Ran looks to the Rangers and asks them if they will be able to track where the man came from and also asks that Noctis be sent out immediately to scout in the night looking for signs of the goblins and the caravan.
"We'll need to get an early start in the morning so let's go with three two hour watches instead of four hour ones. Let the leader of these orcs go at the end of the second watch and send the others on their way half-way through the third watch."
To the orcs he says "When you leave, do it quickly and do not look back. We will not hesitate to fire on sight if you try to cross our path again."
"How long ago was this?" Salix asks Alatyr. "Hours? Days?"
(OOC - I'm assuming it's been at least a day at a full run)
"Your news is the first we've had that it has been attacked. We will leave to assist as soon as we are able." He looks to Ran and the others for confirmation, wondering why no one else has addressed the man. "Clearly haste is our biggest worry. There is no telling what the goblins may have done with the caravan and the sooner we get there, the better. But we can't leave with you in this condition. You need to rest and therefore we should take the opportunity as well."
To Ran he says, "I can send Noctis out to look for trouble, and I might be able to make him understand we're concerned about goblins, specifically, but something as complex as looking for signs of a caravan, etc, would require conversation with him directly in his language. I'm afraid I've exhausted my god's favor in that area this day. Perhaps in the morning I can send out the hawks?"
"I agree about the early start. Shorter watches are a good idea, provided our mage gets sufficient rest."
(OOC - Mark, does rest or lack thereof affect a divine spellcaster like it does a mage? What about Salix's prayer time. Does it have to be the same hour every day? If he's been doing it just before dawn, and we leave before that time, will we need to stop for Salix to pray?)
Bel asks Ran, " Are you sure we want to let them go in the night. Night is their element. Wouldn't we be better off leaving them here, allowing them to work free on their own? That way we would have less to worry about tonight..."
"How long ago was this," the half elf had asked him. "Hours? Days?"
The man of Mnuhl being a bit of a quiet person in his nature sat and took his surroundings in, not that he was afraid to speak, just he knew very well that one learned quite a bit by keeping ones mouth shut, and ears open.
"You must forgive me, Elf, for my mind is on other things. We were attacked last night before we supped, just settling in for the night, right as the orange part of the sky disappeared. I have been serving the Princess Rochell for all my life, and right now I could not care less about sitting here doing nothing. However, you are right about that rest. I fear I would just be a burden right now unless I rested some, and had a bite to eat."
With that, the Half Elf talks to the others. Alatyr makes note that there are no humans among them. He hasn't had much oppurtunity to become familiar with the other races of his world, just Goblins and Orcs and those of a less unsavory nature.
OODM: Rochell is not a princess, just the fourth daughter of a minor noble.
"I don't like the idea of leaving them tied up here and leaving them at the mercy of the environment. It may be more than they deserve to free them at all, but I do not believe they pose us any real threat. I would like to correct my orders however and release the underlings first, one at a time from the middle to the end of the second watch. They are likely to want to put as much distance as possible between themselves and their chief. We will then free the chief half way through the final watch."
"I understand your concern, and if the other in the group share it strongly I may reconsider."
"It has been one full day and some hours more since the attack. What condition the caravan is in now depends on why the Goblins attacked. If they did it as a simple raid, I fear we will find no one alive. If they had a purpose or were under leadership, we face a chase and rescue."
"I wonder if a couple of us should not go on ahead now to see what has actually happened, then return and report. Meanwhile, the rest can leave in the morning as planned. I would be willing to accompany the Halfling in this endeavor."
When the sun comes up, she will send out Grey to scout ahead while they travel, as always.
Salix will spend his pre-sleep time making sure that their new companion has enough to eat and drink and sleep comfortably. He will give up his bedroll to the man from Mnuhl, usuing only the extra blanket on his horse for himself.
Salix thinks to himself that it's a lot of bother to go through. It's not really a concern of his whether the Orcs kill each other or not. But he agrees that they aren't likely to be much of a threat at this point so he'll keep his opinion to himself unless specifically asked.
He would, however, protest leaving them tied up. He'd just as soon kill them outright than leave it up to the wolves.
Salix replies, "I don't think we should split the group. There is safety in numbers and we will need that. The goblins didn't have any problem overtaking an escorted caravan, so it would likely be a simple thing to lay in wait for a couple of scouts. And they will expect us, likely. It would be wise to assume that they know our new companion escaped and has gone for help." He looks to Ran for confirmation of the wisdom in this counsel.
Harp responds to Ran:
"My thought on the longer watches was to make sure that the guardsman got sufficient time to recover from his exertions and to assure that those of us who need time to recover from our spiritual and magical exertions have time to prepare for what may be a very challenging time tomorrow. An extra few hours is not likely to make a significant difference in what has happened to Knight Captain Anglewings betrothed, but it can make a difference in how capable we are in being able to help her"
As far as the orcs, we could leave the 4 underlings when we depart tomorrow, taking the leader with us a few miles down the road, and then turning him loose there. I do not relish the thought of unrestrained enemies wandering about during the night."
