The Chase
The Escort

The adventurers set off on their hired quest to escort the military caravan. It consists of two carts, one for food, supplies and other necessities, the other carrying what appears to be a large steel container, bolted and latched, with the seal of the Empire on the fastened lid. The guards accompanying Krik and Ivan refuse to tell what is inside their objective, only saying that it must reach the docks in Skerim within the week, and will be shipped to a more secure part of the Empire. Krik is fascinated by the crate and thoroughly perturbed by the fact that she doesn’t know what it is.

The first day passes, uneventfully, and the adventurers ease their guard, and relax, enjoying the travel. Night falls and the captain orders the group to set up camp. Friendly banter around the campfire is interrupted when krik hears a noise coming from the dark alpine forest. The captain nearly sloughs it off, and orders Ivan and Krik, along with 3 other guardsmen to check out the “noise.” Scouting out ahead of the group, krik peers into the night with her half-orc darkvison. Suddenly, she can make out a very large beastly shape, far too large for comfort. The guards, seemingly oblivious to the danger blunder full on into a Dire Bear. years of traversing the northern wilds honed Kriks reflexes, and without missing a beat, charges head on at the menacing brute of a bear. Ivan looses searing magic missiles into the the bear and the stench of burning flesh fills the night air. The guards hastily try to form a line and hold their ground, but the Dire Bear roars with primal fury and swipes it’s mighty paw down onto one of them, opening a mortal gash on a guard’s chest. The other two fight for their lives with sword and shield, fending off the beast as krik unleashes her fury and bursts into a bloodletting rage and chops and stabs at the bear with her halberd with wild abandon cleaving grievous wounds into the animal. Ivan dips into his spell book and throws out an arcane barrage upon the beast, blasting it into a bloody corpse. The scouting party regroups and limps back to their camp to nurse their wounds.

The next day and a half of travel goes by with little excitement, a pleasant reprieve from the previous night’s battle. Mid afternoon on the third day, Ivan spots a dark spec one ridge-line over. Upon further inspection, it appears to be a figure off in the distance, cloaked in black, and following them. The captain of the guard doesn’t want to take any chances, putting the guards in defensive formation around the carts, and orders Krik and Ivan to chase down the cloaked figure. They race off, in the direction of the menace, but despite their best effort, could not find or catch him. They return to the caravan, and trek onward for the rest of the day, setting up camp at nightfall.

The next day began like all the rest, with more marching. But it certainly wouldn’t end that way. Mid morning, again Ivan spots the black figure on the other side of the narrow valley as it passes over a patch of white snow, a clearing in the trees. The group tenses, keeping their senses keen and eyes watchful. Later that day, they hear it. Drums.

Lots of them.

A chorus of different drums beating in the hills to the west of them. Then an acknowledgement from the forest to the east. More drums. The guardsmen begin their defensive formations just as the drums stop. An eerie silence befalls the forest. Then a single horn pierces the trees, followed by the screams of charging orcs. The caravan is beseiged with orcs, a throng of gnashing teeth, studded leather and rusty swords. They come in hard, screaming out of the trees on both sides of the road, more orcs than either Ivan or Krik has ever seen. The guards dig in as the green wave of fury washes over the convoy. Krik explodes in primal fury and tears into the oncoming masses with destructive zeal. Ivan conjours bolts of acid and magic missiles to quell the orcish onslaught. The guardsmen try desperately to hold the line, but there are simply too many. Little by little the mass of orcs push them back, separating them from the carts. Ivan turns this downturn into his tactical advantage, seeing a large group of orcs between the guards and the carts. He rushes forward, dodging Krik and her bloody massacre to position himself for maximum casualties and calls forth a great wave of flame from his hands and incinerates a great mass of orcs in a terrible conflagration. The adventurers fight on slaughtering orcs as fast as they can, but still more come from the forest beyond. Then with the escorts pushed back, away from the precious cargo, they bear witness to the true objective of this seemingly random attack. There, from the west, the cloaked figure apears, to far for anyone to hear him, but he seems to be pointing at the carts and barking orders. The orcs push on, harder, forcing the group farther still form the carts, just as two huge Etins charge out of the trees from behind the Black figure. They race towards the carts, smashing though the restraints and letting the horses gallop away. They grab the carts, turn and pull them back off the road, into the hills. The mysterious steel container with them. Their mission complete, their brethren slaughtered, the orcs disperse, and scatter, just as quickly as they had come on. The guards and the adventurers left, stranded on the roadside with but one choice: Track down and retrieve the mysterious black steel container.

The adventure begins

Our campaign begins play in the sleepy town of Corlione, a small village nestled in the foothills of the Snowvale Mountains and the Greenspring forest. Krik the half-orc barbarian woman has come into town to sell furs and bone tools and stock up on rations before she treks off into the mountains again, when she passes by the town bulletin board. Here she meets Ivan, the Gnomish wizard, here on a delivery errand from his master the Arch Mage of Northbreach, a city to the north. After sophisticated chatter from Ivan, and very simple, to-the-point words from Krik, the two agree to accept a job together; one that was posted on the board in front of them. The job in question is a simple bodyguard detail of a military convoy from the garrison on the north edge of town to the bustling port city of Skerim. The trip would take them south, across the Snowvale Mountains, down to the Orlyn Peninsula. The trip will take 6-8 days depending on weather and other factors. Our party of two read on, learning that the garrison will deploy the convoy in three days, leaving them time to spend in Corlione.

Ivan, with his vastly superior intellect (and verbiage) takes the initiative to stroll over to the Lucky Horse Tavern, procure a room for the night and start up small talk with the inn keeper. Krik decides to follow along, and grab a bite to eat, and listen to the chatter. After speaking with the Tavernkeeper and learning that the garrison north of town is more of an outpost than a policing service to the town, he informs Ivan and Krik if they are looking for some extra cash and have time to spend, they should check in with the guards there, and ask to be set up with the nightwatch.

