Fallen

Bowelsplitter's Seige

18th Day of Marpenoth

The sound of the forge bell ringing woke the adventurers, as the cry of Orcs! resounded throughout the ranch. Dozens of orcs were marching from the east, armed to the teeth and led by their Orog chief, Bowelsplitter. The attackers split into three groups; Bowelsplitter led the main group from rhe east, with two smaller groups flanking the ranch to attack from the north and south.

Although small in number the defenders were well fortified and prepared to die defending the ranch. Kerbin and his sons, Fyndrick and Perd, led the defense of the house. The dwarven brothers, Stowal and Branikan, stayed near their forge to defend the southern approach. This left Erned, a travelling Knight of the Order of the Gauntlet, to lead the defense of the main eastern defenses. To help bolster the defenders Argos and Bruce stayed in the barn, Sendrina and Sagluren stood at Erned's side, and Anabelle took to the house to assist the family.

The battle opens with the orcs attempting to use flaming arrows to set the ranch on fire. The Dellmons expected this, and had kept the roof wet to douse any flames. Not deterred, the orcs began their charge. Closing the distance quickly meant the defenders only got a few shots off before the orcs were upon them, but it was enough to thin their numbers. Sendrina and Sagluren joined the shooting, but Sendrina soon lost the blessing of Tymora as she her bow flicked back hitting her in the face. And so began a battle of many misses.

The orcs reached and easily breached the southern palisade, dispatching the commoners there and only being held by the dwarven brothers. Argos and Bruce hatch a devious plan, using Bruce as bait to get the orcs to gather together, Argos unleashes his Fireball scroll on them. In one fell swoop the southern flank is secured. The last surviving orc leaps into Bruce in an attempt at revenge, his axe landing heavily on Bruce's skull. If not for the casting Shield as a reflexive action Bruce would be dead instead of simply unconscious. Through sheer blind luck Branikan has, and is willing to use, a healing potion to keep Bruce in the fight. The dwarfs and the few surviving warriors rush to secure the other flanks.

Reaching the house the orcs are slowed by Kerbin, but without support are slowly being worn down by sheer weight of numbers. A group of orcs breaches a palisade next to the house, charging directly into the courtyard behind the defenders. Sensing the house is in trouble, Anabelle is able to repel half a dozen orcs with a single Thunderwave, almost securing the house before a second group storm the front door and cut her down. With Anabelle falling the fate of Kerbin and his sons is all but sealed. Flush with victory the remaining orcs charge through into the courtyard.

On the eastern flank Bowelsplitter has finally crossed the defenses and is engaging Erned. The Knight bravely keeps the Orog at bay with his greatsword, but is hard pressed by the duel weiled battleaxes. While focused on the Orog, Sagluren and Sendrina are surprosed from behind, with Saggy falling with an axe planted in his back. Quickly revived by Sendrina he returns to the fight, trying to stop Bowelsplitter. Although they are able to take down many orcs the ranch defenders are overrun, unable to withstand the weight of the horde.

As Erned looks ready to fall, forced to his knee and barely able to lift his sword, Argos and Bruce turn their attention to him unleashing magical attacks. Unable to withstand the combined assault Bowelsplitter finally succumbs to his wounds, leaving the orcs leaderless. Argos attempts to take advantage of this by intimidating the orcs into fleeing. Bruce takes the next step, casting an illusion of Bowelsplitter to order the orcs to retreat. Confused and now slightly spooked, most of the remaining orcs flee. With the help of Stowla, Branikan and the remaining guards the last few orcs are quickly dispatched.

Inside the house Anabelle is revived by Saggy, who can hear screams from the basement. Being told this is were the women and children were hiding causes Anabelle to rush down with Saggy. Below they find two orcs trying to get through a second door, one breaks away to delay them. Thinking of nothing but the pregnant Maygen; Anabelle charges past the orc, who is able to stop her with one swift hit from his axe. By the time Saggy finishes off the first orc the second has breached the door, entering and killing whatever he finds. Sagluren enters and dispatches the orc finding the body of Dreena, Kerbin's daughter, freshly killed.

The battle is over and the group gathers to rest. Erned reveals the non-combatants did not hide in the basement, but rather fled west over night when scouts revealed the attack was imminent. The only survivors were the dwarven brothers, Erned, and two commoners. Every other member of the ranch was killed. The day is spent gathering and burying bodies, and trying to bring some sense of order to the ranch. Erned expects the women to return over the next few days, after he sends word that they can return. As a reward for their service he offers the adventurers some gold and treasure he had collected in his search for Bowelsplitter. He would keep enough to help rebuild the ranch, but the rest was for them.

After a day of rest the adventurers moved on, continuing to the Sacred Stone Monastery. 

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