Well that could have gone better!! All in all, we’re alive, or at least we all are now, and who would have thought my first theft 11 years ago, would come in handy to save my life. Anyway, lets get this in some semblance of order.
After some quick scouting in the desert, we’ve managed to find the trail of the Yellow Hand, not too hard, even considering the shifting landscape we are pitted against, they still travel with wagons, and make an easy trail. We encountered a small outpost, and myself, and Girzh’naw opted to take a higher route above the small chasm we walked in, I opted for stealth, whereas the mutt seems not to understand that concept. The Eladrin, in true noble fashion, walked straight up, while the rest of us skulked, stalked and stealthed, what a good little soldier.
Upon our presence being known, it was clear there was no talking with this miscreants, and the battle was afoot. The minor foot soldiers our front proved little issue, however the hulking brute that emerged from the hut, came in to cut swaths into both the Eladrin and the Gnoll with his deadly reach. Vesmir quite successfully wreaked havoc from a distance, until some of my brethren appeared on the roof, few such as halflings are as deadly with sling stones, and the poor wizard was pelted. Avoiding the straight fight, it would seem a runner has left from the house, without him spotting me, I throw a dagger. And it would seem I lose it too as I fly well off the mark. In frustration, I call on some more skill, but it would seem I’m depleted, and that flies off the mark as well. With curses I scale the wall, and close with the man, getting in close I quickly disembowel him. As I round the corner and my party disappears from my watchful view, I see that the wizard has been to devastating effect against the foot soldiers, his nasty whispering magics ripping both the ones on the ground to pieces as well as those up on the rooftop. Unfortunately for him, he’s drawn the full wrath of the halflings, and his body lays prostrate over a small hill, perhaps dead. Grizh and Xavardon are working in perfect unison, flanking on their larger foe dispatching him, and his lessers with ease, good work front liners! The halflings seem to be fleeing, but unfortunately for them, they seem to have chosen a precarious rubble wall to escape over, with a quick search for the “loadstone”, I topple it below them, dispatching the halfling at my feet, while the Gnoll covers great distance with his long strides to bury his wicked axe in the other…. i try not to take it personally as he slices into the halfling.
We search the camp, finding a lovely cloaking dagger which I claim as my own ( hopefully I’ll have more luck with this ) , and magical cloth robes that seem to have the capacity to produce items at will, oh yes, and an unconscious wizard, which we revive and gift the robe to. Xav also procured a small map that directs us to a nearby town where the Yellow Hand seems to be at, and where this band was moving on to next, and we head off. I quickly add a halfling sized shirt with the Yellow Hand symbol on it, just incase a disguise/ change of allegiance is in order, a street rat must always be prepared.
We come to the outpost town after some travel time. Vesmir and I do some scouting, at which I reveal my alternate form to the company, this way they can spot me in my scouting, and the gnoll will know not to eat me, although I’m not sure if that knowledge is registered, or considered. We learn that this seems to be a shanty town, and they are using the river to transport their goods around to the troops. There seems to be some obvious commanders, and a contingent of dwarven cross bow men on the rooftops, which could prove quite troublesome for a ground assault, making the streets a kill zone. A plan is formulated, and I am going to do some guerilla tactics, taking out some of the rooftop snipers, and then the group will move in from a different portion of the town. Xavardon hands me a healing potion , stating I may need it, in case I get in trouble on my own, pfft, like that’ll happen. I head off, with all the stealth I can muster, and easily gain access to one of the buildings. Preparing myself, and my new dagger, I find shadow under the stairs and wait while a guard comes to investigate the sounds I chose to make. Unsuspecting, my blade slides home to deadly effect, and I lower him to the ground. One down, a few more to go.
