Evernight: The Darkest Fantasy

Act Zero Part 3
A Fistful of Orcs

From the Journal of Adelmar, Headman of Roxbury:

The village wall defenses were as ready as they could be, all thanks to the guidance of the Red Knight Amador.

Only ten able-bodied ten farmers remain, yet they managed to repair the breach in the rear wall and reinforced with spiked stakes. Similar spikes now also protected the main gate. The bestial orcs won’t be foolish enough to impale themselves upon them, but it would surely break their charge.

After supper, the Amador, Tarana, and Viggo decided to take turns keeping watch during the night, accompanied by a couple of farmers. The Sun Priest Bogart appeared to be indisposed, with some sort of stomach ache. I hope the orcs don’t make another raid tonight.

Solace shine over us all.

From a rough translation of an unnamed orc chieftain’s partial diary:

My horde is almost complete! Soon, we shall crush that small village and continue onward, slaughtering these weak humans.

My scouts return! The village had improved its fortifications but no matter! It shall still be crushed! But from the south, a human army marches and will be here in a few hours.

My horde isn’t at full strength yet! But I shall strike now at the village before their reinforcements arrive.

I’ve gathered a score of my most savage orcs. We go now to crush this small, weak village. I’ve taken eight out of the twenty to go with me to assault the main gate. The remaining dozen shall circle around and climb over the rear walls.

Blast it! As we climbed the slope towards the gate, foul magic came hurtling down, blasting me and one of my orcs. I just got a flesh wound. I’ll live. Too bad I can’t say the same for the other orc.

I cursed my troops to continue their charge forward, as more of the dark bolts rained down upon us. I got hit maybe three times, but the magic was weak, and I shrugged them off. I heard the witch who was hurling the bolts chanting, somewhere just beyond the gate. She will be sorry once I got inside the village.

My orcs have clambered over the fence and are now inside the village! Sounds of fighting and then screams of dying humans. I chuckled in amusement. Human death-sounds never get old.

Something sounded wrong though. Mixed in with the human’s screams are the dying grunts of orcs. These human farmers are fighting back?!? Impossible!

I peered over the short fence they call fortifications, and found out the reason: among the farmers wielding their pitiable spears, there was that despicable magic-using witch, and two more warriors who were cutting down my orcs!

The first warrior wielded two weapons, a scimitar in one hand and an orcish swordsword in the other. He’s almost as big as an orc himself, and bloodlust flashed in his eyes the same way it did in some savage orcs. As I watched, he threw away the shortsword and switched to using a shield in his off-hand.

The second was clad in shining armor—a Red Knight! I sneered. It would be very satisfying to clash steel with this upstart. His sword crackled with some blue energy, no doubt a blessing from his cursed god, Solace. But Kargak is mightier than any human god!

I leaped and held onto the top of the fence, pulling myself up. I perched, crouched, upon the fence, unslinging my great axe. The Red Knight was making his way toward me, shouting a challenge. I shouted a battlecry in return and leaped down upon him.

I smiled in satisfaction as my axe blade drank deep of the knight’s blood. He staggered, heavily wounded.

The witch looked exhausted, the scimitar-wielding berserker was weakened, and the knight was bloodied. Only a handful of villagers remained. I laughed. Victory was mine!

But then stopped as I realized something.

Damn it! They have killed too many of my men! Even as I watched, they killed the last orc with me. This is bad! Their reinforcements will soon come! I cannot afford any more losses.

I shouted for the rear orcs to fall back, and began withdrawing myself. The Red Knight took a couple of ineffective swings at me, but I am strong.

I cleared the fence quickly and vanished back into the forest where my horde awaits.

We shall crush them at dawn!

From the Report of Captain Dux:

We reached the village of Roxbury shortly before dawn.

We expected to find the villagers on their way along the road, and feared the worst when we didn’t meet them.

Newly-erected spikes protected the main gate, and the fence surrounding the compound appeared to be in good repair.

The adventurers the Baron hired were inside, and appeared exhausted and battle-weary. Two bodies, that of farmers, have been neatly put aside for later burial. There were other bodies as well: orcs from the looks of it. It seems they’ve just repelled a large raiding party just a couple of hours before we arrived.

