Dawn breaks and the party departs.
Kistol and Trist, invisible, scout roughly 1 mile ahead of the party.
Marching order is the same as the previous day with all on foot save for Finna and Klembsy who ride and lead the 3rd horse.
The orc, hands bound and rope leash around it’s neck held by Max, leads the party towards the Hand of Heklael Clan cave.
Travel is consistent and as the late afternoon begins to settle in, Trist and Kistol return to the party stating destination is almost reached.
The duo explain the cave is in what appears to be an ancient quarry carved into the side of a mountain that is part of a mountain range encircling a lightly wooded valley ahead. The duo also state that there seems to be only a few orcs on guard at the entrance.
The orc confirms the report as accurate and suggests a plan.
Release him and he will make his way to the chief. After relaying to the chief the party’s motivation of capturing only Kargan, the chief will most likely swiftly take the slaver into custody. The orc will then sound a horn alerting the party to approach and retrieve their prisoner and possibly their companion. (If the orcs do have Ein.)
Maltron considers the orc’s plan and at face value it seems wonderful and easy. He suspects it will not be. Plus the dead end of the chasm looks like a perfect place to get boxed in by the orcs.
“I don’t trust these orcs. If they are under the influence of a demon, they probably won’t reason with us. Besides, they will have their captive if we release him and there will be nothing to bargain with.”
“Trist and Kistol should scout out the place first to see if they can penetrate the entrance. If necessary, we can ask for an emissary from the clan to come speak with us, with the captive orc remaining with us. We have to keep our bargaining chip. What do you others think?”
He will advise getting no closer than the mouth of the valley, except the scouts.
Farouk agrees, we must meet on neutral ground or on ground advantageous to a getaway if there is to be an exchange. How we organize this meeting is the question.
“If yous guys want, I think I can get a message to the chief.”
Maltron pipes up. “What’s the plan Farouk? And what is that hideous get-up? It’s creeping me out"
“Hehe this old thing? In orcland do as the orcs… Just like to be prepared thats all. What I had in mind is that I will approach and discretely engage the guards in some convo. I will make our intention known at that time. Hopefully the guards will relay these intentions to the boss and that will open the door for further convo and eventually an exchange.”
“I wont be anywhere near those guards or visible for that matter when this all goes down. Don’t worry uncle Farouk will take care of ya.”
Trist will scout ahead with Kistol using extreme caution and work out a code with Kistol to communicate with each other only in emergencies.
Farouk pauses a moment to let his plan sink in. “So do you think this is something you would like to try? If so we can start prepping for the exchange, pick a neutral spot, a getaway route and a contingency plan.”
Farouk bows and flashes a million gp smile, “No thanks necessary, I’m here to serve.”
“I’d like to get a look at the place before we got letting them know we’re here, Farouk. I want to try and get past the guards and at least see what’s past the entrance.”
Kistol suggests walking with Trist to the entrance then splitting up, Kistol taking left and Trist taking the right. “Look around and meet back outside in 5 minutes. I’m not experienced with signaling. I think any sounds we make like animal noises will be out of place in the cave. If something goes wrong, try to stay hidden and get out. Sound good?”
A bored Farouk surreptitiously casts cantrip, and then pulls out a deck of cards. Farouk begins slowly at first, gently shuffling the deck, Farouks fat fingers, gracefully turns the cards, weaving a an ever complicated shuffle from one hand to the next, over and under, spiraling, liquid, almost hypnotic. Surely impossible. Faster and faster the cards move, slicing through the air before landing with a sharp slap upon the ground… Neatly stacked…
Farouk smiles, “So who’s up for a quick game?”
Klembsy suggests they wait for the duo intelligence report. He asks Finna without being heard from others: “What happens if the orc starts shouting?”.
Trist follows after Kistol staying within arm’s reach of each other. The duo ‘communicate’ via touch (basic ‘stop’ & ‘go’).
As they move slowly and silently past the cave entrance guards, one ‘snuffs’ in their direction none of the orcs seem to detect the invisible pair.
Entering the cave, they round a corner and find themselves stuck. Ahead, a trio of orcs are engaged in conversation while blocking the path forward.
Trist gently tugs Kistol signaling to go back out.
She thinks to easy to get bumped into and found out.
Maltron waits anxiously for the duo to return. He doesn’t like being too far away to help his companions.
“Farouk your plan sounds safe and appropriate. Depending on what they discover, we shall implement it.”
Farouk nods approvingly and begins to memorize the appropriate magics to facilitate his plan.
If the ceiling is high enough and the walls craggy enough, Kistol will attempt to climb over and around the trio. He will take Trist’s hand and make her point to herself then out the entrance, You. Go. . He’ll make her point to his chest then up above the orcs.
If it doesn’t like he can do it, he’ll go back with Trist.
The ceilings are somewhat high, about 8’ in this area, but the walls are old and smooth from age. Kistol cannot climb the walls without magical aid. He could attempt a very risky dive over the orcs with his ring.
While waiting for the scouts return, Farouk Casts invisibility on himself, then memorizes Message x2 and Levitate x1.
Trist and Kistol, opting against the dive, return to the group and relay their findings.
Trist explains it quietly with Kistol chiming in here and there. She then ask everyone, “What do you want to do? Are we fighting our way or are we going to negotiate? I’d just as soon slit all their throats but I can see their might be other options”.
She goes over to and cheers up Finna and tries to make her feel better. "*Freya* be praised we’ve made it this far sister. I’m not sure about this Farouk though. They seem a bit flighty to me. Keep your eye on them sister. This was said loud enough for Farouk to hear.
“Max and some of the others seem pre-occupied as well. Lets make sure we focus them before we head in or start our negotiations, shall we Maltron”?
Farouk rolls his invisible eyes at Trist’s throat slitting comment. “Awright kids, your uncle Farouk is ready to go and have a word with the Orcs. Now before I go I need to know exactly your intentions. I also need to know where to set up the exchange and when. Ill take care of the rest.”
Still Invisible, Farouk dons his Orc Shaman disguise and awaits or the partys decision.
Maltron replies, “We will trade our captive for Ein. If they do not have Ein, we will trade him for Fokenspeak. We can meet outside the mouth of the quarry, near a forested area for the exchange. I don’t want to be run down by horses. If they trade Ein, then we will make the pitch for Fokenspeak.”
As Trist speaks to her, Finna blinks and brings her mind back out of her deep contemplation. She looks firmly as Trist speaks her mind. “Yes, we all should be grateful that Freya has blessed us. Do remember this: we show honor to Freya with our battle prowess and being willing to die on the battlefield. If we are lucky enough to die in battle, we will be taken up by her valkyries, maybe Freya herself, to her hall Sessrumnir to await the day of Ragnarok.”
“Now, try not to be harsh towards Farouk. Yes, he may seem flighty but I feel that is how he has been able to deal with the environments he has found himself in over the years. It is evident that he likes games of chance, his behaviour could be seen as how he obtains an advantage over those who are not skilled. We, however, are skilled and there are many eyes around that are for the good of the party. That said, always be vigilant but polite. If it had not been for Freya, would you have welcomed me as you did?”
She stands up and moves over with Trist to Maltron and the others. Once Trist has spoken, she adds to the conversation, lowering her voice so the captive doesn’t overhear. “With some consideration over the last few hours, I’ve given some thought to this situation. No matter how we look at it, we will be negotiating with a demon. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the chief will be reasonable because he is going to do what his master tells him to do. Let’s remember that ‘Kargan’ works for the demon and with the orcs by direction of the demon. I also have doubts about Tain, there is more to that person than our captive has been given info for.”
“What I am saying here is that we need to be prepared to take out the entire clan of orcs, at the least the ‘demon’ that is directing this group. The two outside influences need to be captured and returned to the city so the authorities can deal with them and that the orcs return to thier normal habits and lessen the threat they’ve become. Earlier, I was upset over your callous treatment of the prisoners. I still do not feel that was the best way to deal with them. In light of the new information we gained, we cannot be tolerant of them until the main threat is eliminated.”
“So, what is the plan?”
Klembsy suggests that they could try to scout for a way leading to the top of the quarry so some of them could overlook the entrance and the transaction from above. He volunteers to be one of those if the idea seems beneficial.
Farouk invisible, kitted up and ready to go makes his way towards the quarry. Assuming nothing happens before then Farouk casts message about 50’ from the guards and addresses them at the entrance.
*Farouk is speaking in Orcish of course, attempting to emulate the accent and rhythm of the Heklael’ tribe.
