Chapter 3: Into the Belly of the Beast

Serin Skald

Serin rubs the side of his face wearily.

"Well, we do have some mighty fighters, and perhaps we'll prove lucky with the size of patrol that we attract. What we don't have are stealthy scouts; Varn's the best at that, and
d4 skill
even he is probably lacking in comparison to woodcrafty orc sentries.

"So, of the ideas, baiting and then overcoming a patrol sounds like the best plan to me. Aife, have you any ideas that would attract a small patrol but not a larger force? Perhaps, say, we find a rocky bluff where your shieldmaiden can be camouflaged by Varn and Krusk, who can hide nearby. You and I can perch higher up on the rocks to rain down missiles on the patrol, while Rindilnir sets up a smoky one-man campfire and acts like attractive but very sharp-edged bait."

Aife Maerasdottir

"Honestly, I don't think Krusk can even count" replied Aife in Saxa. "What we need is a decent lay of the land, to figure out if an ambush is even possible. The only other option is convincing Krusk that I can ward his entire tribe and then having them fight the rats for us. With any luck they'll wound each other badly and we can swing in and take out the survivors."

Rindilnir Autumnwind

"You're right Aife. A survey of the lay of the land is exactly what we need... no need to be hasty. And Serin... I'm sorry. It was wrong of me to despair. It's just that with the burden of all those lives in Dalsetter including those we barely managed to save from Dunross... it has frayed my nerves a bit. I beg your forgiveness, my friend."

Dice Roll: 1d10
d10 Results: 1
Random Roll

You take the next couple hours and survey the area around where you are currently, and venture a little closer. Krusk warns you that the closer you get, the more likely you will be to run into patrols. The terrain is universally hilly and rocky. Small copses of trees dot the landscape. The area has a lot of wildlife, small rodents like rabbits, the occasional fox or mob of deer or elk. Sharp-eyed searchers find many animal tracks. The sparsity of trees should make it fairly easy to see approaching patrols, but the hills reduce the distance you can see to less than a half mile. Many rocky outcroppings, dry, rocky streambeds and copses of trees would provide some cover for an ambush, but without knowing if a patrol was in the area, you could be setting yourself up for a long wait.

Many of the tracks belong to smaller rodents, deer and canine or feline species. Evidence of deer, elk, fox, lynx, wolf, rabbit and other smaller creatures abound.
Survival or Knowledge Nature success read here

among the other tracks are tracks of smaller rodents as well...squirrels, chipmunks, mice and rats.
Survival or Tracking with a raise read here

Aife Maerasdottir

"I know I've read something about ambushes recently" murmured Aife as she started pulling scrolls from the cases on her back. She plopped down on the ground in a cross-legged position and started pouring over them for a few minutes. After a couple of moments she made a small sound of delight and carefully placed the documents back into their cases.

Aife paced the ground for a bit while she peered as a few illustrated scrolls. "Looks like quite a bit of game comes through this area. You'd think that the presence of a large tribe would scare them all off. Might also mean that the orcs are using this area to hunt." Aife peered around the area and then pointed out a particular rocky outcropping. "Good spot for an ambush there, but no clue how long we'd be waiting. Unless we brought them to us."

Rindilnir Autumnwind

"Hmm... no orc tracks around here. I wonder, are we dealing with orc sentries, rat sentries or both?"

Serin Skald

Serin examines the proposed ambush site, though he doesn't particularly know what to look for.

"Oh, I dare say a campfire would bring them to us. Something made in the middle of the day, as if by a hunter cleaning his catches?"

Aife Maerasdottir

"That's as good a suggestion as anything else I've heard" said Aife as she scanned her surroundings again. "We want a spot with high ground for a couple of us. Preferably something steep sided that would be hard to climb without assistance. I've got a bit of rope and if we rigged a climbing setup we could regroup up top while I have my shield maiden cover the retreat."

I need a Notice check please.

While you stand talking about strategy, your eyes catch movement at the edge of a copse of trees down the hill from you, about 500 yards away. You turn to look and see six orcs in leather armor wielding bows exit the copse of trees walking generally in your direction.
Notice Check TN 4

They do not appear to notice you, even though you have taken no precautions to hide yourselves.
Notice Check TN 8

The tracks don't seem to be making a mass exodus from the area.

Serin Skald

Serin rotates slowly, assessing the terrain in light of his earlier suggestion.

Suddenly he drops into a crouch and draws his bow. "Hsst! Orcs! Coming up the slope! Have they seen us?"


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