A Siege of Ogres Part 1

SkidAce SkidAce March 06, 2015
Move forward under the guidance of the unusually insistent ranger, the group made the journey across the plains, slowly leaving the geysers and the hot springs behind as they moved eastward. They reached Karnal just after sunset, and after conversing shortly with Lady Sabina, headed out towards Raidal. Vallus thanked each member of the group and headed on his way to Vashtar.

The path to Raidal was fairly well maintained, and although the pace was slowed due to the darkness, the group managed to make decent time, reaching Raidal deep in the dark of the night. There was no need to stop, and in the dim light of the night they could barely see the top of the lightning rod that adorned the large tower in the center of town as they made their way past the granite walls.

Everyone was tired as the sun slowly began to come up and they reached the western side of the lake north of Isisre, which was lined with residences and walled gardens for the rich and well to do. Passing the waterfall, they entered the city and made their way down to the docks, where the Lioszephyr quietly and calmly sat, the crew beginning the early morning maintenance.

27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
0700 Earthday

isisre_porto-azzurro-elba.jpg

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 06, 2015
Ours is that nice looking yatch in the middle?

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 06, 2015
Upon entering the port city, Nitram spoke to Aeron, “Get everyone to the Lioszephyr and get under sail. I’m going to speak to the Duke and I’ll catch up on Serre.”
The ranger didn’t wait for a reply before heading to the Duke’s residence. He hailed the guards as he approached, “Good morning! I’m Lord Nitram Tam, emissary of Falconaire. Is Duke Otho Domitius in residence today? I have an urgent message for him.”

SkidAce SkidAce March 07, 2015
(Woe iz meh…called in to work…updates tonight after…)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 07, 2015
any chance we can back up a bit for a minute (I’ll allow it)

Before Vallus departed the group, Nitram made several copies of the map showing the ogres advance, giving one to the cleric to take to the Crown Prince. He also suggested they divide up the loot from the cave to ensure Vallus has his share and he took one to Old Gnarly’s family.

SkidAce SkidAce March 07, 2015
As Nitram approached the gates to the Duke’s residence, the guard on the left lowered his urgrosh in a ceremonial salute towards Nitram, and greeted the ranger in a friendly manner, replying “Sadly, emissary, the Duke is not in residence this fair day. He has traveled to Sanctorium to converse with the trade merchants there. Is there anything else we can do for you?”

xLucix xLucix March 08, 2015
“Is there anywhere nearby that can accept post? I need to send a letter off to the Library as soon as possible. They need to be informed of the status of the Book of Kells so that they can begin countermeasures against the demonspawn that have stolen it. If I do not have time to take the letter myself, I can surely pay someone to send it for me.

Frederick did not want to impede the group’s progress, but the Book was growing heavier on his mind and heart with each passing day. He knew he was to blame for the loss of the Book, having gotten swept up in the adventures and struggles of this band of adventurers he now followed. But, moreso than his guilt, a profound desire to bring down the wrath of the Library and its variety of Finders and “specialists” had taken root in Frederick. He was not, by nature, a violent man, but recent events had brought out a particularly vengeful streak in him

SkidAce SkidAce March 08, 2015
Nitram had an intense sense of deja vue as he talked to the guards.

Frederick was currently at the docks near the ship, which had not set sail yet. It seemed to him that a harbor city, such as Isisre was, would keep their courier services near the docks, which would expedite the messages.

Sure enough, there was a courier building with a wooden sign bearing the picture of a horse with a scroll in its mouth just down the street.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 08, 2015
“Yes, there is. I need to speak with whoever he left in charge. Can you take me to that person? It’s extremely urgent.” Nitram thought how nice it must be for the Duke to travel so much, then realized he was nowhere near Farhills, or any part of Falconaire, for that matter.
The guard who spoke to him quickly replied, “Yes, emissary. Chancellor Bartticus runs the day-to-day operations for the Duke. He should be finishing up his breakfast. Please come in and I will see if he is available to meet with you.”
The guard led Nitram down a short hallway and into a small room flanked on each side by a pair of chairs with a small table between them. A colorful painting of the harbor at sunrise filled the opposite wall. Wood paneling covered everything else with simple iron sconces on either side of the door. “Please wait here and I’ll check on the Chancellor.” Nitram thanked the guard and began to pace in the small room. He dared not sit in the comfortable looking chairs for fear of falling asleep. Instead, he let his anxious energy keep him moving. As he was pulling a copy of the map out of his pack, the door opened and in walked a middle aged man with a head full of grey hair. He was dressed in simple, yet well-crafted clothes and wore a thick golden chain around his neck supporting a medallion of a tall ship. He introduced himself, “I am Chancellor Bartticus. I was told you have urgent news for the Duke?”
Nitram bowed slightly at his waist, “Good morning, Chacellor. I am Nitram Tam, emissary from King Kashue. Iapologize for disturbing you so early, but I have ridden all night from the Fire Geyser Plataeu. My companions and I traveled there after meeting with the Crown Prince. We uncovered the plans for a massive ogre attack across the kingdoms.” The ranger spread the map out on one of the tables and pointed at the locations of the attacks. “We traveled with men from Vashtar, and they are already on their way to warn the Crown Prince – if they have not already done so. My friends and I will continue on to Falconaire immediately, but I need you to send word to Highkeep. Hopefully, it is not too late. Send them this map that they can attempt to evacuate Yak’s Bend and prepare their defenses. Can you do that?”
The disbelief and awe was evident on the Chancellor’s face as he looked from the map to Nitram and back several times. The realization set in as he accepted the intensity of Nitram’s gaze and the rigidity of his posture for the sincerity of his words. Bartticus slowly nodded, “I will send word immediately.”
“Thank you. I suggest you send word to your cities to the west. They may have troops to spare. Isisre, Vanshtar, and Highkeep will be on the front lines. You must hold. I will ask King Kashue to help. Good luck, " As the ranger left, he could hear the chancellor calling several names. He quickly moved to the docks, hoping the ship was already underway. As he arrived at the docks, he blew his whistle and called for Serre.

