Fight Orcs with Fire

We had various discussions before heading out. Sascha was intent on bringing the Band of Brothers to justice. These must be the bandits we keep hearing about, he argued. Theodora didn’t like this, at all. She argued that they had never betrayed them, had always been friends. The rest of the party was split on this issue and so Sascha brought up another item: How about going after the remnants of the Blood Axe Orcs which they had recently convinced to resettle? They had occupied the Great Hall in the south-eastern corner of the Surface Ruins.

We decided to go after the orcs. Adrijana used her four meter diameter ball of fire to kill orcs (brazier of fire elemental control). The rest of us picked off guards and fleeing orcs. Before going after the orcs, we had a chat with the Band of Brothers and got ten of them to help us. After the fight, as we were looking at the treasure chests, Eldakkar suddenly cast a sleep spell on the unsuspecting bandits! The discussion started again.

Finally, we decided to follow Sascha’s lead and go after the rest of the bandits. Aurora spied the bandidt leader, Malvern, lying on top of the building and blinded him with a light spell. The second surprise spell cast this session! Yusuf quickly climbed the wall and started fighting the blind bandit leader while the others crashed into the bandit’s hide-out. Adrijana had cast fire wreath on herself and fists of stone on Anouk and the dwarf just smashed everything and led us up the stairs to help Yusuf against Malvern. Yusuf had gotten some help earlier when somebody tossed a dog up on to the roof. When Malvern realized that he wasn’t going to win this fight, he jumped over the wall and tried to make for the forest. But he hadn’t counted on Theodora. The crazy halfling flung herself from the wall and tackled the bandit leader.

This session also brought in a lot of loot:

Back in town, Sascha forces Desi with the help of Eldakkar to confront his past.

Sascha: “The bandits and orcs are taken care of. At least one part of my obligations are fulfilled.”
Eldakkar: “Congratulations on your victory, sir. What about the other thing, we talked about?”

He looks to Desi, who is cleaning his weapons.

Sascha: “Is the speech ready?”
Eldakkar: “Yes, don’t worry about the complicated wording. My methods are foolproof (at least the book I read said so). It only matters that the lady understands it, since she judges in the end. Are you sure you can read my handwriting?”
Sascha: “Not a problem. I memorized all of it. Freya will guide my actions as always, if all else fails.”
Eldakkar: “Of course.”

Sascha motions for Desi to come over.

Desi: “What is it, sir?”
Sascha: “You know that we are a lawful group. I have taught you about the importance of cleaning one’s consciousness, have I not?”
Desi: “Yes, you did.”
Sascha: “Freya demands good conduct of her followers. That includes the errors of our past, which you have one to answer for, I believe. It is time to clear your criminal record.”
Desi: “What do you mean?”
Sascha: “I’m bringing you to court.”
Desi (perplexed): “WHAT?!”
Eldakkar: “Sleep now!” He casts a sleep spell on Desi.

Desi awakes outside the walls of Lady Kyle’s keep. The three are with their raptors, Desi is in chains bound to his mount.

Desi (realizing where he is): “What sorcery have you used on me, you charlatan! I cannot be seen here! I will be arrested!”
Eldakkar: “That was the whole point of the ordeal.”
Desi: “Treachery! Why have you bound me in irons? I would follow you anywhere but here, Sire!”
Sascha: “Desi, I’m doing this for your own good!”
Desi: “Up yours, priest!”
Sascha: “Come on now.”

He and Eldakkar lift Desi off the raptor and Sascha and Desi proceed to the Gate together.

Desi: “I hoped it wouldn’t come to this. I’ll simply run away using my boots of speed!”
Eldakkar: “I’m holding on to these.”
Desi: “Your betrayal knows no bounds, sorcerer.”
Eldakkar: “Don’t take it so hard. Besides, if this fails I’ll break you out of prison using them, promise!”
Desi: “You…”
Sascha: “Enough now, we’re at the gate.”

Guard: “Halt, who goes there!”
Sascha: “It is me, Sascha the Priest, bringing in a criminal.”
Guard: “Proceed to the dungeons. Court will be in session soon. Wait a minute! is that you, Arnold?”
Sascha: “Your name is Arnold, Desi? I didn’t know.”
Desi: “It’s court-day? Oh damn, I’m done for.”

In the Dungeon, a clerk handling affairs is present as the two come in.

Sascha: “You there, I’m here to bring this individual before Lady Kyle.”

The clerk looks up from his parchments.

Clerk: “What are the charges?”
Sascha: “Desertion.”
Clerk: “Oh my, headed for the gallows are we?”
Desi (enraged): “Don’t you mock me, weakling! I smashed people’s faces in for less!”
Sascha: “ I also wish to speak on behalf of this man in court.”
Desi (calmed down): “you would?”
Clerk: “That’s unusual, but sure, go ahead.”

Come court day, Sascha presents his speech. The speech was edited by the smart Eldakar of course. Sascha may have the necessary Zeal to deliver the speech and he’s versed in philosophy, but he’s hopeless when it comes to speech and such.

I greet you, Lady Kyle. I also greet the most worthy attendants present here this day.

The man that stands accused before us is Arnold, but I have come to know him as “Desi”. until some weeks ago he was a member of the Greyheim city guard, protecting the community from all that would prey upon it. His dutiful watchfulness being the only thing that stood between us and the dangers that creep both in the city and in the wilderness. I’m talking about thieves, robbers and worst of all: monsters.

But one day he took matters in his own hands. He left his post and decided to head to the center of these incursions upon our livelyhood. He joined me and together we headed to Castle Greyheim. The law says that he is at fault for he did desert his post when it was his duty to keep watch. I’m usually the first to uphold the law but I say that he may have abandoned his post once, but he never abandoned US! His actions at Greyheim speak for themselves. He was essential in driving back the monstrous boring beetles who would have undoubtedly spread into the Elderberry Forest had we not destroyed the threat in it’s cradle. He also helped bring the Bandits including their leader to justice that have long since plagued us with their attacks. lastly, he drove back the green menace, the Orcs, who were hiding in the ruined Castle planning to raid our town.

All of this he did in service of Greyheim. I took in this eager soul, fearing he might turn to banditry and after weeks I formed him into a patriot and a hero. There is no denying that he has always been this way and all it took was Freya’s divine guidance. I have no doubt that he would give his live for any one of us if they were only saved. While he still carries his guilt, I ask of you, Lady Kyle, for leniency in this case.

Lady Kyle looks at Desi, and Sascha. She ponders the situation for a minute. Then she speaks: “Desertion is a grave crime for it endangers us all in war and corrupts our settlements from within. For this, you deserve a hanging. However, as Freya returns the dead winter ground to life in spring, so does the church revive the dead, if they are worthy. If this cleric of Freyas deems you worthy to live, then I will not trouble the church with a resurrection. The church may have you! All the equipment you have stolen from us you will return. Your armor, your weapons – they are mine. Let the church provide for you! Let it be known that Sascha, Freyas cleric in Greyheim, has taken a life bond for Arnold the deserter. For his deeds, Sascha shall be rewarded. For his crimes, Sascha shall be punished. Let this life bond last for ten years and a day. Be gone!” She waves them away. “Next!” the council man cries. Two guards step up and say: “Arnold, you jerk! Why did you run away? No matter, you’ve saved your life and for that we are thankful. But now we have come to take the lady’s equipment from you.”

Desi: “Allright. Do what you must.” and he surrenders himself to the guards once more.

“Good thing that the trickster took away my boots before and Anouk holds on to the gauntlets,” Desi thinks for himself.