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Ranger Report: Eggspress Delivery

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Ranger Report: Eggspress Delivery

Post by Cyker »

Ranger Report: Eggspress Delivery!

Eggspress Delivery!

Wolfwood yelped as he accidentally slammed the Oven's door closed into his fingers. The heavy plate oven gloves he wore prevented any real damage, but yet another score-line joined several others.

He hurried out of The Kitchen in a kind of high-speed half-waddle, carrying a large steaming sack, and ran down the corridor towards the Portal chambers.

"Oof! Oi! Watch where ye goin' y' pikin' eejit!" Reylar yelled as the crimson-clad orc barrelled past him, narrowly avoiding a messy collision.

"Sowwy! In rush!" Wolfwood yelled back without stopping.

Upon reaching the Portal chambers, he made a bee-line for one of the many archways, thumped a few runes while balancing the sack over his shoulder and hopped into the swirling vortex that appeared a few minutes later.

Druppi's Demented Dragon

"So I tells the drow to sod off, and he walks right past me!" Andy Lane, one of the guards of Benzor's East Gate complained to his colleague Grag.

Before Grag could answer, there was a 'wop' sound, followed by the sound of someone falling through several trees while cursing loudly.

"What in Serena's name...?" Andy stared, startled. The two of them quickly ran to investigate the small copse of trees just outside the Benzor gates, where they discovered a pile of red armour, inside of which was a stunned and mildly disoriented orc.

"Fankz..." it said as the two of them fished him out.

"Wolfwood? Bah, not you again! Can't you use the temple portal like everyone else?!" Andy groused.

"Naww... 's dangeruz dat wun! Dey put it in wrong... 's upside down!" Wolfwood replied distractedly, checking that none of his stuff was missing.

Andy shook his head with exasperation as the distracted orc dusted himself off and ambled vaguely in the direction of the Benzor River Valley.


As Wolfwood neared the small bridge near the Fletcher's camp, he ran into a small gathering where a young halfling was apparently trying to solicit some sort of help.

"... She is a nice dragon, but like I said, she won't come easily, so you have to be cunning." the halfling, who's name was Druppi Sapplefies, was saying.

Among the group were several orcs, one of which was hanging some sort of spouted pot over a fire. Wolfwood approached them as the others talked with Druppi about his missing dragon.

One of them offered him a mug of some boiled liquid. Wolfwood offered some of his gourmet food in return and turned his attention back to the halfling and the other talkers.

"Where'd you last see her, what does she look like, and what's her name?", asked one of them, Gorfin Be'fer in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Is there a treat or something that she enjoys?" added a halfling standing near him, Sedge Hopscotch.

"Well, she likes food." Druppi suggested vaguely, "She should be just north somewhere."

"Food?? I gotz food!" Wolfwood said to no one in particular. The other orcs looked at him with interest.

One of the group asked what the reward, presumably for finding the dragon mentioned, was.

"Uhm... a thank you?" Druppi replied uncertainly.

The woman, Nathe, gave him a cold look.

Druppi dug through his pockets, "Uh... Well... All I have is 129 gold pieces... that's all I have, but if that can get her back..." he finished with a small sob.

"We don't require payment to find her." Gorfin cut in, returning Nathe her cold look.

"Not?" echoed Druppi.

"Aye - keep your money." confirmed Gorfin.

"That is very very veryveryvery kind, sir!" cried Druppi with relief.

Nathe muttered something under her breath.

"Have you never done anything for the good of it, Nathe?" retorted Gorfin.

Nathe took on a thoughtful look for a second, the shrugged, "I don't believe in the goodness of others. What can I say?"

One of the orc brothers, sporting the uncharacteristically long name of Fatofsan Kag'Barshenat, got up slowly, "Uz have timez fo hobbitbuznizz?" he asked irritably.

"We've got time." Gorfin assured him.

"Thanksthanks!" Drupi gushed, hopping up and down with relief, "Sooooooo, aren't you suppose to be moving?" he added after a few moments of inactivity.

"Dazza a good idea." the other orc, Fatoft Kag'Barshenat added with a mixture of sarcasm and impatience, leaning on his axe.

"Your dragonfly won't flee." Nathe retorted, "We have time." she echoed with a malicious grin.

"Hoo leeding diz hog'n'coney show anywayz?" Wolfwoof piped in.

"We are not all part of the same group..." Sedge observed.

"Dere be a perty 'ere?" yelled a guttural voice in excitement. The newcomer's name was Novgor, another orc!

Wolfwood beamed, "Well we got foor orcz! 'nuff ferra good WAAGH!"

"Werez uz bring da draggy den hmm?" Fatofsan asked gruffly.

"Back to me of course!" Druppi replied with a curious look, "I'll be waiting here... because... uhm... well, it's getting darker, and I uhm..."

"Wait. You're not going to join us?" Nathe asked dangerously.

"Well, I have to stay here and uhm.... take care of the fire." Druppi shrugged lamely.

"Sissy." Nathe hissed.

"C'mon yooz lot!" Wolfwood bellowed impatiently, "Oi yooz," he said, poking Fatoft, "Yooz iz leeda?"

Fatoft shrugged, "Me gez so."

"Awight! Den get too da leedin'! WAAAGH!"

"We better get paid." Nathe said warningly to Druppi as she turned to leave.

"I said you could have my money!" Druppi replied with a sob.

"Just think of the stories we can tell about finding a dragon. Worth much more then petty gold." Gorfin pointed out.

"Stories won't pay my bills." retorted Nathe.

"Dun worry li'l halfin'! We getz draggy back!" Wolfwood declared as he pushed through the forest leading north to the Benzor Hunting Woods.

"Lez git lookin den okayz?" Fatofsan looked back at the others, before following Wolfwood and Fatoft into the forest.

"Could we please be going now and stop wasting time?" Thrar Gren grumbled.

After some confusion, the considerable momentum provided by the orcs eventually got the party moving north into the woods.


Lucille Dalley and Hawkwind were taking a pleasant stroll through the forest, taking in the tranquil surroundings. They arrived at a small clearing, and were deciding which direction to had next when the calm of the forest was shattered in a small explosion of leaves and twigs as a small platoon of orcs burst into the clearing!

"Oi yooz! Seen draggy?" one of them yelled as they ran past without waiting for an answer.

The two of them stared, bewildered frowns, at the retreating orcs as they trampled their way out of the clearing when another voice made them turn around.

"How sorry we are to disturb you two." Nathe said sarcastically as she strolled through the tangled hole the orcs had left leading to the clearing.

"Hmm..." Hawkwind muttered warily.

"Uh, no worries... we were just hunting badgers..." Lucille attempted to explain, feeling inexplicably off-balance.

Nathe chuckled condescendingly, "Of course you were hunting badgers... Barehanded..."

Hawkwind glared at her irritably, "All these people for one dragon?" he retorted.

"BAJAA!" came a yell from the distance, followed by some squeals and splatting noises.

Gorfin shook his head with a tinge of despair and directed the group to catch up with the orcs. Quickly.


"Cor! Izzat da draggy?" Novgor yelled to his fellows.

"DRAGGY? WHEREZ?!" Wolfwood yelled back, running up to him and looking round.

Novgor pointed at the small flitting creature hovering around a small sapling.

Fatoft squinted at the creature, "Too tiny vor be draggy, no?"

Fatofsan Kag'Barshenat agreed, "Yep."

"Bah!" Wolfwood muttered with disgust, "Daz no draggy, daz da teefing fairee! Dun let it teef nunna ya stuff!" he added in a stage whisper to Novgor.

The search degenerated rather rapidly, and soon the party was scattered randomly around the Benzor Hunting Woods.

"OI! WAITUPZ!!" Wolfwood yelled as he lost sight of the last of the party, "Where everywun goez?!" he groused to himself.

Eventually he caught up with the bulk of them. They were standing round several rather sorry-looking bears.

"Where draggy? Me not see nuffink 'scept beerz..." Wolfwood pointed out.

"It's probably around here. Most common of hiding places in these parts." Thrar Gren said in a disinterested tone.

"Oi, 'z any uv yooz a rain-jar?" Wolfwood asked suddenly. The others just looked at him oddly.

"Wot, nunna yooz izza rain-jar??" Wolfwood exclaimed.

"Uh... well... me not have jar vor rain..." Fatoft said slowly, "But yooz can yooz me 'elmet if yoo want..."

"Wot rain-jar? Wot wee need izza trackar!" Fatosfsan pointed out sagely.

"Lets try something else," suggested Nathe, "Now, if you were an annoying, bloody, little fairy dragon, where would you go? Ask yourself that question..."

"I'd do the world a pleasure and would kill myself in a corner." Thrar said sullenly.

Fatofsan, bored of all the talk, ambled off with everyone following him by default. After aggressively and proactively 'defending' themselves from the local bear population, they arrived at another clearing. By now the skies had darkened, but still there was no sign of any dragon.

"Perchance if we cooked some food, the dragon will smell it and come to us?" Gorfin suggested as they considered camping in the clearing until daybreak.

"Maybe." Nathe yawned, "Speaking of food..." she added, her stomach making a low growl.

"Yes, we could have a bite ourselves..." agreed Sedge.

"Dragon is quite tasty." Thrar snickered.

Nathe threw Thrar a disgusted look, "I'm not thinking of eating a dragon..."

"Mez try Durell draggy onze," Fatoft declared as he began building a camp fire, "Tazte yuck."

Fatofsan pulled a tripod of sticks out of his pack and arranged it over the fire, hanging his kettle under it as Fatoft called, "Draggy!!! Herez draggy draggiez!"

"No, we're not eating the dragon, silly!" Gorfin explained tiredly.

"We are nicely returning it because Gorfin says so." Nathe muttered sullenly.

"Whutz wong wit dvagon meetz?" Novgor asked.

"Tazte yuzk." Fatoft repeated.

"We were told she likes food, and I'm sure she has keen senses." Gorfin thought out loud as the orcs built up the fire.

Soon they had a good roast going from some of the bears they'd gotten earlier, suspended beneath Fatofsan's ingenious tripod device. Under the make-shift spit were several blackened coal like objects. Several of them were steaming gently, releasing a... curious... odor.

"Herez draggy draggy!" Fatoftsan called into the night.

"Anywun want sum?" Wolfwood asked the rest of the group as he plucked out some more of his prize produce and placed them around the edges of the fire, "Dey iz much tazty!"

