Orcs, Camp and lessons
Harp grunts derisively. 15 against 1 human - that seemed like the orc way of doing things. These creatures knew nothing except torture and killing. They should be killed, but Harp knew that would not be allowed. He turns to Ran and says:
"These creatures know nothing. We should not delay any longer. May I suggest that we search the captives and tie them up, you take the rest of the group and my pack horse, head forward, leave me here with a knife, and I will make sure that they do not follow us. I know, I know, I give my word as a member of the Order that I will not kill them, tempted as my heart may be to do so. We can put a few miles between us and them before night fall and they will be in no condition to follow after mounted riders, even if they had the inclination."
Looking around and seeing the unconcious human, Harp grunts - "you will probably have to tie him onto the pack horse, unless one of you want to try and carry him behind you on your horse."
Salix is somewhat surprised by the Orcs surrender, but even they must know they can't win this battle. When Cai suggests leaving them in a town or village, Salix responds. "Do you really think a town would take them? What do you think they would do with them? This is wild country. I imagine the humans here have little love for Orc raiding parties. They will either kill them or laugh at us and tell us to kill them ourselves."
He moves over to Ran and says quietly, trying not to be heard by any of the Orcs, "Ran, we cannot take them with us. We cannot sustain prisoners. Tying them up and leaving them or hamstringing them would be as good as a death sentence in this wild land. If we are considering those options, we might as well take the less cowardly route and kill them outright. On the other hand, we can take their weapons and demand that they leave this area immediately. We can tell them if they are seen again they will be killed without mercy, but send them on a path that is away from the direction we are heading."
He thinks a moment more and adds, "We have beaten them without losing so much as a drop of blood even though they outnumber us nearly 3 to one. This will not set well with the leader. I imagine he will kill the others himself, or at least try to, so that word of this defeat will not spread. He will then likely either return to his tribe with some story of how he and the party were ambushed by a tribe of ettin or some other fiercer foe, or else he'll forget his tribe altogether and look for another Orc tribe to join. At any rate, I don't think he'll be bothering us any further."
He looks and Ran and he seems almost overwhelmed by the options. "Kill them, or let them go unarmed, but unharmed. That is my counsel. Either way, I will support your decision as leader."
After the Orc decision is made, Salix will approach Ran again. "Ran, we need to decide on camp soon. I don't think a long horse ride will improve our new friend's condition. We should move a little way along the road further, then camp. In the morning I can heal his exhaustion and fatigue and we can learn his story."
"I seem to recall that there is an outpost of some kind within 2-3 days ride," Cai reports, "It would be longer with the Orcs on foot and presumably tied up. Unfortunately, it is not on our path. I fear this would put us much too far behind schedule to be of any use, but that is a possible option."
She considers the creatures. "I understand your distrust of these. But these Orcs would not be likely to report to their chief, if Bonegnasher is not the same, that they had been taken out by so few of us. Our victory has been sure and complete. This small band will not follow us. Let us show mercy.
"Harp here, though aggressive, has shown himself to be disciplined and well mannered simply by his upbringing. This is a young people, schooled by evil beings in savage ways. We cannot hope to find a connection with them if we only continue to return the violence they give to us.
"I suggest we restrain them, and wait until the man from Muhl wakes up to confirm his part of the story. We search them for evidence of being part of a military or merely a village needing supplies. If Bonegnasher's words are in line with what we find, then we let them go."
Ran looks coldly at Harp and says "We will not kill or injure those who have surrendered to us. We will make sure they are unarmed before we move on. They are clearly not a threat to our safety. If we treat them with such animal cruelty we are no better than them."
To Cai he replies "The outpost is too far out of our way. As you say, we cannot afford the delay. Besides, Salix is right. Any we leave them with will just kill them anyway. Please get your rope and start binding their wrists and ankles to form a marching line."
Speaking to the group he says "We will tie them up for the time being and find a suitable area nearby to make camp. We need to allow this man time to recover. In the morning Salix can help to heal his exhaustion and speed his recovery. After hearing the mans story we will free the orcs, unarmed. First we will send the underlings off to give them a chance to avoid the rath of their leader and then we will send him off about an hour later.
Once the orcs are tied up Ran says "Surin, will you please search the orcs for any concealed weapons or other sources of information."
Ran turns to Cai and Salix and asks "Thank you for the council that you offered me to make this decision. I have one more task to ask of you now. Can the two of you scout around for a suitable campsite within a half hour from here and report back."
