(still the night of 24 July)
As we approach the army camp, we hear a resounding crash near the city and those of us that can actually see anything report movement toward the south. The foe we face are well organized, more so than we’ve seen recently. They are patrolling their perimeter, Coy and Dom will distract them while we approach the command tent.
We hear shouts erupt spurring a flurry of activity among the tents, that’s our cue. We advance, as quietly as we can, thankfully Coy and Dom have created enough of a distraction, that our clumsiness is covered. The command tent is clear, we enter and quickly sort through as much as we can taking advantage of whatever time we risk taking. Coy and I stand guard at the tent entrance, my cloak with our enemy’s sigil proving a helpful disguise and may provide a few more moments.
We hear a scuffle behind us, Dom has restrained the… companion of the tent, she struggles, spitting threats at us. We seem to be in Clerian’s tent, his child of a bedmate clearly has a high regard for his ability with arms, she seems to think we’ll be punished severely for our audacity. We toss her out of the tent, set it afire and take off with as many papers from the war table in the tent as we could scoop up.
We head south toward the slave tents as quickly and unobtrusively as we can, though the time for stealth is rapidly receding behind us as the noise of the chaos we have already caused continues to cloak our actions. Speed will be our friend now as we try to free whatever slaves our enemy plans to send against us. The first section of the orc encampment does not seem to have any slaves. Looks like a warband as opposed to a tribe. 3rd camp is as large space wise as the first but only about a dozen tents spread out. As we approach we hear guards call out from the palisade, followed shortly by what is most likely a “hark who goes there!” in orcish off to our right. Our cover finally blown, we turn to face an ettin, a double headed oversized ugly orc thing.
I can’t even get close enough to hit the beast before my friends put him down, too bad we didn’t get to him before he raised the alarm. I move around to be sure he’s down for good, everyone else perks up looking both directions along the make shift palisade we are up against. Arrows come streaking out of the darkness from our right, from the left comes a loud rumbling roar. Right or left? The debate is over quickly as I opt to charge toward the source of the arrows, and let Coy and Dom deal with the loud one.
The ettin swings at me ineffectually, giving me a false sense of security. I follow him around the pit and manage to land a blow. Then he lets loose with this flurry of attacks and I crash to ground senseless yet again. I wake to Aleric standing over me, a look of concentration on his face. I hear Coy shouting off in the darkness, “this way!” as I stagger to my feet.
We collect around 300 slaves, and start to try to herd them to the ford. They are strongly motivated by their desire to be free of the orcs, doing their best to move quickly and stay together. We assist them crossing the water to safety. After sending them on their way, we turn back toward the city.
We see evidence of the carnage the city has seen embedded in the very walls surrounding the city, both the freshly dead, and the risen dead in equal measure. The fighting is now on the far side of the first bridge, the buildings have been crushed beneath the feet of the conflict. We see a blinding white light in the distance, illuminating the wall between the two branches of the river where several towers have toppled. Bursts of fire sear after images in our eyes, silhouettes of those fighting, and the dead and dying. The screams reach us across the water.
We cross the bridge and are hailed by a guard, we defer to Kuni, who unfortunately and very out of character, finds herself tongue tied. Coy tries to rectify the situation by shoving the guy off the bridge, the guard is more perceptive than most and manages to keep his feet. We scuffle with him, and quickly move on over the bridge. We head toward the flashes of fire, planning to take out the wizard, figuring that to be the best help we could give the troops.
We come into the town and find a large bat winged being wreathed in fire followed by a large hellhound and many smaller hellhounds, almost none of them are humanoid. At least they don’t look like they’ve just crawled out of a grave… We perform our routine pre-battle rituals of Rod invoking, and clustering around Cilka so we can all be speedy.
We are hemmed in on both sides by the buildings still standing. I briefly toy with the idea of going round and coming at them from behind through an alley, deciding to opt for the more cautious approach and stay together. I move up quickly as a web materializes around them sticking them in place. A cloud of darkness falls over the biggest nasty in the back as Coy steps up shooting lightening from his hands into their midst. They retaliate by breathing fire, wherever their fire touches, the webbing disappears in a puff of smoke. They are still constrained, but it will not be long before they are clear of the sticky substance.
I step forward and swipe away the webbing from the area in front of me with the flames on my sword as a large insectiod creature appears in front of one the monsters opposing us. The insect attacks the monster, maybe it’s something Keth called forth, though usually his are all glowy and sparkling white, this one does not have that comforting heavenly look to it at all. Alaric takes advantage of the path I cleared and kills the cat creature facing us.
The darkness in the back still shields whatever it is behind there, but now we are being stalked from behind as another wave of the hellhounds coming around the corners of the buildings we just moved past. Kuni and Cilka are back there, I turn and charge the one closest to Kuni and I trying to attract their attacks and protect my cousin. I swing true, cleaving the monster in two. I face the rest of them menacingly, standing between them and our less physically imposing companions. Kuni proves herself more than capable, pincoushining the remaining hellhound that had approached her from behind.
Dom’s arrows flash past me, burying all three almost to the feathers into the one that has moved up to my right. I step into the space left between two of the three and take them both out. I hear the fighting continuing on behind me, I need to go help Coy and the rest I left facing the huge thing in the darkness, but one still faces Cilka, I cannot leave her undefended.
I step forward and take out the last hellhound facing us. Cilka turns and runs toward our friends behind us, tearing a page from her book as she goes. A blinding light bursts forth, the warmth of sunlight shatters the darkness surrounding the winged beast. We see his back to us, all shredded and bleeding, he is preparing to launch his cowardly self into the sky. Gertie charges up to him and deals the death blow.