Every group has an issue at some point with the "lesser" ethical members. Picking pockets, withholding treasure, turning invisible and running away. But in my group we have the dreaded "Charm Person". In some cases - the single most chaotic style spell available to the given low level mage as it makes a trusted friend and effective mind raped personage of anyone who deigns to disagree with the mage.
Most mages would never dare cast it on a pary member - but in our group we had our mage do it to two members. Henchmen, yes, but still party members.
And there is a figure with the party who can dispel it almost at will. This might not go well.
Write up follows:
Guyus, Thurin, and Draugmor grabbed what little the orcs had left behind, bandaged up their hurts as much as possible, and began the long trek back to Flatrock with the idea of drumming up some local aid to go out and hunt down the orcs that had taken their companions.
It took almost 5 hours to make it back, just before curfew. Once there they spoke to the stable master to ready all their horses plus three others. From there they went to the Dog and Fox where they ate a fast meal and talked about the crushing defeat they had suffered and the capture of their companions. Any issues with the Red Clouds and Karis were now forgotten, only getting to the Four Tusk clan and getting the rest of the Sundered Chains back mattered.
They stopped at the Hotel where they quickly changed into what little dry and clean clothes they had and then marched right off to Bork Keep. It was almost 10 at night where they roused Sir Bork and had some words with the noble as to what had happened and their current state and plight. Sir Bork did say that he would reach out for volunteers and would have whoever he could here in the morning to help the group ride out and go with them against the orcs.
From here it was back to the hotel where they went over plans and plans, eventually getting some sleep. Thurin worked on his spell listing and Draugmor went out to hunt down the local thieves for a chance to purchase poison for the upcoming fight.
The next morning, still raining the group went out and hit a few errands. Some trail rations and basic equipment, a visit to the taxidermist, and finally a plead with Zinthar to lift the weather stasis and stop the rain. The venerable druid refused, saying he had given word to Detheron only and would not change it unless he said otherwise.
From here we then went to Bork Keep and met up with three members of Chirkis Keep that had volunteered. Each man had a personal vendetta against the local orc tribes and were happy to join. Korg Blackstone, dwarven axeman and 3 time winner and current champion of the local Tough Dwarf competition; Perrin Dugood was the leader of the Oldguard at Chirkis Keep and a consummate bowman; and lastly was Finta Eightfingers, almost 70 years of age but still active and the most respected of the Oldguard. Introductions were made all about and we promised Sir Bork to return as soon as possible with our friends if able.
We hit the stables, grabbed our horses, and went off. We opted to stay on the road in the rain as much as possible until we had gotten as close to the western edge of Rakewood Forest as we guessed. We stopped for lunch and then took our string of horses northward. Our pace slowed as we struggled across the rocky sludge of the badlands, the rain soaking us through and to the skin.
It was just after 2 PM that a draconic figure flew overhead. Over 25’ wingspan, perhaps a bit longer than that in the body (of which one third was tail), dull crackled metallic brown in color. It looked down at us and then landed ahead, just off to the side of where we were riding, Sitting on its haunches and just looking at us. What do we do? The decision was made to at least attempt to make contact.
Thurin took the reins here, speaking to the drake in draconic. It called itself Dustdevil and heard about our plight and our missing friends. It didn’t want to join us one way or another, but was interested in flying along. An offer was made to help, but the deal was for either 5,000 crowns of treasure or first two choices of any items found. Thurin tried to work around it but the Dustdevil was not moved. No deal was reached on getting his aid but he would follow along. We also had a bit of problem as Thurin kept getting tripped up while stating our goals. Kill or no killing, getting friends back or treasure, does he command the group or not? It was a bit stressful.
We rode on, the rain kept up, and the low green line of Rakewood Forest was on our right side. About 4:30 we came up the orc tracks and followed them northwest into the badlands. Only low hills and scrub brush filled the land. Dustdevil stayed nearby as we rode but with no caves visible or any stands of trees around for shelter we were forced to set up a crude camp in the low rise of the local swells and dales of the hills around us.
Right after this we had a debacle. Thurin went off on his own without telling the group exactly what was going on, digging a hole in dire wolverine form with Pop to aid in an effort to make some shelter for himself. The dragon had taken flight elsewhere after a cryptic comment about wolves. Then Thurin was captured in some of his lies and Bork was under the impression that Pop was a real wolverine. He did “bury” it in the lair by kicking the dirt back into the hole. Meanwhile Finta was poking holes in Thruin’s comments and arguments – proving that the mage (who was saying he was a cleric of Baldur during all of this) was not trustworthy.
Guyus tried to smooth the whole mess out but then a pack of wolves did attack. The three veterans from Chirkis Keep accorded themselves very well, dispatching two of the wolves and frightening off the others. Skins were cut and the group had a difficult time between Thurin and the volunteers. Camp was established and we rested.
Dustdevil did return at length, bringing some deadwood he had found and then lit with a blast of his breath. The fire lasted only two hours of so, but it was welcome during the night.
It was then that Thurin cast a charm spell on Korg Blackstone and another one on Finta Eightfingers, ending their frustration and mistrust of the mage with a pair of failed will saves. It was after we had all woken from a cold and fitful sleep that Perrin and Guyus were surprised and concerned at the two other veterans 180 degree changed feelings on Thurin. Nothing was said but the two men were going to watch Thurin carefully as they tried to make sense of what happened.
We broke our fast, mounted up, and in the driving rain at 7 AM on the 2nd we rode off following the muddy line in the badlands that headed off in the direction the orcs had run.