As Haleon Nursed her wounds after her scouting encounter and skirmish she opted to stay with the group as we made our way through the woods. Fortunately for us though due to her encounter we were quite alert expecting a similar encounter on a grander scale. We eventually came to a group of lakes and ponds. Anya still shaken it seemed from the vision of her village being ‘cleansed’ mentioned she wasn’t really sure of the exact location but seemed to be the general direction the town council usually came.
As we unhitched the horses and scouted the area we had the feeling we were being watched. Pot shots into the guessed direction of the observers got little except movement away the shots into the woods. They knew someone was out there and we knew where they were in general. Wertha climbed out of the cart and said she’d investigate and before we could mention more than to mind being careful she fell into the earth. A few seconds later a geyser of water erupted in the woods to the north of us. The clambering of voices and startled whines of horses admitted their location. Wertha climbed out of the ground a few seconds later mutter she had ‘found them’. It was verified when five large men on horseback clambered thorough the forest line and charged our group.
Wertha quickly began to meld the green energies of natural around her even in this icy wasteland making the area warmer in front of me being closest to the chargers warmer as if a large bonfire had been stoked and I was standing too close. I let loose a series of arrows into one of the chargers followed by Rudi’s telltale report from a pistol. Haleon followed suit with a series of arrows. Ursala summoned the blessings of Shalya onto Grottri as the leader charged him attacking him head on from horseback. Gottri grunted a snare curled on his lip from a foe who did openly challenged him and he at least respected him enough to think he would not fall from the first blow of his ax. As I warded off two attackers myself two more advanced on Gregor, Rudi, and Haleon. Rudi deftly jumped over the blade of the charger’s weapons as they came by. Gottri cleaved into the leader laughing a war cry bellowing out of him on how his ax would drink deeply as his ax slide through the large man’s defense. Oaths in an unknown language erupted from the man as Rudi did something… very Rudi-like
I was actually quite heroic… unfortunately I do have the effect of sometimes inspiring others to imitate me which is not always a good thing for them…
Rudi yelled out he’d ‘show us how it was done’ as he ran off the top of the hooded caravan and jumped on the back of one of the chargers passing him for another go. As he landed a pistol was rammed into the side of the rider and shot erupting in a roar from the victim to which Rudi exclaimed “I could have been an outlaw with moves like this!”. Not to be outdone Haleon eyed the other rider, realizing the two foot jump off the roof and the rider looking like the one that had attacked her earlier she was filled with bloodlust. It was an obvious choice, if a halfling could do it an ex-acrobatic entertainer would have no troubles she thought as she ran off the top of the roof Donocanto and shield in hand as she raced into her victims flank with a war cry of her own.
She realized at the last minute her timing was off as she had jumped too early and bounced off the front flank of the horse and the charger’s leg back against the side of the covered wagon before landing on the ground. She didn’t lay still though as she rolled away yelling not to step on her to the horses. Unfortunately the horses didn’t seem to listen as they ran past and over her as she tried to dodge the galloping heavy hooves of the horses. Shrill screams of pain said otherwise. Wertha assisted me in holding the two attackers at bay since I was slightly distracted by the thought of comrades dying behind me. With his targets moving farther away Gregor took pot shots at the rider that didn’t have a Halfling behind them. The attackers on me altered thier attacks since they looked ragged and opted to maneuver away from me and the cart trying to attack Wertha. One of them more injured then the other rode his horse into the icy waters of the lake. Too injured to swim away the rider sank ontop his horse laden down the beast in armor plus rider could not save itself and meet the same fate as it’s rider. Wertha surprised by the sudden tactic cast a spell causing her to scream that she ‘had gone blind’ her confusion I had no time to understand until later.
Rudi attacked his victim again only to watch one of his treasured pistols blow up in his hand. The rider looked back over his shoulder to see a Halfling holding onto his ponytail and a bloodied hand holding a damaged pistol that he flailed at the man trying to pommel him. Rudi ducked as the other rider cleaved into where he was which oddly landed the rider’s blow into the back of Rudi’s victim. After sensing the horse slowing Rudi’s victim reared the horse to buck Rudi off, Rudi knowing it in advance had latch onto the man’s chest armor from behind to hold on before going back to pummeling the rider with his bloodied broken hand and damaged pistol. He finished off the rider and came to the realization he knew how to drive a cart, but riding a horse was a totally different matter. Grabbing the reins as the rider fell and was dragged along made it harder for the horse to pick up speed.