SkidAce SkidAce March 09, 2015
Nitram noticed that the Lioszephyr had not departed yet. He did see Frederick at the docks, coming back from the direction of the courier service building, but of the other members of the group there was no sign.

Except for Cragthor, who stood in the middle of the deck with his arms crossed, glaring at Marine, who stood there with her arms crossed, glaring back.

SkidAce SkidAce March 09, 2015
27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
0800 Earthday

xLucix xLucix March 09, 2015
“Nitram, do you know what’s strring up these two?” Frederick knew that they’d both arrived at about the same time, but was hoping that Nitram’s familiarity with Cragthor and Marine might aid in quelling whatever had entailed while they were gone on their respective errands

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 09, 2015
Nitram barely even acknowledged the question as he approached the bard, “Where are the others? They should be here preparing to shove off. We don’t have time for delays!” The ranger continued onto the ship barely arriving before Serre landed on the deck. “Cragthor, do you know where the others are? Marine, why are we not prepared to depart?”

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 10, 2015
Aeron stood on the docks and surveyed the crew. They hadn’t stolen the ship, but their allegiance was less than assured on a good day…and positively mutinous without Merchant Blend’s soft words and sharp dagger to keep them in-line.

Aeron crossed the gang-plank onto the ship and took a position at the helm. He was far from a sailor. This ship was many times larger than the swan boats his people in Aelvinwode used to patrol around the capital, Septcygne. The gentle breeze and rocking deck of the Lightwind brought back memories of a young , Aeron the White, assigned to escort the transport of honey fermented into mead that was famously sought after in the region. Aeron involuntarily shuddered at the thoughts of the ill-fated return trip up the Venifica River from Munire Titan Mountains. The supposedly unsinkable swan boat overloaded with Iron, copper, silver, gold and mithril ore the thirsty dwarves begrudgingly parted with over ever-increasing flagons of mead. That was almost a century ago, and regrettably Aeron was no closer to becoming a sailor.

xLucix xLucix March 10, 2015
“So I take it your meeting went swimmingly?” Frederick rushed onto the ship after Nitram. Heknew he wasn’t the reason that the ship hadn’t moved; he wasn’t important enough to delay such a necessary voyage, and he did not envy the person or persons responsible, for Nitrams anger was a thing to behold at the moment. He began to settle his mind, and to compose Blend’s Tale. It was still in its formative stages, but itwould eventually be the kind of tale you could perform in front of royalty.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 10, 2015
“Yes. The Duke is still away. I met with the Chancellor -”, the ranger interrupted his own answer as he saw Aeron board the vessel and move to the helm. “Aeron, let’s get underway. Do you know where the rest of the crew is or Rumil and Shylent?”

SkidAce SkidAce March 10, 2015
Cragthor just pointed at Marine.

Martine looked at Nitram, uncrossed her arms, and said “Which direction lubber? This dufus just says ‘set sail’.” Marine sighed and looked around for Ishmael. “I mean really, we would prefer to line up with a direction as we exit the harbor, unless of course you enjoy tacking the Hades out of the day.” Once Nitram explained their plan to return down river, Marine started yelling at the remainder of the crew, who began preparing sail and rope for the journey.

Ishmael appeared near Aeron’s side, and spoke in his characteristically mellow and poetic voice…“Aye, the sea always takes its due, you have returned with less than yea started with. But the sea also gives, like the tides that go back and forth. I can be the pilot in place of our lost friend if you be willin.”

The _Lioszephyr easily cleared the port gates and began the journey downstream. It turned out the the rest of the group, Shylent and Rumil, had been below decks inspecting the cargo. They returned to the deck as Nitram laid out the details of his plan.

