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Lordsmoothe
2008-01-06, 04:07 PM
It is a cool spring day, a light morning rain leaves the air crisp and clean, and the sky all but cloudless. The sun strives to warm the earth, but the wind nips at the caravan as it trundles along the road, their cloaks flapping against their legs as the wind blows at their backs, almost as if ushering the travelers forth.

The road so far has been relaxing and uneventful. Simon, the merchant heading the caravan, sets a ground-eating but not exhausting pace, and the plains are giving way to the foothills that will take the caravan into the mountains and through the pass leading to the coast and Fennan. Only two other merchants have joined Simon, three small wagons carrying a mish-mash of supplies and trinkets. The bulk of the caravan is made up of seven guards, and without those guards, even these traders would not travel this road, for the village of Fennan is under siege, blocked off from the rest of the world by an ogre, or many ogres, it depends who you ask.

After two days' journey, the travelers have gotten themselves in a good traveling state, and time begins to compress and lose consistency as they begin to climb and cart across the hills.

Lycar
2008-01-06, 06:13 PM
Jason marches along, quietly most of the time, lost in thought.

On the other hand, whenever someone was open for a little chat, Jason gladly used the opportunity to learn something about his fellow travellers and warriors.

He was quite happy to get a chance to talk to Daesha about tactics, as he is fond of outsmarting and outmanouvering a foe himself. He didn't mention her gender though. Seems like she has.. issues. But true to what he expected of an elf, she was an agile and quick fighter, wielding her twin swords (rapiers ?) with zeal and determination. She certainly wouldn't be just standing around, trading blows with her foe.

The other elf, Amras, seemed to be a bit too... enthusiastic about fighting. Orks are enthusiastic about fighting too, but then again, they have the stregth and stamina to back it up. Elves usually are better off fighting cautiously. Or so he learned at the academy. Jason wondered if this one was going to prove some of his teachers wrong.

Garpak, the dwarven crusader, didn't seem to think too highly of what he called 'flashy manouvers'. If it doesn't hurt the opponent, it is useless. Jason believes that helping your fellows hit the enemy is also hurting him, but he thought better then to try and change a dwarves mind about anything.

At least he was also fighting with a shield. Jason decided that it would probably best to stick close to the crusader, so they could use their shields for mutual benefit. But then he also remembers his lessons at the academy, that dwarves are more concerned about killing their foe then keeping their fellow dwarves alive. Oh well, only time would tell how much truth this lesson really contained.

Wotan on the other hand, was a warblade, just as Jason himself. Gruff, even for a dwarf, he didn't seem too keen on socializing much, seemingly content to keep to himself and his sword. Quite a big weapon to wield for someone of a dwarve's stature...

Kiehn Sondergaard, the third dwarf, seemed to be the odd man out, what with his fighting style apparently being heavily influenced by the sworsage school of magic. Strange choice for a dwarf. But interesting nonetheless.

And then there was Ranik, the gnome. Jason didn't know much about gnomes, save that they were... secretive. And this fellow certainly made sure to live up to expectations. What kind of combat style he would favour ? It might be interesting to see him fight. Although Jason had a feeling that that would be easier said then done. Especially if one should be preoccupied by trying not to get brained by an ogre.

Jason idly wondered about how they should coordinate their fighting. After all, he was basically heavy infantry, as were Gapak and Wotan. Daesha and Amras, well, they appeared to be skirmishers mostly. Best suited to quick hit and run tactics or executing flanking manouvers. He would have to talk to them about that. Kiehn, however, was handicapped by his short legs. Hrm.

And Ranik... well, the gnome was an unknown.

Lycar

BooNL
2008-01-07, 03:50 AM
Ranik

Ranik spent the journey riding on one of the supply wagons. There he spent most of his time in meditation, his legs crossed and a dagger resting lightly in both his hands. His prayer was silent and it often seemed like he was sleeping.

The other part of his time was spent observing his party. A strange mish-mash of races, with a large representation of dwarves. He hadn't made his mind up about them yet, for he had not seen them in combat. The coming days would prove whether or not these warriors had it in them. All of them looked very young and Ranik assumed they were all fresh students, like himself.

Traveling was new to Ranik and despite his studies, there was no preparation for the open road. Years spent in the shadowed halls of the Dark Moon academy left his eyes a little clouded to the heavy sunlight.

Abardam
2008-01-07, 07:59 AM
Garpak

Garpak was not pleased with his traveling companions. To know that he would probably in the future be sharing the battlefield with this lot... Maybe I shoulda gone with them other orc mercenaries, he thought. No respect for the ancient, revered teachings of the mighty most-high Elder Council, plus they smell like a tub of lizard crap, but at least they know how to fight.

Eh, he could tolerate them for a little while more, at least. Don't judge an axe by its edge, but instead by the number of infidel skulls one cleaved with it, his mam always used to say. Well, actually, she was a tiny bit touched in the head, but whatever.

demihappycow
2008-01-07, 08:51 AM
Wotan

Wotan grimly trudges along with the group. Occasionally rolling his eyes and sighing heavily at conversational attempts made by those around him.

GimliFett
2008-01-07, 01:46 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Kiehn Sondergaard is lean and tall for a dwarf, an effect heightened somewhat by his choice of weapon: the trident. Ever-present, it seemed the swordsage never released his grip on the weapon, and his constant twirling and spinning of the weapon seemed to indicate nervousness, or at least an abundance of energy. He wore a gleaming chain shirt under his tough explorer's outfit, and a wide-brimmed leather hat covered his head when the sun rode high in the sky. He carried a light crossbow and a dagger, though neither appeared to have seen much use.

The dwarf was intrigued by his companions. The introspective White Raven was obvious. He would probably manage the group tactically, given his training. Garpak and Wotan reminded Kiehn of his own clansfolk, set in their ways but solid and dependable. Hopefully he would be able to gain their respect soon, if not their admiration. The male elf, Amras, seemed typical of his kind as well, somewhat distant and apart from the others. His apparent eagerness to meet the ogre in battle boded...something, but Kiehn couldn't discern what the result would be. Daesha had some reason to have a chip on her shoulder, and the elf carried it as if it'd be knocked off if someone sneezed in her direction. The gnome seemed much quieter and less talkative than any Kiehn had met previously, and thus had been unable to determine much at all other than he was a devoted Dark Moon operative.

Still, Kiehn was happy to be on the road and have a mission. To truly start his own path in life.

Kai-Palin
2008-01-07, 10:14 PM
Daesha

Daesha walks along willingly, and occasionally begins a few steps of a pattern dance, stepping in time with the rumble of the wagons' wheels. She holds a round stone in her hand, flipping it between her fingers. She actually seems quite kind to Jason, when they begin speaking. Sure, she was a little defensive to start out with, but she begins to relax around her new allies.

She doesn't talk much to any of the others, beyond sharing some traditional greetings with Amras. The gnome, Ranik, seemed to have a good idea of what he was doing, but she also did not wish to distract him with conversation.

Of the dwarves, she eyes Kiehn mostly, feeling that he didn't do things in a traditional manner, and approving. She largely ignores the other two, seeing in them two traditional dwarves, as solid as stone and quite as boring as a boulder.

Jason, in fact, seems to be the only one willing to speak, and so she strikes up a conversation. "So, Jason, what was your training? I learned individual fighting, and about holding off multiple foes at once. What kinds of fighting do you prefer?"

Lycar
2008-01-08, 07:13 PM
Daesha
"So, Jason, what was your training? I learned individual fighting, and about holding off multiple foes at once. What kinds of fighting do you prefer?"

Jason smiles, happy to have some conversation to break up the monotony of the march.

"Ah well, you know how Comduke made the world. Orks are strong but too savage, Dwarves are sturdy but simple, Elves are agile but fragile, and Gnomes are... Gnomes. Supposed we humans have everything in balance but... well... We aren't strong enough to hold our own against Orks by strength alone. We aren't fast enough to keep up with Elves by speed alone and we aren't sturdy enough to outlast Dwarves. So what we have is unity."

His words might sound condescending at first, but he says them with a smile and a tone that suggest, that he himself doesn't take everything too seriously.

"A single human legionaire is weaker then an Ork, less enduring then a Dwarf and slower then an Elf. But a group, held together by a common goal, by a unifying belief and led by a strong and wise leader is more then the sum of it's part. In a legion, every soldier does not only fight for himself but for the empire. For his people. For the man next to him. I've been accused of hiding behind my shield too much. It isn't entirely untrue. We have these shields for more then show. A trained group of legionaires is capable to cover not only themselves, but also the men next to them with their shields. That way we are strongest when we fight in close formations."

Jason pauses a bit to sort his thoughts.

"My father used to say, in a civilisation, each man, or woman for that matter, has his or her specific place in the greater whole and by performing his or her function to the utmost degree, the whole empire prospers, form peasant to emperor. Same in the army. The infantry is the foundation of each legion, but we get support from archers, skirmishers, scouts, the siege engineers and the cooks and medics."

He pauses again, gesturing with his shortspear.

"Look at our group: The Dwarves are the epitome of the heavy infantrist. Strong and enduring, they can slug it out toe to toe with whatever foe they might face. Dwarves are the undisputed masters of static defense. Just don't ask them to change position quickly. You and Amras, you are fast and agile, consumate skirmishers. You can dictate the terms of engagement to your enemies, but you cannot hold up in a prolonged melee. You are strongest when you can flank your foes, hit them where it hurts and withdraw before the enemy can mount a counterattack. Orks are... well.. shock troops. They just assault the enemy position with brutal stregth, hoping to crush the resistance in their first onslought. If they breach the enemy line, they can inflict horrible casualties. Especially against Dwarves, who are excellent individual combatants but lack the cohesion to reform once their formations have been broken up. If the line holds, however, the Orks tend to pay for their bravery with horrible casualties."

He looks back at Daesha "So where do i fit then ? My family has been one of leaders and officers since the first valley kingdom. When i return from my journey, i surely will become an officer in the legion. So i better learn how to direct my troops, assign each soldier a task that plays to his strenght. For example, the White Raven Order teaches combat manouvers that aim not at directly damaging the opponent but to hinder him, render him immobile and defensless. I can lock my sword or shield with the weapon of the enemy, so that he cannot take opportunity of someone running past him to get in his back. Or i simply lay down a hail of blows, ineffective in damaging the enemy, yet forcing him to concentrate his defenses on me, so that he is unable to adequatly defend agains attacks from others."

Jason pauses again for a moment before continuing "Of course, squad leadership is nice and all, but as a warrior i'd betterbe able to hold my own too. Fortunately we had some Ork trainers too. They tought me how to forget about my own safety and attack with with total focus on striking true. For those occasions when you just have to score a hit."

He looks at Daesha again, smiling "So what fighting style do you prefer ?"

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-01-08, 10:25 PM
Daesha

Listening intently to the monologue, Daesha blinks as Jason comes to a rather abrupt halt.

"Ah, so you like collective fighting. I don't see much in that, to be honest. It seems to me that twenty highly trained and swift-moving warriors would not only be easier to feed and equip, but they would be able to tear apart, say, a hundred disciplined warriors fighting in rank and file. After all, the greater the number of warriors in a group, the slower the collective reaction time becomes. Thats also why battle-mages can be so devastating, as they usually don't need very many to achieve a passible effect."

Grinning ruefully, she continues, "Now I just sound like Shinga. Personally? I don't fight. I fence, I duel, I kill, but 'fighting'? Not for me. I strike the opponent, and then let him defeat himself. No opponent is perfect, and if you just keep up your defense well enough, you'll always have an opportunity to counter his attacks and destroy his defense. I find mental fighting far better than strength fighting. Brain over brawn, you know? It seems that since I can think faster than I can move, and as you said, I'm an elf, and I can move fast, if I just outthink my opponent, then I will invariably outfence him as well."

"After all," she says, her expression becoming distant and her voice taking on a sing-song recitative quality, "Bend, never break; strike first, never expected; concentrate what you have, never dissuaded; requite with deeds, not words; make your mindfulness your weapon and your shield, never hesitate. Thus you may shape the world, guiding it to harmony."

Her eyes bright, she turns to her companions, noting the two swordsages. "Do you know any pattern dances? I'd like to practice, but its far more fun in tandem."

She draws one of her wide rapiers, holding it lightly in her left hand, and once again begins a complex set of steps, kicks, lunges, and imaginary thrusts and parries, all the while keeping a steady rhythm with regular drummings of her feet on the soil.

((If anyone knows the Sapphire Nightmare Blade or Shadow Blade techniques, feel free to join her. I'm kinda assuming that some basic steps are shared in most schools.))

demihappycow
2008-01-08, 10:49 PM
Wotan
"In my House we have a saying; a well honed mind holds the keenest edge." he says with a nod toward Daesha. Though he does not join in her exercises, he does watch her movements closely.

BooNL
2008-01-09, 05:42 AM
Ranik

Ranik listened to the conversation between Jason and Daesha with closed eyes, pretending to be meditating.

On Daesha's offer, he slowly stands up. "Fighting, whether in unity or through skirmish is always dependant on it's strongest source. For legions its it's leadership, take out the command and the army will fall. For skirmishes it's the mobility, pin the enemy and they will be unable to hold a line."

He eyes Jason and Daesha intently, trying to read their expression. "Remember every stance and style has a weakness. To win in battle, it is imperative you find that weakness. That is the way of the Shadow Hand and that is how the gnomes fight their conflicts.

Suddenly, he's down on the ground, standing in front of Daesha with his dagger drawn. It happened so quickly, it seemed he never moved. "Now, let us show these "shock troops" how to remain unharmed in combat."

He follows Daesha's movements and mirrors them with his Shadow Blade stance.

