Campaign Chronicle #13

Taken from a burnt journal found in a pile of headless charred bodies after the attack on a military caravan between Milantis and the River Du'inne. We found some of the heads down river washed up on shore.

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Sergeant Griff says a few boys must have run off last night and got lost. How you get lost with our company's tracks clearly behind us I don't know. I think they got bored of the march and took off for the closest tavern for some ale and wenches, then got too drunk to make it back in formation. I wish I could join them even if they get in trouble. It's been three weeks since any of us had a good, hot meal and the damn temperature has been cold. Oh well, water and salt pork for dinner again. Maybe tomorrow we will be close enough to the river for some of the scouts to catch some nice trout. That would be a fine meal. Running low on salt pork, but we will have enough to get back to the barracks.

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It's midnight; something has the horses spooked. Still no word of the lost rear guard, and we found out some of our scouts have not returned. The sergeant put more men on the watch. I feel better knowing that. I need a good rest.

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We woke to the sounds of someone screaming. The entire nightwatch lay dead at their posts. All of their heads removed and placed around the fire right in the middle of the camp! They were amongst us, and we didn't even hear them! Sergeant Griff and the other officers are all pale with fear. Orc tracks were found. I never heard of orcs hunting like this. They were amongst us and only killed the watch. They could have slaughtered us all but they didn't. I overheard someone say they are toying with us. Why not just attack?

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We saw one this morning! He walked right into the open and threw Ned Garrick's head right at the captain, knocking him right off his horse, then vanished without a trace. The captain ordered the scouts to ride him down, but they never found a track. Orcs they say. Poppycock! Ghosts, says I.

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They attacked at dusk in force, and by that I mean there were only six of them. That was all they needed. It started with an explosion of green vials and choking and dying horses and men. Then, they ran through us, cutting, hacking and stabbing. One of them cleaved five of us in half with one swing each of his short sword. Doc says the butcher's bill is twenty-five men and all thirty-two horses! Twenty-five dead and only six orcs! We didn't even draw blood. They moved so fast we couldn't hit them.

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Forced march tonight. I haven't slept. No time to write.

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They hit us again. We have to make a stand. They cut us off and killed the captain and fifteen more of us.

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Rations gone. Water tasted funny tonight. I fear it may be going bad. Why can't we just kill oneā€”just to know they bleed. Sounds are dim, legs are numb. (The writing becomes incoherent the stops.)