Title: Orcs versus Werewolves
Date: Mid Trilan, 1332 Avard
Synopsis: The ME team leads an orc assault on the Count's Manor in Teras, in a coordinated effort to wipe the werewolves from the city.
Mid-morning of the 17th of Trilan, 1332 Avard.
Orcs continued to pour into the Orchid's Dew, despite the gale-force winds and chilly rain. The streets were a morass of mud and visibility was reduced to almost nothing, and yet the word spread among the orcs, and more arrived with each passing minute.
The alleyways behind the Orchid's Dew were full of orcs, only they were protected from the wind and rains. Corrin's silik had webbed up some of the entryways into the alleys, and orcs had covered the webbing with mud and debris. The busy silik continued its work, with Corrin overseeing the orcs from above.
Occasional faces peered out from behind windows in the alleyways. The citizens stayed indoors, keeping themselves locked away from the storm already in the skies, and the storm brewing on the ground.
Inside the tavern, the leaders of the orc units worried about the Guard in Teras. If the Guard sided with the werewolves, then things could get ugly. The orcs in Teras had fared better than orcs elsewhere in Rakore after the invasion; Teras never saw the orc hordes that the rest of the nation experienced. The people of Teras still barely tolerated the orcs, letting them do only the most menial of jobs.
Only the werewolves had allowed the orcs to work in higher positions. Despite the rise in working status, the orcs hated the werewolves. The orcs in Teras had accepted Rakore in a way the humans could not fathom. The orcs had only ever been fodder for their ogremai overlords. The ogremai controlled the females, hid them away, kept them a secret known only to orc veterans fated to die after mating. When an orcish male juvenile came of age, he was knocked unconscious, and woke up a long way from everywhere.
The orcs were still servants under the werewolves. Higher class servants than under the humans and the dwarves, but still servants. Rakore, however, did not accept servants. The dwarven king and his dwarven ways had shown the orcs something new: pride without hubris, and strength without anger. The orcs also learned that they could still be orcs without trying to subject anyone else to their rule – or without ever being subject to anyone else's rule. The dwarven king was their king, the elven duke their duke, but no one was their master.
The dwarf assigned to the ME team said, “It's time.”
The wind outside was, if anything, even stronger. The rain was just as hard as when they arrived. But the dwarf was somehow in contact with the baron-and-the-bishop, and so the timing was not to be questioned.
The orcs organized into their familiar fighting units, composed of heavily armed and armored orcs in the front, followed by spears, with footbows in the back. The orcs were seemingly led by one whose green skin was so dark he was almost black, with yellowed and broken teeth, and a hunk of skin peeled back from his skull so that living bone was exposed.
The orc had approached Arkhan in the tavern, and asked if he was a dragon. Arkhan had nodded. The orc had said only, “With you,” in his broken use of the common tongue.
The orc troops arrayed for the ME team, and then pushed out into the rain. Aeron's troop took the lead, with the dwarf liason for the baron-and-the-bishop riding behind him on Bergeron. Greff's troop followed, the orc leader staying near to Buck. Corrin led the third troop in the line from on Demon, and she was last. Aeron, on Justice, led his troop down a parallel alley, staying close but acting as outrider and scout.
The rain hid most of the troop, but almost as soon as they were out in the streets, the winds began to slack, pouring more from above than from the side. They continued down one of the major streets through the city, looking and watching out for werewolves.
Their objective was the Count's Manor, where Amreth the Gaunt had set himself up as crime lord of all Teras. Amreth's chamberlain was one of the orcs in the troop, who had a key ring with all the keys to the manor on it.
The manor was kept as a small, defensible fortress just out of bow shot of the town. The grasslands around the manor were fenced to keep grazing animals in, but were no serious obstacle to an orc troop. Rather than attack first, however, the orcs dug in at the edge of town, where the pouring rain helped obscure visibility. There was still no sign of the Guard.
