Cull them Kul

Overview
-The mission is to scout a mountainous area near The Swath. We suspect Kul orcs operate there based on the encounters Erfiren, Cian and Altraam have had recently. Orcs and Gnolls clashes would seem to support this theory. The Swath could the neutral ground between the two; it might even be a food supply area.

Objectives
-See and don’t get seen
-Kill and don’t get killed
-Find their base of operations
-Report home.

Orcs are tough and I expect each to be like a trained soldier. Their leaders will excel in combat and tactics just like ours do. Lets not kid ourselves, we can fight orcs 1 to 1, but if they outnumber us or we have a protracted number of encounters someone will get hurt.

If we are proactive we may be able to change a potential 5th Cathorna event into a 1st Kul-Dur. We go and blast their base or settlement.

We may find signs our lost children were brought through this area. They may have been sacrificed, but they may still be captive as part of some nefarious plan.

Timetable
This is a 4-6 day mission.
Day 1
-We progress up stream as we did with the Thror’s Hill mission. Our 1st camp would bee on the edge of Craddach Woods, roughly where Beckett got stung.

Day 2
-Heading out at first light it will take us around 7 hours to get through Craddach Woods. Allowing for time variation we will camp on the edge of the woods again or we will make our way clockwise around The Swath. We camp as close to the mountains as we can so we can start our search on day 3.

Day 3-5
-We start at 1st light and commence our search of the mountains. I think the fastest we can expect to scout a hex is about 1km/day. If we find something of significance we leave and report it. If after day 5 we still have found nothing we then head back home. We then come back later and do a similar search of the southern Swath area on the following full moon.

Day 6
-We head for home. We arrange for our allies to meet us on the edge of Craddach wood to escort us. With a faster pace set as we exit we should make the Firen River before nightfall.

Supplies
-We will need 5 days of supplies if we are not relying on foraging. 1 day is used to get us to the edge of Craddach Woods. Our boats and escorts can supply us for that time.
With few of us having mountain foraging we cannot expect to supply the whole squad while in mountains. We also don’t want to spend hours foraging; that is time better spent searching.
-We’ll want the scouts to carry as much as they can personally while staying unencumbered. The rest will need to be carried as a team. It is better to load one or two in the core group, than all of us.
-No carry pole this time, the dense forest and daunting mountain ranges make that idea less than viable. Cian’s carry bag is probably better for moving through a forest.

Encumbrance (0-10% no mods, 11-25% -1 CV, 26-50% -1 Move)
-Altraam 18/45/90 (17.5)
Carry 3 days of water and 3 of food.
-Beckett 32/80/160 (?)
Carry X days of water and X of food
-Cian 32/80/160 (?
)
Carry X days of water and X of food
-Erfiren 20/50/100 (?)
Carry X days of water and X of food
-Tomas 20/50/100 (?
)
Carry X days of water and X of food
-Neeshka ?/?/? (???)

Logistics (excess weight as we move through potentially hostile terrain)
Craddach Wood
-Altraam 22.5KG (+5)
-Beckett
-Cian
-Erfiren
-Tomas
-Neeshka

Mountains
-Altraam 20KG (+2.5)
-Beckett
-Cian
-Erfiren
-Tomas
-Neeshka

As you can see if Altraam carries his own supplies he will loose CV on day 1 and 2 due load capacity. Once we see the whole team’s encumbrance we can assess how to distribute supplies most efficiently. I suspect Neeshka is really going to struggle especially with her ropes and other climbing equipment.

Implementation/Strategy
Mountains
-Cian is expanding his survival to include caving. In the broad sense will this be mountain survival?
- Practise our mountain survival, climbing, etc. with a resident Dwarf or any who can help. If we have to go find a mountain/hill to train on, that may be time well spent. This could be a good opportunity for anyone who so wishes it to buy survival in the area to do so (1pt).
-Climbing is something we will surely use as we make our way through difficult unfamiliar terrain. Neeshka would be a great asset as climb leader and with her excellent ropes.

Craddach Wood
- Speak to the senior skirmishers on dangers or rumours of what lies within.
- Pay tribute to the Gnolls with some more supplies. Let them have some beer while we sneak through their forest. Perhaps leave another broken arrow or an orc skull as a sign of our intent.
-Have the squad each carry an arrow each. If we get attacked, snapping and stomping on the arrow may show our Gnoll neighbours we have a common enemy.
-A possible use for Flynn and Yeld is to ensure our route home is not closed. Get them set “safely” in the woods and they can watch over the field while staying in contact with a Twitt.

Use of light
-We can use the sun and moon to help support our plans. This raid would best be done on and around the days in and around a full moon. Orcs would not like seeing the moon high in sky; it should be a bad omen for them. It will help us see at night and even out the advantage there keen night vision gives them.
-Our movement times are set to coincide with the movement of the sun. As we come through Craddach Woods the sun will be in the west. This will make it hard for the Orcs to see us from the east, as they will be looking towards the sun.
-We rest at night and scout when the sun is high. Orc patrols returning from the High Spruce in the mornings will have to contend with the sun coming up over the Misty Mountains. This should afford us some more cover.

