Eberron: Towers and Tunnels

Lost in woodland politics

Seems we’ve been upsetting some powerful people – we met a pretty tough assassin on our way out of Sharn to see the woodsy folk. However, he still went down to a few arrows (and pecks from a bloody great bluetit Foreststrider called outa nowhere). Serves him right fer takin’ on the lot of us by hisself without any armour on him.

But then, when we teleported out t’the woods with a few mercs in tow, expecting no more than a party and maybe the hope of some assistance, we find things’ve got all political. Some seer lady claims doomy doom will come if we take this schema off the Orcs, her exact words being something like: “The brutal ones will invade the sacred place; the brutal ones will defile the sacred place; the brutal ones will save the world”. Loada hogswash if ya ask me, but she seems serious about it, an’ the woodsy council took it in kind. Even with all m’friends fancy talkin’, there was no help to be had. Still, I had a cheerful dance with a pretty lady, and that mead they had wasn’ too bad either. An’ if they ain’ helpin’ us, they don’ get a share o’ whatever loot these orcs’ve got, which suits me fine.

Comments

Tactical chitchat that followed this:


Aleyn, Atrius and Rokar, me old muckers.

Seems to me, we need t’think tactics.

We have a job we been hired to do, to capture the schema and bring it back to Sharn. An’ not fulfillin’ our last contract is makin’ me uneasy – there is such

a thing as our reputation t’consider. So we’d really best get holda th’thing, although mebbe if we had t’give it t’the Council, our bosses migh’ be understandin’. An’ if it be truly dangerous, th’ Wardens be likely good people at hidin’ things in this great big forest.

Now, the way I see it we can get hold of it three ways:

- By sweet-talkin’ em an’ makin’ some sorta deal, although it seems some other folks tried this before… - By gettin’ some skilful individual t’go in there an’ steal t’thing. (Who, me?) - By goin’ in w’brute force.

The council, meantime, be likely t’want t’resolve the situation w’th’Orcs. We can help them w’this whichever way we do things.

- If y’can deal with a man, y’can live alongside him soon enough, so makin’ a deal w’the Orcs an’ keepin’ it sweet for ‘em would be good f’the Council too. - Gettin’ the Orcs t’go figh’ someone else (we have some Emerald Claw duds in our loot… an’ I … sorry, our “skilful individual” could jus’ happen t’drop some) - Killin’ ‘em or drivin’ em off.

But there be also the matter o’the prophecy. There may be more goin’ on than we

know down there… or this lady might just be plain wrong, or a fraud hired by someone else as wants the schema.

So now, w’little or no help expected from the Council, maybe we’d best just ask them t’tell us what they know about how the Orcs have been behavin’, and if anythin’ else odd’s been going on in that quarter o’the woods.

An’ maybe, if as I’d guess, these Orcs can’t be sweet-talked, we’d better skip t’just gettin’ this schema. Mebbe send a bird over t’spy out th’orc place, if it can tell us anythin’ useful, an’ then the followin’ night have someone go in quiet, dressed up as an emerald claw fella, t’steal this thing if he can an’ learn what more he can if stealin’ can’t be done. The rest of yer could then maybe have an ambush ready in case o’trouble followin’ me out.

Thank yer fer lettin’ me say my piece – I’d be glad t’hear what you think o’this.

Lago


You raise some good ideas Lagos, but there is still a lot to consider.

Frankly I am disappointed in the Council, but at least they will not interfere with us. I am hoping I can talk to my friend on the Council and see if we can get some support from the Wardens, after all I am a member and my father led them for a time. Plus the Wardens know the forest better than anyone and they may know of a second entrance to the temple or at least a way of drawing the main Orc force away from the temple while we sneak in and recover the Schema. After all, drawing the Orcs away from the temple is not technically being involved in the recovery of the Schema and so I think we can get that past the Council. Hopefully the Wolves from the Mournlands can also help us.

Bargaining is a nice idea, but I am afraid I am not going to bargain with these Orcs after what they did to my father and Yaguara’s family. I would also advise that you do not stand in Yag’s way as she will not hesitate to kill you to get to those that murdered her family.

Atreus


Hmph, so the cutpurse wishes to discuss tactics, eh? Hah!

I’m all for completing the mission, prophecy be damned. In my humble and not ‘divinely given’ opinion, if there is anything standing in our way that wants to kill us, we kill them right back! Not gonna’ be hamstrung by some fortune by a nobody street performer saying that the bleedin’ stars don’t allow it! I’m a military man, cold hard steel is the only truth in this world, that’s for sure!

On your ‘thoughts’ as you call them:

1. Sneaking – nice idea, but would this plan pretty much rely entirely on you being able to infiltrate the temple, go past any traps and sentries, and carry off the schema without being noticed at all?

What I’m saying is: this whole plan revolves around you not screwing up. At all. Are you confident that you can pull this off? I’ve never really seen you skulk in the shadows, or do any thievery for that matter (maybe you’re just that good….. but somehow I doubt it!)

2. Bargaining – BAH HAH HA HA AHA AHAHAHH <breath> AHAHAGHAHAAAAAA. Bargain? BARGAIN? With orcs? The same ones that Atreus has sworn vengeance on?