The_Shaman
2008-01-09, 07:33 AM
Amras had stepped down from the cart, instead keeping a brisk walk to keep himself occupied for a while. During the conversation, he has been walking with an inscrutable expression, and lifts an eyebrow at Jason's analysis. It is always amusing to hear yourself characterized by another... And useful, too.. He looks around as the human speaks, curious of how the others would react at how they were characterized.

After the Daesha and Rankl in turn presented their views, he nods. It appears we have rather diverging views on what constitutes fighting, does it not? Certainly on the manner of whether two long blades are the best possible armament, but I guess we'll find out soon enough how good she is at it I suppose we'll soon be able to put them to the test. he says, although the second sentence is almost a whisper.

His eyes follow the movement of the Daesha and Ranik closely, as he judges which element of their training is shared in his. His hand is on the hilt of his sword, and should any of them attempt training practices he knows, he will join them with a simple salute with his sword before beginning.

GimliFett
2008-01-09, 09:45 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Kiehn smiled broadly at Daesha's invitation, and admired the gnome's speed and skill with the Shadow Blade maneuver.

"My turn!" he calls as he jumps in and matches Daesha step for step with his own Sapphire Nightmare Blade, utilizing his trident in ways most would never consider effective, comparable to rapier or shortspear or even the bastard sword. Once completed, he performs Wind Stride, maneuvering himself quickly behind Daesha and winking.

"And, just for difference's sake," he grins even more broadly as he performs the Stone Bones maneuver with a flourish.

With a bow to Daesha, he turns and faces Jason. "As you can see, I've some ability in what folks consider typical of dwarves, though my preferences lie in other areas," he salutes the Legionnaire, then takes a few moments to concentrate and recover his expended maneuvers.

Martial Lore: [roll0]

Lycar
2008-01-09, 05:53 PM
Kiehn SondergaardWith a bow to Daesha, he turns and faces Jason. "As you can see, I've some ability in what folks consider typical of dwarves, though my preferences lie in other areas," he salutes the Legionnaire, then takes a few moments to concentrate and recover his expended maneuvers.

Jason smiles broadly at the dwarven Swodsage "That was impressive ! Good to see that you are not only concentrating on the lore of your own forebearers. You will be a real boon for your people." He shoots a quick glance at Garpak "... although maybe not everyone will agree..."

He watches Daesha and Ranik dance a bit, then turns to Amras "So we have quite different fighting philosophies. Maybe we should spar a bit after setting up camp this evening. As Ranik said, everybody has a weak spot. Best we find out about ours before the ogres do."

Then Jason remembers what Wotan said and he looks at him.
"What did you say ? A sharp mind is the keenest edge ? That sounds like something a student of the Diamond Mind would say. Where did you learn about that ?"

Lycar

OOC: Argh.... getting on this board is quite a drag lately. Pages take 5 minutes to load, if they load at all. :smallannoyed:

demihappycow
2008-01-09, 08:06 PM
Wotan
"We aren't warriors in my family, not traditionally. I sort of taught myself." Wotan says, somewhat haltingly. He seems uncomfortable to be speaking about himself.

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-10, 12:54 AM
The caravan continues to make its way over and across the hills, winding westward, as the sun travels an opposite path in the sky, eventually falling towards the horizon and igniting the sky in a fiery sunset. The merchants have kept to themselves throughout the journey, leaving the warriors alone to their own social circle, discussing trade and news amongst themselves. However, as he does every evening, Simon gets up from his seat next to his driver and half stands, one foot on his seat, the other on a crate in his cart. he clears his throat to call attention to himself and addresses the caravan.

"We'll be going a bit further tonight, so best be lighting your lights to keep the road seeable. There's a good camp spot a bit up the mountains themselves, used it plenty of times before and it's nice and sheltered. it's a short hike from where the pass really bottlenecks. I 'spect the ogres will be waiting for you there. This way, it's close enough you can meet them fresh as dew in the morning, just a few hours from where we'll be camping, if they're there, and I don't know any other place they could keep the town so isolated from. Until then, though, try not to miss your step.

The caravaneers begin to light lanterns to illuminate the road, hanging from wagons or hands. Simon himself comes down from his cart to walk beside his horses with a bullseye lantern in one hand and the other used to calm the beasts.

It is not long before the sun falls below the horizon completely, with one last surge of light and then the darkness of night settling in. The stars begin to wink into existance, and the travelers continue on into the night. Climbing the ever steeper hills keeping an eye on the footfalls of those walking before them and following.

demihappycow
2008-01-10, 03:18 AM
Wotan

Following Simon's words, Wotan makes his own quiet suggestion "I think perhaps, umm, we should place those of us whom can see most clearly through the darkness ahead and behind the caravan. Kiehn? You seemed to be able to sprint quickly when needed, perhaps you could follow behind? It seems to me that opponents are more likely to come from ahead or from the side, so whomever is beyond the lights to the rear should be the fastest sprinter of those of us that see in, uh, the dark. And Ranik, would you go ahead slightly? I suspect you've sharper ears at least than myself or Garpak, so... Umm, and I suppose Garpak and I can each take one side. I just think, maybe we could get more warning of an ambush, not that one is likely, but we might notice attackers sooner than they would be expecting. You know, if they judge by our, uhh, lights." Wotan finishes, staring out not quite at any single person, stock still and obviously very tense.

Lycar
2008-01-10, 04:38 AM
Jason smiles at Wotan. "Well, i do say, for someone who has no family background for military training, you make some damn fine suggestions about force deployment. Actually, i don't think there is much to add to this. People who can see better in the dark or under low-light conditions in the front and back to better spot trouble."

He looks between his fellow warriors.

"Since i'm pretty much the only one who is as blind as a bat as soon as night falls, i'll better stick with the convoy. At least that way i can help defend the civilians."

Personally, Jason was not so keen on keeping marching into the darness. But then again, he was not the caravan leader and the merchants should know about the safe resting spots. They did this for a living after all.

Lycar

Abardam
2008-01-10, 05:22 AM
Garpak

"Oh, awrigh', awright," Garpak yawns, getting up and scratching himself. Picking up his shield and axe, he swings his feet off the caravan and stumps to the front. "Gods, it'd be nice to be fightin' instead about talkin' about fightin', for once!" He scratches his head. "Well, I get confused if ye lot were talking about fighting or dancin'."

GimliFett
2008-01-10, 09:34 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The swordsage nods at Wotan's suggestion. "Sure, I can cover rear-guard. Good ideas, Wotan!" With a twirl of his trident and a tip of his hat, Kiehn heads to the back of the caravan, about twenty feet or so behind the last wagon.

Kai-Palin
2008-01-10, 06:27 PM
Daesha.

"That sounds fine, I'll take point with Ranik."

Holding her lightblade, Daesha jogs forward, shadows beginning to flicker around her, obscuring her form.

Hearing Garpak's grumble she pauses a moment and turns back, chuckling, then calls, "What difference is there, Garpak? It's all in the footwork!" before disappearing into the shadows ahead of the caravan.

Once she is 20-30 feet in front of the caravan, she keeps alert and moving, making sure that she is aware of everything that comes near. She attempts to move quietly, as well.

((Make any necessary Spot, Listen, or Move Silently checks))
HP: 18/18; AC: 17, Touch: 15, Flat-footed: 12; Maneuvers Readied: Wind Stride, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Mighty Throw, Counter Charge, Clinging Shadow Strike; Stance: Child of Shadow (Concealment)

Lycar
2008-01-11, 03:36 AM
Jason just sticks with the caravan. He decides to talk to the merchants a bit.

"Right then. The others scout ahead and bring up the rearguard, so we should arrive at your camp spot safely. Just won't have time to set up a real defense there. And tomorrow, we take care of the ogre or ogres and you can fianally bring the long awaited supplies into the town."

Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-11, 04:28 AM
Simon nods to Jason, not lifting his eyes from the road. At this point, the caravan has almost reached the foot of the mountain, and the road rises steadily.

"Least that's the plan. As for the camp, never had that kind of trouble once I get on the mountains. Our spot's nice and snug, and bandits prefer the hills. Suppose we won't be setting a fire tonight though, cold rations." Simon chews his lip a bit after the last bit whilst guiding his horses around a bend in the road.

"For the ogres, well, I sure hope you seven can do it, else this is my last trip out this way, probably my last trip anywhere." Simon shrugs and sags a little. "Guess that'd make them right, but this is my best route, hard to give up."

GimliFett
2008-01-11, 10:15 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The dwarven swordsage follows the caravan in the darkness, occasionally stopping for a moment or two to check the path behind, then moving to catch up to twenty feet or so behind the last wagon. He constantly spins and twirls his trident in an impressive display of dexterity, unusual in dwarven manner. A smile plays about his lips, a constant reminder that he enjoys the open road more than his people usually do.

The_Shaman
2008-01-11, 03:05 PM
Amras

Amras' eyes open slightly more widely as the others switch to the Diamond Mind discipline, and he performs the training maneuvers calmly. His movements might be less interesting than his peers' skill with two weapons or a trident, but his swordwork is no less impressive.

Then, looking at Kiehn, he performs a passable version of his next move. An oak soars to the heavens, for its roots are deep in the ground, he says in his native tongue, and salutes the dwarf. It is good practice, though I suppose we will have occasions enough to measure our skills when we arrive.

He nods at Jason's suggestion, but for now travels to the side of the carts. How many ogres do you suspect are there, master Simon?

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-11, 11:44 PM
Simon shrugs at Amras' question.

"Never been close enough to see any myself, always stayed far enough away so as not to get eaten, see. Afraid your guess is as good as mine, son."

From behind, one of the drivers speaks up "I heard there were seven of them, four big ones, with hands the size of a man's skull, and two little sneaky ones, and a big boss who has horns above his eyes and sword-sharp claws."

Next to the driver, the merchant he works for scoffs. "Nonsense, There's only supposed to be the one big one, that's what all the first stories said, and don't trust anything once it's been in gossip long enough. Just the one one-eyed one."

The driver and merchant then begin to bicker, quietly, among themselves over the number and traits of the besieging ogres. Simone himself gives Amras another shrug. "That's the best we know. I'm afraid anyone who could tell you for sure, well, isn't here."

Lycar
2008-01-12, 01:27 AM
Jason smiles. "We will see for ourselves soon enough. The important part is that you stay behind. If we fall, well, no need for you to get eaten too."

His tone suggests that he doesn't really believe that that is going to happen though.

He does wonder while they march on.

(Hrm. Maybe it started with one ogre and others showed up later. When it turned out there were easy pickings to be made there. Seven of the brutes would be bad news though. Would be a bad idea to face them all at once...)

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-01-12, 01:15 PM
Amras

The elf nods, and looks to the side for a moment. Then he shrugs and he seems to worry no more about it. In the twilight, he takes a moment to quickly see if those in the front have any ranged weapons, before falling in step to Jason.

He walks alongside the human for a short while before asking I trust you were planning a reconnaisance?

Lycar
2008-01-12, 02:32 PM
Jason turned to Amras with a slight smile.

"Why, are you volunteering ? An army's strength is wasted if it is blind to see where to strike. Likewise, getting surprise on the enemy is a huge advantage. Scouts are the eyes and ears of every armed force. From what i have learned, this is one of the areas elves excel in."

"It does of course depend on us not stumbling upon the ogres while we still plan our moves."

Jason walked on for a few moments, then continued.

"Maybe we should ask Ranik how good he is at recon duty. But we can only really worry about that tomorrow morning. After a day of marching, we need the rest."


Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-12, 03:28 PM
As the darkness thickens around them, the caravan climbs higher into the mountain. Eventually, however, Simon turns the lead off the main road onto a smaller path. The path winds around the mountain only a short way, pushing forward until solid rock rises to the right and a steep drop falls of to the left, and then the path quickly widens into a small plateau.

"Here we are." Simon declares, and the drivers soon have their three meager charges circled in a cliffside campsite that could have twice the caravan's size. Bedrolls are taken off the wagons, and lain out beneath the carts, where the merchants and drivers are wont to sleep for safety's sake.

One driver draws flint from his pack and his dagger, but the merchants quickly have it put away.

"No fire, remember? Don't want those ogres seeing it and coming to have a look."

The lack of a campfire makes the quickly assembled camp dismal and cold, even more so when everyone is picking at cold rations in the dark. Drivers mutter to themselves and the merchants all cast glances filled with mixed complaint and doubt at the warriors, wondering if the trip was worth it, if the seven would succeed. Simon finishes his rations quickly, and comes to hunker down near Jason.

"Well, this is it, end of the road for us if you don't come back here with ogre ears. In the morning, follow the wagon path back to the main road, and continue up the mountain like we were. It's about an hour up to the real thin bit o' pass where I 'spect the ogres will be. Narrow place there, just wide enough for one small cart to get through without scraping the rocks, goes on for about half a mile, then the mountain opens up again." Simon chews on his lip a little.

"Know you all will be needing your sleep, but we were all hoping for at least one watchman tonight, being so close to danger and what." His smile is uncertain, but his eyes gleam hopefully.

Lycar
2008-01-12, 06:41 PM
Jason nods at Simon, an earnest expression on his face.

"I know well what you mean. It is the perfect ambush site. You won't happen to know a way up the steep sides that doesn't involve climbing ?"

After taking direction from the caravan leader, Jason meets up with his fellow warriors. He keeps his voice low. Sounds carry surprisingly far in the dark.

"It would seem our sparring has to wait until after the ogres have been taken care of. Simon says, the bottleneck is about an hour's worth of travel up the path."

"So, we need to set watches. 3 of two each plus i'll go for whatever watch you want me for. Keep in mind that my human eyes don't see much in the dark though. Since dwarves can see in the dark, i would advise each one of you takes one of the shifts together with one of the others. Suggestions ?"

Jason wasn't sure what the others thought about him. If they did mind him posing as a sort of leader. Well, that simon and the other merchants accepted him as the de facto leader of their little squad was probably more owned to the fact of him being the only human in the group then anything else.

