As the party push through the woods they rest for a while in the first thicket of trees.
Hunulf moves up to the northern most part of the thicket and watches a foregoding and dark cave mouth for any activity. After an hour or so he reports back to Azazel that he’s seen no movement at all.
Azazel confers with Harti. The decide to enter the caves and explore them. Perhaps they are empty and this would make a good base.
Sneaking into the cave Harti and Renard deploy in the front rank where their superior fighting skills and equipment can do the most good. Over the past three or four days they had discussed their tactics and this time they place Hunulf and Ibba in the second rank where their long spears can reach through and support Harti and Renard in the rank. Azazel deploys in the third rank where he can heal those that are wounded and he can move forward if required. Frideric and Goar guard the rear and will act as a reserve.
Upon entering the cave they see a wall 30ft to the north. It is decorated with heads and skulls (human, elven, dwarven) in various stages of decay. These cheerful greeting are placed in niches which checker about 100 square feet of the surface of the wall.
Renard see’s something moving in the shelf.
“Did anyone else see that?” he asks.
“What are you talking about?” enquires Harti.
“I swear I just saw something moving in the book case.”
“Wait” orders Azazel.
A few moments later they hear grunts and footsteps. Something is approaching from the west. Very fast.
Round 1a: The Faithful Attack
Initiative: Faithful 8, Orcs 6
As the orcs round the corner the Faithful get the drop on them.
· Harti advances 5ft and strikes at the first orc but misses.
· Hunulf move in behind Harti and attacks over his shoulder with his two handed spear but he also misses.
· Renard steps up 5ft and stabs the beast in the chest for 5 points, it bellows in pain but doesn’t go down.
· Ibba similarly steps up and strikes with his two handed spear between Renard and Harti but fails to connect.
· Azazel yells out to the party to fall back 5ft as they have in their haste moved up to the intersection and now the orcs will be able to get more attacks on them.
House Rule #4: No take backs. If the Player Character does something stupid like advance into an intersection…..they’ve just got to suffer it.
House Rule #5: Dead is dead. We’ve been playing this one for years, all dice are rolled out in the open and if it results in party members being killed then that’s that. No DM soft fiat.
Round 1b: Orc Reinforcements Arrive
· The orcs move up into the intersection. Two western Orcs attack Harti whilst the two eastern Orcs attack Renard.
· The western most Orc misses Harti but the next one slashes him on the left shoulder. It is a massive blow dealing 9 points of damage. Harti reels back but is still up.
· A monster blow is landed on Renard and he takes a massive 11 points, he is barely able to stand as his hit points drop to 0.
Jeez these Orcs hit hard. Whilst they are fairly fragile with a low armour class and only 6 hit points a piece the fact that they are using massive two handed weapons with a decent plus to hit and damage is devastating.
Round 2a: Strategic Redeployment
· Hunulf attacks the wounded Orc in front of Harti, misses, and takes a 5ft step back. (DM note: attacking from the second rank using the reach weapon gives the Orc a +4 to its armour class. Having said that, whilst it’s difficult to hit it’s still worth the effort).
· Harti passes his morale check (he needs 15-9 for Azazel’s leadership, -2 for having fought before in the group and -2 for being one of the Faithful, ie a target of 2, he passes easily with a 15), and attacks the Orc to his front and strikes him in the groin for 4pts, downing the beast.
· Ibba attacks the Orc to the front of Renard but he misses. He 5ft steps back.
· Renard passes his morale check (just, he rolled a 5 and needed a 4) and he withdraws 30ft from the combat.
· Azazel moves 10ft up to the front and casts Cure Light Wounds on Harti healing him 3pts and taking his total back up to 5hp.
Round 2b: The Orcs Follow Up
· The Orcs pass their morale check.
· Kicking aside the corpse of his companion, a savage Orc steps forward and strikes at Harti. His falchion smashes into Harti’s scale mail but isn’t able to penetrate Harti’s new armour.
· Another Orc moves up at attempts to strike at Azazel, but the Faithful’s leader easily blocks the blow.
· The rest of the Orcs move up, crowding to try to get to the front of the combat.
Round 3a: Pull Back
· Hunulf attacks the Orc in front but he cannot hit, it’s very difficult to land a hit from the second rank. He 5ft steps back.
· Harti stabs and strikes the Orc in the right shoulder, twisting the spear he digs it deeper and punctures the beasts heart dealing 8 points of damage and instantly killing it. He 5ft steps back.
· Ibba tries to stab the Orc in front of Azazel but misses. He 5ft steps back.
· Azazel withdraws. As the only healer in the party, he’ll need to preserve his ability to heal the others as they become wounded.
· As he goes past Goar he taps him on the shoulder and Goar pushes past Ibba into the front rank beside Harti.
Round 3b: They Keep Coming
· The first Orc moves up and slashes his great falchion at Goar, but he misses terribly, hitting the weapon against the wall of the cave.
· A second Orc moves up to replace the one killed by Harti. It slashes at Harti but again the Scale Mail armour protects him from being wounded (that’s twice now that the Orc’s have missed Harti by 1, his armour is really paying off).
· The other Orcs move up behind the front rank, bellowing and yelling.
