Sunday, October 20, 2013

050 - Noseless in Middle-Earth

... or as +Zack Mackay puts it, "Fear and Nosing in Middle-Earth".

Kicking up dust

Nimrodel and Nilppi walked up the valley road towards the orc camp. The goal was to draw the orc army's attention as soon as possible. While the elf remained alert, bow at the ready, the lossoth hunter busied himself throwing dust up in the air to make himself seen. A keen eye would have probably noticed the hobbit creeping overhead off the mountain side. A keener eye would have been required to spot Irina perched above the back gate of the Numarii fort that the company had just cleared. She stood there, motionless, behind a large rock with her bow in hand. 

The rest of the company had fashioned heavy curtain by weaving all sorts of rubbish and orc cots together to make it hard to rush through the open door. The contraption was a sigh for sore eyes, but would probably be heavy enough to cramp the orcs' style for a moment. 

Nimrodel spotted two wargs in the camp. That was just about when Nilppi's dusty mess drew their attention. The two companions sprinted back to the gate to gain high ground.

Thus tumbled down an elven nose

The first wave of orcs to rush away from the camp was 20 strong. Among them, two wargs and their riders. Nilppi climbed above the gate on the cliff side and readied his weapons. Nimrodel found a good shooting nook and arrayed his ammunition. The wargs didn't overtook the orcs and seemed to match the group's speed. Both Irina and Nimrodel had a limited stock of arrows and decided to hold fire until the orcs were in range. Irina mowed four in the last leg of their charge, while Nimrodel cut two down. 

Arnadil prompted Kasper to make the best use of his magic elven wand and "do his trick". Kasper gave him a puzzled look, but obliged. A wave of panic filled the valley and sent the majority of the orcs running away from the gate. A warg rider was attempting to rally the troops, but without luck. Nimrodel and Irina zeroed on the leader right away. Irina almost sprained her wrist in the heat of the moment and was left defenceless. Just at this time, Nimrodel placed an arrow into the warg, with no great effect. Nilppi sprang from his hiding spot and jumped down the cliff side down to meet the warg. 

The charge had failed: most orcs that didn't get terrorized by Kasper's magic had turned around anyway to follow their allies. Nimrodel's fancy footwork as he shot caused him to slip (critical fail #1) and tumble down the cliff. He ended at the bottom of the cliff in the crouched position, presenting his head to the last orc still charging (he failed to notice that he was almost the only one left in the charge). The orc sliced Nimrodel's nose almost cleanly from his face. The elf, in shock, recoiled to protect himself while Halin the dwarf rammed through the orc and knocked him dead. From then on, the company was out of one cartilaginous appendage.

While Irina, now out of arrows, rushed down to the ground to tend to Nimrodel's profuse bleeding. Nilppi and Thannolf were working together to flank the warg. Thannolf's well placed Lossoth's dagger punctured the beast's lungs and knocked it unconscious.  The rider fell to the ground only to get skewered by Arnadil. He arrived just on time to look good (after fighting off a few orcs on his way). 

Irina did stop the bleeding, and the elf used his elven healing to bring himself from the brink of death ( -4 hit points ). The orcs that once were on the run were starting to regroup some 500m down the road. Time for round two.


Keeping the eye off Frodo... ahem Finbert

The plan called for making enough noises to allow Finbert to slip to the orc camp and scope the entrance of the Numariis. Finbert noticed that a second wave of orcs had waited for an orc leader to get outfitted before leaving the camp. Some 20 other orcs left at the jog to link with their companions at some point down the road. Finbert leaned against a rock and determined that there was no more than 10 orcs left in the camp: all of them squinting to find out what was going on at the other end of the valley. 

The second wave, combined with what was left of the first one, didn't attempt to enter the gate. They stood there, jeering and shooting the occasional arrow at the company members. Poo was flung in the process, which was a nice touch. Nothing was happening at the other end of the valley.

Finbert took advantage of this situation to slip by the camp and walk through the open gate of the Numariis. The first gate didn't have door and lead into a kill zone room similar to the first Numarii's entrance. The room was dark and cool. Finbert slipped along the wall until a faint noise caught his attention.