Or maybe he was just the most sociable of them all.

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-01-12, 06:52 PM
Daesha

"Watch lists, good! I'll take the post-midnight watch, if no one objects." Daesha doesn't mind Jason's orders, after all, he'd been trained to it, so there couldn't be a better candidate.

Once the watch order is established, she removes a few pieces of jerky and a piece of travel biscuit from a pouch at her waist, and proceeds to eat her evening meal.

Without much further conversation, she finds a clear spot between two of the wagon, and removes the dark leather plates of her armor. She sits down, facing outward from the wagon ring, so that she may orient herself on waking, and not accidentally walk over a cliff. She removes her obsidian round from a pocket and holds it cupped in her hands as she meditates.
She whisper-chants Om hossu essheth ehreth very quietly to herself, and trances.

demihappycow
2008-01-12, 09:29 PM
Wotan
"I too will take the midnight watch. Interrupted sleep does not bother me overmuch."

The_Shaman
2008-01-13, 05:33 AM
Amras

I don't have much of a talent for stealth, I'm afraid. Amras replies simply, before conjuring a smile Yet a sad sight we'd be if we get surprised by ogres, of all things.

As they set up camp, he leaves his heavy backpack on a nearby cart and stretches his back for a few moments. Then, he sits down with the others, opening up his pack to produce some dried bread and fruits. He takes a bite out of one of them and lets it pass with a gulp from his waterskin as Jason approaches up again. Before answering, he looks up for a moment, trying to determine if there's going to be enough light for him to see anything tonight. When his mouth is empty, he replies I can take first watch, I suppose. Still, I won't be able to see much if it gets really dark.

BooNL
2008-01-13, 06:32 AM
Ranik

Ranik quietly listens to the plan and nods. "I'll take the midnight watch with Wotan. The moonlight should give me enough illumination to see by."

He gets up and dusts himself off. "Now, if that would be all. I will scout ahead of the camp a bit. See if I can spot any trouble before it hits us. I will be back in time for my watch."

He pulls his cap over his head and seems to vanish in the darkness.



Scouting ahead of the camp, tell me if I need to make more rolls.

[roll0]

[roll1]

[roll2]

[roll3]

Lycar
2008-01-13, 05:30 PM
Jason looks after Ranik as he walks away and smirks at Amras.

"Seem like we found our scout then."

Turning earnest again he continues "Personally i would like to share the first watch. Who is with me then ?"

Lycar

Abardam
2008-01-14, 05:34 AM
Garpak

The dwarf chuckles grimly.
"Don't think I'll be able sleep at all tonight."
Not with the ogres so near, and certainly not with these... these scholars, guarding my life.
"I'll take 'em all."
He crams his food into his mouth.

The_Shaman
2008-01-14, 12:01 PM
Amras

Amras looks sideways at Garpak, curious. Then, he continues with his meal. Once done, he walks around the camp for a while, trying to determine where would be the best places for the sentries to be.

((He will rest a few minutes before that, though, so if anyone wants a chat he'll be around. Anyway, Lordsmoothe, any more information on the terrain ? Is the small terrace more or less straight, or is there still some incline? Also, what does the cliff above look like?))

GimliFett
2008-01-14, 12:30 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Kiehn focuses a puzzled -- and concerned -- look at Garpak. "There's plenty of us to cover watches. No need to wear yourself out doin' everything, Garpak. I'll take last watch, then, if you want to start things."

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-14, 04:09 PM
The terrace is actually quite flat. The cliffside dropping down the mountain rises a few jagged teeth above the plateau at the edge, and then drops down quite steeply, it would be very difficult to climb. The other cliff, the mountain wall rising up from the terrace, is also probably unscalable until about 50 feet up, where the incline lessens. There is no cliff overlooking the campsite, only steep mountainside leading up to a lesser peak. The terrace narrows down slowly at the end, leading to a short path like the one used to enter the campsite, but this path ends abruptly not far away, leaving only the one possible entrance.

Ranik
Only one path leads to the campsite, but after leaving that strip of cliff, the way up the mountain is wide, the original cart road is bordered by large swaths of trees on either side. The soil is soft and molds to your footsteps as you explore.

Your passage goes unnoticed by the wildlife of the mountain, what little there is, but if there is anyone else around, you cannot tell. Nothing betrays the presence of anyone who isn't you or small and either furry or feathered. However, as you climb further up the mountain, the wildlife thins markedly, and the darkness becomes quiet. Several minutes up the mountain, you come across a wagon, smashed and looted and left lying in the road. Next to the wagon, someone has dug four graves recently, within a week, and marked them all with wooden posts as markers. Placed a few feet downhill from the site, is the front axle of a cart, trimmed to make a simple T shaped signpost with the words "Ogres" and a skull painted on the crossbar in whitewash.

Further uphill, the mountain only becomes quieter as you get nearer the ogres. Other than the already known threat, the mountain is peaceful.

Night passes, cold and dark, but a waxing moon and a starry sky give the campsite a dim illumination even without the aid of a fire. Far up on the mountain, a dim yellow glow can be seen flickering, a tiny patch of slightly brighter sky, all night long. The three watches pass uneventfully, leaving hearts at ease and driving minds to near utter boredom until morning comes and the sun's rays manage to finally reach over the mountain and force sleepers to rise with unrelenting light. Bedrolls are peeled away, and one of the drivers curses as he hits his head on the bottom of his cart, as has happened every morning for the caravan's duration, and morning activities are soon underway. Simon's driver has awoken sometime in Daesha and Kiehn's watch to poke around his cart and, by the time everyone is up and has the sleep out of his eyes, he has some good bread, salted pork, a few fruits and a simple salad prepared. The driver sets the food out somewhere where it is closer to all the warriors than the merchants, and then fetches a small bottle of wine and an ewer of ale to go with them before beginning his routine of checking the cart's contents and making sure all is ready for the day's journey, uphill or down as it may be.

It seems that everyone, even Garpak and Ranik, has managed to get a good night's sleep.

Lycar
2008-01-14, 06:08 PM
Upon waking, Jason gets up and looks around. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, he stretches a bit to get the sleep out of his body.

Next oder of buisines, checking on the others, starting with the last watch.

"Good morning everybody. So the night was peaceful and we got an idea where our targets are to be found." He nods on the direction the shine of the fire was to be seen during the night.

"Right, let's eat some breakfast, then we get our gear checked before marching out."

Jason nods at the others and then goes to strip out of his clothes to the waist and takes his boots off too. Then he fetches a bit of soap form his backpack and uses some water and a bowl to clean himself, as far as circumstances allow. He offers the soap to anybody who would have it.

Then he redons his clothes and armour and joins the other at breakfast.

Turning to Ranik he asks "So, did your scouting turn up anything ?"

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-01-14, 06:23 PM
Amras

Amras's shift passes uneventfully, and while he doesn't go out of his way to be silent if any of the others ask him something, he talks little himself as the other sentries pass their night. Eventually, when the three of them are done, he takes off his armor and weapons, stretches his arms to shake the numbness away and retires for some quiet meditation near one of the wagons.

In the morning, he seems to be in a fairly good mood, although he shivers a bit in the cold dawn air. He washes his face with some of the water from his skin, and accepts with some curiosity the soap Jason offers, washing himself again to make use of it. Then, shivering again from the cold water and the crispy air, he does a few physical exercises to get his blood flowing and drive the chill from his limbs. Before putting on his armor, he meets the others for breakfast. There, he nods at at Garpak with a smile. Did you manage to get some shut-eye last night after all?

Kai-Palin
2008-01-14, 08:53 PM
Daesha

Daesha wakes frpm trance in time to join the midnight watchmen, and sits atop one of the wagons, chanting her mantra and looking around through the darkness. When her watch actually begins, she dons her armor again, and stands sentry, moving and speaking little, straining her eyes and glancing at small, furry noisemakers as they scuttle through the darkness.

She gets some of the fruit and makes herself a small pork salad, and then wolfs her breakfast in about five minutes, eating in delicate yet rapid bites.

Taking her waterskin, she wipes the grit off her face and hands, but otherwise cleans herself little.
She hears Jason's question to Ranek, and saunters over, wanting to hear the answer. Standing there, she binds her hair back into a ponytail with a bright saffron strap.

Abardam
2008-01-15, 08:37 AM
Garpak

Garpak blinks. "No," he says finally, in response to Amras. "Lyin' down on armor always makes me neck hurt."

He gets up and stretches, cracking every joint in his body, before putting his scale mail back on.

demihappycow
2008-01-15, 09:39 AM
Wotan

Getting slowly up and limbering each joint in careful sequence, Wotan seems calm but mildly confused. "I think I did not expect to sleep well. We will all be going immediately then?" he says, casting a suspicious glance at the food and shaking his head a little.

GimliFett
2008-01-15, 10:11 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Kiehn performs his morning workout regime as soon as people begin stirring. He saunters over to join the others for breakfast, wide-brimmed hat affixed firmly atop his head.

"'Mornin', all! Sleep well?" he inquires cheerily.

BooNL
2008-01-15, 11:08 AM
Ranik

Ranik was sitting in a meditative position on top of his usual cart when he heard Jason's question. He beckons the others to gather and then relays his information.

"This path will expand into a forest, so we should expect an ambush later this day. The first part of the path looks clear of any ogres, but I encountered a raided wagon further up the road, as well as a warning sign.

When we proceed I suggest we have two skirmishers traveling either close to the trees or in the forest itself, the caravan will stop at planned intervals so we can assess the situation.

Since I expect no activity in the first part of the forest, we could keep all of the carts in the back, save one. We could set up an ambush for our would-be ambushers, letting them attack an empty cart guarded by our dwarven friends and Jason. The more nimble members of our group will ambush the ogres in the back. Like a hammer hitting an anvil, the ogres will be stuck."

While Ranik relays his suggestion like an open idea, his non-verbal communication clearly shows he expects everyone to comply with the plan.

Lycar
2008-01-15, 12:55 PM
Jason listens to Ranik's plan intently. When Ranik is finished, he speaks up.

"So you propose we use one of the carts as bait then ? We will have to ask Simon about it, he is the caravan master. But i dare assume he will be quite reluctant to do so. Personally i was going to suggest we do a simple search and destroy patrol. We know the approximate location of the ogres camp, so we know what side of the way they are on."

He crosses his arms behind his back and thinks for a moment.

"It would really depend on if you think you could pull off being our advance scout Ranik. If you are confident to be able to spot the ogres before they spot us, then we can ambush them easily. Or the infantry prepares an ambush, and the skirmishers pull the ogres into the trap. Better yet, if we can catch them unaware, we can attack them before they get a chance to rally. If we use the cart, chances are that an ogre sentry will give them warning of our approach and we end up facing a ready and alert formation."

Jason kept his voice neutral and matter-of-factly during his analysis. He might not fully agree with Ranik's proposal, but he wasn't the leader of the group. Neither was Ranik of course.

Instead he looked between the others, especially Daesha and Amras.

"Suggestions? What do you think Daesha, Amras ? You pretty much are our flankers and skirmishers. Do you think you could lure the ogres into an ambush or would you rather flank them once we are engaged in a static battle ?"

"Garpak, Wotan, Kiehn? You are the masters of static defense. Would you prefer to lie in ambush or would you rather they come rushing on to us, so they can break on our swords, shields, axes and tridents like an egg is broken by a rock ?"

Jason turns to Ranik last "I do assume you consider yourself more of a flanker then a blocker ?"

Lycar

BooNL
2008-01-15, 05:08 PM
Ranik

Ranik eyes Jason with suspicion, in his time at the academy not a lot of pupils went against Ranik's advice, so this comes quite as a shock to him.

"I'm fairly certain I can sneak up on those beasts, I've done it before and I can do it again. My eyes are quite poor though, so I might not be the most reliable scout."

Look over at the line of carts, Ranik begins to ponder out loud. "I did not mean to sacrifice a cart. If the ogres take the bait, we will be up on them before they manage to smash the thing. Even if it does happen, I'm sure Simon would prefer losing one cart to losing his entire caravan, but I digress."

He looks over the faces of his companions. "Any other suggestions?"



What that means is that I have the following skill mods:

Hide: +12
Move Silently: +8
Listen: +4
Spot: +2

GimliFett
2008-01-15, 05:38 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Kiehn doesn't seem to pay attention to the conversations over-much, continuing to play with his trident as a baton. However, once Jason and Ranik both ask for suggestions he stops. "I really like the idea of drawing them into an ambush. It works best for us to control the situation, reduces variables."

He looks at the other two dwarves. "With Garpak and Wotan as anchors, the rest of us can move in from flanking positions fairly easily. With a slight burst from the Desert Wind, I can move as quickly as any of you taller folks," the dwarf winks.

"Besides, how well can a single ogre hide and move quietly, let alone a group of them?" he asks.

"As far as my own skills go, I'm afraid stealth is not a stron suit, though I'm not exactly a warhorse in a glassblowers, if ya know what I mean. Mostly my focus is in acrobatics. Jumping. Balance. Tumbling," Kiehn states.

Kai-Palin
2008-01-15, 08:52 PM
Daesha

"With all due respect, Jason, I think Ranik has a good plan. It plays to our strengths, and I think we may have a higher success rate that way. I'm more than willing to be a scout, though I'm afraid I'm probably not quite as stealthy as Ranik. One of the anvil should drive the wagon, I was thinking you ought to, Jason, and Wotan and Garpak could act as your escort."

She pulls her obsidian round out of her pocket and begins running her thumb over it, looking slightly worried. "Hopefully, we can get all of them this way, none would be out getting food or some such if we happened to hit their lair. We can't help these people if we leave angry ogres behind us, and there are too many things that could go wrong if we just run through the woods looking for them."

