The valley with the Ogres proved most treacherous. The fight, could have gone either way. Thankfully we bottlenecked the bastards and tricked one into fleeing and another into joining our cause. Thog. Yes, the Ogre who was tired of being bullied.
As we went on, I stealthed ahead, making sure not to be seen by anything. Not even the hawks in the sky. I found a man hiding in the bushes watching the group approach. In case he attempted an ambush, I would be ready. I snuck behind him, and as I did with Brandis, put my hand crossbow to the back of his head and waited to see what he would do. He didn’t notice me at all. It turned out he was eating a leg of mutton. Hardly seeming threatening… unless he was mad.
When the group noticed him, he stood up and said his name was Dreth, and that he is hard to kill. I muttered, ‘Hardly’ and came out from my position and walked past him. He seemed confused that I had been hiding right behind him.
Thog, just to make sure the newcomer was okay went over and sniffed him… must have been an Ogre thing.
Up ahead we saw the Ogre village and Thog told us it was his home.
There didn’t seem to be a way around without the guards seeing us, so we approached as if all were normal. The written note of passage was shown and the Ogre guards denied us entrance to the village but allowed us to go around. So we did.
Thog followed us, and the guards questioned why Thog was going with us, and Thos simpy answered, ‘These Thog friends’. The guards, as dumb as Thog, didn’t care and seemed glad to be rid of them… which made me question their actual intelligence.
As we enter the wooded mountain paths Thog told us of large hairy creatures with claws that roam the area called the ‘lowlands’ which were actually high up in the mountains.
When we entered the next clearing sure enough the creatures Thog descrived come bounding toward us going, ‘HootHoot! GrrGrr!’ Damn it. Owlbears. It had to be Owlbears.
Devoir, tried to speal to them, but of course they weren’t intelligent enough to understand the words coming out of his mouth. So the smaller of the two (which seemed rather young, not boding well) charged, and wrapped its great bear arms around the tiny Pixie and bit him with his hooked beak.
Thog bounded into action, swinging his greatclub in an arch over his head. Hoffat climbed the nearby bluff, and began casting his magely spells, causing the owlbears to bite and claw themselves. Thora took out her sling, and smacked one in the head, causing it cry out. Crying out is never good. Devoir couldn’t escape the grasp of the damn Owlbear. I would have to try and help! Brandis came forward and shot his arows.
I was bringing out my hand crossbow as the other owlbear charged Thog (the bigger of these obvious children). I aimed my shot right into the chest of the bleeding owlbear that had Devoir. It was so surprised it released was let loose.
A roar erupted from the nearby wood and it was time for Mama Owlbear to shw up. She barreled out of the trees heading for Devoir as the smaller Owlbear tured its focus on Thog. Thog swinging wildly seemed to not be able to hit his targets. The Tiefling was up on the rocks still waving his hands around, as Thora healed Thog and Berry, or Bruna as I learned she was called charged and knocked out the bloodied one.
Brandis fired arrows at the other Owlbear, but they did not seek true. Devoir attempted reasoning with the Mama Owlbear, no to effect as he raised his shield to stop the massive impact. More shots of arrows fwipped ou, and the Owlbear Baby that remained shrieked a hoot and Dreth and Thog covered their ears stunned. The baby tried to run and I moved up to him to try and stop him, but before I could he ran around the rocks out of sight.
Mama changed targets and went after Hoffat, right up the hill and clawed into him. It tried to attack again and Hoffat’s magical shield of energy absorbed the blow. Thog went after the Mama and Hoffat commanded her to claw herself in the gut. Thora and Dreth moved in on the mother as Devoir stumbled up the bluff, scramlbing to get at her. Brandis launched an arrow into her shoulder, she screeched and bit at it.
The baby came back to the Mother’s rescue and went at Thog. I came around the rock and threw a bola, knocking it to the ground, as Bruna tried to claw it, but claw met claw. Devoir was torn into by the raging mother. Hoffat slammed the Mama off the bluff with a spell, but she landed on her feet. Hoffat quickly fled, and Devoir blocked the Owlbear’s path. I focused my attention on the baby, trying to help Thog, who in the blur of combat was knocked out. Thog woke up suddely and climbed to his feet.
Brandis continued launching missie like arrows into the baby owlbear and Bruna backed him up. I decided to turn my attention on the Mother who had shrieked, stunning half the group and went aftet Hoffat, taking him down. The Mother then swung at Thora, and the Goliath ducked out of the way. Everyone converged on the mother as Hoffat recovered and pushed her away. Dreth would deal the killing blow to the protective beast, as Brandis and I chased down the last baby owlbear, preventing it from ever… getting…well I wasn’t sure an Owlbear would seek revenge, but regardless. We killed it, backed by Thog.
