Chapter 1: Harvest (IC)

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Arkenian
Arkenian's picture

Evrinel signs the document and eats in silence, apparently not considering anything discussed worth much comment. He brightens noticeably at mention that they are leaving immediately with full supply. As he is getting ready to leave (mostly shifting the straps on his largely-empty backpack) it occurs to him to ask, "What do you consider a long march?" he smiles wryly, as if at a memory.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

As the expedition sets off, Mbali calls over her shoulder, "About twelve miles today. We stop for food and sleep at the manor of a knight. Less tomorrow, because the roads aren't so good."

She and the hobs are all laden heavily enough that the pace is roughly what Rory and Hendrik would consider a brisk walk, but they keep it up steadily for a good four hours before Mbali calls for a rest break. The countryside has been tame-looking farmland for the most part so far, but you rest atop a knoll that lets you see half a mile onward, where a swath of forest lies along the horizon. The road passes right through it.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Rasnak doesn't appear to be carrying much at all... He's just as prepared to leave now as he is prepared to stay.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

At the grassy knoll, Vandersrike produces one of the sausage rolls from the bag swinging from his belt. Pockmarked and bored, it resembles swiss cheese rather than breakfast bread. Vandersrike nibbles at it contentedly anyway. Between morsels, he asks:

"Zombies are rather stupid. Can we construct a trap or ambush that simplifies the process of their demise? Perhaps a fire pit or an acid pit or maybe a swinging blade at fleshy head level?"

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"Given enough time and resources, sure, we could do that, but it wouldn't work." Hendrik continues, "We know that there are intelligent overseers and someone made the zombies. They won't all walk into a trap before someone directs them to avoid it. And that someone isn't going to let us construct anything elaborate before turning those zombies to attack us." Hendrick emphasizes the next point with emphatic hand gestures. "The most important thing to realize is that the zombies can cuddle up close to the trees and we don't want to spend much time in their shade. It's death to us, but not to them. So if they hang out there when they're not working - assuming that there is even such a time since they don't need to eat or rest - we'll be dead before we get to see if our trap works."

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike listens as his Dwarf tribesman explains. He considers what he has heard, then posits:

"We know they will use the trees for shade, we have to destroy the trees anyway, why not trap the trees? Set the whole forest ablaze?"

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"Why not? I'm for it. But wet wood doesn't burn well. Now, if we control the weather for a year or two, stop sending the rain, let things get good and dry and touch a tindertwig the whole place might take care of itself. But I hardly think the good lord will want to pay us mercenary wages while we sit around waiting, especially since I doubt that any one of us can control the weather."

Cronono
Cronono's picture

deadDMwalking wrote:

"But I hardly think the good lord will want to pay us mercenary wages while we sit around waiting, especially since I doubt that any one of us can control the weather."

Vandersrike responds in Dwarven accented with Draconic:

"Flint and steel, brother, and the addition of sufficient hard work will overcome a great many obstacles. We start one fire, then another, than another. Kobolds all over the world do not spread tales of Dwarven hardheadedness and stubborn refusal to die because Dwarves are known to be lazy. They work almost as hard as we do and sculpt the stone we carve from the Earth into treasures worthy of the Dragons themselves. I can't and won't speak for the work ethic of those who wear no boots, but I know that both you and the egg laying dwarf are stout and well muscled. It would be a relatively simple matter to build a campfire and a simple matter of scale to build something big enough to start taking down even more trees."

He switches back to Common. "If I had proper equipment, I could make enough Alchemist's fire, but that's unlikely here."

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

"I strongly suggest we keep our destruction to the banyans alone. Spreading fire to the rest of the wood, or salting the earth to prevent new growth, would likely make the spirits of this forest furious. The undead, cartels, and necromancers will be enough enemies; we do not need to make more for ourselves. I will oppose such actions, if I am able."

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Henrik responds, "Bah, Vexandi Iwu who was raised in the woods. You didn't have a problem killing that animal," Henrik points a thick finger at the skull hanging from his spear. "Probably because it was trying to kill you. Make no mistake - every plant here wants to see you dead. They're just slow. But they won't need you to protect them. They're tougher than they look. Our kobold friend here isn't serious, it's just not practical. But it's an interesting puzzle to consider."

