18th Day of Summer, Myself, Jorann, Mazlor, Talos, Irem, Dargellan and Oliphas, along with a multitude of hirelings and henchman set off for the hamlet to the West or Tangorin’s Tower. The going was slow, Irem had worked well at the market and with Sir Yinivax, but with a party of almost 30 and a large supply wagon there was no sneaking around! We took our horses, we may as well be somewhat comfortable.
The end of the first day saw us by the Inn, we did manage to manhandle the wagon through the woods around the Troll bridge. One of the hirelings spotted some flying creatures in the woods, naturally the two rangers went to have a look. Some while later they came back, Dargellan looking a little worse for wear, apparently these creatures were flying Kobolds that could spit poison (I thought the Kobiolds were wiped out byt the goblins….. they must have captured some and are now experimenting with them). No major harm done and we set watches and rested for the night. Two uneventful days later we arrived at the Tower, our base for the raid on the slave market.
We made camp here and then the seven of us went to observe what is happening at the hamlet, we had planned to arrive before the goblins and orcs and prepare a trap. Unfortunately as we approached we could see the smoke from campfires, our timing was wrong. We hung back and Irem went to investigate further. After some time he came back with Anya (as promised she did find us), things were clearly not as expected. We returned to camp and Anya explained there was something big happening, they had arrived some days earlier with lots of boxes, some celebration seemed to be coming soon. More unfortunately instead of being around 30 orcs and goblins, there was more like 90, a significant number being orcs. They also had roving horseback patrols consisting of 12 orcs.
After some discussion we decided to ambush one of the patrols and then wait for the goblins to leave with the humans and then take them out and rescue the prisoners. Anya knew the patrol route so befor daybreak a group of us went out to make an obvious trail across the path to lead the patrol into our ambush. This is where it gets a bit fuzzy, a lot happened quickly. Anya and Dargellan headed off to the hamlet to see what was happening, the rest of us went back to the camp to gather the troops. Having got the troops moving towards the ambush site we rode ahead. Fortunately Oliphas spotted the patrol, and gave us sufficient warning to prepare. They were extremely organized, keeping well out of spell range they surrounded us, then charged, we did get some spells off and cut the odds down but orcs on warhorses is not a good thing. Several got through and we took some damage, for somereason the leader decided to pick on me! Talos did manage to charm him which gave me time to remove myself, but he chased me. Eventually Talos, and I think Irem, tried to rush him. Then a strange thing happened, he saw them and immediately killed himself and then the few remaining orcs killed themselves. We did collect a few items, including nine warhorses.
Two orcs were asleep so we bound them and put them on horses to take back to camp, this activity did wake them. Suddenly a rather beaten up Dargellan appeared, there was no sign of Anya. He began to relay his story. He and Anya had seen two of the prisoners strung up in front of the large building and all the orcs were chanting. A shaman appeared and was clearly in the final throws of an unpleasant ceremony. Dargellan did manage to kill the Sharman with a shot through the heart (no mean feat as he must have been 150 yards away……) but not before the hearts of the two human sacrifices were ripped from their bodies (I hate orcs). Unfortunately this did stir the pot, Anya and Dargellan did manage to clear the area but were eventually found by a patrol. They were ridden down and Dargellan suffered a lot of damage in the initial charge. He told us how Anya then pushed him away, told him to run and then turned to face the reforming patrol……
We headed back to camp. Along the way one of the orcs managed to free himself and before we could stop him he rode off. We trussed up the remaining orc like a mummy, no way he was going to escape! Irem and Skallagrim had gone back to spy on the hamlet, Skallagrim returned to tell us a large party with outriders was heading our way, Irem was taunting them, but apparently nobody was giving chase. Irem retuned and said they went to the ambush site and picked up the bodies then left.
The question was no what? We knew the goblins came fro the woods and should be heading west at some point, if this was a regular occurrence then there should be a track somewhere. It was to the North. We found a suitable place for an ambush. Mazlor and Dargellan went back to the place where he and Anya had encountered the patrol. They found Anya’s headless body, our worst fears were realized, they brough it back, Anya was going to have a proper burial in Enonia. Irem watched the hamlet and after once again harassing the column came back to tell us they were on the move. We prepared out positions and waited. The weirdest thing happened, as we settled down Colgash suddenly stood up and said the earth was moving under him. Poor soul, he was sat upon two Damned. Unfortunately we could not kill them before they got Colgash. The hirelings were getting a little nervous but we calmed them down and soon we heard the goblins coming. The plan worked well, Talos entwined the front section, I put some to sleep in the middle, Mazlor and Jorann held a few and the archers significantly reduced the numbers. One of his body guards grabbed the held leader and chased after the remaining goblins who were running away. The body guard managed to rally them and during the ensuing melee I freed the captives. After some chasing Talos and Mazlor captured the leader and his bodyguards (Entangle is almost as good as Sleep).
We regrouped at the Tower and between the wagon and horses we could transport the emaciated prisoners with some ease. OUR prisoners took their place and carried the beams. We rested, fed and watered the prisoners and then made our way back to Enonia, fortunately it was free of any adventure, with a party this size and several prisoners things could have got very chaotic. As we exited the woods to the West we did spot a group of goblins tracking parallel to us who did not look happy, they left us alone but there are changes afoot.
As we headed into Enonia we met Sir Yinivax with some Royal Knights, he did not seem happy as he sighted the goblins, he knows the shaky truce is over, while he is happy we freed the human prisoners he is concerned that Enonia is now in grave danger. However, upon hearing we have a captured orc he brightens up considerably.. We handed over our prisoners and arranged to meet him shortly…. I fear some serious discussions and decisions are soon to be had.