Decisions 3

A 6 Hour Gaming Session Of AD&D

2nd Edition (Spikehelm Campaign World)

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
Introducing a new player to the world of Spikehelm and also adding a new twist to the area they are gaming in.
The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Daniel Blackthorne Battle-Mage 5 Male Dracôrian (Human) N/A
Vlas Cleric 3 Male Southern Durnite (Human) N/A
Session Start: Saturday - 5:00 pm
Location: Four Towers Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 20th day, in the month of The Harvest (Summer), in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After The Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
Vlas had just made Standard Bearer earlier that week and was sharing lunch with Daniel -- a Battle-Mage from far to the North -- when the Loremaster showed up and asked them both to follow him.
They travelled deep into the Monastery, to an area few could easily find -- after what seemed like an hour, they arrived at a heavy door and the Loremaster spoke to them, "Before we go any further I need you to give me your Oath that what you learn behind that door will never be spoken of to anyone, outside of those within."  They both felt the mystical Power behind the word "Oath" and knew that he was asking them to submit to a Blood Oath -- this must be a serious issue for him to go to such great lengths to secure their silence, but they both respected and trusted him.
After the Blood Oaths were taken, he opened the door and introduced the two cloaked men within as simply "Exchangers".  They got straight to the point:  a band of Orcs had taken one of their supply wagons.  Daniel and Vlas wondered what the big deal was -- Orcs took caravans all the time -- and voiced their thoughts.  The first man produced a small blue orb, asking "Do you know what this is?" and handed it to them to look at, with a caution that it was delicate crystal.  Vlas recognised part of its enchantment as some sort of communication spell.
"As you may already know," continued the Exchanger, "we have establishments in many settlements.  What you don't know, is that we outfit each location with one of these orbs so that we can communicate to them at scheduled intervals.  If you haven't already guessed it, the wagon was transporting one of these orbs and if the Orcs find it and hear a communiqué, they'll know that we're trying to organise.  If that happens, they'll be enraged and destroy as many settlements around here as they can.  So we need you to track them and either retrieve or destroy the Orb.  This must happen within the next 4 days -- or all could be lost."
Vlas had many other questions which the Exchangers answered as best they could.  They also offered to provide them with whatever equipment and supplies they could spare, including the horses they arrived on -- which they claimed were faster than any Orc horse.
They left later that day with as much haste as they could -- true to their word the horses were exceptional and within the day, they had found where the wagon was attacked.  As they searched the area they found several inconsistencies.  First, the Orcs had killed everyone -- normally they tried to take slaves.  Second, they had tossed almost two thirds of the supplies off the wagon -- even though much of it wasn't anything the Orcs would want, there were still some items that they would normally take.  Then there were the dead, except for one, they were all killed facing their attackers.
Had the Orcs known about the orb?  Was this all just to get the orb?
Over the next 2 days they found and lost the trail many times, but in the end they discovered the Orcs when Daniel rode over top one of their scouts.  It was just after noon, and the scout had fallen asleep, so he was hidden in the tall grass.  The scout managed to get up and was just about to blow a warning when Vlas slammed his horse into him. Daniel was still occupied trying to right his horse as Vlas turned and hacked the scout with his Axe -- nearly cutting him in two.  It was over before it started -- now they knew that the Orcs must be close by so they rode back over the hill.  Then they crept back to see what they could find out about these Raiders from the dead scout.
They saw the trail of the wagon -- leading into a heavy copse of trees.  They didn't know how many they faced but they began to make plans -- and since they were both casters of magic -- discussing what spells they had available and how best to attack a score of Raiders.  Vlas didn't have any direct experience, but he'd read a lot of accounts and manuscripts.  Daniel, as a veteran Battle-Mage, was trained and had fought in many battles -- of course he had better resources and more companions with martial skills for every one of those.
In the end, they decided to use stealth instead of a frontal attack, hoping to get in without a fight and saving what few spells they had to get out.
As they headed in, Vlas cast a Silence spell on a dagger so that any noise they might make would not give them away.  As they neared the camp, what they saw made their job much easier, the Orcs were all unconscious and there were 4 empty kegs scattered around camp.  Daniel did a quick count.  There were only 10 Orcs that he could see, and 5 of them were in contact with each other -- he had the perfect spell for them.  He signalled Vlas and then cast it on the youngest Orc of the bunch.  The spell went off and cascaded through every one of them, their eyes all snapping open along with their mouths in silent screams as the fingers of lightning enveloped and rooted them to the ground.
As they approached the wagon, they were surprised by archer attacks from under it.  They ran at the wagon, knowing that at this range it was better to close the distance and force the archers to change weapons.  That's when a big Orc showed its face and charged, but not before Daniel let loose with such a blast of force that it slammed the Orc backwards and blew one of the wheels off the wagon -- so forcefully that the hub and spoke impaled him -- and shattered the trunks of several trees.
The wagon sagged and only one Orc made it out from under it -- Vlas was there and waiting for him.  With his second swing of the day, he smashed his second Orc into the ground.
And then the tree fell on the wagon.
Daniel, who was outside of the silence spell, heard it coming and was able to dive to safety.  Vlas just happened to look up in time to see it coming, but not in time to get out of the way.  He must have had horseshoes up his ass, because as he fell back every single branch missed him and the wagon held the tree off the ground enough that he was able to crawl out unharmed.
They searched the area and found the crate with the orb -- both were smashed to bits.  They gathered up all the shards of the orb and got out of there before any other Raiders showed up.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Saturday - 11:00 pm
Location: 2 Days South South-East Of Monastery, Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 23rd day, in the month of The Harvest (Summer), in the year of the Gold Hunter, in the 6th Age, 941 Years After The Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: First Quarter