SkidAce SkidAce March 10, 2015
Lioszephyr.JPG

SkidAce SkidAce March 10, 2015
The early morning fog soon obscured the city behind them as they traveled down the river towards destiny.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 10, 2015
Once out of the port, Nitram gathered the group to the side and pulled out his map of Falconaire. I don’t see destiny on it anywhere… He traced his finger down the river stopping at the area between Falconaire and Rivendeep where a smaller fork of the river went south. “I will remain on the ship for the next couple of hours. As we approach the southern branch, Serre and I will fly west to the Griffon Riders Towers. I’ll use them to warn the rest of the kingdom as well as Tennyson’s Tower. Then we’ll travel on to Farhills and meet you there.” Nitram lowered his voice to a whisper, “We need to decide what to do with the Lightwind. You can continue sailing to Aerie City and dock it back there. Or you can sail it down the southern branch until you are clear of prying eyes and take it overland to Farhills. I’m not sure what we’ll do with it once it gets there, but it should get you all there in the shortest amount of time. Both choices have risks and rewards, so I think we should think on it over the next couple of hours. If we do go overland, I suggest staying just east of Tennyson’s Tower to keep an eye out for the ogres. But, beware of Harpy’s Peak. You probably don’t want to fly into them.” The ranger looked around at the crew and back to the group. “If we do decide to go direct to Farhills, we need give the crew the opportunity to get off the ship before they know what’s going on. Maybe suggest that they’ll be stuck on board for several weeks and risk death if word of our mission gets out. I’m sure the bard can come up with a good threat to those who choose to stay. For now, I think a short rest might be in order before I depart.”

the_app the_app March 10, 2015
Rumil, having settled his gear onboard the ship, came back up to the deck to listen to Nitram’s plan. He agreed with the rest, as a new burning was being in his core. Perhaps another change from the dream plane? Maybe Corellon was blessing him further? He knew some meditation and reflection would lead to answers, or at least insight.

He did voice his support of keeping the crew. Blend had chosen them and they hadn’t stolen, or attempted, the ship. Their lives and families were also at risk. He would not fight the issue, but wanted it reviewed. After, he returned to his place to begin his 4hr practice to refresh his mind and soul.

SkidAce SkidAce March 10, 2015
Shylent grunted and nodded when Rumil mentioned keeping the crew. She pointed at herself and said “Can’t sail”

Aeron did some calculations based on the previous flight of the ship, careful to keep his thoughts out of earshot of the “normal” crew. Sailing downstream they should be able to maintain 5 mph. So two hours of travel would get Nitram 10 miles closer to the griffon castles. It would take them six hours further to get to Aerie City. Flying, without a ley line they could go 6 mph, but doing so along the river risked being seen. Overland from Nitram’s suggested river diversion to Fort Farhills would take about six to seven hours.

It was a risk versus reward situation. Flying without a ley line would burn about 40% of the magical crystals power.

xLucix xLucix March 11, 2015
Frederick closed his eyes and opened his senses, trying to sense a ley line they could use. Maybe, due to his exposure to the Book of Kells, he would have an advantage in this thing

SkidAce SkidAce March 11, 2015
Frederick got the feeling that sensing ley lines was likely something people with ties to the land could do. Aeron being an elf probably had given him an advantage to do it.

Frederick had established some sort of link with the Book of Kells, and had noticed he felt a little more in touch with nature, which was a hopeful sign.

However hopeful Frederick may have been there was either no ley line here to be “sensed” or he hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 12, 2015
Aeron shared his opinion with the companions, “We should sail down the southern branch and then go overland. We must get to Farhills as soon as possible.”

the_app the_app March 12, 2015
Actions after 4hrs have elapsed for Rumil’s meditation (full rest)

As Rumil came out of his trance, he returned to the deck, slighty amused with the odd visions his blood bond with Corellon had given him during the time of reflection. He was not sure why fire and comically fast group members absorbed his trance, but he looked forward to learning more.

As he caught up with those still awake, he learned of the desire to find lay lines – something he had studied a bit, but could claim no expertise in. He attempted to reach out, to feel them, even calling on Corellon’s Sight to aid him. He was still not sure the best route to travel, but could not argue that a flying ship was faster than by foot.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 13, 2015
Nitram nodded to Aeron and then found Serre and himself a place to rest. After a couple of hours, Martine woke up the napping ranger to let him know the time had passed. He thanked her and stood up, stretching his arms and legs. He woke Serre and they had a quick snack as he found Aeron. “I’m about to leave. You should be getting close to the southern river. Be careful, especially around Harpy Peak. I suggest you have everyone stuff their ears with cloth before you get too close, just in case they see you. Try to determine if the ogres are close to Tenny’s Tower. We’ll move as fast as we can. I’ll meet you all in Farhills, hopefully tomorrow or the next day. If you get there first, send word to Aelvinwode and see if they can provide assistance. We’ll likely need any help we can get. Good luck.” Nitram returned to Serre, checked their gear, and bid farewell to the rest of the group. In a gust of wind, the pair were airborne and moving west away from the sailing ship, heading for the Griffon Towers.