"What ARE they??" Nathe frowned.

"Meat Suhprizez!"

"Meat?" Nathe frowned even more.

Wolfwood 'Hmph'ed to himself, seeing her expression, "Nudda wun uv dem weirdo 'air-diet' wunz I bet." he muttered quietly.

While he was waiting for his tea kettle to boil, Fatofsan's nose suddenly twitched. He looked up at the other entrance to the clearing, "Well look wot we got 'ere!" he hissed.

Looking at them cautiously was an electric-blue pseudo dragon. More correctly, it was looking at the meat roasting on the fire, its nose twitching at the scent.

"Cor!! 'sa li'l draggy!" Wolfwood exclaimed, standing up.

"Dun juz stand dere!!" Fatofsan yelled, and immediately the clearing exploded into a flurry of activity. People tripped over each other as they scrambled to their feet and ran at the dragon.

With a startled hiss, the dragon turned tail and sped off into the night!

"There it goes..." Sedge noted with a sigh.

The rest of them sprinted after the dragon, armour clanking alarmingly.

"Here li'l draggy!!" Wolfwood yelled, waving a Meat Surprise around as he failed miserable to keep up with the others.

After flying out into the more open areas of the Benzor Hunting Wood, the dragon suddenly swerved left behind a particularly dense section of forest. Although none of them realised it, the blue dragon had led them to a large cluster of trees, and was now leading the party on a merry chase in circles around the large group of trees!

After about 5 laps, Wolfwood stopped his pursuit. He leaned forward, hands on his knees as he wheezily tried to get his breath back.


The dragon looked back at it's foolish pursuers, snickering as it turned to begin it's 6th lap when *BOINK*.


The stunned dragon's serpentine neck waved around a little before it shook its head to clear the cobwebs. Quickly regaining its bearings, it searched for the object it'd collided with. Sitting in front of it was a crimson-clad orc, rubbing its head. Bits of Meat Surprise were scattered on and around him along with a half opened sack.

The dragon looked around gleefully and darted for one of the larger pieces.

After a cursory examination, it snapped the coal-like lump into the air and caught it, crunching it down triumphantly.

"Dere it iz!"

The rest of the party, led by Fatofsan, had finally caught up and quickly spied the miniature dragon.

It whipped it's head round to see what the noise was, and hissed at them again before beating its wings to take off.

However, Fatofsan was quick this time and managed to grab the base of its tail!

"I gotz it!!", he roared triumphantly, but his victory was short-lived...

Despite his bulk, the dragon somehow managed to continue flying and Fatofsan found himself being dragged along behind it!! He refused to let go and held on for dear life, but with glee the dragon began thwapping him in the face repeatedly with the free end of its tail until he was forced to let go!

With a roar, Fatofsan ran blindly into an old sturdy oak tree, their meeting heralded by a loud thud and a shower of leaves and angry squirrels.

Nathe rolled her eyes and stepped past the mildly stunned orc, holding out her hands as she approached the dragon.

"Shhhh..." she whispered soothingly, moving toward the dragon slowly.

"Great we found it, now can we take it back?" Thrar stamped impatiently.

Nathe flashed him a rude gesture, then resumed her attempts to coax the dragon closer. It looked at her dubiously.

Suddenly it squeaked, happily?, and darted past Nathe!

Sedge and Gorfin, who had been laboriously dragging Wolfwood from where he'd been knocked over, dropped the grumbling orc and dived out of the way as the pseudo dragon landed on Wolfwood's back and started pecking at the fragments of half-cooked Meat Surprise that were stuck all over his full-plate apron!

*dink!* *dink!* *dink!*

"Awg! Iz peckin' me!!" yelled Wolfwood. He rolled over, but the dragon hopped into the air and landed on his chest. With another squeal of glee, it began pecking at the fresh serving of Meat Surprise fragments now exposed!

Nathe looked at the two of them, throwing her arms up with an exasperated sigh.

"Huz uz know thiz be right draggy?" Novgor asked, as Wolfwood struggled to his feet and started flailing at the dragon, which snapped at the remaining bits of Meat Surprises in between dodging his clumsy swings.

"Corz it be right draggy!! Wot uva draggy dere beez??!" Wolfwood yelled back.

"Youz come wiv uz now!" Fatofsan ordered the dragon, warily keeping his distance this time.

"Well, I've got plenty of rations on me, so maybe I can lead a trail back to her master..." Gorfin suggested, regarding the orc in his loosing battle with the dragon, "Unless she'll follow us anyway."

"Lez go... draggy iz ztill hungry now!" Fatofsan said impatiently.

"Awwwg! Shuddupz an' stoppit frum peckin' meee!" Wolfwood yelled at them. The dragon was now perched on his head, happily pecking away at his helmet and shoulders. The massive plates that protected Wolfwood's torso and shoulders from the heat and exploding ovens of his kitchen made it very difficult for him to reach up to swat at the dragon.

Nathe sighed again, "Your master is searching you." she called to the dragon on a bored tone.

"We have to bring you back." Thrar added unnecessarily.

The dragon stopped pecking at Wolfwood and looked lazily at Nathe.

"So you'll have to follow us." Nathe added, giving the dragon a concentrated stare.

The dragon tilted its head to one side and eyed her suspiciously but didn't move.

"Just keep moving, Kazarn, back to the flats." Gorfin said slowly.

Wolfwood gingerly took a step, and the dragon remained attached to his helmet.

The group slowly began moving back towards the Flats, then all of a sudden Fatofsan rushed Wolfwood and the dragon!

"AHA!" he cried triumphantly as he made another grab at the dragon!

This time he wrapped it's arms round it so it couldn't fly away, but with an angry squeak the dragon exhaled a storm of ionising plasma right into Fatofsan's face, breaking free easily in the confusion and flying off again!

"Oi! Stop dat! Yooz eejitz!" Wolfwood yelled, bashing Fatofsan over the head with his number 2 meat mallet, "Bah! Yooz lot iz fick! Stop chasin' da draggy!"

"Draggy gittink ztezz diz way!" Fatoft yelled, chasing after it.

"We almost had her, but Kazarn blew it." Gorfin groused with disgust.

"MEE?!" Wolfwood yelled incredulously.

They ran after the dragon anyway, and eventually managed to corner it at the base of a small hillock.

"May I?" Gorfin asked Wolfwood, keeping one eye on the dragon.

Wolfwood shrugged and gave Gorfin one of his many food sacks.

Gorfin gingerly took a step forwards, never taking his eyes off the hissing dragon, and emptied the sack onto the ground.

"WAGH! Wayazdooin?!" Wolfwood exclaimed in horror and lurched forwards. Fatoft and Fatofsan managed to grab each of his arms and pulled him back forcefully.

The dragon immediately stopped hissing, and sniffed at the offering. With a delighted squeak it hopped over and nudged one of them. It was about to eat it when the Pixie they'd seen earlier swooped out of nowhere and grabbed it!

The dragon hissed angrily, taking a pot-shot with its lightning breath but the fairy managed to skittle out of the way!

"Oi! Demz not for yooz!" Wolfwood yelled angrily, catching the fairy after it dodged, as it struggled to gain altitude while holding the heavy charred lump of meat. Holding it by its wings, Wolfwood gave it a good kick and sent it sailing off into the tree canopy, "Food feef!!"

"Oi, gimme summa dem." Fatoft nudged Wolfwood. Wolfwood handed another sack over.

Fatoft waved it in the air, and the dragon, having already finished the other set, flew up and landed on Fatoft's shoulder, greedily snatching the lump from his hand.

"Lead her slowly to the flats - keep feeding her." Gorfin said tightly.

"And I thought dragon-fairies were intelligent creatures... all they care about is food." Nathe mumbled with disgust as they slowly made their way back to the Benzor Flats, trailing coal-like crumbs, high pitched squeals and loud crunching sounds.


"There you are!!" Druppi Sapplefies exclaimed as the party emerged from the woods.

"Uz vind draggy." Fatoft said, indicating the noticeably fatter dragon perched on his broad shoulders.

"Yep." Fatofsan confirmed, keeping a minimum distance from it, his features still twitching a little from the lightning bolt he'd caught in the face.

Fatoft gently lifted the full and sleepy dragon off his shoulder and gently handed it to Druppi.

"Thanks!" Druppi cried happily. His nose twitched, "But what's that smell? Phew..."

The dragon gave Druppi a friendly peck, then yawned and hopped onto the ground.

Nathe took the opportunity to step boldly up to the halfling as he patted his reunited companion, "The 129 gold pieces." she demanded, holding out her hand.

Gorfin pushed her hand away quickly, "Excuse my companion," he said hurriedly, throwing Nathe a glare, "Fair tidings to you!"

Druppi looked to both of them, a little worriedly, "Uh... thanks!". He then turned back to his dragon, "Let's go!" he said to it, and the two of them headed back to Benzor.

Nathe gave Gorfin a furious glare, then stomped off to the East.

"Now don't you feel nice and warm inside, Nathe?" Gorfin asked.

"All I can feel is coldness." she retorted bitterly.

"Aww, well havzum of deez! Dey'll keep yooz warm!" Wolfwood said happily, offering Nathe a sack of Meat Surprises. She threw her hands up in exasperation again and stormed off.

"Wow...two adventures in one...!" Sedge muttered to himself, but little did he know...

Barmy Bandits

"Wot yooz lot doin' anywayz?" Wolfwood asked his fellow orcs as the party moved East.

"We deelivarin' deez eggz ta Brozna!" Fatoft said, taking a heavily padded bundle out of his pack and showing it to Wolfwood.

"Wot kinda eggz iz dey? Eatable wunz?"


As they neared Richard Uther's tavern, the 'Badger, Wolfwood spotted some people he recognised gathered outside.

"Hullowz Bloo!" he called, waving.

Blue looked up, "Hello..." she said warily. She eyed the orc, a list of excuses immediately springing into her mind should he try and sell her any more of those infernal Meat Surprises!

"Hello!" a young girl cried, skipping up to the group.

"Ooooh, hullowz Arty-miss!" Wolfwood replied with a toothy grin.

"Hullo Kaza-miss!", the girl, Artamis Genereth giggled.

"Me not miss! Me orc!" Wolfwood corrected her, "Yooz hungree yet? Me still got sum Meat Suhprizez!" he beamed.