Harp will accept whatever Ran Ell decides.
"I wouldn't mind a bit 'o rest." says Surin good-naturedly, "But if the rest of you all would want to forge on, I won't argue."
OK every one has replied. I will be sending out a turn tonight.
Just to keep every one up to date. It is around 4PM on the day of the attack. According to to Alatyr, the caravan with Rochell was attacked yesterday evening late. Then he rode his horse to death and ran himself into exhaustion and unconciousness. He seems to be in really good shape, so it figures he was running for a while, on the range of 6 hours or more.
If anyone wants to do any role playing between the characters please go ahead. I might not include it in the write up, but that does not take away from what you guys are doing.
Just to clarify, he's still exhausted, right? So it will require one restore to bring him up to fatigued, and another to remove the fatigue, correct?
What does it mean in terms of mobility and utility for him if he is fatigued? Can he still ride with someone?
I'll modify my spell list for the next day based on your reply.
Well by the time you get to do your spell the exhaustion will be gone but he will still be fatigued.
It takes 1 hour of complete rest to get rid of exhaustion, so he is not exhausted anymore, but he is fatigued and anything that would fatigue him will exhaust him. It takes 8 hours or your spell to remove the fatigue. It will probably blanace out.
So if he gets a good night's rest tonight he won't need a spell at all?
Basically yes. He will have more than 8 hours sleep tonight. Of course that will mean that it will have been at least two days after the ambush before the group gets to where it happened, since there is probably a good hard days ride ahead, just to get to the site. :)
OOC:Mark, what is the farthest the guard could have run wearing the armor he is? Even if he ran for 6 hours, he cant be more than 20 miles from where his horse died.
Randy, could we put Alatyr behind someone else, ride to where his horse died, put his saddle on my pack horse? I know that there maybe a weight issue, but it will be better than doubling up or having him walk.
Just thinking out loud.
Actually with his armor and hustling he can do 4mph which would be 24 miles in a 6 hour period. Plus what the horse did. Your party has been doing that in an 8 hour period on horses. Now your group has been moving slowly for two reasons. First, Surin's pony can only go that fast and the Ranger(s) have been hunting for the group so that their supplies do not run out. Then you have to add on what he did with the horse before it died.
I realize that we are not going to get to the ambush site tomorrow. What I am concerned with is how we get Alatyr moving in the future. I have an extra horse that is not that heavily loaded, but that does not have a bit, bridle, or saddle. If we canter, trot, or something faster than what we have been doing, we should be able to get to where his horse died. I want his horses tack to put on my pack horse. Like I said, its not perfect, but my guess is it will not slow us down anymore than having him ride double or making him walk.
We will see what happens.
Subject Orcs and camp
Responding to the counsel of Salix Ran says to the group "I do not think that we should split up the group either. I am anxious to get on with our quest but I feel we must do it together. If there are as many goblins as our new friend has indicated it would be folly to risk our numbers by splitting up."
Hearing Harp's comments about the spellcasters and also noticing that it is not nearly as late as he thought, Ran revises his earlier instructions. "You make a good point Harp. It is earlier than I thought right now and daybreak is yet many hours away. We will use our standard 4 hour watches. That will allow us to be on the road in the early dawn."
"There is still some daylight available and this may be our last chance for a while to hunt and gather food. Let's replenish our supplies as much as we can in the next hour and then have a meal. After that we should start our watches. I am on the third watch and I will determine whether to cut it short or not in the morning based on how much daylight we have."
OOC: Did anyone else get a lot of duplicate emails in this last set?
Subject Alatyr and his story
As the afternoon passes camp is made quickly. Harp and Ran prepare the camp site itself, with Fal helping where he can. Cai and Bel head into the woods to supplement the small boar that Cai has already caught. They come back a few hours later with several more rabbits. Salix, after making sure that the exhausted man is comfortable, heads out into the woods with Surin. They come back about an hour later with a nice supplies of mushrooms, and wild herbs and vegetables, which Cai uses to season the meat that she has roasting over a fire. Harp spends most of his time keeping an eye on the orcs. As dinner rolls around Ran lets the rest of the party what he has decided on the fate of the orcs. Harp is obviously unhappy, but goes along. Ran then has Harp lay out the night watch schedule. Then the party starts to eat dinner, with Salix feeding the man, who is awake by then.
He informs them that his name is Alatyr and that he was a guard in the caravan that was escorting the Lady Rochell to Gorn. He tells them about how they had traveled by the pass of Undulant with what seemed no trouble and made camp several hours from that pass. He speaks of the attack by the large party of goblins the night before and how his commander had ordered him to get away and try and find help. He talks of his worry that all the caravan is dead including the Lady. It is obvious to all that he would like to ride back right now, but knows that he can not in his condition. He tells the group that he knows nothing of the orcs. Salix is amazed at how fast the man is recovering and is fairly sure that he will be able to travel in the morning with no prayers from him.
