Crusader Days and Knights

In the Beginning, Part 4

Attacked from within and without

The party, along with the small group of elves, returned to Glastonbury with the news regarding the Orcs and the Elves.

The elves stopped dead in their tracks once they entered the village, their eyes settling on Skag in front of them. Prester Peter asks them if there’s actually anything special about this guy, since he did claim that he was a prince. The elves tell him that they’ll decide that after the orc is dead, and drew their bows and killed him. Afterward they decided that he was an ordinary Orc.

Peter then calls a council on the immediate leadership, relaying the news. The leaders are a little freaked out, especially since they weren’t quite done with questioning Skag yet. Peter reminds them that the elves’ assistance in the upcoming fight will be worth it, and it’s better to be on their side.

The leadership began to devise a plan. Scouts will be sent out to learn more about the enemy, so that they can better prepare themselves. Sebastian, due to his innate talents, was given a position on the scouts and was called to assist, along with Luc. Giuseppe was ordered to work with the elves on marksmanship, while Gideon is to be a part of the Knight’s line. De Mowbray plans to constantly work the knights in various formations to prepare them.

Prester Peter then brings up the elf spirit that is bound under the barrow, and if it is more likely to attack orcs than elves. The elves let the group know that it’s an unknown factor and its most likely that the elf spirit will act indiscriminately. They put it off as a possible nuclear option instead.

Alice St. George puts her two cents on the table, wondering what will happen to the women while the men are off to war? She believes that there needs to be a plan B, since the women who will be left behind will be defenseless in case there was a separate attack on them. Baroness St. George calls for spears for the women, and eventually the blacksmith starts working on them. It seems that the blacksmith was conspiring with Addy Raimbeaucourt on something as well, since the latter continues to leave the forge with a smile and snicker on his face.

After the meeting, Abbot William asks to see Prester Peter alone. Once nobody else is around, the abbot tells Peter about a document that was found in the scriptorium that will allow them to gain God’s favor, in exchange for a sacrifice. Peter says that he would be interested, and William found himself a little disturbed by how readily he said that. He goes on further, saying that the document speaks of dark things, but the response would be good – the sacrifice would better protect the troops on the field.

Peter says that they are the only Christians in the land, if they no longer exist, then nobody would be around to spread the word of God. The abbot relents, thinking that he is speaking wisdom. The general population is not to know about what it is to be done though – they need to find a young child, the more innocent and beloved, the better, in a holy place. They make plans to prepare for it and look into possible children if the Scouts come back with bad news.

Rosalind St. George comes up to Stefan in the field, and wishes to speak to him about “pointy things” and if he can teach her and her friends about them. He deflates a little when realizing that they’re actually talking about spears, and that they’re interested in learning to defend themselves. She is beet red when she tells him all of this, saying that they’re a danger to themselves if they don’t receive the help. Stefan eventually relents, and tells her that both him and Gideon will help. The two of them end up staying back from the scouting mission to teach them.

Sebastian and Luc go out with the scouts and they both managed to safely make their way into the encampment. They estimate that more than 700 orcs have gathered to the camp, though out of that, only a small portion are wolf riders, and the archers that are there are very poor at it. The orcs also seemed very disorganized, and prone to infighting. However, they did manage to recruit a new type of orc that they had never seen before – ones over seven feet tall, extremely angry, yet they looked none too bright. The two of them, along with the rest of the group, managed to make their way out of the forest again with no troubles and then relayed the information back to the town.

A war council was immediately called. While the orcs have over 700 in their ranks, the village has just a little over 300. Giuseppe makes his move at this point, saying that it’s clear given the numbers and behavior that the scouts observed, that they should stay on the defensive and let the orcs fight themselves until they have thinned themselves out a little. De Mowbray stands forward, saying that their Knights have two impressive advantages – discipline and lances – and the enemy has nothing like that. Giuseppe disagrees, saying that it won’t make up for their disadvantages.

Addy comes forward with his newest invention, and throws some caltrops on the table. He states that if they use the caltrops, it will help break the orcs’ formation as they come through, and can assist with them taking out the leaders. Giuseppe states that taking out the leaders will not break them much, since it seems that they’re much less disorganized in general, and that they should be on the defensive. De Moubray points out that they do need to protect the crops, and with a siege you need to worry about sickness, which is not something they can really afford. Since they have better leaders and equipment, they need to be mobile. Stubborn, Giuseppe states that at least they can set the grass on fire beforehand to make it more difficult for the orcs as they come through. The elf leader chips in, stating that they do need to meet them as far away from anything that they love as they can, since the Orcs have a tendency to poison the well and salt the earth of their enemies, ruining everything that they hold dear.

A young woman approaches Gideon as he prepares to ride off, giving him a reason to live for – a short experience, if he may. Turning beet red, he passes his code of chivalry and tells them that he is to be somewhere else. Sebastian and Luc finish their own preparations and head out first as a part of the scouts, to set fires and put the caltrops down, managing to throw off the opposing scouts’ scents the whole time.

Brother Jean-Pierre was going to retire to his room for the evening, and encounters Brother Robert with a dagger in his back. He applies first aid to Robert’s wounds, and Robert let him know to protect the children – twelve children went missing, and the women who were watching them were dead. Jean-Pierre put him in a room to rest, then went to look for the Dutchess. He lets her know what happens, and the women of the village went cold.