"EEW! GROSS!!" Artamis shrieked, she covered her mouth, "Ooh I'm sorry... I didn't mean... uh..." she thought hard, "Um, I'm on a diet!"

"C'mon! Lez goez!" Fatofsan said impatiently.

"Ya... We see yooz layta Bloo-an-arty-miss!" Wolfwood waved.

"Wait!" Atramis called back, "Where are you going?"

"We on deelivaree! We take egg fingz to Brozna!"

"Uz get pay all large amount goldiez iv deliver in pieze!" Fatoft added.

"So I could buy like, diamonds?" the girl asked, her eyes sparkling.

"Uh... maybe..." Fatoft said, shutting one eye and rolling the other up as he tried to think.

"WOW! Can I come? Pretty please?" Artamis said, giving them her most charming smile, which of course had no effect on the orcs what-so ever.

"I can't see why the elf-kid can't come." Nathe shrugged nonchalantly.

"Me not care, lez go before eggz goez!" Fatoft grunted.

"Onwaaaasaaaz.... MARCHEZ!" Wolfwood hollered, and the group moved off, now with Artemis and her friend Ilmig in tow.


The journey through to the River Valley was fairly uneventful, but once there the usual goblin raiders attacked the party once or twice. They were no match for the crazy elf children, never mind the fighters and orcs.

As they neared the bridge that spanned the Benzor River however, there was an unexpected encounter...


"What was that??" Ilmig exclaimed at the unseen voice. As he looked round, and man clad in velvet black appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and brandished a dagger, "Walked straight into our trap! Tott!"

The party paused expectantly.

"Tott?" the man called again, "TOTT??"

Eventually, another similarly clad woman appeared too, blinking, "Yes yes, I'm here Knoll! Ahh, our trap worked?"

"Yes, our trap worked!" the man known as Knoll confirmed triumphantly.

"We have them good now, eh!" Tott grinned.

"Yeah! Now," he said, turning to look back at them, "Just give us your money, and we will let you go."

"Aye! Give us your cash and no one will get harmed!" Tott confirmed, waving her dagger about dangerously.

The party looked at each other, then back at the two would-be muggers.

Nathe started sniggering, while Wolfwood was trying to make a head count.

Sedge snickered, "The mean looking one has all the money." he managed to guffaw, indicating Fatofsan.

Fatofsan gave them a maliciously toothy grin.

"The mean looking...?" Knoll furrowed his brow.

"How about this -- Just give us *your* money, and we'll let you live." suggested Gorfin.

"I could take both of ya on!" Ilmig said pluckily.

"Ilmig, our hero!!" Artamis swooned.

"Now lay off!" Ilmig finished, throwing Artamis a winning smile.

Tott 'hrmphed', "Go away you tiny little rat." she said disdainfully.

Artamis ran up to her, "Don't call him that! Take it back!!" she shrieked and kicked Tott in the shin.

"OW!!" Tott hopped on one leg, holding her bruised shin, "Little damned... OW! OWOWOWOW!!!"

Tott clutched both her shins as Ilmig stepped back, he and Artamis both having a smug grin on their faces.

"Look, we are the most dangerous thieves in the land, so cough it up! I'll kill the fat red one if you don't give us your money!" Knoll insisted, pointing at Wolfwood with his dagger.

"MEE?! Wot me dun?!?? Me juz da chef!!" Wolfwood protested.

"He's the chief? Even better!" Tott cackled.

"NAW! I sed CHEF! And I ain't fat eeva!"

"Yes... when he is dead, they will understand!" Knoll cackled with certainty, "Let us get the fat one, Tott, show them what we can do!"

"Say your last words!!" said Tott, twirling her dagger.


"WAAGH! HELPZ!" Wolfwood yelled as the two of them jumped on him. Knoll's dagger didn't pierce the thick apron, but Wolfwood fell over and knocked himself out. Again.

"Oi!" Novgor yelled, "Youz no attack 'im!"

Knoll laughed, "NOW you see how dangerous we are!"

"Yeah, so pay up!" Tott added.

The others got into a sparring of words with the two would-be robbers.

Gorfin nudged Wolfwood with his boot, "Alright Kazarn, stop playing dead -- we have things to do." He said warily.

After several nudges, the orc stirred, "Oi! Stop dat! I iz suppozed to be ded! Diz how yooz treet ded hummiez?? Daz diz-crimmy-nation dat iz!" Wolfwood hissed back at him.


"Hmph, I see you're still not convinced." Knoll said angrily, "Tott... who is next to die?"

"Oh I don't know! I'm hungry... any one of them will do, it hardly matters now!" Tott retorted sullenly.

"Amateurs..." Thrar muttered under his breath.

"Hungry?" Knoll asked, lowering his dagger, "Oh... well... Maybe we should get something to eat instead?"

"Yea...I think we deserve a lunch break..." Tott agreed.

The others just stared at them.

Behind them, Wolfwood twitched, then somehow went from being prone to standing fully upright!

"Did me heer sumwun say dey iz HUNGREE??" he cried delightedly.

"Them! It was them!!!" Artamis shrieked, pointing an accusing finger at Knoll and Tott with a panicky look.

Wolfwood beamed widely, "Well diz yooz lukky day! I got slap up deel for yooz!" he said, giving them a two-eyed wink.

The others groaned and backed away.

"Aye?" Tott asked, her curiosity piqued.

"Yup! For da low low prize uv 1 gold bit, yooz can buy a Meat Suhprize! It da bestezt gore-may food yooz eva tazted, will keep yooz full for aaagez! An' today I got speshul.. a free for sum offa! Ain't datta good deel?"

"Uh... yes... I think so..." Knoll managed, taken aback by Wolfwood's sales pitch.

"Sounds wonderful!" Tott said delightedly, "I'll have three!"

"Uh... so will I then!" Knoll added quickly.

Wolfwood handed over a sack each.

"Hm... what kind of food is this anyway?" Knoll asked warily, giving his bag an experimental sniff.

Thrar laughed bitterly, "Not the kind of food you want to tast-OW!"

Nathe stamped on his foot, "-waste!" she corrected, giving Tott and Knoll a sweet smile.

"Let us go and have a ale in the badger, Tott." Knoll said, looking at his new prize with anticipation, and with that the two of them stuck west.

"Nudda satisfied cuztomaz!" Wolfwood said contentedly.

"Riigght... can we go now before they come back asking for refunds?" Nathe retorted, rolling her eyes.

"I hope they choke. Worst attempt at robbery ever!" groused Thrar as they resumed their journey.

Trolling for Food

With the bandits 'paid off', the party crossed the bridge and made their way towards the other side of the valley.

After some minor skirmishes with the local orc tribe, they began to climb the gentle slope that led toward the Eastern March. About half-way up, they heard a piercing scream!

Further up the hill, there was a young girl, her back against a large menhir/standing stone, and towering over here was a slimy green troll!

"Lets go!" Sedge yelled and the party ran up to encircle the two of them.


"Issa TROLL!" Wolfwood observed unnecessarily.

Artamis grabbed Ilmig and hid behind him, "I'm scared!" she wailed petulantly.

Ilmig gave her a winning smile, "I'll sort this out!". He stepped boldly up to the troll and tapped it on its shoulder. Or at least he would have if he was taller. Instead he settled for tapping it on the back of it's leg.

"Now then, no use struggling! Just prep... what? Yes?" the troll, caught by surprise, turned to look at who, or what, was tapping on his leg.

Ilmig cleared his throat, "Can you not be so scary?"

Gorfin rolled his eyes, "Is this troll bothering you, m'lady?" he asked politely.

The girl, who's name turned out to be Miriam, looked at him incredulously, "He is going to eat me!" she screamed.

"Don't disturb me during my lunch!" the troll shot back, affecting a mildly irritated expression.

"But," Ilmig cleared his throat, throwing Artamis a glance to be sure she could witness his selfless bravery, "I got plenty o' good meat on me!"

"Uh..." the troll looked confused.

Ilmig continued "I'm fatter then her. You should get me instead!" he suggested with a manic grin.

"YES!" Miriam quickly and selflessly agreed, "He is! Much fatter! "

The troll looked from Miriam, to Ilmig and back again, "Hm... yes you do look pretty tasty..."

Miriam sniffled.

"Yep." Ilmig confirmed, "I'm a tasty bite size treat! Eat me and leave the girl alone!" he beamed.

"No don't eat him either!" Artamis shrieked in a horrified voice.

"Uh... Ilmig..." Sedge tried to interrupt, gingerly holding up a finger to try and get Ilmig's attention.

Gorfin, growing tired of the charade, stepped up and tapped the troll on shoulder again.

The troll spun round, "Yes?! What?? What is it now?!" it yelled, becomingly increasing irate at everyone interrupting it's meal.

"Run along now. This lady is not to be bothered." Gorfin replied sternly, gesturing at Miriam, who was still crying.

"I want my mommy!" the girl sobbed.

"Now why should I listen to you." the troll retorted, putting an arm on its hip and turning fully to look at Gofn. He was decidedly bigger than Gorfin.

"Because that would be a wise thing to do." Gorfin replied evenly.

"Hey, get away from her!" the troll suddenly yelled at Sedge, who had surreptitiously interposed himself between the Troll and Miriam during all the talking.

"No, you get away from her!" Ilmig retorted, squaring up to the troll.

"Ilmig, you are so brave!" Artemis swooned.

"Thanks!" Ilmig beamed.

"Oh you are the hero, I see..." muttered the troll sarcastically.

"I hear trolls are the stupid type." Ilmig said nonchalantly.

"Who called me stupid?!" the troll yelled, "Who was that??"

"Me." Ilmig said flatly.

The troll moved towards him, but Gorfin deftly pulled out his sword and held it flat between the two of them.

The troll gulped, "Flames..."

Ilmig stuck his tongue out.

"Hey... no need for that! I'm a good troll normally!" it said, backing away a little with its hands raised.

Fatofsan gave a deep orcy laugh, "Good troll!! Haw haw haw!! Whuz yooz be good??"

"Can we resolve the situation peacefully? For once?" Gorfin asked with a resigned tone.

"Alreddy not-killed lotza stuff!" protested Novgor.

Wolfwood recoiled, "No bash! Me not wanna get troll bitz on apron! Daz unhygeenik! And dey wiggle! Fink up udda answer!"

"Just why are you searching your food so far from your homeland, troll?" Nathe cut in with a bored tone.