Near the end of dinner the birds start to return. From what the Alatyr had said the owners of the birds are sure that they would not have been able to get to where the ambush was, even if they could explain it to them. However, the two familiars are able to get the idea across to their masters that they saw nothing out of the ordinary for many miles around.(OODM:The MU in the group are unable to talk to their familiars, but the birds do have an INT score of 6-7, which means that they would be able to understand their masters, just not talk back to them. It would take a while and there is a possibility of miscommunication, but they would be able to get the point across.)
Harp talks to Alatyr about where his horse might be and wonders aloud how they can get to the place where the caravan was attacked the fastest way possible. Between them they work out that Alatyr can ride bareback on Harp's pack horse until they get to the other horses body and they get the saddle off of it. Harp spends about an hour of the early evening rearranging gear on other peoples horses. No one has a heavy load, but they are all now at a medium load. Alatyr quickly falls into a deep slumber after he has eaten, his reserves emptied from all the talking. The others prepare for an early night since Ran has declared that there would be an early start on the morrow.
The group have a quite night. Noctis helps Salix keep watch, and fly s silently around the camp, keeping an eye out. The orcs, knowing that they might live through this, actually do not try to escape. The next morning, as Harp is preparing a quick breakfast,Fal and Salix spend sometime either praying or studying his tome of magic. Cai and Harp also spend a short time in prayer, asking their gods for what boons they think they might need for the day. By the time the sun is just coming up, the group is mounted and ready to go. Ran sets a hard pace, knowing that it has now been at least a day and a half since the attack and knowing that every hour lost means less chance for the rangers to pick up the trail. At least it did not look like it was going to rain any time soon.
The party rides hard all day. They eat a quick lunch of cold food around noon, and give the horses a chance to recover. Surin's pony in particular is having a very tough time with the pace. However, the party is on the move again after only an hour. Towards dusk, Salix pulls up next to Ran and says ?Ran, we must stop for the night. Surin's pony is almost done for. If we do not stop now there is a very good chance the pony will pull up lame and then we will have to put it down and carry Surin on another horse.? Ran nods, but is frustrated that they have not found Alatyr's horse yet. That man must have the constitution of a bear. To have run that far that fast. At that moment, Bel's hawk fly s darts in out of the forest and lands on Bel's shoulder, chittering rapidly. It takes Bel a few seconds to see what the bird has seen. He reports to Ran that Ebon has seen a dead animal over the next rise.
Ran quickly orders the rangers and Harp to follow him and for Salix, Surin, Fal and Alatyr to follow at a slower pace.
The four fighters quickly mover up the road about half a mile where they find the body of a warhorse in the middle of the road.
It is obvious that the scavengers have been at it and a few vultures fly off the group approaches. The four dismount and approach the corpse. Cai and Bel make a quick check (Track DC15, 15+2=17, success) and find the tracks of the animal leading ahead of them, west. A few minutes later the rest of the party shows up. Alatyr pulls to a stop and hops off his horse. He slowly walks around the body of the large animal. In the failing light of dusk, it is a little hard to see his face, but some of the party members hear the hitch in his voice as Alatyr speaks. ?This is Blue. I raised him from a foal. He served me well for 7 years. I trained him. I fed him. I took care of him when he was sick. He was always there for me when I needed him. The most faithful companion I ever had. He did all that I asked of him. Even...? Realizing that he had been talking out loud, Alatyr suddenly stops talking and moves off a bit into the woods.
Ran talks to the party. ?We have ridden enough for one day.? We must rest the horses. According to Alatyr, he was only able to ride for a few hours before his horse died. He had been riding all day before the goblins attacked and his horse was already tired when he started his ride. I figure that we should reach the spot of the attack by noon tomorrow. We will set up camp down the road a bit. Salix, do you think that Noctis would be able to fly ahead and see if he can find the spot of the attack. Salix nods.
The party moves down the road a bit further and quickly sets up camp. There is no need to hunt since they had collected enough food the night before. Harp takes it upon himself to help Alatyr get the saddle and other riding tack from Blue and get it sized for the pack horse that Alatyr has been riding. Salix touches the symbol on his armor and says the prayer that allows him to talk to animals. He quickly explains to Noctis what he wants the bird to look for and what do if he finds it. He then concludes with telling Noctis how he should behave when he gets back so that Salix can figure out what the bird saw. With a final admonishment to be careful and to stay high, Salix send Noctis off into the night. Knowing that owls are not the fastest fliers in nature, Salix knows that it will be several hours before the bird returns.
The group settles down for the night, keeping the same watch schedule as the night before.
OODM: Any role playing that you want to do, go ahead. Also, sorry about the formatting. The progam used to make the archives has a limit to how long a paragraph can be.