Note: Although Invisible, invisible Farouk has donned his disguise and has made every effort to appear to be an orc shaman… just in case the invisibility is broken, seen through etc… They will see an orc and possibly treat him more favorably.
Farouk casts his spell and whispers to the Orc Guards,
“Hear me, I am the messenger, Fetch your chief Oakgukk, I bring him an offer and news from the southern horse cave and that of Graol.”
The orcs all appear momentarily startled. They look to each other and exchange a few words then look around. Two of the forward guards fan out a bit. All hold their spears defensively.
One shouts in orcish. “Who’s there, show yourself!”
Farouk whispers again, “I am the messenger, I bring you news of the south, and of Graol. My words are only for Oakgukk.”The orc replies. “The Chief does not converse with the wind, show yourself or flutter away bird.”
He then turns and motions to one of the rear guards who runs into the cave.
Farouk whispers yet again, “Then I am the messenger of death and you are all doomed, would you risk your whole clan for but a moment with your chief?”
The orc replies scanning for the source of the voice. “Brave words come easy from behind shadows and under rocks. Your threats carry no iron, coward.”
You would dare paint your chief a coward? Hiding him from a simple messenger. Only he can save what is left of clan Heklael’. Tell him a messenger is waiting with important news, Refuse and YOU have doomed your people.A few tense minutes pass until more orcs begin to pour from the darkness of the cave mouth. 10 total, all armed with shields and longswords. They fan out in front of the entrance taking up defensive positions. Shortly after, a ogre carrying a large stone axe and using what was once a large door as shield, emerges. The massive brute is followed by another group of orcs. Armed with shortbows at ready, 5 surround a 6th who appears to be unarmed. The encircled orc is taller and ‘beefier’ than the others. Wearing a red cloak, leathers and a necklace of jawbones, his dark hair is cut into a mowhawk and a handprint in red warpaint partially covering the left side of his green face, punctuates a white milky eye. Raising his chin, the painted orc barks in a deep voice, “I Oakgukk!”Farouk smiles :) NICE parade he thinks to himself… Negotiating goods and services with good people, just like old times Farouk smugly thinks to himself this should be a piece of cake…
Farouk thinks to himself… well if this guy isn’t Oakgukk.. he should be!
Farouk quietly casts Message again, and directs it soley at the chief. "Chief and master of the Heklael clan, these words I bring are for you alone, in hushed voices only you and I can be hear what is said this day.
“To the south, your warriors fought a warband of men and died. Your archers and horse masters fell like leaves in winter. They were unable to fell even a single warrior. However one was captured. This warband wishes to end the bloodlet. It is not the Heklael clan that they seek. Should you return this warrior, then they shall return the one known a Graol.”
“Perhaps his life may mean little to you…But he also has words hold much weight, and reveal secrets of the one called Kargan.”
Oakgukk shouts his reply. “Who speaks for the warparty of men? Show yourself messenger and talk can be made openly.”
Farouk drops his invisibility and takes a step forward as an orc of many years an obvious limp, and supported by his skull topped cane. Wearing adornments of bone and teeth Farouks hair is long and dirty, his teeth a snarl of yellow, body and face ritually scarred.
Farouk steps forward beats his chest with his skull topped shaman pimp stick and announces himself, “I am Gul’Thek the messenger and I am here!”
Note: Farouk goes into full orc/diguise mode including thinking in orcish should an ESP or such pop out of some where. I’m sure Oakgukk has a shaman of his own.
Kistol tenses up at the addition of the ogre and other guards. He thinks, This better work cause now their defenses are up. Kistol looks for a place to slip past the guards and into the cave.
Max is ready with Giant Slayer in his right hand and a cestus strapped on his left.
Trist will get her bow ready with a flight arrow but not draw it just yet. She prays to Freya under her breath, “Give us strength so that we may be victorious this day my goddess”
Updated map. If Kistol wants to sneak behind/between the orcs and guards at the mouth of the cave he can, it may get a bit dicey.*
As Farouk drops his invisibility and announces himself as Gul’Thek the chief replies.
“Orouik (orc term for orc) shaman? You serve the human’s warparty? They must have filled your head with heavy coin to have you turn on your own kind. Where is Graol? Bring your prisoner forward and I will hear his words.”
At the mention of human servitude, Gul’Thek takes another step forward, Rattles his pimp stick, spins in place and snorts loudly, face contorting like a suck of very sour lemon… “BAHHHHH! Serve humans, no more than you serve Kargan! I serve only the spirits and they have no use for human gold!”
“The humans are near they hold Graol, If you would hear his words then bring the ugly dwarf. They will trade.”
The chief leans to one of his surrounding guard and relays a few hushed words. The guard bolts back into the cave. A few minutes pass when the guard returns with three other orcs. The trio are leading a short, stout figure who is draped in ragged blankets, completely covering them. The orcs have ‘leashed’ the covered figure with ropes over the blankets, around the neck, arms, and waist. One of the orcs kicks the figure in the back of the knees forcing them down to a kneeling position.
The chief replies. “Here is your rock-gulping stone-biter. Now bring me Graol”
Gul’thek squints in the direction of the dwarf, and then limps over towards the group… “Show me his ugly face.”The chief raises his hand, pauses briefly as if contemplating a notion. He stares at the shaman then appears to murmur a bit to himself but then eventually motions to the orc guards. The guard hands his rope neck ‘leash’ to the other and then draws a dagger. The orc then grabs a fistful of blanket and cuts a tear through. Wrenching the hole over the head of the prisoner revealing a very bruised, swollen, and beaten face of a dwarf.“Now, ragged heap, bring me Graol.”
Is the dwarf Ein? Gul’Thek examines the dwarf like he would an animal poking him with his pimp stick before he spits in the dwarfs face…
If it is or isnt Ein, it doesn’t matter… either way Gul’Thek acknowledges the dwarf and the imaginary spirits before turning and making his way out of the quarry.
Gul’Thek then coughs a nasty cough, and gives one final toothy grin.. “You will have Graol, and his words. Then your eyes will be opened!”
Farouk successfully makes his INT check and upon closer examination of the prisoner the dwarf has some facial tattoos, a close cropped beard and reddish brown hair like Ein, but because of the physical condition of the dwarf and Farouk’s lack of familiarity with Ein, he’s not sure if it’s Ein or not. The prisoner is just to beaten, bloody, and swollen to be 100% sure.
Gul’Thek makes his way back to the group waiting outside, and still in character and with a thick orcish accent “Bring me Graol that I may see that he lives!”
Trist will work her way up along the next tier of the quarry above Kistol as they move Graol out for the exchange. This will help mask her movements a bit if she isn’t invisible still and if she is invisible still it might help mask any loose rock she might disturb. Either way they are expecting some humanoids to come out. She will attempt to MS though and/or make as little disturbance as possible. If the ledge look fairly shaky she simply circles the lower level so she is on the opposite wall slowing as she gets closer to opposite sides monsters so she doesn’t make a sound but timed to be there before the exchange even starts. Bow ready but not drawn.
Farouk as Gul’Thek goes back to the main group, says they have Ein and hes hurt pretty bad. Gul’Thek will discuss method of exchange. He suggests the classic prisoner swap with each prisoner doing walk… passing each other at mid point… Outside the fortified quarry of course.
To maintain the ruse of being a supernatural shaman… Gul’Thek tells Graol that he knows his heart, and that he knows he has been holding back about Kargan. This is not good.
*Gul’Thek makes sure Graol fully understands that it will not be good for the clan Heklael to continue to protect Kargan. Although this warband has no true desire to war with clan Heklael they will not let the clan stand in their way… even if this band is defeated, another will takes its place… most likely bigger. The party wants Kargan…
As a side note, Farouk/Gul says that in the long run it would be good to gain the trust of this tribe and not to betray them at this point. As Gul’Thek He is gaining their trust and if they want more information on this Heklael or Tain he he could infiltrate the tribe, now or at a later date. Either way it is important to maintain Gul’Theks reputation.
Klembsy examines the hill side immediately north of the “PARTY” location to see if it is climbable without much fuss.
DM EDIT: The hill is climbable. It somewhat steep though so the climb would be slow and difficult.
It’s pushing sunset BTW.Farouk mentions when the sun goes down the orcs will have the advantage. Negotiations will be tougher then we must act quickly.Kistol will hold and provide support during the proposed exchange. As Ein is led up Kistol will make his way up and along side him, ready to cut him free if things go sour.
This is rather disconcerting. Farouk is playing a dangerous game here. Freya watch over us. Finna looks upward with her last thought. The shuffling of the group seems loud to her ears as she strains to hear what is going on. The questioning shout of an orc makes her jump, the next two times does as well. Wish I could see what was going on.