Addressing Harp once more Ran says "I need you to rise above your nature. I saw a bloodlust rising in you during this encounter and it made it harder to see the human side of you. Please do not embrace the violence and chaos that is the nature of the orcs. Now do I need to have someone else cover your watch tonight or can I trust you to leave the orcs unharmed?"
Cai nods at Ran. "I will take the second watch when camp is made," she says. She waits some moments until the entangle spell disappates, and makes a quick search for the arrow that missed the last orc (spot check). She scouts down the path for a suitable place to camp.
On her way, she hunts for the group, hoping to keep up their stores for the journey. After she helps set up camp, she continues the task of hunting and gathering until her watch comes up.
She returns a short time before it is her turn and sits quietly next to Harp.
"It was no kindness to your mother how you came about, but you are proof that the race of your father can be redeemed. You are a strength and an asset to this group."
Not sure if we'll be taking this day by day from now on, but Cai will be attempting to craft arrows when they make camp over the next few days of travel. (craft check)
Salix accompanies Cai on the task of scouting for a campsite. While so doing he takes the opportunity to get to know the elf ranger a little better.
"I was impressed that you were able to command the woods back there. It was good that you could entangle the Orcs that I missed. We likely would have suffered some injury were it not for that. How did you come to learn the ways of nature to accomplish this?" He asks this with genuine interest.
He also asks about what other powers she has mastered and suggests that they coordinate their preparations so that they do not duplicate efforts in the future.
Subject Lessons: Opposed checks
Ok since we have several new people to D & D I am going to use this time to do a little education.
There has been talk about tying the orcs up. This is not a bad plan, for the moment, but it is not an automatic action, at least to tie them up so that they can not escape.
When someone binds a character, the bound person is considered bound until he tries to to one of two things. 1st, he can try and break the bonds. This requires a fairly high STR check. Usually it is so high that only people with 18 or higher strength stats should even attempt it. For example, if the STR check is a DC25, then even someone with a STR of 18(+4 bonus) can only roll a 24(20+4) and would be unable to break the ropes.
The second thing a bound person can do is try and use the Escape Artist skill. You compare the bound persons escape artist roll to the Use rope roll of the person who did the tying. Since it is easier to tie someone up then escape, then the person doing the tying gets a +10 to his use rope skill.
For example, let say Harp decides to tie the orcs. His bonus is +2 for DEX and a +10 for doing the tying, for a total of +12. If he rolled a 5 that would be a total of 17. If the orcs made an escape artist attempt and got 17 or higher, they would be able to get out of the ropes.
However, is someone like Surin did the tying it would be different. Lets say that the Orc rolled a 20 for his escape artist. Surin Rolls a 2. Looks bad for Surin, right? Not really. Surin has 12 ranks in Use rope, so his total is 12+10+2 for a total of 24, and the orc stays tied. He might also have a synergy bonus if he has 5 ranks in Escape Artist.
Similar things happen with move silently against a listen check or hide in shadow against a spot check.
If any you have questions as to how this works let me know.
That concludes todays lesson. :)
Harp, struggling to control his anger, glares at Ran, and finallly mumbles "You know nothing of these creatures". He then takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, says a short prayer to his lord, gathers the inner peace he had learned, and then steps back one step. He opens his eyes, and says to Ran:
"Excuse my actions. Now you see why I have advanced so slowly in the order. I know the right things to say, the right things to do, but when my heart gets the better of me, my "wild" side can, and often does, get the better of me.
I will tie up the captives, and, to calm your conerns, I think it is time that we go to 2 person watches overnight. I will work out a schedule as we travel."
With that, Harp goes to his pack horse, takes out his rope and heads over to the orc captives. He motions them to stand up and proceeds to tie their arms such that they can be marched but are unlikely to be able to free themselves.
After he finishes, he waits around while the rest of the group gets ready to move to their camp site. He might even look for some of his crossbow bolts that he missed with a short while ago. While searching, he is approached by the female ranger. She says to him
""It was no kindness to your mother how you came about, but you are proof that the race of your father can be redeemed. You are a strength and an asset to this group."