Turning to Amras, she asks, "Would you be better with the hammer or the anvil? I'm not sure how good of a silent scout you are, after all."

Lycar
2008-01-16, 06:16 PM
Jason frowns slightly.

"I'm just uncomfortable with the idea of using a wagon as bait. What if the horses panic when the ogres approach. Also, i don't mind driving the cart but i'd better disguise myself. The Ogres might be a wee bit suspicious about an armed and armoured man driving the cart."

He ponders for a moment.

"But if the others hide on the cart, we would still be able to surprise the ogres. And if our skirmishers move in fast enough to flank.... i was just hoping, by doing a search sweep, we might be able to pick off single ogres before we meet the main force. But yes, the idea witht the cart could work. I'll ask Simon about it."

With a brief nod to his fellow warriors, he turns and approaches the caravan leader.

"Simon ? May i have a word with you for a moment? We have been discussing strategy and it might be a good tactic to use one of the wagons as bait. We will hide on it, with our skirmishers moving along on the flank, unseen. When the ogres make their move, we shall hold off their initial attack and, together with our flankers, encircle and crush them. However, i don't know how you feel about volunteering one of the carts. And honestly, i am a bit worried about how the horses will react if they encounter the ogres. Won't do for us to have them gallopping off in panic... any suggestions ?"

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-01-16, 07:42 PM
Amras

The elf has been mostly silent as other discussed the plan, but he seems to be having some misgivings about it. Daesha's question brings him back to the matter at hand, and after a moment of thought, he replies. I'm somewhat nimble, but I haven't trained much for stealth. All in all, I might be of more use at the defense, unless you really lack in numbers.

There's something else that bothers me somewhat, however. If we are setting ourselves up for an ambush, this means we should be prepared to face all the ogres at once, and when they're prepared. I'm sure we are up to the task, but if we could catch them off-guard or separated - and I doubt they spend all their time together - we might fare still better. Did you actually see their camp and numbers, Ranik?

BooNL
2008-01-17, 07:36 AM
Ranik

"No, I did not get a count on their numbers. Honestly, I haven't encountered a single ogre last night." He regards Amras for a second before continuing. "Yes, we would be facing most, if not all of the ogres at once. But we would at least know where our attackers are coming from. If we do a sweep through the forest who knows from what sides we might be attacked, we would have no advance strategy or fall back routine.

What we could do, and I'm just thinking out loud now, is lure the ogres into a trap. What if one of us wandered the road with a big backpack, disguised as a traveling salesman. Upon the ogres attack, he or she would fall back into a defensive formation set up by the rest of the party."

demihappycow
2008-01-17, 08:28 AM
Wotan

"I am willing to act as bait. Risking a wagon would seem, I mean no offense by this but... somewhat cowardly of us. Our being hired for this was to take the burden of risk away from the wagons."

GimliFett
2008-01-17, 03:51 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The dwarf continues to listen to the others' comments. "I don't know about traipsing through the woods. Takes away a terrain advantage, you ask me," he offers after Ranik's suggestion.

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-17, 04:16 PM
Simon scowls at the suggestion that one of the carts be used as bait. Folding his arms and furrowing his brow he casts a look over the assembled warriors, then glances back at the other merchants, who return a questioning look. Simon's gaze falls to the ground as he exhales with a small "huh" sound, then speaks.

"Truth, I don't much relish sending out my cart as sacrifice, and none of the other merchants will agree to it. As leader, that kind of thing is my responsibility, see." He pauses a moment, and then continues after looking to the other warriors, still gathered around the breakfast laid out for them. "And you're right, those horses aren't bred for anything but simple travel. I've seen them stand up ok against bandits, but just ok, and they weren't about to eat the horses. Sounds to me like that'd just get in the way, and cause chaos, which," Simon punctuates his speech here with a nod to Jason, "I don't 'spect fits in with any well laid legionnaire's plan."

Lycar
2008-01-18, 01:38 AM
Jason listens to Simon, and nods slightly. As he was talking with him at the time, he didn't catch the conversation between Amras and Ranik.

(Just what i expected. After all, we were hired to protect these people and the caravan. But *sigh* if i would have told them so, they would just have resented the notion... oh well, now that that is official, maybe i can get the others to agree on a more sensible plan...)

After Simon finishes, Jason rejoins his fellow warriors.

"Well, so much for this plan. The merchants don't want to to risk the assets which they hired us to protect. I must admit, i can understand that. So, when we can't use a cart as bait and simply marching down the road would make us stumble right into an ogre ambush, then i would suggest we reexamine the plan of doing a search and destroy..."

"Now Ranik, you are an accomplished scout, you could be our ears and eyes. We others lack your expertise at remaining unseen and unheard. Therefore it would be the most efficient use of our available forces, if our heavies form a close group travelling behind you and our skirmishers moving along at the flanks. If you come upon some ogres, you give us warning and, depending on whether they noticed us too, we then decide to charge or lay an ambush on the spot."

Jason looks around the others again.

"What do you think ?"

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-01-18, 06:12 AM
Amras

Amras has been listening to Ranik, but remains somewhat unconvinced even after the others have had their say. Well, if we know we can't surprise them anyway, might as well fool them. Still, you know as well as I, probably, that we will be at an advantage if we act together and they do not. If we can attain it, I'd say, so much the better. Especially as we don't know how many ogres there are. I don't have anything against a good fight, but I'd prefer to survive it, as well.

He is still talking when Jason comes back. As the human speaks, he shuts up with a visible annoyance, but then just shrugs and waits to hear what Jason will say. Makes sense. I presume there will be some distance between us? It's easier to spot - and hear - a group moving together.

Abardam
2008-01-18, 09:26 AM
Garpak

Tactics. Ha. Somehow, some way, the entirely simple and straightforward notion of going into the forest and bashing some ogre skulls in had turned into... into this.
He swung his axe around instead, decapitating imaginary ogres.

demihappycow
2008-01-18, 09:53 AM
Wotan

"Perhaps we are over thinking this. They are only ogres after all. My great-grandfather was fond of saying 'no battle plan survives contact with the enemy' and I think, perhaps, we should simply go and try our luck."

GimliFett
2008-01-18, 10:06 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The dwarven swordsage shakes his head. "I understand that adage, but it helps to have some kind of plan before encountering the enemy. I'm not a big fan of running pell-mell into a group of hungry ogres."

Kai-Palin
2008-01-18, 11:45 PM
Daesha

"Fine, if we must, we can let some of them slip around us and eat the merchants. Let us go, so as to get it over with quickly. I will scout with Ranik."

Daesha turns away and walks closer to the road leading to the pass, and then pulls out her obsidian and breathes deeply, letting the negative emotions wash out of her.

Lycar
2008-01-19, 08:10 PM
Jason looks after Daesha with a scowl.

(Hrmph. I expected better of her...)

"Fine. It is about an hours march to where the ogres are presumably waiting in ambush. So we can walk and plan at the same time. But we better agree on a course of action before we run into the ogres."

He looks between the others. It doesn't take a psychic to realize that he's not happy with the way things develope.

"Or we could do this like professionals and actually finish a plan before we set off. Your choice."

(Dammit.. i knew they don't have the kind of discipline a legionaire has, but to walk off like that is simple unexcusable. 10 lashes would have been the least...)

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-01-19, 09:48 PM
Daesha

Sense Motive: [roll0]

Daesha glances at Jason, reading his temper clearly, and after a few moments of more deep breathing returns to the group.

"I'm sorry, I'll try to curb my tongue next time. But there are so many variables, it would be far more 'unproffessional' if we missed any of them and they took it out on the next set of travelers."
Besides... Since when did men actually care about tactics?
She sighs, and then straightens, "Most plans don't survive first contact with the enemy, but how is this for a rough idea of positioning for our patrol: Ranik, Kiehn and I will scout. Kiehn, as he is likely the most conspicuous, will be the forward scout. Ranik and I will take the sides, where we can more easily flank any attackers. Jason, you and Wotan move on one side, while Amras and Garpak travel parallel to you a distance away. That way we're all relatively close, but not as likely to attract attention, and we can cover a wider area."

Taking in a deep breath, "Complicated enough now?"

Lycar
2008-01-20, 05:08 AM
Jason looks up as Daesha returns, pleasantly surprised and quite glad to hear her put foreward her own take on things.

(Hm. Maybe i was a bit fast in judging her...)

Smiling, he answers: "You are absolutely right of course. We cannot afford to miss any of the ogres, lest they slip past us and attack the people we are meant to protect while we are far away and unable to do anything about it."

"So you would prefer we spread out a bit more to maximise our search area. I think that is a good idea. And hopefully, when we do come across the ogres, we will still surprise them, or at least have enough time to reform before closing for melee."

"Any other suggestions ? If not, who is in favour of this plan ?"

Again, Jason looks around between the others, this time raising his hand as he does so.

Lycar

demihappycow
2008-01-20, 08:50 AM
Wotan

Wotan nods slightly, meeting Daesha and Jason's eyes as he does so.

The_Shaman
2008-01-20, 05:00 PM
Amras

Amras has not interjected into the conversation so far, although he shrugs as Jason seems to agree with the plan. Overall, no problems. The details might get a bit tricky, though. I take it you want Kiehn to draw out the ogres - and anything else - that might be there? In this case we will need to be close enough to support you quickly if you get in more trouble than you can handle.

Abardam
2008-01-21, 05:59 AM
Garpak

"Yes. Yes. Yes, let us do it. Plan is fine. 'Sgreat in fact. Ye're sure of its success, I know. Smart types always are."
The dwarf looks tired of waiting.
"Spread out. Protect humans. Kill all ogres. I got it."

GimliFett
2008-01-21, 12:16 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

"I'm up for it, certainly. Unless they get lucky early, I should manage well enough until support arrives," the swordsage grins as he flips his trident from hand to hand before planting it in the ground and raising his own left hand. "Let's do it!"

Lycar
2008-01-21, 01:39 PM
Jason nods.

"Very well, then let's do this before the sun goes down again."

He just turns around and starts walking, using his shortspear as a walking stick.

"Of course," he adds smirking, "the proper way would have been to formulate contingency plans in case we get surprised... or in case our scouts don't evade detection.. or in case it starts to rain... or in case it ... "

Jason just trails off. His tone of voice suggests he was just joking around anyway. Also he teams up with Wotan, following Daeshas suggestion.

(*sigh* That's what happens when you don't have a clear command structure.. 'ropes pulling in every direction, cancelling each other out...' Oh father, how right you are... at least we all still pulled into the general direction of 'let's take care of the ogres'.)

Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-22, 12:14 PM
The morning has brightened as plans were being made, and now the sun is well on its climb towards the zenith. trekking up the mountain is slower than regular travel, as the party winds their way through the forested face, but it is not appreciably difficult, as the mountain path is not exceptionally steep, it almost forms a valley between the mountains on either side, and it is not long before Kiehn comes into view of a destroyed caravan, preceded by a signpost, made of the front axle of one of the carts, with the word "Ogres" and a skull painted on with whitewash. Four graves, marked only with wood from the nearby wagons, sit on the side of the road. Otherwise, the caravan is picked clean.

Daesha, Ranik, & Kiehn

As the party begins to leave the caravan behind, as the three of you are once more forging ahead of the group, there is the faint sound of several animals suddenly moving very quickly, as if being flushed out by something. The sound comes from far ahead of the party, towards Daesha's side, but near enough to the road ahead for both others to catch it as well.
Rolls
Daesha
[roll0]
[roll1]
Ranik
[roll2]
[roll3]
Kiehn
[roll4]
[roll5]
I messed up and rolled with Wotan's stats, so both Kiehn's results are 3 higher than shown

GimliFett
2008-01-22, 12:34 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The swordsage makes a show of investigating the wreckage. As the group nears the site of the commotion, he mutters in a stage whisper, "Ogres? BAH! Waste of skin, ya ask me!" Kiehn winks at Daesha and Ranik, nodding towards the commotion as he walks towards it.

Kai-Palin
2008-01-22, 07:08 PM
Daesha

Daesha, moving on the left arm of the fighters' roughly pentagonal formation, hears a commotion, and hand signs to the scouts, who already heard, as well as to the heavier fighters. After the entire group starts heading that way, she flanks out wide to the left, planning to come in perpendicular to Kiehn. (and the rest of the heavies, whenever they get there)

demihappycow
2008-01-23, 12:06 AM
Wotan

Moving up on the right side of the formation, Wotan strolls up in the direction of the paused scouts, not at first noticing they have stopped. He stops for a moment himself when he gets a look at the signpost and graves.

Abardam
2008-01-23, 09:09 AM
Garpak

Garpak stumps along the path, whistling an old nursery rhyme taught to him by his mother (the lyrics were something like Close your eyes, rest your head, we'll kill all of them dead), when all of a sudden, everyone stops walking. He almost walked into the sign, actually. As it were, he read what was written on it, and
"Ogres?!" he roared, drawing his axe. "Where are- oh. No ogres. 'S just a what do you call it. A marker?" he says, to no one in particular.
He walks over to the graves.
"Guess they weren't hungry?"

Lycar
2008-01-23, 01:32 PM
Garpak
"Guess they weren't hungry?"
Jason

"... guess they just buried the bones..." Jason replies glumly.

Yes, it is hard to imagine a human corpse being picked clean by a humanoid figure. Touches at some primal human fear really.

Of course, since the first human discovered that a pointy stick can be used to bring the hurt to the predators, the table has begun to turn. If he can help it, the days of these ogres preying on his kin are over.

One way or another...

Jason takes a deep breath and hardens his grip on his shortspear. Then he turns to Garpak.

"You may want to pay a bit more attention. The point of having scouts is to be warned about approaching enemies before you run into them. Literally. Won't want to be the only one to miss the cue to start fighting, now would you."

