Finally leaving Semarius. What a place. Good for training but not much else. We were able to find some henchmen and hirelings (meat shields). I hired two myself. One of them is a magic user named Haure, nice kid but still wet behind the ears. The other is a “light fighter” named Richard. He is guarded, keeps to himself but as long as I continue to pay him everything is fine. As for the others, I do not have much details on them but we will see how this progresses. I am sure I will find out more about them in due time.
Early the first day or our month plus long trek we left the gates of Semarius and passed the last watchtowers. My companions and I had horses, wagons and plenty of provisions. Even so, I am sure that we will have to stop for more ale soon.
Day two was more eventful. In fact, it was a good day for me. I got to test out my new knife and throwing technique (needs some work) but I am getting ahead of myself….
We were finally at the outskirts of the Wynt. Trees everywhere and tall grass. About to go into the great unknown, or at least for me it was unknown, I have never been there so my senses were heightened. About 100 yards away we spotted a large force of humanoids. Unfortunately, I left my spyglass in my other pants but Ibn Keine had no such problems. The party was 25-30 strong and their shields were decorated with a white skull with a spiked gauntlet busting out of the top. An orc clan knows as the Skullcrushers… damn! Not only that but they had prisoners and were headed back into the Wynt. So much for another restful day.
We stopped up short and used the wagons a cover. We would draw them to us and take them out! Of course, they would not have a true count of our party. The wizards (Haure and Coine) hid in one of the wagons, Sinach cast invisibility on Ibn (while he was on horseback), our crossbow men crouched behind the wagons and the rest of us kept behind the wagons.
To get their attention Brica yells “Protect the Gold!” but unfortunately, that has no real effect. Maybe they did not hear her. Sinach notices this and screams out taunts and I believe crude hand gestures. Needless to say, they came a running, but not all of them. 5 of them stayed back with the prisoners. That was our queue. Richard and I blended into the tall grass and made our way towards the prisoners. Five on two, the gods are NOT smiling on them this day.
Ibn’s trusty steed (with the invisible Ibn in the saddle) bolts.
The Skullcrushers run towards the party yelling war cries and trying to scare us. They have one big guy in the front flanked by 15 warriors and 5 archers in the back. With 80 or so feet between us that gives the party time to prep and Brica takes advantage of it. She has a hold person spell that she wants to test out on the big guy. This could be fun.
When they get closer the big guy is recognized as a Bugbear. He motions the Skullcrushers to slow and when they are within 40 ft, they completely stop. Within seconds arrows come hurling at the rest of the party and all Richard or I can do is watch. Fortunately, they all missed. ALL of them. Apparently they will just give anyone a bow these days.
Ibn’s steed runs towards some of the smaller targets and attacks. One of them drops and two others stagger around, heavily wounded. Sinach casts sleep at the front row of warriors and two of them are out cold.
Brica sees that as her opportunity to attack the Bugbear with hold and ensnares him. The rest of the vanguard fall asleep and I miss it! The perfect opportunity to slit some throats and loot the bodies and I am in the tall grass making my way to rescue people.
The 10 orcs behind the vanguard rush forward to try and help. The archers fire again at the visible party. Once again myself, Richard, the wizards and illusionist are all safe. Unfortunately, Brica was not and took an arrow to the arm (I believe, could be wrong, I was running in the grass).
Unfortunately, the five left guarding the prisoners start killing them. I am our of range as I have my blades, a short sword and a sling, not going to get there but Richard knocks an arrow and fires, then does it again; two orcs drop.
While the Bugbear is still held Ibn rides up and kills him. Quickly and efficiently then moves on and kills another with his heavy lance.
Finally getting his chance Haure casts Burning Hands and two of the orcs drop dead. Coine lets loose two two magic missles and kills two more orcs. The opposition is getting smaller and smaller.
Unfortunately, the three orcs left with the prisoners continue their task, killing them. Richard unleashes two more arrows and one streaks to the right and ends up in the top of the cage while the other buries into the other targets chest and they drop. By this time, I had made my way up there and was able to sneak up on one of them so I slit his throat. This left only one.
With the rest of his clan dropping like flies he flees. I toss my dagger at him as he runs past but only enough to wing him. Richard on the other hand had a bead on him and he drops. With the others dead I open the door to the cage as the rest of the party joins me.
We loot the bodies.We find 2000 eletrum pieces, two potions; one silvery red and ther other clear gray (looks like oil).
The two surviving women (all the prisoners were women) introduced themselves as Neera (cute) and Lachais (cute after last call). told us their story of how the Skullcrusher raiding band attacked their village and burned it to the ground. Killing every man and child and took the women as captives. How they passed a watchtower on the way back and no one came out to check it out. There were no lights on and no noise coming from the tower. it looked to be deserted or worse. We could not send them off on their own, they would not survive and had no home so they were offered jobs as cooks or grooms.
After hearing about the watchtower we all agreed that we needed to check it out.
3 hours later we were at the front door of the watchtower. We yelled, screamed, Brica knocked on the door and still nothing. I checked for traps and it was clear. I opened the door and peered in. Nothing but darkness and then, some noise from above.
Following Ibn into the darkness me (looking for traps) Brica, Richard, Sinach and Llain made our way into the watchtower. We made our way into the common area and then up the closest set of stairs where another door was present. I checked for traps and then we opened the door.
As the door opens small winged creatures with 6 legs attached.
— end journal entry