"Well... I kind of got lost.", the troll admitted sheepishly, "Where am I anyway?"

"River valley." Thrar said in a derisive tone.

"Yesss... I can *see* this is a river valley! Which one?!"

"Just outside of Benzor." Gorfin clarified.

"Benzor? Hm... never heard of that..." the troll said with a thoughtful look.

"It's a fine city, just over the flats.", Gorfin gestured West.

"City?! I..." the troll paused, looking a little shocked and confused.

Miriam, noticing no one paying attention to her, decided to try sobbing again.

"Aww, dun worry li'l laydee! Haz diz Meat Suhprize, dat'll make yooz feel betta!" Wolfwood said cheerfully, ambling over to her and patting her on the head gently. Which really wasn't very gently.

Miriam yelped, rubbing her head furiously and throwing the Meat Surprise down the valley into the river, where it bubbled rigorously for a few moments, releasing a small mushroom-cloud of steam before sinking.

"Meanies!" she wailed.

The troll sighed resignedly, looking slightly fearfully at Gorfin's sword, "What do you want me to do, flame man?"

"Youz troll be runnink toda swampies now!" Fatofsan ordered.

"You'll find plenty of deer to eat on the way there." Gorfin assured the troll.

"Meez say kick da trollie butt to da swamp!" Fatofsan said.

"But... I wanna kill kill kill kill kill da trooolll!" Navtor sang.

"Stop scaring the troll!" Ilmig retorted, "He could be good for all you know."

Artamis gave him a slightly confused look, "It should stop scaring me!"

"Uh... riiight... I'll be going then..." the troll said, edging away surreptitiously, deciding he'd had enough of this weird group. No meal was worth this!

"He's away, little girl." Nathe said smoothly, moving to reassure her after the troll hurried down the hill..

"MEANIES!!" the girl shrilled angrily, before kicking Sedge in the shins, pushing him out of the way and running in the opposite direction.

"Owowowowowwwwww....!!!!" Sedge yelled, hopping up and down madly.

"Wow. She was pretty." Ilmig said dreamily.

Artamis glared at him, "No not really. I thought she was quite ugly." she said haughtily, folding her arms and turning her nose up at Ilmig.

"Not as pretty as you though!" Ilmig added quickly, "'Cause you are the prettiest!"

Artamis blushed and smiled at him.

"Awight! All of yooz followz!" Fatofsan bellowed, stomping the rest of the way up the valley into the Eastern Marches.

To be continued...
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:58 pm

Re: Ranger Report: Eggspress Delivery

Post by Cyker »

Wacky Races

The journey into the Eastern March was fairly uneventful, and soon the party reached the Weary Rest.

Outside, talking animatedly with Vesur (The owner of the Weary Rest), was a halfling carrying a flute in one hand.

Near them was a large body, just lying on the ground!

The party ran up, alarmed.

Hearing the party approach, Vesur and the halfling stopped talking.

"OooOoh people!" the halfling exclaimed, hopping up and down. Now that he was closer, Wolfwood recognised it as Pjotten Talltoppho, one of the dreaded Talltoppho Family Singers!

"Howdy-doo Vesur..." Sedge greeted the dwarf cordially.

"Da man woundud?" Fatofsan asked gruffly, pointing at the motionless body.

Thrar stalked over to it and nudged roughly it with his boot.

"WAGH!" the body shot to its feet, brandishing a large sword unsteadily. It fell over again.

"SNOOOORG!" Wolfwood exclaimed, running over, yanking the inebriated orc back to his feet and pounding him on the back, "Howz ya beeen?!?"

"Wounded? No no no..." Pjotten took another look at Snog, who was now being crushed in a bear-hug from Wolfwood, "Well, now maybe..."

"Too much oda alez hmm?!" Fatofsan guffawed

"Hulluz!" Snog head butted Wolfwood, who fell over, "Whut yuz duing hurez?" he managed to continue.

"We're just passing by." Nathe said slowly, eyeing them warily.

"Oi yooz lot! I nose deez too! Da halfin' wiv da stikk iz Yotten and da orc oz Snorg!" Wolfwood told them excitedly as he got up.

"I now have to spoil the moment and ask why you're here." Thrar said gruffly to the orc and the halfling.

"Yeah! We finked yooz wuz geddin' mugged!" Fatofsan said to Snog, "Uz was, mugged by twooz reducilouz muggaz back in da valley!"

"Tell them fatty!!" Pjotten said excitedly, hopping from one foot to the other and trilling on his flute.

"Weez 'ere tu purtucupuite un thu urc huvse run!!" Snog said with a wide grin.

The others looked at him blankly.

"What did he just say??" Nathe exclaimed, turning to the other orcs.

The other orcs ignored her, their attention focused on Snog with a mixture of awe, amazement and shock.

"Orc run??" Wolfwood stared. He turned to his fellows, "Heer dat orkz! Izza ork run!" he cheered.

"Vamouz naked drunk orc run?" Fatoft exclaimed in awe.

There was a moment of silence, then suddenly the orcs burst into whoops and cheers and then immediately began stripping off!

Nathe went pale and turned away, blushing furiously. Sedge, Ilmig and Gorfin just stared in horror, their mouths hanging open in total speechless shock.

"EWWWWWWWW!!!" Artamis cried out, hiding her face behind Ilmig.

"Oh brother, not another one... I'll be inside" Thrar moaned, shaking his head with disgust.

"No orc can miss this!" Pjotten cried to all and sundry, jumping up and down in a sugar fuelled frenzy.

"Wight! Wot rool for diz wun?" Wolfwood asked, having trouble unclamping his ridiculously over-engineered dragon-plate apron.

"Lun up! Drunk tun ulz dun run!!" Snog said.

"Hear tha people! Ten ales!" Pjotten repeated in less broken Common, "Get them inside! Inside inside inside!" Pjotten gushed.


Thrar was shaking his head, sitting down to have what he thought was a well deserved ale, when the six orcs in their birthday suits ran in, grabbed a case of Ale each and ran out again. Thrar queasily put down his ale and smacked his head on the table.

"Quite a sight 'eh?" Krondor, the dwarven barkeeper, said with a grin as he cleaned a glass.

Thrar turned his head to glare at the dwarf from its position on the table.


"Listen up! The rules is, quaff your ten ales, then run round the pub ten times!" Pjotten called at the top of his voice as the orcs rushed back outside.

"Tun tuimes!" Snog reiterated.

"Round and round and round and round!" Pjotten added gleefully, "Ten times!"

"..." Gorfin finally got his voice back, "And this is what you do for fun out here?" he managed incredulously.

"Urc trudutiun!" Snog said proudly. The others nodded.

"What fatty saaaid!" Pjotten sang gleefully, thumbing his flute at Snog.

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not an orc..." Gorfin said with some relief.

Pjotten's face fell, "You're not? Oh..."

"But yuz cun run unywuy!!" Snog said, giving Gorfin a toothy grin, "Bucuse thun yuz bu une uf us!"

Pjotten brightened up, "Yes!! Eeeeeveryone can participate!!" he yelped ecstatically.

Gorfin paled.

"Soo... all of you can run!" Pjotten grinned, turning to Sedge.

"Uh... my knee injury means I can't take part..." Sedge said sheepishly, silently thanking Tymora that the girl had kicked him earlier.

Gorfin glared at him.

"There will be prizes!" Pjotten added with a wink.

"Oooh! Win me the price llmig!" Artamis gushed, fawning over Ilmig again.

Ilmig gave her an uncertain look. She batted her eyelashes at him.

"Alright then!" he said with determination, pulling his shirt off. Artamis swooned again, "I'll certainly try!" he added under his breath.

Artamis cheered, "YaY!"

Snog and Pjotten turned to look at Gorfin again with wide smiles.

Gorfin blanched again. He was now furiously, desperately trying to think his way out, "AH! Uh... I mean," he turned to look for Fatoft. He found himself having trouble telling which orc was which without their distinctive armours, the fact that his eyes were trying desperately to look anywhere BUT them wasn't helping, "Uh... Fatoft! Perchance you should let me hold the eggs while you run with 10 ales in your belly..."

"Aww, dassa good point!" the orc pointed at the bundle on the floor behind him.

Gorfin swallowed, and gingerly went to retrieve the precious egg cargo from his clothes.

"YESS! I, uh, can't take part. Gotta look after these." Gorfin patted the eggs, "But you all have a good time!"

Pjotten shrugged.

"Uvuryune whu wunts tu run cume uvur hure!" Snog yelled, toeing a line in the ground.

Artamis shoved Ilmig towards the line, "You are gonna run! Win the prize for mee!"

Ilmig gulped, "Okay!"

He joined the end of the line, wisely not wanting to be crushed in the middle.

"Right!" Pjotten shrilled, raising his flute, "Get ready to quaff!"

"Wait!" Artamis piped up, "Ilmig wont drink! He's small so he doesn't have to drink!"

The orcs turned as one to look at Ilmig. The lone halfling gulped.

"All who participates in the race must drink ten ales!" Pjotten declared, "NO exceptions!"

The orcs nodded.

Ilmig eyed the large Ale steins dubiously. They were bigger than his head!

Krondor's voice echoed from inside, "Oi, 'ave this ladies drink!" and out flew a halfling-cup and a smaller cask which bounced off Wolfwood's head and into Snog's arms. He passed then to Ilmig.

Pjotten raised his flute again, "Readddyyyyyy.... DRINK!!"

"All in the name of love!" Ilmig yelled and started guzzling down his drinks as the others did the same.

"...AAAAAN GOOO! GO GO GO!" Pjotten yelled, waving his flute around madly!

The orcs shot off in a burst of speed that would have surprised any considering their bulk. They skidded round the first corner, with Snog and Fatofsan almost tripping over each other. Ilmig got a slow start and was behind the main body of the runners.

By the second lap, Ilmig had caught up, but by now the effects of the Ale were really kicking in!

As he crossed the line in front, Novgor dizzily went the wrong way and ran off somewhere into the Eastern March.

Fatofsan and Fatoft were bouncing off each other and Wolfwood ran into the Weary Rest's sign post with a loud crash.

"OI! Ye be payin' fer tha'!" Vesur yelled, shaking his fist as the orc shook himself off and ran on.

Now that the race was in full swing, the runners were resorting to classic orcy tactics, with Wolfwood managing to get to the lead by pushing, shoving and tripping as many people as he could!

