Prologue.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 23 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Mon 13 Jan 2020
at 00:13
Prologue
Scene 1 - Encroachment of the Unnatural.

Since the great migration from the Infernal Plains to the kingdoms of men three centuries ago, and the non-aggression pact between the druids and the infernal tribes was made, the druids and infernals have lived in relative peace. The Infernals recently have been encroaching upon the druid lands, cutting down their sacred forests, and even occasionally killing druids. The Druid people as a whole are not willing to do anything, but there is a small sect that is willing to do whatever it takes to see that the Druid people are preserved, and some even want the to see the kingdoms of men restored to their former glory. You are a part of this sect.

Humans have retreated to Kovir, Toussaint, and Kaedwyn, while others have retreated to abandoned Dwarven mountain cities. They will be little help on your journey, they have grown to hate all that are not humans, and even then trust is not abundant.

Our journey begins following two groups, each consisting of a Druid and their physical protector. The Swiftstride clan, against the orders of the other clans in Craven Wood, have sent a young team out to investigate damage to the woods, and the neighboring human clans. Scout and Garallda's story is picked up while following the rampages of a group of orcs.

Sugarra and Laucian have left the whisper wood knowing that there was more to this evil roaming the land than their elders were telling them. They'd come across groups of dead humans, seen Orcs, Goliaths, Goblins, and other evils drink the blood of their kin. It was time to act, even if the elders did not see the need.



Sugarra and Laucian

Suggara and Laucian move to trail the Goliath tribe heading south. They had moved a little too far into your domain this time, and as defenders of your tribes you’ve been trailing them for days. Laucian has moved up ahead, and comes across a dying Goliath. You stop 8 meters away. Perhaps there was a dispute between a few Goliaths, or maybe this one was too injured to keep up any longer. You can hear groans of pain and wheezing coming from his body. Suggara moves to join you. What do you do?




Garallda and Scout

Scout and Garallda  come across a group of dead humans outside of the forest. Scout moves ahead to check it out, they come across a burnt town with a pile of burnt villagers in the middle. Village elders head is on a spike. A bit of investigatory work reveals signs of orcs, and you know that a group of orcs has been roaming near your part of the woods for weeks. Scouts brief training in the Wildhunt clan taught him what to look for. The Orcs hadn’t been worth retaliation up to this point, but they’ve been pillaging the woods for food and wood; Now that they’ve taken human lives as well, something needs to be done. You move back to Garallda and explain the situation. How do you choose to move forward?

Try and speak in character. Remember that first impressions can only be made once, the tone that you set for your character will follow you. Include dialogue if necessary, but you can speak in third person or first person. What would your character do?
Note: Scout and Laucian try and relay what you've discovered in character. How would you tell your 'partners' what you saw?

Garallda
 player, 6 posts
Fri 17 Jan 2020
at 23:58
Prologue
Garallda spoke little, though that was nothing new for Scout, it was her way. She was calm and stoic and tireless as they ranged far through the woods searching for the infernal tribes that plagued the forests and their lands.

She pitied the humans when they came on the village, the needless slaughter galled her, and her anger was evident as she huffed and waited for Scout to finish checking the village for the signs that he saw so well.

She listened to what Scout had to say and nodded wordlessly. She chanted a few words over herself, nodded as whatever the spell was set in, and then silently shifted. Her body stretched and grew until, where before a silent and diminutive halfling had stood, now walked a wolf of prodigious size.

Her shoulder and head now roughly even with Scout's she spoke into his mind as she often did, eschewing words.

Dire Wolf Garallda set about sniffing at the ground, searching for the path the orcs had taken when they'd left if a path wasn't immediately clear to her eyes.
Scout
 player, 21 posts
 Bennyth
Sat 18 Jan 2020
at 01:13
Prologue
As he roamed stealthily through the charred remains of the once quiet and peaceful village he could feel his chest boil with rage. The presence of orcs in the area had meant nothing to him before. The wood of the trees and the animals belonged to no one, when taken for tinder or shelter and food and clothing respectively. He wouldn't begrudge the tusked tribes that. This however was something else entirely. It was violent and senseless. These humans were peaceful folk with nary a warrior among them. They posed no threat and there was nothing to be gained from killing them.