SkidAce SkidAce March 13, 2015
Rumil’s efforts to detect ley lines proved fruitless. While he had heard about the theory, it appeared it was not something you could just “decide” to do. It would take either experience or mentoring. The Book of Kells seemed capable of providing such mentoring, but Rumil noticed that Frederick was also unable to determine anything.

Perhaps experience at or near a known ley line would provide the insight needed. Rumil did feel that as magic came to him naturally, that in time he could be able to open up and feel the natural flow of the land’s energy.

27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1100 Earthday

Nitram left the ship just as it was tacking into the shallow river branch to the south, disappearing into the sky as he and Serre made their way to the southwest.

The river was wide enough for small boat travel as the ship sailed upstream. The banks on either side held small groves of trees interspersed with wide swathes of brushland. The land nearest the river’s banks looked lush and fertile, particularly to the west where a forest could be seen in the distance. As the forest grew nearer, the river began to get shallower and narrower. There was a point where the forest now filled the western bank, and the river had narrowed enough that travel anyt further upstream could cause difficulties in turning around (at least by sailing, Ishmael spoke of “poling” as a technique to turn a ship around, as long as the water was not to shallow).

Shylent pointed out on the western bank several ruts in the dirt, where smaller boats once may have gone ashore, next to the forest’s edge.

the_app the_app March 13, 2015
Rumil apologized that his efforts were fruitless, but explained that his only formal training with magic was for the defense of his homeland. He had magic in his blood, but to repel and protect, not see lines on the world.

xLucix xLucix March 14, 2015
Frederick additionally apologized, then resumed meditating until it was time for the party to leave. He hoped that something would come to him in the meantime, either for the conflicts ahead or a connection to the Book.

SkidAce SkidAce March 14, 2015
Once Aeron had replaced the power source back into the crystal panels in the hold he returned to the deck, followed by the golem. The members of the group recalled Aeron saying they must make all speed to Farhills, and they knew there had been talk of the ship flying, but nobody had really expected it, other than perhaps Shylent. Speaking of Shylent, as soon as she had noticed the crystal pillars rise up on either side of the helm on the stern castle, she moved quickly and with a rare smile to the prow of the ship. Once there she frowned, tied a rope around her waist and pulled a pear out of her pocket, glaring back at Aeron. She then waved at Rumil to get his attention and pointed at the rope around her waist.

Aeron re-acquainted himself with the ship’s nautical style wheel and the glowing lights and lines on either crystal pillar. The wheel was apparently simply for left and right “rudder”, much like a standard ship’s wheel. The crystal hand grip spokes implied that the wheel and system was somehow tied to the wielder. Upon the left crystal pillar was the the large lever that lifted and lowered the ship.

Aeron lifted the lever up and the ship lifted off the water with a metallic groan. The speed of the lift caught the new crew and potentially everyone but Shylent and Aeron off guard, with Marine stumbling for a moment before grabbing some rigging. Aeron stabilized the ships’s ascent and halted its rise 100 feet above the river they had been traveling down. Portman, the superstitious sailor that had tested the breeze after Aeron had cast wind magic previously, looked over the side of the ship, looked at Aeron, looked back over the side of the ship, looked back at Aeron and nodded, laying his finger to the side of his nose, and began tightening rigging and sails. Frederick was fairly close to Portman, and thought the jovial fellow might have looked a little pale.

The winds began to catch a hold of the _Lioszephyr and blow it to the west, over the forest. Upon direction from Ishmael, the crew adjusted the sails and rigging so the ship would continue its journey over the river and south/southeastward, as Aeron had indicated. Aeron took the ship even higher, to hopefully avoid notice.

The golem had been standing in the middle of the deck, being carefully avoided by the crew. It suddenly spoke in crude Wensharian…“Nota discerns use of sails for propulsion, this will save energy”

An hour passed as the ship sailed southward. Those looking over the side saw the terrain become more rugged and full of hills that the river meandered through. Off to the east, adjacent to the river was what looked like the remains of a small city, lost in ruins and vegetation to the passage of time. As the city was passing underneath the ship, one of the pillars lit up with several new blue and green lights, and it began to pick up speed. There was a crackling as the translucent side sails extended and began faintly glowing with energy. Apparently they had reached a ley line.

the_app the_app March 14, 2015
Rumil noted Shylent’s gesturing, and quickly found some rope to tie himself down with as well. While his blood would one day allow him to fly as his celestial brothers, today a fall would certainly spell death.

