Chapter 1 - Return to the Wold - IC

 
Aliss Weaver
The Flamescarred

"Right, so I didn't go near it," Aliss retorts. "I figured there was a blade around the lip or a poisoned needle or something. But why wouldn't throwing fire past it be okay? Why would anyone protect something they wanted to keep safe by covering it with alchemical fire?" she asks rhetorically.


Riven Cambryn
Human Paladin of Bahamut

Current HP: 33/33 (12)
Conditions:


Riven grimaces at the exchange, having tried to blot the memory from his mind. "Yes, well...let's avoid burning anything else down now. Instead let's focus on the road ahead. Besides, the from the sounds of it, the Harkenwold has had no trouble burning."

The paladin crosses his arms looking around for the missing hunter.


Munir Foehammer
Runepriest



"Enough now, ye lads!" Munir says with that friendly yet rumbling voice of his. "A fire weakens the metal but I've seen strong men bend iron with their bare hands. No smoke doesn't mean there's no trouble." Leaning on his mighty hammer, the dwarf turns to Wik. "Oi, lass! Can ye see 'nythin' up there?"

After your brief halt for rest and refreshment you continue on your way. The joking and japing between you, serves partially to hide the trepidation you feel on the return, for most of you, to your homeland. You only travel a mile or two into the valley before trouble appears. Rounding a bend in the road, you spy a pillar of smoke climbing into the clear blue sky. The source, hidden by rolling hills, is roughly a mile along a dirt track that intersects the road.

Here you are ... Harkenwold's burning - and it's not Aliss' fault this time! Dougan's chance of punching someone before night fall just took a turn for the better. Riven must have had a knock on the head in Hammerfast - Cities? In Harkenwold? The entire population is a mere 2,000 souls - or was when you were here last - who knows now? Will Wik wend her way into wealthy wagons? Has Munir got what it takes to shape this merry band of opportunists into a Barony saving supreme task force. And where the heck is Valdred? All these questions and more, will be answered in ...

... Reavers of Harkenwold

Riven Cambryn
Human Paladin of Bahamut

Current HP: 33/33 (12)
Conditions:


Seeing the smoke on the horizon, Riven sighs and nods. He coolly draws his sword and readies his shield. He then says, "I suggest we all ready ourselves for the worst. What do you think Munir? Two scouts? Send Valdred and Dougan this time? Strictly recon. See what we are up against and report back. Then Munir can come up with a plan." He looks to the rest of the group for approval of the plan.

Riven plans to continue to move forward, but at a slowed pace to give the scouts time to do what they do best.

Valdred the Green
Bounty Hunter of Marl

"That seems wise," Valdred said, disappearing into the undergrowth and moving up parallel to the road. The boy had a habit of vanishing at a moment's notice, and there were hours when the group couldn't say for certain whether he was with them or not. But he always returned. Valdred walked at a cautious pace, scanning ahead near and far, keeping his eyes open for any sign of tracks. His footsteps were nearly silent as he flitted from tree to tree, taking care not to frame his silhouette against any open spaces. He reappeared briefly down the road a ways, but within a few moments he was out of sight once again.


Wik
Halfling Rogue

Wik pouted as she fell in beside Aliss, following Riven and Munir down the road and waiting for Valdred and Dougan to return with a report. This "scouting" and "planning" stuff was far more organized, and dull, than her usual approach to life's challenges.




Dougan looks over at Valdred as the man disappears, as is his wont.

"I can do quiet." the half-orc murmurs, slightly surly, and then slides into the undergrowth. All it took, sometimes, was remembering what it felt like to be insignificant. To be nothing. Remember the way the bullies and the human bigots made him feel, reduced to a shadow of what he was. The half-orc was hulking and conspicuous, normally, but he knew how to shrink back inside himself, to escape notice not by hiding, but by simply remaining unseen and unnoticed. Not that Dougan would ever explain it this way. He takes one last swig from his flask, and then sets off down the road.


Dougan and Valdred set off swiftly but silently along the dirt track towards the pillar of smoke. They are soon out of sight as the rest of you make your way more slowly down the rutted path that surely leads to one of the many steadings that lay scattered across the Harken Valley. Typically home to an extended family that work the surrounding farmland, these dwellings form the bedrock on which the spirit of Harkenwold is founded. Many a hero or heroine of the vale has been produced from just such places.

A tipsy breeze frolics chaotically in the wild pastureland through which you traverse, sending clouds of spore from the many wildflowers that thrive in the loamy soil. A few tired looking tan-brown cattle graze over in the far side of the field. The fluttering of early summer butterflies, above the hawthorn hedgerow that borders the path on either side, is mirrored by the growing knots in your stomachs as you imagine what you may find at the end of the track. For two of you that imagining is about to come to an end. The odd pair of Bounty Hunter and Barroom Battler creep into position for an unimpeded view of the source of the choking column of smoke and the source of a family's anguish.


Valdred the Green
Bounty Hunter of Marl

Brigands with torches, about to burn out farm-dwelling folk. This cannot stand, and Valdred wasted no time thinking about it. In one smooth motion he unslung his arbalest, nocked two bolts, and fired at the nearest wolf-and-brigand pair. While the bolts were still in flight he gave a sharp whistle, hoping both to attract the attention of his companions and to distract the brigands from their murderous errand.





 

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