Out and Back In Again

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Out and Back In Again…

This is my first time writing in this journal. I’ve never been much for this type of thing, but being so obsessed with the stories of legends growing up, I figured I would do my part to recount this part of history because I have the feeling it will be another turning point for man. We just killed Thag. I’m not really sure I expected to go this far without at least a full battalion of men. What started out as a scouting mission has turned into a full-blown rescue of a city. If I were my own subordinate I would be irate over what we’re doing. However, it must be done. The city guard trained me to fight, to lead, and let me witness death and even kill, but not on this scale. Nothing prepared me for this. Not for what’s being done to women and children….....nobody is safe from this evil. What this has done has hardened me. I am now resolute to defend my country against these Orcs. I feel it’s my duty to help defend Arandor against what is about to happen, and I feel that we might actually have the power to do it.

This group I’m with, the “Champions of Blackport” they call us, is much more than I expected. All of them seem to have their head set straight enough on their shoulders to hold their own, but they’re still kids. I don’t think any of them but maybe the Dwarf Brigga has hit 25. I couldn’t ask for a better leuteinant than Brigga. He is a force with an axe and runs the battlefield like a veteran. It’s nice to know I don’t have to keep my eye on him, because they’re needed in many other places. Hope is still learning what she can and can’t do…

After we killed Thag we sent Korgul back to Blackport to report on what was happening. We thought he would have the best chance of getting back to the city unseen and unimpeded. I hope he is okay and we didn’t send him to his death. After he left we had 5 to try and make it to the “kitchen”. After seeing what I saw in the Church I wasn’t sure my mind was ready for what something the Orcs had named the “kitchen” might have to offer. We sent Teagan out to survey the city. Teagan is new to being with us, and what talents I hoped she possesed, she overflows with. That kid makes a shadow look like a drunk dwarf running around in full armor. Heh, I hope Brigga reads this one day. Anyway, she came back and told me exactly what I needed to know. We used the cart again to drive everyone to the rear of the old barn that was now being used as a human smokehouse. With Korgul gone, I was the only one that could pretend to be the driver and it made me sick to even impersonate one of these creatures. We mananged to dispatch the three orcs around back fairly quietly. The growth among these kids is amazing. The only knick we came away with were some burns I got when one of Hope’s fireballs got a bit out of control. I always knew the kid had something in her, and it’s showing fast. Her spells are getting bigger, and I hope she learns to get them under control quickly before she kills us all with that “dispater” thing she does.

In one breath I will say that my companions are becoming experienced fighters, and in the next breath I will call them stubborn kids. All the girls can shoot something….magic, arrows, whatever. My hope was to put the girls on the roof where the barn had a coupole old windows. We would get the tactical advantage as well as being able to keep them out from under Orcish swords, but the kids were scared of climbing the rope! Scared of heights, can you believe it? I have two young girls who can throw fire, acid, and all other types of magic and they’re more scared of climbing a rope than charging into a room full of bloodthirsty orcs. Teagan went up and got into position.

Brigga and I threw open the door and hoped for the element of suprise. We got it. Maybe the church has changed me or perhaps it just wasn’t as bad, but the “kitchen” didn’t bother me as much as the church had. The orcs had two young women chained to the wall, many piles of already discarded bodies, and had just thrown a fresh woman onto the grill…..alive. We sprung into action instinctively. The rush I felt was amazing as Brigga and I charged in, and it remained as we all fought together in a way that is becoming second nature.

I guess I’ve started taking for granted that everyone is figuring out what to do. Before we burst in I had given assignments to everyone: Kill any Orcs near civilians, stop the smoke, and kill orcs. It all came to fruition before I knew it. Brigga charged a whole table of Orcs as they ate and flipped the table over knocking almost half the orcs down. I’m not sure they could even seen past his axe and shield. From the roof, Teagan was managing to put arrows into the orcs as they were all but on top of the Dwarf, yet the arrows never seemed to get close to him.

That left the other half to us. I wish Althea and Hope would have went to the roof, because as I was pulling the poor woman off of the grill Hope darted past me and into the middle of the chaos. Before I knew it she was surrounded and could barely defend herself as the Orcs closed in and cut her to ribbons. I layed the girl safely against the wall and as I looked up Hope took a massive wound to the chest from one of the bigger brutes. The blow spun her around and left her in the perfect position for the fat bastard Orc that seemed to be the cook. As his cleaver came down at her I managed to barely glance it away with a off-balance parry at the last second. I pushed her behind me and began fighting defensively, using my shield as much for her as me. Althea stood outside throwing everything she could think of into the barn. How they control their magic is beyond me and Althea brought out some new tricks I hadn’t seen yet. I think there is a untapped potential there I can’t even imagine.

The element of suprise we’ve been so blessed to have gave us an enormous edge and we finished them off without one of us hitting the ground. We still have so many people to try and save, but we had to find a safe place to get these women first. Teagan went out again and found a nice place in the wall the try and get them over. Althea used one of those new tricks I mentioned to distract two guards while Hope and Teagan burned down another. We scaled the wall and got the women out with no more than some burns and a broken leg. It could have been much worse I suppose. The women said a large group of survivors were being kept in the stables. We were out…...now it was time to go back in.

From the above text, it is clear that the Champions had begun to gel as a cohesive unit. Their prowess in combat was already beginning to show, even at this early stage, as noted by Hovan himself. It is also interesting to see the “human” side of the legends here, sickened by what they saw in the “kitchens.” And though it is clear that they did not understand the full extent of what they had become involved in, the Champions were ready to face whatever came their way.

Out and Back In Again

Crucible Hardhead