Jason doesn't really sound like he's berating the dwarven Crusader. Garpak is probably so certain about him crushing the ogres that the very idea of deafeat is alien to him. But such hubris could endanger the entire squad... er.. group. He would have to keep an eye out for this sort of thing.


Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-01-24, 06:11 PM
Amras

The elf walks silently, and tries to keep his eyes open - although the more experienced can guess that he lacks the almost preternatural awareness others of his race have. For the time being, he has sheathed his sword and has taken up a bow instead. He comes to the markings, giving the marker a curious glance before continuing to where the graves are. He holds one of his hands with the palm down and says a few rhyming phrases in Elven. Those who know it recognize it as an entreatment of the spirits of the land... Those familiar with forest elf culture know it as a prayer for the dead.

He then looks at Jason and the dwarf warrior. Don't you think it looks a bit off? It looks like someone else had passed here and given the people a burial, and even bothered to leave a warning. Ogres don't usually do that.

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-25, 06:48 PM
Almost as if it were a cue, Daesha's hand signal catches the group's attention right after Jason finishes speaking. A short while later, she catches Garpak, Wotan, and Amras' attention with hand signals as well, giving indication of the direction and presence of the disturbance. Those who focus their gaze in that direction catch little, as it was a fair distance off, but the forest quickly grows quiet, and the silence washes down from up the mountain, and over the party at the graves.

Abardam
2008-01-26, 07:37 PM
Garpak

Garpak looks sideways at Jason. "I really think I would notice if people were fighting." When Amras finishes talking, he starts to reply, but suddenly the whole place was filled with silence.
Despite himself, he shivers. "Wh-what is it, Tahliten," he asks. He calms himself, breathes deeply. "Is it the ogres?" he roars, brandishing his weapon.

Lycar
2008-01-26, 07:39 PM
Jason falls silent when he catches Daesha's signal and gestures to his companions to do the same. More out of habit then actually feeling he has to tell them to do so.

He changes the grip on his spear to combat-ready position and ... waits.


Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-01-27, 08:32 PM
Daesha

Hearing the dwarf's bellow, Daesha winces and, being too far away to speak quietly and still be heard, shakes her head and continues on her route, one blade unsheathed.

GimliFett
2008-01-28, 09:06 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Mimicing Daesha's movements, though not with as much stealth, Kiehn proceeds toward the position of the commotion. Senses on straining to hear or see anything that might allow him to react in the moment of truth about to appear.

Dunno if you want 'em, but here's checks in case...
Listen: [roll0]
Spot: [roll1]

Lordsmoothe
2008-01-29, 09:55 AM
There are a few moments of tension as nothing happens, and then the sounds of movement are once again heard from ahead, this time by all. Soon the sounds are followed by a lone deer fleeing through the forest, in the direction of the party. The deer is quickly followed by the first ogre to be seen on the mountain.

He looks like ogres should, tall and all muscle and bare, hairy skin. His bestial face is lit up with the excitement of the chase, ears almost flapping with his jarring movements. He is dressed in a loincloth, but also has pieces of chainmail held together over various areas of his body, creating a very primitive armor. However, all these things quickly fall to the side as one feature leaps forth to grab all attention. Gripped in each hand is a large weapon, and it seems unlikely to have been made by an ogre's hands. The first is a hefty battleaxe, a crescent headed iron weapon too large for any dwarf or human fist to hold. The second is a sickle blade, held like a stevedore's hook.

The deer rushes madly across the road and through the trees, heedless of anything but the monster at its tail, and the ogre, a dim and thoughtless beast, is thusfar unconcerned with anything that isn't his chosen prey. Wild-eyed and frothy mouthed both, they chase each other towards your position.

However, the deer, propelled by fear and strong in body, outstrips the ogre and manages to continually lengthen the distance between them, until finally the ogre slows and comes to a halt. The dear crashing away into the woods, the ogre has come to a stop in the middle of the road, about 30 yards from Kiehn's position.

((Surprise round, then normal rounds beginning with the party. Out of mapping distance right now, but will probably be within after the surprise round. At least after the ogre's first round.))

GimliFett
2008-01-29, 11:07 AM
Kiehn SondergaardHP: 18/18; AC 22 (+4 dodge v. giant), t 18, ff 14

The dwarven swordsage grins at the ogre. "Oh, whatever shall I do? There is an ogre before me!" he calls in a mock falsetto. Kiehn adopts the stance of clarity, and sets his trident to receive a charge while motioning the ogre forward. "Please, don't hurt me!" he adds with a twinkle in his eye.

Stance of Clarity: +2 AC vs Ogre #1, -2 AC vs any other opponent.

Kai-Palin
2008-01-29, 06:10 PM
Daesha

Seeing the ogre chasing after the deer, Daesha wishes luck on the animal. Crouching in the shadows, she calls to the creature, "Have you been killing merchants?" hoping that it will be too stupid to lie. Having seen various things on their trek so far, they didn't seem to add up to this lolloping, armed, and rather stupidly happy creature in the middle of the road.

Sense Motives of the ogre (if possible): [roll0]

She stands up, and moves a little way into the open, about forty feet from the ogre, where shadows flicker around her despite the sun shining down on her. Her stance shifts, and she tries to read its body language, looking for aggression. If the ogre charges her, she pivots just before his attack and hits him in the chest, making him stagger. She quickly scoots about ten feet toward Kiehn, shadows flaring up from the ground around her.

Pre-emptive Counter Charge roll using dexterity: [roll1] (2 dex mod +4 for being a size smaller. if not, remove 4 from the roll.) I'm assuming you know how Counter Charge works, so if not, just let me know.

HP: 18/18; AC: 17, Touch: 15, Flat-Footed: 12; Maneuvers Readied: Wind Stride, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Counter Charge, Clinging Shadow Strike; Stance: Child of Shadow

demihappycow
2008-01-29, 11:01 PM
Wotan

Seeing the ogre Wotan begins to walk forward, drawing his battered old bastard sword and going into a high open strongly offensive stance. Passing by Daesha and Kiehn he whispers to them. "If it charges it has reach on you, you know."
Continuing forward Wotan fixes his steady unnerving stare on the ogre, just waiting to be able to catch it's eye.
Moving 20 feet forward, going into Punishing Stance. Attempting to start a contest of wills; concentration check (instead of intimidate because of Unnerving Calm) [roll0].
Initiative check for when we get to the normal round [roll1].
HP 34, AC 11(15 vs giants);Touch 7/11; Flatfooted 11, Maneuvers readied; Moment of Perfect Mind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steely Strike.

Abardam
2008-01-30, 10:03 AM
Garpak

The dwarf blinks. "This, is the ogre? That's been eatin' merchants?" Unexpected, but one should not judge on looks (or species) alone. Nevertheless, it paid to be ready, so Garpak plants his feet beside Wotan, toughening his muscles in anticipation of the blow to come.

Stonefoot stance: +2 to AC and Str vs larger creatures; AC 18 + 4 (giant) + 2 (stance) = 24; maneuvers readied: Crusader's Strike, Vanguard Strike, Charging Minotaur, Stone Bones, Steely Strike; maneuvers granted: none yet

The_Shaman
2008-01-30, 12:17 PM
Amras

HP 26, AC 16. Prepared Maneuvers: Stone Bones, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steel Wind. Known Stances: Punishing Stance

((There isn't anyone near the ogre, right?))

Turns out our hunt might be the more successful here, hmm? Amras whispers hoarsely. He spares the ogre and his weapons only a look before nocking an arrow and giving his aim a try. Presuming range to the ogre of under 60 feet: Attack [roll0], Damage [roll1]

Having opened the attack, he drops the bow and readies his sword in its stead.

Lycar
2008-01-30, 03:03 PM
Jason

Jason quickly assesses the situation and concludes that closing in for melee before the ogre gets a chance to prepare himself properly would be prudent.

"Go, go, go, let's close in while he's still flat-footed."

Still he wants to give the ogre a chance to surrender, so he stops about 10' away from the ogre, spear raised, and demands "Ogre! You are surrounded by superior forces! Surrender or die!"

Lycar

GimliFett
2008-02-01, 04:49 PM
Kiehn SondergaardHP: 18/18; AC 22 (incls. +4 dodge v. giant), t 18, ff 14
Maneuvers Readied: Moment of Perfect Mind (Counter), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (Strike), Wind Stride (Boost), Stone Bones (Strike).

Realizing the encounter had moved past him, the swordsage hurries to rejoin the others.

Move to roughly same spot as the others. Run if necessary.

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-02, 01:27 PM
((Ok, I expanded the map, because it just wasn't adequate. Now, since we didn't use the map last round, there wasn't much exact definition of where people were, with the exception of Daesha. This is basically my fault, so please place yourself where you would be at the beginning of this next round.))


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y114/lordsmoothe/Map.jpg

The ogre stands in the middle of the road, at first watching the deer get away, but then he spins to look at the warriors as they hustle towards him, calling out in languages he barely understands. A grin spreads across his face, and he quickly shuffles his meaty feet into position. "Haha! More ikkle weapons for me correkton!" He calls out as he enters a low, feral stance.

Amras, Kiehn, & Wotan

The ogre has just entered the Blood in the Water stance.
[roll0]
[roll1]
[roll2]
[roll3]

The_Shaman
2008-02-02, 04:13 PM
Amras

((Okay, presuming that Daesha and the rest of the scouts were in front of us))

Next time don't ask someone to surrender if you want to catch them off-guard Amras mouths as he closes in, in no hurry, coming forward and to the right as he tries to give the others some room and help them surround the monster. You're not so bad, bonehead he says with a slight whistle as he recognizes the basics of the ogre's posture. Careful with that one.

His eyes meet that of the ogre with no hesitation, issuing a mute challenge. His step is slightly springier than normal and the corners of his mouth flicker up for a moment. Bel'daria, look over me. Let's see how good we are. he says, readying his sword but not attacking yet.

((He's going for R 11 or so, depending on where he started. He would want to keep some distance for now))

Kai-Palin
2008-02-02, 07:55 PM
Daesha

Seeing the ogre obviously intending to fight, Daesha decides to begin the assault. She looks to see who else is attacking and then breathes deeply. Focusing, the air in her immediate vicinity heats up, a spring breeze washing around her, making her tasseled clothing flutter.
Initiating Wind Stride as a swift action, movement speed now 40 feet

She dashes toward the ogre and angles her approach to come at it from behind ((and hopefully flanking the beast, hint hint as to where to put her action)), shadows flaring up around her, her blade turning the color of the obsidian she holds in her other hand.
Move diagonally to L6, 15 feet, then 25 feet to L11. Daesha has concealment via stance.

Closing to striking distance, she makes a swift thrust at its back and then flicks her sword-point upward, shadows flying off the tip and swarming around the ogre's eyes.
((I'll leave factoring in flanking and such things to you, Master DM.))
Attacking with Clinging Shadow Strike:
Attack: [roll0]
Damage: [roll1]
If this attack hits, the ogre must make a DC 14 Fort save or have a 20% miss chance on all melee and ranged attacks for the next round.

HP: 18/18; AC: 17, Touch: 15, Flat-Footed: 12; Maneuvers Readied: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Counter Charge; Stance: Child of Shadow

Lycar
2008-02-03, 05:56 AM
Jason ended his approach about 10' away from the ogre, challenging him to surrender.

...ending him up in P 12 presuming we come from the south. Hoping the others will surround the ogre or move up to his front. Jason wants to team up with two melee fighters on each side, so more people benefit from his White Raven Defense feat.

Then he realizes that, not only does the ogre not seem to contemplate surrendering, it also assumed a stance that appeared to be a stance of one of the sublime ways...

(Hey, this looks like a stance.. not style i'm familiar with.. but an ogre ? How ? ... Either way...)

Jason gave the ogre a chance to surrender. Now, if the brute doesn't want quarter, he shall receive none..

See OOC thread for further actions.

Lycar

Abardam
2008-02-03, 10:23 PM
Garpak

Ah, this is more like it!

If Wotan was at least 3 spaces in front of Daesha:
Garpak abandons his rigid stance and hustles toward the ogre (M11), ignoring any of the ogre's counterattacks. He fixes the ogre with an intimidating glare, silently challenging the monster to attack him.
Lifting his own battleaxe, he attempts to strike the ogre with such force as to toughen his skin against further counterattacks.

Iron Guard's Glare, Stone Bones: [roll0]

If not:
Garpak double-moves to right in front of the ogre's reach and reactivates Stone Bones Stonefoot Stance.

demihappycow
2008-02-04, 05:42 AM
Wotan

As the others move up to the ogre, Wotan moves up to the edge of its reach and waits for an opportunity to duck inside and strike.

Run to N 10 or so. Then delaying until someone else provides a good opportunity to move in and make an attack.

GimliFett
2008-02-04, 11:23 AM
Kiehn SondergaardHP: 18/18; AC 22 (incls. +4 dodge v. giant), t 18, ff 14
Maneuvers Readied: Moment of Perfect Mind (Counter), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (Strike), Wind Stride (Boost), Stone Bones (Strike).

"Look, gang! It talks!" Khien says with a wide grin. "But what language is that?" he asks amicably as he twirls his trident while sizing up the creature's weaknesses. "Smarty ogre knows Tiger Claw!" the dwarf cackles as he thrusts his weapon forward, attempting to take advantage of a hole in the ogre's defense.

Move to O14 (opposite Daesha for flanking, hopefully; please apply if applicable).
Concentration (sapphire nightmare blade): [roll0]
Attack: [roll1] {-2 if Concentration check missed}
Crit?: [roll2] {-2 if Concentration check missed}
Damage: [roll3] plus [roll4] if Concentration succeeded.
Stance of Clarity: +2 AC vs. ogre #1, -2 AC vs anything else.