My next target is on the rooftop, and will require some more stealth to not be noticed by the others, I move into place perfectly, however lose track of my blade as the guard turns unexpectedly, and I smash my hand into the wall. With a curse, far more audible than I wanted, my ruse is up, before it barely began, and they are alerted. I see from my rooftop perch, that my companions have come into the fray, to be met by the cross bow men. Grizh’naw the charred, the brave, the stupid? boldly charges a large human in armor, and wielding a great halberd, who iis then joined by an elf companion, wielding dual blades, they go to quick work flanking the man-beast. Luckily he is no novice to combat, blocking their blades, and still managing to keep them on their heels from his savage attacks. Xavardon, seems waylaid by one of the dwarves, now wielding a mace, and he continues to take bolts from the deadly crossbows on a regular basis. Even so, he manages to dispatch his foe, and wade in to help the gnoll, shouting commands, and bolstering our ally as he gets closer… I should have stayed with the group.
The wizard meanders through the buildings, and begins a deadly game of tag on the rooftops. Luckily for the skilled caster, his powerful blasts of magical energy, have far more effect than the small hand crossbow bolts. He begins picking off the dwarves, shooting them off the roof tops to great effect, he seems to be taking a few hits as well, but he is resilient, and has learned not to underestimate the ranged attacks from our previous battle. I however, haven’t seemed to learn from any of my mistakes. I dispatch the rooftop guard, however, I can hear the patrol below closing, more dwarves, and a human wielding a mace and well armored. Finding what little cover I can, I hide, waiting for their approach. From the cover of the dead dwarf, I strike out at my unexpecting foes as they come up the stairs, although what is coming to be quite expected, I miss horribly, blowing my cover, and squaring off against this well armed foe, in a FAIR FIGHT!!… I should have stayed with the group. After trading some very unsuccessful strikes against this foe, I am thankful for the potion I received from forward thinking Xavardon, as I quaff it, take a quick moment to catch my breath, and leap from the building, bruised, and taking to a tactic I know far better, fleeing. I sneak into a small notch of the building, and take a moment to gauge my options.
What worked before may surely work again, I stealth out in the shadows beneath the stairs to await my prey, however, with larger foes, an added perk may be needed. With a small smirk, I pull a bag of marbles, my first pilfering , from a large bully when I was a youth, i sprinkle them at the base of the stairs, hoping for a lack of dexterity in my foes. They come down, the dwarf first, not wanting him to spoil my trap, I slash at him from hiding, giving up my cover, but removing him from the equation with a quick pierce of my blade. Next comes the human, almost fully healthy and seeing me now without my cover. Praise halfling luck, his eyes stay on me, and not on the floor, and he quickly slips on the marble trap, as he loses control beside me, i lash out at the opportunity, burying my blade deep in him. He strikes me from the ground, clipping my knee and taking me closer to the edge of death, but not wanting to go alone, I descend upon him, burying my dagger to the hilt in my now prone foe. Taking but a moment to gather my strength after his death, I head out, the rest of the group hopefully fared better than I.
I come to the roof in time to see the bolt covered wizard dispatch the last of the dwarves, he’s quite successfully cleared the roofs, and eliminated the kill zone that was the streets. Grizh appears quite wounded, but with Xav now at his side, the two fight back to back, eliminating the flank of the Yellow Hand commanders. The Eladrin shows his races skill with the blade, and quickly dispatches the elf, slicing him cleanly in half, before he phase steps to flank with the human and his deadly halberd. The human, strategically seems to stop beating on the gnoll who should have died many wounds ago, and turns on the Eladrin, who is already weakened. Xavardon falls with a ghastly wound from the Halberd, which simply spurs on the enraged Gnoll at the site of another fallen companion, or it’s the excessive blood, i know not still, that one is confusing in his simplicity. Regardless, Grizh lays into the man, bowling him over with his axe and beating him to the ground, and without allies, he succumbs to his wounds.
We all rush to Xavardon, easily the most noble of us, and most deserving of aid, to attempt to bind his wounds, I worry that Grizh will just lick his wounds to heal him, and i hope I get there before any infection sets in. Luckily, Xav seems to revive, perhaps his constitution is slightly hardier than his heritage gives him credit. Regardless, we are alive, if quite beaten and bruised. If I thought the battle with the canines at the base camp a test of our ability to fight together, this was surely a battle of our ability to survive by our own devices, as we all surely fought separate battles. A lesson to be learned…don’t split up the party.