Responding to Vandersrike in Dwarven, "They'd never let you do it. Wood is economically valuable. The humans won't let us burn it any more than a dwarf would crush all their gems - now if you get a title and sell it to other humans so THEY can burn it, that's allowed."

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Leland contentedly plods along with the others, leading Horace the mule by the reins. Raksha, for her part, stalks close to Leland. The druid muses, "It seems no matter our course, we'll annoy someone or another." He adds after a moment, "I'd sooner have the undead angry at me than the spirits of the forest, though."

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Rory shrugs off her pack at the first opportunity when Mbali calls for a rest, laying it on its side and sitting on it to take the load off her feet. She eats the roll she brought with her and downs half the water in her waterskin before putting everything away and checking her gear again. The soldier listens to Henrik and Vandersrike debate the merits of a controlled burn for awhile, smirking at the kobold's colloquialism for female dwarves, then moves to the expedition's leader and waits for a moment to speak when she appears unoccupied.

"I request that when we venture past the treeline, my place be at the front or even ahead of the party. I served at the Citadel Kusar under Danemar for five years as a forward scout. I'm quieter than I look and have good eyes and ears, and can leave my pack with the mule."

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Mbali takes a swallow of water, mulls over Rory's request for a moment, and then says, "That's fine. Maintain line of sight whenever possible. If you have to break visual contact with the rest of the expedition, do so, but stay close enough to be sure that we can hear you shout. Stupid to lose people in an ambush before we even make a day's march. Even stupider to lose more than one if we can help it."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Leland observes to Horace the mule, "There. See? You've been conscripted already. And people wonder why I sign for you." There's a glimmer of amusement in his eyes as he says these words, and afterward he calls to Rory, "Very well, then. You can stow your...arsenal...here." He nods to Horace's saddle pack.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

deadDMwalking wrote:

Our kobold friend here isn't serious, it's just not practical. But it's an interesting puzzle to consider."

Vandersrike nods. "I am accustomed to killing things underground. All this sunlight is odious, to say the least."

He looks up toward the sky before obviously and physically regretting this decision.

"If I wanted to kill a fungus, I would apply fire or acid. Preferably, I would do so from a safe distance away. How does an elf kill a tree?" He does his best to look in Vex's general direction for an answer.

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

"You kill a tree..." Vexandi begins, looking quite uncomfortable with the question, "...the way you have discussed, with fire, acid, or the blade. Magic is useful, but I am not sure any of us have the means to call on anything effective enough. My concern is limiting the damage to the banyans alone. They are the evil, and they must be uprooted, but we must take care not to harm the living wood around them." And then to Hendrik, "And while there is much hostility in the plant life of this forest, if we begin to burn and cut with abandon, it is the spirits of this forest that will wish to see us dead. They would not be so slow."

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The debate between Henrik, Vandersrike, and Vexandi continues inconclusively through the end of your break, the stowing of Rory's pack atop Horace the Mule, and the expedition's return to travel, now with Rory scouting ahead by about. As you begin to draw nearer to the wooded area you'd spotted previously, however, Mbali calls for silence.

As scout, Rory moves deliberately along the shady roadway for a good quarter mile or more, until suddenly she spots movement in the underbrush between trees ahead of her. It's not immediately clear to her what she's seeing--just that it's big, brown and hairy. Or maybe . . . feathered? But then the owlbear rears onto its hind legs and gives vent to an unearthly hunting cry, somewhere between a roar and a shriek!

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Surprise Round, Phase A
Horrified, Rory watches as a twisted blend of owl and grizzly bear crashes out of the woods onto the verge of the road, and lopes towards her, beak clacking and claws bared. Madness and hunger gleam in its red, birdy eyes as it shrieks again. Ropes of spittle drool from its beaky maw.



Initiative
Owlbear (1) - 16
Rory (Ry) - 7

The Owlbear is uninjured.
Rory is uninjured.