I immediately briefed the adventurers on the situation. As my scouts have found out earlier, we are now surrounded by the orc horde. We must make a stand here and now. The village is on top of a hill and the fortifications will undoubtedly be of help.

By all accounts, the orc horde outnumbers almost two to one. My troops include a mixed force of archers, spearmen, and cavalry. Put to good use, they may overcome the horde.

One of the adventurers, the barbarian from the White Towns no less, had volunteered to lead the army into battle. I’ve quizzed him and he appears to know more about war than I do, so I relinquished command of the troops to him. I myself will act as his lieutenant.

Thus ends my initial report at Roxbury. The orcs will surely attack on the morrow and there is still much to prepare.

Act Zero Part 2
Of Orcs and Ogres

From the Journal of Adelmar, Headman of Roxbury:

A party of four young adventurers arrived last night, apparently sent by Baron Loxlyn of Stoutham. Solace has probably sent them our way as well, as two of them are servants of the Light. But I'm afraid four swords aren't much addition to the dozen spears we have. Still, we should hold out. The younger Loxlyn takes after his father…

We lost Gedel and Hurk last night when the orcs made a night raid. A handful of the beasts circled around and sneaked into the breach by the north wall, while their ogre companion battered down the gates. Holy Light of Solace! They have an ogre in their ranks!

Thankfully, the four adventurers made short work of the monsters. The night seemed like day as the prayers of the sun priest fell three beasts. The farmers tell me the witch used some dark magic to instantly slay the brutish ogre. The berserker's a bit too wild for comfort (most of the women, as well as some of the men, feel uneasy around him); Menemond told me he peered through his window and saw the northman’s scimitar ripping off one of the orc's heads. Sir Amador, of course, was the most elegant, his sun armor a beacon of burning Light as he stood in the middle of the battle, inspiring his companions to fight on…

I may have misjudged their worth and skill.

The men started early today and worked hard, cutting down wood and digging holes. All under the direction of Sir Amador. He may look a little too young, but he has great leadership potential. The breach in the wall was repaired before midday and the men had time to devise defenses other than walls.

Soon, it will be sundown, and time again for our prayer meeting. Will the orcs attack again tonight? I wonder but I'm not worried. Clearly, Solace has indeed sent these heroes to us…

I trust and give myself fully into the Light. Solace shine over us. 

Act Zero Part 1
The Adventure Begins

From the memoirs of Baron Kyle Loxlyn:

Four novice heroes have answered my urgent summons:

The two from the Order of Solace were excellent choices, if a bit on the young side. The sorceress would have been a welcome sight indeed had I been 10 years younger. The berserker looked a bit… rough and unkempt. All in all, a ragtag band of adventurers. But time is pressing and we'll have to make do with the tools we have.

I have sent them as advance scouts while my army musters. Roxbury stands upon an easily-defensible hill, and the defenses King Kaden ordered built around it could allow them to hold out for a few days, even against an overwhelming number of orcs.

But the reports of the orc horde's numbers… surely that must be a mistake! Or I'm sending those kids to certain death…

Act Zero Prologue
Against the Orcs!

Valusia has enjoyed peace since the Great Wars between the Races ended long ago. The people have settled down to enjoy a prosperous life under the benevolent rule of King Kaden. But trouble is brewing to the north, in the shadow of the Dread Mountains, where the savage orcs dwell.

A few weeks ago, hunters and trappers spotted large bands of roving orcs prowling along the borders of the Northern Marches. And then the northernmost villages started to fall to orc raiders. One by one, villages were being slaughtered by the orc horde. The few that escaped fled south, and slowly, news began to trickle down to Stoutham, the largest town of the Northern Marches.

Baron Kyle Loxlyn of Stoutham is no fool. He did not waste time mustering his forces, but still, he needed more time. The orc horde showed no signs of turning back and a small farming settlement, Roxbury, stood next in their warpath.

There was only one hope then: a small band of untried heroes, the best he could find on such short notice, must travel ahead of the army to try and stall the orcish scouts.

If the heroes succeed, Loxlyn's army could arrive in time to save Roxbury, and the young heroes would have taken their first steps towards matching the legends of the Seven.

If they fail… well, surely true heroes could stand against the orcs!


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