It was difficult to keep his focus in the face of such senseless slaughter but he managed. Scout was better trained than most his age. He knew how to pick out tracks and separate them, to count numbers and estimate size and whether anyone who left in the raiding party did so with a telling injury. How long it'd been since they departed and which direction they'd left, what pace they were keeping and how laden they were with spoils from this attack.

His expression was grim when he returned to his druids side. From the smoke and the faint smell of burning flesh it hardly seemed like explanation was necessary but he was loyal to his duties, even if he usually kept a lighter, more casual air about himself. Today was not a day to bare such attitude, though. It was a day for focus and resolve. So, in unusual fashion he schooled himself to a very reserved, serious expression with hint of the restrained rage boiling inside nipping at edges scratching to get out.

"It was impossible to get a full count of the villagers. There.... there was a pyre in the middle of town. Elder Rastor… he made these great cookies whenever I visited here and always told such wonderful stories... they.. put his head on a pike..." Scout trailed off as the anger seethed up a little.

He took a deep, heavy breath to shove it back down enough to press on, "If there are any villagers left the orcs took them. I don't even want to think what for. It wasn't a full warparty but it was more than a casual group of hunters like we thought might be in the area."

When Garallda began shifting, Scout immediately stepped back to give her space. He hadn't seen it much since they'd been paired but he recognized the signs immediately and knew not to expect anything. She might become a bird to take to the skies in search of these orcs or a bear to maul them. As it was, she chose something in-between to track them and tear at them with fang once found. He could follow the careless tracks of these orcs just as well from her back as he could on foot. As her words crept into his mind he nodded and carefully climbed on.

"Yes. Monsters don't deserve mercy!" he said with cold, focused rage at the foes lying somewhere ahead.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 26 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Sat 18 Jan 2020
at 08:46
Prologue
The sun is high in the sky over Garallda and Scout.

The grisly sights and smells of the massacre are behind you, yet the scene haunts you. The fire within you is stoked as memories made with the camp folk flash in your mind. The first time you came upon them. The visceral hatred you initially felt for these humans. Tentative relations at first, followed by a strong bond with some of the humans. All while having to keep your relationship with the humans a secret from your druid elders.

The ground is still moist from the morning dew, so the Orc tracks are deep. Though even if they weren't their stench would be sufficient for Garallda's keen nose.

Around evening, after tracking the orcs (likely 30-40 in number, with maybe half a dozen humans, if your footprint counts are accurate) for miles into the West, you come upon a place where they appeared to have split off into two groups, one North, one South. There lies a beheaded orc on the ground, a human arm cut just below the elbow stuffed into the orcs mouth, fist first, up to the wrist.

A blood darkened portion of earth and signs of struggle show where the human must have lost his arm. Signs of a body being dragged go North, while half the pack of Orc's, and some Humans head south. At the pace you are moving, if you do not stop for rest, you will catch up with either group after nightfall, as they will stop to camp.

How do you choose to proceed?


How often do your characters feel this bloodlust (if that is indeed how you would describe your characters state of mind right now. If not, how would you describe their state of mind)? Is this common, or have you snapped and are reacting over-emotionally?

DM's NOTE: I appreciate the format of the dialogue so far, makes it really easy to read, keep it up!

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:47, Sat 18 Jan.

Laucian
 player, 9 posts
Sat 18 Jan 2020
at 09:25
Prologue
The ranger moved up and examined the goliath. His eyes flickered as he leaned over him, contemplating. He knew enough that Goliath's were usually the enemy, but at his heart he was good-natured, and so despite everything he wanted to give him a chance.

"Give us a good reason not to end you now?"

It was more bravado than anything. He didn't like killing the helpless, but by seeming to be more ruthless than he was, he might be able to get some valuable information.
Garallda
 player, 8 posts
Sat 18 Jan 2020
at 19:04
Prologue
Garallda came to a halt at the site of the blood and orc split. She sat on her haunches and let Scout slide off. 