It is currently Rory's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Surprise Round, Phase B
Rory immediately backs off from the owlbear, trying to get herself closer to the hobgoblins in the vanguard of the expedition and (hopefully) avoid provoking the creature to another attack.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

It is currently Leland's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1, Phase A
At the shrieking cry of the owlbear, Leland murmurs to Raksha, "Heel." He doesn't make any move to close in on the action, but instead fishes out a sling and stone, and loads the stone into the pouch on his sling.

Meanwhile, the hobgoblin furthest back in the rearguard breaks into a trot, unlimbering his spear and shield as he goes. His reaction is commendably rapid, although there's a decent chance that he won't get there in time to do much of use.

Rasnak . . . well, there's no nice way to say this. He cowers in abject terror, claws bared for self-defense.

Henrik, a little way behind him, is more proactive and hurries forward to one of the hobgoblins in the vanguard. The dwarf casts a spell of some kind, reaching out to lay a finger on the hob's spear. The weapon glows for just an instant.

Another hob, further towards the front, also draws his spear and shield. In a display of remarkable coolness, given the size of your adversary, the goblinoid warrior steps forward and to the left off of the past, coming up to flank Rory. "Draw it along with you, if you can. I will take the beast in the flank."

From the rearguard, Mbali's lieutenant calls out, gravel-throated, "Order of battle, order of battle! Chest and horns, embis!"

For its part, the owlbear seems pretty well fixated on Rory, for the moment. It lopes after her, somewhat slowed at first by the undergrowth.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.

It is currently Joe's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1, Phase B
Joe eases his way closer to the action, pulling his sword as he comes up to join the hobs of the vanguard as they line up for combat.

Mirroring his comrade-in-arms, another hobgoblin moves into position off on Rory's other flank, readying his spear and shield as he comes. The two are now poised to come in with a pincer movement, if the dwarf can lure the owlbear closer to the main body.

Further back in the column, two more of the hobs assigned to the rearguard start for the front, both calling out, "Loins ready. Loins standing by!"



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1, Phase C
Vandersrike sprints for the underbrush and insinuates himself into its embrace at the end of his run. Presumably the odd kobold intends to use it to conceal himself from the massive predator, although it's not yet clear to what end.

While he's secreting himself in the weeds and bushes, Mbali strides towards the owlbear, and calls out as she brandishes spear and shield, "Embis! When this beast comes between the horns, we wash the spears! Make ready!"

One of the vanguard edges himself to the right, getting into position so that he can support Rory when the owlbear charges.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.

It is currently Rory's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1, Phase D
Rory falls smoothly into her role as bait for the owlbear, shouting and waving her arms as she makes her way to a position at Mbali's side, out of the way of the hobs' efforts to close ranks into a battle formation. Back in the rear of the column, the hobs associated with the "loins" of the formation, whatever that is, are finally consolidating as well.

So of course, now that things are getting organized, something happens to screw it all up. Another shriek rises from the undergrowth from whence the owlbear had emerged. There are two. As if you really needed a spare.

A couple more hobs ease forward to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellows, leaving only a space where Rory and Mbali are visible to the first owlbear.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
It is currently Evrinel's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase A
Evrinel brings out a sling similar to Leland's, and hurries southeastward to get a better shot at the owlbear once it follows Rory.

Meanwhile, the last of the hobs in the vanguard whirls his spear to the ready, fidgeting a little with nerves as he sets up to charge into the gap between his comrades in the line of battle.

Vexandi stabs his spear into the earth next to the path, sheds his pack, and makes his way north similarly to Evrinel's maneuver, trying to get a clearer shot on the first owlbear as well.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
It is currently Leland's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase B
Leland whirls his sling, and looses a stone at the nearer owlbear. It flies wide, unfortunately, but at least the creature doesn't notice his attack and shift its attention to the druid.

Meanwhile, the quickest of the hobgoblins assigned to rearguard duty continues his jog up to the front of the column. He should be able to join the line of battle at need, after this.