As he noted the sails light up, he took the opportunity to reach out to the weave, hoping to get some sense of ley lines, even if not sufficient without formal training.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 15, 2015
Aeron struggled to keep the Lightwind on the ley line as the ship sped towards Farhills. Aeron could barely feel the connection to the magical weave that fueled the realms. Where the weave was once bright and clear it was now dim and obscured. It was like a fisherman peering through the fog to catch a glimpse of the harbor master’s lantern. Aeron found himself weaving back and forth and back and forth across the ley line like a drunkard steering his buggy home from the tavern. Aeron saw his companions and the crew starting to succumb to the random and sudden direction changes and new he had to quickly turn over the helm or they would start to doubt his powers. “Brother Rumil the difficulty in taking flight has passed. Come here and I will share with you the secrets of the Lioszephyr.” Aeron then in hushed towns made intricate and dramatic hand motions when explaining the ships operation to Rumil…finally revealing in quiet confidence that it was all operated by a lever under the helm. After that Wizard Aeron made an overly loud comment that, “Brother Rumil, the difficulty of summoning the arcane power to take flight has exhausted me. I will be down in the hold napping if you need me. Carry on. Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” Ceremoniously with a grand turn of his cloak, Aeron descended the stairs into the hold, put wax in his ears (as they were on a dangerous trajectory to Harpy’s Peak), and then collapsed from exhaustion.

the_app the_app March 15, 2015
Rumil simply stared at Aeron, attempting to grasp the instructions, watching him turn away with a florish of his cloak, and uttering “Corellon, help us.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 15, 2015
you might do better asking Peter Pan to help. Maybe the bard has an invigorating story.

SkidAce SkidAce March 15, 2015
Now that he was actually certain that he was in the center of a ley line, Rumil, upon concentrating, could almost feel a humming sensation, perhaps like the flow of a river threw a large pipe. At least thats how it felt until he was interrupted by Aeron thrusting him into charge of the boat with a dramatic explanation of its functions.

Rumil did gather the basics of what Aeron was passing on. The wheel was for left and right, moving the rudder much like any normal ship. Pushing the wheel forward caused the ship to fly forward. With the sails set, and manned by a crew proficient in sailing, the ship could continue in a fairly straight line, with small variances left and right as governed by the wheel. Looking at the sails, Rumil surmised that an abrupt turn to the left or right would take some coordination with the crew in the rigging, however the specifics of that were beyond him. The lever that Aeron had pointed out on the left crystal pillar controlled altitude, lifting it up caused the ship to rise into the air, while pushing it down lowered the ship. From the tingle in Rumil’s hands on the crystal handholds and spokes of the wheel, it was apparent that the ship needed a magical connection with its pilot. It was also plainly apparent to Rumil that the crystal columns to either side of the wheel had many other functions that were clearly cryptic and unknown.

The ship had picked up speed upon entering the ley line, as if it had become more efficient. It maintained that speed without Rumil pushing forward on the wheel, no longer draining power from the crystal pyramid, or so it seemed.

At this height they could make some details on the ground, and the major terrain features. After about two hours and 20 miles of travel, they had proceeded farther along their journey. Directly ahead on the horizon was Harpy Peak, about an hour away. Directly off the starboard side of the ship, about five miles away was Tennyson’s Tower. As a rough guess, Fort Farhills was about 20 miles away, on a course directly between the peak and the tower.

27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1400 Earthday

the_app the_app March 16, 2015
Rumil felt the energy of the ship and the ley lines in his blood, as if the energy of the planet was forcing his heart to best in sync with the weave. It was a feeling like none he had experienced before, as though he were communing with his god. This was an experience he would certainty need to relay to his elders once he returned home. “Were there ley lines under my city? Had they been there the entire time and could they be used to defend my people?”

These questions and more were racing through his head, when Rumil realized, he was piloting a boat with no one really telling him where to go. He knew there were two areas, one being worse than the other, but nothing more. Navigating was not his expertise. He defended a point, nothing more. “Where do we travel? Do I follow the line or diverge?”

xLucix xLucix March 16, 2015
“I think you follow the star, and hope the lines…well, line up? I think I read something about magic flying ships once before, but there’s a difference between lore and applicable information. Give me a moment to see if I can remember anything.”

Frederick briefly closed his eyes, imagining his mind as a vast library, and took himself to the section on aeronautical sciences. He only hoped that something, anything was in that section.

SkidAce SkidAce March 17, 2015
Shylent until her rope and walked up to Rumil, shaking Frederick out of his concentration as she walked by. She put her hands on her hips and pointed at Harp Peak. “Gefährlich! HARPY peak. Not good. Scout with Nitram, too many.” She then pointed in the direction of Farhills and said “Natürlich”, glaring at anyone who seemed to disagree with her.

Frederick was awoken from his concentration about magical ships by the sudden contact of a backhand slap on his shoulder. Opening his eyes, he had seen Shylent stalking away towards Rumil. Most of his thoughts were scattered, and really not applicable to the situation at hand (i.e. choosing a course), but he did recall a little info about Magical Ships

the_app the_app March 17, 2015
Rumil, not wishing to see what happened to those that ignored her, followed Shylent’s simple instructions and slightly altered course, hoping to stay within the ley line for as long as possible.

xLucix xLucix March 17, 2015
Frederick, really, had no idea what Shylent had said, but figured that she had to know more than either he or Rumil.

