Chapter 6: Stand Up and Be Counted

Patting the muzzle of the grand bay, Marin smiles to his eyes and offers her hand so he can know her scent.

"You're a handsome one" she whispers to his ear as she caresses his neck and takes a moment to bury her face in it. "Thank you for letting me guide you, and thanks you for surviving, Bear".

Taking the reins of the horse near the muzzle, she starts walking always in line with its eyes, her other hand caressing the gentle head, following the young aide.

The group of horses docilely accepts the harnesses, following the lead of the big roan that had once borne Captain Strakker. Caedmon and Rives lead out with Midnight, Moonlight, Domino, and Strider easily keeping pace. Marin and Alelip soon find that Bear and Whiskey, having spent much time together with the wagons, prefer to walk side-by-side--a task that takes some doing in the forest. Leo and Butch silently keep watch over the whole procession, the former barehanded but the latter with bow half-drawn and trained on the trees.

It's about an hour later, as the group is coming up toward the road, that the warriors' vigilance is rewarded. "There," Leo says quietly to Butch, nudging him and pointing to the southwest. A single gnoll had briefly come into view, a flash of furry movement behind a tree some two or three hundred feet away. It indicates it has seen the group by letting out a high-pitched howl that echoes off the tree trunks and spreads through the woods like a ripple of hoots. A few seconds later, more distant howls follow the first.

Butch shakes his head, muttering, "No shot," before glancing over to the group and speaking a little bit more loudly. "If you haven't learned to ride a horse, there's no time like the present."

Alelip, as quickly as he is able to, mounts Whiskey and
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 7 (Total = 10)
looks for a location to make a stand against the oncoming hordes.

Cursing lowly at the sight of the gnoll, Marin mounts her ride and pats his neck to keep him calm

"Now I'm counting on you, Bear" she whispers to his hear.

I'm mouting Bear, Gauss. You're ride is Whiskey

"Alright Midnight, lets see just how tricky you can be." Caedmon also climbs onto the mount swiftly ready to take flight on the ebony beast. Taking a moment to
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 10 (Total = 16)
scan the area both for a defensible position, being careful to note the possible positions of the oncoming gnolls.

Do we need a ride check, here?
Unable to find any characters in game 4972
These dice sets were omitted or moved: 1d20+4

No one other the Straker, at least as long as Rives could recall, had ever mounted Strider before. Well, he figured, whoever broke the horse probably had ridden him a bit, but since Rives had been with the Company, only Straker had ever ridden the stallion.

It must have been the adrenaline that got rives up onto Strider's back so quickly. That or the horse sensed the danger and wasn't about to give any resistance, but Rives found himself astride Strider with reigns in hand looking nervously towards Butch and Leo. Now what, Rives thought. As a stable hand, Rives had never been permitted to ride his charges, and though he had ridden horses a few times in his life, they were always appropriately bridled and saddled.

Chapter EndHere ends Chapter 6: Stand Up and Be Counted. Chapter 7: Return to Base Immediately, will begin shortly.

Experience rewards are as follows:

Marin: 400xp + 300xp = 700xp
Alelip: 300xp + 300xp = 600xp
Rives: 250xp + 300xp = 550xp
Caedmon: 300xp + 300xp = 600xp


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