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-05, 12:25 AM
The warriors rush the grinning ogre. Daesha and Ranik arrive first, each rushing in under the cover of shadows created by their passing. Daesha's shadows flare around her like a fire of pure void, Ranik is little more than a shadowy figment as he rushes the ogre. Each strikes, though only Daesha's attack finds purchase in the ogre's meaty flank, drawing a thin trail of blood through the air.

Just as these two attack the ogre, Jason ducks under the ogre's reach and strikes him with his spear. The spear barely hits, but pierces the ogre on his axe arm, just under the elbow, nettling the ogre and causing him to lift his arm and roar with pain.

Under this cover, all three dwarves rush in on the ogre and strike him as best they can. Garpak's blow goes wide, but Kiehn's trident lands solidly, and he draws it out in a small fountain of blood, striking with uncanny precision a major section of meat.

The ogre roars in pain, but a dangerous glint shines in his eye as he regains his footing and brings his blades down against the warriors. His first blow striking at Jason, swinging at him with the axe, and carving a path towards Daesha with his sickle blade. The air whizzes about the heads of the warriors as his twin weapons slice the air in their paths. His strikes coming with savage abandon.

((Wotan, can I get some rolls for your attack?))

Rolls
[roll0]
[roll1]

[roll2]
[roll3]
[roll4] 1-20=miss
[roll5]

[roll6]
[roll7]
[roll8]
[roll9]
[roll10]
Damage Count
Ogre: 22 damage taken - Not shabby.
Jason: 15 damage taken - Ouch!
Map
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y114/lordsmoothe/Map.jpg

demihappycow
2008-02-05, 12:42 AM
to hit [roll0]
damage [roll1] plus punishing stance [roll2]

Lycar
2008-02-05, 01:39 PM
Jason managed to distract the ogre, just as his allies closed in for the attack.

After the strike, Jason takes a step back again, ready to choose his next attack routine.

(Excellent, the enemy is engaged, now to.. WOAH !)

Jason just brings his shield up in time to block the ogres crushing axe blow, like he did so many times during training. Unlike in training, however, this blow carried not the momentum of an human or ork trainers weapon, but the feral savagery of a 10 foot monstrous humanoid.

This time, the mass of the shield and his training were not enough to absorb the blow.

Jason is almost sent reeling around as the force of the attack threatens to sweep him off his feet and only his advanced martial training permits him to remain upright.

But he paid a price for doing so, his arm and shoulder feel like they are on fire and for a moment or so, Jason cannot be sure if something is broken or not.

Summoning his resolve, he tries to bring his shield to bear again, fighting against a weight that appears to be tenfold to what he is used to.

No to be undone, Jason calls out to his allies "Kiehn, Amras! Close formation! Come on friends! We shall show this brute who are the true masters of the sublime way!" and lunges foreward again.

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-02-05, 06:20 PM
Daesha

Shinga would say 'pride'll trip you on the stairs' but come -on-! With a small jerk of her body and a flick of her blade, the ogre's sickle skitters off of its path and hums by her, making the tassels on her shirt flap and spin. Closing her eyes for a second, more like an extended blink, she breathes deeply and squeezes her obsidian. The shadows around her dissipate, and then she flicks her sword through the air. Sword-shaped shadows suddenly explode from the air around her, as though an army were attacking from every possible angle she could reach.
Shift to Island of Blades Stance, provided there is an ally adjacent, both she and any adjacent allies have flanking. If no allies adjacent, she moves to N or M11 before attacking.
Initiating Sapphire Nightmare Blade
Concentration check: [roll0] If greater than ogre's AC, success
Attack Roll: [roll1] If success on Concentration, treated as Flat-footed. If not, -2
Damage: [roll2] If no success on Concentration, only use first one
Crit Confirmation: [roll3]
Crit Damage: [roll4]

Sword flickering through the air, nothing appears to have happened to the ogre. Returning to high guard, blood suddenly spurts from a series of deep cuts on the ogre.

HP: 18/18; AC: 17, Touch: 15, Flat-Footed: 12; Maneuvers Readied: Counter Charge; Stance: Island of Blades; Position: L11

Abardam
2008-02-06, 05:16 AM
Garpak

Garpak swung his axe, but did not anticipate the ogre's sudden turn to the left. Momentarily off-balanced, he recovered his weapon.
Fine. He drops his shield. Let's do this.
Gripping the axe in both hands, now, he roars a battle cry to inspire his allies, and brings his axe down on the ogre.

AC drops to 20.
Stance is still Iron Guard's Glare (the ogre takes a -4 to attack all Garpak's allies, and he knows this).
Maneuver is Vanguard Strike (if it hits, all allies gain a +4 to attack).
Attack roll: [roll0]
Damage roll: [roll1]

The_Shaman
2008-02-06, 06:23 AM
Amras

The elf swears quietly as he sees the ogre attack Jason. Here I thought we were supposed to be careful about that... he mumbles, readying himself for an all-out attack and pouncing at the ogre.

(Can I get a charge from my direction and can I get a flank from where I am?)


Swift action: Initiating Punishing Stance
Move action: closing in on the ogre, if possible getting a flank/charge
Standard action: attacking with Sapphire Mind Blade: Base Attack [roll0] (flank, charge, failed SMB etc modifiers not taken into account); concentration check , base damage [roll1], Bonus from PS [roll2], possible bonus from SMB [roll3]

The_Shaman
2008-02-06, 06:25 AM
Sorry, here's the SMB concetration check: [roll0]; also, punishing stance drops my AC to 14.

GimliFett
2008-02-08, 04:59 PM
Kiehn SondergaardHP: 18/18; AC 22 (incls. +4 dodge v. giant), t 18, ff 14
Maneuvers Readied: Moment of Perfect Mind (Counter), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (Strike) , Wind Stride (Boost), Stone Bones (Strike).

The dwarf seems to focus for just a moment before unleashing a powerful blow at the ogre, attempting to focus the power of his attack into his own skin, in order to increase his resilience and ability to shrug off blows.

Stay at O14 (opposite Daesha for flanking, hopefully; please apply if applicable).
Attack: [roll0]
Crit?: [roll1]
Damage: [roll2]
Stance of Clarity: +2 AC vs. ogre #1, -2 AC vs anything else.
Against this ogre AC25! Thanks Lycar/Jason.

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-10, 01:56 PM
The ogre roars in savage delight as his axe digs into Jason's flesh, then brings his weapons around for another assault. The warriors encircling him strike at the beast as best they can, and he wards off their blows as best he can. He catches a blow with his hook and pushes it aside, the rear spike of his axehead sweeps another blow aside, and the two sides battle for a few moments more.

However, the ogre is surrounded and cannot defend all flanks at once. Amras and Jason both strike deep blows into the ogre, piercing his armor and bringing forth thick blood from the wounds left behind. The ogre howls in pain, and for a brief moment, there is a look of surprise on his face, a brief glimpse of fear before he raises his axe to bring it sweeping down on Amras' head.

His axe falls, but not on Amras. As the ogre lifted his weapon, Daesha's blade carved a multitude of surprisingly deep wounds in the ogre's side. Blood gushes from an opened artery and the ogre crumples backwards, the axe and hook both falling from his hands as he struggles to stay standing, but he is hamstrung and the meat of his torso is severed and gives way. No sooner has he thudded to the ground, than his eyes roll back and he passes out from shock and blood loss.

300 XP each, congratulations.

The_Shaman
2008-02-10, 06:11 PM
Amras

Amras had started on another attack when he realized the ogre was trying to attack him, and he barely had time to feel a cold, metallic taste of fear-driven adrenaline. He slashes at the falling ogre more due to instinct than anything else, before realizing the ogre is down, and drawing a deep breath in and out. He sees Daesha's bloody blade and nods, saying Much obliged, lady.

Still careful, he keeps his weapon ready and looks at the creature, trying to determine if it's still alive.

Kai-Palin
2008-02-10, 08:02 PM
Daesha

Daesha wipes her blade on the ogre's arm, clearing blood and detritus from the blade, before she finally speaks, quipping at Amras, "I'm no ones lady, boy, get that into your head. Good fight everyone. Now, Jason, lets see to those wounds. Once you're stable, we should continue our sweep, see if there are any more of these (gesturing at the ogre) around."

Looking down at the huge prostrate form, she looks for any carry pouches or packs, and rummages through them, not minding the blood at all.

Once she has a moment, she closes her eyes and meditates briefly, clearing her thoughts, before scanning the surrounding area again.

Lycar
2008-02-10, 08:02 PM
Jason takes a moment to realize that the foe is finally slain. Then he crouches and rests his shield on the ground, taking some of the weight off his injured arm.

"Very well, that's one less ogre. Where in hell did this brute learn the sublime way? Anyone hurt?"

Jason looks around between the others to see if everybody is all right.

(Dammit, that was just one of them. If we stumble upon 2 or 3 of those and they know the sublime way too... then we are in a world of hurt...)

Jason smiles at the others "Well, that's one down. Good work everybody."

Taking a moment to catch his breath, Jason sheathes his sword again and retrieves his shortspear.

Then he sits down, removes the shield and rummages around in his backpack and takes out a healers kit. He selects a soothing salve from it's contents and proceeds to rub it onto his injured arm.

That ought to ease the pain a bit.

Afterwards, he packs his kit away again and re-readies the shield.

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-02-10, 08:10 PM
Daesha

"Well, you obviously, glorious commander. As for where it learned bladework, I couldn't tell you, but just because the poor boy was an ogre doesn't mean he couldn't learn. Set your incredulity aside, or your disbelief'll trip you up when you need to be focused."

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-11, 12:11 AM
Unfortunately, the ogre is not carrying anything on him that isn't clothing, armor, or a weapon. Of these, his weapons are decently crafted, but too large to be held by any normal person, and his armor is the remains of a several pieces of human and dwarf chainmail bound together with leather to form a primitive chain shirt. He carries a large bone knife in addition to his axe and hook, but although it might make a nice collector's piece, it is also fitted for an ogre-sized hand to hold. Nothing else, from the ogre's sackcloth pants to his rawhide boots, is of any value to anyone but their current owner.

Abardam
2008-02-11, 08:06 AM
Garpak

"Damn. Think I'm gettin' rusty," Garpak mutters, picking up his shield. "Uh. Already. Anyway how ya holdin' up there, leaderman?"

Lycar
2008-02-11, 01:31 PM
Jason

Jason moves his shieldarm around a bit. Still a bit stiff. Not good.

Turning to Garpak he answers "I'll live. But damn, that blow hurt. I can't move my arm as quickly as i'm used to. If i have to block another straight high blow like that... i don't know if i'll be fast enough. Better i should hold back a bit and do some interference."

Then he looks at Daesha "I don't mean to demean the ogres Daesha. Ogres can learn, they are just slow. But more important, they usually lack the drive to learn on their own. They can be trained though. If you put enough effort into it. The question is: Who puts up with teaching ogres fighting styles? And did anyone recognize this style? I know it is a style, the moves were so... studied. But i can't really place it."

Then he remembers having overheard Kiehn say something...

"Kiehn, did you say that that was Tiger Claw? But that is an orkish style..."

Jason falls quiet as he ponders.

(The style of the barbaric orks... but they were wiped out, weren't they? Sure, their style survived them. But still, who would teach this to ogres? I bet they have a much easier time learning something that draws on primal instinct then, say, Iron Heart...)

Lycar

GimliFett
2008-02-11, 01:50 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

The dwarf twirls his trident and flicks the blood and viscera from it. "I know the stance was Tiger Claw," he injects as he sidles over to the others. "Gimme a sec to reply the fight in my head and I'll see if I can pick out his moves a bit better." Kiehn closes his eyes and focuses on the battle trying to remember the maneuvers the ogre utilized.

Martial Lore: [roll0]

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-11, 03:21 PM
Although the ogre had dropped into a comparatively disciplined stance as the fight began, what little was witnessed of his fighting revealed no more about his training. What few attacks he made were somewhat skillfully made, but none were recognizable techniques.

The_Shaman
2008-02-11, 03:49 PM
Amras

Amras meets Daesha's comments with a pleasant smile... although it seems a bit confused. Boy? Just how old is she? Not one for courtesy, I take it. Very well, I'll try to oblige you in the future he says with a disarming (he hopes) shrug as he takes out a rag from his backpack and cleans the blood from the sword with it. He then looks around to see - or hear - if their scuffle has attracted any attention, before going back to the talk between his colleagues.

I admit, I hadn't heard of any practitioners of the Blade styles among the ogres... though I'm not very knowledgeable about the Claw. Still, either he was a natural and could figure out some of the basics for himself, or he had training. In case of the latter, this could be... troublesome. he says, nodding slightly as he tries to recall the ogre's movements.

Martial lore: [roll0]: I'm particularly interested if the ogre's style looked self-taught or learned

demihappycow
2008-02-11, 06:50 PM
Wotan

"He fought skillfully, whatever the implications of that might be. We should give him a decent burial, or at least a funeral pyre."

Kai-Palin
2008-02-11, 08:25 PM
Daesha

"Aye, a burial. A pyre would be kinder, but we don't want the smoke to draw anyone or anything down on us. Unless..." Her eyes seem to sparkle as she bites her lower lip, lost in thought. "Actually, could it work better if we set an ambush here and use the pyre as bait? It'd certainly draw some of the ogres, maybe even all of them. Or should we just continue on our patrol."

demihappycow
2008-02-11, 10:40 PM
Wotan

Wotan stares balefully at Daesha for a long moment, then looks aside and spits.
"Did anyone bring a shovel? If not I'll go get one from the caravan."

Lycar
2008-02-12, 03:34 AM
Jason

"Priorities, Wotan. As much as i agree that it is the right and decent thing to do to give our fallen foes proper last rites, no army tends to it's fallen during a battle. And let's face it, we are in a battle. This was just the first contact with the enemy, a mere skirmish."

