"Hold it!" Cinis shouted to the others when the cry was raised about the dead horses from the front.
"You see those arrows in the horses? The only reason you leave arrows behind is if you're coming back... or if you never left. Keep eyes everywhere but the horses, weapons out. I don't think we're alone." Cinis says to the others, pointing out the surroundings and readying himself for a fight he knew had to be coming.
Are these those Redbands Tarok was talking about? I hope those horses didn't belong to Gundren or Sildar. That would be just our luck, to have the employers get killed before we even get to the safety of the town.
"Be ready, but avoid a fight if you can. Scare them, bargain with them, whatever it takes to come out of this alive. Never start a fight you aren't sure you can win." Cinis said, quoting his commanding officer from his army days.
Cinis scanned the surroundings, looking for anything out of place.
Tarok comes to a halt with the others ahead of the dead horses. He scans the vicinity to try to locate the source of the arrows, and to see if he can determine where the assailants are now.
"These horses blocking the road are almost certainly a trap, we're walking into an ambush." he says to the others. "And if we're smart, we need never fight on anyone's terms but our own." he adds to Cinis.
Tarok tries to recall if he knows of any group in particular that uses black-feathered arrows. He also tries to remember whether or not the Redbrands ever used them, or if this kind of ambush matches their previous tactics.
Then, quite abruptly, Tarok starts barking out orders in a rapid, but very clear and confident voice. "I say we turn this cart side on along the road, then lead the oxen behind it, so we can all use it as cover in case they start firing arrows. After that, we should send out scouts into the forest to assess the enemy's position and find us high ground. We can't fight while they are in cover and we are not, and we need a tactical advantage to nullify theirs. I say once we find high ground, then we make a break for it, and then plan our next move when we have knowledge of their strength and numbers. Are you with me gentlemen?" he finishes.
OOC: I'm unsure on the rolls, so I'll let you decide DM.
Upon seeing the dead horses in the path, Nemean snaps up and stands on the wagon drawing his bow and scanning the surroundings. He tries to remember if the horses here looked like the ones he saw Sildar and Gundren ride off on.
“I’m with you Tarok, we’re not safe now and could be sitting ducks for an amubush”
Bob starts looking around even more, getting his hand cross bow at the ready. Feeling that something is about to go wrong Bob tries to hide stealth-20
This is not good, but then again guess I get to see what the others can do. Lets hope I do not take one of them arrows to the hip, that would hurt. Strange I cant hear birds anymore, thats not a good sign. OK Bob be sure to watch out for your traveling friends this is the time they are going to need you. You can do this!
He was completely unaware of how gruff and unreasonable he sounded. He also wasn't giving a second thought to why he thought he should be giving anyone orders, despite just barely having reached Sergeant before leaving the army.
Bob Mutters to his self I should go check, I am sure I will do it the best and I might be able to stay kinda hidden...Yes, I should go. Bob tries and stay hidden as much as he can and heads to the horses and inspects them
"Well this isn't good. I'll hang back with the wagon and keep an eye out for anything moving out there."
Argos steers the oxen, turning the cart sideways on the road for cover. He then stands up atop the cart and readies his longbow, keeping a keen eye out for trouble ahead.
OOC: I'd like to make a history check for the black arrows, and see if I can tell what kind of creatures make these kind of arrows. I have advantage on Intelligence checks to recall information about my favored enemies (I chose orcs and goblinoids), so I need to know if I have advantage or not (you should probably roll for me).
You don't recall the Redbrands ever using a specific type of arrow. In fact, most of them were brutes who preferred the thrill of hand-to-hand combat.
From your distance you're fairly certain that the horses are the same colors as the horses that Gundren and Sildar rode out of Neverwinter.
Investigation of arrows, pertaining to orcs and/or goblins, with advantage for favored enemy: 13
The arrows definitely look like typical goblinoid arrows. They're obviously low quality and hastily crafted.
Argos turns the wagon sideways on the road for cover and stands atop it, as Tarok leads the oxen calmly behind it. Nemean joins Argos on the wagon and scans the tree line while Cinis readies himself for a potential fight and barks suggestions. Bob sneaks forward among the thickets to get a closer look.
It's clear to you that these horses were the ones that Gundren and Sildar rode out of Neverwinter. They've been dead about a day, and it's obvious that arrows killed the horses. You can see that the saddlebags have been looted, and an empty leather map case lies nearby.