Corrin and Demon slipped off through the rain, crossing the grounds with speed. They stopped at the wall and made a quick scan. There were two werewolves at the front gate in hybrid form, half wolf and half human. The manor smelled terribly of wet dog, and when Corrin peeked up over the wall, she saw why. There were hundreds of werewolves gathered inside the compound, all waiting irritably in the heavy downpour.
When Corrin reported back, the ME team opted to hide in position. Wharf Street was the largest street in that direction, and ran directly back to the baron-and-the-bishop's sloop at the docks. If the werewolves left the manor to counter-attack the baron-and-the-bishop, then they would likely travel through the set up ambush.
The rain began to slack somewhat, increasing visibility. Greff and Corrin took up spots on the roofs, to better watch and help coordinate the orc troops.
Overhead, a strange flock of birds moved straight across the city towards the Duke's Manor. The 'flock' were mages in attack formation. Moments later, the Duke's Manor lit up as it was attacked. Near the river, a twisting spout of flame dropped down out of the heavens and just as quickly was gone. Moments later, thunder rumbled. The war to retake Teras from the werewolves had begun.
The first mass of werewolves left the Count's Manor and moved away from the ambush, towards the Duke's Manor where the mages were attacking. The second mass of werewolves, however, moved straight towards the ambush.
Only, the werewolves smelled them. The massed orcs had a distinct aroma, despite the heavy rains washing over them.
Aeron quickly called upon Saint Karl's holy servants, and an unbreachable wall of blue-white light formed into spiritual warriors with large shields. The werewolves attacking from that direction were stunned at the immobility of the spiritual warriors. Werewolves made from thugs and rapists and bullies had for too long thought themselves the masters of Teras.
Aeron, servant of Yatindar, called pulled from his belt a dagger whose pommel held a knuckle bone of Saint Karl. The dagger duplicated itself much as light duplicates when passing through a dew-spattered tree, and the myriad of daggers elongated, whirling, moving with a life all of their own. They formed an effective barrier against even the werewolves, funneling them into another alley away from Aeron and his troop.
In the boulevard, orcs and werewolves tore into one another with ferocity. Corrin dropped a purple gas bomb into the midst of the werewolves, knocking many of them unconscious almost instantly. Arkhan, astride Bergeron and looking every inch the target, incited the werewolves to attack him. The God of Memories, the Archer, and the Elder Dragon's powers subtly inflamed the werewolves, driving them to attack Arkhan at all costs.
One of the packs of werewolves was wounded so horribly that it attempted to flee the battle, but was soon pinned in by more orcish troops and then enflamed to attack Arkhan again. The dragonborn brought his ancestral breath weapon to bear and killed many werewolves.
Demon, from on high, sputtered out webbing into the hordes of werewolves below. They became entangled and stuck to one another, and a slaughter began.
Within moments, the werewolves enmeshed in Demon's net were all that remained alive, and they surrended very quickly. Many of the orcs were wounded, and some were dead – but their discipline and the guidance from the ME team kept them alive.
Aeron's words of prayer to Yatindar were answered, and blue-white light salved many of their wounds, and returned several on the verge of death to restfullness.
The rain had let up enough that a cold white fog was rising from the ground. In the distance, Greff and Corrin could see a large pack of werewolves leaving the manor – and fleeing towards the woods.
The dwarf liason had a scroll with the Eye of Galgiran upon it, and he could move the troops and the team ahead of the werewolves if they acted quickly.
In the city streets was mud and blood, and the bodies and body parts of many humans. The lycanthropic curse was gone from the werewolves once they had died. The curse was beginning to flow through some of the orcs whom had been savaged by the werewolves.
Late morning of the 17th of Trilan, 1332 Avard.
Good fun! The massed battles were interesting, and with suggestions from the group, will be even better the next time we have to do that. I appreciate Sommer humoring the massed battles, but I think the rest of us enjoyed that quite a bit.
All characters have 39,500XP, and are 13th-level. Level Up!
The old orc just asked “dragon?” and Arkhan nodded! Then he said “with you.”
Fixed! Good catch, Ross. I'm lucky I remember half of what goes on, most nights. :(