The sound of a new voice gathers her attention. Even with the distance, Finna can hear the authoritative tone. A few moments pass as two voices, she assumes that it’s Farouk and the orc chief, go back and forth. Soon, Farouk shows back up with his report on Ein and his suggestion. “I agree that the exchange should be done soon. If we do it now, we are still a ways from any defensible point and we will be in the darkness. If we try and get them to do it tomorrow during the day, that still gives them the night to mount an attack, especially since we would have to travel a large portion of the night to get back to the other den. We either have our captive tell us of a defensible place nearby for us to camp for the night and do the exchange now and retreat to it or we do the trade and hope for the best tonight.”
“I am for finding two places nearby that we can defend, make the trade shortly and get through the night.”
Maltron will approach the group of orcs with Farouk, Max and the captive Orc to make the exchange, expecting the orcs to meet them halfway. The others should be ready for battle of they need to run away. He will remain silent, but be prepared to use his etiquette proficiency to speak to the orcs in their native language if needed.
Farouk/Gul’Thek finds this an acceptable method of exchange. Farouk only wonders if or how he will slip away after the trade. After all. Unless the chief has a shaman, he will probably want Gul’Thek to stay…
Farouk also suggest that instead of walking with Maltron and Max, that he actually be waiting for both parties at the midpoint, that way He will not be perceived as favoring the human warband.
Once a “neutral” area is established, Gul’Thek returns to the Orc stronghold to let the chief know where the trade will be made…
Max fusses with the straps of his armor, making sure everything is as it should be. With a nod at Maltron he indicates he’s ready to go. Since this is supposed to be a peaceable prisoner exchange, Max sheathes Giant Slayer, but leaves his cestus strapped to his left hand.
Trist should be just about at the 10 o’clock position relative to the opening of the cave just along the out croping of the wall. She will have an arrow nocked but not drawn so her invisibility is still in effect at least she hopes so. She will hold there and only act if things get way out of control.
Kistol, Max, Maltron ready Graol for the prisoner exchange while Farouk (Gul’Thek) goes to arrange handoff location and Trist takes archer’s position 10 clock relative to opening of the cave.
The rest of the party move to observe from a distance hidden in the brush.
Farouk shambles back to see the orc greeting force is still in place although the chief is no longer there.
In his place and walking towards Gul’Thek is a human man. His dark hair is closely cropped and he appears to be wearing somewhat refined clothing. He also looks to be carrying only a dagger and not wearing any armor.
He calls greeting to ‘Gul’Thek’ and introduces himself as Enthar and he is counsel to the chief. He suggests the exchange occur in the quarry but Farouk is able to negotiate a location just before the entrance to the quarry, back in the valley. Enthar agrees and turns signaling the prisoner be brought forward. Farouk returns to Kistol, Max, Maltron and quickly informs them of the situation and Enthar.
As Farouk leads them to the location, Graol reveals what little he does know about Enthar to the group.
“He works with Kargan but does not work for him. He is secretive. The chief holds much weight in his words. Other than that I’m not sure why he’s with us, he does not participate in any of the slaving raids. We suspect he is a servant of Heklael sent to monitor and observe our actions so that we may correctly fufill Heklael’s wishes.”
The small group approaches the area as Enthar and his group approach from the quarry. Enthar is escorted by the large ogre and 3 orcs who lead a bound and re-hooded Ein with the rope ‘leashes’. Enthar signals for the orcs to release the ropes and after they do so, one shoves Ein still hooded and bound, forward. Stumbling a bit, the prisoner trods slowly towards Farouk, Kistol (still invisible), Max, Maltron and Graol.
Enthar shouts to them. “Your turn. Gul’Thek if you would, escort Graol. I would have words with you.”
Farouk/Gul’Thek not liking the odds of dealing with a potential intellectual equal puts on his best game face and begins slowly limping towards Enthar.
Farouk/Gul’Thek, does his best to hide his thoughts from probing, begins to think in orcish…about the spirits and the fortune they will bestow upon him for liberating Graol.
When Farouk/Gul’Thek finally reaches Enthar, he grunts a bit while looking him up and down,
…Like one may look at a pig roasting on a spit, mentally taking down every juicy detail to savor later.
Farouk/Gul’Thek whispers in Graols ear “Trust not this one…especially now.” Farouk/Gul’Thek then smiles and slaps Graol heavily on the back with his skully pimp stick.. “Go now, be free! The Spirits find favor in you! Any that would challenge your destiny at this moment would surely be cursed by the Spirits” (Emphasis on the cursing! Farouk/Gul’Thek does not want Graol to be challenged by the guards!)
Farouk/Gul’Thek then squints and looks up at this tall, straight human, and growls disaprovingly… “What words would you have with the messenger?”
As a side note Farouk is exhibiting alot of caution right now, and intuitively believes there are alot of unsavory cards still not dealt… Some hands that may still be hidden: The chief being charmed, Graol killed so he cannot deliver a message, as well as Enthar perceiving Gul’Thek an Orc Shaman as a possible threat or challenge to HIS status quo. Paranoia is a survival trait that has kept Farouk alive all these many years, and will continue to do so!
(All in orcish btw!)
Maltron prevents the prisoner exchange until he removes the hood and verifies it is Ein. If it isn’t Ein he will delay the exchange long enough to casually signal the others.
This Enthar mage should die, he thinks. Colluding with demons and orcs should be punishable by death. But this can wait until later.
As Farouk (Gul’Thek) begins to speak with Enthar, Maltron cuts the bonds and pulls the blankets from off of ‘Ein’.
Enthar addresses Farouk in orcish. “We have need of a shaman within our clan. What allegiances do you hold with the warparty of men? We can compensate you nicely. Food, females, a home and gold, of course. There are a few issues to iron our internally first.”
Looking back they pair watch as Maltron pulls dirty blanket off of grubby cloak off of more foul coverings. The ‘prisoner’ seems to be heavily draped and as layer by layer is removed the bulk of ‘Ein’ dwindles eventually revealing a goblin underneath. Gagged and hands bound, it looks up at Maltron squinting in the setting sunlight, it’s eyes go wide with fear when they finally focus on the human mage and it’s situation.
Enthar walks forward a bit, speaking as he does so. “We don’t have your dwarf. But we know where he is. Allow me to speak with Graol now and I will tell you where he can be found. I suspect you’re not here for the clan but only an individual. If Graol can confirm this, and I believe his presence here supports that theory, then we can all come away with what we want in place. What say you? Shall we settle this in the way of men or would you prefer an orcish solution?”
Maintaining an unflinching poker face Farouk/Gul’Thek scoffs, “Bahhhh! I am a messenger of the spirits! What use would I find in gold or females? I cannot drink from your shallow words! The spirits will demand a high price for your foolishness! You Have doomed us all!”
Farouk/Gul’Theks eyes seem to glaze over for moment as he looks towards the sky, drooling a bit and mumbling to spirits unseen, he suddenly snaps back to the present.
“This deal was made by the chief, and Graols words are for him. This was the bargain. Bring the chief so that the chief may hear those words… If the trade has changed then let me hear it from the chief. Or do you think you are the chief now?
At those final words, Farouk/Gul’Thek gives each of the orcish guards a stern look, before spitting in disgust. Like a truly disappointed father would look at his idiot sons…
“Bring the chief so we may know who’s words hold weight here!”
Farouk/Gul’Thek then raises his arms to the air and spins face to the sky as if addressing a Colosseum, “OAKGUKK!!! OAKGUUUUUK!!!! THE SPIRITS WOULD KNOW WHO SPEAKS FOR CLAN HEKLAEL!!”
Enthar rolls his eyes at Gul’Thek’s display. Looking to Maltron, he says in common. “Does this raving ragpile speak for your warband?”
Farouk/Gul’Thek pauses only long enough to jibber, prance and pony before poking his pimp skully stick in Enthar’s direction. Frothing, Gul’Thek screams, “I speak only for these warriors that YOU YOU HAVE DOOMED!!! ONLY OAKGUK CAN SAVE US NOW!”
“MY ONLY SATISFACTION IS THEY WILL KILL YOU FIRST PINK SKIN DOG WOMAN!!!
Farouk/Gul’Thek yells authoritatively at one of the more shaken looking guards (if shaken at all!) “FETCH OAKGUKK NOW OR WE ALL DIE!”