Krik and Ivan start off towards the north end of town, on their way to the garrison. They are met with two guards posted at the gate to what amounts to more of an outpost than anything else. With direction from the two rather bored guards, they are sent to see Lieutenant Troy, in the armory. Lieutenant Troy is in a good mood, and happily puts them on the roster for the nightwatch. After taking their information, he sends them to see Captain Maevis, the commanding officer of the garrison. Captain Maevis is serving his watch in the guard tower, to the north of the armory inside the compound. Maevis is gruff, and to the point, but still happy to hear the roster is getting filled for the evening. He states the normal pay is 7 silver pieces for the night, and additional 3 silver for any goblin ears that they might find during the night. After sleeping off the rest of the day at the Lucky Horse, Ivan and Krik come back to the garrison, check in, and receive orders to patrol the south east quarter of the town, and keep an eye out for any disturbances.

Their shift starts mellow enough, walking back and forth across their patrol area, noting the towns people getting lively in the evening, and coming back from the taverns. Nearing the wee morning hours, Ivan and Krik are passing a small cottage when Krik suddenly hears the faint shut of a wooden door. The duo crouch low, and come around the building to investigate, finding the front door to the residence slightly ajar. Ivan poises outside, while Krik peers inside with her darkvision. She manages to make out the form of a thief, looking through a dresser, before the bandit sees her, and hides behind some furnature, unsure if he’s been spotted. Krik, in all her subtlety, throws the door open and strides over to the crouched man. The thief panics and throws fine silk garments in her face, and uses the distraction to sprint out the door. But Ivan was already there, and upon seeing someone charge at him out of the dark, his mindset was thrown back to that of arcane defenses, charging his fists with electrical energy, he releases it into the bandit’s chest. With a yelp and a stumble, the thief is on the ground, with Krik suddenly above him, her iron-like grip pinning him in place. The thief pleads with the two temporary nightwatch to let him go, but they will have none of it, and alert the guards to come take their prisoner back to the brig.

Captain Maevis is very pleased with their performance the morning after, during their debriefing. Having signed up for the convoy, and with time to waste, Maevis is eager to have them on the nightwatch again, expecting another night of deeds well done. The adventurers happily agree, and head off to the tavern to sleep for the day.

The next night, the duo are sent to patrol the west side of town, a more sparsely populated area, with large bushes and trees, and fewer houses and roads. The early evening passes uneventfully, but around midnight, when the town is quiet, and most everyone else is asleep, the two adventurers find themselves patrolling through an area with tall bushes and dense undergrowth. Suddenly they here hushed voices, distinctly not of the common tongue. Readied for battle, they hold their ground when suddenly a slew of goblin foot soldiers and hobgoblin elites rush out of the bushes towards them!

The two adventurers were sorely outnumbered, but they had the advantage of strength of arm, and will of mind. Upon seeing the little wretches charge her, Krik loses a primal roar and goes into a bloodfrenzy, meeting her opponents head on. Ivan remains cool headed and rapidly assesses the situation and takes action, conjuring a barrage of magic missles and firing bolts of acid into his foes. Krik tears through the first few goblins without mercy, and her rage swells within her. Deftly evading goblin clubs and hobgoblin swords, she makes quick work of those in front of her, only to hear a scream from behind her. Ivan managed to drop the first 3 goblins before a hobgoblin slashes him deeply with its sword. Fast acting, Krik runts to intercept the hobgoblin and relieve Ivan from the pressure of melee combat. Seeing his companion go one on one with the larger opponent, he quick-wittedly switches targets and obliterates the remaining goblin poised to flank Krik. Breathing heavily and bloodied, Ivan tells Krik to search the bodies and take ears, meanwhile, he notifies the guards. During their searching, Ivan finds a small crudely drawn map of the Corlione, with goblinkin writing that he cannot make out, but a series of numbers in the lower corner that he understands as today’s date and time. He shows it to the Lieutenant of the guard, and they share concern for any amount of coordinated attack that goblins could put together. It’s not the norm to say the least.

Once again, Captain Maevis is very happy to have Ivan and Krik on his nightwatch, and makes it well known in the morning’s debriefing. Deeply troubled though, he brings Ivan and Krik aside, and lets them know that the writing on the hobgoblin map was decifered earlier that morning. He wouldn’t tell them what the map said, but his concern was openly displayed when he told the two that the military convoy was leaving immediately, and with great haste to leave the area.

After parting words, and their just rewards, the Captain sent them on their way with the convoy shortly after. The trek across the Snowvale Mountains to Skerim had begun.

Getting our feet wet

We started off creating our characters. So far, the party consists of a female Half-orc Barbarian named Krik, a male gnome wizard named Ivan, and possibly a human female Psychic Warrior named Mika but we are unsure if she will be a part of this campaign or not. Everyone starts play at level four, since the first three levels are retarded. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather skip a bit of the game, rather than seek to complete various missions against slightly-larger-than-normal rats and lose.

The first night of play was just to learn the basics, and get a feel for combat. Krik and Ivan faced off against a formidable set of opponents. Mika was not there that night, and did not partake in the slaughter.Having been thrown into the arena with a strike force of ten orcs and two ogres, Krik and Ivan had a bit more than they could handle. After a tense battle, Krik was incapacitated and Ivan managed to stabilize her….. But they did win the fight!

Just to make sure everyone ended on a good note, the players were healed to full, and thrown back into combat vs. a Minotaur. This turned out much more positive, as Krik remembered her class defining mechanic Rage, Ivan had become more adept with his spell selection and efficiency, and the DM had a better understanding of how challenge rating worked…


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