The following description of the night’s events was obtained before Session 12‘s adventure, with additional notes from G.R. Once again, K.R. was not present at the game to create the week’s narrative.
After their inconclusive encounter with Chief Samuel, the party returns to their assigned section of wall. Runners bring a modest dinner. Tense watch is kept during the scant few hours of darkness – but for a second night in a row, the invading army does not attack.
On the afternoon of the next day, a rested and refreshed party attends a meeting outside the Main Hall. Goa Finnbjorn, Corun Dum’man, Magnus, Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn, Armst, and Yorgenson Uberson listen quietly as Governor Rolofson and Chief Samuel address the assembled crowd of defenders.
North Point cannot overcome this siege and inevitable assault without the help of their home kingdom. Rolofson proposes sending four separate groups of agents far south to the kingdom to summon the Imperial military’s might.
Two groups will travel by sea; two swift boats with ten men in each. With luck and favorable winds, they may reach Imperial ports in two weeks. The other two other teams will travel overland; one headed due south, risking encounters with Ettins but taking the more direct route. The second will travel east across uncharted glaciers and mountains to the plains beyond, before turning south. Dividing up the messenger teams is a strategy Rolofson and Samuel believe gives the best odds of successfully contacting the kingdom.
The invading army does not know it, but below the town there lies an expertly engineered tunnel, crafted by Dwarves decades ago. This tunnel leads east from North Point, well under the orc and goblin camps, only connecting to the surface when far beyond the invaders’ rear ranks, some three-quarters of the overland distance to Gold Mountain. It will deliver the overland teams to a safe egress point from which to start their flight.
Volunteers’ names quickly fill the boats, and the saddles headed due south. The prospect of mountaineering and trailblazing valleys of ice, however, elicits only an awkward murmur of hesitation. Into this quiet, Corun, Magnus, and Goa vigorously pledge their party. These three are eager to quit North Point and head off into the wild, and their enthusiasm Øskur cannot bridle. Were Elroy Wick present, he would certainly have objected to abandoning the defense of their home for what could be a fatal, reckless foray into unforgiving wilderness.
Corun and his friends were capable enough as defenders on North Point’s wall, but may also be capable enough to actually survive the month-long trek through the mountains and down the plains to the home empire. Jøhan champions the idea of Magnus’s party making the treacherous quest to the east and south; Samuel immediately agrees.
There is no time to waste. Boats and horses are prepared. The party will leave shortly. Already, civilians have been labouring in the escape tunnel, ferrying critical supplies under the invading army and away to be stockpiled at Gold Mountain. Sentiment is that North Point will soon become untenable as a defensive position, and that hope lies in shelter below Gold Mountain.
Magnus’s party is provided horses and a riding-dog for Goa. The mounts and the riders are loaded up with additional supplies for delivery to Gold Mountain. No outbound cargo capacity is wasted. Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn, regrettably, can bring only one of his treasured ladders. As silent partners, Elroy Wick, Kulich, and Eberk follow along. None of the party of friends are left behind.
The Dwarves’ masterwork tunnel is clean, dry, and well-lit. The party secrets away from North Point, trotting along at a brisk pace. The graceful arched roof and broad floor provide clearance and breadth enough for mounted riders to proceed with ease.
They emerge some time later from a hidden exit in the wilderness, guarded by hidden rangers from North Point. The party is not far from Gold Mountain, but they weave an indirect route to avoid leaving an obvious trail back to the tunnel.
On the way, the party encounters an Owlbear. The creature is fierce and causes Yorgenson Uberson the most trouble; it is either intent upon killing the Druid, or is in some fashion eager to mate with him. In the heat of melee combat, Uberson finds himself grappling both with the Owlbear and with a deep, strange desire to give in to the Owlbear’s burly advances.
The party, unaware of Yorgenson’s inner conflict, slays the Owlbear. Øskur beheads the creature, with designs on some sort of helmet or drinking-vessel to be fashioned from it.
Making speed to stay ahead of sunset, the party hustles despite their heavy cargo and reaches Gold Mountain before nightfall.
(end of the session)
[Armst achieves Level 2]