Scouting
-The team is in general a stealthy one, but certain guys excel while others are just competent. Cian and Altraam as the least stealthy will stay at the core of the formation/group. If the enemy are spotted they can use their ambush skill (+1 hide) to hunker down.
-Beckett is our prime scout. I don’t think there is any argument there. 17 or less stealth; where did that come from!!! Erfiren is very good too and has invisibility to support his skills. Both have excellent stealth, tracking and navigation. They lead the party and keep it out of danger.
-Tomas has good stealth and perception he would be a wise choice to lead the main party.
-Altraams has a night vision helmet, making him ideally suited for night watch. I’m not sure about sharing my helm for the person on duty at night, Most of you have head lice or worse, I don’t want my helm exploding due to abuse of power. Also some people have there own headgear.

Rotating Point
-It was noted last mission that the scouts take point far more than anyone. The scouts feel they are being subject to additional danger, which they are. While this is for logical reasons we still need to address that disparity.
-When and if we face any pitch battle it should be the responsibility of the other members of Second Skirmish to step-up.
-With Neeshka, her climbing will be very useful. She should be nestled safely within the core unit until her skills are needed.
-It should be noted also that the leader is never subject to such danger, he’s too important leading the group. His danger comes when the team commit mutiny and the leader is killed by “enemy fire”. 

Equipment
-Does our basic kit need to be modified to work in mountains? We need to be sure we cover the little things and this is where a test run is crucial. Will there be something for our hummocks or will we need thicker blankets as we sleep on hard jagged rock. Are our shoes suited to such terrain and will we need other climbing tools. All this sort of stuff needs to be worked out 1st.

GM Notes

A few links for general info…
Caradh Wood
The Swath
Orcs

Note that the children were grabbed by GOBLINS, rather than orcs. Most of the gobbies attacked the western cliffs, a handful of others sneaked in via the Timbal mouth to grab the kids in the creche at the eastern end. A lot more would have been lost were it not for the efforts of Borgen and Kargil Ragner (both killed), and Tomas, who happened to be on the redoubt walls above their entry point.

Five days of supplies will be expensive. Fruit has quadrupled in price since…well, you know. Dried fish is cheap, but you’ll suffer after a couple of days of nothing else. Half a silver a day for nuts, dried fruit, cheese, arocca, jerky and dried fish plus an hour a day foraging for fresh will get you by.

Neeshka will indeed struggle. She is fit but no packhorse. Her climbing skill and gear will however add +1 to +3 to climbing rolls if she leads. She is also a crack shot with a bow (Erfiren can sometimes match her on a good day), and looks good in leather.

The gnolls have never been spotted in Caradh Wood, Cian says on a Clan Lore roll.

Orcs will indeed avoid sun and moonlight.

None of you really have much mountain experience, but a quick chat with the dwarves gets you the following:
-stout boots. Iron shod preferably. Dellin just looks at you strangely when you point out this will make you easier to hear, venturing that “If you’re looking for trouble, why hide from it?”
-a decent bedroll. Bracken and pine needles make most of the Firen Valley one giant mattress. Not so the mountains.
-loose clothes. Armour that’s too snug around joints will make ascending and descending very tiring.
-light weight. A metre up is harder than ten forward.

Neeshka adds that everyone should carry a dozen or so iron climbing spikes if a lot of steep work is expected, as they won’t always be recoverable. Kilo for four, Beckett can knock out a dozen in a couple of hours, takes about 15 copper worth of iron and coal for each one.

JC-Additional player feedback
I guess we will need Tomas to champion our cause to Palanto. I don’t mean to sound too miserly, but paying for supplies while performing a dangerous scouting mission is rather unpalatable. it is not like we are taking a leisurely boat trip to Enotar or something similar.

MD – Funded missions
Note that Cathorna has no taxes as such. You pay a few coppers for water, coal and night carting, but the common currency is labour. If you want pottery, you hunt some game or smoke fish and trade with Mila Porter; Beckett gets a lot of food and household goods in exchange for nails and kitchen knives.There is no village treasury or militia fund; Palanto has money (and Tomas knows he earns more somehow), but asking him to fund your adventures will not get you far. The lardy cakes that got you to Thror’s hills were a timely coincidence. they normally go out to whoever is brave enough to chance year-old bread made with rendered pig fat.
There are instances of people funding expeditions through donations; if groups stand to gain something from your efforts, they may sponsor you. It may require some application of, I don’t know, skills that change people’s minds, convince them of things, or rely on the telling of a good tale?

Cull them Kul

The Orphans of Cathorna alangrai alangrai