He spied Ilmig catching up on him out the corner of his eye and gently prodded him into the side of the inn. Ilmig bounced and spun round, but quickly got his bearings back and sped forwards again!

"MEANIE!" Artamis shrilled, full of righteous indignation at Wolfwood's tactics. She ran into the race and swung her staff into Wolfwood's shin, "MEANIE MEANIE MEANIE!!!"

"WAAGH!" Wolfwood yelped and tried to grab his knee, momentarily forgetting he was running, and tripped himself over!

He tumbled over and over, slamming into the side of the Weary Rest with an almighty crash! Vesur covered his eyes mumbling something about in-sewer ants.

He got back up shakily, but then tumbled over again as the other orcs ran over him!

"AWM! Melff! Meef!" he protested with a mouth full of grass.

"6 to go people! KEEP IT UP! RUUUUUN!!" Pjotten cried, jumping up and down with glee. Behind him, Sedge was rolling on his back, laughing hysterically as tears rolled down his face. Even Gorfin and Nathe couldn't help but chuckle at the orc's antics.

"Halflin' bash me in da kneez!" Wolfwood protested as he waddle-limped past, "Fowl!"

"I don't see no birds, keep running!" Pjotten yelled back.


Argyle Wy'Idin, a dwarf warrior, was ambling down the Eastern march idly thinking about... whatever dwarves think about.

As he got nearer to the Weary Rest, he noted the people sat on the rock opposite. Why are they cheering? he wondered.

He yelled back, waving at them with a grin.

"Moov outta da wayz!!!"

Argyle snapped his view forwards as the thundering mass of orcs, led by Fatofsan bore down on him like an uncontrollable avalanche!

"AAH!" he yelled in sheer terror, shielding his head as the naked orcs crashed into him, tumbling over and sprawling everywhere. Ilmig hopped over them and into the lead again!

"What tae hell?!" Argyle exclaimed, getting shakily to his feet.

Gorfin and Nathe hurried over to him and unceremoniously dragged him back to the safety of their rock.

"Apparently it's a Great Orc Race." Gorfin said lightly. Nathe sniggered.

"Ye gods..." Argyle went a little pale.

"Indeed." Gorfin agreed.

"HAHAA! GET UP!" Pjotten urged them, laughing his head off at the chaos.

Wolfwood scrabbled to his feet, giving Fatoft a well-placed kick before hurrying after Ilmig. Snog stuck a foot out and the chef tumbled over again with a cry.
Eventually the five of them were back up and running, pushing, shoving and tripping each other with wild abandon.

Argyle shook his head, "This ain't no good for your astablishment Vesur!"

Vesur grinned, "Aye, me repair bill will be a bit up, but think o' tae publicity!"

"Aye... 'Weary Rest destroyed by drunken orcs!'"

Vesur chuckled.

"Run run run!" Pjotten cheered.

Ilmig, a good few metres ahead of the orcs sped past the sign and the starting line!

"I WIN!!" he cheered, skidding to a stop and hopping up and down.

"YAY! Ilmig won!" Artamis cheered.

"Nope, two laps left!" Pjotten corrected them.

"That was 10!" Ilmig protested as the orcs quickly gained on him. He looked back nervously.

"NA HA!" Atramis shook her head at Pjotten, "I counted!!"

"No no! I'm the sober one here! 2 laps left!" Pjotten giggled as the orcs rushed past Ilmig, forcing him to chase after them again.

"Three rounds left for you Wolfy!" Pjotten laughed.

"WOT?!?" Wolfwood gasped, "AWW NOO! Me iz dyin' herez!!!" he protested, pushing Fatofsan into Snog again.

"Hurry Snog!!" Pjotten laughed as the orcs got tangled up again.

Snog fell behind, but ripped the sorry remains of the Weary Rest's sign-post off and skimmed it at Wolfwood's feet!

"AWGH!" Wolfwood yelped as he tripped and rolled over the start line in a mad tumble.

"LAST LAP!!" Pjotten yelled, playing a high-pitched trill on his flute.

Ilmig surged forwards round the second turn, his feet a'blur as he dodged round the brawling orcs and into the lead!!

"AWWW!" Wolfwood tried to push Ilmig over again but Snog, having been shoved by Novgor, tripped him up and the two of them tumbled into Vesur amid a flurry of arms and loud cursing!

"YESSSS!" Pjotten cried out as Ilmig ran past the start line for the final time.

"I WIN!!! I WIN!!!!" Ilmig cheered as Artamis ran up to hug him.

She stopped short and recoiled, "EWW! Put some clothes on!!!"


The three halflings and spectators turned to watch as the orcs crossed the start line, but then carried on!!

"What?! Don't tell me there is more!" Ilmig spluttered in dread

"No no. You're done running. ease down lad. Go sit or something!" Pjotten said distractedly, waving at the orcs to stop.

"HE WON! HE WON! Where's my prize?" Artamis demanded petulantly.

Pjotten rolled his eyes, "Will you be quiet? I'm trying to make them stop running!!" he said urgently as the orcs completed their thirteenth lap!

Suddenly there was a loud roar - A number of Dire Bears were charging towards the Weary Rest!


The first Wolfwood knew of the bears was when Fatoft suddenly disappeared in a blur of fur. He skidded to a halt.

"Beerz not allow in race! BUNDLEEEE!!!"


Taking up the cry, the orcs forgot about their extended race and rushed at the bears!

One of them was trying to twist a protesting Fatoft's head off while another was trying to bite his legs.

Wolfwood and Snog bull-rushed the leg-biter, knocking it to the ground where they clobbered and stomped it with orcy ferocity.

Novgor and Fatofsan tried to pry the other bear's mouth open, but when that didn't work they settled for punching it in the face until it let go!

"Wuh..." Fatoft flopped to the floor as Fatofsan and Novgor pummelled the bear, enraged by the disruption of their race!

Behind them, the others had their weapons out and intercepted the other bears before they could get to the orcs.

"What is happening??" Pjotten exclaimed as he jabbed a bear in the eye with his flute. The bear reared up with an angry roar, but fell over when Argyle and Gorfin hacked its legs out from under it.

They quickly drove the rest of the bears off, leaving a few dead bundles of fur amidst tired lethargic but still very naked orcs. They slowly made their way back to the front of the Weary Rest, with Wolfwood and Snog dragging Fatoft and Fatofsan behind them.

"Aww bugga off! Me wanna sleep!" Fatofsan complained.

"He gonna be okayz?" Snog asked Wolfwood, pointing at the bleeding Fatoft.

"Yuz... me fizzez himz!"

Wolfwood extracted some salves from his pack and put his Mandatory Chef Medical Training to use. Unfortunately the ten ales he'd had were still in effect, and he found his hands tied together with bandages.


Artamis shooked her head, "Hmph!" she said haughtily, and skipped over to the unconscious Fatoft. Wrinkling her nose with disgust as she checked him over then, satisfied, cast a healing spell.

"WAAGH! GEDDOFMEHEA... oh.. hullowz!" Fatoft sat up and rubbed his head. He cringed a little, it was still sore.

"Right!" Artamis said, spinning away and stalking back over to Pjotten, "Ilmig won! Where's my prize??"

"Yes yes yes," Pjotten brushed her aside, "EVERYONE! Listen everyone! We have a winner!" he beamed.

The others clapped heartily.

"Well...that was a good bit of sport...!" Sedge said, half to himself. Nathe rolled her eyes.

"Who won?" Gorfin asked, a little confused.

"Ilmig!" Pjotten beamed.

"Yaaay!" Ilmig grinned widely, looking round all the others as they cheered and clapped.

"Congrats, llmig!" Gorfin chuckled as he clapped.

"OOOH! MY HEERO!" Artamis cried, grabbing him.

"But 'ee's not evan an ork!" Wolfwood groused unsteadily.

"All could participate." Pjotten admonished him.

"Besides, you're too drunk to tell!" Ilmig retorted.

"Ya... daz troo..." Wolfwood admitted, his orcy brain marinating nicely in the ten ales, "Me juz leeve da siss of yooz while me juz look at floor for bit." he finished before falling flat on his face with a loud thud.

"Do I get a prize?" Ilmig asked.

"Yes! Where's my prize??" Artamis demanded.

"Don't worry! You'll get it, but there is a second competition first..." Pjotten said with a sly grin.

"Second competition?!" Gorfin groaned.

"Hah! I'll definitely win this!" Ilmig, hopping from one foot to the other, looking ready to run as he looked at the groaning orcs sprawled around the front of the inn.

Pjotten giggle, "No no no, it's not another race!"

Ilmig paused mid-hop, "'eh? What is it then?" he asked suspiciously

Pjotten grinned maniacally, "LISTEN UP! Right! The Second part, if you are not all too drunk to listen, is NAKED BADGER WRESTLING!" he beamed.

Gorfin covered his eyes with his hands.

"Who is man enough to face a badger? Who DARES face deadliest creature in Nordock in single unarmed combat?? ANYONE can enter!" Pjotten enthused, looking at the party gathered around the rock.

"Easy! I'll do it!" Argyle said with a gruff laugh, hopping off the rock. Nathe, Sedge and Gorfin glared daggers at him.

"Yay!" Pjotten grinned, "What about you three?"

"Erhm.. me knee!" Sedge stammered, making a big show of his tiny knee injury.

"Eggs!" Gorfin patted the padded eggs quickly.

"What about... oh. Funny. I swear there were four of you..." Pjotten said, counting up with a furrowed brow.

From behind the rock, Nathe breathed a sigh of relief that she learned how to fade into the shadows.

"I dare!" Ilmig declared, puffing out his chest.

"Oooh, you're sooo brave!" Artamis fawned.

"That's two!" Pjotten said. He eyed the recumbent orcs. Better let them rest a bit longer... he thought to himself.

"Alright! Now, this is a fist fight. So no weapons!" Pjotten said, pulling out a wand, "And no armour and no clothes!"

"Do I need to drink first?" Argyle asked eagerly.

"Uhh... if you want, but it's not required!" Pjotten said.

Argyle shrugged and began quaffing some of the remaining ale steins anyway.

Pjotten shrugged and waved his wand, "Right! This is the badger! WHO IS FIRST TO FACE THIS FEARSOME BEAST??"

"ME!" Ilmig yelled back. Pjotten glanced at Argyle, who was too busy guzzling the free ale.