Meanwhile Haleon had crawled under the covered cart to try and access her wounds. Her short breath lead her to believe she had bruised a rib or two probably. I tried to finish off the last attacker between myself and Wertha after she had swung her staff at the man letting go and letting it fly into the lake. But he took off opting for a charging pass as opposed to standing there and getting attacked back. The leader had ridden away from Gottri to try and charge him in passing again after being pummeled this whole time. Gregor took a few shots at the Leader as he went by as Rudi managed to ram his horse dragging its previous rider behind them into the other rider and trampling him to death. He turned his horse battling ram around to make a pass at the leader urging his mount back up to ramming speed.
I finally saw what Wertha meant by going blind, scales had formed over her eyes making it harder for her to see. We both saw something brackish lumber from the lake. Wertha didn’t seem very surprised but I found myself frozen in shock of the mud man. As a tendril of mud shot forth I couldn’t move as he slammed me into the front of the cart. As I lay there frozen in pain unable to scream I noticed a rider look down into the cart and try to stab me with their weapon. I urged my body into movement and attacked the rider back causing him to slump out of the saddle giving me time to grab my longbow again. Gregor and Wertha were the next to be attacked by the mud thing.
Rudi had gotten up to ‘ramming speed’ again as he barreled into the side of the leader’s steed knocking him off, Rudi and ride careened of Rudi jumping off right before the horse barreled into the lake sinking to its death. Standing up with an easy target on the ground possibly stunned Haleon with Ssear and shield in hand fell upon the leader as he lay on the ground. As her spear stabbed down it was deflected and the man became a pile of flopping flesh and ax steel as he bounced around from the ground keeping Haleon at bay. Gottri charged up roaring that ‘manlings should stand up like men and fight this is why dwarves treat manlings like children’ he roared as his ax stopped the leader as it was imbedded in the man’s neck. Myself and Gregor had peppered our attacker made of mud along with Wertha as well eventually killing the beast or thing in about the same amount of time. As we nursed wounds, Rudi took stock of ‘his horses’. Gregor looked at the fallen and quickly donned plate armor after taking some heavy damage during the fight. Upon reminder the large chaos sigal on the front would imply he was a warrior of chaos got him to don a tunic over the sigal to which Rudi implied it could be banged out.
After the fight Gottri tapped a large dent in Haleon’s armor as Ursala took to healing her, “That’s why you buy Dwarven…At least it saved your lung from being squished”. Mostly healed up Wertha took the time to go look in the waters fo the lake for her staff. I had notched an arrow and was up on the covered wagon watching when she came wading out of the water with staff in hand. We all finished with first aid cleaned up the area of bodies and booty, the chaos ax flung to the farside of the lake to sink to it’s grave. We waded in looking through the waters, Ursala and Rudi came out early saying the water was a bit chilling or as Rudi put it ‘Too bloody cold.’ Wertha same under water for a bit finding a cave with an odd membrane like entrance, She looked around for a bit before coming back up to the surpface, Rudi put her books back in her backpack. With a rope tied around her this time she decended again and pulled once to let us know the line was secure for the non swimmer types or just swimmers who could not see through the muddy waters clearly.
We eventually made it into the cave, the first opening was an add event, there were two large men with the heads of bulls fighting each other, I would say they were beastman but they were too big. On the ground we saw piles of pinkish flesh with eyes mimicking the fight until both pairs stopped and looked at us.
“We attack now right?” I inquired just curious.
“Aye.” Gottri replied next to me as arrows flew out sinking into one of the beasts as I flanked out from the tunnel with my back to the wall.
Haleon shot out of the tunnel doing likewise after Rudi had taken a shot off. Gregor took some shots before the beasts closed in Gottri charged one cleaving it in it’s side. We made short work of the two beasts and look down to see we had trampled the odd creatures on the group, Rudi commented on if the odd little creatures were mimicking the larger beasts or if the larger beasts had been mimicking the odd little things.
We made a few turns and saw human like creatures feasting on body parts I didn’t even bother to say anything as I opened fire on them, several of them ran away but most charged us after myself, Rudi, and Haleon had peppered them with arrows and shot. Gottri split one in half and even Gregor ran up front to join the fray. Rudi yelled from the back he might need a little help since the ones that had run away had actually circled back behind us. We made short work of these beasts as well. We came to a small gap ravine and a rickety bridge. There was an argument on if this was a scouting type job to test the bridge or if it was for Rudi since this was technically a hole. Rudi finally agreed and went across with no issues as did the rest of us. Once we were across an odd purple moth landed on Rudi which he swoted and mentioned it had fangs and had tried to bite him. The fluttering of wings overhead got most of us crouching as Rudi and myself shot into the swarms of mouths Haleon mentioned that it was time for her blunderbuss to do the job. She unslung it from her back and let loose into the swarms finishing off anything still alive in an instant. Eventually we continued and found another set of ghouls these more feral and wilder eyed than the last group. They fell as well and we nursed minor wounds and took a short break.