding into the edge of the clearing. This was what Boggis and Zaltor were waiting for. Tightening their chain just as the beasts burst into the clearing they succeeded in tripping one charging beast, quickly Mogar dispatched it before it could recover from being stunned. The other wolf was also cut down by an arrow and a blow from the main group and the Trapped chain tripwire was hurriedly reset.
Not a moment too soon! The patrol of Orcs soon missed their scouting wolves and charged after them. Some few fell to the chain tripwire but one of them that stayed on his feet dealt brave Zaltor a fatal blow!
Bellowing like a maddened bull the Orc champion leading the band charged forward where Bormir the dwarf faced him down. Catching the Orcish sabre on his twin picks Bormir drove the weapon into the ground then struck back with a cruel upper cut that would have ended the Orcs breeding rights had it not killed him!
Blades flashed and arrows flew, but in the end the Orcs fled leaving half their number on the floor bleeding.
As the Orcs routed away their cries of anguish caught the attention of Arvid and Rats who were toiling along behind them, having bound their wounds and struggled up the rough slope. Arvid slew one with a well placed arrow, but young Pug Magee seemed to everywhere at once with his captured dagger. Claiming three of the Orcish band.
Tracking them back they were reunited with their fellows and although a few straggler Orcs again harassed their encampment, they survived some hours with the only casualty being their young Guide, who, perhaps shamed by the villagers courage, had fought as hard as any but perhaps too long as the nearly the last Orc to discover them took his life.
Werely beyond belief the huddled group of survivors weathered the next few hours until the sound of another Mercenary Patrol brought them food and relief as they were escorted to the safety of the Fortified manor at last…
Okies that will have to do 🙂 As I say any of you that wants to add comments or even a post from your viewpoint is more than welcome. Still this ought to serve to keep anyone who had to miss the session a rough idea of what happened eh! Onto the next session!