Groups of them split up to look for the missing children, and then discover the Abbot and Prester Peter beginning a ritual in the basement. Peter, due to his immense amounts of charm, was able to persuade them to let them have at least one of the children, in order to protect the warriors on the field. The Dutchess and her group leave the room afteward, to leave them to the act. As the ritual went forward, Peter realized at the last moment that the Abbot was performing a demon ritual, and Peter attempted to bind the demon to himself. The situation went awry, and the demon ended up inhabiting the body of the child instead.

The battle begins, though the Orcs found that they were having difficulties rather early due to the traps and the marksmen. Robert begins to send the calvary after them, and they blast a hole right through the opposing calvary. Due to heavy losses, some Orcs have already begun to retreat. The elves were laughing since they had never seen Orcs run with their tails between their legs before, Gisuppe shot a dirty look at them and yelled at them to no effect. Once the orcs were out of the way, Gisuppe goes over there to talk to them – when you beat an enemy, you continue killing them, instead of letting them run away.

A separate battle happened in the village, though the women found that they were able to handle themselves readily against the attacking orcs. They definitely had assistance from the demon child, who was pointing at Orcs and having fun watching them blow up. It didn’t take long for the Orcs to retreat from there as well. Jean-Pierre took one glance at the child as he was being held by the Abbot and immediately began to make plans to perform an exorcism.

After the warriors came back from the battle, the Abbot announces that the “lord and savior” of the town has come forth, and was responsible for their easy victories that night. People with the “sight” were easily able to see that there was nothing good about the child at all, and instantly felt uneasy. The elves noticed this too, and told Giuseppe that they were leaving immediately.

Jean-Pierre and Laurent come across Brother Robert who was attempting to make an escape from his room, though wasn’t going very far due to his injury. He let the two men know that he needs to be taken to Crazy Agnes as soon as possible. The two of them carried him to the cornfield, where it seems that all of the other people with magic in town are gathering as well – besides Agnes, Finn and Elena made their way to the field as well.

The demon child tells the Abbot and Peter that Brother Robert is a danger to them, and commands Peter to go and get him. Peter asks the secretary where Robert was, and the secretary was surprised that he was gone – the hemlock coated dagger that he stabbed Robert with should have taken care of him. Peter asks around and eventually noted that certain members of the community has gone missing. Peter goes back to the Abbot and says that these members should be announced enemies of the community and send the peasants to do the work of looking for them instead. The abbot agrees with the plan and tells Peter to relay the information to the child. The baby is overall pleased with it, and tells him not to fail him, otherwise Peter is his next target. Prester Peter then announces to the town that these people are enemies of the “town savior” and that if anybody sees them, they should be reported.

Sebastian is taken to the room to meet the demon child directly. The demon seems pleased by his presence, and the Abbot told Sebastian that the child requires something from him, and that Sebastian should hand his personal items over to him. Sebastian manages to pull out an astonishing number of items from his person, though tried his best to keep his prized potions on him. Unfortunately that seems to be what the child was looking for, and due to feeling a knife against his back, Sebastian reluctantly hands them forward. The baby claps and then immediately consumes them. Angry about the ordeal, Sebastian left the room, thinking of various ways to plot his revenge.

Meanwhile in the cornfield, Jean-Pierre and the others discuss what is to be done about the child, who is an abomination. He tells the others that he is practiced in performing exorcisms, but Robert receives a vision from God that the required bible that is needed had been burned already. They decide that their best bet is to maybe see if the elves have any assistance against the baby. However, they don’t have any sense of direction, so they need a scout to assist them. Since Elena is the least likely to be noticed missing, and Laurent could come up with a good excuse to his disappearance, the two of them went back to town to fetch someone.

Due to their history, Laurent relays it to Luc, who believes they need some protection in case they run into some trouble on the road. He and Elena go to meet with Gideon. While Gideon was tough to convince, due to him wanting to go to De Maubrey first, Elena managed to convince him that it was important to leave that night, along with Elena’s brothers. The group meets up with Jean-Paul and Finn back in the field, and set off – Brother Robert is too injured still to come with, though Agnes promises to take care of him. Prester Peter makes a pact with the child that night as well, and was bestowed special powers by him.

The next day, Prester Peter hears no news on the missing persons, and it seems that they are out of the demon childs’ reach as well. Peter goes to Deveroux about these people, calling them witches who need to be punished. Deveroux calls for the likes of Luc and Gideon for the party to hunt them down, but immediately finds them missing. He manages to put a scouting party together regardless, with Sebastian as a part of it. Luc successfully hides their tracks from the scouts, and Sebastian comes back with a negative report. The demon child lashes out at him, using magic to burn his back, telling him to do better next time. Miffed, Sebastian tries to take something on his way out but manages to get caught and gets a lash on his hand as well.

The group fleeing to the Elves has some problems when a wolf rider team tracks them down. They fought valiantly against the wolf rider and guards and do take them down, though Elena’s brothers end up disabled. Eventually five more wolf riders catch the sent of their blood, and come ever closer to them. Fortunately elves were in the area and shot a volley of arrows against the orcs. The elves then take them back to their encampment, and the travelers speak of their situation. Unfortunately, the Elves do not know anything that would help due to the fact that their belief systems are different.

Jean-Pierre’s intuition went off that they need to meet back up with Brother Robert, so after spending some time at the encampment, they set off again. The two of them are drawn together due to their faith, and Robert is doing much better. He also managed to get his hands on a bible that they can convert over to something that can work. The two of them pray over it and it eventually became workable. The group then began planning on what to do next…..

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