As Astrath translated the Kings words his manner became sterner, finally adding his own thoughts on proceedings.
There is more to this I feel. The increased attacks on caravan traffic, almost if they were guided to look for something and then a mocking note left with a single survivor and they already know the value of the potion and that’s the King needs it to save his daughter, how would these Orcs come by this information? If some shady dealings have not been involved? I would not be surprised if word of the Kings decree is already finding its way to them.
She understood very little of what was being said, being unfamiliar with the lands this far north but she could see a pattern life follows death follows life this was just all to neat. She waited until the other that had come to aid this King had spoken before she trilled her thoughts her voice drooping to the low rumble of a predatory beast as she spoke about things most foul.
“Bluntly speaking, this is too neat, a pattern of events follows a course much like a winding river. The source - A daughter poisoned, a potion from afar stolen by those many leagues from here, how do they know about the Kings plight? how did they know of the daughter? How did they know of the position and its value to this King? Why do they care enough to send a note? This speaks of plots most foul from within these borders, a plot to undermine the leadership. I am without doubt word of this decree is already fleet of foot towards these Orcs and they will be preparing for us. King I suggest a less open approach to these events to try and draw out these conspiracists. Though beware while the river may run a known course, it is not always safe to swim as below the surface many unseen forces are always in motion.”
“I thank you for the access to the knowledge I seek, It should not take long. Also I shall take advice from the winged one with regards to provisions as they seem to by more local then I and better suited to plan the needs of the roads ahead."
Posted on 2022-07-15 at 04:46:43.
Edited on 2022-07-15 at 04:49:10 by Alverstar
The king turned to the royal paige who had announced his presence.
'Please go to the royal stables and request that 3 horses and 2 packhorses be tacked up immediately.'
'Yes, my Lord,' the paige bowed and hurried off to do his king's bidding.
King Valorian then turned back to the party.
'There have been reports on the interior of the orc stronghold, which my spies posing as traders and several prisoners who escaped have written and drew on parchment which I keep in my records chamber.'
After instructing a knight to fetch the sheets, he spread them out on one of the stone benches that surrounded the fountain.
Gesturing at the left side one of the parchments, he said, 'as I mentioned earlier, the traders' entrance is on the west of the stronghold. My spies said they travelled down a roughly hewn tunnel that stretched for over five hundred yards. They then came to two sets of stairs: one leading up, the other down. They were not permitted to go down, but on the floor above was a large chamber with four doors, one in each of the walls. So that included the door they had just entered by. They were unable to see what was in two of the other doors-the ones to the left and right of the door they had just come through. But the door directly opposite theirs lead to a short passageway ending in an iron door that was securely bolted and had a thick padlock and chain for good measure. It was also guarded by two burly orcs. Inside, the room was packed full of goods-no doubt plundered from honest traders. That could be where the precious antidote is. You may be wondering that if my spies managed to return to me, why didn't they inform me of the stronghold's exact location. Well, the further they ventured away from the stronghold back to the city, the more hazy their memory became. Rílgari suspects a forgetful charm was placed on the stronghold in order to help keep its location hidden. Not a very good one one because visitors still remembered the hold still laid in the west, but still strong enough to obscure its exact location.
The prisoners who escaped tell of a tunnel directly opposite their cells, with stairs leading up at the end and other passageways branching off to the left and right. The prisoners said they could smell food being prepared, the odour wafting from the lefthand passage, so the stronghold's kitchen may be located down there.'
((Cut to Möhmal's time with Rílgari))
'Welcome to my private workshop and the royal apothecary,' the sorcerer smiled. 'I will instruct you on several flora and fungi that may aid you in your quest.'
He strode to a cluttered shelf and began pulling down several jars, placing them on the equally cluttered counter. In fact, the whole room was rather chaotic, but perhaps everything was in an order only Rílgari knew.
'This,' he told Möhmal, 'is the Forkleaf, so named because the leaves split like the tongue of a serpent. Crush the leaves with a pestel and mortar and spread the resulting paste onto light wounds to help heal them.'
He reached into the next jar and took out a handful of small mushrooms with brilliantly violet hued caps, speckled with white spots.