Went dealt a bad hand… put everything on the table and Bluff…
Max is terribly confused. He’s pretty sure somebody needs to be punched, either Gul’Thek (fake-punched to give him an excuse to pass out) or Enthar (real punch). Max gives Maltron a questioning look with one eye, keeping the other on Enthar. He starts to get a headache from the effort.
Maltron waits until Farouk is done performing.
“He speaks the truth, but I speak for my warband. He and we are very displeased that you have perpetrated a fraud during this prisoner exchange. You offer us a goblin? Tell me, how do you expect us to react? As an offer of goodwill, I will let you speak to Graoul over by us, as I do not trust you to keep your word at this point. I hope you will provide us information about the dwarf in return.”
He asks Farouk, “Is this the same prisoner you saw near the cave entrance? Is it possible Ein is inside?”
Maltron nods to Max, “Everything is alright. I suspect Enthar will prove to be as good of a friend as Old Man Keestake and he should be treated as such.”
Francis, assuming he can see this spectacle unfolding, inhales, quietly shakes his head, and exhales. He takes a drink from his rumskin and thinks to himself, we better get this over with soon, I’m almost out of rum. Francis feels like it’s time to do something, because he has been sitting quiet for a while, and is getting tired of it, so he’s hoping when he does, everyone is on board.
Farouk/Gul’Thek responds to Maltron, “The dwarf was badly beaten, BUT STILL A DWARF NOT A STINKY GOBLIN!!!!”
Farouk/Gulthek Mumbles and spins in circles as if imploring mercy from the spirits…
Trist watches as the performance continues. Her bow ready with a flight arrow but not drawn eyes and measures the group. She keeps alert and watchful of the enemy movements as well as her friends. She prays to Freya in her mind. Keep us safe goddess. Give us a sign so we may know your will this day.
DM EDIT: Trist is over on the ledge next to and covering the cave entrance. She can hear shouting but can’t make out conversation. Also, she has no vantage point of the exchange.
Enthar replies. “Perhaps your orc ‘guide’ here is having trouble discerning what is real and what is not. He obviously is a bit ‘touched’. It has always been a goblin. A goblin, my shrewd fellow, that actually is a gift of goodwill. Why this little fellow here came to us and first informed the clan of your presence in the valley. He stated they had escaped your clutches while your party was busy with some giants? Does this ring familiar? He stated he and his remaining compatriots tricked you into letting them go. He came to us and in exchange of joining the clan, offered and did lead a scouting party to your location. Unfortunately, other factors arose and as you know quite well, that party was annihilated.”
Enthar steps around Farouk, hands up in gesture of peace. “We are both men of business. You have something you want and I want to give it to you. But with these ‘types’ (he says motioning to Farouk and the other orcs,) things have to be done a certain way. I must hear Graol’s words and relay these to the chief. Only then can be both achieve our set goals. If his words are what I suspect, we should be able to conclude business before sundown.” He says with a sly smile.
Maltron is seething inside. Everytime he has negotiated with evil, he has been left at a disadvantage. “I wanted to kill those goblins, but let them go,” he thinks.
As Enthar moves closer to Graol and Max, he says matter of factly, “Max, kill him!”
He then casts Color Spray centered on the ogre.
Seems as though someone has dealt another hand thinks Farouk/Gul’Thek!
Farouk/Gul’Thek draws his hidden blade from his pimp stick and moves towards Graol…Cutting him loose.
Graol! Go warn the chief of Kargan!!! GO quickly and maybe tomorrow our people will see the morning sun! Fail and the clan is no more!
Finally, something that makes sense! Like Max thought earlier, all this diplomacy just delays the inevitable part when someone has to die. Max draws Giant Slayer and attacks Enthar, Giant Slayer in the right hand, cestus still strapped to the left.
As Maltron envisions it.
If the other orcs depart from the mouth of the cave Trist will use her ring and float down to one side of the cave and go inside to look for Ein but only if all the orcs and creaters leave the area so she can go in and have an escape route. Otherwise she sits tight or will follow the remaining orcs should they move to engage the rest of the party. She’d takes a head count of whats still around her. She still prays to Freya.Klembsy thinks that Maltron may have judged a bit hastily but, on the other hand, you can never trust the orcs especially if a fine-dressed human and a ‘demon’ are involved. Thankfully, the exchange site is farther from the orc cave entrance, so they may be able to fight and then escape without facing all the clan. He draws his scimitar and runs to attack the 3 orcs from behind (he wants to position himself between the quarry entrance and the 3 orcs).
Maltron signals to Enthar to come forward and speak with Graol. He smirks and casually strides in. When he’s within melee range Maltron turns to Max and matter of factly orders, “Max, kill him.”
Then turning to the ogre, the mage raises his hand gestures and murmurs quickly, emitting a fan of blinding rainbow hue.
The ogre’s eyes roll back white and the giant brute slumps back to it’s knees, falling onto it’s back unconscious.
Farouk hustles, ducking down and around the group coming behind up to Graol. The ‘orc shaman’ pops the stilletto on his ‘skull pimp stick’ and slashes the prisoner’s bonds. “Graol! Go warn the chief of Kargan!!! GO quickly and maybe tomorrow our people will see the morning sun! Fail and the clan is no more!”
Orc1 roars and drawing it’s longsword, rushes Max sword overhead.
It’s charge is stopped short as Kistol draws back his already nocked arrow and looses becoming visible. He drops the rushing orc with an arrow to the chest. It falls to one knee sucking in air with a great wailing moan. The elf coolly draws again and fires on Orc 2. His stunned look of surprise at Kistol’s sudden appearance shifts to furrowed pain and shock as the arrow thunks home in the center of it’s chest. It stiffly falls back like a toppled statue, thudding hard on the ground dead.
The goblin, still bound and gagged, turns and bolts for the brush directly towards the party.
Max draws giantslayer and swings on Enthar. The cross stroke grazes the human’s shoulder opening a gash but Enthar is able to roll away from the blow minimizing the depth and severity of the cut.
Orc3 pulls himself from a daze and roars, charging Max. The Gladiator deftly backsteps, avoiding a clumsy longsword swing. He counters with a thrust and buries his gladius hilt deep in the orc’s chest. Withdrawing the blade with a gout of blood, the orc drops to the ground lifeless.
Enthar stumbles back but quickly recovers, he barks a curse. “Foolish pigs, face now the butcher.”
With a smirk he raises his hand and quickly murmurs then gestures towards Maltron who suddenly flies up 60’ into the air.
Enthar then shouts. “Enough! Lay down your arms or I drop your friend from the sky.”
He smile smugly.
Graol hesitates then bolts for the cave.
Farouk/Gul’Thek looks up a Maltron and shouts "Do not resist the spirits, they will save you!
“Do not listen to him Max he is a trickster! Kill him quickly Maltron will be safe!”
Farouk/Gulthek subtly casts a levitate of his own on Maltron but does not will it to go up or down. Farouk only uses it to hold Maltron stable should Enthar drop his.
Francis will stay hidden in the Brush for now, waiting to see if his stealth and patience can pay off in some fashion. He keeps an eye on the goblin, and if the goblin runs into the bush, he’ll grab him, knock him out, and tie him up.
Maltron wasn’t expecting this turn of events, fearing for his life, he trusts in Farouk’s words. Otherwise, he hopes for a miracle and will go down fighting (no pun intended).
He shouts, “Kill him! I’ll be alright.”
If he can manage, Maltron will throw 3 darts +1 at Enthar. If he is too off balance or upside down, for example, he will cast Shield on himself.
Max keeps on Enthar. He knows he’ll take lumps from the miscellaneous orcs and ogres, but orders is orders and Max knows the spellcaster is the one to be feared in the long run. Max will reserve all attacks for Enthar and will chase Enthar down, exposing himself to attacks of opportunity for the immediate future. Max will do this until he’s at 50% HP and then re-evaluate.
Maltron casts shield as he ‘hangs’ in mid-air.
Graol, hands still bound, continues to sprint towards the quarry.
Max charges Enthar and swings on the mage. His gladius arcs across Enthar’s belly opening a large slash. The wizard shrieks in pain, stumbling back.
Orc1, arrow still in chest, leaps up and rushes at Max. The big man parries the thrust and continues his charge at Enthar who is clutching his bleeding belly and turning to retreat.
Orc1, Max’s back open to him, charges again taking an attack of opportunity.
Tripping (1), it falls face-forward onto the arrow already sticking from it’s chest, pushing it all the way through. The orc moans shortly before fading into silence.
The Goblin running unaware towards the party, sees Klembsy emerge from the bush with scimitar in hand. Eyes wide it turns east away from both druid and battle scene.
