The Desecration of St. Cuthbert’s Abbey

“Orcs… only good thing about fighting ’em is you can smell ’em long before you see ’em.”

***

In the midst of the Seer’s treasure was an iron key engraved with the symbol of St. Cuthbert. It was wrapped in a scrap of vellum on which were inked the words ““Kneel in the chancel at the feet of the saint and there you will find strength for your journey.”

You and your companions are two days west of Wolford town on the Old King’s Highway. Following a rutted dirt road through the forest, you come upon the ruins of an abbey, its walls battered, roof caved in, sacred statues thrown down. A nearby graveyard is overrun with weeds and sickly yellow grass. You hear grunts and coarse laughter from inside the crumbling chapel. The musk-stench of ork is on the wind, mingled with the acrid tang of  campfire smoke. An small ork warband has definitely made camp here – most likely in preparation of raids on nearby human settlements. Three greenskin scouts loll by the ragged hedges outside the old abbey – the rest are inside.

Derek of Dunwich hefts his mace. “We’ll attend to the wretches desecrating the chapel.  You circle around through the graveyard and deal with the sentries.”

You slip your sword from its sheath, nod, and stalk forward.

THE BATTLEFIELD AND FOES

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ELTHARION’S EXILES AND THE WINNOW OF ST. CUTHBERTDSCF1910DSCF1913

TURN ONE: ORKS ADVANCE

The greenskins spot the approaching adventurers. The ork warchief leads two brutes out to meet the cleric’s party. The ork shaman lingers back to provide support. Meanwhile, the ork scouts seek cover behind a graveyard wall.

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ADVENTURERS ADVANCE

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The Elven exiles advance on their traditional enemies, blades drawn. The air around the elf mage shimmers as he prepares to cast a spell.
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The clash of steel as clerics and orks swirl in melee at the hedges outside the abbey.
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Ancient hatreds fuel vicious combat. The elves swiftly cut down the orcs.
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Bolstered by their war chief, the orks hold fast at the hedges. Combat see-saws as neither side can gain the upper hand.
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Scouts dispatched, the elves charge in on the ork’s vulnerable flank. The war chief goes down under the Night Hunter’s blade. Of course, the elves take credit for the victory.
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Treasure cache near the graveyard.
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And in the Abbey too.
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War chief dead, the shaman and a warrior run away.

***

Your chest heaves as you lean on your sword and  watch the last two greenskins flee. The clerics fall to their knees, giving thanks to their god for victory. You and your companions are bruised, bloody, but alive. There is treasure and provisions within. Perhaps even loot from the ork corpses. All in all, a good day.

Tonight you will bind your wounds, mend your armor, sharpen your blades. The riddle of the key and mysterious promise can wait until tomorrow. Now it is time to rest and recover.

 

 

Author: ccglazier

Stained glass artist, SFF writer, wargamer.

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