“We can try to funnel them out.”
“But we’ll need a distraction..”
Heroes: Calibretto, Hogarth, Burtango, Lokag, Ghesh, Ortaddon
The separated members of the party; Hogarth, Túrin and the three other goliaths had found their way through a mountain gorge as they worked their way onward, to hopefully meet back up with everyone else, until the path had abruptly ended. It seems a landslide had caused a portion of the road to give in, as it continued about 25 feet ahead. Surveying the area, Hogarth noticed that rubble from the road had collected not even 10 feet below. They opted to cross that way, but had to tread carefully as there was no telling if the rubble would give in. Not much of an outdoorsman, Hogarth lost his grip on the climb down. He ended up shaking some of the loose earth as he fell on one of the goliaths. As the rest of the group stepped lightly, Hogarth convinced the goliath to carry him. Reaching the other side of the road, they traveled onward to discover an opening in the mountains. A small walled in village sat enclosed in a somewhat secluded, hidden valley 30 feet below..
That village is currently occupied by a warband of orcs. And in the center of the village sit several cages. There are few goliath survivors, and a couple others. Among them, a half-orc mercenary, hired to guard a merchant caravan. Said merchant was mercilessly slaughtered, his goods taken, but, because of his heritage, the half-orc Ortaddon had his life spared. Beside him sat a dragonborn. Prior to the orc encroachment, the dragonborn swordmage Ghesh was captured by a goliath scouting party. He remained caged throughout the occupation. An orc sentry was speaking with Ortaddon. Asking if he was hungry, the sentry offered him some goat’s leg. But before giving it to the half-orc, he bit off most of the flesh leaving the leg practically bare. Ortaddon sat idle with this leg bone, the others doing the same..
Meanwhile, Calibretto, Burtango, Lokag, Amaril and Rangrim continued through Stonefang Pass. Eventually, in the distance, they saw the second checkpoint; another guard tower. Rangrim noted that further up the road, was a hidden goat pass, which lead to the goliath village. They hit the turn and trekked onward until they approached a steep incline that had to be climbed. Lokag and Rangrim scaled the familiar terrain and Calibretto assisted Burtango in the climb. At the top, the group continued their march through some thick woodlands enclosed in the mountain. Rangrim notified them that they were approaching the village and to be on their guards, there was assurance that the orcs weren’t patrolling the outskirts as well. It was time to devise a plan to breach the walls and take back the goliath village.
The goliaths in the mountains.
Back on the cliffs overlooking the cliffs, Hogarth snuck to a ledge for a closer look. Seeing the walls were being patrolled by orcish archers, he was wary to hide behind some brush. It looked as if the village was crawling with orcs, some moving in and out of the goliath huts, and some patrolling the village near cages. Further along the cliff, another ledge protruded outward and resting on it, was a large stone boulder. Hogarth signaled for Turin and the goliaths to follow him onward, as they hid behind the boulder on the next ledge. This boulder could prove to be useful if pushed in the right direction.
Below them, one of the imprisoned goliaths whispered to the dragonborn Ghesh, to call to the half-orc Ortaddon. The goliath wanted the bone, for reasons unknown, and Ortaddon, having lost his appetite, blithely complied. Snapping it into a couple jagged pieces, he explained to his fellow prisoners that he plans to crudely attempt to free himself and them from the cages. Although unarmed, they could attempt to overpower the guard watching over the crates housing their gear. They would need to do it at a most opportune moment though, as a few prisoners would stand no chance against this warband of orcs..
In the forest outside of the village walls, Calibretto, Burtango, and Lokag decided they should lure the orcs out, as to avoid the archers mounted along the walls. But they needed bait. Rangrim, drawing his handaxes, knew what had to be done. Letting out a battle-cry he charged out in the open alerting the orc archers above. As they began firing at him, he turned tail and ran in the other direction back into the brush. Just before making it back into cover, he was hit from behind, and an arrow had taken him down. The group waited in concealment as the gates opened and five orc thralls came out to find the fallen goliath. Upon discovering Rangrim laying on his stomach with an arrow poking out of his back, they were hesitant in touching him. The party, unsure of breaking their cover to save Rangrim, waited with bated breath. One of the thralls called out for assistance when a larger, orc brute emerged lumbering through the gate. Rangrim was definitely in trouble, and Calibretto, feeling the urgency, charged the brute with axe in hand. Burtang and Lokag sprang forth and assaulted the thralls to save Rangrim. With all the commotion outside of the village, the archers on the walls sounded the horns as several orcs sprang up to action within the walls.
Hogarth, Turin and the group of goliaths noticing all the commotion decided now was the time to spring their attack. Forcing the boulder down the 30 foot cliff, it fell right on top of a goliath hut, crushing the orcs within. The guards nearby, looking to the mountainside noticed them, and launched their counter attack; a couple of brutish reavers started on the route on the other side of the village up the cliff side to pursue them. Hogarth and the rest of the group drew their weapons, in preparation for the upcoming combat.
As all the orcs scattered to deal with the counterattack on the village, the goliath began to jimmying the lock with his crude bone tools. Managing to free himself, he freed his fellow goliaths, Ghesh, and Ortaddon. Orcs idling nearby took notice as the escapees rushed for the now abandoned crates. An internal battle ensued within the village as the prisoners grabbed their weapons and began scuffling with what was left of the guards inside.
As Calibretto tussled with the brute at the gates, he began taking fire from the archers on the walls. After splitting the last of the thralls down the middle, Lokag strode past the warforged battling the brute, and took a massive leap, scaling the wall and engaging one of the archers. Burtango, pulling up the rear, drove his dagger into the back of the brute. At the top of the cliffs, two reavers clashed against the three goliaths as Turin and Hogarth fought to push them back. Calling forth his angelic protector, Hogarth hoped that power in numbers would lead to victory against the orcs. Inside of the village, Ortaddon, acquiring his axe and flail, began a flurry of blows against an unfortunate orc sentry while Ghesh began tossing alchemic explosives among the mobilized orcs.
The full scale melee across the goliath village continued on, as the heroes collected more battle scars, the orcish numbers dwindled. They had what was left of the orcs on the run, sounding their horns they hoped reinforcements would come. But it was too late, as the last orc guard was cut down. As the party had re-assembled in the center of town, a rumbling came from nearby. Something was emerging from an opening at the foot of the mountainside. Weapons still drawn, the party was prepared for what was coming forth.