"Say when to start!" Ilmig said, cracking his knuckles, "This badger is mine!"

"Ready? G-g-g-GOOOO!!" Pjotten waved his flute around madly.

The badger leapt forwards and swiped it's front claws at Ilmig!

Artamis screamed as it carved three rows of crimson along his arm, but Ilmog spun round and gave the badger a good kick, knocking it on its back. With a yell, he jumped on it and the two of them rolled around on the ground for a few moments before jumping apart again.

"You're going down goliath!!" Ilmig screamed maniacally at the badger and charged forwards.

The badger hissed at him and charged forwards too, but the halfling was faster and dodged out of the way, giving the badger another good kick. With a squeak it tumbled over and landed on the rock with a thud next to Sedge.

"AAAH!" he cried out in alarm, scrambling away, but the badger faded away.

"Hurray for me!" Ilmog cheered himself, throwing his hands out in the air.

"MY HEEROOO!" Artamis rushed to hug him again, "ACK! You got blood on my dress!!"

"Good fight, mister!" Pjotten grinned, "Now, who's NEXT to face this terrifying foe??"

"If that wee one can so can I!" declared Argyle in a slurred voice, ale dripping down his beard.

"Aaand here is the next badger!" Pjotten announced with a flutter of his wand.

Argyle stumbled unsteadily over to it.

"Srry lill fella..." he slurred.

"Aaaand...GO!" Pjotten jumped up and down.

The badger jumped at Argyle, but he grabbed its nose and beaned it over the head, knocking it out in one hit!

"Woah...!" Pjotten goggled at the fading badger.

"Gadzooks!" agreed Ilmig.

"Harhar!" Argyle chuckled, before grabbing his armour and stumbling back to where Sedge and the others were still waiting.

"Wolfy? Are you up next?" Pjotten said, grinning at Wolfwood who was still sitting up staring into space.

"WUH?! Wossit? Me bash it! Where it!" he rumbled incoherently.

With some gentle prodding, Pjotten managed to manoeuvre him to the makeshift arena.

"There you go my friend! The deadly badger awaits you! GOOO!" Pjotten trilled on his flute.

Wolfwood's eyes widened, "BAJA??! WHEREZ!!! AAAGH!!!!!" Wolfwood began running in drunken circles while the badger ran behind, trying to bite him.

"Bite his heels! Bite his heels!" Pjotten was cheering while giggling hysterically.

"WAAAGH!!!" Wolfwood screamed. Suddenly, he slipped and found himself airborne!

"AWWW NOOOooooooo...!"


"Bite his heels! Bite his-... Hrm."

Wolfwood was lying on his back unconscious, and underneath his considerable bulk was the badger. It struggled vainly to stand for a few seconds, then gave up, its little legs all splayed out under the unconscious orc.

Gorfin and the others burst into uncontrollable sniggering at the spectacle as the badger faded out of sight.

"Nice hit Kazarn, you didn't have to sit on him though." chuckled Argyle as he ambled over to the prone orc, "That's a horrible death!" he added, shaking his head.

"Ohhh... the badgerinity...!" Sedge snickered in mock lament.

"Who is next? No more men here?" Pjotten enquired, trying to get the crowd going again. The remaining orcs just looked at him dull-ly.

"Fine fine. No more men here." he quickly finished.

"Is that the last competition, Pjotten?" Gorfin inquired, becoming serious again.

"Yes!" Pjotten grinned.

"Good, we have matters to attend."

"Wait, it's just the winning ceremonies now!" Pjotten grinned.

The others looked on as Argyle and Ilmig were hustled to a pair of makeshift podiums in front of the Weary Rest.

"The winner of the badger wrestling is Argyle! Your prize is a year's free supply of Vesur's ale!"

"WAHOO!" Argyle cheered, running into the Weary Rest.

"OI! Wait a sec, I didnay say a whole YEAR!!" Vesur protested, eyes wide in horror, "A year's free ale to a DWARF?! I'll be ruined!!!", he ran into the inn, hot on Argyle's heels, "Come back 'ere ye freeloader!!"

"Ah... eheheheh... heh... um." Pjotten gave the remaining audience a sheepish grin, "Anyway!" he smoothly changed the subject, "The winner of the race was Ilmig, and here is your prize!" Pjotten declared, holding out a bag of some sort.

Ilmig looked at the bag dubiously, "No alcyhol please. I'm really not old enough for alcyhol..."

"Al-key-hole?" Wolfwood echoed. His stomach made a funny noise.

Sedge noticed Wolfwood's complexion turn slightly greener than usual, "Erm... Wolfwood?"

"Me nush feel sho good..." Wolfwood moaned.

"Are you alrig-AAARGH!" Sedge screamed and practically jumped back half a mile as Wolfwood promptly emptied his stomach's contents on the ground next to where Sedge had been sitting.

Sedge whimpered slightly as he tried to clean his boots in the grass. "I think that's enough excitement for one day." he said shakily to Gorfin.

Gorfin nodded silently, taking a delicate step away from the orc.

"Right then!" Pjotten said, his smile going a little brittle at the spectacle, "Fine fine! Well! I have other things to attend too!"

"As do we." Gorfin said, acknowledging Pjotten with a nod, "Thank you for running this, ah, delightful event."

"Uh... yeah... um..." Pjotten tried not to look at Wolfwood's handiwork, "Anyway! I wish you all a fine travel further. And with that, I will take my leave!" Pjotten shook Gorfin's hand, put his flute to his mouth and started playing a painfully cheerful and up-beat tune as he skipped toward Benzor.


Inside the inn was a loud crash followed by some smaller ones, and some yelling.

At length, Thrar stepped out of the doorway and looked around, giving everyone a look of strained patience.

"Can we continue now??" he demanded. Bits of what might have once been a small ale cask were hanging off him.

The others got up and began preparing to leave. The orcs and Ilmig started strapping their equipment back on, while Wolfwood dug miserably round in his pack for a Meat Surprise with a medical symbol carved into it. He crushed it and swallowed the pieces before struggling back into his clothes and apron.

As they sorted themselves out, there was suddenly a loud high-pitched shriek to the West.

"What was... YAAA!" Ilmig yelped, dodging back as a few hundred badgers suddenly shot past heading towards the Trommel forest!!

Wolfwood looked after them with miserable nonchalance, "I mush shill be pished... I finked I jushhaw buncha migratin bajash!!!"

Novgor piped up, "Cor, I dint nose bajaz run sowf for winta!"

Nathe rolled her eyes, "They don't. That's birds!"

Novgor furrowed his eyebrows, "Birz run sowf for winta? Fick birdz, dey shud fly!!"

Nathe threw her hands up with a cry of exasperation and turned towards Trommel.

Riddle me this

The party had only gotten a short distance from the Weary Rest when Artamis spotted someone coming towards them on the road,

"T.J!" she exclaimed.

"ARTA!!" cried the other girl, Tullia Jellfielle.

The two of them ran at each other and hugged.

"The mighty dragon slayers." Ilmig muttered, half to himself. He cringed, "Aww, my head..."

Tullia gave him a strange look. She stepped back and gave them all an appraising look,

"Why are you all drunk?" she asked suspiciously.

"Uz bin playink gamez!" Fatofsan beamed at the diminutive newcomer.

"Aye -- and the smell has certainly kicked up a bit." grumbled Gorfin softly.

"They had to drink 10 ales than run 10 laps around the house." Artamis explained to her newly arrived friend.

"Really?" Tullia exclaimed.

Atramis nodded, "Really." she sidled closer to Tullia, "And naked too!" she half-whispered with a shocked expression, waggling her eyebrows.

Tullia burst into a high-pitched giggle.

"Aww my heead..." Ilmig moaned.

"I told you not to drink that ale!" Artamis said smugly.

"But I had to! And I won the prize for you didn't I?" Ilmig retorted.

"AWW! Stop shoutin'!! Me got 'eadache!" Wolfwood moaned.

"Awight, lets move." Fatofsan grunted.

The party left the brightly lit plains of the Eastern March and entered the gloomy under-canopy of Trommel Forest where they encountered another newcomer.

"Uh... hi... I'm Nelix." he eyed the party warily, the orcs especially.

"We're travelling to Brosna." Nathe said, not breaking her stride.

"Oh! Oh good... uh... so am I..." and, not seeing any objection, tagged along behind them.

The orcs and Ilmig limped along in various states of sobriety, while the others walked at points around them, wary of any dangers. The forest wildlife give the noisy moaning group a wide berth, so the journey was fairly uneventful.

At one point they ran into an ogre ambush, with the ogre's mages appearing in the middle of the orc party ready to cast its attack spells. Unfortunately, startling six orcs with hangovers is never a good idea and the ogre mages (And Ilmig) were knocked out by the wall of flatulence that resulted.

Nathe waved her free hand frantically, her other clamped firmly over her mouth and nose, "That does it! We're staying over here!!" she managed to shout, moving several metres up-wind of the embarrassed orcs.

They continued onwards like this, with pretty much everything giving them a wide berth now.

Thrar was in the lead point position, mumbling assorted curses under his breath when he unexpectedly walked into a thick thorny patch of briars. Recoiling, he cursed and hacked at it, but to his surprise it grew back instantly!

The rest of the party had caught up now and gave the thick wall of briars a dubious look.

"Lets go back and go a different way." Gorfin suggested.

"Oh dear." Sedge said lightly. The others turned to see what he was looking at. Their return path was now blocked with the thorny briars too. In fact, they briars had grown in between the trees flanking the path - They were now trapped!

"None who is not wise enough shall pass." came a sultry voice from behind them.

"Hello lady without pants." Artamis sniffed haughtily.

"Fine, tell me whatever you want to know." Thrar said impatiently.

The woman laughed at him.

"How can we prove our wisdom then?" Nathe asked, hands on hips.

"Ah. The first wise question." the woman smiled approvingly, "It is really quite simple. Answer correctly to my riddles and you shall pass."

"Ooohh! Riddles?" Tullia mumbled eagerly.

"Riddles!" echoed Ilmig.

"YAY!" Artamis cheered happily.

The orcs looked at her as if she had turned into a big fat spider.

Nathe nodded, not taking her gaze off the woman, "Let's start."

"A question here... what's to stop us from burning this whole thing down?" Thrar interrupted gruffly.

"Uh. Me not wanna be Orc Frissakee." Wolfwood noted, noting that the briar was thickening and closing in on them slowly.

