Dralthar the Ranger got the order to proceed to the beacon tower of Tor Varden to determine why contact was lost. He gathered his companions and headed out. The first task was to get past a river bridge guarded by orks.
The weather was overcast. Dralthar hoped to use the rocky approach to get near unseen, draw off and eliminate a guard or two, then get to the other side. A camp on the far side of the river promised to contain hints about the tower, and possibly treasure.
Just when they were ready to spring the trap, Albert the Conjurer tripped and fell into a pit trap. He only suffered a cut arm from his bottles breaking, but it was enough to raise the alarm. The orks swarmed Dralthar’s band.
Zero the Warhound leapt into action, pulling one ork away while Laura the Barbarian ran to tackle another. Faithful Zero was swiftly cut in two.
The scrum continued, with heavy losses on both sides. Albert went down to a lucky crossbow shot through the rocks. Laura was overwhelmed. Dralthar let loose with a fireball, but it wasn’t enough and even Shivertusk was incapacitated.
That left Dralthar alone to continue the fight. His bowstring sang as he eliminated the one ork that could see him, then ran behind an outcropping. The remaining orks organized a search.
Heavy rain began to fall, hindering the search parties. Dralthar saw his opening and ran for the bridge. But it was too much, and the orks caught up with him.
Just when all appeared lost, a figure emerged from the mist. Jeddak, the quartermaster from Tor Varden, had survived whatever befell the tower and made it to the bridge. He rummaged through the ork’s campsite, finding the keys to the tower, then joined the fight on the bridge.
An epic battle ensued. There was a moment when Dralthar had the chance to withdraw towards the tower, leaving Jeddak to cover. But Dralthar couldn’t leave the warrior behind. It was an ill choice, as the fight turned against them immediately after. Evading a killing blow, Dralthar pulled the wounded Jeddak into the cold blackness of the river, ending the fight at the crossing.
Dralthar awoke on shore downstream, away from the crossing, with still lying beside him. They quickly linked up with the surviving companions. Albert was able use his magic to heal Laura, Jeddak, and Dralthar. Shivertusk’s wounds would take time to fully heal.
The battle at the bridge may not have gone well, but they did eliminate some of their foe. Perhaps more importantly, they had recoverer the keys to the tower, along with a new companion familiar with the area. Dralthar and his companions continued towards Tor Varden.