Tales from Rhovanion – Session #4
This is a write-up of the fourth session of our The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild campaign. The adventure is based on the first part of Studio 9′s Caran Gaur campaign (published in the free French RPG Magazine Le Maraudeur). John H played Malaric, Emma S played Grunehild and Ben C played Grimald. This session is from back in August 2013.
*** SPOILERS – CARAN GAUR CAMPAIGN FROM LE MARAUDEUR MAGAZINE ***
Chapter I, Part IV
Inside Hirtherd, the villagers sheltered behind the fence and waited for the inevitable assault. Some had already fallen to the hail of arrows and it was likely that many more, if not all, would be dead before dawn. The mood was grim but the rout of the Goblin archers and the return of Malaric, Grunhild, Grimald and Raganhildis, had given them hope.
Brohar strode forward and extended his hand to Malaric. “You and your friends are either very brave or very foolish,” the head-man said gruffly. “Whichever it is, you are most welcome here.”
At that moment there was a shout from the fence, “They’re coming!”
Everyone ran to their positions.
A great disorganised wave of Goblins and Orcs charged down upon the village. The front ranks crashed into the fence and the leading Goblins tried to clamber over or breach the enclosure. Against them the beleaguered defenders battled desperately in the darkness, trying to hold back the tide.
To the west, Grimald and a handful of Northmen archers kept up a lethal stream of arrows to stop a dozen Orcs with a rough-hewn battering ram from breaching the gate.
To the north, Malaric was everywhere. Each time the Goblins threatened to break through he was there in the thick of the fighting, urging the Northmen forward.
To the south, Grunehild was steadfast amidst the carnage and confusion. Beside her others fought bravely and fell but the Beorning woman always held the line.
At last the attack seemed to waver. To the west and the north, it dwindled to nothing and the Goblins withdrew. Sporadic fighting continued in the south but gradually that too subsided. To the east, however, a desperate battle continued.
Orcs had breached the enclosure and gained a foothold on that side. With every moment, more and more spilled through. Against them Brohar and his eldest son, Bronach, led a valiant defence. The villagers held out, fighting bravely in small groups but they would soon be overwhelmed.
Recognising the danger, Malaric and a handful of Northmen raced across from the north to lend their aid.
As they drew nearer, a huge Orc waded through the defenders, battering them with a mighty two-handed sword. A terrible blow shattered Brohar’s shield and rent his armour. The head-man buckled and went down.
Malaric fearlessly threw himself at the monstrous creature, halting its advance, but after the Beorning’s initial assault the Great Orc recovered and fought back. It bellowed with rage, smashing blow after blow down upon the helpless Beorning. Eventually a great swing connected and sent Malaric sprawling. He fell and did not rise.
For a moment, it seemed that all was lost but then Grimald and Grunehild arrived with reinforcements from the west and south. The Northmen hurled themselves at the Goblins and began to drive them back.
Amidst the fighting, Grunehild and Grimald faced the Great Orc. The monstrous creature battered Grunehild from side to side with a flurry of blows. The Beorning woman reeled as first one blow and then another connected, and then she too was smashed aside.
With both Beornings down, Grimald tried desperately just to stay alive. The Great Orc swung at him again and again but the Woodman was too elusive. The enraged creature could not land a blow.
With the Great Orc being kept occupied by Grimald, Bronach and the other Northmen gradually gained the upper hand. The tide turned and what remained of the Orcs and Goblins inside the enclosure were driven back. Seeing the battle inside the fence was lost, the Great Orc finally conceded and withdrew along with the others.
The surviving villagers finished off the few stragglers and then barricaded the breach. Somehow they had survived.
Soon after, Malaric and Grunehild regained consciousness but the head-man, Brohar, sadly died. His eldest son, Bronach, was left to take charge.
The battle was far from over. After a brief respite, the Goblin ranks parted and the Great Orc strode out. “Men of Hirtherd, many of you have already died this night. If the rest of you want to live to see the dawn then you will give us the last of your miserable moth-eaten dogs. Do this and you shall be spared.”
Some villagers began to debate the Orc’s terms but Malaric put an end to it by shouting insults out into the darkness.
The Orc Chieftain roared in anger and the attack resumed.
[END OF SESSION STATUS:
MALARIC – Hope: 9 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 5 of 29END + Weary, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRUNEHILD – Hope: 11 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 5 of 29END + Weary, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRIMALD – Hope: 9 of 14, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 7 of 24END + Weary + Wounded, Fatigue: 14 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue).]