- Markshire PCs:
[dialogue in the elven tongue]
“Marco, wake up—what’s the matter with you?” Like much of the crew, Marco was a light sleeper aboard—where constant watch changes and the frequent need to change sail demanded it—but dead to the world when ashore.
“Uhhhnnn….what’s happening, Sun? Groggily, he sat up and rubbed his eyes. Moonlight cast odd shadows on the rock-strewn beach and the nearby woods, but all looked calm.
“Something’s wrong—the forest is moving…”
He looked closer at the trees but saw nothing. About thirty paces away, at the fire, though…”Snargill, you’ve got sentry duty, you idiot,” called Marco. “Get away from the fire—you can’t see anything from there.”
The sentry stood lazily, shot Marco a look, and turned away from the comforting fire. A few sleepy voices grumbled at the noise.
“I don’t see anything, Sun—what did you…” He stopped as Snargill made an abrupt gurgling noise, part-shout and part-grunt. Marco turned back to see four short javelins protruding from the sailor’s chest, and a handful more stuck in the sand around his collapsing body. He shouted the first thing that came to mind: “Stations! Stations!”
The attack was organized, fierce and sudden, the dozen sailors sleepy, slow and ill-prepared. Rastnuh, by the food and the fire, reacted first. He could still cast some rudimentary magic with his remaining hand—he swallowed a potion, vanished, and let off a light spell.
Four of the creatures rushed each flank, and eight came from the woods toward the fire at the center of the disorderly encampment. They were short creatures, mottled brown and green like the foliage from which they burst, their flesh seemingly composed of leaves and sticks. Each group was accompanied by a few dog-like creatures, similarly brown and green, and not much shorter than their masters. Half of each group were armed with long stabbing spears, the other half with clubs and javelins, but these now ran toward the sailors with odd short reeds held to their mouths in their off-hands. They came in silence, the dogs trained to head for those already risen, the spearmen going for sleeping or rising forms, and the others firing tiny darts from their blowpipes at any available target.
Marco and Sun had lost track of the rest of the skirmish, though—they kicked Johanssen awake and concerned themselves solely with the flank group rushing their little trio of bedrolls. Marco and Johanssen each took a dart, the poison making them sluggish. Sun loosed arrows at the two dogs headed their way, and hit both, but the dogs did not falter. She backed away to target the slower spearmen. Johanssen managed to fell one of the dogs with a clumsy swing of his broadsword, but the other latched onto Marco’s sword arm. He punched at it with his free hand, wrestling to stay erect. Sun’s shafts seemed to have no effect on the other creatures either, and she quickly inspected the next arrow she drew—plenty sharp. Johanssen half-fell and half-dived onto the dog savaging Marco’s arm, snapping its neck with an oddly wooden sound.
Sun nocked and fired her arrow, surprising herself with her own accuracy as she actually split a blowpipe being aimed her way. But the creature merely dropped the split reed, drew its club, and rushed onward, the arrow seemingly lodged in the back of its throat and protruding from its mouth, which seemed to gape in a horrible grin.
Johanssen struggled to his feet, and the dogs’ masters were just steps away when Marco turned to her and shouted, “Sun—run!”
Fearful, impotent, she turned, but the campfire area behind them was similarly beset. There was nowhere to run.