To Rise from the Ashes

Drellin's Crossing

Decisions to be made, on a short schedule

Captain Leandra listens to Luc and Amarack’s recounting of their journey out of the Seawalls and into Breland and confirms that others in the immediate region have encountered hobgoblin groups over the last few days. Her patrol was on a regular swing through the area when this happened, and she’s already sent word to her higher HQ about the situation. Time, however, does not seem to be on your side.

“My concern is the Dawn Way – if they cut it, my message might not get out, and this town will be isolated,” she states flatly, referring to the trade route that connects the town and New Cyre and other settlements in the region.

“Based on what we’ve been able to gather over the last day or so, it looks like they’re operating out of the Crownwood, to the southeast,” she says, pointing to the area on the map. The Crownwood runs parallel to the foothills of the Seawalls, and stands generally between Drellin’s Crossing and New Cyre.

“There are some old structures in there – a keep, some farmsteds – and maybe they’re using them as anchors for their ops,” she continues. Terro, the Master, inhales and looks at Leandra, giving the sense that he intends to speak.

“Captain Leandra has agreed to help us secure the perimeter of the town,” he states in a hurried manner, then inhales slowly so as to calm himself, as if realizing that he was starting to get a little worked up.

“That’s all we can do, really – I’ve only got 9 troops with me after sending my rider out with the status report. I’m afraid we’re a bit isolated at this point,” she states in a grim tone, “should they try to attempt anything more than threatening travelers.”

Terro steps forward. “What are your intentions? I know that’s very direct, but if you intend to make for your home, you’ll likely head by where they’re hiding, if you can make it. Pardon my blunt tone, but what do you intend to do?” he asks.


The hobgoblin prisoner lolls his tongue around and curses in a slurred voice, labeling all humans in the root to be “turd-burgling milk-drinking baldmen” and other insults that would resonate with his kind.

What do you ask of him?

Comments

“Tell me how many companies came into Breland and where they were headed and we will get you a meal and send you on your way. "

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“Companies? We have WARBANDS!…many…several…mine and some others…more than necessary to swallow this shitty little ’burg!” he blurts out, his speech slurred.

When prodded some more he comes back with similar answers and seems to be telling the truth. You feel confident that there are probably 3 separate groups, numbering well over 100 in total, perhaps upwards of 200. He doesn’t seem very well-informed – just full of piss and wind. Basically, you captured Specialist Jihadi. He knows more than Pvt S’Nuffy, but not a whole lot.

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META: The Sending spell that Amarack sent has a return option. Does he get any response?

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Amarack called Prince Oargev, and this was his response: “Do what you can for them; will keep an eye on situation; similar problems here; this is a shared problem; keep me updated; Oargev.”

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Deaton nods quietly.

“Well, I guess it’s back to work for you, then. Gentlemen, can we escort him out of drellin’s crossing, please? Please treat him well. We’ll be killing them all in short order, so no need to be uncivil.”

Deaton gives a traditional farewell, honor blood and whatever kind of thing. Then leaves to catch up with the group.

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The guards look at each other, slightly confused, and don’t move after Deaton leaves.

“Did he say let him go?” one asks the other, with Thaldayn standing nearby.

“Uh, yup,” answers the other, looking to Thaldayn for some kind of explanation.

“Let him go just like he asked – he attacked us, and outside of your town, so can you claim him?” the fighter asks.

Within a few minutes the two guards are standing at the edge of town watching the hobgoblin stagger away, still drugged, hurling slurred insults at them. A sudden twang and rush of air from behind startles them, and they watch as an arrow flies fast and true from Thaldayn’s bow into the middle of the hob’s back, dropping him dead to the ground.

“See you around,” says the fighter as he puts away his bow and walks toward town hall.

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Luc says “I’m calculating our next move here. How far is the Crownwood from here?”

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“Ten miles west and you’ll be in it – a few short of that and it starts to pick up around you,” Terro states, pointing to the map on the wall.