The thickets you are using to hide as you approach lead you up the steep embankment, and you see two goblins in the tree line trying their best to hide for an ambush, and better yet, it's clear that they do not see you.
This group is more than prepared for such a cheap attempt at an ambush. As Bob approaches the right side of the embankment through the thickets, the rest can see two goblins on each side of the tree line, carrying poorly crafted scimitars and shortbows. They are glancing at the group and shifting impatiently, obviously waiting for an opportunity to ambush the first traveler to sidle up to the grisly makeshift blockade.
Two goblins stand 60 and 70 feet away from the wagon, along the tree line on the left side of the embankment. Two goblins stand 60 and 70 feet away from the wagon along the tree line on the right side of the embankment.
Argos: Atop the wagon, longbow drawn Nemean: Atop the wagon, longbow drawn Tarok: Behind the wagon with the oxen Cinis: Beside the wagon Bob: In the thickets on the right side of the embankment, 20 feet from the closer goblin on that side
OOC: Do your best to avoid reading spoiler tags meant for other characters, please. There will be times when those contain information that other characters may not want you to know yet...
Cinis, upon seeing the goblins waiting on the treeline, signals to the others to split and deal with each side simultaneously.
With a flourish of the hand and a mumbled word, Cinis hurls a Fire Bolt at one of the goblins to the left of the group, putting his back against the side of the wagon to shield him from any arrows that may come from the right. (Attack: 7 Damage: 4. In case of surprise advantage: Attack: 14 )
"Now!" Cinis shouts as he throws the mote of flame at the goblins, prompting the other members of the party to attack with their own ranged weapons.
It's about time something works in our favor. A fight we're sure to win, so long as those arrows aren't poisoned...
OOC: Sorry I added a comment before reading about the Goblins, so I've deleted it.
Tarok notices the Goblins along the treeline and draws his Greatsword from it's scabbard.
"Goblins lying in ambush on either side of the road. Not too well either. I'm going to make a break for the trees and try to close on the ones to the left. If someone can cover me with some arrows or bolts, I'd be much obliged. Bob should have a clear chance to take them by surprise if they're busy dodging arrows too." he whispers to the others.
OOC: Edit after Cinis' firebolt. His post came in while I was writing mine. I think given the distance, I won't have a chance to attack during this round, feel free to roll for me if I am able to reach a goblin in this turn though. I've taken the stealth rolls out, since they're not really relevant anymore.
Upon hearing Cinis' signal and seeing a roaring fire bolt fly overhead, Tarok abandons his brief foray into subtlety and charges toward the Goblins on the left, trying to keep to the tree-line where possible but focusing mostly on closing the gap between him and his enemies.
OOC: Players move first! Bob is unseen by the goblins, and has advantage (Taking 16 or this attack roll if higher: 18, and sneak attack damage: 1)
Battle kicks off as Cinis's fire bolt streaks toward the goblins on the left, missing and scorching the earth nearby. Tarokcharges left along the tree line as an arrow flies from Argos's bow, striking a tree above a goblin's head. Nemean's arrow lodges itself into the eye of the far goblin on the right as he brandishes his scimitars with a roar. As the remaining goblin opens its mouth to shout, Bob fires a crossbow bolt through the back of its throat, turning its shout into a death cry.
Ignorant of their fellow goblins' fate, one goblin on the left side rushes forward to meet Tarok in battle. (Scimitar Attack: 23) The goblin slips its scimitar past Tarok's defenses with a nasty slash across the thigh, dealing 8 damage.
The further goblin pulls its shortbow up and fires a shot toward Nemean atop the wagon. (Shortbow Attack: 15) The arrow streaks across the battlefield, lodging itself in Nemean's shoulder, dealing 5 damage.
One goblin remains 70 feet from the wagon with a shortbow drawn. The other is 35 feet from the wagon on the left side, engaged in melee combat with Tarok.
Argos: Atop the wagon, longbow drawn, 1 arrow fired Nemean: Atop the wagon, scimitars drawn, 1 arrow fired, 1 wound Tarok: Engaged with goblin, 30 feet from the wagon on the left side, 1 wound Cinis: Beside the wagon Bob: 30 feet from the wagon on the right side