Kistol fires on Enthar hitting him with both arrows just as Max looms over him, plunging his sword into the screaming mage’s chest.
Maltron suddenly plummets.
Farouk casts Levitate and catches the falling wizard slowing his descent until he gently touches feet down.
The Ogre snores.
Trist, hearing screaming in the distance looks to the quarry entrance.
The orcs guarding the cave opening begin to shout and point as Graol, running like a mad man, comes around the bend.
One orc barks to others and 10 in total rush to meet the incoming former prisoner.
She watches as they exchange words and cut Graol from his bonds. 2 orcs run back into the cave with Graol while the others defensively move to the quarry entrance weapons ready in hand.
Graol shouts something in orcish as he passes the remaining cave opening guards before he enters and they all ready weapons.Farouk/Gul’thek pleased with this turn of events addresses Maltron, “Bub, we can turn this all around, its your call… If you wanna go in that orc cave and kill everything in sight I have no problem with that… But in the longer term if you wanna end this slaver issue…and get yourself some good help doing it, them guys there will make it happen. Those greenies, they aint your problem. Just just pawns, I think you know that… We play this right we make them ours. But its your call.”
Maltron shakes the adrenaline rush off, having just faced 60 feet of falling death. “I owe you a most profound debt friends, especially for that levitation trick.”
“Max, cut that ogre’s throat while he sleeps. Well done on that evil mage everyone. Nice shots Kistol.”
Maltron rushes to the dead mage and begins to rifle through his belongings, especially feeling for a spellbook, visible jewelry or a weapon (in that order).
“Farouk if you think you can get these orcs on our side, it would be preferable to fighting them. If things go wrong though, I won’t have that ogre ripping our limbs off. With Enthar dead, we may be able to sway them, but Fokenspeak and the demon may be in the cave complex and they may still hold dominion over these simple minded orcs.”
Farouk speaks quickly, the situation imminent… “No these orcs are not our enemy… they well… they are just orcs… Trust me… when I say they are not fond for doing tricks for humans, I mean they are REALLY not fond of doing tricks for humans. When things cool off a bit…They just might appreciate what has just happened here. But of course they will never actually say it.”
“Look they are our lead on Kargan AND Ein… we play em like mandolin, milk them for info on this slaver thing…In the meantime we leave them in peace to do what they do best, promise them the world but in reality we are containing them. They talk big but have an attention span of a turtle. Without guidance from Kargan, or this dead schmuck over here this valley is all they got.”
“I know its not the best or the bloodiest choice, but I think they are useful fools, at least for now.”
What say you? “Just say the word and Gul’Thek will make it happen.”
“I meant to convey an affirmative to your plan, but the ogre dies.”
Farouk/Gul’Thek runs,limps,stumbles towards the cave entrance, not challenging the guards…
Farouk/Gul’Thek between the two groups puts his hands up towards the human (mostly) warband and shakes his head… “No closer, no closer!” Farouk then faces the orc warriors and urges calm, “Wait, Wait the the butcher is gone, the spirits are pleased… Wait now! Oakguuk will know what to do, wait now!”
Farouks intentions is to calm the situation down, to create a cooling off period before real negotiations can begin. Everything he does suggests, “Hey lets just chill a minute…”
Francis stands and yells to the party, “Did I get them all?”
Maltron yells back, “Come on over here, there will be plenty more to get. We simply seized an opportunity.”Francis looks at the poor little goblin running away, and doesn’t feel the heart to do anything about him. He thinks, maybe we’ll see the little guy later. He then walks over to Maltron, puts his arm around him and asks, “So flying huh? that was interesting.” He then extends a high five to Max, “nice work, i’m exhausted, when do we rest? I’m running low on rum, you find any hidden in those robes?”
Max makes quick work of the ogre. Finna and Klembsy join Francis and the rest of the battle at the scene of exchange.
Maltron quickly loots Enthar’s body and recovers a dagger, what appears to be a spell book tightly wrapped and leather strapped into a roll tucked into a large scroll tube belt pouch. Also, a pair of bracers, a pouch with 4 gems and 50 gp, and two rings. One appears to be a signet of some significance.
DM EDIT: Francis takes note of the boots as well as they are very good quality.
The group takes a quick five while Mal and Farouk discuss strategy. Farouk, seemingly prepped, shuffles off towards the quarry entrance only to halt 20ish yards away at Maltron’s calling.
After a few tense minutes of watching the orcs ‘dig in’ and being separated from the group this entire time, Trist’s tension begins to start rattling. Somewhere within the cave a roar echoes shattering the short-lived silence.
As the party rapidly discusses strategy a roar echoes in the distance. Anger shatters the cool breeze of dusk as what can only be orc rage reverberates in the lightly wooded valley.
Some short time after the roar cuts, Trist watches as orcs begin to pour from the cave entrance. 5….15…25, a hill giant…more orcs…another ogre…more orcs…then finally more orcs. The last group of green skinned brawlers are few in number 8 in all accompanied by 2 bugbears and one bearded human. The group stays tight, confident as they stroll from the cave weapons ready.
The mass of the clan charges from the quarry, whooping war-cries, weapons drawn, howling for blood.
Trist loses count but guesses at least 50 plus baddies are now present in the valley. She flushes with rage at the sight of all the green skins howling for her compatriots blood. ‘I guess the exchange didn’t go as planned.’ She thinks to herself.
The party’s discussion of strategy is soon cut short as waves of howls and warcries echo in volume originating from the ancient quarry. Looking to the west the party can see the beginning of what appears to be possible a swarm of orcs charging, various weapons drawn and ready, from the quarry entrance.
The party has at least 2 rounds before they are in bow shot, and 4 rounds before they are in melee range.
This doens’t sound good, Farouk/Gul’Thek thinks and I bet its gonna look even worse. Farouk/Gul’Thek shuffles quickly to find some cover.
Farouk calls over to the party… If this gets bad we can still fight this on our terms. I still got a little juice. If I create us some cover, a RED Faroukian cloud for instance, get in it, and remember it is just an ILLUSION! Get it. an ILLUSION. It wont affect you. Don’t believe your eyes."
“The orcs will be effectively blinded in the mist, yous guys will be free be to do what you want.”
“Stay calm gents, they are putting on a show for us… wont be long now, Lets see what they really want.”
Max remarks, "We can fight here, seek some higher ground, or retreat back to the cave system with the waterfall above where the horses were stabled.
The cave has problems. The orcs probably know the caves better than we do. We know of at least two exits/entrances (excluding the one cut off by the cave in), but there could be more. On the plus side, the caves offer us some choke points to neutralize their superior numbers.
I recommend we withdraw to those caves. If it was just 50 orcs, we could defeat them out in the open, but if there’s a demon with them or more ogres, then we should seek some defensive advantage."
Francis says, “Look we overplayed our hand here guys. I don’t know what it is you are thinking, but we need to get the fuck out of here. We could retreat to a better location, as Max has stated, but i’d go a step further. Let’s run, get out of here, and then fight on our terms another day. Or even go back to the Frontier now. We have a lot of information that didn’t exist before. I don’t like Orcs, or Demons or any of this slaving business. But it’s smart to get out of here and not have to get slaughtered by Orcs, Giants, Bug Bears, and Demons. I’m not saying this out irrational fear, I can hold my own, but this is bad, it’s bad tactics, it’s bad all around.”
With emphasis, “we.. need.. to.. run..”
Farouk/Gul’Thek is definately feeling the heat here… Running away would give everyone a cooling off period IF negotiations restart…
Farouk/Gul’Thek looks at the horde, then back to the party…“Ummm ya I think Francis you got a point there. You know on second thought I think all this talking can wait!”
Farouk likes Max’s Idea of hitting high ground, we need to rendezvous with Trist anyways. If we can scale this quarry wall, (it doesnt look to steep) to our north and then head over towards Trist that would be good.
Farouks levitate should still be in force on Maltron. If Maltron takes the lead, with us behind holding on to a rope. we can play follow the leader up the hill. We should be able to make good time up the quarry face with the boost from the levitate.
Maltron’s head is spinning with calculations and concerns.
He blows his Guardian whistle 3 times as a signal to Trist. He hopes she knows what that means. They will have to work out a code later.
He’s hoping the orcs don’t have Ein and that if they do, Trist can do something about that while they buy her some time.
“Yes, we need to go now. Max, cut off that mage’s head and bring it with us. Francis, grab those boots if you want them. Farouk, buy us some time to run, maybe a Dragon illusion. I say we head toward the horse cave with the option to turn and fight or keep running. They may be on us and if we get separated, that will be our first meetup point. The next point will be that cave we slept in, then the desecrated altar, then Frontier. Trist can track us hopefully. The head will be evidence for the Guardians. I’m for running all the way back if we can make it.”