What are we gonna bargain with, our skulls? A fine selection of wines? Aleyn’s assortment of pretty (and possibly frilly [bleedin’ nobles]) silk undergarments? Our (limited) gold supply, the majority of which could well be going towards mercenaries? Please Mr. Big Tusk Sir, can we have that shiny thingy please, we’ll be your fwend!! AHAHAHAHA!

So, bargaining – No. Just no.

3. Direct attack. Well as we do not currently know the enemy’s strength, nor how great our strength will be, we can rule out an immediate frontal assault for now (as our great tactician Glozor Regoran said: ‘If you do not know yourself or the enemy, you’re pretty much screwed, chum’).

4. Implicate the Emerald Claw – nice idea, but would the orcs even know (or care) who’s killing them? Kill or be killed, right? This might be a better idea if it turns out they’re in the area…. Plus if this ‘individual’ of yours were to dress up in Emerald Claw armour while sneaking in…er, well, isn’t armour a bit, er, heavy and loud for sneaking around in? By all means give it a go…

Here are my thoughts (y’know, as the tactics guy).

Atreus has the right idea, but I would add some ‘meat’ to his plan:

We need to do some extensive scouting/reconnaisance. We need to ascertain approximate enemy numbers, and where they are positioned. We need to check all the entrances and exits of the temple, and how well-guarded they are. We need to identify leaders amongst the orcs. We also need to see whether they are sending out patrols, their frequency, and their numbers.

There is also the chance that our enemies (Emerald claw, perhaps?) might be either in the area or on their way, so we should be mindful of that too.

I think we should adopt some guerilla tactics; ambush any patrols that come out, snipe guards at the entrances, perhaps ambushing any enemies that try to pursue. Effectively, we would be ‘thinning out their numbers’ until one of 2 things happen:

1. Our allies engage them in a diversionary tactic and some or all of us sneak in to get the schema (you first Lagos mate, this is apparently your specialty!)

2. Our attacks are effective enough that we can engage the orcs on an equal footing (unlikely, but we need to know their strength and ours if we want to rule this out!)

I think the great danger with sneaking in is; what if the schema is being carried by one of the orcs rather than being stored somewhere?

On another note, can anyone amongst us (or our allies) do something to aid us in stealth/ambushes? I’m thinking smoke bombs, magical mines, setting traps etc.? Perhaps we should consider our options before we set out?

I have some skill in ambushing that I can impart to you gents, but we will need every advantage we can get to triumph here (as early indications seem to say we are heavily outnumbered).

Right. them’s my opinions, do what you want with them. Mawfrey agrees with me (but then he always agrees with me, in his position of yes man and professional cannon fodder, it’s basically in his job description).

Captain Rokar


I like your thinking Rokar and it comforts me to have a military strategist with us. I may be handy in a fight, but I am afraid I am no planner. I can see what I can do with rustling up some forest folk to help us out. As I said earlier, I should be able to get some druids on side and I shall hope to get some of the forest beasts to assist too. I am sure those that remain of Yaguara’s family will be more than happy to help and they certainly have an advantage in this terrain. No Orc is going to out sneak a Jaguar!

In the mean time, I can carry out some scouting with Yag and Lago and see where the Orcs are camped.

If only my fellow druids felt as I do. I am sure that these days some of them care for more for politics than they do for the forest.

Atreus


Ha, good ter have both yer views on this, gents (although yer migh’ be surprised at how sneaky I can be when I’ve a mind, Rokar). Atreus, would yer be knowing of any high vantage point we could use t’spy out the land t’start with? An’ can yer remember th’layout o’the temple as it used ter be well enough t’draw us a map?

Also, we should think about basic supplies fer this mission, if there be time t’shop fer them now. I was thinkin’ signalling arrows migh’ be handy – they whistle when fired, so I can fire ‘em off t’let yer know when I’ve got th’orcs t’chase me into yer ambush, or somesuch. Or fire arrows, t’really piss off th’orcs an’ get them movin’ – yer don’ mind if th’temple gets a little singed do yer, Atreus?

Now Aleyn, yer keppin’ a bit quiet, like, but do yer have any spells yer reckon might be particularly handy fer what we’re plannin’?

Lago


Just had me another small thought – we may need all we can t’level this fight. Atrius and Aleyn did well at puttin’ stuff tergether quick before… do yer think yer could put some traps together fer the ambush site, maybe with th’help of our mercs? We can buy some basic materials fer ‘em here before we travel ter the temple, an’ every orc we can drop in a spiked pit, bash with a spiked log or similar is one less ter fight.

An’ on those signallin’ arrows… I reckon now, if we’ve got one small group leadin’ ‘em into the ambush, an’ a bigger one springin’ the ambush, maybe all we need is two of them; one fer each group, t’call fer help if things go wrong. I can lend someone m’Dad’s old shortbow fer the purpose, maybe, now I got Mavis here. O’course, usin’ ‘em will tell everyone around where th’shooter is, so just keep ‘em on hand fer emergencies.

Lago

Lost in woodland politics
Deebles

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