Dougan sees the bolts fly out from Valdred's hiding place, and winces. So much for any kind of group surprise attack. Being a man of far less...ranged capabilities, the half-orc looks down at his balled-up fists and shrugs.
Then he slips back through the undergrowth just far enough to be within sight of the party, and begins waving his enormous arms wildly. Hopefully Wik or Munir would notice him and between that and Valdred's whistle, they'd pick up the pace.
Valdred's bolts fly across the intervening distance in a flash, both driving home on their intended targets with satisfying thuds. The affected wolf lets out a hitch pitched whelp, matched in intensity by the cry of the skewered guard. The other brigands turn their attention away from the task in hand and frantically look for cover. One of them, however has different ideas and cries out first to his comrades and then louder for your benefit.
"Hold Men! Show yourselves! One more bolt and we torch the farmhouse."
The others quickly get the gist and raise their lit torches in the direction of the main building.
"Valdred, ye fool." Munir mutters before he raises his voice: "I knew it!" He exclaims before readying his shield and properly gripping his hammer. Then the dwarf breaks into a run. "Follow me. To the rescue!"
Off in the distance, in the direction where Wik saw Valdred and Dougan go, Wik hears a loud and distinct whistle, urgent and obviously not animal. Immediately afterwards she spots Dougan waving franticallly, and everyone's suspicions are confirmed: trouble. Wik takes off in a sprint, followed closely by her more heavily-armoured companions, as an unfamiliar voice shouts something that she can't make out, but from the tone Wik can guess it's not friendly. "*sigh*... So much for being sneaky. What have these guys got us into now?"
"Stand away from the house of we'll feather you again!" Valdred shouted. His blood boiled at the thought of these murderers burning the farm folk out of their home--burning them alive. But he had to be careful here, or he might cause the thing he was trying to stop. It may have been foolish for him to act so rashly, but what else could he do? It sounded like the others were closing the distance--hopefully in time to save the farm folk. He nocked another pair of bolts but held his fire, waiting to see how the brigands would respond.
Unable to find any characters in game 11469 These dice sets were omitted or moved: 1d10+5
Valdred's threat falls on deaf ears as the standoff continues. The lead brigand calls back to you, a hint of impatience in his voice.
"Not until you show yourselves. These buildings go up like tinderboxes - all the straw in the thatch. I'm starting a countdown. If I get to 1 before you are in plain sight, then boom. Up she goes. Ten .... Nine ...."
The others look a bit less certain but continue in the same vain, torches and crossbows at the ready.
Dougan never likes bullies. And these men stank of bullying. Burning the homes of townsfolk, trying to bully Valdred. They were nothing more than another gang, and Dougan knew how you dealt with those. You punched em until they knew who was strongest, and left you alone. Or until they couldn't punch back anymore.
He ran as fast as he could towards the farm, riding his anger like the wind. It would carry him forward, even through pain.