"A proper burial would take hours, time we better spend on our actual mission to eliminate the ogre threat to the village. We can take care of the dead afterwards. All the dead."

Jason pauses a moment before looking over at Daesha "And quite frankly, i would advise against drawing as many ogres as possible into the next fight. And maybe it's just me but i believe that a burial should never, ever, be bait for anything.

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-02-12, 06:53 AM
Amras

The elf shakes his head at Jason's comments, looking unconvinced. Technically, we're not fighting in the moment. I'm not that keen on burying the ogre, but it's not such a bad idea - certainly better than leaving the body for anyone to find. I can help with the digging, I suppose - if anyone wants to check if there are no other ogres in the vicinity.

Abardam
2008-02-12, 08:59 AM
Garpak

"Bury him, burn him, eat him, I don't care," Garpak says callously. "And you know I dun think he's gonna care either. But you know, I think his friends will care if they see his corpse lyin' around."

He looks around.

"You want to honor him? Honor his spirit, later. But we got to get rid of the body, first."

Kai-Palin
2008-02-13, 09:08 PM
Daesha

Daesha waves a hand over at the trees. "I don't have a shovel with me right now, but let us at least bury him in leaves, let the earth have him." She heaves at the ogre's arm, "Some help here, boys?"

GimliFett
2008-02-14, 08:55 AM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Sliding his trident into his back-scabbard before grabbing the ogre's other arm, Kiehn smiles at Daesha. "Ready when you are!"

The_Shaman
2008-02-14, 01:14 PM
Amras

Amras beckons his nearest companion towards the ogre and takes up one of the feet.

Lycar
2008-02-14, 03:02 PM
"Do you think a column advancing on the enemy is not in battle, even if the soldiers are not exchanging blows at that moment? And you seriously consider to march back two hours and then back here another two, just to get a shovel? Daesha has the right idea. Let us pay respect to the fallen but let us stay true to our mission. Those merchants trust in us to take care of the ogres and relief the village from their siege. I am not going to betray their trust by misguided concepts of honour."

When the others go ahead to move the ogre's corpse, Jason takes hold of the remaining leg and helps.


Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-15, 12:40 PM
The ogre's body is heavy and hard to move, but between your concerted efforts, he is dragged to the side of the road and placed there in repose. This task done, the road and surrounding forest are once more quiet, neither the sounds of animals or the clamor of battle disturbing it.

Lycar
2008-02-16, 04:43 PM
Jason

Jason helps the others with moving the ogre's corpse out of the way (as much as his injured shoulder allows hom to anyway) and give it a provisory burial.

"All right, let's get back into formation and resume our search then. We should try to surprise more ogres before they start missing their comrade and become suspicious."

Lycar

Kai-Palin
2008-02-17, 10:51 AM
Daesha

"Right. Lets get going."

Daesha makes sure her blade is clean, then sheathes it and draws the other one. She once again flanks out wide to the left of the group as they resume their travels, looking and listening for foes while trying to remain unseen.

Lycar
2008-02-18, 04:43 PM
Jason

Jason resumes his place in the formation beside Garpak.

After they get going, Jason asks him "I noticed you prefer to forgo the defense of your shield for the added offensive power of wielding your weapon two-handed. I would ask you to stay close to me. We legionaires are trained at covering our comrades with our shields too. You might want to benefit from this extra bit of protection, yes?"

Lycar

Abardam
2008-02-19, 06:49 AM
Garpak

The dwarf blinks. "Erm, wha?" he murmers confusedly. "Yeh-you want to... uh, well, no 'ffense," he says slowly, "but I think you need more help. Er. Now. Seeing as you're kind of wounded.*"
Garpak scratches his head. "Wouldn't it jus' get in the way, though? I awreddy have a shield. Only dropped it 'cuz tha' ogre was almos' out, anyway**."

*Wait is he not wounded anymore? What part of HP is flesh wounds?

**Plus, THF only adds +1 damage. :/

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-20, 02:12 AM
The mountain path continues to climb upward, eventually the trees thin and then end entirely, leaving a bare, barren, and narrowing mountain path. Shortly after the last tree passes by, the mountain leaves fertile soil behind as well, becoming rocky. It is here that the next sign of ambush is found.

Another wagon, this one seems a week old, has begun to decay on the rocks, already smashed and broken and its contents spilled. Of these contents, little is left. Some pots and pans are beginning to rust, and the rest is missing.

The caravaneers and their guards remain. The smell of their corpses extends beyond their visibility, in preparation for their grisly appearance. They have not had time to fully decay, and they look as bad as they stink. There are two guards, one merchant, and a driver. The guards are still clothed in the chainmail they wore, and one still has the wreckage of a shield strapped to his arm. This one also sports an empty scabbard, but aside from the daggers at their belts, both guards are unarmed. The traders are dressed for travel, and appear to have been tossed about, brought to death by being dashed upon the rocky terrain. The guards, on the other hand, lay in death as they would have died in combat, and their wounds are from a blade's edge.

Insects swarm about the horrific site, but no crows.

Behind this scene, further up the mountain, two more broken wagons can be seen, and behind them, the mountain splits into two, and begins to rise more and more steeply. The place that Simon spoke of can be seen from the site of the first wagon. A crevasse between where the mountain splits into two. A narrow pass with rocks climbing ever higher on either side. To a canny eye, the walls of the pass do not look unscalable, but they would make rough and unsteady going for someone on foot, more than impassable for a cart or horse.

GimliFett
2008-02-20, 09:13 AM
Kiehn SondergaardHP: 18/18; AC 18, t 14, ff 14
Maneuvers Readied: Moment of Perfect Mind (Counter), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (Strike), Wind Stride (Boost), Stone Bones (Strike).

The dwarf gags and chokes for a moment upon getting his first real whiff of the carnage. "Poor bastards didn't have a chance!" he says quietly as he twirls his trident and eyes the area around the wagons.

The_Shaman
2008-02-20, 12:35 PM
Amras

The elf says what appears to be a short prayer as he sees the corpses, but continues for a closer look (unless everyone else decides to hang back), with a quiet "Urgh" as he wades through the stench of decay. His face contorts into a grimace as he sees the mauled corpses of the traders.

Whoever did this took their time to kill the travelers. May maggots feast on their eyes, the bastards.

Kai-Palin
2008-02-20, 04:41 PM
Daesha

As the forest thins around them, Daesha joins the rest of the group as they continue up the mountain. When they come upon the caravan, she says nothing, but her mouth turns from its normal, slightly mocking grin to an emotionless, tight-lipped expression. She goes through the caravan, giving it a once over, and then signals the rest of the group that she is advancing.

Lycar
2008-02-20, 06:37 PM
Jason

Jason lets his gaze sweep across the carnage, definitly looking a bit green around the gills.

"... at least they weren't eaten..."

(... and yet, somehow that makes it worse. When a wild animal kills someone to eat them, you know the death wasn't senseless and animals know no malice. But this... )

"Notice how the weapons are gone? Human weapons are too small to be of much use to an ogre. But the one we killed boasted about having a collection of them."

(And yet. Tiger Claw was an orkish style. I wonder...)

Lycar

Abardam
2008-02-21, 09:57 AM
Garpak

"'S a week old, maybe two," Garpak observes, resting on a rock. "Ogres coul' be anywhere by now. How many d'you guys think there are? Aside from that one, we fought."

demihappycow
2008-02-21, 05:11 PM
Wotan

"Doesn't look like these were heavily guarded. May not have been many at all. Anyone a strong climber? Might be able to flank whatever is waiting at the narrow point that way."

Lycar
2008-02-22, 06:21 PM
Jason

Considering for a moment, Jason answers "I don't have any mountaineering training but our instructors at the academy taught us about equilibrum. Do you think it would be wiser to try and get up on one side of the mountain then to proceed straight through ambush alley? I am inclined to agree."

Lycar

demihappycow
2008-02-22, 08:01 PM
Wotan

Staring blankly at Jason briefly Wotan says, "No. We send those who climb over and the rest go through the pass. Catch them between us. Everyone trying to climb around would be stupid."

Lycar
2008-02-23, 06:23 PM
Jason

"I'm not entirely convinced that it would be wise to split our forces but... well, who wants to go over the mountain? And who through the pass ?"

Jason hopes he can at least make two functional groups if splitting up is what his comapnions favour. No point in arguing for the sake of argument.

Though he feels uneasy about splittig up their force, getting the chance to flank the ogres just might be worth it.


Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-02-23, 06:46 PM
Amras

After his comment, Amras has been silent for a while, but now he looks up the path and shakes his head. It's risky. If they have a clue how to do it, they'd pick a place where a group going on the road would have little chance to charge. Better that we all try to fight them on an even footing.

Anyway, how is your wound? It didn't look very good; might be a good idea to see if anyone at the caravan has some healing skills.

Kai-Palin
2008-02-23, 09:49 PM
Daesha

"You know I'd prefer the flanking maneuver. If no one else, I'll go up there and maybe be able to provide you with some advance warning of an ambush."

She glances (a bit dismissively) at Amras, "Our deal with those merchants was not to come whining back with our tails between our legs after every injury. Jason will be alright. If I have to, I'll see to that personally."

Once their tactics discussion is over with and the group heads out, Daesha takes a moment to concentrate and bring up her now-habitual cloak of flickering shadows.

Lycar
2008-02-24, 02:47 AM
Jason

"Very well then. Just allow me to go up on the mountain then, at least i've got a spear i can throw if we need to help the guys down in the pass. For the same reason, you should come too, Amras. Elves are renowed for their skill with the bow after all."

Jason moves his shield arm around a bit.

"I'll live. Nothing that a few days of rest won't take care of. Just have to remember to duck, not block..."

Lycar

Abardam
2008-02-24, 02:45 PM
Garpak

"Armor heavy. Can't climb very well. Goin' through the pass, like a respectable warrior."
He looks around.
"You know, if they're still there. After a week. I mean, 'f 'twas me, I'd want ta stretch my legs. Like that one we fought, prob'ly."

demihappycow
2008-02-24, 06:27 PM
Wotan

"Use a mirror or something to signal us when you make it to the top. Whoever encounters enemies first should let out a warcry, and focus on defense until the rest of us arrive."

Kai-Palin
2008-02-24, 08:20 PM
Daesha

"I can do a mirror signal. But I'm afraid, you won't hear any shouting, unless its from the ogres."

Lycar
2008-02-26, 01:28 AM
Jason

"Doesn't matter too much who does the shouting as long as the other group realizes that contact with the enemy has been made."

Gripping his shield and spear tighter, Jason sets on to move out.

"Come on people, let's do this."

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-02-26, 01:25 PM
Amras

After a quick look at Daesha, Amras sighs. Sure, I'm going. Dumb as they are, even ogres wil probably try to set an ambush over the pass. If so, I'd rather we turned it on them rather than fell in it. Would anyone else want to take the road with Garpak? I feel as if we'd be using him as bait... It does not sit well with me.

demihappycow
2008-02-26, 06:29 PM
Wotan

"I will be taking the road as well."

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-27, 05:16 PM
Behind the last destroyed wagon, the crevasse opens between two massive boulders. The path between them is not too steep, and has been worn or hewn into a relatively easy path to follow. Shortly inside, it begins to wind lazily between the mountains. Those trying to follow along the slope, must find their footing between loose piles of rubble and an unhelpful incline. There is the occasional sturdy mountain plant growing out of the side of the earth, but even these prove treacherous as their roots must struggle to find even the most tenuous purchase between the hard rocks.

((any walking the slope, please give me climb, balance, and tumble checks.))

After a time of progress up the slope, the path narrows to pass by a pile of rubble that has slid off the slope. Passing by, it is nothing more, but as it is put behind, the very bottom of a booted foot pokes out. After that, however, the path is clear to its highest point, beyond which you cannot see.

Daesha & Jason

After passing the buried man, you spot it almost immediately. About 70 yards ahead of you, a large pile of rubble sits at the angle of repose. Supporting it from beneath is not a lip on the slope, but a large, thin slab of rock. The slab is wedged in place between a much smaller lip and the pile or rubble. You are almost certain a solid kick would send the slab and its load rolling into the pass.
[roll0]
[roll1]
[roll2]
[roll3]
[roll4]
[roll5]

Lycar
2008-02-28, 05:30 AM
Jason

Jason finds it quite difficult to ascend the slope. He had hoped that maybe he could use his large shield to prop himself up in places but instead he finds it's weight and bulk to be a notable hinderance. And trying to lean on it for support proves treacherous as the rubble underneath is prone to just give away.

Still, he slowly but deliberately manages to climb up eventually.

Passing the landslide and realizing that it became someone's final resting place sends a shiver down his spine.

(... at least the poor bastard got a burial. Sort of...)

Looking ahead every now and then, always wary of being greeted by the sight of an ogre looking back at them, Jason eventually spots something.

He stops to take a closer look and signals to the others to hold.

(In a low voice, as not to announce their presence unneccessarily)
"Do you see that? Up there, the pile of rubble? I may be mistaken but this looks like a landslide trap to me. Wouldn't want to end up like the poor sap down there."

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-02-28, 03:05 PM
Amras

As he eyes the difficult slope, Amras quickly abandons even the thought of keeping a hand on his weapon. He puts his large backpack on the ground on a small level place and takes out a set of functional climbing tools. As he puts everything on, he appears to have some experience with what he's doing. Does any of you have rope? It could be useful if someone loses his footing or has a problem with climbing the slope. he says, a tinge of anxiety in his voice.

((Climb: [roll0], Balance: [roll1], Tumble: [roll2]))

Stopping for a moment, he looks in the direction where Jason is pointing and nods. Crude, but very effective. If this was done by ogres, they appear more cunning than most of their kind. I wouldn't mind using it if one of them was down there, I can tell you that.