Rasnak, on the other hand, displays not the slightest inclination to do anything violent. The little kobold huddles behind his taller comrades, trying not to attract attention.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Hob 6's spear is affected by magic weapon. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
It is currently Henrik's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase C
Henrik steps into place next to Rory, unthinkingly blocking the path of advancement for hob #6 as he casts a spell on himself. His priorities are clarified when the heretic offers, suggestively, "One is such a lonely number. Two is company."

Meanwhile, hobgoblin #1, the left "horn" of the formation, sets his feet in preparation to charge into the owlbear's flank once it engages the warriors of the "chest."

Uluwasi moves further up, clearly planning to reinforce the formation along with the rest of the embis.

And, as it turns out, they'll probably NEED that reinforcement. With another horrendous, shrieking roar, the first owlbear charges. The fact that it is clearly still trying to get at Rory is of little comfort to the hobgoblin standing in its way, as a vast, razor-clawed paw swipes hammers his shield aside and lays open his chest. White rib bone is visible for a moment, before a gush of blood obscures it, and then the owlbear's grip fastens round the unfortunate hob's shield arm. He's drawn in closer, shouting in pain, anger, and fright. In the tight quarters, the embi is too hemmed in to wield his spear.

Shouting, "Nkonkoni!" hob #1 charges to his comrade's aid. His spear is a bit off-target, though, and only slices the top of the owlbear's shoulder rather than stabbing deep.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.

Owlbear 1 is grappling Hob #5.

Hob #5 has received 6 damage. He is disabled.
Owlbear 1 has received 2 damage.

It is currently Joe's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase D
Joe moves in with his sword raised, brushing past the creepy dwarven priest on his way to the gap in the line of battle. He brings the weapon straight down in a whistling cut that would undoubtedly have hurt the owlbear rather badly . . . if it had connected. At least he didn't cut his own foot off.

The hob entrusted with the role of the right "horn" mimics his comrade, charging in to jab at the owlbear's haunches, but his haste and a chance bob of the creature's posterior as it savages his brother-in-arms conspire to send his spear wide of its mark.

From the back of the formation, a couple more hobs finally advance far enough to be able to charge in where the fighting is hottest. They're ready to plug any holes that may develop in the formation.



Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.

Rory is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.
Mbali is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.

Owlbear 1 is grappling with Hob #5.

Hob #5 has received 6 damage. He is disabled.
Owlbear 1 has received 2 damage.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase E
Vandersrike begins threading his way through the undergrowth of the forest, headed east towards the thicket from which the owlbears erupted.

While he's creeping through the bushes, Mbali steps to the owlbear's exposed right flank, and drives her spear deeply into its ribs. A spume of blood and air jets out of the wound as she twists her spear free afterward and the owlbear howls in agony.

The last of the hobs who'd been planned to form part of the "chest" of the formation opts to step towards the second owlbear, calling out, "Loins to the left front! There's another of the beasts on its way. Rally before it flanks us!"

Rory, for her part, drops her bow, pulls out her halberd, and manage to slice the first owlbear across the side of its face.

Evidently the hobs have enough cohesion that even when it's a spear-carrier who speaks, warnings are heeded. One of the "loins" puts on an extra turn of speed and pulls even with Vexandi. It's clear that he's intent on continuing around the current scrum to engage the next owlbear as soon as he can.

This seems like a wise intention to those who're already engaged with the first one, as the second owlbear closes the gap to within easy charging distance of the hobs who'd previously served as "horns." If not distracted soon, it's clear that the twisted predator is going to catch them against its mate like a hammer against the anvil.

Even with the help of Mbali's distraction to split its attention and divert notice from himself, the hob next to Joe isn't quite able to put his spear into the beast's other side. He comes close . . . but close isn't good enough.

The owlbear's first victim, for his part, thrashes wildly in an attempt to escape its grasp, and he nearly succeeds. But the vast bulk of his attacker finally defeats him, and he slumps to the ground, bleeding and unconscious.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.

Rory is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.
Mbali is flanking Owlbear 1 with Joe and Hob #4.

Hob #5 has received 7 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 20 damage.

It is currently Evrinel's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2, Phase F
Evrinel mulls it over for a second, then makes a disgusted face, shakes his head, and charges into the melee against Owlbear #1. Despite looking like an underfed derelict, the half-elf moves with considerable grace, and the spinning kick that he lashes at the big predator very nearly connects.