Harp looks at her, startled. He had not expected such words from her, but the more critical words of Ran Ell, as he had heard them many times before. He had been impressed by this small elf's ability with a bow, and was sure that he would not want to be on the receiving end of her weapon. He considers her words and replies:
"I thank you for your words, though they seem hollow to me at this point. I continue to struggle with my more wild side. My training from the Order helps immensely, but when confronted with situations such as the one we just had, I find myself losing that control, especially when they are orcs. I am not sure what type of an asset I am, other than to cause dissention in our ranks. However, I appreciate your feelings, coming from one who must have a natural dislike of orcs."
Harp, looking at the job he had done tying up the orcs, thinks that maybe he has not done such a great job. He calls Surin over, since it seemed that Surin was very familiar with ropes, having been exceptional at setting up the tents and having heard about his days with the circus.
Surin comes out of hiding and investigates the job. He quickly starts to work, fingers nimble and quick.
Fal agrees that the we can't take the Orcs with us. He asks Ran what he can do to be of assistance at the moment. If needed, he will help set up camp, or guard the prisoners. Once camp has been set up, Fal must spend some time studying his spellbook and resting, so that he can be ready for anything that might happen tomorrow. He will do anything that is asked of him, though.
Bel walks up to Harp and says " Nice job back there, restraining yourself. I know it couldn't have been easy for you...it wasn't easy for me, and I don't have your history with Orc. They remind me of big Goblins, though, so I think that perhaps you might have had the right idea after all.
Still, it is Ran-Ell's decision, so lets hope he is right."
(he waits to say this in private to Harp, so not to embarrass Harp in front of the company)
The group stands around for a while, trying to figure out what to do with the orcs. Harp is all for killing them, but is willing to settle for just hamstringing them and leaving them to the mercies of nature. Salix and Cai are for taking all their weapons and setting them free. The rest of the party is ambivalent about them, not really wanting to kill them in cold blood, but not really wanting them to be set free. Ran finally decides that they are not going to kill the orcs, but that in the morning they will be set free and told to head away from the group. He asks Surin to help Harp tie up the orcs and for Cai and Salix to try and find a camp site not too far away.
Within half an hour Cai and Salix return. They have found a nice spot just about 10 minutes away. It is near a small stream, so they would have fresh water. Ran ask Cai if she would try and get them some food while the rest of the group moved to the camp. Cai moves out to hunt.(DC10, 12+7=19, can feed 4 others) The rest of the party gets their horses and head towards the camp area. Ran and Bel take as much care as they can not to disturb the unconscious man.
Harp tells Surin that he has some rope on his horse and he goes to get it. When he gets back, Harp starts trying to tie the orcs up. Surin watches for a few minutes, trying not to laugh at the ? orcs attempt. After a few minutes Surin reaches over and pulls on one piece of rope and several of the knots Harp had tied fall right off. Surin giggles a bit at the look on Harp's face. ?I have been tying and untying knots before I could walk. Let me show you some tricks.? With that Surin takes about 5 minutes tying up the orcs. When he is done, it is obvious that they are not going anywhere, and if they try they are very likely to hurt themselves in the process. Surin leads the orcs to the camp while Harp follows.
As Harp and Surin are tying off the orcs at the new camp, the creatures keep looking at Harp with wide eyed astonishment. One even asks Harp ?Why are you with these humans? You should join us and you could lead us.? With that Harp kicks the orc in the face, breaking it's nose. ?I am with the humans because they have treated me better then your kind could ever hope to.? With that he stomps away to gather fire wood for the night's meal.
About an hour after they have made camp, two things happen. First, Cai returns with a small boar over her shoulder. As she gets to camp, the strange man from the road finally wakes up. Salix is the first to hear him. He bends over trying to help him take a drink. There is much coughing and sputtering as the man tries to drink too fast. After a few frantic minutes the man finally realizes what is going on and starts asking questions.? Who are you? Where am I? Is the Lady ok? Did you find the caravan?? It all comes out in a rush. Over the next few minutes his story comes out.
He is Alatyr Nix, guard of the Lady Rochell. They had been attacked by a large party of goblins. He had been sent out by the Captain to scout ahead and had heard the commotion. When he got close he saw that over 100 goblins were attacking the caravan. There were only 15 guards and several of them had fallen. The Captain had seen him and yelled at him to ride away and try and find help. It must have been almost a day ago. He had ridden his horse to death getting away from the goblins and then run as fast and as far as he could.
He did not remember the last part of his run, just that he had to get some place and get help for the Lady.
OODM: The role of Alatyr will be played by Nate from now on.