I had been away with Fergus when the first rescue attempt was made, to bring Ynnivax and his men and the King’s men out of Irecia’s North Keep. That had not gone well, as too few men had been brought. But it brought back some intelligence, and a plan was hatched to save them. Fergus and I, and our newly-equipped farmboys-turned-fighters Willie and Josef, mustered with the rest of the Marshal’s men, commanded by Captain Pellen. All told, there were well over a hundred of those men, plus the group I rode with: Ostlen, Fergus, Grel, Boraen and Talvi his wolf, Ragar, and Pyria.
Once out of town, Ragar led the scouts ahead to screen us. Around midday, Talvi began to fret and whine. Boraen said there is some danger to us, and a scout rode back to tell Pellen to be cautious, as there was someone or something big stalking us. Suddenly, two dire wolves charged at the scouts!
Ragar was able to get off a couple shots with his bow, and hits one before being bitten himself. Ragar, with the help of one scout, dispatched the first dire wolf. One of the scouts was pulled from his horse by the second beast. That one is surrounded and slain by the rangers as we galloped up. Boraen and Grel bind up our injured, and Grel lays his hands on the worst-afflicted scout, name of Narvey, who he then tells all about the wonders of his deity Tangadorin. Meanwhile, Borean hacks the head from one of the dire wolf carcasses. We ride on until dusk, set up camp, and pass an restful night.
The following day, we made for an abandoned village to the north of Irecia. We could see the gleaming white towers of Irecia from the village. Grel and Narvey started singing the praises of Tangadorin as I emptied my pack and filled it with as many healing potions as I could fit in. Joined by Ostlen and Belaldur, I made for the North Keep, following Beladur’s lead.
Ostlen and I make the wall as Belaldur makes some noise to attract the attention of two orcs nearby. Men appear atop the wall above us as we climb and shoot fire arrows behind the orcs to distract and dismay them, and as they fled, Belaldur killed one. Ostlen reassured the soldiers inside that we are a rescue party, and I clambered over the wall with the healing draughts. Belaldur joined us inside, and we went among the injured and bring them back to fighting strength. Ostlen, meanwhile, has explained the rescue plan to Ynnivax, and we rested until midnight.
The rest of our party set a brush fire to the east of the road at midnight, and at that the archers in the keep shoot arrows out to set another the the west of the fortifications. The Marshal’s men come onto the field to confront the besieging orcs, and the battle largely goes in our favor. I think some of our rescue cavalry fled the field, but the fire and confusion made it hard to tell, and we managed to get all 80 of the men we rescued back to the rally point for a quick meal.
Ynnivax was concerned that the orc chief was able to withdraw in good order, and we knew pursuit would not be long in coming.So we split the party and set off within the hour, sending the rescued men with an escort back to the fort on the site of the old Dalewoods Inn. The rest of us made our way north, leaving a trail to draw pursuit. It wasn’t to be, though – we never saw pursuit, and when we made it to the villa where more men and supplies awaited us, we learned the orcs had gone after Ynnivax. Still, he’d a good enough start that we trusted he made it to safety, and we fell into an exhausted sleep.
Next day, we made our way back to the fort, where Ynnivax thanked us and filled us in as best he could. Irecia seems a right hellhole, but Boraen swears a blood oath to go clean it out. Our Duke is planning a push to capture Yew and the Marshal will capture Notchland Keep, plus Ynnivax is concerned the trolls are causing problems in the south, so that may have to take a back seat. Well, and who knows how many blood oaths Borean has outstanding?