Once he was off she shifted her form back to her natural form and sat on the ground. She pulled rations and water from her pack and after a long pull on her waterskin, began to eat her food. "Can you tell which group had more humans?" she asked between bites of food. She didn't seem overly enraged when she spoke with her voice, more focused and intense.

"We need to drive these orcs from our land, remind them what happens to them when they intrude on our borders."

She looked at Scout and continued to work on eating her rations, near the blood and churned up earth of the orc group's split.
Scout
 player, 22 posts
 Bennyth
Tue 21 Jan 2020
at 04:43
Prologue
Scout slid off deftly when Garallda paused and shifted her weight accordingly. Without a second thought he went to work examining the scene. Seeing the split gave him a better sense of the count than before. In either case the numbers weren't in their favor, but something had to be done. These orcs were monsters and they couldn't allow monsters to roam freely near their woods.

"There was some kind of altercation here. My guess would be a disagreement over the humans. My guess, the orcs that went north just wanted to kill and eat them. Maybe killed a couple and had one of their own beheaded for the waste? They dragged a couple of bodies with them. The rest of the orcs turned south with the rest of the humans still alive," he explained it as best he could read the situation.

Either way they went they'd be hunting a party of more than a dozen orcs. North led to a probably slightly smaller party but more aggressive. Also more reckless and probably easier to trick and lure into traps. Pick at their numbers till their party grew lean enough for the kill.

South seemed to him the stronger, more unified party of orcs. Less likely to break, less likely to fall prey to trickery and lures. With them though, there was a chance to save some of the human villagers. Villagers who, when backed into a corner fighting for their lives, might help turn the orcs advantage of numbers into less of an overwhelming threat. If they were careful and smart about things. Stalked their prey carefully, like good hunters would.

"South, there are a couple more orcs I think, but also humans still alive. Prisoners. People we could save. People who might make a difference against the numbers," Scout reasoned. "I think we should go south."
Garallda
 player, 9 posts
Tue 21 Jan 2020
at 07:06
Prologue
Garallda nodded as Scout gave his report.

"South... yes. Let us go south. If we can rescue any of the humans that will be good." She stood and packed away her food and shifted again to her dire wolf form.

 She spoke to Scout's mind as she readied to head south under his direction to seek the orc band.
Scout
 player, 23 posts
 Bennyth
Wed 22 Jan 2020
at 19:58
Prologue
Once again he climbed up onto her reformed wolfen back. Scout couldn't help wondering if that was going to become a regular thing or if this was just unique to the situation. They did wish to make up time as it could make the difference in lives. It was an idle thought though. He had more important things to focus on.

"If they hold their pace, we won't catch them till after dark. Sadly, their eyesight is as keen at night as ours and the humans will be useless more than thirty feet from a lantern or fire," he said as they resumed trailing their prey.

His mind worked the problem as they went but there were no simple solutions. Two, maybe three orcs each he wouldn't think twice about charging straight into battle against. If they picked the fight and he made the opening shots they should have no trouble against that many. Near twenty orcs was a problem for just the two of them, though. They had to be careful tackling so many.

"I think we need to get a good look at how they've set camp before we decide how to handle them," Scout added eventually. "Without being seen."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 29 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Fri 24 Jan 2020
at 03:12
Prologue
Scout and Garallda headed South, towards the orcs who hopefully had the humans.

Quickly, you bound off. The familiar feeling of the wind rushing past your head is comforting in this time of crisis. The landscape seemed to fly by, and before long afternoon bleeds to evening, and eventually the sun sets and the sky is once again dominated by the moon. Two hours pass from the setting of the sun before you finally catch sight of the orc's fire in the distance. They are set up on a hill a half mile from your position. They likely have a perimeter set, but it shouldn't be much of an issue to sneak up on them, if that's what you choose to do.

Scout and Garallda, how do you choose to move forward?

<red><small>If you guys decide to sneak up on them, whoever sneaks up (be it both of you or one of you) needs to roll stealth twice. Here is an image of the hilltop. Red dots are fire



Can't get the image to post? Here is a link! https://www.mipui.net/app/index.html?mid=mlxnc02l2yx

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:32, Fri 24 Jan.

