Off to war...

At the crossroads stood the intrepid adventurers, Argos, Roberts, Z, Brom, the deva named Oris, and two of the village militia. At Malton’s behest they had collected Oris to come along with them, as many people harbored a dislike for the Deva, and this seemed a risky operation, if it failed, Malton figured, at least he would rid himself of one problem.
“Allright, everyone listen up,” Argos began, “This is a dangerous mission we have been given. If that man was right, we could be heading into the midst of a massive Orc army, while I doubt that we should keep our wits about us none the less, now, anyone have any comments or concerns before we set out?”
“I do,” Roberts spoke up, “Perhaps we should split our force, send one group up ahead as scouts, keep the faster group as a reserve, the archers perhaps. That way, if the first group runs into an ambush, the second group can follow up and ambush the attackers.”
“A valid point, but no need.” Argos dismissed him, “scouts have already been dispatched ahead of us.”
“Well then, why don’t we just let the scouts find out whats there?” someone interjected.
“Because the council has ordered a reconnaissance en force, so we are going to do that, now, any other valid concerns before we set out?” he was met with a reserved silence, “good then, lets get a move on.”
The party had been traveling through the woods for a short while when they came upon a clearing, as they proceded through, they heard a commotion coming from the other side. Just then, one of their scouts came bolting out of the forest, into the clearing. He made a beeline for Argos, stopping just in front of him. And there the scout fell dead at his feet, an arrow protruding from his back. At that moment before anyone had any idea what was happening, five goblins leapt from the forest, one of them looking rather sinister, with a spear and a sheath of javelins. Before anyone could react the goblins fell upon the party. One of them charged at Z, bellowing a savage war cry, thankfully however, his sword missed its mark, and Z was unscathed. Another of the goblins charged at Oris, its sword came in at a wicked angle, but Oris’ scythe deflected it just in time, he took a nasty gash to one of his fingers, but was otherwise unscathed. The leader of the goblins took an opportunity at that moment to hurl a javelin at the unfortunate Deva, the projectile collided squarely with the Deva’s chest, but it did not skewer him, still it left its mark. Two of the Goblins charged Roberts, intent on drawing his blood. The first brought its sword down, seeking The Dread Pirate’s skull, but he was able to bring up his shield, and deflect the blow. The other goblin had then gotten behind, and sought to slip its swords between his ribs, but Roberts was just too quick, he brought his shield around just in time to avoid a messy demise. Robert’s retaliation was brutal, he spun about, and in one fell swoop stole the life from both his foes, in his vigor, his blade nearly connected with his ally Argos. With Roberts’ strike the goblin’s force had been quite diminished, but they were far from defeated. As at that moment, a goblin blackblade leapt up from behind the adventurers, and jumped upon Brom, knocking him to the ground. Brom was fortunate however, he was able to bring his sword to bear just in time to stop the goblin’s thrust. Brom then, using the momentum of his fall, continued rolling backwards. He pushed off on the goblin with his feet and flung it off him, in the process he completed his roll and regained his feet. Oris then engaged his foe, he swung his scythe at the goblin’s head in a broad arc, but his foe was just to fast, and the goblin ducked its head, just beneath the deadly blade. Z struck out at his attacker with a magical blast, most of which was absorbed by the goblins armor, which was in turn all but destroyed by the blast. As Brom regained his feet he kept up his momentum, bringing his sword downward in a powerful strike, the blow collided with his foe’s shoulder, drawing blood. But before he could strike again the blackblade flickered in some incredible feat of agility that Brom’s eyes simply could not follow, suddenly befor him he found the goblin who had recently been engaged with Oris, and Oris saw before him the Blackblade. Argos then went charging at the Goblin leader, however his attack failed and the Goblin lept back, outside the range of his sword. Roberts muttered to himself a quick, but powerful, prayer to Kord, God of Battle, and he charged at the Goblin himself. Unfortunately, luck was against him. As he failed to see the root what entangled his foot, and sent him sprawling. His sword collided with the ground, and a massive concussive force shot out, spraying dirt up in all directions, including that of Roberts’ mouth, Roberts was unhappy. As Roberts’ sword struck the ground, Oris felt a sweet soothing sensation wash over him, an effect of Roberts’ prayer. At this Oris struck out at the goblin that opposed him, the blackblade was agile however, and the scythe failed to find its mark, still Oris, clever and crafty as ever, followed up with a sharp kick aimed at the goblin’s face, but that fell short as well. Still, it was for the better, as when Oris unbalanced himself with his misguided kick, it caused the javelin expertly aimed at his head, to sail wide, by a millimeter, taking some of his hair with it, Oris was sad. The javelin’s role was not yet over however, as it continued on its destined path through the air, a path that ended with it impacting painfully with Brom’s side, but thanfully deflecting off his scale armor. In his rage, Brom swung his greatsword in a mighty arc, severing the goblins head from its shoulders. Z also dispatched his foe, by blasting away the greater part of its torso. Roberts was quick to regain his feet, but before he could reach the goblin leader it had disappeared, to be replaced by the blackblade, who had once again used its agility, in an attempt to escape the ever seeking blade or Oris’ scythe. But that day was not that goblins lucky day, as he appeared directly in the path of a not-very-jolly-roger. Roberts eviscerated the unfortunate goblin with a single swipe of his furious sword. A combination of blades, arrows, and magic bolts, sent the final goblin to his final rest. And with that the battle was ended.
