Skyshun

The Elven domain of Skyshun lies in a high valley secluded from the world below by barrier mountains that run in two parallel tracks from south-east to north-west. It is dominated by giant redwoods that leave the open ground beneath dappled in a green gloom.

The party will exit the hive and descend through the ravines and tunnels of the Wormway towards the valley below, they will pass signs of orcs having passed this way. At some point someone may notice the elf bane falchion begining to glow a sickly green and they may use this to lead them to an encampment of elves on a side branch of the ravines. If they do not then they will be surprised by an elf ambush.

Number Creature XP
4 Elf Archers 500
2 Elf Skirmishers 250
2 Grey wolves 250

Amongst the elf archers is Quicksilver, the elf that was to guide the party along the High Road to Skyshun when they met with Etherian Highbow the elven ambassador. Each round there is a chance that C may recognise him (Perception DC12) - he was the only one to meet the guide, if he does then there is an immediate opportunity to parlay. Otherwise, it takes a diplomacy check (DC17) to stop the fight and get a parlay.

If the party use the Falchion then they are able to catch the ambushers unprepared - they will still be seen by the guards but the opportunity for parlay is immediately available on a diplomacy check (DC12).

A parlay skills challenge is complexity 2 and moderate (DC12) principally using diplomacy, intimidate and insight. Success means that Quicksilver will deliver the party to Etherian Highbow failure means that they will have to fight until the elves surrender (at 50% losses) before they can be taken there. Revealing the elf bane falchion immediately pushes the parlay SC to hard (DC17).

Travelling with the Quicksilver, the party will learn of the raid and how the elves recovered the wagons which held weapons that they contest were destined for the orcs. Most of the weapons that were recovered did not bear a makers mark which is a legal requirement in Elan, those that did (the ones on the top bore a lion rampant). They will learn how House Lions has been constantly vetoing any action to help defend the elven nation from increasing incursions into their lands. Finally they will hear how the orcs have established a base in the Garden of Rememberence and that they have been particularly well equipped.

Orc Wolfrider Level 5 Skirmisher
Medium Natural humanoid XP 200
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +1; Low-light vision
HP 54; Bloodied 27
AC 18; Fortitude 16; Reflex 15; Will 13
Speed 6 (8 while charging)
Great axe (standard; at-will) Weapon
+8 vs. AC; 1d12 +3 (crit 1d12 + 15)
Shortbow ** (standard; at-will) **Weapon
+8 vs. AC; 1d8 +3 (crit 1d12 + 15)
Warrior’s Surge (standard, usable only while bloodied; encounter) Healing, Weapon
The orc wofrider makes a melee basic attack and regains 11 hit points.
Killer’s Eye
When making a ranged attack, the orc wolfrider ignores cover and concealment (but not total concealment) if the target is within 5 squares of it.
Alignment Chaotic Evil Languages Common, Giant
Str 17 (+4) Con 14 (+3)
Dex 15 (+3) Int 8 (+0)
Wis 10 (+1) Cha 9 (+0)

With the remaining elves, the party are attacked by orcish wolfriders, they face against:

Number Monster XP
2 Orc Wolfriders 400
2 Dire Wolves 400

Returning with the elves to skyshun the party meets Etherian Highbow for the second time - here they rest as his guests before being presented to the mother of the elven child whose locket and remains the party recovered from the ruins of Flaxford Keep. She has obviously been touched by grief and receives the gift with humility and thanks in the presence of the ambassador and another. When she has gone, the ambassador introduces Marshal Cillian who explains the tactical situation.

The orcs have taken The Garden of Remeberence and roam it freely - the open terrain suits their wolf riders and elven archers are quickly cut down - however the Bridge of Silence is easily defended by his archers and their position here is secure enough. The orcs however continue to strengthen their position and he is concerned that if they do not strike soon that their position will become entrenched. The Marshal believes that the orc riders are a very expensive force to maintiain and that their presence in such a forward defensive line indicates that their base at the Vale of Tiniel is not in a defendable state at the moment.

Marshal Cillian has had only one decent report from the Vale and that was two weeks ago - there has been extensive logging and a wall has been set up around two significant long houses, with another five partially dug out. To one side of the vale a second walled area has been set to house a very significant herd of pigs - maybe 200 head - which serves as the principal source of food for the army (their was never much game in the area and now there is none).

The marshal suspects that the wolves require the fresh meat and has a plan to draw the wolf riders away from the fortifications and send a team in to release the pigs and drive them to their death at Fleet Falls.

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