The adventurers find themselves between a rock and a hard place, or rather between an advancing orc army and a chasm
The adventurers find themselves between a rock and a hard place, or rather between an advancing orc army and a chasm. The army can not be seen, the falling snow obscures vision too much. The orcs can be heard though, and the wind carries their stink to the nostrils of the adventurers. It is hard to say just how far away the orc army is, they might be ten miles away and a trick of the wind and mountains is carrying their sound to the adventurers… or orc outriders could emerge from the falling snow at any moment. Ahead lies a deep chasm. A bridge crosses it, but the bridge is icy and poorly maintained. If the adventurers can get across in time they can burn the bridge behind them, if not they face General Gul’s Red Army – and the orcs sound hungry!
Each player in turn describes how they cross the bridge. Crossing the bridge is a DC 20 skill roll. If anybody wants to help an ally it is a DC 15 skill roll to lower the ally’s DC by 5 (if two adventurers aid an ally successfully then that ally doesn’t need to roll to get across). Every failed roll has a consequence. Players who fail their roll get to pick one of the following:
- Take 3d6 damage from partially falling through the bridge, rope burn, etc.
- The DC of the next roll made is 5 higher due to the bridge deteriorating
- The orc vanguard gets closer. If this is chosen 3 times then each roll to cross the bridge made after that costs the adventurer making the roll 5 HP… orc arrows are being fired at the party! The orcs can not be seen, and are too far away to really fight: there are a few hundred orc archers pelting the general area of the bridge with arrows
Having crossed the bridge (and hopefully remembered to destroy it behind them) the party find themselves in sight of Scarsdale Fort. The fort is still a way away, across a snowy plain. The sudden remorhaz winter didn’t reach this far with the ferocity that it did to the west. The weather looks to be clearing, and the snow will soon be gone leaving thick mud for the orcs to slog through. While the ground is still hard it is the perfect time to make a run for the fortress. The orders from the Orc Lord are to take the fortress and hold it against General Gu’ls forces. Before they can make the run across the snowy plain a howl fills the air. Dire Wolves! The beasts slink into view, and it is obvious that the dire wolves are part of the Red Flag Army. Without further ceremony, the monstrous wolves run towards the party, hungry for meat!
Dire Wolf, Goblin Shaman
- The adventurers are commanded by the Orc Lord to take and hold Scarsdale Fort. The adventurers sneak across the open drawbridge.
The Northern Snows
The adventurers sneak into the castle as the wolf riders rush out. Now to stop all those orcs and giant wolves getting back in! Orcs are not known for their discipline, and General Gul is no Orc Lord… the castle seems undefended. The orcs probably figure that with hundreds of wolf riders charging about outside why bother pulling the drawbridge back up?
- Ereveron (Dave L.): As we get to the room where the control room for the portcullis and drawbridge are operated, we see that the stupid orcs weren’t completely stupid; they sabotaged the mechanisms to prevent their use while they were gone.
- Brath (Joe): gives a dirty look at Ereveron for posing him a difficult challenge, but because Brath has had experience assaulting orc strongholds in his years, knew they’d need the pieces later, so he thought like an orc for a minute, and sure enough, found the pieces necessary not-so-cleverly-hidden nearby, replacing them and rendering it functional again
- Brath (Joe): An orc, hiding in fear when it saw the heroes, chose this moment to make a break for it, and is in full flight out the front gate of the fort. Calling out, “Gallydyn, quickly!”
- Gallydyn (Max): Noticing that the fort is relatively unprepared for an assault by even a less-than-competent army, Gallydyn spots the siege defense weaponry stashed uselessly in corners and turned away from the field in front, providing no advantage to those using them in defense
- Magnus (Roberto): Gallydyn is outside the keep, but the portcullis is coming down more quickly than the sorcerer can hustle back to the safety of the keep
- Rainier (Fab): The drawbridge hasn’t quite pulled up completely yet, but before it can, it comes to a halt and stays motionless, unable to close completely.
- Astrid (Eric): Looking carefully, reasons that it’s just an environmental issue, the snow and ice are causing the mechanism to seize. Making quick work of it is easy for the druid, her fire spells quickly melt the ice and the drawbridge is able to close properly again
- Astrid (Eric): Spotted! The orcs outside thrown grappling hooks on the lip of the drawbridge and they’re trying to pull it back down
- Ereveron (Dave L.): Luckily, there are only a few orcs and wolves trying to pull down the drawbridge, so he returns to the arrow slits in the tower, and rains down several arrows at a time on the small party outside, and with Gallydyn helping with shadow bolts, are able to chase off the orcs and fell some of them as well.
- Weapon of Vengeance
- This brutal-looking weapon oozes emotional violence and anger, and it’s obvious that its sole design is to harm others. The simple but effective styling is a common element among the barbarian weapon smiths who create such weapons to fight for or against the Orc Lord.
- +1 bonus to attacks and damage.
- While you are staggered, you deal +1d6 damage with attacks that hit using this weapon.
- Quirk: Quick to take offense.
- Haughty Weapon
- Two types of these weapons are known to have been created: those designed for the imperial soldiers against the creatures of the Wild, and those designed for the servants of the
- Wild against the agents of the Empire. In either case, these weapons are highly effective at taking down enemy leaders.
- +1 bonus to attack and damage. When you hit an enemy with this weapon, if it’s the most dangerous foe in the battle (or tied for most dangerous, GM’s assessment), you deal
- +1d3 per tier damage to it.
- Quirk: Challenges others to improvised contests.
- Potion Belt: (recharge 16+)
- Default bonus: Increase your maximum recoveries: by 1 (adventurer); by 2 (champion); by 3 (epic).
- Drink a potion stored on this belt as a quick action instead of a standard action. (It also provides stylish flaps for up to six potions.)
- Quirk: Constantly attempts to refill everyone else’s drinks. Or potions. Or ration bags.
- Bearclaw Pendant (recharge 11+)
- Default bonus: +1 to saves when you have 10 hp or fewer (adventurer); 25 hp or fewer (champion); 50 hp or fewer (epic).
- When you hit with a melee attack while you’re staggered, gain 10 temporary hit points (champion: 25 temporary hp; epic: 50 temporary hp). Quirk: Swaggers even when overmatched.