'Next is the Violetcap. It's obvious where they aquired their name. The cap induces a deep sleep, though my test revealed that the size of a creature's body affects how long it remains in slumber: the larger the body, the quicker it awakens, while smaller creatures stay asleep for longer periods of time. So, a creature the size of an orc will sleep for about fifteen minutes, while a goblin will sleep for about thirty.I was lucky enough to have a captured orc and goblin to experiment on, you see.'
The third jar contained a plant that appeared to be holly but with leaves as red as its berries.
'The Fireholly,' he informed the elf. 'While the berries, if ingested or applied to the skin, causes a painful burning sensation, the leaves. when ground into a paste, help to dull the pain of burns. Depending on the severity of the burn, it may not completely banish the pain, but it still helps.'
He took out a delecate flower from the next jar in line, its petals white as snow.
'The Snowcrystal. When ground into a paste, the petals clean and steralise wounds.'
The final jar contained a plant with very thick stems.
'The Threadstem. Named because, when the stem is cut into threads, it's strong enough to be used as stitches for sewing wounds together. A very useful plant indeed.'
Rílgari tied several of each plant into seperate bundles and placed all except the Fireholly, into a sturdy wooden jar. The holly he placed in a seperate container.
'Due to the berries,' he explained. They could transfer their burning toxins onto the other plants. Always keep the Fideholly seperate from the others. There,' he nodded, looking at the jars. 'That should get you started. Oh, locations:
The Violetcap can be found in typical mushroom locations such as cool, damp areas like rotting logs and near a source of water. They don't like much sunlight, so look for them in shadowy, gloomy places. The Snowcrystal is found in woods, at the side of roads etcetera. It likes sunlight, so anywhere that gets a lot of sunlight, you're likely to find them. The Threadstem is the same as the Snowcrystal, conveniently. So sunny places. The Fireholly grows around sources of water.'
((OOC: Yes, I completely made up everything about the plants myself: names, affects, appearances and locations. So sorry if they're not very good lol))
((Cut back to King Vangar))
'As for trading routes, there are several around here: the main one that leads directly to the Valorian, and others leading to the surrounding towns and villages: one directly east, the other south-west and the last directly north. The only known trade route into Spireridge Valley is the one used by the orcs, goblins and the unscrupulous human traders who deal with them. Ordinary traders keep clear so as to avoid being hassled by wyverlings. Though it seems these days, even staying away from the woods doesn't help.'
At that moment, the paige returned to inform his king and the party that the horses were ready to leave anytime.
'Sorry to keep sending you off, my boy,' the king said to the paige, 'but could you please gather the following items and bring them to me?'
King Vangar quickly wrote down the list of equipment and items the party had requested, then handed it to the paige. ((Yes, including arrows! So everything you requested, you have now got)).
((Oh, and btw, Möhmal would have heard everything the king said, too))
Posted on 2022-07-18 at 08:31:42.
Edited on 2022-07-19 at 07:16:54 by dragon-soul92
Azax listened to the sorcerer speak about the plants. Herbology was a field honored amongst the Owlin. He knew of fireholly, but not of the others. They didn't seem like plants that were native to the areas he knew well. But the information was most welcome.
When the King provided all of their gear he took his new materials and looked at his new-found companions. "It seems we are to on the road together on this quest. May it go well for all of us and we find what the princess so badly needs. As has been mentioned, this whole situation seems to convenient to be an accident. And since the King's decree went out to all, it is possible that some resistance might come well before we get to the keep - and not just from the wyverlings. It seems we must go by way of the woods, no? Let us make use of the daylight."
Whilst Rílgari was explaining and demonstrating Mömhal watch on eagerly, she didn’t understand anything that was being said but the movements of his hands, the motions needed to transform the plants into usable forms held her mesmerised.
As always Astrath translated silently to her mind, adding his own thoughts on proceedings. Upon reaching the end of the lesson, she took the jars handed to her a deposited them within her pouches ready for use.
As they re-joined the King and the others, the last of the equipment and horses were being delivered by the Paige.
Mömhal inspected the newly arrived equipment, not a single piece was known to her. She let out a low whistle.
What am I to do with all this? And this beast are we to eat it?
Astrath let out a deep laugh causing the horses to worry before going on,
“King Valorian, thank you for your generosity with making all this information and gear available to us. Unfortunately my Ward, is inexperienced in such things and cannot ride. Would you One of Sky and One of Steel be able to instruct us in thier use while we travel?
Posted on 2022-07-25 at 14:05:09.