Maltron will take the mage’s robe if it looks remotely magical.
He will suggest the quickest route out, towards the horse cave, rather than up the hill, fearing getting lost in the wilderness. If the horses are near, they can take them, if not, leave them.
Francis takes the boots, and then runs following the trail Maltron laid out, and says,“Let’s go ladies, it’s time to go.”
Francis wishes it was by ship, if only it was the wind doing the work, and the sea spray in his face right now.
Farouk creates an illusion of an immense (Filling entire spells area of effect), ghostly orc warrior, fierce, menacing and unnatural. Obviously one of the “Spirits”. In one hand it holds a sword, its jagged edges dripping with orc blood. In its other hand the Head of Oakgukk… Dead eyes casting a gaze at the rushing Orc Horde. The Ghost warrior then in dramatic style sweeps his blade across the battlefield as if carving a line in the hard ground… a warning curse if crossed.
The spirit then beats its chest and bellows loudly… shaking the ground beneath…
Farouk is engaging the masses in psychological warfare. Attempting to create doubt, hesitation, and reconsideration. Farouk is doing his best to play upon the superstitious nature of the orcs and maybe even set them up for something in the future.
Farouk then makes haste and rejoins the party.
Whether she hears the signal or not Trist mulls over her options quickly.
Trist looks for a way to save Ein. She tries to judge the quarry walls to determine if her and Ein could scale them now or in the dark. She’d need a quick way back up to her spot before the orcs get back, and a way up out of harms way, assuming they all left to fight her friends.
If the entire orc warband moves away from the cave entrance she might try it. She holds on to here Amulet of Freya and mentally pleads for guidance. If none comes she will try to catch up to her friends minimizing anything that would cause her to be spotted and will attempt to track her friends.
If she gets a sign and the risk is MINIMAL she will try to save EIN using her ring to float down to the side of the cave entrance and then proceed inside to locate EIN and extract him quickly before they come back. IF the risk changes she abandons EIN an hopes he can survive until she can return. She moves out and tracks her friends as fast as possible as safely as possible.
Maltron blows his signal 3 times, scoops up Enthar’s cloak as Francis removes the boots and all but Farouk, sprint to the nearby location where the 3 horses were stashed/hitched.
Trist, hearing the signal, begins strategizing a plan to save her fellow dwarven Frontier ranger. She knows he’s more experienced a ranger than she so climbing the quarry walls will be difficult for them but not impossible.
Holding her holy symbol and asking for aid brings only slight disappointment as no divine guidance is delivered. She watches as the clan horde moves out of the quarry leaving behind only a handful of guards stationed at and around the cave entrance.Farouk pauses briefly concentrating on next illusion to come. Casting Improved Phantasmal Force he conjures an 15’ish tall immense ghostly orc warrior, fierce, menacing and unnatural. Obviously one of the “Spirits”. In one hand it holds a sword, its jagged edges dripping with orc blood. In its other hand the Head of Oakgukk… Dead eyes casting a gaze at the rushing Orc Horde. The Ghost warrior then in dramatic style sweeps his blade across the battlefield as if carving a line in the hard ground… a warning curse if crossed. The spirit then beats its chest and bellows loudly… shaking the ground beneath…
The oncoming horde pauses in it’s charge piling up in the quarry entrance as they gape at Farouk’s massive warrior. They seem to mill nervously and chatter amongst themselves, as if they are almost waiting to see what happens next or what the warrior will do.
A battle cry rings out in the valley but it’s not of an orcish nature. Farouk and the party, looking back briefly as they retreat, see two figures on the ledge overlooking the quarry entrance.
One appears to be small and stout, while the other is very tall and massive, twice the size of a man, bearded and burly.
The pair are almost comical in comparison to each other as the short one fires arrows on the paused orc crowd while the giant rains large stone after stone on them.
This waiting does get a bit tiring. At least something is happening now. Finna moves her head around to peer through the foliage at the advancing orcs, ogre and human. She peers intently as they uncover the prisoner and stiffles a gasp when it appears to be a goblin instead. She turns to whisper a question to Klemsby but stops when voices are raised at the exchange. She turns back to see Maltron step forward and cast a spell at the ogre and then the meeting turn into melee.
She begins to follow Klemsby out of the foliage. After two steps, the sounds of fighting end as quickly as it started. Finna is left looking at the goblin tearing away from her small group and the captors laying on the ground. A sense of urgency quickens her steps to the group. Looking around, relief washes over her face seeing that no one is injured.
As they discuss strategy, her input is prevented by the chilling noise of a large group intent upon violence heading toward them. Taking her cue from the others, she follows them toward the cliffside. As she forms the question about Trist, Maltron gives her an answer by his sounding of the signal. She continues on but slows down as a new battle cry reaches her ears. Turning her head, she sees a pair of newcomers who are now engaging their enemy, albeit from a greater height. She continues to slow to wait for Farouk to catch up to her.
Maltron believes the dwarf on the cliff edge is Ein and a wave of relief washes over him.
“There’s our sign lady and gents. Let’s head up to the cliff edge to meet our new friend and hopefully that is Ein.”
Maltron will begin the ascent up the cliff, hoping to keep ahead of the orcs and other adversaries. He contemplates what he will do when he reaches the top, turn and fight now that the odds are slightly better or continue running.
He blasts his whistle a few more times, trying to signal Trist of their new location and possibly getting her to follow them. Maybe Ein will return the call, if he even has his whistle.
“Francis, I do believe we have angered them.”
Max lingers as the rear guard, waiting until the rest of the party has a decent start up the cliff in case any orcs with missile weapons get within range. He waits at the base of the cliff where the party makes its ascent.Farouk follows, faster and more nimble than a man of his girth would suggest possible.
Francis, nodding to Maltron, “Indeed. Now I’m generally not one to let others fight my battles, but I don’t like running into a melee with 50 or more of anything. That big guy and the other one seem to be doing great over there, and I’m not sure what their plan is, but I can see those Orcs coming up this way whether we are here or not. So here are my suggestions… if anyone has any ideas about felling some of this rock and earth down upon our good friends, I am all ears. But a better idea is to hide in some brush up there on a pathway, let the Orc group run past us, and then squeeze them. We get up closer to those two,” Pointing at the Dwarf and the Giant, “…and hopefully they’re not pissed off at us, then break into 2 groups, once the Orcs run by us both, the back group jumps out and attacks them from behind, when they turn to engage, the front group jumps out and attacks them from behind again. But we have time to see what they do. And we should move up to higher ground still either way.”
Klembsy, being eager to meet the two newcomers that have come in their aid, turns left from the escaping route and begins climbing the hillside. After getting behind the first bushes, he turns to see what is going on with Farouk and his illusionary fighter.Finna shows some surprise as she watches Farouk hustle. Once he is within a few paces, she starts following the group again and starts talking to him. “I think there is an opportunity here. Some of those orcs will probably come our way to try and flank the new threat. I think we should lay in wait for them and hit them as they pass us. Let’s see what the others think.” She faces towards the rest of the group and calls out “Stop just on the other side of the bushes, I think we need to take advantage of the new situation.”
Farouk looks back at the hesitant orcs, “That Illusion should give them second thoughts before the start chasing us again.”
“This slope here is not too steep, and it will take us toward the giant. If the orcs want us they will have to take this same path…In the mean time the giant and his friend there is gonna thin that horde a little. We can do the same.”
“I figure, about half way between where we are now and the giant we open up with what we got on the orcs below, thinning them out a bit more and those that are still chasing us.”
“*Hey Kid…, Can you still toss another web? If you can find a place to anchor that thing along our route, thats sure to buy us even more time!”
“Farouk, there are a few of us who have to be in close range to help thin out that group. If anything, we can be the rear guard in case some of the enemy comes around.”
“Hopefully we can thin out that group before it gets to ya…thats the hope at least… right now I dont have much, long or short.”
Maltron tells the group, “Not sure I am following your plan. Those orcs are still thick and our lives are endangered. We have little time to set up an ambush or hide. I suggest we continue up the hill. That giant and dwarf may have a plan. We could always turn and fight once we get up top.”
Maltron heads up the ridge, blasting his whistle.
A similar whistle reponds from the short archer.
Max stays near the base of the hill covering the rear. He turns and heads up after the party as Farouk, huffing and puffing, scuttles past him making his way up to join the rest of the party.
