Rescue Mission

The different pitch of the screams woke the dwarf and he soon joined Maruc on the roof.

“It coming from over there!” pointed the priest squinting into the gloom. “I thought I saw a woman, I can’t be sure though.”

“It would seem our neighbors may be dealing with troubles of their own,” Feldard commented dryly. “We cannot rely on them to come to our aid now.”

Feldard looked round as Hasan joined them. “How near must you be to finish her swiftly with your arrows?”

At the incredulous looks of the others Feldard shot back, “Would you rather she suffer at their hands for days? A swift death would be a mercy.”

“Dwarf mercy maybe.” replied Hasan darkly.
The priest struggled to keep the edge from his voice “Feldard. Not while I draw breath will I allow the death of an innocent. Lets face it, they are only Goblins, I say let us bring Halav’s justice upon them!”

A slow hand-clap coming from the mage interrupted his flow, Miklos had reached the battlement. “And how do you propose to do that?” he glanced momentarily over the parapet. “I can make nothing out over the glare of the fires and it seems the goblins have learned not to gather together in convenient groups for me to enchant.”

“Yes, I know its a ploy to get us to attack.” Feldard continued ignoring Maruc’s tone, “But as long as we are aware that its a ploy, half the surprise is lost. Its either that small mercy or we offer to surrender to them in exchange for the life of the woman. They might fall for that,” suggested the dwarf as the other clan members joined them. “Make up your minds quick. We have no time left”

“‘Tis surely a trap,” agreed Pyotr. “They mean to lure us out to slaughter!”

“Pyotr!”, Stephan hissed to his brother as they scanned the woods. “Do you know the woman?” He looked around at the others of the household. “Can any of you make out who this woman is? Might she be from the ferry landing or some neighbor holding?”

Darya, sobbing and upset, interjected. “Katarina has a yellow dress! What if they’ve attacked the Cherkass ‘stead as well? We have to do something!”

Pyotr returned and tried to comfort his wife. “Darya, we cannot risk it. I do not believe that is Kat out there.”

“But you can’t be sure!” she said, still shaken.

Stephan fitted his helm back on his head and adjusted his scabbard. “Aye, they seek to lure us out. But it beggars the questions, was the pause them planning the deceit? Or perhaps some new Gob clan has arrived? Or perhaps whatever hand is bringing these wretches together has arrived to take command?”

“I agree, Feldard, it’s no surprise anymore,” added Hasan, who was becoming more animated with each spoken word. He spun for the stairwell and had already drawn his sword. “Come now, let’s go. We must get her. I was a prisoner myself, not long ago. We cannot let her fall to the same fate!” urged the nearly stricken elf. He vanished into the darkness with sword still bared and eyes blazing with zeal.

The dwarf seized him with a grip of iron. Feldard had also felt a similar burning zeal to slaughter the goblins as the elf but reason won. “Hasan, hold your steel for but a moment!” the barked. “Listen a moment. You are the stealthiest of us. Could you shimmy down our escape rope unseen if we provided a diversion – such as offering to surrender? Then you could sneak around, retrieve the girl, whilst we set up an ambush for those coming to take over the hall and tower?”

“So spake the dwarf advising against the laying of false trails!” whispered Miklos well out of earshot.

“Yes, yes, let’s do that. But Feldard, you cannot stay here. From what I know of Goblins and there hatred of Dwarvenkind, your mere presence will enrage them to attack, even over the flag of truce. Come with me,” said Hasan. “Maruc, can your Halav aid us?”

“My Halav?” the priest said somewhat taken aback, but he overlooked the comment. “Mighty Halav, Re-Incarnate on His Ducal Throne might deign to aid us! With his blessing I can enshroud you in a aura of silence, or an item in your possession.”

Cast that power on this arrow here,” Hasan proffered one, “that our way may be speedy. After we are a bit closer, I think I could could introduce some confusion among the goblins if I shot this in their midst.”

Miklos came over. “Once you are free of the woodland I can enchant any Goblins on your tail and,” he turned to the other householders, “we can put up a reasonable missile defense as well. But are we going to pursue the idea of a diversion based on their trap? I assume thats what you meant?”

“Now listen before you descend. You cannot all hope to swiftly climb the rope under a rain of sling stones when you return. You must run around to the Hall door where Maruc can let you in. I can watch your backs from the tower.”