For its part, Hob #6 advances from his position behind the main formation, and takes up a spot on the right wing, where he Hob #2 will be well poised either to confront the second owlbear, or to charge into its flanks if it instead moves on to attack their comrades who are already engaged.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.

Rory is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.
Mbali is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.

Hob #5 has received 7 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 20 damage.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 3, Phase A
Vexandi steps a few feet to his left, draws his bow until the fletchings of the arrow brush his lips, and shoots for Owlbear #2. It's as near a miss as is possible; a tuft of brownish feathers drifts to earth where the broadhead of his arrow snipped it loose from the mad beast.

For his part, Leland abandons ranged combat as a bad business--he has no clear shot on either owlbear, and by the time he runs to a place where he'd have one on Owlbear #2, it would likely be engaged in a melee against someone. So instead, the druid issues a firm order to his wolf companion, which then stays in place as he rushes forward to stand directly behind Rory.

Hob #10 also bustles forward, although he doesn't get as close to the action because he started from further back than Leland. Still, things are looking better, at least as regards the possibility that you'll have enough warm bodies on hand to keep the owlbears busy while you kill them.

In that spirit, Rasnak battles his inner coward and wins, although it is a qualified victory. The little kobold slips closer to Hob #5, and halts just outside of the owlbear's reach. He can't quite work up the gumption to dart in and try to heal the fallen warrior beneath its very claws.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 10 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.

Rory is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.
Mbali is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.

Hob #5 has received 7 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 20 damage.

It is currently Henrik's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 3, Phase B
Undeterred by the lack of a backstop for flanking, or other concerns that might stymie someone who puts tactics first and achievement second, Hendrik gives the first owlbear a good solid chop that leaves the creature good and angry.

Hob #1 follows up on Hendrik's success by jamming his spear almost literally up the raging beast's posterior. It's a serious wound, especially combined with the blood loss entailed in the previous injuries inflicted to the owlbear.

Sadly, the brave hobgoblin has no time to celebrate his prowess. Enraged by its injuries, and with him as the most recent cause of its suffering, the owlbear turns on him with a feral agility that some would find surprising in a monster of its size. Two swipes of its vast paws, and the warrior lies dead, his neck snapped and face in ruins from an open-clawed slap to the side of his head.

In the rear, Uluwasi chivvies the rest of the "loins" onward. If he's aware of his comrade's death, he shows no sign. But then, this isn't the time or place to mourn the dead.

Frustrated by his previous missed blow, Joe was already ready to shed the owlbear's dwindling supply of blood, but watching someone else die in battle has a way of heightening your priorities. He screams and puts his sword through the creature's neck. The first owlbear crumples to the ground, still alive but probably not long for this world.

In the aftermath of the first owlbear's defeat, Hob #3 draws a deep breath, then howls a battle cry in Goblin and turns to charge into the very . . . teeth? beak? Into the very BEAK of the second owlbear, and inflicts a superficial cut across its snout with the tip of his spear. His resulting death at the claws of the newly enraged beast is nearly certain, but it will buy time for the formation to regroup and face the new threat.

Shouting aloud, some of his comrades from the rear of the formation hustle into place. They're probably too late to save him, but they'll be in time to take advantage of his sacrifice.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Rory is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.
Mbali is flanking Owlbear 1 with Hob #1 and Hob #3.

Hob #5 has received 7 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Owlbear 1 has received 44 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 2 damage.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 3, Phase C
Vandersrike continues his quixotic odyssey in the bushes, creeping along with commendable stealth but no noticeable effect on the outcome of the encounter.

Meanwhile, Mbali leaves the downed owlbear and moves into position so that she can charge into the second beast.

Hob #2 was already positioned to do the very same thing, but his spear misses.

Rory follows suit with Mbali, repositioning herself so that she and her halberd can plunge back into the melee at the first opportunity. Hob #8 does likewise, and is now poised to charge into a flanking maneuver against the owlbear.

