Towards The Black Peaks

Feldard had found it so very hard to remain still while so near to the gnolls. He had to quell the urge to jump up and begin a battle. But soon enough, the dwarf heard the jangle of chainmail and those gnolls left at the tunnel were heading off away from him. Cautiously, the dwarf left his hiding spot and began hurrying his way towards the hut, concerned that the other half of the war party would discover his friends.

He didn’t go far before his attention was caught by pebbles being thrown at him. A search of the woods around showed his companions waving to him off in the mist. He headed towards them.

When Ludo saw Feldard heading towards the party, he dropped the small stone that he was about to throw. When Feldard was once again with the party, he whispered, “Let’s get out of here. These Gnolls are baying for blood. Hasan I suggest you lead.”

Despite the relief of seeing Feldard reunited with the party, Stephan kept an eye out for gnolls. He fell in line behind Hasan and Ludo. The pace they set was ferocious for his weakened state but being a stalwart Traladaran, he did not complain and marched on; determined not to slow the group down.

Maruc nodded in agreement. He still felt pain but the potion had worked off the edge of his discomfort. He was glad to be away from the potential fight, but was concerned about being chased without rest all the way up into the mountains. They would need rest soon. The severely injured party would not survive another such encounter and as healer he felt a particular burden.

The young mage fell into step next the Hasan at the rear. He said nothing of his choice. He was fully armed with offensive spells should any nasty surprises occurred. Hasan was quiet at the back, his elven footsteps making a bare whisper of noise against the gravel path.

With the elf and rogue taking the lead once more, Feldard fell back and resumed his rearguard position, watching warily alongside and behind them as they took a route hopefully around and away from the gnolls. As he walked he checked his crossbow, ensuring it was still loaded and ready should it be needed.

Hasan drove the group forward mercilessly, alternating positions in the front and back of the group. “Come on, now, boys,” he called from ahead. “Move ahead, Miklos, don’t look behind, leave that to me,” the elf chided from behind. All the while, the elf waited for the outcry that he was sure would come soon. The elf’s eyes roved the landscape for a defensive position. “Look out for an open space with shelter behind it, Stefan. Or a steep hillside. Mark my words, friends: we’ll meet the dogmen again, and it must be in a place of our choosing.”

Ludo was tired, the day had been long and had seen a lot of bloodshed and death. But he understood that the Gnolls would soon be following their scent, and to survive they had to get as far away from them as possible before sunrise. Ludo was sure that once the Gnolls discovered their trail, that they would be relentless in their pursuit. He was glad that the mist was still around concealing them, if the mist lifted they would be in serious trouble.

They travelled into the night, trying to get as far away from the Gnoll’s sacred burial grounds as they could. Eventually, they found a suitable spot to rest for a few hours. At daybreak, they were on the move again. In the valley behind them, smoke plumes rose into the sky coming from the area of the Death’s Head clan slaughtering grounds. Over the next few hours, as the companions continued their fast-paced march, more smoke plums columns appeared.

In the distance, up the valley about three miles back, they spotted a large group of humainoids following their trail. As they continued through the valley, the companions caught glimpses of the war party. Throughout the day, it grew in size and slowly was closing the distance. Miklos studied the map. By his calculations, it would be a close race to get to the mountains before the gnolls would catch them.

At nightfall, the sound of gnoll drums echoed across the valley. As they camped, Maruc did his best to heal the party along their journey, but there was little time for prayer and invocation, and the healing made the priest even more exhausted than everyone else.

At dawn, the group was already moving. Though they were as fatigued than they had ever been, survival propelled them forward. An army had gathered to chase them, but the Black Peaks were now within a day’s journey.

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12 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

12 responses to “Towards The Black Peaks

  1. Magic Users can revise their spells as they wish. Maruc is pretty much using all his cures as soon as he gets them.

    Maruc: +10hp
    Miklos: +2hp
    Feldard: +13hp
    Hasan: +10hp
    Stephan: +11hp
    Ludo: +7hp

    6:30am, Soladain, the 11th of Flaurmont, 1001AC
    Clear, dry, warm.

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 27,770/48000
    Miklos: 27,645/40000
    Feldard: 28,130/34000
    Hasan: 27,155/32000
    Stephan: 27,245/32000
    Ludo: 26,875/40,000

  2. Ludo

    Ludo kept looking over his shoulder as the warband of Gnolls got closer and closer. The day was warm and as they climbed further into the mountains the path they were on became nothing more than a goats track, rocky and , narrow. He knew if they stopped to give combat they would die. Of course a lot of Gnolls would die as well, but in the end the superior numbers of the Gnolls would be the telling factor. He could see that Maruc was tired from his vigil, prayers to Halav and all his healing to the group, Ludo moved over to him “Maruc let me carry your pack to give you time to have get your breath back”.

  3. Feldard

    Feldard kept his crossbow at the ready, watching the gnoll war party get closer and closer. “We need to slow them down, or pick up our pace somehow,” the dwarf huffed, tired and weary after a near sleepless night.

    (DM- what sort of terrain are they traveling through? If mountainous, how stable do the mountain sides look? Feldard is looking for a means of causing a rock slide or avalanche behind them.)

  4. It is hilly terrain. There is the Foamfire river that flows to the party’s left (west), and mountains a couple miles to the right. They are headed north toward what would presumably be a gorge or pass where the river flows down from the mountain. There’s no means of causing a rock slide/avalanche.

  5. Maruc

    Maruc smiled at ludo’s generous offer. “No my friend, I am not so weary as to burden you. I might even suggest that you’d be better placed to fool the pack away into the hills?.” the priest thought about it. “Perhaps not, if these creatures are related to dogs they could follow us by scent. We would have to cross the river for any meaningful attempt to loose them.”

  6. miklosdostevar

    Miklos was missing his creature comforts. A dry soft bed for one. He didn’t like the idea of getting wet in the river either, but given the choice of that or another fight he might well get wet. “What does everyone else think? Shall we cross the river to see if we can delay the pursuit?”

  7. The river is not crossable. Miklos has calculated that they should be able to get to the mountains before their pursuers catch them.

  8. hasan

    “Nay, Miklos,” answered Hasan, still groggy from the night’s too-short sleep. “The river is swift, angry almost. We cannot cross. Did you not argue last night that we could beat the dogmen to that pass ahead? Let us not despair. We will find our redoubt there.” The elf stood and shouldered his pack wearily. He trudged forward, nibbling another dried apple, one of the last from Suskin. “Let us away with speed,” the elf admonished, but his own pace was faltering.

  9. Feldard

    The dwarf just grunted as they pressed on. “Miklos, as much as I hate to say it.. I hope you got more of those web spells at the ready should we fall behind in our pace.” And then to help keep everyone moving, Feldard began to sing out in his off key voice a dwarven march.

    (I’d of had him suggest Lightning Bolt but I don’t think you’ve ever used it in front of him. LOL)

  10. Ludo

    Upon hearing Feldards singing, Ludo cringed and instinctively lengthened his stride, whispering to Miklos, “I wish you could use your web spell to muzzle him”.

  11. miklosdostevar

    Miklos laughed. “Indeed Ludo!”

    The foothills grew more lofty as the path began its assent into the high pass. The mist began to part to reveal the crystal blue sky and the frost rimed teeth of the black peak mountains.

    Miklos rummaged in his pack for his warmer robe.

  12. Stephan kept quiet and trudged on with the party. Hasan maintained the group at a furious pace; barely allowing time for water. During a brief pause in the march, Stephan spied their pusuers.

    “If they are like dogs, maybe they’ll stop the chase once they have run us off their property.”

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