We decided resting for the night was a good idea and the next morning we went through the woods, taking various paths. We discovered something unsettling. The Aquilan army had lodged itself into the area in various camps of at least sixty soldiers each. As we snuck around Brandis disabled the traps the Aquilan’s had set. Hoffat was casting his mumbo jumbo spells for a better path to take… I never trusted magic. Well except Jazmine’s… I wondered where and how she was at that moment.
I snuck behind a patrol group and grabbed an enemy soldier, a fellow human in the enemy’s armor. I spit in disgust as I dragged him back to our group, where Dreth, still snacking on Owlbear liver scared the living daylights out of him, demanding information on the Aquilan’s doings. Just as we were about to kill the Aquilan, he begged to come with us. We debate it, and I decide he is good, and must prove himself to us in the next battle would likely suffer. His name was Bennen.
Devoir found us a cave… a secret entrance to the locked down village of the Goliaths. Brandis confirmed it would lead us to the village should we take it. Bennen, our new ‘ally’ seemed legitimate enough to where we let him keep his weapons. He was drafted into the military in his Devil controlled land of Xandyr. He had no choice but to fight for the enemy.
As we stuck our heads in the cave we found at a dozen Druegar searching about. Knowing the were alligned with the Aquilan’s we took the chance to get the jump on them. Bruna, Dreth and Devoir upon his displacer beast charged in weapons swinging as Brandis shot in from the outside, taking one down before it knew what hit him. Hoffat once again began his spells as Thora charged past breaking some necks with her mighty staff.
I sprint in and blew a dart at one of the tougher looking armored Duergars, piercing his armor and sticking it to his neck. He grabbed for it and then turned invisibe along with a few others. We all stood there in shock, as another Duergar burst into flames, burning Dreth. Thog whacked the nearest once as Bruna and Dreth made quick qork of another dark dwarf. Brandis finallly moved into the cave, and began fwipping arrows. Just as a Duegar smacked Devoir so hard I thought he would shatter Hoffat’s spell whipped out pushing it away, deviating the blow from being fatal.
I then found out that Duergar can shoot quills out of their spikey beards, spiking Hoffat and backing away like a coward. He seemed to be the leader from the judge of his red armor.
The others unleashed their quills at Devoir and the Displaced Beast, George(?). Brandis was vicitim to this as well, and Bennen moved in and showed his great accuracy with a crossbow, missing horribly. I shook my head, knowing that we may have made a mistake in bringing him along. Hoffat’s mighty spells lashed out and kiled two Duergar outright, and I snuck in and dispathced the third of the thugs.
The invisble Duergar then reappeared, one hit Devoir as he popped up beside him. The guards came back from being pushed away and surrounded Devoir focusing fire. Thog and Bruna would have none of this as they went to help. Devoir was fine as he retaliated. Brandis, the twin missile launcher, took down two different Duergar with one fwip of his bow. Dreth was badly injured but Devoir healed him with his holy touch.
Hoffat killed another two with his magic (remind me to trust the Tiefling from now on) and a zone of grasping magic appeared and Hoffat pushed one into it, killing it.
Bennen tried his luck again and missed again, as Thora and Bruna double teamed the nearest undedark Dwarf. Seeing a chance to hit one of the Scouts before they went invisible again, I launched a Bola, knocking it down, dazing it, and nearly taking him out. Serves him right for not paying attention. He vanished in a pool of blood, but I could sense he was still there.
The battle raged on, blows exchanged, Dreth stood up and took on a guard on his own, missing but slicing him on the backswing, slitting this throat. Devoir charged past and attacked a scout that was invisible, and in a splat of blood killed it.
Hoffat turned his mighty enchanting spells on the leader, making him stab at himself, but he resisted enough to drive the hammer aside. Bennen finallly shoots and kills a target. Hoffat realized all too late that the leader had ordered an invisible scout to go and get the Aquilans. We tried to locate it but it was too late, it snuck past through the water and out of the cave.
My allies converged on the leader, as Brandis shot the head off of the last resistant Duergar. I wanted to go after the fleeing scout, but I knew it to be a fatal mistake if I did. The Aquilan’s would arrive soon. I turned back to see Bruna gnawing on the armor of their leader, who was being kept alive for questioning.
I searched and spotted a door with strange markings on it… Thora knew nothing about it. but it was locked.
If we didn’t get it open soon, the Auilan’s would arrive and we would be doomed.