Elysius the 5th
When we last left our heroes, they had just arrived at Lord Parlfrey’s keep. The beleaguered lord gave them the cast of finding lost pilgrims of Silvanus in the marshes of Howler’s Moor. The job seemed simple enough, even if the name was foreboding as the nine hells. However, to complicate the matter, there was a slight…issue. It would seem that a band of orcs was tracking the party, and had staked outside of Parlfrey Keep, ready to strike should they decide to leave. The garrison in the keep was less than impressive, as they had enough soldiers as to “protect the keep in times of peace” as Tyllas put it. Our heroic crows decide that instead of just waiting them out, they will ambush the ambushers. The plans seemed foolproof right? Well at least they weren’t going to split the party this time.
The summer was in full swing, and the heat made wearing armor quite uncomfortable. Luckily and unluckily, a storm was brewing to the north, the brontide heralding its imminence. But the good thing about rain in the summer is it keeps the heat at bay, the bad thing about it is that it makes person extremely easy to track. If this ambush did not succeed, there would be no escape…
To keep the land as advantageous to them as possible, the Crows decided to travel due north alongside the Half-Cut hills instead of trekking through the thick mud and water muck of Howler’s Moor. They found a piece of land to their liking, and made camp for the night on a hill top. Their plan was to hide outside of the camp and let the orcs attack an empty camp, and then while distracted, they would fall upon them like carrion birds upon a heap of dead orcs. A small hitch in the plan however, as Alesanro’methelyoctoviana and his faithful (although not to him) mamluk Muhammad A-Gal decide to sleep IN THE CAMP! I suppose it gives to the versimilitude of the illusion they were trying to create. At any rate, Al and A-Gal decide to sleep in the camp, while the rest of the party stays to the outisde, out of the firelight. A sleepless watch begins. And the night passes, but nothing shows up to attack them.
Elysius the 6th
As the sky begins to grey with the tale-tell signs of dawn, arrows go wizzing by. Al and his mam-luk wake up the a somewhat nasty surprise. Well, I dunno, would you call multiple arrows suddenly impaling you a nasty way to wake up? A band of orcs, about 11 strong comes charging up the hill, screaming, howling, and stamping their feet. They suspect no trap, and are simply rushing foward to slaughter everyone in the camp, and to stomp their bones into dust. In this made rush up the hill, one of them runs into Bellamin as he is hiding in the bushes, but the others are so busy with their violent squawking that the others don’t notice. He fights with the orc for some time.
Just as the orcs break into the camp, Shea fells three of them with a well placed sleep spell, just as Darella entangles the rest of them in a sudden sea of writhing roots and grabbing grasses. The party begins to kill the orcs one at a time as they slowly escape from the fighting foliage. Unfortunately, orcs don’t like elves, and those who make it out of the weeds attack the elves will full murderous intent. “Orcs are known to take prisoners,” Bib the lord of evil, DM of the campaign declared, “just not elven ones.” Indeed, our heroes very nearly lost all three of their elven companions that day. With some fierce combat and some damn good rolls, the party was successful in the ambush. They also found a few silver plated swords and a magical shield, strange things for orcs to have…
We move to march into the marsh, Bellamin scouting in the front, and Eddy scouting in the rear, at least for a while. On the first day into the marsh he gets scared by something in the mist, and does what a good scout does, and runs up the main part of the party to let them know, and stays there. At any rate, they find a place to make camp, and spend a somewhat unrestful night. Of course, they also discover that they have become soft in the bountiful land of Haranshire, and they did not pack enough food for an expedition. They decide upon half rations and set a time limit for the search before they must return to get more provisions. 2 days of searching, and then they must leave.
Elysius the 7th
In the morning, Al finds a decayed human hand holding onto his shield that wasn’t there the night before. Things are starting to get pretty nasty in the marsh as they walk into progressively worse and worse bogs. The solid footing that they had when they walked in was long gone, and they were suddenly finding that it was simply to nasty, and too difficult to keep walking. At one point, they found themselves nearly completely mired in the marsh, and some of the party had to be rescued. Last of all was Al, who couldn’t much swim, and who was holding onto a massive tower shield, which didn’t help matters any. As he was trying to get out, TA-DA! A gift from the marsh! 6 bog zombies spring from the water and attack the party. Bellamin rescues Al from the bog as the rest of the party tries to fight off the zombies. Now the cleric in the party doesn’t have a holy symbol on him, so he can’t turn undead, so its time for hard fighting. Well, things don’t go well for the Crows, and its looking like this in the end. Al is nearly dead, and others are getting injured more and more as the bog zombies tear at their flesh. Suddenly, as though a spirit possesses him, Al reaches over, fast as a viper, and takes Shea’s dagger from her belt and with skill that mortals just don’t possess, carves a perfect symbol of Mielikki into his forehead. As he passes out, there is a flash of light from his wound and the zombies turn in terror and vanish into the murky waters. The party, was saved.
Moving on they come across a group of men lying in the mud. One of them is in process of dying when they arrive, and he explains with rasping voice and gasping breath that “The man with the red hair took them, he looked alive, his eyes, his eyes….” and he said no more as he shed off that mortal coil. As the party is taking in what they have just witnessed, snarls and barks are head in the distance, savage and evil. Tantra, Darella’s wolf, explains to her that something very evil is coming. The party prepares for another fight.
A Total of 8 demon two-headed death dogs coming charging at them, and the party beings to attack them with arrows and sling bullets. Those who cannot fight at range form a wall to intercept the beasts. Shea manages to enchant three of them to sleep, and Darella entangles the other five with her spells. Before a single blade must be swung, the last of the beasts is felled by Bellamin’s sling. The fight, which promised to end the adventure of the Crows, ended itself without so much as a drop of sweat. They kill the last three as they sleep, and gather the bodies of the fallen men and depart. They return to Parlfrey keep to give the word to the lord about what happened, to gather supplies, and to make sure the men are properly burried. They also do the trading and selling of their loot.
Join us next time, when the Crows continue their quest to find Jelleneth, to find the pilgrims of Silvanus, and to figure out what the hell is going on. STAY TUNED!