Crusader Days and Knights

Neighbors, Part 1

The village continues to knit itself back together after the previous events with the demons. Lord Deveroux feels ashamed over what had happened, and he begins to consider quitting, reconciling what he had ordered during that time with his basic nature. Brother Robert offers counseling and listens to confessions from the townsfolk during the day, though its common knowledge among the monks that there is crying from his room at night. Brother Robert eventually confides in Finn his sorrows – he had a higher image of human nature that was lost over the course of events, and needs time to reestablish trust levels.

The group goes to meet with the elves in order to relay what had happened in their village and solidify an alliance with them. Many of the elven folk are impressed with what they had heard, except for the Queen who kept a cool facade.

The group asked about a one legged elf that they had seen on their way to the elven kingdom, who seemingly was working with the Orcs. She nods and says that they know him well. His name is Soren, who is a tragic case. The tower that he was spotted by was one of theirs, Tower Kithorn, which fell to the Orcs many years ago, with Soren being the only one who survived due to being away during the event. He was determined to find the remains of his sister, though eventually became enslaved to the Orcs and have been for 75 years. He tends to run away every time the elves try to help him though, back to the Orcs. The elves say that the group can try to help him, though they believe that he is a lost cause.

The group agrees that they can at least give it a shot, and the elves tell them a little more – Soren belongs to the Bloody Fang tribe, and gives their general location. The only assistance they are willing to give though for this endeavor is rations – they don’t believe that elven bodies are worth the risk anymore.

Before leaving, the group discusses trading goods with the elves. The two groups settled on receiving hardwood, iron and coal in exchange for bison meat.

The group begins heading in the direction in which Soren is believed to be. Along the way, they find abandoned encampments with some leftover coal and bronze, marking it on a map to come back to these locations later. As they get closer to the camp, the group encounters seven warrior orcs and engage in combat. The group seemingly had an off day though, and one by one, they fell to their opponents, except for Sebastian who escaped up a tree early in the fight.

Instead of killing each party member outright though, the orcs instead tie them up and drag them to their encampment. Once there, each one of them were slapped awake, as the Orc Chieftain watched on. Once they were all conscious, the chief smirked at them and asked, in poor Elvish, if they were “white meat or dark?” Finn, being how he is, corrects him on his pronunciation and immediately is kicked in the ribs. Becoming more serious, the Chief asks outright why they are there if they are not warriors. Laurent says that they are looking for hardwood and coal, Finn honestly states that they’re also looking for Soren.

The Chief calls for Soren, and tells him that they group came for him. Soren simply says, “their loss”. Finn mentioned his previous encounter with his sister, and how he and Luc helped her to rest by burning her bones. Hearing that put some fire in his soul as Soren begins to act up and attack the Orcs before being subdued. The Chief turns his attention to Finn, saying he doesn’t know whether to thank or hurt him – for awhile, Soren has been useless with no spirit, though Finn’s words revived some of that. The Chief tells him that he needs that spirit to make magic weapons to help the Orcs in battle. If Finn and the group help break Soren, they will trade all of the wood and coal that they have.

Gideon unties each person while Finn and Laurent were talking about what to do. The Chief notices that Gideon’s weapon was not peacebound, and Gideon instinctively draws his weapon out. Laurent quickly says that Gideon is one of the best fighters that they have. The chief laughs and says that he will let them go if Gideon is able to beat the Chieftain’s bodyguard. For now, if they promise to give up their weapons, he will let the group heal and rest.

The group agree to these terms, and spend the next couple days in the encampment. While they were allowed to walk around, they were always accompanied by a pair of Orc bodyguards, which especially irritated Gideon. He was extremely uneasy without his weapon, and was finally allowed to have it under supervision the night before the fight, so that he can prep it for the upcoming battle.

Laurent and Finn entertain the Orcs that night with stories of humankind and how great they are. Andre demonstrates the might of humans by swinging his sword against the tree. The Orcs were in an uproar over it, with one of them grabbing their weapons, swinging it against the tree, and watching it shatter. The Orcs then turn to the Chief and ask why they even keep Soren around if he makes such poor weapons. The Chief simply takes out his own weapon and slides it nicely against the tree. Putting it back in its sheath, he says that this kind of weaponry is what he wants for his whole tribe. The Chief states again to the group if they help break Soren, the Orcs will forever be in debt to them.

Laurent at one point mentions Skagg, which immediately caught the Chief’s interest since that was actually his son. He hears the story on him, and once he learns of his son’s death to the elves, he beats on Soren. Gideon helps Soren up, then the elf asks in perfect French if Gideon can win the fight after all. Gideon tells him that he’s quite confident about it, and Soren tells him that there is a way that he can make Gideon stronger. He then asks Finn what happened to his sister, and then he got the full story on the encounter that Finn had with her. Soren says that he has their thanks, and he will aid them for treating his sister so well.

After everyone had went to bed, Sebastian finally comes out of his hiding spot with one mission in mind – to take the Chieftain’s shiny sword. He did so well that not only was he able to switch Andre’s sword with the Chief’s, but he managed to take everybody else’s weapons as well before sneaking right back out. Sebastian noticed that the magic sword sung a sweet song of battle as he held it to admire, though didn’t think too much of it as he put it in back in the sheath.

Gideon and the Orc Bodyguard go at it the next morning, with a little magic help from Soren on Gideon’s side. The young knight takes a groin shot early on in the battle, receiving many a wince from the audience members, yet he kept on going. After some impressive feinting on Gideon’s end, he took his sword and was able to cut the bodyguard’s head clean off. This caused a huge uproar in the encampment, and Gideon immediately took to limping off to meet with everyone else. Andre rushes to his side to help him move faster, while Luc and Finn grab Soren and make a break for it.

Sebastian saw this as his chance to take an aimed shot right to the Chieftain’s face. The arrow struck him square in the eye, only furthering his anger. He pulls out his sword to yell, “kill them all”, then noticed that his magic sword was missing. The chief then let out a battle cry and led the charge to chase the party down.

It didn’t take long for Sebastian to catch up with the rest of the group. With a wink, he gives the party back their weapons, saying that they owe him one. What he forgot though, was that the magic blade was in Andre’s sheath, and when the old knight drew it he was immediately entranced by the battle song. He turns around to fight as the others were able to run. They had received word that Andre was able to kill many of the orcs with the sword but does eventually fall victim due to the sheer number of them. His sacrifice did mean that the rest of the party managed to get to the river safely and ride it down to the village.

When they returned to Town Square, they saw one of the Elven diplomats speaking to the townspeople. Soren, recognizing him instantly, grabs the diplomat and begins punching him out. Gideon pulls Soren off of the other elf and holds him back. The diplomat, Analieth, tells them that they lost three good elves trying to rescue Soren, and he’s surprised that they have him at all. Soren tells him that he was on a mission, the humans completed it for him and now he is in debt to him. Analeith gets up, saying that Soren is beneath him, and walks away. Soren lets the group know that Analeith was the one that persuaded the Queen to stop sending people to help him. Either way, he says, he is unable to go back, and is willing to settle down with the humans for at least a year to pay off his debt before he returns to the wild.

That night, a huge storm comes rolling in, passing the village to the north by several miles. The lightning violently strikes the ground multiple times before ending the storm.

The end of the storm meant bad news for the village though, as they quickly find out – the unfortunately side effect is that the river completely dried up.



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