The party quickly went about their business in Tashal, closing deals and gathering their equipment. Xavier and Borian then looked at a detailed map of all Southern Kaldor and the Oselmarch. The coming journey South down the Genin Trail back to Chybisa would take them 23 days to do.
Knowing the Marshal of the Realm, Baron Kobing was along the way and remembering the confrontation the party had with his men last time and wishing to avoid the same, the guys looked for a possible alternate route. Seeing that the Kald River flowed south and was met by the Osel River which was the Southern border to Kaldor and bypassed Kobing the party had their route...
The guys spoke to Irian the boat maker and secured a large river craft that was sufficient enough to take the party all the way down the Kald then up the Osel River to Oselbridge outpost. The journey would take 11 days to get to Oselbridge.
On a blustery cold midwinter’s morn the party set off down the mighty Kald, the trip was uneventful and reasonably quick. The countryside passed each day was typical of this time of year and villages passed by were quiet and their residents indoors with very little activity due to the weather.
The party soon left the civilized regions of Kaldor and on to wilderness that became hillier as they went on. Great forested areas could be seen looming grey in the distance but bird and animal life was very minimal. Eventually the boat sailed into the fork of the Kald and the Osel and Irian the boatman turned the vessel to port and slowly up the Osel River.
The wind was kind and the party made some distance for the next few day and the boat made great progress all considering. About three days up the river the party was spotted by Pagaelin horsemen sitting on their horses one morning on the river bank but nothing happened and the boat continued on its way. The next five or six days were uneventful and the party eventually while rounding a bend in the river finally came into sight of the Osel River Bridge up ahead...
Erixorthien (Alan's Elf Ranger) suddenly noticed a banner flying over the decaying arches of the bridge; it was a green field with two crossed spears surrounded by stars. This meant only one thing; the Baron Kobing's men were here! Xavier quickly urged Irian the boatman to pull the vessel about and return down the river. The party did not wish to confront the baron now while so close to leaving Kaldor.
Irian sailed back down the river for a league or so, birthing on the southern bank bid farewell to the party who were to continue the journey on foot south to Chybisa. Xavier did not lose the chance to talk to Irian about the possibility of future business with him using his boats and the rivers to ferry his goods back and forth from Chybisa to Kaldor once he had established his fief in Osel. After a hand shake the party continued on their way.
The party quickly settled into the long 2 week trek southeast along the Genin Trail. The wilderness of Osel was bleak and bare, the trees had long since given up their leafy canopies to the earth last Fall leaving only great grey trunks and branches that looked more and more uninviting as the party travelled south. Each night the group set up camp amongst these scenes without a campfire but keeping warm as best they could with the many furs the guys had remembered to gather in Tashal.
Days had passed by and the group had become weary of the journey, the weather was closing in as the days continued and before long rain set in. The party trudged on in the desolate countryside down the trail ever watchful were the two Elven Rangers, Borian and Erixorthien
One late afternoon the party could see looming ahead the outline of a dark deep forest, not wanting to venture inside so late in the day the party made camp a few hundred yards from it along the road. The night passed uneventfully and next morning Erixorthien decided to check out the road ahead while the party packed up the gear. To his astonishment he clearly saw the tell tale signs that a group of goblinoids had been in the underbrush the night before the party must of been watched! Borian took a look, being a more experienced Ranger could tell they were, "goblins" and must have a cave nearby, being nocturnal creatures.
That day the rain had cleared leaving a bright golden sunny morning, and the party entered the forest ever weary of the depths of the forest expanding both north and south of the trail. The day went on uneventfully and the party stopped that night to make camp again. The party set themselves up ready on sundown and waited a goblin attack that was not long in coming. A low, deep guttural growl was heard to the South in the distance of the dark night. Something bad was out there and coming.
The sound of Chittering and screeching voices was then heard to the North! Borian was ready...he cast a Light spell around the campsite emanating the area in a rich light. To the party's surprise the goblins did not charge in but stayed on the edge of the light taunting and screeching at the group... The group did not stray out of the light but Erixorthien took aim, downing a couple of the ugly creatures while Borian cast a power bolt of energy at a couple more, exploding upon the unfortunate targets tearing them to shreds.
