Boldo Marches

What Orcs?

(As told by the Grey Wanderer)

We have new friends just arrived in our little town, brave adventurers all. Now now gentle townsfolk, don’t be like that. Just because you find solace and support in farming your potatoes does not mean everyone does. These good people are keeping your farm safe from raiders by ensuring danger does not camp too close to town.

Now, hecklers aside, let’s get straight to the tale of our brave adventurers and the dangers they faced for your benefit.

The group moved north into the small forest close to town. Only an hour away and visible from near the edges of our farm lands, the small forest was nevertheless quite dense and thick. The group moved around the east of the forest, searching for signs of use—roads or paths. Finding none they ventured into the forest. The dense ferns that grew under the large oak and poplar made going slow. They spent most of the morning just looking for any signs of life anywhere. The forest was eerily quiet.

Suddenly the tracker spots a shape barely moving in the dim light under the canopy. He moves closer to discover a harpy, a foul bird-like creature which will suck the blood out of you until you are dry as a 10 year old corpse.

The archers among them take shots, causing the harpy to fly off in pain. The Ranger put another arrow in it, before it managed to escape. Since it instinctively fled instead of engage the party, the adventurers followed its path to discover where it may have been heading.

Deep in the bowels of this forest is a small hill, on that hill is a decrepit old tower, in ruins and there is barely more than a small wall left of it. In the middle of that they found the entrance to the harpy’s lair (the smell gave it away).

The group approached cautiously, and finding a stone blocking the entrance they were able to move it aside enough to squeeze into the darkness.

Crawling through the dark is not something that you or I would undertake, but the adventurers knew that the harpies had likely killed everything in the forest, and as their hunger grew they would be looking further and further away from home for food. It was only a matter of time before your sheep, farmer Blada, or your pigs, farmer Illisus went missing. And then how long before our children started disappearing? The brave adventurers were not going to let that happen, so they crawled into that dark, dank hole in the ground to remove the threat.

They found a few rough-hewn chambers below ground, stone lined so were probably built with the tower and abandoned when it fell. They stumble into a large chamber with bones and refuse thrown into every corner. Suddenly, the bones reanimate and attack. It was a gruesome battle, with the skeletons clawing at every defense and most of the party trapped in the small crawlspace.

The skeletons do not get them. I’m explaining because little Sally here looks nervous.

[Sally] I wasn’t nervous…. Well, maybe a little concerned, but that’s not the same.

Ok, shall I continue [Sally blushes]

The skeletons put up a fierce battle, and most of the party were trapped in the small crawlspace. Eventually, though, the party manages to free themselves and engage the skeletons fully. The tides turn and the skeletons are finally beaten, falling back into the piles of bones from which they rose.

It is only then that Sinthorm notices that there is a door at the end of the room, one with a harpy sized hole chewed right through it. The party ventures deeper into the darkness…

The door leads to a small hallway that winds around a corner. Around the last corner we stumble across what is the harpie’s nest. The room is large and opens upward to some small ledges where the harpies roost. In the room is the harpy matriarch, a vile creature and much larger than the rest. They attack at once.

The adventurers are trying to maneuver so that they can get some more firepower to bear on the front of the line when the back of the line is attacked as well—the harpies have another way out of their hole and they’ve used it to flank our weary heroes.

Holding up the back of the line, protecting the flank, is Sinthom’s companion Vladinn. The golden eagle is no match for the harpies, but he buys the party time to reorganize so that the casters and ranged are protected by the armor. This is crucial as now all the members can engage, and they bring down the harpies one by one.

Sadly, they find Vladinn’s dessicated corpse, discarded where it fell after having been dragged into a corner by one of the foul beasts.

Sinthorm found a hole in the ceiling where they were escaping, and Sderra explored it to find the last remaining harpy and he finished the eradication of the threat to our fair city.

Wounded and disheartened, they managed to return once again to recuperate, and they tell me they have plans to go back in a few days to find the orcs they originally set out to find.

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Jebediah returns

Today’s story is of the tragic end of Lucentargai, a relative newcomer to our fair city, and one of the Duke’s charges to help make the wilderness to the north a safer place for all our citizens and of the daring rescue of Jebediah who was found alive and well held captive by the kobolds and their brazen leader.