"Listen carefully. I will not repeat them." the woman said sternly to Nathe, ignoring Thrar and Wolfwood's exchange.

"If a man carried my burden he would break his back. I am not rich, but I leave silver in my trail. Who am I?"

The orcs began mumbling to themselves, such nuggets of wisdom as, "Naw, she sed trail, not tail!" and "Me feet hurt." were pretty much all they were contributing.

Sedge chuckled knowingly, "Hehe... an easy one..." he grinned as he dusted off a convenient root and sat down.

"What's the answer then?" Artamis retorted, but Sedge just chuckled again.

"A tear?" Nathe ventured, "I say it's a tear."

The woman shook her head with amusement.

Wolfwood was pretty sure he'd heard this one, but just couldn't pull the memory from the back of his mind.
[CHAT WINDOW TEXT] [Sun Jun 26 20:14:57] Kazarn Wolfwood: Intelligence Check, Roll: 1 Modifier: 0 = 1
[Cyker] Kazarn Wolfwood: [Talk] Intelligence Check, Roll: 1 Modifier: 0 = 1

"The winter?" Artamis tried.

"The moon?" Ilmig suggested.

"Wrong and wrong!" the woman laughed, "Come now, surely you can't fall at the first hurdle?" she taunted them.

"So sloooow the answers..." Sedge chuckled.

"Well what is it then mister smarty pants??" Artamis demanded.

"Silly people, it's a snail!" Sedge laughed.

The woman favoured Sedge with a smile, "Correct."

"Eeeew! Gross!" Artamis mumbled.

"Whuz be burden?" Fatoft asked, still a few leagues behind on the thought train.

"You solved the first puzzle." the woman said smoothly, "But there are more riddles to be answered for you all to show your wisdom."

"Burdon iz zorrow?" Fatoft asked, still deep in thought.

"Be silent!" the woman snapped at him.

"And just how do we know your wise enough to be asking these riddles? 'eh?" Thrar demanded.

"Thrar, you didn't even try to solve it." Nathe pointed out tiredly.

"I can just as easily ask a riddle!" Thrar insisted, "For example, answer this little riddle - It's easy!"

I walk on four legs in the morning, 2 in the middle of the day and on 3 in the evening; What am I?"

"A foolish mortal man." the woman answered coldly. She waved her hand casually and a section of the briars suddenly exploded outwards, catching and entombing the surprised Thrar in swathes of thick vines!

Returning her attention to the rest of the group, she continued smoothly, "Now for the second riddle.
My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick. Fat, I am slow. Wind is my foe. What am I?"

"Air?" suggested Artamis instantly.

The woman shook her head, "No."

The others remained silent, deep in thought.

"That's a toughie..." Sedge admitted, his eyebrows knitted together.

"A fly...?" Nathe ventured at length.

"Snow?" ventured the newcomer, Nelix.

The woman shook her head again, "No and no."

"A tree?" Tullia tried.

"Time?" Ilmig asked hopefully.

"Oh, mez know! It be da zkiez!" Novgor cried triumphantly. The other orcs looked at him in surprise, then at the woman.

Another head shake.

"Aww..." the orcs chorused.

Wolfwood was sure he knew this one too, but again fortune was not with him and he just couldn't remember.
[CHAT WINDOW TEXT] [Sun Jun 26 20:18:01] Kazarn Wolfwood: Intelligence Check, Roll: 1 Modifier: 0 = 1
[Cyker] Kazarn Wolfwood: [Talk] Intelligence Check, Roll: 1 Modifier: 0 = 1

"Da cloudz mez mean." Novgor tried correcting himself.


"Aww... zunzhine?" he tried again.

"Sunshine doesn't get blown away silly!" Artamis admonished him.

"No, but wind make cloud blockit!" Novgor retorted with surprising insight.

"Nice try, but it does not get devoured does it? So still no." the woman smiled at the orc encouragingly.

"Mmm... a flame perhaps..." Sedge mumbled, almost inaudibly, to himself. His face still a mask of thought.

Gorfin shrugged and took the cue, "Fire?" he asked.

The woman grinned, a twinkle in her eye, but shook her head, "No."

Sedge stood up, a confident look in his eyes, "Is it, perchance, a candle?"

The woman smiled, "Correct."

Sedge punched the air, "Hooray for me!"

"Candle!" Fatofsan slapped his forehead.

"I meant candle." Novgor said sullenly.

"Now for the final one..." the woman said smoothly.

"Mez not like riddle." complained Fatoft.

"Listen carefully." the woman admonished him, "Answer this one correct and you shall all pass. Be warned, this is not as easy as the first ones."

Nathe gasped, "Not as easy...??"

"Oh dear..." Sedge said quietly.

The woman spoke softly, "When set loose I fly away. Never so cursed as when I go astray"

"An arrow?" Ilmig suggested.

"Meez!" said Fatoft.

"Dat li'l draggy frum earlia?" Novgor tried.

The woman laughed, "No, no and no! No dragons!"

"Aww... but hez fly avay when uz no hold 'im and me curz lotz. Woteva dat iz."

"Ahahaha... I think I know it..." Sedge said brightly. Everyone turned to look at him.

"Well???" Artamis prodded him.

"I will begin by guessing a kite..." Sedge said hopefully.


Sedge snapped his fingers, "Drat!"

"A rumor? A lie?" Gorfin tried.

The woman shook her head.

"It be uz. Uz all curzed n aztray!" Fatoft nodded to himself.

"Is it anger?" Nelix asked.

"A kite?" Fatoftsan, still rather behind on the thought train.

"Izzit a joke?" tried Wolfwood.

"No, no no and no!" the woman cackled with glee.

"Plague?" tried Artamis.

"No, but I bet someone would curse it as a plague if an orc set it loose!" the woman snickered.

Something suddenly clicked in Ilmig. He looked at the orcs strangely, his mind recalling recent events.

"Gas! A fart!!" he blurted out.

The others looked at him strangely.

"How much did you drink Ilmig?" Gorfin asked with a touch of concern.

Ilmig ignored them, "Is it??"

The woman giggled, "Yes. A fart."

The orcs burst into gruff laughter, and took it in turns to slap Ilmig on the back.

"Yay Ilmig!" Artamis giggled, giving him a hug.

"Good call!" Sedge grinned.

"Excellent." the woman said approvingly, "You have done well and all shall pass.", she finished, graciously bowing out of the way. As she did so, the briar patch grew in on itself and receded away, as if it had never been there before. When they turned back to the lady, she had gone.

"I hope you had fun." a sullen Thrar groused, released from his entombment.

A Difficult Ore-deal

Their way clear, the party made swift progress out of Trommel and through the Common Wood.

In no time at all, they arrived in the village of Sholo.

As they entered, they practically ran over a dwarf who was hunched over, apparently looking for something.

"Woah!" he cried out, jumping back. He eyed the party, and especially the orcs warily.

"Hey dere." Fatofsan said, waving his weapon about. This was probably not the wisest thing the orc could have done.

"Hello there!" Tullia jumped in desperately before the dwarf panicked.

"Uh... hey there..." the dwarf paused.

"Hey dere!" Fatofsan repeated, adding what he thought was a friendly grin. The dwarf drew back, to him it looked decidedly toothy.

"Erm! Nice to meet you! Uh... we're just passing through. Uh..." Tullia stuttered.

"You look troubled, might we be of assistance?" Gorfin cut in smoothly. Tullia gave him a thankful look.

"Well, uz help az long az it not be zolvin riddlez." Fatoft nudged Gorfin.

"Well... tae be 'onest ah be in a bit in trouble..." the dwarf said slowly, still eyeing the orcs warily.

"Trouble?" echoed Gorfin, "Anything we can be of assistance with?"

The dwarf scratched the back of his head, a tinge of embarrassment affecting his stance, "Yes, you see... ah, uhm.... were a mite drunk earlier, see..."

"Yesyes? Go on..." Tullia encouraged.

"Weelll... see, I were sorta wandern' around an' some 'ow ah lost all tae ore wot I jus' dug..." the dwarf said, shuffling his feet.

"What, like this?" Sedge asked, looking down at his feet.

"Nae! Tha' be a rock ye fool halflin'! Me ore be Mithral!""


The dwarf gave them a calculating look, "I tells ye what, if y' kin find all o' it I'll give ye a reward!" the dwarf offered.

"Bet me can get more dan yooz!" Wolfwood exclaimed and ran off, with the other orcs in hot pursuit and splitting off in a variety of different directions.

Gofrin rolled his eyes, "Guess you got a deal, dwarf.". He turned to the remaining party members, "We best follow them..." he said wearily.


The dwarf stayed back, near the outskirts of Sholo, and waited.

As time passed, he thought he could hear odd noises emanating from within Sholo. The cry of a fire giant. The terrified yelp of a halfling. The rabid clucking of an outraged chicken. The cursing of bandits getting robbed.

As he pondered going in to see what was happening, the whole party appeared in the distance, running towards him with several bulging sacks!

The orcs arrived first, skidding to a halt in front of him, while Gorfin and the others caught up, breathing heavily.

The orcs then proceeded to dump the sacks at the shocked dwarf's feet with wide grins.

"We geddem all?" Novgor asked eagerly, "I bet I got da mozt!"

"I uh... dun remember minin' tha' much..." the dwarf managed to say, staring dumbfounded at the mountain of ore accumulating in front of him. Clearly there was no way the dwarf could have mined this much, let alone carried it, "'eh... tell ye what, y' take uh... all o' them... and I'll take that sack there. Aye."

He hefted one of the larger sacks over his shoulder, the paused, "Wait!". He immediately dropped the sack and started digging through all of them, Mithral ore showering everywhere, "Blast!"

"What is it?" Sedge enquired.

"Me lucky rock! 's not 'ere! It be a lump of Mithral wot looks like me aunt!"

"What??" Tullia exclaimed dubiously.

"Mm..." Sedge pondered slowly, "I think I saw something that sortof looked like a gargo-uh... a dwarven aunt over there, but it was too high for me to get!" he said, pointing up the rise that the Sholo barracks was built on.

"Lets go!"

They traipsed over to the Sholo barracks, and sure enough there was a lump of Mithral ore in the shape of a scary looking female dwarf's head.

"How da hek did yooz looz it up dere?!" Fatofsan cried out. The rock was perched on a small outcropping of rock about twenty metres above them.

