Saturday, January 28, 2006

Journey Journal

Journal- Altdorf

We made it to Altdorf, but there was some rough going there for a while. No more misadventures at wayside inns, but we did have one day where we absolutely plagued by Beastmen. I hate Beastmen.

I guess naively, we rode along the road with little care, when two Beastmen jumped out and ambushed us. We dispatched them with a bit of trouble, and decided to proceed more cautiously. I rode out ahead and tried to scout any more ambushes. The prospect of getting attacked by more of the foul beasts had me shaken up, and I failed to check thoroughly the likely areas. Three more Beastmen got the jump on us, and I was wounded by an arrow. We won, but it was hard fought. Shortly before, we ran into some Roadwardens escorting some pilgrims to Altdorf, and they helped us turn the fight.

I rode out again, this time spotting a roadblock up ahead. I alerted the rest and they stopped the caravan before we got into trouble. I then scouted on foot through the forest, to see what or who was manning the block. More Beastmen. Foul things! I reported back and suggested we ambush the ambushers. They thought my plan was pretty good, but it was really just a variation on the standard Glade Guard ambush number 3. They hid beside the road while I walked forward to use the superior range of my bow to lure them out from behind the barrier.

I strode forward until I was just about 70 yards or so away from them. I could hear them murmuring in their foul language as I stopped and judged the distance. I then took out three or four arrows and stuck them point first into the dirt for easy access. I heard the beasts begin to snicker. I licked my finger and held it up in order to judge the windage. The snickers turned into chuckles. I drew out my bow, carefully knocked an arrow, and drew back the string. The whole bunch of them just crouched down a bit behind their barrier and began out and out laughing. After aiming at the one I wanted, I slowly raised the front of the bow in order to give the arrow the proper arc to get it over the barrier and into the creature’s hide. I took a deep breath, the sound of their guffaws carrying across the distance, and released the arrow. There was a satisfying thump followed by a shriek of pain and an immediate ceasement of laughter.

Shouting angrily in their dark tongue, three Beastmen clambered over the makeshift barrier, waving various weapons menacingly. The one I had hit still had an arrow sticking out of him, so I sent another one to join it. Still, he did not fall but rushed onwards with his brethren. I pulled yet another shaft from the ground beside me, and again pierced the beast with it…he still did not falter! They drew closer and I grew nervous, sending my next shot wide. By that time I needed to turn and run in order to lead them into our ambush, something I was more than happy to do in the face of their savage onrush!

When they passed into the kill zone, it took little time to dispatch them. Ulfred waded in with his halberd, however, when ranged attacks would have been more in line with my plan. He is so brave it is going to get him killed. He was heavily wounded from the last battle, and only his armor saved one of his legs from being demolished by a Beastman’s blow. Luckily one of the Roadwardens and Furdok intervened and cut down the creature before it could press it’s advantage.

Furdok has actually gotten the hang of using his hammer, I think. The problem was that he was always trying to reach too high and hit his target’s upper body or head. As short as he is, the leverage behind his blows was weak and rarely did much damage. Recently he began aiming for the legs and knees of his foes, which has produced a vastly better result, often crushing their legs and causing them to fall helpless to the ground where they can be easily dispatched. Hopefully he continues with this tactic.

Anyway, after this band of Beastmen was eliminated, I again rode forward to check for ambushes. Again I failed. This time I spotted an area which seemed an incredibly obvious ambush spot, but try as I could I could see no lurkers in the brush. Still, we decided on caution and arranged it so the pilgrims would be left back safely guarded by the two roadwardens while we took a cart through the area to draw out any attackers. I went through the woods in order to perhaps surprise any bushwackers from behind. I found a nice deadfall to hide behind, but in the darkness the Beastmen must have blended in perfectly with their surroundings. I saw nothing, and even after arrows began to fall around the cart, could not spot the attackers. Furdok overturned the cart trying to turn it around, and the beasts charged out of the woods to murder my fellows.

It was at this time that one of the pilgrims strode forward to the battle zone and revealed himself as a Pyromancer by casting a spell which lit up the area and revealed the eight wretched beasts intent on murdering us. With his flames wreaking havoc on our attackers, it was actually relatively easy to turn the tables on the creatures and kill them to the last one.

We reached an inn shortly after that, and had no more Beastman troubles for the remainder of our journey. However, I do wonder about this “Wolfgang” the wizard we met. Why was he incognito? Why did he not help us in our previous struggles? Why was he traveling with a group of peasants and refugees? Volkrad spoke to him a bit, but the rest of us kept our distance. Imperials as a rule are not fond of wizards, and dwarves are extremely mistrustful of magic in nearly all it’s forms. Magic is part of our lives in Athel Loren, but pyromancy…no, I do not like such destructive magic. Fire is dangerous, and used unwisely or without proper caution can cause immense damage to the forest and it’s denizens. I am grateful he helped us but…Aqshy is a wind I believe should not be trafficked with.

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