The group halts partially up the hill, wanting to be stay in close range, taking covering behind brush, discussing strategy, and watching the scene unfold.(If Farouk heads any much further north he will be out of range of his illusion.)
Trist hears both calls.
As the giant and the dwarf rain stones and arrows down on the bottleneck of orcs, the hill giant pushes forward through the crowd. Pointing it’s large stone axe at Farouk’s illusion it’s roars challenge and charges forward. Inspired, a mob of orcs follow after.
The ogre and a small squad form up and begin to run out of the quarry with a bit more caution. Slower than the first charge they appear to be weaving and watching to avoid any incoming missile fire from the ridge.
Fanning out, the remaining orcs with bows take what defensive positions they can, behind rocks or a compatriot with a shield, and begin firing back on the dwarf and giant.
The last group of 8 orcs, 2 bugbears and the 1 human are still casually strolling into the quarry. They are staying out of range of the ridge missile fire and moving into a position to observe the illusion.
Maltron heads up the ridge, blasting his whistle.
A similar whistle reponds from the short archer.
Max stays near the base of the hill covering the rear. He turns and heads up after the party as Farouk, huffing and puffing, scuttles past him making his way up to join the rest of the party.
The group halts partially up the hill, wanting to be stay in close range, taking covering behind brush, discussing strategy, and watching the scene unfold.(If Farouk heads any much further north he will be out of range of his illusion.)
Trist hears both calls.
As the giant and the dwarf rain stones and arrows down on the bottleneck of orcs, the hill giant pushes forward through the crowd. Pointing it’s large stone axe at Farouk’s illusion it’s roars challenge and charges forward. Inspired, a mob of orcs follow after.
The ogre and a small squad form up and begin to run out of the quarry with a bit more caution. Slower than the first charge they appear to be weaving and watching to avoid any incoming missile fire from the ridge.
Fanning out, the remaining orcs with bows take what defensive positions they can, behind rocks or a compatriot with a shield, and begin firing back on the dwarf and giant.
The last group of 8 orcs, 2 bugbears and the 1 human are still casually strolling into the quarry. They are staying out of range of the ridge missile fire and moving into a position to observe the illusion.
The hill giant, stone axe raised, charges the equally large orc ‘spirit’ bringing it’s weapon down striking the illusion squarely in the chest. It lurches back, dropping to one knee. The orc posse surrounds the illusion, cheering on the hill giant who swings again on the illusion cracking it across the head. Spitting blood, the orc ‘spirit’ stands defiantly. The hill giant draws back and delivers a series of heavy strikes again dropping the ‘illusion’ to one knee. It looks to each of the surrounding orcs with disappointment as it stands again ready to receive another beating. The howls of blood fade to whispers and awed silence amongst the orcs. The hill giant reacts differently. The refusal of the spirit to fight or fall enrages the brute as it dives in again delivering a flurry of brutal strikes, seemingly beating the ‘spirit’ to death. Panting and wide eyed, the hill giant watches in horror as the ‘spirit’ again stands. 2 orcs drop to their knees as the illusion again looks to each green skinned warrior with deep disappointment. Shaking it’s head sadly, it fades from this plane of existence. A few quiet moments pass until the hill giant roars in success. Only a few of the orcs join in, the rest stand awestruck and in solemn silence.
The ogre and it’s small squad make their way through the quarry entrance unharmed. Following the hillside base until they are out of sight of the dwarf and giant, they begin making their way up the ridge.
Trist shoulders her bow and begins the difficult climb up the quarry wall to the ridge. Over the top of the quarry she makes her way across the hill slope when she spots a dwarf and what looks like…is it?….‘is that Wileeag? From the forest?’
The dwarf is firing arrows down into the quarry and Wileeag is heaving rocks from a nearby pile. Unfortunately it looks like the pair are beginning to get pinned down by arrow fire from below.
The orc spirit illusion gone, the hill giant motions to the rest of his orc band to head up the hill slope. It appears that a few of the orcs are reluctant to follow. The party cannot hear the conversation taking place but it looks as if a handful of orcs are arguing with the hill giant. The large brute cuts short the debate by bringing down his stone axe on the skull of the lead orc speaker. The giant re-motions in the direction of the party while shouting and motioning to the ‘pulverized’ voice of dissent, then hefting his club menacingly. The orcs widen a bit but look to eventually rally under the threat and begin heading towards the hillside.Farouk seeing the scene unfold almost feels pity for orcs below. Farouk never did like bullies and that giant is pissing him off.
Trist thinks for a minute wondering what the best way to help out would be. She moves over behind Wileeag behind a tree/shrub and says, “Move back behind some cover. This is Trist the Frontier Ranger you saved and I am invisible behind you. Let’s move to the east to meet up with the rest of my group ok”?
Trist grabs her bow again and nocks a barbed arrow. Trist will use her Point Blank shot on the first orc she sees. If melee is immenent she slings the bow and draws her weapons. If not she nocks a masterwork sheaf arrow then a masterwork Flight arrow. Until the first orc she shot is dead then move to new orc target until melee is necessary.
Maltron continues up the hill and towards the giant and who he believs to be Ein, especially now that he heard his Guardian whistle in return.
“The orcs are splitting up somewhat. Lets head straight for Ein and the giant. If we happen to intersect the ogre and his orcs, we can engage them. Hopefully, the hill giant and his orcs will be too delayed to assist in that fight. That was we can thin their numbers safely.”
Kistol cheers up after the seeing the giant and dwarf pair. Ein! I knew he’d make it. Proves Enthar was full of shit. Can never trust these bastards. Kistol, probably able to climb a bit quicker, will run up a bit ahead of the party. He move carefully as he nears the small orc party that appears to be climbing up the hill. He’ll keep his bow ready and try to make it past them and either stop so he and the party can hit them from both sides or continue on depending on how things look at that point.
“Don’t forget that they are too many! We must be careful not to let them surround us!”, says Klembsy and prepares himself for battle. “Maltron, do you see a good location for the fight? I believe we must try to keep higher ground". Klembsy will wait for strategy suggestions before moving.
Farouk mind scrambles at Klems words… “Twin gates, walls high…Hmmm… Only two chances… Play to outmaneuver or call the bluff. Calling the bluff risks both gates closing but a chance to gain ground…. To outmaneuver… no ground gained, none lost… and another draw of the deck…”
Farouk is liking this game…
Trist weaves her way to the dwarf and Wileeag. Hunkering behind a tree she announces. "“Move back behind some cover. This is Trist the Frontier Ranger you saved and I am invisible behind you. Let’s move to the east to meet up with the rest of my group ok”?
The dwarf reels around, ducking an arrow, it’s Ein. "*Trist*!
“Treeeist?! Ware are ye gharl?” Says Wileeag ducking arrows and scanning about.
Kistol, in a crouched run and bow at ready in hand, comes up on Ein, Wileeag and an invisible Trist. He is quickly joined by Maltron, Finna, Max, Klembsy, Farouk, and Francis.
Ein smiles to the group as a wild arrow flies by. “Good to see everyone’s stilla round’ for the party. Wait….where’s Bel?”
Looking back it appears the ogre and it’s squad have come up over the hill towards the party but have not yet spotted them.
The hill giant and his orcs appear to have lost track of the party and have fanned out to search.
figuring that we can reunite later, Francis nods to Ein and asks, “Where did they all come from? Is this their full force? Can we keep moving along this ridge? We really need a bottle neck to do this right.”Makeup from his disguise giving way, jolly ole Farouk pipes up… “Well if we really wanna get sneaky we can high tail it down this far wall here. Go back into the quarry and take care of business while the bulk of the forces are looking for us out here! Just a suggestion. But I have no objection to just beatin feet, catch our breath and deal with it all later. Whatever we do… we need to decide quick. Wont be long before that Hill giant and the rest of those orcs catch our scent.”
Maltron likes both ideas from the party.
“Ein, were you inside the cave complex? How crazy would it be for us to climb back down and enter the cave complex? Do you know if this is their full force or close to it? The cave entrance would give us our bottle neck. We may expose our rear, but we could even go further inside for a more defensive position. It’s definitely risky. I don’t think they would expect it either.”
“Until then, lets engage the ogre and his orcs with a round of arrows and then back up towards the cave entrance.”
Finna looks around at the group as Maltron asks his questions. “If we are going to do it, we should try and get away first and not alert the group near us. We start fighting them and the other group would be alerted to the sound. Then we would seriously be outnumbered. If we go into the caves, we can keep the number of attackers down but will not have any way for us to safely retreat if needed.”