As Hasan alighted at the base of the tower, Stephan seemed to have an epiphany. “We didn’t get a very good look at that woman. And we agreed they’re trying to lure us out. That pause in the drumming and chanting just before the ‘woman’ appeared just had to be them putting together their little plan. It may be they’ve dressed up one of their own who can scream like a human.”

“A cold feeling is washing over me. I fear we’re falling for it.” He wasn’t sure if either Feldard or Hasan, already on the ground, could hear his words but he dare not speak too loudly.

“Alright!” Without warning, Stephan rushed down the tower to exit with a white apron, he he’d liberated from the kitchen held it up as a crude flag and tried to go out the barricaded door. He met Maruc at the door.

“Nail it shut after me. If need be, I’ll run back to that windhole and leap to make the distance up to it.”

He secretly hoped that helping hands would be ready in case he couldn’t make the scramble easily back through the windhole.

With a final nod and genuflect to Halav. The fighter stepped through the opening and raised the flag.

“Acklak!” He called out in the only word he knew of goblinese. “Enough! We are done and will give you all the treasure inside if you but let us pass!”

As he called out, he held the apron high over his head between his arms. And he walked resolutely toward the burned out ruins of the barn.

Once again, Red Blades emerged from the forest with their slingshots at the ready. Their eyes darting up toward the tower, weary of arrows. Half of them aimed toward the tower and the others kept Stephan in their sights.

The two wounded Wolfskull riders again led a crew of footsoldiers toward the yard. It was playing out just like their previous foray, only they moved much more slowly.

Because of the goblins’ caution, Hasan and Feldard had ample time to make their way down the side of the tower. Under the bright moonlight, they felt completely exposed. With every movement, they feared getting pelted by a storm of slingstones. At least they didn’t have to worry about the clanking of the dwarf’s armor, thanks to Maruc’s blessing.

They made it to the base of the tower just as the Red Blades had taken up their positions near the barn. The screaming continued in the forest in front of them. If they took the right trajectory, the tower should block them from being spotted by the slingshot-wielding goblins in the northern clearing. Yet, to any observers in the eastern forest, they were completely visible.

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14 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

14 responses to “Rescue Mission

  1. Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 17,570/24000
    Miklos: 17,645/20000
    Feldard: 17,685/34000
    Hasan: 16,995/32000
    Stephan: 16,495/32000

  2. Stephan

    Seeing the goblins’ measured advance, Stephan slowly walked backwards, apron held high–in the perhaps vain hope that the bright white would draw more fire than his body would. He backed slowly towards the tower door. If the plan was to work, he’d have to get the gobs to go in. He readied himself, however, to dive for cover and draw his weapon if necessary.

    The piercing scream of the “woman” penetrated the crackling of many fires, filling the audio void left by the cessation of goblin chanting. He wondered how Hasan and Feldard were getting on. “I must give them time,” he thought to himself.

    His backward pace matched that of the goblins. He kept a silent prayer to Havlav running through his mind to calm his nerves. Striving to make no sudden movements, it was a cruel fate that a fallen, burned timber slipped his vision and caught his boot in its backward gait. He stumbled and fell full on his arse. But managed to keep his tongue.

    The goblins halted issuing sudden, gurgling grunts. Bows, slings and spears were raised. They were clearly on edge.

    “Blessed Havlav,” Stephan muttered to himself. He slowly raised again the apron and somehow managed to again gain his feet. He gave a slow nod and chose to keep his face flaccid. No emotions would be best, he thought.

    He resumed his steady “retreat”, never turning his back on the goblins…

  3. Maruc

    It was tense waiting at the base of the tower. Maruc stood with the door ajar shielding him as much as possible. “Hurry up Stephan.” he mumbled under his breath more to keep himself company that any real fear for the capable warriors life.

    Maruc was pretty convinced that they could walk out of this situation with a determined push if they weren’t responsible for the more infirm members of the Sukyskin clan. Hoisted up by his own morals! He grinned to himself.

    But maybe that was a thought to share with the others, perhaps there could be a way of breaking out with the children and the old. A cart? The horses were gone though.

    And would they want to abandon the place? Probably not.

    Stephan almost backed into him whilst he was thinking. He grabbed him and pulled him through the door. and rammed the bar into place and started to hammer it shut again.

    “Let ’em have it Miklos!”

  4. miklosdostevar

    Miklos knew he had to hold their attention. Arrayed about him with handfulls of arrows the better archers of the household. “Let them come closer.” he said. A long minute ticked by, the tension in the room was palpable. “Closer.” He stretched the word….