Garallda
 player, 12 posts
Fri 24 Jan 2020
at 04:23
Prologue
 Garallda-wolf looked at Scout once they spotted the fires.


The dire wolf shifted into the form of a halfling once more and immediately set to drinking water. She laid her staff by and also ate a bite of food to refresh herself from the long day of trailing the orcs.

When they had rested long enough for the moon to tick by in the sky yet more, she nodded at Scout and stood. Taking up her staff she motioned him close. She spoke softly in the secret tongue of druidic, though Scout may understand her words, "Mother Earth, cloak us now in your shadow and silence. Let our feet be lighter than the wind." Her free hand made grabbing motions as if she were gathering up the darkness, then she thumped her staff on the ground softly. Immediately shadows writhed and twirled. They spun themselves as a cloak around Garallda and Scout, their footsteps and passing now impossible to track and nearly unnoticeable to eyes and ears.

Once more she shifted to the form of a dire wolf. Where before her coat had been grey and white, now it was black as the night.

She waited for Scout and then set out up the hillside, silent as death.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:05, Fri 24 Jan.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 31 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Fri 24 Jan 2020
at 04:35
Prologue
Short rest accomplished, spell noted!
Scout
 player, 24 posts
 Bennyth
Fri 24 Jan 2020
at 06:00
Prologue
Scout nodded in agreement when Garallda suggested resting first before moving ahead to scout the orc's camp. They'd want to be at their best just in case. Even if they weren't planning to attack just yet it made sense to get a little rest first in the event they had the misfortune to run across orcs on patrol while scouting the camp.

When she cast her spell and took her wolfen form again, this time he didn't climb onto her back. He fell in step about fifteen feet to her right, just a couple feet ahead of her. The goal was simple enough. Carefully scout the perimeter of the orc's camp. See how they'd set things, check for signs of any remaining human prisoners, look for weaknesses and orcs on guard. All without being seen, spirits willing.

OOC: but possibly not dice roller willing
00:45, Today: Scout rolled 19 using 1d20+18.  stealth #2.
00:44, Today: Scout rolled 24 using 1d20+18.  stealth.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 33 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Sun 26 Jan 2020
at 01:24
Prologue
Carefully, Scout and Garallda stalk up to the orcs encampment. You deftly sneak around the sentries lines of sight. You get close enough to see there are 13 orcs in the encampment, with more surely in the darkness keeping watch. Amidst the orcs you count 7 humans. Of those, 1 is a child, 2 are adult females, and the remaining are adult males.

As you both speak Orc you can easily understand the conversation that is currently dominating the group. An average height orc with a tusk missing is speaking to a tall orc, clearly the leader. "-aren't going to be able to get back to Kor before Grah and his band catch us. You know the fight was for more than just the humans, Grah also wants leadership of our tribe!"

The leader of the orc's responded with a deep, dangerous voice, "I am not afraid of Grah, or any other orc. Let him return and challenge. I will defeat him, as I defeated Huk. Our people need these humans. You know this, we cannot leave them. Do not bring this up again, or I will gut you myself." The shorter orc turns and leaves in a huff. It's clear that he is not happy with this outcome.

The group returns to normal, small groups talking among themselves. Nothing worth noting, however you notice throughout the course of your watching that the humans here are treated well. They are certainly prisoners, but instead of beatings when they speak out, they are gagged. They are even fed relatively well.

Anything else you guys want to listen for or look for, specifically? How do you proceed?

You seem to have snuck up successfully, however if you choose to do anything besides go back the same way you came (sneak around to another side of the camp, try and kill anyone quietly or etc...) roll again for stealth, with advantage.
Garallda
 player, 14 posts
Mon 27 Jan 2020
at 06:06
Prologue
Garallda-wolf glanced to Scout in the darkness. Her black coat shielded her from unfriendly eyes as she watched the Orc's movements and got a feel for the camp.

OOC: where did the shorter orc go? how far are we from that one.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 34 posts
 Storyteller
 Nature's Wrath
Wed 29 Jan 2020
at 02:58
Prologue
The small orc went off to the southern fringe of the group. He is with 2 other orcs, and they are griping together about how what they are doing is the wrong choice.