Ahris

Deeper into the Forest

in search of trouble

The cold, dry morning dawned and brought with it welcomed sunlight and some warmth, albeit filtered through the snow-covered canopy of trees. The four men continued following the game trail through the woods, into increasingly hilly territory, and over a few frozen brooks and streams. After a few hours of travel and the terrain going generally into higher hills, the trees break and the group finds a small valley, hidden among the may hills and low ridges.

After skirting the upper edge of the valley in search of a good, open trail to move through it the team descends into the valley, wherein sits a large copse of trees and what looks to be a small lake within. When the party is partway down the shallow slope, a glint of metal reflects off the mid-morning sun from the woods to the west in the valley, and immediately thereafter comes a shout.

“Oi! Aye there! I see you’re in our valley!” comes a gravely voice from the woods. As the shout’s echoes die, there comes an deliberate shuffling sound to the rear-left, where movement among a heap of boulders and brush can be seen.

“You either outran our scouts or you killed’em, so you’re a presenting a problem for us…what are we to do with you?” the same voice challenges.

Meta
You’re on a shallow slope, in the open by a hundred-some feet in every direction, with woods to the front (west), a jumble of boulders to your left (south), the hill down which you’re riding to the rear (east), and light brush, a few trees, and a frozen stream to your right (north).

Comments

Take a moment to scan the surrounding area (perception) to see if there are more than 2 positions occupied.
Then in as intimidating a voice as possible (intimidation) “Woops, looks like we fell into yet one more ambush by these briggands. Three in as many days. When will THEY learn?!?!?!”
Putting together what I’ve learned in the military, and the 2 encounters we’ve had with them. Assuming their numbers at 10 begin marking places they would be hiding.
With as military posture as I can muster, pointing with an open hand. "3 there, 2 there, another 2 there, and a group of melee waiting to charge there.
“What are you going to do about it? Invite us to talk like men or run away like your comrads?”

Deeper into the Forest
 

Meta
Let me work through your request versus their positioning and I will get back to you, and then you can either stick with what you wrote above or modify it, based on what Morgren believes is the situation. The first line, he says. The second, with the pointing, is what I’m talking about here. I’ll put it in a player secret.

Deeper into the Forest
 

Marstabashan , that accent is from Marstabashan. In order for them to have knowledge of the caravan movements, they would have had to have been involved in either the Marstabashan Guild house, or the Marstabashan Town Guard. Based on the armor we have been finding, I’m thinking they was part of the Town Guard. How do you like that Morg, they’re traitors to their uniform.”

Deeper into the Forest
 

The speach is seemingly said toward the group but purposefully exaggerated so the ’SBB’s’ can overhear.

Deeper into the Forest
 

“Marstabashan!!! You’re right! I wonder if they’re trying to strike a blow against their elvin masters or is their greed so great they would pray on their own kind!”

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The lip of the valley you described would be prime for yet another ambush. How is it that as a trained, experienced ranger I always lead us right into them? Especially in my favored terrain. Kit needs to get his eyes fixed.
Scouting the area might offer these possibilities. We might have gotten the jump on them…

Deeper into the Forest
 

Meta
It seems that Kit is not the only trained, experienced woodsman/ranger in the colony. His eyes are fine – and so are those of others. As I’ve said a few times already: the actions of the RBBs of late and what you’ve seen in the last few days leads Kit to believe that either they’re under new, far more capable leadership, or they’re a different group using the same name.

Deeper into the Forest
 

META as well
I was meaning that with me scouting ahead and knowing what to look for we wouldn’t just blunder into each and every ambush that comes along. Kit might have picked up on the fact that there were stooges in the woods or at least thought to himself, “Hmmmm…this is where I would probably set an ambush. These dudes are getting better than I remember, we should probably be careful in here.” Rather than just ride until we run into them is all I’m saying. Doesn’t make sense for EVERY time we have a run in with the Soggy Diaper Bunch. Ya know, ya know?

