"You might want to listen to him," Valdred shouted, "Or he might just use you to put out that fire." He walked up the road in measured paces, reloading his crossbow as he went, then stopped and fired at the remaining wolf. The arrow struck, knocking the beast over, but it still breathed even as red trickled from its ribs.
Decimation visits the farmyard of Ilyana's steading, close to the village of Albridge, in the Barony of Harkenwold. Wreaked by a lost son of the Harken. His first act on the home soil of his errant father's family. Dougan didn't mess around, picking his side and dealing a devastating series of attacks on his new found enemy.
Only two foes remain standing. One, human, looking decidedly unsure off himself as he sees his comrades falling with a glance over his left shoulder. The other, a beast, driven by feral urges. An urge to escape the pain of the continuous rain of arrows but also an urge to draw sweet "human" blood. The vicious mutt lurches to it's paws and accelerates towards the half-orc bruiser but again the creature's feeble bite is easily evaded. It slinks off towards the quivering crossbow-wielding brigand.
Concerned for her friend, Wik cursed her short legs as she sprinted with everything she could give. As the gate came closer into sight Wik could see one of the brigands crouching behind with a crossbow aimed right at her. Hesitating for just a moment, the young Halfling looked around for cover, but found nothing large enough to hide behind.
Suddenly Dougan let loose a terrifying roar, followed by a series of powerful grunts and the sound of many devastating blows. For a brief second Wik's heart sank, picturing her companion felled by a gang of attackers, but then she saw those very attackers flying through the air like they were on the wrong end of a charging Goristro!
With a smile, Wik stopped just outside the crossbow's range, caught her breath, and called out to the Brigand. "You think he's bad, wait until you see who's coming up behind me!! Drop your weapons now and we might let you walk away with all your limbs still attached!"
The remaining brigand, ignoring Wik's attempts to cow him, slings his crossbow over his back and legs it. Heading out the back gate of the steading, taking the wall at a vault, he heads off into the meadow beyond.
You hear the rasping sound of a heavy bolt being drawn back, and the farmhouse door opens. A half-elf woman of middle years steps out, coughing and spluttering as smoke billows out of the open door around her. She's carrying a battered old crossbow. Two boys of fifteen or so follow after her, looking pale and scared. The woman looks around the farmyard, frowning at the bloodshed, and sighs.
"My thanks, strangers," she says. "Those Iron Circle jackals came to rob us. You saved our lives. But who are you?"
Just barely seeing the results of the fight at this distance, Riven is shocked to see the half-orc brawler lay low the majority of their forces. As the one clearly starts a retreat and the woman emerges to talk, he continues running towards the farm shouting, "THE FIRE! PUT OUT THE FIRE!"
As the wreck of the farmhouse and the brigands attacking it comes into clearer view, Aliss stops short in shock at the sight of the broken human bodies on the ground. Oh, they had killed things in the vaults beneath Hammerfast to be sure, but those were monsters and things worse. But staving in their skulls with his bare hands... Aliss looks at the half-orc warily for a moment before trotting forward after Riven.
Dougan nods politely at the small farmstead family. "Ma'am. Might want to get away from the burning house. Or get some water from the well to put it out. Sorry I ain't bein polite about it. Gotta see about a dog."
With a quick head-jerk towards the well to his right, he walks over behind the wheelbarrow, lifts his leg, and brings it down, heel-first, on the wolf's head. Luckily for the two young children, the wheelbarrow blocks line of sight to the wolf, and so all they can hear is the muffled crunch.
"Leave none to carry tales," Valdred muttered. "That's what grandad always said. I reckon it applies to the other side of the brigandage just as well." The mighty arbalest sang and a bolt flew toward the fleeing brigand, piercing his breeches, hobbling him. Not content with that, Valdred nocked and loosed another bolt in one fluid motion. The second struck the brigand in the shoulder with enough force to knock him sprawling in the grass.
"Dougan! Can you gather that one up before he wanders off? Alive, if you can manage it?"
Ilyana hadn't seen the wolf and mutters a brief prayer to Erathis as the massive humanoid despatches the pitiful creature with a stomp of his heavy foot. The half-elf quickly organises her two sons into extinguishing the fire and they are soon carrying buckets to and fro as Ilyana watches over them and at the same time keeps a wary eye over proceedings in the farm yard. A brief smile flashes over her face as she sees the talented archer and four more beings approaching the farm.