Race to the Gorge

“Let us despoil these creatures of any valuables to tithe to the church.” Maruc said stepping over the corpses, “Then let us be on our way up the pass as swiftly as we may. perhaps we may get far enough ahead of the gnollish warband that they will give up on us.”

After claiming a large handful of coin, Maruc turned to Hasan, “Forgive me, your wounds are severe, but I’ll have no healing from Halav Incarnate until we rest. But I do not suggest we remain here, we have no choice but to press on.”

Maruc resumed his position in the line and continued in earnest toward the lofty peaks.

Miklos watched Feldard as he dispatched the remaining gnolls with a dispassionate professional nature. Miklos took the opportunity to see if any of the dead had maps of the pass, or any clues as to what might lie ahead, but there was nothing. He fell into line behind the armour clad priest.

Feldard checked to see if any of his two bolts were salvagable, then took up his rear guard position once more as the party set out once more. His view of the approaching warparty was not encouraging. “Our battle seems to have spurred on those behind us. We have to move quicker.” Yet one look at his companions, showed that their newest injuries were telling. They wouldn’t be able to keep up a quick pace for long.

Stephan recovered what arrows he could. He was pleased to find both his enchanted arrows nicely plunged into the jugulars of two gnoll’s. But he lost four other arrows.

Enervated further, Stephan trudged on with the party. The still distant pursuers provided a strange force to his legs that kept him moving at a decent pace although perhaps not to Feldard’s liking.

“You are like a mountain goat, master dwarf. This rocky way seems to speed your legs.”

Ludo quickly recovered what arrows he could from the thick hides of the dead Gnolls, he took note that after the recent combat that he had 12 arrows remaining and five of his six throwing daggers, having lost one in the first melee against the Gnolls.

Tightening his straps of his backpack, he scrambled towards the front of the party to catch up with Hasan, then fell in just behind the nimble elf. Between breaths he spoke. “Another combat like that to slow us up will allow the pursuing Gnolls to catch up. Then it will be curtains for us all. Hasan step out the pace, we have a whole day in front of us and I feel that these Gnolls are not in mood to turn back unless they have blood”.

Ludo wiped the sweat of his forehead and focused on the path ahead and tried to ignore the relentless pressure of the Gnolls pursuit.

Hasan stumbled on the rocky ancient Hutaaken road, and paused momentarily to remove another pebble from his boots. “The mountain itself is beginning to fight us,” the elf gasped heavily, still heavily favoring his left side, which had been torn apart by a gnollish spear. The elf tinkered with his bandages and saw new red join the old brown. He shook his head, looked back at the dust cloud arising where the gnolls paced on in the valley below, and step forward again.

It was a long day, perhaps the longest of their lives. Battle fatigued and wounded, the group had no choice but to move at the fastest pace they could muster. As they moved further up the valley, the ancient Hutaakan road became more defined. Knowing that they were so close to reaching the mysterious land spurred them on. It was late in the afternoon when the party finally came within sight of the gorge at the head of the valley.

Huge plumes of white spray rose into the air where the river thundered down a mighty waterfall. The air was very damp and water ran in rivulets down every available surface. At the foot of the falls, massive wild white water churned. On the west side of the river, the ancient road wound its way up to a dark tunnel opening. At the top of the falls, a squat stone structure can just be seen.

By the time the party reached the gorge, the size of the gnoll war party had grown to include nearly the entire tribe. There were nearly two hundred of them in total, and they were a mere 200 yards behind.



Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

7 responses to “Race to the Gorge

  1. 4:45am, Soladain, the 11th of Flaurmont, 1001AC
    Clear, dry, warm.

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+5xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp+10xp

    Maruc: 27,885/48000
    Miklos: 27,760/40000
    Feldard: 28,250/34000
    Hasan: 27,265/32000
    Stephan: 27,360/32000
    Ludo: 27,005/40,000

  2. Ludo

    Ludo was exhausted, the journey had been long and tiring, the pressure of the pursuing Gnolls was relentless and worst of all he could not foresee a happy evening to their predicament. Once the Gnolls caught them up, it would be curtains for all of them, he was sure of that. He could not help glancing back every few seconds; as the Gnolls got ever closer he wondered if this was the end. He felt sure that Feldard would go out in a blaze of glory and take a few of the Gnolls with him, but the end would be the same, an ignoble death at a bunch of savage beasts, his head stuck on a pole. He shuddered at the thought.

    Then he saw the gorge ahead, Ludo felt that this was the border of the Gnolls territory and maybe just maybe they would not pursue the group beyond the bridge. Ludo did not care what was on the other side, anything would be better than facing these blood thirsty pack of Gnolls. Ludo strode out, “come on, if we can get to the bridge we will be safe” he gasped. His mouth felt dry, with fear and lack of water, since he dared not slow down even to drink from his canteen.

  3. Stephan barely glanced back at the menacing war party.

    “Must. Keep. Going,” he said in successive blasts of exhaled air. “That tunnel is our only hope. The Traladarian was severely fatigued. His bandages, like Hasan’s, were stained anew with fresh blood from wounds that should not be subjected to the brutal march they’d done.

    “Looks like a bridge,” he said in gasping breaths. “Better defense. We must make it to the bridge.”

  4. Maruc

    Maruc wholeheartedly agreed with Stephan. The dark tunnel swallowed them up. It made for a steep climb and the giant gnoll warband made a huge racket that was amplified by the echo haunted gorge. It wasn’t long before their tired legs brought them to the bridge. The priest look nervously at the tunnel mouth. “Is their anything you can do Miklos?”

  5. miklosdostevar

    Miklos nodded grimly. “Everyone, get away from the tunnel mouth I shall attempt to bring the roof down on them.”

    He glanced nervously at the bridge and hoped his lightning bolt wouldn’t fracture the bridge instead of bringing the roof of the tunnel down. But they had little choice he had to delay them until they were well into the mountains, and whatever lay beyond. He would have to refer to the tapestry to check their path was true.

    He checked the party were behind him. “Stay away from the edge of the bridge. Don’t become a target for bows.” Although thankfully gnoll’s didn’t seem to be blessed with too many ranged weapons. But among the swarm charging into the lower tunnel mouth there was no guarantee of that.

    The cries from the tunnel rose. “Cover your ears!” Three swift cutting gestures with his hand and a barked word of power. A blinding flash and an ear-splitting crack silenced the gorge. The ground rumbled with the vibrations of falling rock. A cloud billowed out of the tunnel mouth. Shards of splintered rock spun out and scattered across the bridge.

    ” I think I caught a few in there, but it won’t take them long to think of a way around it. We must press on. Across the bridge. Up! Up into the pass.”

  6. Feldard watched the results of the mage’s lightning bolt with a mix of apprehension and relief. While the others began moving up into the pass, the dwarf kept watch on the pile of rubble. For the first minute there was no movement, then the sound of scrabbling of rocks came. Survivors.
    With a weary grunt, Feldard followed after his party.

    (sorry lacking inspiration this morning.. hopefully later)

  7. hasan

    Hasan gasped as Miklos brought the tunnel down behind them. “I suppose no exit is better than sure death, but that’s rather uncomfortable,” the elf grumbled. “I do hope the bridge is sound.” And the elf stepped on into the dark climb.

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