Ten of us and a rented mule set out to discover what befell a missing caravan. The local church leadership believed the caravan had been raided by orcs. Our task was to find out what happened, recover the cargo if possible, save the men if possible, and destroy whoever was responsible for the attack, presuming there was one.
One night outside of town we found a henge on a hill with wagon tricks leading in, along with a lot of blood. We figured this is where the attack happened, so we set some people to investigate the area of while the rest of us made camp.
We were promptly attacked by a chimera. Well, more like the mule was attacked and the rest of us watched helplessly. A chimera is a flying beast with three heads (lion, goat, dragon) and is way out of the league of a bunch of first level characters. We tried hard to save that mule, though. We almost got it down to half hit points, which, the dm noted gleefully later, would have caused it to turn around and kill us all. (“Tune in next week for a whole new party of adventurers!") We went back to our camp and debated returning to town and blaming the chimera for killing the caravan.
The next morning we followed the wagon tracks for about an hour, finding a bloody scene where an obviously ritualistic slaughter had taken place. Blood covered the earth in strange designs, which Oscar (my character) carefully copied down for later investigation. He also filled out form 666-1h, “Report of religious ceremony, evil subtype, involving murder” to be turned in later. Did I mentioned his god, Denara, is the god of trade and beaurocracy?
After that, the tracks led us to a cave guarded by two orcs, who were doing something with a horse-drawn wagon. We charged them, killing one. The other ran into the cave shouting about intruders. We surrounded the cave mouth while dispatching our wizard to check on the cart to see if it could be moved…. Right about them, half the party said they were tired and dropped out. So then we were five, without our rented mule, against a whole cave of orcs.
As soon as the wizard determined the horse was attached to the cart, he got it moving, and literally everyone ran for the cart and jumped on as 6 orcs ran out of the cave and attacked.
We had a tense few minutes straight out of a western carriage chase scene, but got away in the end. We stopped the game for the night after checking the contents of the wagon – finding the results of a horrible ritualistic slaughter of men, presumably the caravan drivers, and a mysterious box. Next week we decide what to do next: return with the wagon and claim success, or go back to kill the orcs in the cave? Or perhaps both?