Fort Rannick has fallen. A notorious clan of ogres known as the Kreegs launched a devastating assault on the fort 3 weeks ago, an assault that seemed almost too perfect in its execution and timing……. Winter rises, but before her cold breath descends on the Hook Mountain, the skies darken like blood-muddied water, and ominous clouds writhe in the horizon, bringing the near-constant rain to new heights of torrential downpours. Storms go on for days without the sun so much as peeking from behind her cloudy veil. Pure misery reigns as cold and wet become the order of every day, and mud seems to befoul every square foot of the region… will this rain ever end?
9th of Kuthona of 4707
The party returns to Turtleback Ferry with the Black Arrows on another rainy and dreary day. They enter the Turtle’s Parlor Inn and are greeted by an innkeeper whose mood seems to lighten when you enter with the Black Arrows in tow. The heroes all make arrangements for rooms that night. Jakardros Sovark asks to speak to the innkeeper privately in a corner. (Aurellion and Ysermil made the roll to listen, see player secrets). The rangers then take their leave to visit Mayor Shreed at the main Temple of Erastil. Meanwhile the heroes change their clothes in their rooms, leaving their soiled items to be laundered. They again drench themselves in the rain and travel across the road to The Bottoms Up Tavern for a meal.
Calach headed to the lake harbor to try and find the local fisherman that helped him last. He was met be a closed sign. He stood in the cold rain for a little over an hour before moving on to the temple. There he was greeted by the familiar rangers and introduced to the town mayor. He was glad the heroes were able to save these remaining Black Arrows and that they agreed to help them retake the fort. Mayor Shreed mentioned that he would send word to Magnimar and that he was available for any spell casting free of charge while they were helping. Calach spent some silent time within the temple of Erastil meditating, and then left to rejoin the others at the tavern.
The welcome at first was unfriendly when they entered the loud establishment that seemed to hush at the sight of them at the door. The mood quickly lightened when they offered to pay for free drinks to everyone in the tavern. In return they asked for a table to be freed up for their group. Bruiser leaves a few platinum pieces with the barkeep. They were treated with local grins and the warm fish stew and bread they ordered after coming in from that cold rain and wind. Even more so when the Black Arrows joined them at their table with Calach in tow. They spent the night eating and drinking, retiring in the late hours.
10th of Kuthona 4707
When the party awoke, they had to retrieve damp clothing from the innkeeper downstairs, as the downpour did not allow for proper drying. Bruiser was taken to the temple to meet Mayor Shrewd by Calach and he received free casting to help restore him to good health. Many also went to purchase goods and supplies before meeting back at the inn to discuss plans on the fort.
Jakardos brings up Fort Rannick. Now trusting the party completely, he divulges more details about the night they were overrun by ogres. He and a small regiment of men were on ranging detail when the ogres attacked the fortress. Since about 1/3rd of the men were out ranging the fortress was weak on defense. The ogres breached one of the walls with a strange alchemical device and forced their way into the front gate. With two entry points the remaining arrows didn’t stand a chance. Jakardos and his men returned back to the fortress to find it occupied by Ogres. They attempted to retake the fortress but they were slaughtered. As the few survivors escaped the Graul family easily picked them off. All that remains of the Black Arrows are himself, Vale, and Kaven. Jakardos mentions that the attack happened at the perfect time…during ranging duties and while the commander was out on a “communion with nature” walk. He thinks there was a traitor inside the Black Arrows. Vale Temros draws a map of the layout of the fort. They all discuss plans of approach. They all agree that using the secret tunnels (that have a chance of a shocker lizard infestation). They lead to a secret passage that opens behind a wooden barrack house. Those barracks were abandoned by the Black Arrows, as they were deemed to be a fire trap for anyone sleeping inside. The rangers make mention that most of them were not engineers. This piece of information may be fortuitous, as the heroes plan to jam the lock and set the building on fire as a distraction. They also believe perhaps they can release some shocker lizards at the same time using smoke from bitterbark. Perhaps that would also provide some chaos for the ogres. The rangers spend most of the day gathering some bitterbark.
11th of Kuthona of 4707
The heroes make their approach to the river sometime before dawn, leaving the horses at camp a mile away. Calach casts an invisibility spell on a few, and two heroes drink a potion of the same. The Black Arrows head out first, making it to the river, swimming to the waterfall and climbing the 10 feet ledge leading to the secret cave entrance. The others stay behind arguing about proceeding for some time. It seems Ysermil insisted on sending Shadow the raven as a scout ahead before proceeding, yet no one heeded this advice. He was upset and refused to continue for a few moments. Eventually, others proceeded ahead taking the same route as the rangers, save Calach who braved the bridge and ledge around the fort and Com who flew in from above and awaited the others. Everyone else found each other in the cave with some difficulty, using their voices due to their invisible states. The Black Arrows and Shalelu went on ahead to see to ushering shocker lizards. The others exited the secret passage. Ysermil stealthily walked to the single door to the barracks and jammed the lock. Bruiser crawled under the barracks breaking some flasks of oil on the fire wood haphazardly kept under the wooden barracks. Calach attempted to drop some oil flasks through the small window slits as well, successfully throwing one through. The fire was set from below.
Ysermil, while snooping around, notices the current state of disrepair of one of the other guard towers with 3 ogres. Most of the plaster has worn away, leaving the stone to grind on stone. Just some minor damage might be enough to send the whole thing toppling to the ground.
Calach and the others wait calmly. Some of the ogres notice the fire, and begin to come down from their towers to investigate. Calach casts a fireball spell, becoming visible, wounding a large group of them near the barracks.