Diamond Cascade: The Thin Line Between Heroism and Stupidity

Alturiak 4: After a well-earned rest courtesy of Diamond Cascade’s good gnomish friends, Diamond Cascade and his companions continued on their mission: To travel north and deliver a letter, long overdue, and to continue their quest for the noble priest of Tyr, their hunt for the devilish dwarf Durmijeron. But what horror awaited? Slipping out from their dark dwellings among the mountains, fiendish orcs and vile goblins had swarmed forth while Diamond Cascade and his friends had brought justice to the venomous drow of the underdark. In the green and pleasant hills of the Halfling tribes, normally so warm and welcoming, naught awaited them but scene after scene of vicious unspeakable slaughter. Overwhelmed by this ashen tragedy, this dire destruction, Diamond Cascade and his comrades set themselves upon the trail of the closest of these despicable warbands and descended upon it in a whirling blur of sorcery and steel and righteous vengeance. Many fell to Diamond Cascade’s sword, many vile orc and goblin, yet their numbers were of such magnitude that even the master swordsman himself could not defeat so many. Sickened by the slaughter of his own making, Diamond Cascade set to in single combat with the foul leader of this orcish band and brought him down with a single mighty blow. Leaving the orcs reeling in disarray from the terror wrought upon them, to lick their wounds and slink back to their vomitous lairs, Diamond Cascade continued onwards.

Actually, no. Actually, what happened is we saw this large orcish warband, kept well away from it as any sensible person would, then slunk into their camp while they were all sleeping and murdered their war-leader in an effort to sow confusion and dissent.

Actually no, not that either. Ok, so the plan was to swoop in upon the orcs and kill their leaders and swoop away again while disabling their pursuit with spells. With flaming spheres and entanglement spells and a hail of arrows and SOME SORT OF CO-ORDINATION, it was a plan that might even have worked.

OK, look, if there had been a plan, there are many things it would not have included. For example, it would not have called for The Gnome to fall off her horse, Wolfgirl to stand around wondering what to do, or for Shifty to curl up in a ball and hope no one could see him, even as they walked right over where he was and trod on him. It would not have called for Stalker to rider around in aimless circles trying to control his horse while thousands of goblins threw javelins at him. All of these things. Would NOT have been in the plan. If we’d had one.

Unless, of course, the plan called for us to get captured and for our amusing ineptitude to arouse a certain degree of orcish curiosity, thus preventing our immediate execution. If the plan we didn’t have had been that, then it would have worked quite well. Same for the part where we escape from captivity while all the orcs are sleeping, murder their chieftain in his sleep (thanks, Shifty) and slink out with as much of our stuff and theirs as we could carry. I’d like to say that my growing powers that allow me to shift my appearance to be that of an orc and speak and understand their language made some useful contribution to our escape, but they didn’t.

What I still don’t understand is why our plan wasn’t simply to slip around them in the first place. I can’t even blame the rest of them. It was me, urging us into this outbreak of stupidity. Could have got us all killed. Very nearly did. Even as we were making our escape, a part of me wanted to turn back, creep among their bloated sleeping bodies and slit throat after throat until we were awash in a sea of blood. Where did that come from?

After we were away, all I could think of was Barresford. Maybe that’s what’s got my thinking so cloudy. Barresford and what the orcs did there.


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