You trudge west.
‘This doesn’t look too good!’ Otto mutters as he sees the emotion expressed from the villagers at Freyan.
He catches up with him.
‘I take it they don’t fancy our chances then?’ He says to Freyan
"The deeper we venture, the greater the power of the creatures we'll find, only the scouts venture into the interior, we'll have our work cut out for us"
The scouts move off at a pace, splitting up and ducking into shadows and areas of stealth.
Tiley moves at a steady march, alert and intent, Zorranson walks in a more relaxed manner, his brow lined with concentration, Tailor seems a little out of it, but keeps up.
The terrain changes from rocky steppe to twisted gorse and scrubland, still hilly, with great earthen trenches breaking the land up, as if some great worm had swam through the ground before becoming petrified or frozen.
The bones of huge creatures and uncomfortably the skeletons of humanoids are scattered around.
The hounds remain close, moving in a protective phalanx.
I’ll be keeping a good look out! (Make a Search Roll: Roll of 17)
Making your way down into the twisted earthworks, you see the haunted land, a grey miasma lies across it like some suffocating blanket.
You trek for several days, sleeping during the day and travelling by night, Freyan's thinking is to be awake at the same time as the beasts.
You round a series of ravines, where the ground just seems to have given up; within the mess of the landscape you see what appears to be a village, or the remnants of one.
Smoke rises from the timbers.
"This has been recently attacked,” observes Tiley
‘No shit’ Otto mutters.
He draws his Gucci pistol. ‘Lets have a look around, and see if any survivors can tell us who we are up against.’
He moves swiftly but cautiously down to the village.
Is it still dark?
There is a perpetual twilight.
Moving into the ruins, dim heat signatures of the dying heat from burnt timbers show up on your sensors.
The group with the exception of Freyan move cautiously into the remnants, there are no bodies.
(Make a Listen roll: Roll of 16)
Your sensors sweep across the wreckage, a tension has gripped the three of you.
From within the fallen timbers you can hear the signs of life.
‘Check your shots fella’s, there might be villagers alive amongst this hell’ Otto says
I level my pistol to aim.
What is the detect evil band doing?
In a very Tolkienesque way it is faintly glowing blue.
I will ensure the group stay close to each other, so we can cover each other and prevent anyone getting a drop on us.
Spot of 22
Moving cautiously through the ruins, you are startled by the odd rat, before you detect a little murmur.
Slowly lifting away beams and wreckage, you see that a small hidey hole has been made, within it is a baby, a boy wrapped warmly, his life signs are low, his skin pale.
Undoubtedly from malnutrition.
‘Freyan, to me’ Otto murmurs as he lifts the baby out.
First Aid of 20
Freyan bounds down the rocky slope to you, while Tiley with military thinking hastily moves to the top to replace him.
Silently the elf works, taking out some paste that he quickly mixes with water; he then pours a potion into the mix.
He hands you his wineskin filled with the solution.
"This will heal him and give him a night, but he needs milk,” says Freyan
"Aw ain't e a 'ickle charmer" dotes Tailor.
"Oh the fuck leaves a babe"
"A desperate parent who hope that their child will live while they do not" replies Zorranson quietly
"Such is life upon Scarathera,” mutters Freyan, as you all apart from Tiley stand transfixed around the baby.
I nod at Zorranson’s comment
‘All the more reason for us to get going isn’t it?’ Otto says as he checks around for bits to make a make shift carry sack for the baby.
‘We’ll need to hunt for a doe or something to get some milk’
Check the baby to see if there is any note etc. Boy or girl?
‘Keep your eyes peeled chaps!’ Otto warns.
You collectively make your way to the top of the ridge and move on quickly, howls rips through the night, accompanied by screams in the distance.
"This place is truly nightmarish,” whispers Tiley
"I will find a doe for milk,” states Zorranson
"It would be better if I went" replies Freyan
"No" replies the businessman "Your needed to keep everyone alive, Freyan"
"Mr Z, that ain't no good" warns Tailor
"I'll be fine Marcus" I hunted on the northern estate all the time.
Solemnly he takes off his pack, shakes everyone’s hand and makes his way off into the night.
Is the baby a boy or girl?
It is a baby boy!
‘Z, stay close though, and take one of our scouts with you’ Otto says as he cradles the little lad.
How bad a state is he in?
Zorranson nods, Freyan whistles and a figure lopes through the gloom.
This one looks like a mixture of weasel and human, he sniffs, constantly and waits silently for Freyan, the elf speaks in a grunting tone, the scout turns and heads off taking the lead before the businessman.
(Make a Treat Injury roll: Roll of 18)
The baby is stable, but exposure and malnutrition will claim him if he is not fed soon.
‘Right chaps, make camp.’ Otto lays the baby carefully on a blanket from his backpack and starts to build a fire using a location where it cannot be seen by prying eyes.
‘Everyone stay close, and be alert!’
Then I will sort out some form of swaddling for the infant.
"Otto, making camp now is dangerous, especially here," hisses Freyan, the grey elf resigns himself looking at you focus within your current task.
The baby is very cold; Tiley takes out his thermal sleeping bad and cuts it into a suitable blanket for the babe.
The fire illuminates the gloomy gully in which you are camped, your sensors scan in a paranoid sweep, and bloodcurdling screams cut through the air.
Still the baby is still, the three of watch in the fear that the little mite will slip away, during the night.
‘Not on my fucking watch’ Otto mutters.
‘We have to take a chance’ he whispers to Freyan as the howls echo around the ground, like they themselves are about to pounce and tear the group to pieces.
‘I want to have the chance to name this boy, and not have to bury him in the morning for the jackals to dig up’
‘Understand? Lets have done some good today for a change eh?’
‘Tilley, get some sleep if you can. Two hour watches’
The hours tick by, Tiley settles down along with Tailor, Freyan sits above you watching the surroundings.
In the early hours as the boys breathing becomes shallower and shallower, figures move out of the darkness, Zorranson stalks into the camp, his armour covered in rends and blood.
The scout looks worse for wear, but alive.
For a moment the businessman sits, obviously heavily exerted, his skin has a red tinge to it.
Turning he looks at you "Here is what you need, producing two wineskins, however we haven't much time we were followed!"
(Make a Listen Roll: Roll of 23)
I feed the child as quickly as I can, without choking or stressing the little fella.
Freyan whistles a signal and the scouts silently move, into the brush.
Your sensors move out to maximum distance, shapes moving rapidly, hungrily through the terrain.
A glow seems to fill Zorranson, he moves out to the perimeter.
"A little clichéd gentlemen, but lock and load" says Tiley
‘Too clichéd!’ Otto chuckles. He gently raises the child with his carrying harness on his back and primes his Gucci pistol.
‘Quick and quiet gents, quick and quiet!’ He whispers as they move out.
(Make a Move Silently and Hide Roll: Rolls of 17 & 18)