Finbert isn't dropping no eaves on the dwarves.
Through the murderholes on his left, he could hear the muffled voices of dwarves arguing in the Naugrim language. Finbert considered slipping past the open doors at the end of the killzone, but decided instead to back down for the moment.

He sneaked into the camp to find many cooking fires. The tents were filled with straw beddding. Finbert managed to set a few of the tents on fire without being noticed. As he was plotting more destruction, he heard the rumours of many armored feet coming from within the citadel. He slipped out of the camp and found a hiding nook just on time to miss a wave of roaring dwarves.

There was about 10 of them, and the overran the camp: burning what was left and slaying the remaining orcs. When the dwarves were done, they stopped and debated while looking at the far end of the valley. The smoke of the burning tents drew the besieging orcs' attention. A great many of them abandoned the stalemate against the company and ran back to their camp.

The dwarves hurried around to create chokepoints amid the smoke. They were about to fight the orcs! Finbert smiled and began the tedious way back to the company. 

Thus tumbled down a pair of dwarven spectacles

Nilppi lying down after a critical fail, Irina badly hurt on her chest, Halin looking for his
spectacles on the ground, and noseless Nimrodel hidden beyond the gate.
Not exactly the most glorious moment of the company.
The company had braced for a big showdown into the entrance hall. To their disappointment, the orcs didn't dare barging into an obvious trap. When most of the orcs ran back to their camp, Nilppi didn't wait for a cue to launch into a pursuit. About 5 orcs sprang from cover to meet with the lossoth hunter. The company was taken aback by the tactical soundness of the remaining orcs. Halin, perched up above the gate had a rock ready to push down. However, as the company poured out of the gate, he decided to change tactics to flank the green mob.  After a brief conga line to get out of the gate, the company fanned out to engage the orcs. This is when things started to go bad. Nilppi, about to strike slipped on a flung orc dung that was steaming on the ground. Thannolf and Kasper moved into to cover the lossoth.  Halin, some 5 yards overhead, began a charge down. Quickly, the charge turned into a tumble, then into a bowling strike against the nearest orc. The orc was knocked out alright, but in the process Halin lost his spectacles. The world turned into a whirl of blurry sploshes while the dwarf was feeling around. At this point, Thannolf would have suffered a major wound to the groin, but we figured out that his +1 to active defence due to combat reflex saved him. Arnadil had taken on two orcs and Irina, sword in hand for the first time in this campaign's history, moved in to fill a gap. The orc thrusted his sword into her chest, shattering a few mail loops and causing her great pain (Picture above taken at this moment).

This was the low point, Nimrodel's arrows rescued Irina who moved on to strike at orcs in anger. The last orc to fall was their leader. He collapsed to the ground without a strike. From the other end of the melee, Kasper was waving theatrically his pair of elven wands.  

An orc with no hope... wait... nope.

Halin's spectacles go crushed during the tumble, making him now a card carrying member of the nearsighted club (-2 combat, -6 Perception, ouch). Irina tended her own wound briefly to stop the blood flow. Nilppi wiped his foot on some rocks. At the other end of the valley, orcs and dwarves were about to clash and nobody in the company could have explained why. 

They gathered around the sleeping orc sergeant and kicked him until he woke up. The orc considered his options and realized that he was dead. With nothing to lose, he jeered and insulted the company in hope to the slain before he had to say anything useful. The company tightened the ring around him as Halin gave him the best string of dwarven expletives that money can buy. Kasper even used his elven wands to bolster the dwarf in his attempt to take control of the raving orc. 

The attempt was successful, the orc was cowed into silence, his chance to meet a quick death dashed. The company got out of him that orcs and dwarves hated each other. That, the master would skin the company members alive when he'd chose to. When prompted as to whom was the master, the orc replied "Farathu". 

Thannolf roughed him up, trying to get more out of him. But the orc smiled, he knew that he was about to die. "And so will you", he concluded with a smile.


  1. Actually as a point of order, I believe it was Nimrodel refreshed and cursing a bloody streak who saved Irina with that wicked arrow crit shot that knocked the orc back about 10 feet.

    1. Fixed. Let the truth prevail. I kind of write these off the top of my head a day later!