“Remind me to look into open eyed meditation.” Frederickly lightly massaged his shoulder.

SkidAce SkidAce March 18, 2015
Rumil, deciding to alter course (under duress?) was unable to keep the Lioszephyr within/on the ley line any longer. It appeared from the behavior of the ship, that the ley line headed straight and directly towards the ominous looming of Harpy Peak on the horizon. In order to steer towards Farhills, and avoid the ire of Shylent, Rumil had to steer the ship 45 degrees to the starboard.

At least thats what Ishmael relayed to Rumil. The sailor had approached Rumil and coughed politely, asking “Capin’ , no disrespect intended, but changin course requires adjusting the sails. Now if you be wanted to head off to the starboard, just call out in degrees whatcha be intending, hear?”

Once off the ley line, the ship slowed a bit, but since the sails were up, and the wind was favorable, the Lioszephyr wasn’t using any battery power.

In this short experience of piloting, Rumil had learned a simple concept about the Lioszephyr. The Air was like the Ocean . If the winds were good, the ship only used its magical source to change altitude. Now, if they had no sails or no crew, flying forward by sheer magical force would consume the power of the pyramid.

27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1600 Earthday

Another two hours of glorious air travel and the crew and adventurers of the Lioszephyr thought they could see Fort Farhills in the distance. There would be plenty of room for the ship to dock near the wizard’s tower, as planned for by Aeron, when the magical construction was accomplished. But, that would advertise to everyone the capabilities of the ship.

Not to mention, to the east of Farhills, and slightly north, there seemed to be indications of the ogre armies in the area.

xLucix xLucix March 18, 2015
“For what it’s worth, I advise that we hide the ship. Even with the ogres inbound, there’s going to be more than a few individuals thatll try to acquire or destroy this craft.

the_app the_app March 18, 2015
Water, air, ships…oh how he longed for the forest again. The movement of his people, the food, the sounds of laughter – was he to never hear or see those? Rumil knew this path was one all defenders had to walk, but even he was astonished that never had such tales reached his people from returning defenders in the past. What a group Corellon had led him to. Did they suspect his meeting was not just chance? That his assignment to accompany them was not merely the wish of his monarch, but that of his diety? He had met so many devout people along his short journey – each worshipping their own god, but he cared not who they worshipped, it was their actions, their help, and their friendship that he appreciated and cared for. He needed to return these stones to his contact. He needed to guide this ship and group to his temporary home. He needed to help stop the invading forces – long before they neared his homeland. He need to…

…Rumil was startled by the gruff sailor and his demands about sails and wind and notification. He simply nodded acknowledgment and continued on the path directed by the female. Oh how he longed for his people.

SkidAce SkidAce March 18, 2015
Now that they were out of sight of Harpy Peak and discreetly near Fort Farhills, Shylent gave no further indication of any concern on whether they hide the ship, landed on the roof of the keep, or whatever. She calmly stood in the prow eating a carrot, and watching the rind as it fell to the ground.

xLucix xLucix March 19, 2015
Frederick sang, a low but hopeful song, full of triumph and heroic victory and smarmy bastards being kicked in the nadgers.

xLucix xLucix March 20, 2015
“So, when we land the ship, what comes after that” Frederick asked

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 20, 2015
Aeron awoke from his reverie and made the way up the stairs as they approached Farhills, “Brother Rumil, take it over the tip of the Aelvinwode forest that lies closest to Fort Farhills. We will land on the western side, hide the ship, and make our way on foot to the fort.” Aeron then stood on the bow of the ship, bow in hand motioning towards the approaching edge of the forest.

the_app the_app March 20, 2015
Rumil, still fascinated by the act of flying and sailing, did as directed. He was concerned about the landing or docking, whatever it was called when on a flying boat.

SkidAce SkidAce March 21, 2015
Rumil, with assistance from Ishmael, was able to maneuver the Lioszephyr around Farhills and to the edge of the Aelvinwode forest. Once over the forest, Rumil needed to use the ship’s magical power to move precisely enough to land in a narrow space between trees and brush, even so there was some crunching and crashing of branches under the ship as it set down. However, the ship was well hidden from casual observation.

The lead golem dispatched three minor golems to assist with guarding the ship in the groups absence, noting out loud “Debarkation of entire unit requires ship to be airborne”.

The crew hired by Blend was fairly astonished by the turn of events, but seemed for the most part to be enjoying “the ride”. They tended to the sails and rigging, while Ishamel inquired into further instructions. Seemed they would not mind heading to Farhills after being on the boat for so long.

Aeron easily calculated that the journey to Farhills would take them about an hour from the forest’s edge, which would make it near sunset.

27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1700 Earthday

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 21, 2015
Aeron looked at the Lightwind nestled into the Aelvinwode forest edge. “Not a bad landing and a fair job of obscuring the ship. " Aeron removed the crystal pyramid from the ship and then motioned to the north, “We will lose daylight soon. We must depart immediately if we want to make Farhills before nightfall.” Aeron threw the end of a rope off the deck into the trees below and helped the crew disembark the ship.