At this point Xavier, being experienced and the leader of the group turned his gaze South again into the darkness beyond the light. In a loud cry he yelled a word, “Ogres!". Six massive dark silhouettes could be seen lumbering out of the dark towards the camp. Turning to confront these creatures Xavier braced himself for the fight, axe and shield in hand.
It was clear to the party the Goblins used themselves as decoys to gain the attention of the party while the Ogres charged in from the South. The party could see the Goblins had no intention of entering into a fight but were intent on waiting for the Ogres to finish the job for them. Knowing this, most of the party faced south leaving only a couple to continue to face the goblins while the majority turned south to face the ogres.
Erich the Mage (Denis) faced one of the Ogres and let off his only remembered spell, "Sleep" this he managed to target on the beast at this point almost at his feet crashing to the ground in slumber. The rest of the party went on the attack themselves and a general melee ensued. Erixorthien fired arrow after arrow at the ogres managing to critical hit one of them in the upper leg with the point imbedding itself deep into the bone causing the ogre much pain and anguish. Ordeth the Dwarf (Danny) fought valiantly against another managing to slam it in the head causing it a severe concussion, decreasing its ability to fight back effectively.
Some of the Goblins at this point became brave, moving into the light taunting the party to advance at them, pulling them into the darkness. This Aedon the Cleric (Chris) and his Squire would not fall for, instead remaining steadfast on the North of the Campsite guarding the rest of the party fighting the Ogres.
Borian cast a powerful bolt of energy again at an Ogre caused it much damage. The beast lurched forward at him. Borian tried to dodge the blow but was slammed with full force in the stomach with a critical that caused internal bleeding. Falling to the ground Borian was in trouble at this point. Xavier meanwhile fought on against another Ogre; Xavier’s small but lethal Axe causing much damage to the beast downing it with each devastating blow. Erich the Mage managed to sleep another Ogre that had targeted him. The Mage was proving very adept at sleeping creatures with a Wisdom of "01, 02 or 03" :roll:
Borian in trouble tried to dodge the ogre’s blows but each time chose his dodge direction badly and the ogre hit him again and again. Borian had not been in this position for a long long time, even so he remained calm and eventually managed to regain his feet. In great agony on his own (down to 10 Body points now) he managed to fire his bow bringing down his foe. But his wound to the stomach became dangerous with the internal bleeding worsening.
Ordeth managed to further damage his foe by causing a great slash above the eye of the ogre further reducing its ability to fight. Lulled into a false sense of security Ordeth took no defensive measures at this point that proved dangerous. The Ogre swung its heavy maul wildly at the Dwarf, unable to see properly and concussed it still managed to hit him squarely in the groin with a critical his of his own. The critical proved lethal causing massive internal bleeding but somehow Ordeth managed to survive the hit, remaining conscious and able to continue the fight. The bash was also surprisingly low (I rolled a 2) and he remained upright to face his foe.
After another 5 or 10 minutes of combat it was all over with Ordeth downing his foe last while the rest of the party watched on. Then slumping too the ground in agony from the previous critical.
The Goblins at this point seeing the Ogres were losing fled North leaving the party to take care of the critically wounded without worry of attack. Both Ordieth and Borian had suffered massive criticals to their groin and stomach respectively and needed medical attention immediately. Xavier gave them both herbs to swallow that would stop all bleeding but would take time to become effective. (D10 Turns) Borian swallowed the herb and lay down to await the effects, by the time it began to work 25 minutes had past and he lapsed into semi-consciousness.
Poor Ordieth was in a worse condition; he slumped down and slid into unconsciousness as Xavier plied his Staunch Wounds abilities upon him. Fighting against time Xavier worked hard for 32 minutes to stop the bleeding before Ordeth would die. The Herb had not yet taken effect and Ordeth was losing D6 Body damage each five minutes. Finally Xavier managed to stop the bleeding as Ordeth was rapidly loosing Blood Loss.
The party let out a sigh of relief as then the Herb had just kicked in.
Xavier was then awarded 650 exp for saving the life of a 5th Level Dwarf. I give saving life rewards like this to characters that save others lives equal to the reward given to slay the being. They love it and enjoy the reward and adulations by the others for doing so).
At this point it was late in the night and we stopped the game here.
To be continued...