All of this may be too late to save Hob #3--the owlbear lays into his brave comrade who'd charged into its face to buy time, raking him with claws and beak. An instant later, he lies bleeding into the dust of the trail.

Hob #4 follows suit, jogging around the fringe of the slowly accreting scrum until he is actually behind the owlbear.

Hob #5 lies pinned underneath the dying owlbear and bleeds.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 8 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 10 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 44 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 2 damage.

It is currently Evrinel's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 3, Phase D
Evrinel hustles over to join Hob #4, although he gives the owlbear a wide berth in order to prevent it lashing out at him in an untimely way.

As the half-elf is settling into position, Hob #6 lunges into the fray against the owlbear, and inflicts another pinprick like the one that earned Hob #3 such a beating.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 7 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 10 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 44 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 4 damage.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 4, Phase A
Vexandi makes his way to the hobgoblin now stuck underneath the first owlbear, and stoops to check on him. Sadly for both of them, about the best the elf is able to do is to verify that yes, he's breathing, and yes, he's badly hurt.

Leland, on the other hand, seems to think it would be a good idea to make sure the owlbear stays down. He drops his sling, pulls a truncheon from his belt, and winds up to clobber the monster as he steps close. Embarrassingly, he misses.

Meanwhile, Hob #10 jogs into place for the continuing battle against the second owlbear. While he does so, Rasnak finally feels safe getting close enough to Hob #5 to cast a healing spell. Suddenly, the fallen warrior is . . . well, he's still stuck under the owlbear, but he'll live! He's awake!

Seeing that the first of the downed hobs is on the mend, Henrik looks over to the crumpled but breathing shape of Hob #3, and decides to do what he can. His stubby dwarf legs carry him towards the fallen goblinoid, although it's further than he thought.

Uluwasi makes his way to stand behind Hob #9 and next to Mbali, like a good retainer who watches over his liege in battle. And meanwhile, the first owlbear bleeds into the dirt of the trail.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage. He is prone and pinned by the dying owlbear.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 10 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 45 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 4 damage.

It is currently Johten's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 4, Phase B
Johten notices immediately that Hob #5 is pinned under the owlbear, and is moved to help. Jamming his sword point-down into the dirt where it won't get pinned under the bulk of the dying beast, the big man grabs hold and heaves. For a second, nothing happens, but then Joe's muscle begins to make headway against the dead weight of the owlbear. His neck is corded with effort by the time he finishes, but he single-handedly rolls the owlbear off of the astonished hob.

Hob #3 bleeds into the dirt of the trail.

Hob #7, meanwhile, manages to stick the remaining owlbear lightly with his spear; this is followed by a much harder, deeper jab from Hob #9's iklwa as the hobgoblin clansman steps in close.

The resulting injury elicits an outraged shriek that hurts Vandersrike's scaly ears where the kobold is still slinking through the bushes on his inscrutable errand.

Mbali charges in to lend her spear to the battle, but the pained thrashing of the owlbear spoils her aim with a powerful thrust that would have been nearly as good as a mounted lance charge. Cursing a little in Goblinoid, she covers up with her shield in case of a counterattack.

Hob #2's efforts are similarly useless, and he also covers up with his shield.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage. He is prone.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 11 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 1 has received 45 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 14 damage.

It is currently Rory's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 4, Phase C
Rory menaces the owlbear with her halberd, feinting and jabbing defensively to try to keep its attention without drawing a fatal attack from the beast.

Taking advantage of an opening created by Rory's defensive fighting, Hob #8 charges in and gets his spear solidly into the owlbear's chest.

The injury precipitates a screech of outrage from the beast, followed by a snarling flurry of attacks that leaves the hob crumpled on the ground, his viscera looping in the mud of the trail. He's dead, his throat ripped out early on in the owlbear's savage counterattack.

Shouting in rage and grief, Hob #4 charges in to jab his spear into the owlbear's exposed flank, even as Hob #5 is struggling to his feet and trying to get his bearings.

Evrinel follows up with a charge of his own, spinning around at the end to kick like a mule at the owlbear's head, but he just misses.