Deeper into the Forest
 

Meta
Both make very good points. That is where passive stealth and perceptions cime into play.
I would guess our passive stealth is hampered a bit by a wheezing dwarf, AND we never established an SOP when traveling through hostile territory.
Then again, when we were going through hostile territory, Kit did range a bit.
I’m just pointing out facts, and not playing for either side of the observations.

Deeper into the Forest
 

Meta
The setup is as follows.

The party of four is on horseback, on the side of a shallow-sloping hill, facing downhill toward a small forest at the bottom of a valley. To the left is a spine of rocks that roughly parallels their route into the valley, and behind which are concealed some number of bandits. To the right is a small, frozen stream, with a small amount of space for someone to hide, if lying on the ground. Behind is a gentle slope upward to the lip of the valley. The ground beneath is covered in about 6" of snow and rocks here and there. The forest to the front is pretty dense, and although the leaves are all long gone, each tree holds a good amount of snow, thus creating a white, interlocking canopy, and shrouding the ground there in shadows.

There are voices in the forest to the front, and movement among the rocks to the left. No arrows are flying; nor are they making direct threats. You could close the distance to either the rocks or forest in no more than two rounds at a gallop, and I have to assume that your weapons are at the ready – not drawn, given that you’ve been riding, but ready to be drawn so that you can access them right away.

Deeper into the Forest
 

Ezra clears his voice “Oh dear, it seems my friend here has tipped our hand to killing your… uhm friends, but I can only imagine that in your line of business that comes with the life. At any rate, shall we continue to shout at one another, or would there be a better location to have a conversation like civilized people face to face?”

Deeper into the Forest
 

As above but adjusting numbers.
3 to 5 archers on the woods, another 2 to 3 behind the rocks, 1 or 2 laying in filth next to the brook, and some melee reinforcements also concealed in the woods. Now that eould be considering their entire band is awake and expecting us. I bet we caught them napping with only 3 centuries guarding the camp.
1 ahead there.. Pointing at the woods. 1 over there pointing… at the rocks, and one more high tailing it to the camp to get them out of their flea bitten sacks.
There has to be only… What… 20 at most?

Deeper into the Forest
 

Unless there are a bunch hiding in the woods you expect short of 20.

“Well then, let’s have a talk about all this killin’, shall we?” shouts the gravely man from the tree line.

“Hold your position, don’t go reachin’ for your weapons, and we’ll have a nice talk, right?” he half asks, half suggests.

Deeper into the Forest
 

“We will speak with you gladly. However, we will move to the mouth of the valley outside of this kill zone you have us in. We’ll meet you in one hour.”
Once turned on the horse as an afterthought… “Bring beer” calling over my shoulder.

Deeper into the Forest
 

A rustling sound is heard to the left and right and an instant later archers appear – two to the right (from the ground near the stream) and three to the left, from behind the rocks. Those to the right move quickly, bows drawn, to the rear to partially block movement back up the hill, and those around the rocks merely pop up enough to make clear the threat they pose.

If you’re on a clock, the group is in the center. The forest is ahead, with the leader (you presume) speaking from about the 11 or 12 position. The rocks are from 8-9, and the two guys to the right have moved to the 4 position. They’re all still about 100 feet away.

“I said hold your position” barks the gruff voice from the trees. Morgren is in the process of turning his horse around, and can be facing either to the right or left.

This is where we’ll start on Saturday.

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Roll Initiative.

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Meta
Go ahead and decide on how you’re arranged, facing, and what you’re doing so that we can have a clear picture of who’s doing what, where, and so on when we begin.

Deeper into the Forest
 

Morgren is done Talking. If anyone else chooses to speak to save us from combat, now is the time.
Morgren is about to leap from his horse and “dash” to the rocks and give them a very bad day.

Deeper into the Forest
 

I’d assume that Morgren has a tell of some sort that the others would pick up on that’d indicate his intention to do just that.

Deeper into the Forest
 

It’s called OP Telepathy. Grins.

Deeper into the Forest
MurphyIVE

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