SkidAce SkidAce March 21, 2015
27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1800 Earthday

Castle_of_Vitre.jpgThe sun was setting behind the hills and trees to the west of Farhills as the group reached the fortress. Once identified, the group was let in. Lt Gentry soon ensconced the group in the main meeting hall, dispatching Sgt Slickster to ensure food, water, and ale was brought forthwith.

Lt Gentry informed the group that he was glad they had returned, as the elvish scouts had been increasingly finding signs of possible goblin and ogre units in the area. Of particular concern was a creek ford several miles away. “That area is potentially key terrain if I may say so. Were a unit to gain a foot hold and control that ford, they would be able to bring more troops to bear faster upon our very defenses. Otherwise, were they not to hold it, they would have to go many several miles to the south to approach Farhills in mass.”

xLucix xLucix March 22, 2015
“How difficult would it be to secure this area? Frederick asked.

SkidAce SkidAce March 22, 2015
Gentry“Well” replied Lt Gentry, “The assumption is that the area is much easier to defend once you hold it. It appears from our scouts that us and the ogres are pretty fairly matched in this area, with available units and all. Possibly the ogres have a slight edge in numbers. It will probably come down to a fight or at least a skirmish to see who will hold the ford.”

the_app the_app March 22, 2015
“The terrain isn’t ideal, but I am trained in defending strategic points. If desired, I volunteer to hold that point with any able bodied fighters, trained in elven tactics or not.”

Rumil then queried if any runners were heading to the elven homeland, offering the small bag of metals, the name of the recipient, and funds to ensure delivery. The note read “Whether I live or die today, the rocks are delivered as promised. May Corellon guide you and may he entwine our paths again – here or in the after.”

SkidAce SkidAce March 23, 2015
Severn, the elven scout leader, nodded his acknowledgement of Rumil’s expertise. He also mentioned that so far, no ogres or goblins had been seen in the direction of the Aelvinwode, so he felt secure in dispatching a messenger on Rumil’s errand. He called for Dystandis Darkstrider, his younger cousin to perform the task.

xLucix xLucix March 23, 2015
“I will go wherever I can best be utilized.”

Frederick had little knowledge of battle tactics, but had the steel to step up if he’d be useful

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 23, 2015
The sun set shortly after Nitram found the road east of the Gloaming Hills, leading south into Farhills from Tennyson’s Tower. He pulled his goggles over his eyes and blinked a few times to adjust to the change. The colors were mostly gone, replaced by shades of grey. He still wondered what it was about him that prevented him from naturally seeing like this in the dark. “Must be a preponderance of human blood,” he mused to himself. He guided Serre closer to the ground. It was pretty much a straight shot south along the road, so he continued to follow it from nearly thirty feet above the ground. He could see the hills growing out of the ground to his right. The monochromatic color of the wilderness to his left blended nearly perfectly with the sky – the multitude of stars delineating the difference. He did his best not to highlight himself with the nearly full moon, which was slightly above the horizon. He was thankful that it would provide his defenders more light. He knew he would be home soon as he followed the road until he could see the lights of the fort as well as the many enemy campfires to the northeast.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 23, 2015
Lt Gentry asked Severn, “Can you give us an idea of where the ogres and goblins have been spotted? What kind of enemy units might we expect to try to hold the ford?” “What should we send to hold the ford?" he thought as he tried to come up with a sound defensive strategy.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 23, 2015
Lt Gentry also ensured the residents of the thorp by the lake were brought inside the walls until the ogre menace was removed.

SkidAce SkidAce March 24, 2015
27 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1930 Earthday

The large watchfire over the main gate provided enough of a beacon that Nitram and Serre were able to discern the location of the fort, landing adroitly on the main grounds of the courtyard.