Hob #6, despite not being set up for a charge, does not miss, and adds another bleeding rent to the owlbear's feathery, furry hide.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 11 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Hob #8 has received 16 damage. He is dead.
Owlbear 1 has received 45 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 28 damage.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 4, Phase D
Vexandi advances to stand over Hob #3, trying to determine whether he can help staunch the flow of blood from the injured warrior. As it turns out, he can't; the injuries are beyond his limited skill at first aid.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 9 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 11 damage. He is unconscious and bleeding.
Hob #8 has received 16 damage. He is dead.
Owlbear 1 has received 45 damage. It is unconscious and bleeding.
Owlbear 2 has received 28 damage.

It is currently Leland's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 5, Phase A
Leland tries again to end the first owlbear's suffering, although in this case the death-blow turns out to be a floppy little swipe of his club that leaves no one more surprised than the druid when it proves enough to finish the beast.

Meanwhile, Hob #10 makes an even bigger hash of trying to stab the second owlbear with his spear. He misses badly, although at least it can be said that he didn't stab himself or someone else.

Rasnak scuttles over the newly-dead owlbear's corpse, reaches Hob #3, and casts a spell of some kind. It's just enough to stop the fallen warrior's bleeding, although not nearly enough to close his wounds and get him back on his feet. Still, every bit helps.

Freed from his errand of mercy by the work of the kobold, Henrik steps into the scrum so that he actually stands with one leg on either side of the fallen hob's body, and hews at the owlbear with his axe in a two-handed grip. He comes within a hair's breadth of putting the blade into flesh . . . but as his father used to say, that only counts when you're shaving.

Uluwasi sticks close behind Mbali, hand gripping some kind of vial. Evidently the older hob intends that his chieftain will receive healing if her decision to lead from the front comes back to claw her horribly about the face and neck.




Yellow-green squares denote light undergrowth.

Initiative
Leland (Le) - 23
Hob 10 (HX) - 21
Rasnak (Ra) - 20
Henrik (He) - 17a
Hob 1 (H1) - 17b
Uluwasi (Ul) - 16a
Owlbear (1) - 16b
Joe (Jo) - 16c
Hob 3 (H3) - 14a
Hob 7 (H7) - 14b
Hob 9 (H9) - 14c
Vandersrike (Va) - 13
Mbali (Mb) - 11
Hob 2 (H2) - 10
Rory (Ry) - 7a
Hob 8 (H8) - 7b
Owlbear (2) - 7c
Hob 4 (H4) - 5a
Hob 5 (H5) - 5b
Evrinel (Ev) - 4a
Hob 6 (H4) - 4b
Vex (Ve) - 4c

Henrik is affected by divine favor, receiving +1 to attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect has 8 rounds remaining.
Hob 6's spear is affected by Henrik's magic weapon spell. The effect has 7 rounds remaining.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 10 damage. He is unconscious but stable.
Hob #8 has received 16 damage. He is dead.
Owlbear 1 has received 49 damage. It is dead.
Owlbear 2 has received 28 damage.

It is currently Johten's turn.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 5, Phase B
Johten retrieves his sword, and then strolls a little way to the east, positioning himself so that he can plug any gap that may develop on that side of the owlbear.

Hob #3 is unconscious, although he's no longer bleeding out. He lies still.

Hob #7 and Hob #9 dart in nearly simultaneously, spears flickering for the owlbear's hide, and each comes away having inflicted a respectable wound on the beast. It screams its rage and pain as Vandersrike continues to sneak through the bushes.

Mbali's spear takes the beast high in the chest next, and it crashes to the ground, unconscious, with a sucking chest wound.

Hob #2 then takes his time about opening the beast's throat with the edge of his spear's head. There's a spray of blood, and the sucking chest wound stops sucking.


Initiative ends.

Hob #5 has received 1 damage.
Hob #1 has received 17 damage. He is dead.
Hob #3 has received 10 damage. He is unconscious but stable.
Hob #8 has received 16 damage. He is dead.
Owlbear 1 has received 49 damage. It is dead.
Owlbear 2 has received 66 damage. It is dead.

Victory is yours!

