Part 21: Day 23: Arrival at Ridgehorn
Another day, another camp!
We should only be a day or two away from Ridgehorn now.
I did all I could, but Mogr still ended up injured. Fortunately, I have a lot of heroes.
Griss promotes to rank 2. His key stats are already in pretty good shape, so I work on his Armor and Strength.
Yrsa promotes to rank 3. Since her damage output comes from Slag & Burn, it goes into Armor, increasing her survivability a bit. More importantly, her ability promotes - the level 2 version (which costs 2 Will to use, by the way - that applies to all promoted abilities, but using them at full power is optional) can lay up to 3 coals instead of 2.
And back on the road. Despite our losses, morale remains high.
At least it's not as bad as it could have been if you hadn't taken out a good portion of them already, you think to yourself.
"Yeah, pray to whatever god you like. There's more of them waiting on the other side of the woods than we've seen so far. We may be seriously outnumbered, especially if we wait."
Yrsa appears, unexpectedly. "What if," she says, patting her arrows knowingly. You could set part of the woods on fire to draw their attention while you escape, or try to draw them into a trap. "Was this your idea?" you ask. She shrugs innocently.
You escort Yrsa about an hour's trek to the far edge of the trees, where she sets up a few soaked rags in key locations. With a volley of flaming arrows, the rags catch in dramatic fashion, sending the area up in flames despite the thickening snow.
You high-tail it back to the caravan, where Mogr is already reporting that dredge are heading towards the fires. Yrsa cackles with delight, all but reinforcing the nickname the varl have given her as "the witch".
After a long half hour, their numbers have thinned. "We better get out of here before that really spreads," suggest Mogr. You break through the trees and plow into the dredge who remained behind, hoping to cut through them before the others notice.
Trying to lure them into the woods ourselves can result in Yrsa's death. I do not want this to happen.
Giving Mogr a break, so Griss will be my substitute tank.
Thanks to thinning the horde before we begin, the enemy force is weak. Two Grunts (one Vicious) and a Scourge.
Hakon is facing down the Vicious Grunt alone, while everyone else clusters around the normal one. I plan to behead this force in a single swoop.
Griss starts the fight out by trivializing the Grunt.
The grunt hits back, taking 1 Armor damage in exchange.
Fasolt finishes it off. 2 left.
The Grunt does what Vicious Grunts do best, putting a decent dent in Hakon's armor.
Thanks to his three Exertion, Hakon kills it in one blow.
Now that we have an absurd turn advantage, the only thing for it is to regroup and let him come to us.
You take a moment to survey the battlefield. The enemy is being pushed back all the way down the line.
Come on, man.
The enemy reinforcement is... this. Just this guy. Alone.
I am disappointed in these dredge.
Gained Item: Svalinn Dust
Not terribly impressive for its rank, but I did get it for free. I'm going to give it to Mogr to make him all but invincible.
For 20 Renown, Hakon maxes out his rank, gaining one last point each in Strength and Willpower. He needs the latter pretty badly, with that Exertion score.
At Rank 3, Sundering Impact does 1 Strength and 3 Armor damage to everything adjacent to the target.
Day 24! Morale steady at Good. Possibly because of all these crushing victories.
Thunder rolls as lightning strikes the tower in the distance.
On day 26, morale drops to Normal, but we're here.
Welcome to Ridgehorn.
The scenery beyond the narrow, frozen bridge isn't much more inviting.
It is eerily quiet beneath the scorched walls of the fortress.
But only dredge bodies remain.
Maybe we'll see something from the tower. Have varl search the buildings and make sure there's no dredge waiting to spring on us.
And don't set up camp or make a fire. We'll take a look and then get out of here before anything else goes wrong.
You mean "more wrong".