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“I’m not asking for specific troop strength, but if we were to head to the Crownwood, how long could you hold out against those numbers? I feel knowing more is vital to gaining the upper hand here, but not at the cost of abandoning our neighbors.”
Amarack looks to the Captain then to the Master.

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The Brelish commander speaks up.

“Having no clear idea of how many are out there for certain, and where they intend to concentrate, if anywhere, I can’t say. I aim to prepare this town as best I can, but to do that I need two things: time here with them, and actionable intelligence. I can’t do both,” she trails off, leaving a pregnant pause in the room, clearly implying a request.

The Master raises an eyebrow and gazes at Luc and Amarack as Deaton and Thaldayn come through the door, escorted by a town guard.

“So what’s the word?” asks the former house retainer.

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“We’ll scout it out, and see what we can find out. I believe I have something that will help me get a good “eye” on it. Boys, lets do this!"

META: I have Arcane Eye now, so I can do some amazing scouting:-)

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As the group discusses the details of the scouting mission into the Crownwood, Thaldayn strikes up a chat with Captain Leandra, getting friendly with her.

A scribe comes in and sketches a map of the area for you, showing the Crownwood, the town, and the general area around both – it’s not too detailed, but it does show where landmarks and roads are and lists general distances.

The Shrike River, which bisects New Cyre, also bisects Drellin’s Crossing, and runs through the Crownwood. You’re warned that the river widens and the land around it forms into a gorge the farther west you go, and that there is a large, old stone bridge on the other side of the Crownwood that offers the only way across the river in that area. The land changes again closer to New Cyre, going back to rolling hills and a narrower river, but in the 50 miles between the two towns the Seawalls bulge northward, making the land more rough.

The Crownwood itself is pretty dense, and as mentioned already there used to be some farms and settlers in there, but no one really lives there anymore. There’s an old keep, too, that’s bee abandoned for well over a century, and the forest generally has a reputation for being dangerous and difficult to navigate.

The Dawn Way – the trade route between the towns – runs along the south edge of the Shrike river, between the forest and the gorge.

Basically it looks like this: 8 miles or so west of town and the land starts to get more rough and there are more trees breaking up line of sight. Another 2 miles beyond that and you’re in the forest, which is about 35 miles wide, from east to west, and anywhere from 5 to 20 miles deep, north to south. The river runs along the north edge of it, with the road between the river and forest. The stone bridge is about 30 miles from here, so a little more than half way to New Cyre – it’s not used much, as the Dawn Way isn’t a major route, and the keep in the forest is no longer maintained. The bridge, in fact, isn’t maintained at all, and it’s a few centuries old.

The abandoned keep is probably 20 miles from here, they think.

One more thing they impart: as stated, the forest is generally avoided by locals, having a reputation for being a place more like the wilder Seawall Mountains than pacified Breland. Giant used to live there a long time ago, and folks have always told stories of hobgoblins raiders, ettercaps, and other dark forest beasties just waiting to waylay anyone who ventures inside.

The Master will draw out food and other traveling supplies for you, and has horses you can borrow – borrow – for the mission.

Thaldayn states that he’s going to stay behind to help Captain Leandra and her people prepare the town and the local volunteers.

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Let me know how Amarack, Deaton, and Luc are going to go about their scouting work – where, by what means, SOP for the place, and so on. I’ll write a post to move the story along.

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“Send the horse. Full attack.” …only kidding. How did Baxter and Holly get in here? Aren’t they supposed to be robbing a wagon train?

“Brothers, we need to get in there quick and get back quicker. What if we went as far as we could sneaking and then invis to get in further?
Dol Dorn has gifted me with more martial capabilities as of late and I’m itching to release a few souls in battle in thanks. I would pray that we get in and out without incident, but lying to deity is not a good way to go through life.
What say you, gentlemen?”

Drellin's Crossing
Lyle

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