The Chronicles of Etinerra

Trip to Irecia

Balto's Journal

I joined a small group of adventurers planning its next move – to clear some monsters from a monastery? Look for a gold mine? Scout around the old inn in the middle of the Dalewoods? Or head east through the woods to Irecia, abandoned (with its treasures) to the beasts and Damned decades ago? We chose Irecia.
The party –myself, a fighter named Fergus, a roguish elf fighter named Beláldur, a paladin Grel, a monk Ja’kar, and a ranger name of Ragar – reached the bridge over the forest brook by midmorning.
Aware of the danger of the orc patrols, Ja’kar scouted ahead on the road while the rest of us faded into the woods to his south. I was pretty stealthy, so were Beláldur and Ragar, but Fergus and Grel made quite a racket. Pretty soon, Ja’kar called us back to the road, where we saw clear signs of a recent battle: branches down, grass torn by many hooves, dried pools of blood in abundance! Ragar told us it appeared aboiut 50 mounted orcs and 50 mounted soldiers from Enonia had clashed, and Enonia had carried the day.
We heard the drumbeat of hooves in the distance. No doubt an orc patrol, I was told – they ride out from the inn three times a day, in both directions. Most of us took to the woods south of the road and armed ourselves, but Ja’kar sat down in the road and began to meditate, bo stick across his knees.
When the orcs rode up, he offered a drink to them and was rebuffed. As one reached for him, he fought back. The rest of us then ambushed the patrol. I was pretty good with my slingshot – I missed once, maybe. I was too busy picking my targets to notice much what else happened but I did see Ja’kar pulp the head of one orc before braining himself with his bo stick. We did remarkably well, dispatching 8 of the 10 orcs, though Ja’kar and Fergus were injured. We collected the orcs’ weapons and armor (and heads, at Ja’kar’s insistence) and, mounted on captured horses, rode east.
We all slipped into the woods and worked our way around the inn. They were having some weird rally in there, all about killing and glory to their god. We had no trouble sneaking past that – even the humans would have had a hard time getting noticed in that din! Once well out of earshot, we made camp for a couple of days to rest and heal.
We rode out of the woods into a vast grassland – no buildings as far as the eye could see. We left the road to avoid the orc patrols and discovered a hollow with a pool of good water by a crumbling well. Why a well by a pond? Clearly, this required investigation. Fergus gave me a boost up so I could peer into the well – but I could see nothing. Ja’kar dropped a stone in and it hit something hollow. Beláldur climbed down to have a look – and part of the well wall looked odd to him. He started pulling out loose rocks and dropping them, which set off the spike trap on the floor, but no one was affected. Beláldur had opened a hidden passage into the tomb of Carmella, Queen of Irecia!
We wandered through this very odd tomb – not much of value there, and Grel and Ja’kar were watching to make sure nothing was disturbed. There was a chamber with mosaics of her life, a martial chamber with her armed and armored statue, her burial chamber, a chamber with 6 posing statues, and a chamber with a weird fountain with golden bowls and small sarcophagi. Beláldur confided in me that he was a thief as well as a fighter. We went up to make camp, and I arranged to be last out, taking a good look around.
We spent an enormous amount of time with that fountain, even staying over a day to refill it. It never seemed to do anything. Late that afternoon, we chose to push on, as our rations were getting short. We took a short detour to camp by Vanir’s Stone, carved with ancient runes in a language none of us could read. Early the next day, as we were breaking camp, a writhing mass of nasty, emaciated rats approached and we hightailed it out of there.
We soon reached the outskirts of Irecia. Not a structure was left standing – just burned and smashed dwellings and farm buildings among overgrown fields and orchards. As we moved into the suburban areas, things were a little better. There were a few surviving wooded areas. The area had been systematically burnt and wrecked, but the buildings here were more substantial and held up better. As we got closer to the city, Beláldur and I could see camps and movement around the keep guarding the West Gate. He, I, and Ja’kar made a stealthy reconnaissance and verified that orcs held the keep and the camp.
We’d left Beláldur, Fergus, and Grel at a ruined suburban villa. There, they were surprised by Wordred and Turgar, two of the King’s soldiers. These fighters had slipped away from the besieged keep by the North Gate to Irecia, hoping to bring relief from Enonia. They filled our party in on the general situation: Orcs held the East, West, and South Keeps and were trying to push into the City. Irecia is occupied by the Damned, and the orcs may have their hands full here. Still, the North Keep is hard pressed. We passed all the food we could spare to Turgar, who rejoined his men. Wordred rode back to Enonia with us to ask for aid.We dodged an evening orc patrol and made a rude camp in the grasslands.
The next morning, we broke camp early. By late that afternoon, we saw the woods on the horizon. The sharper-eyed of us also saw orcs making camp, so we detoured a bit south and entered the woods. We camped close enough to the road to hear the patrols – including one at midnight, which means the orcs patrol at least four times a day now. The next day, we passed the inn. The orcs were jumpy but not too alert, and we slipped past unnoticed. By midday, we made it to Enonia.
We attracted a lot of attention riding in, and the presence of one of the King’s men and the orc heads got us in to see the Marshall quickly. The Marshall was pleased and rewarded us for our victory against the orcs, but I stayed in the background – I never like to attract the eyes of the authorities. As it happens, he also let us know Queen Carmella was notoriously vain, and an ancestor of Sir Reynald and his brother the Duke. He arranged to have 40 men sent to the North Keep, to resupply or assist in a withdrawal. He patiently endured imprecations from Grel and Ja’kar, then explained how thinly spread his men were. He planned to move up an attack into the Wayfarer’s Inn – but knew a frontal assault would be costly. Grel produced a map of the caves under the Inn, which indicated a secret entrance, and the Marshall asked him to locate it and maybe bring a party in to clean out the dungeons and surprise the orcs.
The Marshall sent us on to Sir Reynald, preparing for a move into the haunted monastery. He also rewarded us, and invited us to join him in the attack. He confirmed the vanity of Queen Carmella, and warned us sternly that if anyone found their way to loot the tomb before we could head over and block it back up, he would blame our party. I trust if anyone did a little pilfering, he’ll be discreet.

Comments

Nice and comprehensive – kudos!

Trip to Irecia
 

I would like to point out that Grel was and is always extremely polite to the Marshal and would never berate him under any circumstance…….with the single exception of if he insulted Tangadorin, which he never has.

Trip to Irecia
Chgowiz marccub

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