Nitram entered the meeting hall just as Severn was answering Gentry’s question. “The bulk of their forces are un-located as of yet, but there are at least two units of goblins heading at speed for the ford area. And they likely include some of their engineers and their hazard prone but inept ballistas with them. While unlikely, there could be a small force of ogres behind them.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 25, 2015
The ranger managed a smile when he saw his companions, knowing that they brought the Lioszephyr to Farhills. “I didn’t see it docked on the tower. I wonder where they put it. Where are the constructs?”
Nitram walked purposefully to the group and asked, “What forces do we have available to repel the goblins?”
Lt. Gentry stood a little taller and replied, “Lord Nitram, welcome back. We have brought the people from the thorp and the surrounding farms inside the walls. The King had already sent reinforcements before we even knew of the ogre advance. Both the Fire Brigade and the elven scouts are available to deploy.” He looked to Severn, who nodded in agreement. He continued, “If we can control the ford, the enemy will be forced to move farther south and will take time to reinforce and maneuver their units when they make their assault on our walls.”
Nitram looked from Gentry to Severn to Aeron and Rumil, “I assume you all have a plan to deny them the ford? I will leave you to it. I should get some sleep before I am completely useless. I was able to get to the Griffon Towers and they sent word to Aerie City, Castrel, and Tennyson’s Tower. Severn, I need you to send a runner to the Sacred Grove. Seek out High Druid Jharron. Let him know what is about to occur and ask for any assistance they can provide. If necessary, remind him that if we fail here, the ogres will continue moving west to the Grove.” Severn nodded, “at once,” and gestured to one of the scouts in the room, who quickly departed. The half-elf glanced longingly at a chair and decided to lean against the table instead before continuing to no one in particular, “We need to make sure there are elves on the walls to keep watch against any possible goblin schemes. From what I’ve seen, the Fort seems to be prepared. Keep up the good work.” Nitram move to leave the hall, briefly stopping next to Aeron and leaning in to whisper, “I’m glad you beat me back, but where have you put Lightwind? I didn’t see the constructs when I came in…you brought them, right? They would be very effective at either the ford or repelling the ogres here.” Nitram nearly collapsed from fatigue and didn’t wait for a response from the elf before heading to his room and falling unconscious on his bed.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 25, 2015
Aeron looked annoyed at Lord Nitram. “In your absence we have devised a clever plan to divide our forces into 4 easily defeatable units. The constructs have been left in the woods to forage for berries and protect the Lightwind from overly curious ferries, the elven scouts will not be sent out to the ford to scout and will instead be left in Fort Farhills to man the battlements to dissuade the arrival of any wandering minstrels, the brave…but night blind Falconaire warriors will be sent out this night to the ford to be ambushed by the two bands of goblins spotted in the area, and finally our engineers will be sent out without a defensive contingent to build a road from Farhills to Harpy’s Peak to win the ogres hearts and minds.” Aeron paused and then added, “On second thought, let us just mine the ford and pressure the ogre crossing with elven scout arrow fire and Alchemist fire dropped from the _Lightwind _, finally let us mass in Fort Farhills and use the superior defensive position and siege weapons to attrit the ogres and goblins.”

SkidAce SkidAce March 25, 2015
Even though everyone knew that goblins could see in the dark, and scouts and watches kept a close eye on the darkness “I cast magic missile at the darkness”, the night passed uneventfully.

Before sunrise, the forces of the keep prepared to move out. word from the elven scouts was that goblin scouts had been spotted in close proximity to the keep, and likely the goblin units were advised of the gathering of forces. Most of the seasoned warriors agree, the goblins would try to beat the friendly forces to the ford, but with luck, the troops from Farhills would have at least a couple of hours to set up before engaging the enemy. Assuming there were no unseen skirmishers between here and there.

28 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
0500 Waterday

the_app the_app March 25, 2015
Rumil simply smiled at his kin’s elven humor. He had learned that his people’s humor was different, but he found it funny just the same.

Of course he agreed. His elven blood gave him superior sight at night – something the elven scouts would also enjoy. While he had never seen through the eyes of a goblin, he could imagine they would see as much as the elves did, removing any advantage – and leaving the elves with the advantage afforded to the superior races.

He moved off to prepare his gear, refresh his supplies, and coordinate with the team of scouts to which he had been assigned.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 26, 2015
Nitram woke early and walked the defenses before readying to secure the ford. As the units were gathering, he sought out Aeron, “My apologies for last night. I was a little focused on my bed. Did you say you brought the constructs? I can’t remember.”

SkidAce SkidAce March 26, 2015
28 March (Spring 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
0530 Waterday

According to the scouts, the forces of the fort should be able to reach the vicinity of the ford in about two hours. The bulk of the goblin forces were believed to be about four hours from the ford.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill March 26, 2015
Aeron will take the engineers out at dawn…hopefully with the protection of the Falconaire Fire Brigade to mine (all mines) the northern bank of the ford along the three rock formations.
Aeron will also ask Frederick to play an inspirational tune on his bagpipes of building to help them focus on the delicate task and to elevate the earth along the southern line of rocks to provide archers higher ground and cover.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 26, 2015
Nitram listened to the elf and thought the pipes could be very helpful to their defense. “How often can we use the pipes? I thought it was once a week. Wouldn’t it be better to save it to use at the fort when they make their attack?”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 March 26, 2015
I think the southern line of rocks are actually trees, right? The only rocks are in the water. Now we could just make a wall on our side of the ford using timber, stone, and dirt to make it virtually impossible for them to cross there. Then, next week we can put it back to normal.

SkidAce SkidAce March 27, 2015
(Matt is correct. Also I forgot a scale bar. From the southern bank of the ford to the first trees (heading south) is 150 feet.)

xLucix xLucix March 27, 2015
Frederick agreed that, due to the amount of time that it took to be able to use the pipes, that they should be used to fortify the fort

A Siege of Ogres Part 1

Unconquered Kingdoms SkidAce