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The PCs planned an ambush against a small orcish patrol; there were nine player characters (Emily's sorcerer being sir-not-yet-appearing-in-this-film) and a small detachment of young Resistance fighters in a well-positioned cut through a low hill on a wooded path. Unfortunately, the group was not as adept at hiding as they could have been, and Aisling was spotted by the orc leader. Fortunately, she is tricksy and thinks quickly on their feet and spun them a yarn about how she'd been attacked by kobolds just around the bend, and had run away from them - she was so *lucky* to run into the real authorities! They could stamp out those vermin!

ND Session1a

This worked, mostly because Nymphs cheat. The leader formed up his troops and charged ahead, directly into an arrow from Nayla. The remaining orcs were stunned by the ambush and a few of them went down to the opening volley, including one goblin wolf rider effectively brained by Aisling's quarterstaff and an orc who caught a couple of javelins to the face and never quite got back into the fight. Ariana rushed in, hammer and shield swinging, and a couple of the enemy were briefly incapacitated by a well-thrown grenade. Mikael began peppering orcs with arrows, Nayla landed a particularly effective Shattershot, and Hloomawl, Himmel, Nesta, and Trahaern began moving into the fight. Greex skirted around the perimeter, keeping to cover and looking for opportunities to pick off a straggler. As the fight progressed, Ariana caught a crossbow bolt through the shield and into her arm but followed that up by smashing a wolf's head in and taking down another orc; Nayla and Aisling managed to take down another wolf and its rider, taking him prisoner; Trahaern and Nesta dealt with the knight's warhorse, Himmel charged straight into the fight, sending a spinning hatchet into an orc's skull; and Hloomawl impaled another orc on his horns through the shield, wrenching himself free but nearly tearing its arm off. After just a few seconds of pitched battle, the PCs stood victorious with little but minor wounds to show for an entire orc patrol dead or captured.

They moved on from there, with Ariana, Nayla, Mikael, and Nesta returning to camp to begin working on training and logistics while Aisling, Greex, Himmel, Hloomawl, and Trahaern began a tour of Trones and Trones Crossing to inspire their fellows to rise up and throw off the shackles of orcish rule. This wildly successful recruiting campaign emptied both villages of nearly every able-bodied human of fighting age over the course of two days; all told the group had nearly 30 elements at their command, with a very small artillery and archery component and a group of pikemen leavened with a heavy helping of medium infantry. While the peasants were equipped mostly with farming implements and sharpened sticks, they had the advantage of numbers and dedicated significant resources to the recon effort in order to ensure the best position possible.

ND Session1b

The recon contest was a blowout: Greex's intelligence analysis and the Resistance's efforts at recon ensured they knew everything about the orc force as it sallied out, and were able to set up an ideal ambush in hilly terrain. By contrast, the orcs were taken completely by surprise and the first round of the mass combat ended with 40% casualties on the orcish side to none for the humans. The PCs (under Trahaern's command) pressed the attack with a flanking maneuver. Hloomawl had battered the orcish leader Pennant Zo Hugash in the first round, and Aisling and Himmel worked together in the second to take him out. Zo Bruurt stepped up and proved to be a somewhat more insightful and lucky leader than his commander, but the orc's situation was pretty dire and Trahaern crushed them with a charge. The final accounting was complete dispersal of the orcish force (over half of which were dead) in exchange for nothing but incidental casualties among the peasantry - a completely one-sided battle that left the Resistance in control of a small fort, its forges, and the surrounding countryside and villages around Trones.

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