    The lead wolfrider could probably smell them from where he sat barking his ugly commands.

    “Don’t rush. Pick your targets.” Miklos advised. “Gather closer together you Sons of Sows! Or this will be a waste of time. Just one more round the corner…and….NOW!”

    DM: As I am no sure of the actions or numbers of the Goblin raiding party Miklos cannot work out if it would be effective to use his last remaining sleep spell. Could you confirm numbers a disposition as Miklos can see it for the 2nd level of the tower, bering in mind he has tried to be attentive up until this point.

  5. Feldard

    The dwarf silently cursed the full moon above and made sure his cloak still covered his armour as he lowered himself to the ground and began crawling forward, with any luck the goblins would be looking to the tower and not to the rolling, grass covered ground. He scanned the woods ahead. He was still too far to make out heat signatures, especially with the fires – he hoped the same was true for the goblins – that the fires impeded their night vision.
    Feldard glanced to Hasan, making sure that the elf wasn’t getting too far ahead him.

  6. Sorry – Same numbers as previous goblin foray – 2 Wolfskull riders on dire wolves, 10 Wolfskull on foot, and 8 red-blades with slingshots

  7. Stephan

    “Maybe there be only a few of these devils left,” Stephan exclaimed in a hushed voice. “Maybe they’ve set plenty of fires to give the illusion of many.”

    He peered out at the goblins.

    “Or maybe,” he said in more sober tone, “we need to go out there and parlay…”

    Stephan grabbed a few gold coins from his purse. He looked at Darya, “Please, may I borrow that bracelet, yes, that one that glitters so.”

    Taking the proffered jewels and his coins, Stephan climbed on a stool to the windhole. Opening it, he let the goblins see the white apron and himself since the gob had already had a good look at him.

    “I might be a comforting face to them,” he quipped.

    Calling out in the common tongue, “Our treasure is piled inside. We are prepared to destroy it if our terms are not met!”

    [OOC: Sorry, I don’t have time to finish right now. I’m thinking that we stir up a sense of urgency in the gobs to get them to rush in.]

  8. Stephan

    And he dangled the bejeweled bracelet such that the moon and torchlight burst upon the crystals. He also jangled the purse of coins and threw a few gold to the ground some distance between the goblins and the tower.

    “Like leading ducks with bread crumbs.”

  9. Hasan

    “Come on, Feldard, no time for sneaking,” urged Hasan. He pulled the dwarf to his feet and jogged southeast into the woods, away from the screaming and away from the closest fires. He hoped to outflank the goblins while their victim’s panic held their attention.

  10. miklosdostevar

    Miklos was lothed to use his last spell in case it was required for his returning friends. He bit his lip as the reign of arrows peppered the cursing goblins. he sped across to the other side of the Tower to see if he could see where the Dwarf & Elf had got to.

  11. Stephan

    [OOC: Hold on there Miklos! The goblins that have ventured forth is but a small contingent of the whole. Aren’t we waiting for the whole? But maybe I’ve read this wrong.]

  12. Hasan

    (I must say that I would have preferred to have seen the diversion posture maintained for a bit longer too. But on the other, I do kind of luck the way this is unfolding, with people panicking and not executing our plans the way we wanted. Fog of War – type stuff. Hopefully nobody dies.)

  13. Matt

    I’m guessing that the DM is supplying tension. I’d imagine he would only penalise stupid behaviour. The characters would need to think on their feet and change plans as the situation changes. I’m assuming that the DM would not murder the lot of us with a horde of goblins and if I was playing with the knowledge I have about goblins in the game mechanics I would have just suggested we go out and your average bunch of 5th level characters acting in the most unco-ordinated fashion could easily over come over 20 goblins. Even if they didn’t fail their moral checks. Which to be honest they could easily have done in the first encounter. We got rid of 6 of them without drawing breath. Area effect magic alone would be enough to make the whole event trivial.

    But that is not what we are doing.

    Miklos is no warrior, he is acting out of self preservation and fear. Miklos has never encountered goblins before. He is very intelligent but he isn’t a tactician or experienced in organising troops. He saw a situation where he could effect a satisfactory outcome and took it.

    I don’t believe this is out of character and I don’t wish to colour his actions with my knowledge of D&D.

  14. Dirk

    Matt – I don’t think you are taking my previous comment the wrong way, but I’ll just go ahead and agree “on the record” with all of this, most especially the taking action in character as opposed to maximizing outcomes.

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