Edited on 2022-07-26 at 04:15:29 by Alverstar
The party mounted their steeds and prepared to set out on their very first journey together, a journey they suspected would be long and trecherous with many obstacles to overcome. But they were determined to see it through.
The jungle elf, who had never experienced riding on horseback, looked at her beast uncertainly, unable to figure out how to mount him. The Owlin and Warforged approached on their horses and instructed her on how to climb into the saddle. Möhmal sat upon her horse's back unsteadily at first, but she soon started to become accustomed to the feel of the animal's movements beneath her.
'Farewell, my friends!' King Valorian raised his hand to see them off. 'May good fortune rule over you on your quest and may you become successful in your endeavors!'
With the packhorses' harnesses securely tied to the saddles of Azax and Legion's steeds, the party made their way out of the city of Vangar. They remembered the king's terrible tales of the wyverlings venturing out of the confines of their leafy homes and spreading their demonic wings out in the open, preying on the helpless with fang and claw and lashings of their whiplike tails. The party kept glancing at the sky, the dying rays of the late afternoon sun casting elongated shadows upon the rocky path. The three companions were relieved to see that no huge batlike beasts were wheeling overhead...for now.
The party soon found the road that would lead them straight to the thick foliage of Wyverling Woods and proceeded to canter down the trail, but it wasn't long before they encounted a commotion ahead of them. In the gathering gloom, they could discern sillhouettes of figures in a vicious struggle. The Owlin and elf's enhanced nightvision allowed them to see that a small band of orcs were harrassing a trader's caravan that was bound for Vangar. Azax and Möhmal counted five of the fiends and seven traders. Three of the orcs were armed with broadswords and had donned leather armour that was crudely stitched together with leather strips. The remaining two had axes with short bone handles and wore the same armour as their brethren.
Able to understand the orcs' harsh tongue, Azax heard one of them shout to his companions as he pulled out an ornate chest from the rear of the caravan:
'What goodies do we have here? Will make good trade, yes?'
His companions chuckled mockingly and the smalkest of the fiends climbed all the way into the caravan, emerging with a bolt of bright silk in his filthy hands.
'Rare,' he smiled gleefully. 'Will fetch good price. Let's take it home.'
The five orcs were so focussed on their spoils, they did not notice the party standing (still mounted) a hundred yards away.
Now the party had a decision to make: aid the traders in fending off the would-be thieves, or continue on their way on their quest to save the princess of Vangar. With every passing moment, Avira's life was ebbing away. The party knew they had precious little time to obtain the antidote to the basilisk's venom and free her from its deadly toxins. But could the party turn a blind eye to others in need?
What would the party decide?
((OOC: Feel free to discuss the decision in the Q&A thread first!))
'I assume these creatures are the Orcs talked about by the King? It was never meantioned they where this close, we need to help these men for information'. Mömhal questioned.
'I believe the same, and this close to the city, is a bad oman, there maybe a nest of them closer than the King knows'. Astarth replied.
'Come One of the Sky and One of Iron, we are on a mission to that involves killing these things lets see what we are up against.' Astraths deep voice rumbled.
Dismounting from her horse Mömhal, makes her way to the tree line beyond, the low rumble of a predertory cat building in her throat.
Upon reaching the tree line Mömhal reaches into a pouch at her waist and pulls out a small figurine of a hound made up of interwound vines and braken, and blows orange dust into its empty eye sockets.
'Come to me spirit of the hunt, once again stalk this world and feed upon the flesh of your victims'.
As she places the figurine upon the ground it begins to grow in size until it stands as tall as a large dog, smoke pours from its nose and mouth and a glowing fire can be seen enimating from its empty eyes. Mömhal raises her hand and points a single long delicate finger towards the Orcs and hisses a single word.
Without hesitation the Hell Hound brakes into a frenzied charge, smoke and embers billowing from its body as it rushes towards the Orcs. Mömhal picks up her spear and starts to make her way behind her creation reaching into another pouch reading her next move.
Posted on 2022-08-05 at 04:12:55.
Edited on 2022-08-05 at 04:13:36 by Alverstar
Azax looks to the othes in the little group. "I think we need to intervene." He seens Momhal preparing to do so and nods. As the other moves to cover to start work he takes flight off of his horse and shoots straight up. As he flies upwards he looses two arrows at the group of four orcs. If either hits he will use his bursting shot ability and cause the arrow to explode - causing damage to everyone within 10' of the target. He is hoping to take out all four before they even know what hit them.
