Hiker and Doughbert head out cautiously. Hiker has bow in hand and begins to look for step marks the moment he enters the woods, taking time to try and establish a potential trail. Hiker may be slightly dim witted, but he does happen to have some skill in tracking. The key to this unlikely reality is simply that he does not over think any situation, as that would be quite impossible, instead he uses what he sees and reacts accordingly...very simple but also effective to a degree.
OOC: Once Doughbert and Hiker enter the woods proper he will begin by looking at the ground and meandering along the edge of the wood to ascertain a potential entry point or to find any tracks that a big ole wolf may have made on the run. With their speed I am assuming they would kick up quite a trail.
Doughbert and Hiker plunge into the forest, the halfling advancing quietly ahead of his somewhat less stealthy companion. At this time of day the forest is alive with noise, mostly from birdsong, although there are also other sounds of wildlife that are more difficult to identify. It's something of a sensory overload for Doughbert as he stuggles to filter out The Coastwood’s background noise in order to concentrate on the possibility of any nearby threat.
Hiker looks in vain for a likely trail, but it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack - the forest is vast, there’s no way of knowing the point at which the wolf-riders might have entered, and any such trail is now likely to be cold as it’s several days since Alma and her abductors would have passed. However, on a more positive note, today the cloud is more broken than yesterday, making it just possible to use the sun as a point of reference through the forest canopy. Slowly and cautiously, the duo make their way through the trees in the general direction of yesterday's fire.
Twenty minutes behind, the others follow on.
Every so often, Doughbert climbs a suitable tree to get a better view of his surroundings. Upon the third time of doing so, about two hours after leaving camp, he spots some faint whisps of smoke rising above the treetops a few hundred yards to the east. If it's yesterday's fire re-lit, which to Doughbert seems plausible, then he's strayed slightly too far to the left.
Doughbert descends the tree and adjusts his heading towards the location of fire. However, he barely makes two paces before he and Hiker hear the unmistakable sound of something crashing through the trees at speed towards them …
[Only Doughbert and Hiker will be aware of the approaching something(s) (the others are too far behind), so actions from those two only for now please].
Whilst Hiker readies his bow, Doughbert attempts to scurry back up the tree.
[As this is a climb under pressure, and Hiker isn’t readily available to give you a boost to the lower branches, this will require a successful climb roll. Roll = 71 ... success!]
Doughbert climbs back into the tree and attempts to conceal himself amongst the branches in readiness for a Sneak Attack.
[Rolls to determine success of Doughbert’s hiding attempt]
Seconds after Doughbert settles himself within the branches with dagger drawn, a deer bursts through a clump of bushes to the east of the small clearing that you’re in. The deer, running at full speed, crosses the clearing, passing beneath Doughbert’s tree, and continues at full pelt on into the forest beyond. You’re not sure if it noticed either of you, but if it did, it wasn’t stopping to investigate.
The reason for deer’s flight soon becomes clear as three wolves burst into the clearing in hot pursuit. The wolves clearly DO notice you (both of you, Doughbert’s hiding attempt was apparently unsuccessful), although they are surprised by your unexpected presence in their wood and they pause to weigh up their options [the wolves rolled a 2 for surprise].
[You roll a 6 for surprise, so you have a round advantage over the wolves]
The wolves are about 30 feet due east of Doughbert in his tree, and about 40’ north-east of Hiker. You both have a clear shot at a wolf if you decide to make a missile attack.