Nodding gruffly to the captives the party does its best to heal their wounds and assuage their fears.
Lornaal, having little to do with the crutch of sympathy marches past ignoring the staggering exhaustion that has overcome his aching body. Terrence, excited to be on the hunt again, trails after Lornaal. As soon as Terrence puts the dark small mace into the sack a weight lifts off his body almost like he was walking in water before (gain level back). Grabbing the lantern the two reach the top of the hill to the West before Matrim strides over with a surety the other two lack.
Scanning the darkened ground, even with the burning lantern, produces no trace of the two goblins pace or direction. Terrence and Lornaal notice the tracks from the wagon that tore a rip into the countryside; but, can’t seem to distinguish the tracks of the goblins or orcs.
Matrim strides ahead of the light, far too far for it to be useful to a normal human. Kneeling he touches the earth and then rubs a blade of grass between his fingers. With an abrupt motion he stands and starts jogging down the other side of the hill into the darkeness. Lornaal and Terrence follow.
Matrim stops two more times before he breaks into a dead run. Lornaal, unable to keep pace does his best to stay with the group keeping his spear in his seasoned hands. Terrence, fresh with youth, finds the run easy and is able to keep Matrim within eyesight as the ranger plunges into a thick copse of trees.
Leaves rustle, and a loud wailing gurgle pierces the night air. A low sobbing cry follows unendingly. As Terrence enters the copse he sees one goblin cut in twain with Matrim’s blade exposed and bloody while another heavily injured goblin lies on the ground with his head buried in his hands sobbing uncontrollably. While Terrence scans the scene looking for the best course of action, Lornaal speed walks into the small clearing behind the trees. He takes one glance at the injured goblins, one glance at his companions and then buries the business end of his spear into the back of the sobbing goblin’s neck. The creature goes limp immediately. Without a word the barbarian turns and starts walking back to the others.
Terrence and Matrim quickly search the two goblins. As everyone returns to the scene of the battle, T’alen has already retrieved the mounts and supplies, Sebastian has double checked the gear and soothed the captive’s fears and Talton has seen to the health of the party.
The grease fire has died down and the fire in the tree and shrubberies has stayed contained. There seems to be little evidence that it will spread, and if it does it most likely won’t be far.
Though offers are made to escort the loggers of Hellup back to their families they are a proud lot, content with the discarded arms of the goblins and the small amount of provisions donated from The Company. Lingering the last few minutes, talking to Sebastian, the loggers promise the flow of ale to be great and unending if the group’s adventures pass through Hellup in the future, with a place to stay and food to eat as well. With that, The Company of the Manticore head south to find a good place to hide a quick camp during the last few night hours and then to continue on in haste at the first hint of light in the Eastern sky.
Ignoring the bulk of the mundane items this time, and donating most of the goblin’s provisions to the loggers, here is a list of items found in the wagon and on the person of the orcs and goblins.
Full plate (human sized)
Studded Leather (masterwork)
Bracers of Armor +4
Gloves of Dexterity +4
Light Unholy Mace +2
Small ivory figurine (90gp)
Ruby ring (40gp)
Jade necklace (120 gp)
At first light the next morning you start your trek back to Tundrein to find Alma and Cora. Looking back you see the smoky remnants of a great fire in the northern sky turning the morning light a strange sickly green. With resolution you strike back to town looking to gain time by heading straight for the village instead of following the greenskin’s trail that led you this direction. After three days of hard riding and terse conversation you travel into a familiar farm-covered valley. The initial calmness that spreads over your bodies at the sight of the lovely valley is quickly stifled as you see the random rashers of smoke coming from the small village that speak volumes to seasoned veterans: battle.
Those aren’t simply hearth-fires cutting the chill of the cold morning. With a quick lash Matrim charges his horse forward, heeding no conversation or command. Seconds later the rest of the party follows galloping down the hill into Tundrein to find friend or foe within the heart of this once sleepy town. As you pass the Hoffsteader homestead thick heavy snowflakes start to fall from the steel grey sky. By the time you get to the gate of Tundrein a thick wet coat of snow covers the ground and roofs of the small village.