With the late evening sun lingering low on the horizon, the still-strong rays bathing the land in a glaring brilliance, the party made their decision. They could not turn a blind eye to those in need of assistance. Luck, it seemed, was on the party's side in this battle as the sun's light was at their backs, which would force the orc band to squint into its brightness and hinder their sight.
The jungle elf Möhmal was the first to take action, reaching her slender hand into the pouch securely fastened at her belt and producing a miniature carving of a canine. As she uttered her incantation, the wood ((OOC: I assume its wood. Or is it clay?)) grew and transformed into a snarling, fiery beast that craved its enemies' blood.
After its master issued her order, the hellhound dashed forwards and pounced upon the nearest of the looting Orcs. The fiends were slow to respond, having been taken completely by surprise. The hellhound's victim let loose a gutteral howl as the canine's long fangs sank into the thick skin of his back between the shoulder blades. The orc tried desperately to shake off his attacker and he succeeded though by the way fiend was panting heavily he found it difficult to do. Still, the hound dealt him some damage (-5 hp).
Next to act was the young Owlin warrior Azax. Spreading his broad wings, the owl man quickly took to the air, rising swiftly over the caravan and those who surrounded it. From his vantage point, he could see the seven traders cowering behind the caravan, trying their utmost to keep out of the ensuing struggle. Azax ignored them, hoping that he and his companions would give the orcs enough of a distraction to keep their attention away from the traders. Instead, the Owlin nocked an arrow into his trusty bow and drew it with a sure touch. The feathers of the shaft brushed the side of his rounded face as he took aim at the four orcs who stood at the rear of the caravan. One of the orcs reacted quicker than his companions, however, and, despite the sun blinding him, just managed to make out what appeared to be a large bird holding a bow. The orc swiftly ducked behind the caravan for cover and the arrow would have missed him and been embedded in the wood of the vehicle-if Azax had been aiming at him. Instead, the Owlin's intended target was the orc's companion that was stood next to him and the arrowhead struck him squarely between the eyes, causing the monster to instantly crumple lifeless to the rocky ground. Sparks radiated from the arrow, striking the three other orcs, who also collapsed, overcome ((yep, dead)). But the one that had ducked behind the caravan remained unharmed, the sparks instead scorching the wood and producing an acrid stench. The fiend bellowed loudly in rage at seeing his brethren slain and redied his crossbow, taking aim at the winged warrior. Letting the crudely made bolt fly, the orc remained half concealed behind his 'shield'-the traders' caravan-so as to make it that much more difficult for his enemies to strike. Despite the orc's efforts, the black bolt flew wide and missed the Owlin.
The final warrior to act was the warforged Legion. Emboldened by his companions' success, the iron-clad automiton raised his own crossbow and took aim at the partly hidden orc, but due to the warforged's lack of nightvision and the fact that the orc wasn't completely exposed, Legion's bolt failed to deliver a killing shot, instead burying itself in the monster's left shoulder, causing him to growl in pain and anger ((-5 hp. Plus he's bleeding so an extra -1hp bleeding damage every round after this round. This is my own rule I made up. Thought it makes sense because he's losing blood so he'll get weaker)).
By now, the final orc who had been inside the caravan and thus safe, now emerged, swiveling his head in confusion.
''Ere, now, what's goin' on, then?' Azax heard him squeak. Upon seeing his dead companions, he uttered a squeal of what sounded like surprise and fright. The cowardly orc dashed back inside the confines of the caravan's wall in a desperate, albeit unhelpful, attempt at reletive safety. The other remaining orc grunted in disapproval at his companion's cowardice.
Five orcs dead, one injured (-5 hp. No bleeding damage on this turn, so it's just the -5hp). The smallest orc taking shelter inside the caravan and didn't attack (too much of a big wuss haha). Traders still taking shelter behind the caravan.
Azax looked down at the Orc and soared even higher. (30' straight up - he should be out of normal range for a bow of any sort, meaning disadvantage on attacks should the orc survive to attack.) He lined up his shots on the injured orc. The plan was to take down the only one left fighting. If one other orc wanted to hide in the caravan, he would let Legion go ferret it out. Perhaps it would be afraid enough to talk.