Lucentargai, or Lou as we called him, was helping to resolve the issue with the kobolds having sabotaged our Dwarven brethren at their mining site to the west. The kobolds were crafty, and, having discovered the adventurers were near had barred themselves into a room deep underground. The party made their way deep into the darkness to root out the kobolds, and encountered the vile vermin’s hideout.

After a brief strategic conversation the adventurers charged in on the kobolds. The sneaky snakes were ready, however, and the trap was sprung. The first two in the door were Sderra and our brave Lou, who was carrying the party’s only light source against the darkness. One foot over the threshold and kobolds were flying out of the darkness to strike at them. A voice was commanding the kobolds, once the light was brought to bear it was found to be the voice of a dragon!

The party was hard-pressed, Sderra and others would have fallen that day had Lou’s bravery and mastery of divine knowledge not persevered to keep them alive. Alas the kobolds knew Lou was the strength, the backbone, the very will of the party, so they struck hardest there and separated Lou from the rest. The party was powerless to stop the kobolds from delivering a mortal blow to Lou. They reached him too late, the kobolds had finished the job.

The struggle, though, tipped their way and they finally succeeded in killing the foul beast and his minions. They found, bound in a closet, the brave Jebediah who thanked them for his rescue and was brought back to town safely. The other dwarves who went with him to work in the mine, however, fared far less well and will not be returning to their families.

Our friends Sderra, Lydia and the others are now without the support of their friend—who will step up to fill the hole left in our lives? How will they be able to continue the Duke’s tasks of clearing the dangers from the wilderness, of stopping the horrors from the woods from reaching our very doorsteps? Will it be you?

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Rescue the Dwarves
kobolds

(The names have been changed because… well, because I forgot them already)

As told by the Grey Wanderer at the Axe and Thistle,

My friends, gather around and let me tell you about the fate of Jebediah and his companions at the hands of the thrice-cursed Kobolds. As you may be aware, our enterprising citizen Merkle set up Jebediah and his comrades with equipment to begin mining copper in the foothills to the south of here. The party set out one cold, crisp morning with a spring in their step and a whistle on their ruddy dwarven lips. As is all too common, the last anyone saw of them was their red beanie caps as they passed into the uncivilized land beyond the safety hedge.

Several weeks passed, and Merkle grew more and more anxious for news from Jebediah. Enter our intrepid adventurers who arrived at our Duke’s behest to help our fair city. They set out in search of Jebediah… or to learn of his fate.

The adventurers passed through the hedge to find a rough, unforgiving landscape fraught with peril—with dangers around every turn. They bravely marched a half-day South, following the trail of the dwarves weeks before.

They discovered the site of the dig, evidenced by a protective wall and mining rubble. Upon closer inspection it was infested, nay teeming, with kobolds. The adventurers sought to converse, but the kobolds would have none of that, preferring to converse at the point of their javelins. The adventurers fought bravely and won out, questioning one of the wretches before he finally expired.

Jebediah’s fate was grim.

They discovered the kobolds come from farther south even, that there may be a whole land overfilled with kobolds so that they have to search out the lands closer to us to ravage it for their own purposes. But even more sinister they discovered the kobolds revered a creature that they only referred to as “the master” and he was in a series of tunnels under their feet at that moment.

Not wanting to get caught in this inhospitable land after dark, they still felt a sense of duty to find out more before returning to our fair city (and to verify and retrieve if possible the dwarf corpses). They went forward quietly into the dark but the kobolds were ready and lay in wait just inside the entrance.

The kobolds sprung their trap, laying about them with glee and even attempting to push a large statue down on top of the adventurers. The trap failed but our heroes were hard pressed to keep their footing, and their lives, in the filth the dirty little vermin lived in below the earth. Some kobolds escaped into the dark, finding hidey holes in the dark or perhaps retreating to summon reinforcements. The adventurers, satisfied they would not be followed but daring not to press on with their numerous injuries, retreated to safety.

Along they way back to town they found that someone had intentionally obscured their tracks from the morning. The kobold had warned that there were many orcs in the area, but the party did not find any evidence of them. A dark forboding came over our stalwart adventurers when they viewed the woods to the west, perhaps that is where the orcs are—far too near our little town, if you ask me.

Thus ends the first chapter of this saga, our adventurers are the first to return after venturing forth past the safety barrier, but I know they are hale and hearty and unafraid so they will sally forth once more and bring us more of their tales of adventure, conquest, and civilization of the wild western frontier.

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