After finding the royal carriage, sans Princess, we headed towards the town of Askren. I recall from my light reading that the town is predominantly human, so it’s probably okay.
The dragonborn has a feeling that the sword we acquired from the wreckage is a red herring, and combined with the magical smoke that was forming over the carriage, I would agree – it’s almost like someone wanted us to find the wreckage.
The day is cold as we approach the end of autumn, and I find I’m growing to hate the seasons as we travel cross-country to get back to the road to Askren. We see some orcs up in the distance, though, so a fight shall be had!
We engaged in combat with three orcs. Once again, I find my team’s tactics excessively lacking. Enna and Wrenn took to hailing the orcs with arrows, but Helge and the dragonborn were intent on charging. Today we discovered that the dragonborn is completely unable to hit anything with his sword, and Wrenn is more than happy to castrate orcs that wound his allies. I’m glad to be on the gnome’s side.
The dragonborn finally realised that he can’t hit anything, so utilised his breath weapon while Helge bravely scampered away from the orcs.
With a mighty blow, the dragonborn managed to kill the final orc – severing it in two.
We discovered that one of the orcs indulged in the superstitious belief in that removing an eye makes it more powerful. I proved to the group that it’s simply not the case by removing one of the weaker orc’s eyes.
When we finally got to town, we headed straight for the pub. While the town is predominantly human, there are also no women which leads me to wonder what has gone on. The dragonborn fell into the river, and much laughter was had, but otherwise the travel was uneventful. On arriving to the pub, I purchased everyone a drink and we discovered some interesting facts:
- Kerensa, the barmaid, tells us of undead rising from the graves in the forest. This happened once, a long time ago, and the villagers went out with wooden stakes to put the undead to rest. Recently, there has been some stirring in the forest, but doing this would be paid in gratitude… and I’m unsure the Mercenary Heroes of Woodcrest would be interested in that.
- A man with a red cowl, apparently a mage, wants help to find the royal coach. He offers 20 gold upfront, and 50 gold for each of us. Highly suspicious. He won’t give us his name, but offers the nickname Zephyr. We’ve agreed to help tomorrow morning, and will meet them at the pub at 8am sharp.
- Renfrew, a mercenary gangster, wants us to pick on a farm girl named Abrielle. She owes him 50 gold ‘protection money’, so it’s an extortion racket. This pays 10 gold, plus 10% of what she sends back. We’ve agreed to investigate her, but I think we will kill him on our return. After all, we’re above aiding a protection racket, but we’re not above murder.
- When we come back here, I will personally fireball this town. It’s full of lowlifes and miscreants. No humans, in my opinion, live here.
We headed off to see Abrielle. She seems nice, if scared, and has only amassed 20 gold – 30 under what she owes Renfrew. We’ve agreed to help her and put our own money forward to Renfrew to buy her some time. We’re preparing to leave now to return to the town, hopefully arriving back before 8pm.
We arrived back to the town to find it ransacked. Orcs, goblins, and kobolds have attacked the place, set fire to the lumber mill, and stuffed corpses down the well. Wrenn bravely looted the tavern and found 15 gold, but I suspect he’s hobbited away some more. No matter, he likely spends money a lot less carefully than a human would.
We found Renfrew’s body. The bastard didn’t even have enough coin on him to pay us for our job. We also found the body of the man who leered at Enna – and she was happy to kick him while he was down.
Four orcs ambushed us when we were searching for survivors. Again, our party displayed terrible tactics when Enna was surrounded and wounded, knocked unconscious by the brutes. Fortunately, the dragonborn was able to bathe the stinky runts in fire again.
After I killed one of the orcs, the party seemed to become more inspired and managed to get their game faces on. Wrenn slew another and Helge ripped the heart out of one with his sword. Very graphic.
Wounded, we sought a place to recover. We found a broken-in house, without dead bodies, and the dragonborn proceeded to prove that he has a good blacksmithing eye by fixing the door. We rested, I communed with Maltraxru (with words that are better left unwritten), and we then headed off south down the river with a rowboat.
Three hours later, and we’ve discovered a camp that we plan on approaching.
We moored the boat, headed to the road, and approached the camp. Zephyr and his gang of thugs seem to be out there, having successfully escaped the butchering of the town.
Wrenn has informed me that Zephyr is none other than Duke Rellis!