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The Arvan Game Pt. 12: Burnt Bridges

Come morn they, our heroes Bers (played by Jenn) and Dead-Eye (played by Cris) double-timed it back to the nearest farm in order to stock up on supplies and deliver the bad news about the abducted girls. They planned to take the Old High Road back down to the Old Grove where they would cut southerly following the tree line to Miller’s Bridge hoping to stay far enough away from Loc Lake to avoid the Loc-Troll. They made it to the site of the bridge without incident only to find the burnt remnants staring back at them while farmers were struggling to rebuild the short span which was made difficult by a rainstorm in the mountains to the North causing the creek to flood and flow as strong as a river. The story they got was that for some unknown reason the stand-off which was begun when Sir Chinsalis and the Hill-Landers drenched the wooden span of the bridge in lamp oil. During the battle a lightning bolt summoned by Siamnecca the druid lit the bridge ablaze. They decided to go the Loc Lake route where there heard from the laborers there is a narrow cart-bridge. Pretty much with no choice, Cris really didn’t want to deal with the troll realizing the bridge is probably a troll bridge, they headed out even though they only had about an hour or so of daylight left (daylight turns trolls to stone in the Dice & Glory game btw). By sundown they found themselves back at the edge of the Old High Road across from a hillside 2 to 3 miles South-East of Loc Lake. Dead-eye found a campsite just off the road at the foot of the hill. It was not very well hidden but they were among the high grass and weren’t going to build a fire since they were decided on subsisting on dried trail rations.

Later that night during second watch Bers heard rumbling footsteps which awoke Dead-Eye just in time to see a giant troll in full plate armor wielding a giant hammer crash through the brush into their camp. In the darkness Dead-Eye mistook the horns on his helmet for actual horns believing him to be a horned troll. They could also hear other smaller but still large creatures circling the camp out of sight. After a brief speech they found out he was looking for a “puny knight” who had hurt him, they also noticed that his hands were two different colors and the lighter one was of a smoother, newer texture. He also mumbled something about a green archer and that he was only there waiting for the carnage so he could clean up after the fight. But as in Cris’ words, “we don’t heed the words of some stinkin’ troll!” They surmised, probably rightly, that they couldn’t take him in open battle especially since he had company and decided to throw a large bag filled with a few thousand Fliks (small zinc coins minted by Fertums in order to keep economic control of the surrounding area and thus pretty much worthless outside of the influence of the mint Fertum). He gladly took the bribe and urged his “brood” on. The following morning they indeed found a gaggle of footprints surrounding their camp which Dead-Eye identified as at least 6 large to medium-sized trolls, probably 2nd or even 3rd generation trolls. They continued on over the narrow old bridge and along the Old Road heading South towards Dreyton.

Three days later they found themselves at the fork of the Old High Road, The Old Road and Miller’s Fork Road. Dead-eye found a campsite in depression off of the road in the crotch of the fork where an old rusted cage and its hangar had fallen. They made sure to lay out their bedrolls a ways from the cage in the deep part of the cleft. At first watch a young knight stumbled into the campsite bearing the arms of the Hyvalian Theocracy, the same arms which Sir Chinsalis bore. They were able to pantomime that they were friends and the young paladin whose name was Chingris was very talkative unfortunately he only spoke Hyvalian and as they only spoke Westlander it was an awkward evening. At second watch the group was awoken by the sound of moaning emanating from the direction of the fallen cage when investigated they found nothing and decided to leave it alone convincing themselves it was the wind when they knew very well it was not. In the morning after equipping the young paladin with rations he took off South and they continued along the Old Road heading South-West.

A day later the weather made a turn for the worst and it was raining cats and dogs as their wagon creaked along the muddy road as they pulled it, I forgot whether they couldn’t afford a beast of burden or if I had something happen to their current mule which was a sort of running joke on them I guess. Anyway, they neared the edge of the Eagle’s Grove and a Hill Giant stepped out into the road wearing a camo-painted cloak bearing an iron-staff. Into the road behind them stepped what appeared to be an Arborean Druid also in a camouflaged cloak with a lacquered stave. Dead-Eye was able to spot a ranger with a similar cloak off the road in the bushes with a short-bow. The giant demanded all of their money, weapons and other possessions. If they left it all there and walked away they could live. So of course they prepared to fight even though they knew this could very well be their last battle.

The ranger in the bushes got a shot off at Dead-Eye but missed, Dead-Eye warned Bers to take out that druid first. Bers had to dodge when the giant swung at her first and Dead-Eye shot the ranger in the bushes killing him by the second round. The druid’s spells (he was able to get 2 off) had no effect on either of our heroes, luckily since either could have ended the battle right there. He was cloven in two by Bers in a single stroke of her axe. Both then converged on the giant. Dead-Eye dropped his bow and pulled his long-sword and bowie knife attacking with paired weapons. Bers had to make 2 recovery checks in the second and third rounds. The battle lasted into the beginning of the 5th round before Bers was able to drop the giant with a single power attack as Dead-Eye had backed off to down some potions and she was on KO points but they had won. The bandits’ bodies weren’t worth looting as they didn’t carry their loot on their persons so the two victors finished off their potions and tried to get some distance between them and the bodies before camping. A day and a half later they found themselves once again in the walls of Fertum Dreyhawk.

To Be Continued…