((Edit: geez, talk about ....... rolls))

GimliFett
2008-02-28, 03:27 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

"No rope here. I've got a couple sunrods, but nothing resembling rope." the dwarf offers with a shrug.

Lordsmoothe
2008-02-28, 03:44 PM
Of the men climbing the slope, Jason seems to have the easiest time getting across, amusingly enough. Amras, even with the aid of his tools, constantly plants his feet in piles of loose rubble, or his toes slip on the tiny toeholds he finds. Each time, however, he is saved by elven grace. Nonetheless, he soon finds that progress across the slope is much slower than it should be for him.

Kiehn, on the other hand, cannot seem to take a single step without the mountain seemingly trying to buck him. There is much arm swinging and lilting of dwarven hips as he barely manages to avoid plummeting down the slope. Despite this feat of dwarven stability, however, he cannot seem to pick his way across the slope.

Lycar
2008-02-29, 03:34 PM
When Jason looks back at his companions to tell them about the trap he spotted, he is greeted by the almost amusing sight of an elf and dwarf struggling up the rubble covered slope.

(Cromduke! Look at them! Like fish out of water... well, Amras, climbing gear is for near vertical surfaces, it does little for treacherous ground like this. But i bet he could climb up a tree like i walk up a flight of stairs... and Kiehn... he.. for a member of a mountain-dwelling species... no wait... dwarves live in mountains, not on them. And watch the only human manage. Barely, but i am up here and they aren't. It would be funny if the situation wasn't so serious. I wonder if a little teasing would help them...)

So Jason calls down (albeit still in a subdued voice), grinning good-naturedly "Heh Kiehn, what's that? A human out-climbing a dwarf on a mountain? If i tell the guys back at the barracks, they won't believe me..."

Lycar

GimliFett
2008-02-29, 04:51 PM
Kiehn Sondergaard

Chuckling softly at the human's words, Kiehn pauses a moment to stare."Easy for you to say. We keep our tunnels clear of garbage, so we don't have to worry about this kind of mess." He grins widely. "At least I'm still standing. I count that a victory amongst this mess." With that, the dwarf redoubles his efforts and presses onward.

Lordsmoothe
2008-03-02, 06:56 PM
Kiehn's efforts pay off, and he soon has a spot near where Jason has stopped to observe the trap up ahead.

Below, the other dwarves have paused on the road, With Jason pointing it out, they also see the trap, and stand in contemplation of it, but so far, they have not spoken much.

Amras and Daesha catch up to Jason and Kiehn, and the air is soon tense, as they evaluate their options.

...

Ranik, quiet as ever, climbs further up the slope, disappearing behind a large boulder on his way up. Then, a minute or so later, reappears from behind another boulder, some several feet away. Rejoining those on the slope, he reports findings from a vantage point further up and forward.

A few feet behind the pile of rocks, Ranik has spotted a large shelf along the slope. A second ogre was spotted resting there, biding his time with a massive glaive and a whetstone. From what Ranik could see, the ogre was alone.

Abardam
2008-03-03, 05:27 AM
Garpak

Garpak picks his way through the narrow path, careful to keep his balance on the rubble strewn around. He pauses to wipe some sweat off, and catches sight of Ranik.
He exhales softly. "It's the shifty gnome guy," he points out to Wotan.

Kai-Palin
2008-03-03, 05:14 PM
Daesha

"Lure him? Or should we just bypass the trap and go after him? I vote for setting off the trap and then letting him come to us."

If this is agreed to, Daesha walks over and kicks the keystone out from under the avalanche trap, triggering it and moving back out of the way. She pulls out her blade and crouches, waiting for the ogre to make its appearance.

Kai-Palin
2008-03-03, 05:16 PM
Daesha

"Lure him? Or should we just bypass the trap and go after him? I vote for setting off the trap and then letting him come to us."

If this is agreed to, Daesha walks over and kicks the keystone out from under the avalanche trap, triggering it and moving back out of the way. She pulls out her blade and crouches, waiting for the ogre to make its appearance.

Lycar
2008-03-04, 06:04 PM
Jason

Jason looks at Daesha and, keeping his voice low asks her "Are you serious? You mean we should tell the ogre to just come to the ridge and throw rocks at us? We need to get close without him detecting us. We need to get the drop on him. Maybe you really need to feel it for yourself but i assure you, and i'm speaking out of personal experience mind, getting clobbered by an ogre is not fun. Now let's move on before he hears us or decides to take a look-see out of boredom or whatever..."

Jason returns his attention to the ridge, crouching and trying to move cautiously, as to not make any unneccessary noise.

Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-03-05, 09:59 PM
Ranik listens in silence as the two come to a conclusion about their next course of action. Hearing what it is, he catches their attention and indicates that he can lead them along the path he took to scout, where he spotted the ogre.

Any who follow the path find it steep and almost impossible to find, but with the gnome's guidance, it is made passable. From time to time, it looks a bit harder than it is, as Ranik is forced into some fancy footwork. When the others get to the same places, however, it turns out longer legs are quite handy in this situation. The path, as you slowly pick it out between rocks, takes you up a bit along the slope, across a short ridge, and then into an area where you must pick and choose your footholds. It slowly brings you to a vantage point above and behind the ogre.

It is also possible to approach the pile of rubble directly along the slope. This approach takes you right up against the trap, and then gives the option to drop into the path below, or climb over the pile itself. The area immediately surrounding the pile is comparatively clear of rocks and loose gravel, and it is easy to find solid footholds here.

Travel in the path below is, of course, the easiest. The path ahead is cleared of rubble and is smooth and still covered in topsoil. This way, however, leads directly under the rock trap, not a good place anyone would relish being should the ogre be alerted to their presence.

((Anyone approaching within 50' of the ogre will need to make a Move Silently check.))

Lycar
2008-03-06, 01:32 PM
Jason

Listening to Ranik's report, Jason comes to a conclusion and once again regrets that this party of equals lacks a straight command structure.

"Right, okay. Daesha, seems like you might get your ambush after all. If we take the path up the ridge that is. Just have to be careful and try to be stealthy about it. Something i'm not very good at unfortuantely. But if you and Amras want to take the route, i could take the way along the trap with Kiehn then. Even if the ogre detects us it will only give you a distraction to sneak up on him. March divided, strike combined. Or we take our chances and stick together for the way up. That way we'll have positional advantage."

Looking between his companions, Jason waits for their input.

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-03-06, 02:48 PM
Amras

Amras taps an odd rhythm with his foot as he listens to Jason's idea, and looks at him, then Daesha, as their names are mentioned. Surprising the ogre from above would be the best idea, even though I'm not as stealthy as some of you. However,unless the ogre is much more skilled than I'd be willing to give him credit for, we should at least gain a height advantage.

Ideally, we could find a way to draw him out, but that might be a bit troublesome if there are others in the area. Still, he'll probably become curious if he hears just enough noise. Can anyone speak their language, by the way?

Kai-Palin
2008-03-06, 07:25 PM
Daesha

"Ranik and I, and perhaps Amras, should go behind the ogre. It would probably be best to get Wotan and Garpak up here as well, and then you all can go over that path by the trap. A two-pronged attack would be best, I think."

She moves out when the course of action is decided, hoping that that happens quickly.

Move Silently: [roll0]
Hide too, just in case: [roll1]

Lycar
2008-03-07, 03:04 PM
Jason

Jason listens to both Amras and Daesha and finally gives Daesha a nod.
"I concour. This is hammer and amboss time. Daesha, since you had the least difficulty to navigate this slope, please go and tell Wotan and Garpak to join us up here."

Daesha didn't have any trouble with the climbing. Of course, coming to think of it, i didn't see her roll for it... best we keep it that way and just say her feminine grace makes her skip from pebble to pebble with impunity... :smallwink:

Lycar

Lordsmoothe
2008-03-11, 12:00 AM
((moving forward...))

Somehow, whether through Daesha, Ranik, or anyone else, the seven warriors communicate their plan between themselves. The two groups gather at their staging grounds, The elves and gnome picking their way around the back, and the dwarves and human moving forward along the slope, hoping to snatch the ogre in their pincer.

The day has progressed, and it is late in the afternoon, the air cools further, but the blood runs hot in anticipation of the upcoming fight. The chill wind is unfelt.

Atop the ridge above the ogre's camp, the flanking group can see the ogre on what is actually a fairly large shelf. He kneels atop a broad scattering of pelts and is preparing a fire out of a large pile of collected branches. He wears a heavily armored gut belt with a tasset hanging from it, an innovation dating from the Tiger Claw marauders, something for ogres and other large creatures to wear as a form of breastplate against smaller foes. A massive Glaive lies on the ground beside him. Across from the makeshift fireplace, another scattering of pelts is littered with weapons just beginning to rust. The ogre has his back turned to the large rock trap.

Then, a noise catches his attention from the other side of the rock trap. One of the dwarves, or Jason, has clanked or stepped in a patch of scree and sent it tumbling into the path below. The ogre quickly grabs his glaive, and, crouching, begins to slowly creep around the pile of rocks to investigate the disturbance. He calls out a word in giant, as he does this. There is a questioning, and somewhat annoyed, tone in his voice.

Ranik disappears from the vantage above the ogre, now is the time to strike.

Map
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y114/lordsmoothe/Map.jpg
((At this point, I'm just adjudicating events leading up to the actual fight so we can get out of this mountainous mire. If anyone disagrees with where their characters are being placed, correct me as you begin combat.

Everyone on the vantage (Default is Amras, Daesha, and Ranik) get a surprise round, and then normal rounds begin with the party going and then the ogre.

Map: Dark gray is impassable (the trap) to move left or down across a light gray square requires a jump or tumble check, DC 5. or it takes up the rest of your round. They are ledges dividing between higher and lower ground. To move right or up across these lines requires a climb check DC 10.

The brown patches are the fireplace (dark) and ogre beds (light).

I've placed characters in relatively arbitrary locations for start. However, you can choose to instead start anywhere outside the bright green line, just specify where.))

Lycar
2008-03-11, 02:09 PM
Jason

Jason curses inwardly as he realizes that the ogre has detected them. Oh well, time for some foreward defense then...

Jason simply lets go of his spear as he begins to charge across the flat ground, drawing his sword as he does so.

"Follow me, men! Assault, assault!" he yells, hoping that the others will be right behind him.

He approaches the ogre, an eye on the oversized glaive and hopes that the ogre will be too surprised to use it on him. After all, he intends to actually run around the brute, to get in his back and provide flanking for his allies.

At least it is his shielded side facing the enemy...

Lycar

The_Shaman
2008-03-13, 02:46 PM
Amras

Amras scowls for a moment as he sees the ogre has somehow found out about his allies, and that it's time to act. His grip on the sword tightens, and he nods to Daesha to see if she's ready. I from the left, you from the right? he asks quietly in Elven as he draws out the long blade.

((OK, if I can take a move action instead of a standard action, I go from J 19 to J 13 if I can start from there, or from L 19 to J 14 if I can't. In either case, I draw a longsword during the move action. If I can't move during the surprise round... Well, I draw a longsword :) ))

The_Shaman
2008-03-13, 02:52 PM
(P.S.: Balance roll [roll0], although I'm not sure we should roll for that DC)

Kai-Palin
2008-03-13, 10:49 PM
Daesha

She nods in agreement with Amras' plan, and drops down the ledge, shadows flaring about her. Sword already in hand, she swiftly closes the distance to the ogre, coming up on its flank. ((Two moves, 40 ft. from k19 to k11, assuming a full round of surprise action))


Balance: [roll0] (wow, that was too close)
Attack for first round of combat.
Initiative: [roll1]
Initiating Clinging Shadow Strike: Attack: [roll2]
Damage: [roll3]
If attack hits, ogre must make DC14 Fort save or have 20% miss chance
Possible Crit Confirmation: [roll4]
Possible Extra crit damage: [roll5]
Shadows flickering around her, Daesha thrusts her sword into the ogre's arm and drags the tip upward while shadows coalesce about its point. As the weapon comes out of the ogre, an orb of shadow fully two feet across shoots from the tip and accosts the ogre, darting around its eyes.

HP: 18/18; AC: 17, Touch: 15, Flat-footed: 12; Maneuvers readied: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Mighty Throw, Clinging Shadow Strike, Shadow Blade Technique; Stance: Child of Shadow

Lycar
2008-03-14, 07:12 PM
Jason

Jason runs swiftly up and even around the ogre, barely in time to assume a defensive posture and swing his sword at him in a threatening manner.

Now the ogre is in a precarious situation, being beset from 3 sides by enemies and denied the reach advantage of his weapon.

Still, Jason is all too aware that his defensive abilities are still hindered by the injury he suffered against the first ogre. And even if the brute may not be a brilliant strategist, he may just have enough cunning to try and break the ensuing encirclement at it's weakest point.

That would be him.

Jason braces himself for a possible overrun by the ogre.


Lycar

Abardam
2008-03-21, 06:43 AM
Garpak

With a roar, Garpak charges to the attack, slamming his axe into the ogre!

Charge to N10; [roll0]; [roll1]; activate Iron Guard's Glare (ogre takes penalty to attack anyone not me)

The_Shaman
2008-03-22, 02:13 PM
Amras

((HP 26, AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 12. Hey, the ogre is flat-footed, right?))

Seeing Daesha dart towards the ogre's rear, Amras turns on his feet and moves to his side. Mindful of Jason's wound, however, he aggressively lunges at what he perceives as a momentary gap of the ogre's defenses.

Initiate Punishing Stance - included in above figures. Move to l13, attack with Sapphire nightmare blade. Attack [roll0] (-2 if concentration check fails, +2 if Jason is already into flanking position), concentration check [roll1], damage [roll2]+[roll3] + [roll4] if concentration check is successful...

Wow. Almost managed a crit-threat, but then 3 consecutive ones on the damage rolls? Crap on a pogo stick, that's some rollin'!