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Henrik says a quick prayer over the unconscious hobgoblin. His hands glow briefly, the glow passing into the hobgoblin's chest and his wounds noticeably improving.

CLW (losing Comprehend Languages)
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 5, 1 = 6.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

The hob wakes almost instantly, clutching his spear for a moment before he realizes that the fighting is over. His injuries were serious enough that he still looks very much the worse for wear, but he sits up before anyone can stop him, and asks, "How many did we lose?"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Leland places is club back into a belt loop as he replies glumly to the recently healed hobgoblin, "At least two, I think." He returns to Raksha and Horace the mule and queries, "You scared off the others, didn't you?"

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Rory collects her bow and returns to the mule, patting its flank and stowing her weapons with her backpack. She unlashes the shovel from the side of the pack and moves to stand by Mbali. "Do you bury your dead, or burn them?"

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Mbali was standing still, looking down on the corpses of the owlbears and her clansmen, and startles a little at the sound of Rory's voice.

"Our dead. No, we don't bury them. Or burn them, either, unless there is pestilence. We build a platform and expose them to the birds of the sky."

Suddenly, tears are coursing down her cheeks as she blurts, "These hobs are all that remain of my clan, and now two more are dead!"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"Lost is the wrong word. Taken is more appropriate. I have not known your tribesmen long, but they ran toward danger when others would run away. They showed remarkable courage and dedication to their comrades. While the world is safer because of their actions, the world has lost something precious. When you expose them to the raptors of the sky their strength will be absorbed by the birds and passed through the cycle of life, but until this world is forged anew, I doubt that I'll see their like. I would know their names. I will inscribe their names on my heart and remember them all my days and it will be their example I follow when my companions are in danger. In that small way, I hope to honor their memory." Henrick isn't great at speeches. His voice is gravelly and somewhat hoarse, but it as least clear he is sincere.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Rory nods, looking away as Henrik speaks. She swallows and says, "Well. Axes it is, then. Let's leave her to it, Brother." She nods over at the treeline. "I recommend we erect the platform beyond the first row of trees. They fought tirelessly enough for Mbali in life, I do not wish for them to be desecrated to serve someone else in death."

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Johten looks uncomfortable, likely awkward at the tears of the hobgoblin warrior woman. He's either not inclined to offer words of comfort or perhaps he senses that the otherwise strong woman might not welcome them.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Uluwasi speaks up, in thickly accented Common, "A good thought. It is our custom to remove the head, when such is our concern. It is harder to make the dead walk if they cannot see where they go."

Sorrowfully, he calls out to the other hobs, four of whom take up position around Mbali. The other five bring out hatchets from inside their packs, and along with the older hob, they follow Rory as Uluwasi tells Hendrik, "The first to die today was Thulani. Youngest brother of my brother's wife. I taught him the spear when he was a boy, alongside the chaka. She proved to have the greater talent, but still he was a good embi. Strong. Fast. Brave always. You will see when we strip him for the birds: all his scars are on the front. And Lungile, the second. Also brave, and very persistent. I remember the time he ran a halfling raider's pony to death, one autumn after a dry summer made them raid our herds . . . "

The hob's voice fades from earshot as the woodcutting party heads into the brush, leaving Mbali to weep over the dead.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Vexandi retrieves his pack and his spear, then walks over to Mbali. Quietly, he says "They honored your clan. Their spirits will find happiness in the next Realm. I know a little of these things." After resting his hand on her shoulder briefly, he then goes to each owlbear in turn and, in Elven, quietly prays "Peace on your spirit, mad beast. May your fury end with your life in this Realm."

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike appears from the underbrush. He shakes his head. "These beasts were settled in by the road. They probably went after our tribesman," he points at Henrick, "for an afternoon meal. When her mate engaged, the other joined in."

He delicately takes off his cloak before folding it and setting it down on a nearby rock. Vandersrike removes the cords about his throat and waist and disrobes down to his waist. So stripped, he approaches one of the Owlbear corpses and starts the process of slaughtering the corpse. His claws slowly pierce the thick hide and rend chunks of feathers, fur, and viscera that are at least as big as he is tall.

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