The dwarf shrugged, "How tae heck shud I know? I were drunk weren't I!!"

Wolfwood eyed the ledge, "Mmm... Sedggy... uh... cood yooz stand ova derez?"

"Uh... it's a bit high for me..." Sedge pointed out as he moved closer to the wall.

Wolfwood approached him, "Gimme a boozt!"

"WHAT??" Sedge goggled at him, "Uh... I... sorry, my knee you see..." he said hurriedly, thanking Tymora again for his previous encounters.

Fatofsan grunted and threw his axe at the ore. It missed, clattering into some loose rocks slightly above. There was a small rumbling sound. Everyone looked up higher.


With a yell of alarm, the party scattered as rocks and debris started raining down on them, "RUN!!!"

The landslide was short however, and soon calm and quiet settled back on the sleepy outskirts of Sholo.

The dwarf cautiously got back up and opened his eyes. Seeing the dust settle, he picked his way carefully through the debris, "AHA!" he yelled triumphantly, holding aloft the prized ore, "Ahh, thank ye all!" he exclaimed, turning to the others who were still cautiously getting up, "This were all I wanted! Ye can all take the rest!" and with that he bounded off...

"Uh... thanks..." Sedge mumbled as he dusted himself off.

"Can we get to Brosna now???" Thrar yelled, staring at a new dent in his armour.

"Yus." Fatoft said as Fatofsan dug his axe out of the piles of debris.


After collecting up some of the ore still scattered around, the party began the final stretch of road that would take them to Brosna.

"Almost there!" Sedge said happily, stretching his shoulders.

"About bloody time." Thrar groused sullenly.

"Are we there yeeet?" Artamis said petulantly.

"No." Gorfin replied tiredly.

"Are we there yeeet?"


"Are we there yeeet?"


"EEK!" Artamis shrieked as a cadre of giants suddenly leapt out of the trees, wielding their great flaming swords!

"Finally!" Novgor cheered, smashing his fists together then charging at them with the other orcs, wielding their various weapons.

Wolfwood stayed back with Sedge while the others fought.

"Hungree?" Wolfwood offered as they watched the fight.

"Um. I'm fine, thanks." Sedge said.

"Shuur? Iz good for mashed knee!" Wolfwood insisted, holding out a Meat Surprise.

"AAH! GIANT!!" Sedge yelled, diving out the way and thanking Tymora yet again for the interruption as one of the fire giants broke away and swung its sword at Wolfwood.

The sword hit Wolfwood in the chest and knocked him over, but the solid flame-retardant apron saved him from any harm. Sedge looked around frantically, and spied the Meat Surprise that Wolfwood had dropped. Slapping it into his sling, he wound up and sent it screaming towards the Fire Giant!

"NAWW!" Wolfwood waved frantically at Sedge, "DASSA NUMBA TW-"

The Meat Surprise bounced off the back of the Fire Giant's head. The giant flinched and turned angrily towards Sedge, when it noted a fizzing sound. Looking down, he spotted a small blackened object fizzling in the grass next to his flame-wreathed foot. Curiosity got the better of him and he peered down at it, not noticing the halfling and the orc scrabbling madly away.


Artamis whirled round, "What was that?" she wondered. She looked up and saw some sort of creature with 2 arms and no legs arcing through the air trailing grey-blue smoke. She heard it land with a thud somewhere in the forest surrounding them, but shrugged and returned to zapping the other giants.


With all the remaining giants gone, the party was rejoined by a slightly blackened Wolfwood and Sedge Hopscotch, and together they walked, limped and skipped into the outskirts of Brosna...

The end of an Eggselent Adventure!

"OH!" exclaimed a voice. The party looked as a gnome rushed up to them, darting from one party member to another, "Are you the...? Yes! You must be! Eggs! You have my precious eggs???" he gushed.

"He got eggs." Fatoft said, pointing at Gorfin.

"Give them to me!" the gnome whooped triumphantly.

Gorfin gently reached into his pack and carefully withdrew the padded package. With bated breath, he unwrapped them. By some miracle, they were all intact!

"These are yours?" Gorfin asked, offering them over.

"Yesyesyes!" the gnome cried ecstatically, hopping up and down.

"And, uh, who are they from?" Gorfin asked surreptitiously, not quite letting the egss in reach.

The gnome paused mid-hop, his eyebrow furrowed, "Why, my brother from Benzor, Nisse!"

"Just checking." Gorfin said, handing over the eggs. The gnome grabbed them greedily.

"Youz gonna twist em intooz an ommeled?" Fatofsan asked as the gnome delicately put the eggs in to some sort of purpose built box.

"'eh?" the gnome paused.

"Wot egg for?" Wolfwood translated.

"Oh, uh... nothing." the gnome said evasively, "Well, thanks, catch you later! *HUCK*"

The gnome stopped moving, he looked at the elf child attached to his leg.

"WE WANT OUR REWARD FOR DIAMONDS!!" Artamis shrieked at him.

"Reward?" the gnome sighed theatrically, "He offered you a reward, didn't he?"

Artamis and the orcs nodded.

"Well I guess 50gp was the amount..." the gnome tried.

Gorfin coughed politely, "Actually I believe your brother promised payment of 100 gold per egg."

"Yez he promize uz get fortune of 100 gp eazh!" Fatoft exclaimed, rubbing his hands.

"100? Your memory is too good..." the gnome moaned, "Very well."

"Meez will need all dis dough to buy meez headache hoibz." Fatofsan commented as he got his share. Pixies were apparently beating the inside of his skull with Hammers of Thunderbolts.

"Thank you mista!" Artamis smiled happily at her share and tucked it away.

"Right, that is all I think. Now I have to leave!" the gnome declared with a chuckle and went through the Brosna gates with a final wave, "Thanks for the delivery!"

The cows come home

With the gnome gone, the party sat down and made a camp of sorts while they decided what to do next.

Fatoft and Fatofsan started setting up their 'tea' making apparatus, while Wolfwood started cooking some more Meat Surprises.

Artamis put her hands on her hips, "Well, that was fun! Lets do again, your people call my people, and we do lunch now I need something to eat..." and with that she and Ilmig wandered off.

"Okay meez need buckets o tea... my head is like mellonz." Fatofsan said to Fatoft. The pixies had upgraded to Crom Faeyrs. Fatoft nodded in sympathy.

Wolfwood lay down on his back, he was also trying to block out his hangover, but after staring at the sky and tree canopy for a few minutes began to doze off.

As their kettle came to the boil, the two Kag'Barshenat's noticed a cow approaching their makeshift camp. Fatoft threw a Meat Surprise at it, which it recoiled from. They watched it explore the nearby grass for a few moments, before wandering over to Wolfwood's dozing form and peering at it for a few moments.

The cow 'moo'd and then began licking Wolfwood's helmet.

Wolfwood's eyes shot open.

"AWWG!! ISSA KOW!!! GEDDIT OFF ME!! *YUCK!!*" Wolfwood tried to sit up but the weight of his apron and the cow made this rather difficult.

The cow moo'd at him again and flicked its tail, before it continuing licking at his helmet.

"HAW HAW HAW HAW!! Oi! Gedduz sum milk while yooz iz dere Wolfy!" Fatoft roared with laughter.

"Help!! I iz beein' vijozlee attaked by diz kow!!" Wolfwood lamented as he managed to struggle into an upright position. The cow nudged him some more before resuming its attempts to graze on Wolfwood's helmet.

"Hey, daz not da wayz ta milk cowz!" Fatofsan sniggered, "Youz doink it all wrongz!"

"Shoo! Bad kow!" Wolfwood flailed at it futilely. The cow bumped him with its head in return.

Gorfin and Sedge were hiding their snickers, "Maybe you two should help him..."

Fatoft and Fatofsan grinned at each other. They got up and ambled over to the cow.

The cow looked at them and moo'd at them with curiosity.

"Wun, too, FREE!" on 'three', the two of them grabbed the cow and with a mighty heave, tipped the frantically moo'ing cow over.

Wolfwood scrabbled to his feed and rapidly back-peddled away.

"Fank yooz Fatty!! Yooz iz me savver!" hollered Wolfwood in gratitude, now safe from the depraved predatations of the cow.

Suddenly, the door of one of the nearby houses burst open and out stepped an elderly man holding a crossbow in each hand, "AHA! Caught in the act ye miserable green-skinned cow-tippin' varmints! I knew it were ye sort wot was tippin' me damned cows! Prepare to eat lead!!" and with that fired off a volley of crossbow bolts!

The orcs yelled, scrambling and ducking out of the way of the wildly careening bolts. Sedge yelped and leapt to the side, one of the bolts landing just in front of where he'd been sitting.

"AWG! I iz outta 'erez!!" yelled Fatofsan, ducking and sprinted off.

"Me too!" Fatoft yelled, running after him and pausing only to scoop up his kettle and tripod.

"Aww great..." Wolfwood moaned as the wizened farmer hobbled in his direction.

"Yer goin' down goliath!" he declared, struggling to reload his bows.

"Uh... Look behind yooz! Izza wun hedded baja!" Wolfwood yelled.

"'eh?" the man spun round and blinked. Seeing only his tipped cow, who was moo'ing pitifully, he turned back round, but the only thing left was the after-ripple of a dimensional gate...

"I'll get y' varmints one of these days!!" the man shook his fist at the thin air.

"...and as one adventure seems to end... it bursts forth in all directions spreading like wildfire..." Sedge said softly as he and the others watched the farmer yell after the rapidly vanishing orcs.

"Indeed. I think this would be a good point to return to Benzor." Gorfin observed, standing gathering his gear. He turned to ask Nathe if she was coming too, but the mysterious woman had already disappeared into the shadows.

The two of them walked towards the gate, carefully skirting the cursing farmer.

As they passed it, the cow moo'd and gave Sedge a nudge too, before trying to eat the grass stuck to his arm.

The farmer whirled round, "AHA! RUSTLERS!!"

"For the sake of...!" Gorfin swore and sprinted through the gate as another pair of cross-bow bolts thudded into the gate-post, missing him wildly, "Fair tidings Sedge!" he called before disappearing into the streets of Brosna.

"Well... thanks a lot..." muttered Sedge, before running after him.

"I'll get ye cow-tippin' bovine rustlin' varmints ah will, just you wait!!" he yelled as he struggled to right the cow.

The cow moo'd at him.

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