Round 4a: Get Ready
· Frideric takes a 5ft step to the west. It is here where they will hold the Orcs and he will protect Harti’s left flank.
· Hunulf again stabs at the Orc advancing on Harti but misses. He takes a 5ft step back.
· Similarly, Ibba strikes, misses and takes a 5ft step back.
· Harti stabs at the Orc in front of him but he is caught off balance and misses. He takes a 5ft step back.
· Goar also has no luck in hitting the Orc in front of him. He also falls back 5ft.
· Renard begs Azazel to heal him. Azazel moves up to a flanking position on the eastern side of the cave entrance and heals Renard for 9pts. Renard thanks him dearly and promises to join the order as soon as they finish this fight.
Round 4b: The Orcs Strike Back
· The Orcs laugh at the cowardly humans. Look at how they fight, constantly withdrawing.
· The first moves forward and swipes at Harti but smashes his falchion into the wall of the cave instead. He laughs and delights in the chaos of the combat.
· The second Orc moves up and with a mighty swing smashes Goar, slicing deeply into his left shoulder. Receiving 9pts of damage, Goar instantly goes unconscious.
Round 5a: Goar is Pulled to Safety
· Goar’s wound doesn’t stabilise and he continues to bleed out (you can self stabilise with a DC of 10 plus your current negative hit points. Needing an 11 Goar rolled a 4 and failed).
· Azazel grabs Goar and drags him back 5ft out of harms way.
· Ibba stabs at the Orc in front of him, hitting it square in the chest for 3pts of damage. It must have been the interference from the others that had previously distracted him.
· Hunulf stabs at the Orc in front of Harti but misses. He steps back 5ft.
· Harti strikes at but also misses the Orc in front of him.
Round 5b: Two More Down
· The wounded Orc advances on Ibba, prompting an attack of opportunity. Ibba strikes it in the head, dealing 6pts of damage and instantly killing it. Ibba roars out, “For Asmodeus, for the god of law”.
· Orc behind the slain one jumps over his fallen companion and advances on Ibba, slashing at him with his great falchion. The Orc’s massive blow smashes the puny defence of Ibba and strikes him in the right shoulder, cutting deep into his chest and dealing 11pts of damage. Ibba’s victory is short lived and staggering he drops to the ground bleeding.
· The Orc opposite Harti lunges forward striking him in the left shoulder for 7pts and also rendering him unconscious.
· The rest of the Orcs howl in laughter and move forward.
Round 6a: Flame of Retribution
· Harti and Goar continue to bleed out a point. Ibba stabilises.
· Frideric falls back 5ft and drags Harti with him.
· Similarly, Renard drags the unconscious Ibba out of immediate harm’s way.
· Azazel 5ft steps to the left and unleashes Burning Hands upon the hapless Orcs. He catches 3 of them in the flame for 4pts although 2 of the 3 save.
· Hunulf stabs with his two handed spear but fails to make contact.
Round 6b: And Still They Come
· The western front rank Orc advances on Hunulf and prompts an attack of opportunity. Hunulf smacks his spear against the beasts’ right leg and draws it back cutting the muscle deeply. The Orc suffers 3pts of damage and is removed from the fight.
· The Orc behind sees his opportunity and jumps over his companion and attacks Frideric. He slashes with his wicked falchion, striking Frideric in the chest for 8pts of damage and staggering him.
· The eastern front rank Orc advances and swings at Azazel but misses.
· As they move up the resolve of the Orcs is starting to waiver. They’ve suffered 4 casualties and the 5th will require another morale check.
Round 7a: Desperate Times
· Goar stabilises at -3 but Harti bleeds out another point.
· Azazel calls upon the wrath of Asmodeus. All will suffer in this carnage. He 5ft steps back and Channels Energy and all within 30ft take d6 damage (will save for ½ against a DC of 13). It is a devastating attack. Two of the orcs are instantly rendered unconscious and all the others are badly wounded. Frideric becomes unconscious and fresh wounds open upon those that had previously stabilised.
· Wounded but not downed, Hunulf backs off 5ft and stabs at the Orc to his front but he misses.
· Renard steps up and strikes at the eastern wounded Orc. He crucially hits it in the chest, puncturing the rib cage and piercing its heart and lungs for 10pts of damage. The Orc is instantly killed.
Well that was an outstanding round. Three of the Orcs were taken out reducing their number from 5 to 3 and the two that are remaining are heavily wounded. Hopefully they’ll break morale in the next round.
Round 7b: The Brave Ones
· The Orc’s pass morale.
· The Orc in front of Renard, yells a blood curdling bellow, bringing its great falchion down on his head dealing 12pts of damage. Renard is poleaxed and he instantly drops.
· The second Orc charges Azazel but in his rage he misses the great believer.
Round 8a: The Finishing Touches
· Goar and Frideric stabilise but Harti, Renard and Ibba all bleed out a point.
· Hunulf stabs the Orc in front of him in the groin for 2pts. The Orc, who was already badly wounded slumps to the ground.
· Azazel hafts his mace and smashes it into the chest of his opponent doing 11pts of damage. The beasts rib case is crushed and it instantly drops.