“Allright, anyone wounded? Is anybody bleeding?” Argos began to take stock of the situation.
“Me, me, im hurt!” Came Brom’s call
“Are you bleeding?”
“then you’re fine, anybody else?”
As it turned out, at some point during the battle one of the goblins had gotten a strike in on Z, and he had in fact lost a little bit of blood, still they quickly had him bandaged, and continued on their way.
The Party approached the smoldering remains of Wheatfell.
“Allright, you two archers,” Argos addressed the militiamen, “set up out here, and act as a rearguard.”
“should we really be using the archers as a rearguard?” Roberts challenged.
“They will be able to give us warning if anything approaches our backs, and besides, their bows will be of little use within those buildings, so lets carry on then, shall we?”
The stoic adventurers proceded cauitiously into the remains of the village, rubble lay strewn about haphazardly, and the smoldering husks were all that remained of the village buildings. As the party crossed through the gate, two figures emerged slowly from behind a pile of rubble. One, a dangerous looking mage, the other, a no-nonsense dwarf.
“Halt! Who goes there?” The mage demanded imperiously
“They don’t look that tough do they?” Roberts began to loosen his sword within its sheath.
“What is your business here?” demanded the mage.
“I am Argos, of Fieldan, and we are here to investigate what has happened to the village of Wheatfell, may I ask who are you and what, exactly, are you doing here?”
“Stay your hand or loose your head fool.” Came a severe sounding voice from behind Roberts, who had the goodsense not to turn around to see who it was, though he did happen to notice the sword laying against his neck.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…” Brom came sauntering over to Roberts’ side, and found himself at the tip of a sword as well, “Hey! Watch it!”
“Come no further, and unhand your weapons.” The voice threatened in Roberts’ ear.
“how bout’ you get your sword off my neck, and then we’ll talk, okay?” Roberts could have sworn he heard the voice growl.
“We are here for the same reasons as you to investigate the attack on this village,” The dwarf spoke then.
“Well then why don’t we—“ But before he could finish his thought, Argos was cut off.
“QUICKLY! Quickly! Smoke rises to the West, from Fieldan!”
“Oh no, did I leave the stove on again?” Roberts whispered, “Allright, how about you call this guy off, and then we all go and see whats happening in Fieldan?”
“Roight.” The dwarf marched began to march off toward the road. It was then that Roberts realized both the sword and the voice behind it had already mysteriously vanished.
The party encountered no dangers on their return journey, but the flames continued to rise on the horizon. As they approached the village they spotted four well armed men standing at the crossroads.
“Aha! But we are better armed!” The Dread Pirate Roberts bellowed, and began waving his arms about, “ooooooooooooooooooooo…”
“oooh, aaaah, oooh, aaaaah!” Brom began waving his arms from behind Roberts, giving the Dread Pirate the illusion of having four arms. Impressing as there display was however, the four men standing before them were men of the village, and had come to expect as much from these two, they were not impressed.
“Ho there! Argos, you have returned, and with some stragglers, but these two look a bit too well armed to be refugees fleeing from Wheatfell?” Cailen Theras stepped forward.
“Greetengs thar, oi am Orik, oof tha army oof Bahamut. Wheatfell esnt tha ferst city to haf been attacked. Orcs haf been rampaging awl ovar tha coontrysaid. Oi em har to envestigate.” The Dwarf introduced himself in his thick accent.
“Greetings Orik, I am Cailen Theras. I was at my home when the attack began. These men came to collect me, and we went back into the village, to see who we could pull out.” Cailen began, “When we got there, we found a large number of Orcs, and everyone in the village was either dead, or in shackles. So we returned to my home to gather some supplies. When we got there, we found it had been ransacked, and my wife had been taken.”
“Well,” Argos announced, “I am going with the Army of Bahamut, to the capitol city, Enoch, to ask the King for his support,” as had already been decided between Argos and Orik, “We could use as many first hand accounts as possible in describing what happened, so I ask that you all come with us.”
“How can you say that!” Cailen leapt forward, “all our friends, our families, our loved ones, have been taken by a band of Orcs, and you want to go see the King!? You do what you wish Argos, I am going south, after those beasts that have my wife, and ill go alone if I have to.”
This drove our four remaining heroes into debate.
“I don’t like Argos, but his plan is sound, if this is about a larger threat than just the orcs, as the Army of Bahamut believes…” Roberts spoke.
“Protocol dictates that I go with Cailen,” Z said non-comittally.
“I say we go kill somebody!” was all that Brom had to add.
“We should go with Cailen, we can’t abandon these people.” Oris remarked, which was surprising as most of those people didn’t much care for the Deva.
“I say that we go with Cailen, we cannot let our kinsman be made slaves.” Roberts said with finality.
At that point Cailen, who had heard a bit of their conversation spoke up, “Allright,” his voice rang out, “You three,” he pointed to the men who had been standing with him at the crossroads, “Will go with Argos, you were in the village, and you can give the best account of what happened. You four,” he pointed at the heroes, “Can come with me, and we shall go in search of our lost kinsman.”
“Right” The response came out more or less in unison.



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