Oh, sudden random thought, Dandin is a Ranger now, but has no bow... Don't suppose they'd have a halfling sized one laying around?
Because they generally rolled higher Athletics than you did while doing overland (and not combat-grid) movement. (They are in a hurry to get into position before the assault begins on the other side). In addition, Tommi was eventually spotted, and they gave chase. It's true that both Tommi and Escella can move as quickly as an Orc, (who also has a bonus action move while chasing/charging enemies). Escella can move even faster with expeditous retreat, but I didn't think she'd want to leave Tommi in the dust, at least until they were closer to the manor house.How would the Orcs have gained ground on us?
Yes, that's it exactly. Nothing fatal, it just effected how the story moved forward. Higher rolls and you would have gotten back with more time to plan. It's just a simple (and fun for me at least) way of moving the story forward unpredictably and (relatively) quickly here in PBP.I take their proximity a consequence of Tommi's bad scouting rolls.
I would like additional info about the gateway
Namely, is there a chance to stab through some iron grate from reach? Or once they break through the gate we are in melee?
On that depends my setup (shield + melee vs reach wpn)