“I would suggest the option of working our way around the top of the quarry to come up over on the far side and then be able to work our way back towards the horses and beyond. It is a long route but we could stay just ahead of them, hopefully. Only problem there is that it will be dark soon and our light sources will give our position away.”
Ein pipes up. “After the green-bean cowboy gang dragged me off I passed out. Woke up later in the middle of a cave tearing the place apart. Chased the few that were left plus a human, who I’m figuring to be Kargan, out the exit tunnel when the pigshits caved the spot in on me. I managed to crawl out intact and then ran into this big fella shortly after on the outside.”
Ein nods to Wileeag.
“Turns out me n’ big britches here have friends ‘n common. He was trailing your party scene from the get go. Ole Wil is just as interested in digging these grubs out the territory as we are at snatching the human pinky. So we teamed up n’ figured the gang would end up here eventually.”
“I ain’t been inside but I figure the boss wouldn’t cut loose the whole tribe without leaving at least 20 or so holding things down as a backup, females, prolly some young as well. I did find a set of hidden cut steps on the far side of the quarry making it easing work to valley floor. We can use that to make our way down but we need to keep the whole mess of em’ charging up our backsides occupied. Wil’s confirmed that chief you met with Farouk ain’t the man in charge. Fact, big man here ID’d ol’ big wig Oakgukk as the sideliner with the bug bear buds.”
The dwarf leans in.
“Kargan’s that piss bearded sumbitch with em’. I saw when they came outta the cave but lost track when we pulled back. Now here’s my shiny two coppers. Some of us stay here to keep the heavy slobbers coming up the hill occupied. ‘Nother squad rounds the quarry to the steps and makes their way down to flank Oak and Kargy while he’s got a slack guard. Last of the gang keeps chief Oaky n’ Kargy pinned down with arrows n’ whatever magicks we can muster. We got a coupla ropes here ready tied off if it gets hairy and they need to rappel down into the quarry. But here’s the choice slice of cream brew,”
“Trist you still got that fancy ring of yours? Lemme borrow it and I’ll let big man here toss me into the quarry as close as he can to Kargan. Once I touch down, I swear on my beard I ain’t gonna let that unwashed goblinpokker get away and you can take that word to the gem exchange. What’d you think rangers, you feeling the fire n’ iron in your tooth n’ bones?”
He says with a smirk.
When Max gets within 30’ feet of Wileeag, Giantkiller hums, buzzing in his head. Looking down at the blade a small rune previously unnoticed in the pommel glows faintly.
Farouks nods approvingly at Eins suggestion…
“Well one advantage… if you wanna call it that, is we are being chased… That means they go where we lead them… I don’t have alot of juice left, so im not gonna be much good in a up front fight but here is what im proposing…”
“I’ll stay up here with the guys who are gonna fight. We lead the orcs to the top of the quarry… those greenies will pursue. I can create an illusion of some mist to hide us, give this cliff here a little more ledge, and some bait. If all goes well they will just run right off the edge…”
“Anyone who’s left you bruisers can handle!”
Francis didn’t like the idea of fighting all those Orcs, Giants, and whatevers down there in that canyon, but his fighting spirit is coming around at the sight of Ein, and having a Giant of their own helping out. He takes a drink from his rum skin, which seemingly drains it of it contents. “That’s it. Now I’m really mad, all the rum is gone! Someone’s gonna have to pay for that.”
Taking a deep breath and filling his air with the sickly freshness of the Wilderness, he thinks, damn its cold out here too, and dry, far too dry for my liking. Francis misses the humidity of the Seas. which makes him more cranky.
“Does anyone have any traps that we can leave behind, something that’ll get the Orcs tripped up, and injured. Rangers, is there time to fashion some spikes or anything of sorts? I like this new Bow,” Francis pats the Longbow he’s wearing, but It’s time to get down and dirty, I’m getting into the thick of it on this one. So, throw me at the Demon or Kare-goon, or I say we head to the cave. I think if we hurry we can fight through a few Orc women and children, and set up a stand there, rather than out here where we’re going to get flanked and surrounded at some point, especially with the big ugly ones. But I say drop anything and everything that can hinder and injure them as they follow."
“I can set fire to the bushes if you want”, says Klembsy.Wileeag looks to Klembsy. “Seht a fhire eh?”
The giant looks him up and down.
“Yah loouk ta bea drooid sahn, emmirite? Ya thank stahrting a foreest fhire isa smahrt whey ta goo?”
Maltron quickly devises a plan.
“We split up as Ein suggested. The first group will stay up here to occupy the giant, ogre and orcs. That group will be led by Francis and include Wileeag, Klembsy, Trist, and Farouk.. Lead them off the cliff with an illusion if you can. Just don’t risk yourselves. Head down to the quarry if it gets bad. Careful with fires, Big Willy doesn’t like them.”
“If you hear one whistle blast, I’m just telling you where we are. Two means we need help fast. Three means we got in the cave alright. You blast twice and we will try to get to you.”
“Group 2 will be led by me and consist of Max, Finna, and Kistol. We are going down there to take out Oak and Kargan and enter the cave as a bottle neck and deal with any remaining forces within. This should shake them up real good.”
“And Ein, I’ll cast invisible on you right before Willy throws you. That will get you up close to Kargan without resistance. Meet up with us at the cave entrance after you do the deed.”
Maltron wants Max with him in case the female orcs and the young need slaughtered. This party has shown too much leniency in the past and it has cost them. He doesn’t want any of the softer souls influencing the big guy.
Max stares at the rune that has appeared on his weapon and wonders what it means. He doesn’t make the connection that the rune or the buzzing as anything to do with Wileeag. Ah well, yet another mystery of the world. Max gets ready to head down the steps.“Sounds fine to me. Kistol should probably lead the way down to the quarry floor then he and Max switch positions. I can shield us from some of the incoming arrow fire from behind us if I am aware of it. Praise Freya that I learned that skill.”
Trist tells Ein to hold out his hand. When he does she drops the ring in his hand. She tell Ein let Sir Wil throw you then slide the ring over your finger the moment you want to start floating. Check the sizing to see which finger you will use ahead of time so you know it will fit at least one of your fingers. If you put it on too soon you will float and possibly be an easy target longer than you want".
Trist would have objected to Maltron putting Francis in charge of the second group, but she wants to use her stealth which won’t be effective if she’s barking out orders.
Trist tells Francis, “How do you want to use my stealth? Attack from the rear with my bow to heard them off the cliff or will they turn to engage me? Wait and see if any don’t go over the cliff and then hit’em with arrows when they’re pinned against the drop off or they’d have to come at us with lower numbers”?
When the time comes Farouk sets up his illusion as follows…Farouk fills the area with Mist of variable densities. Farouk creates a a corridor of less dense mist to herd the orcs to the main illusion. Vision here is out to 25’ or so. Farouk then uses his illusion to extend the cliff edge out about 30’ making it look like solid ground. Note that Farouk creates two large boulders to mark the edge of illusion and cliff. So the good guys don’t get confused. Near the edge of the cliff illusion, Farouk recreates the party (minus the giant,) They look trappped! The illusionary party nervous at first changes its demeanor and will rudely jeer and gesture defiantly. Hopefully the orcs will charge once they see the party. Farouk realizes that this is a big, complicated illusion, and uses the mist to hide imperfections or inconsistencies.
The real party will lie in wait in the deeper parts of the mist awaiting Farouks signal. A whistle that will emanate from the illusion. The whistle will blow when the orcs realize they have been tricked. The party will then charge out of the mist to meet the remaining orcs.
Farouk “Reapplies” his makeup and looks again like Gul’Thek. Farouk will observe and manipulate the illusion nearby. In deep mist Gul’Thek lies on the ground appearing dead to any that may stumble upon him.
Farouk tells the party " Hey guys make alot of noise we want those orcs to catch up! If those orcs actually see you run into the mist, it will be even better. Dont worry ill clear a path for you so you can see where your going once your inside."
“Big Willy you need to hide in the mist now… If those orcs see you they might run away before the fight even starts!”
DM EDIT: soooo Farouks illusion has 3 parts, the cliff, the mist, and the taunting party. Thats too many elements to concentrate on controlling at once, he’ll need to narrow it down to one.
Ok no worries.
Farouk will then change up a bit… Will now need that fog cloud Maltron and caltrops! The new strategy is to herd the badguys over the cliff by making them think that is that path of least resistance… which well it is…
I will offer the bad guys 3 choices… to the left there is the cliff edge… but that will appear like solid ground plenty of room to maneuver hehe… to the right there will be a billowing fog cloud. In front of the orcs will be a clear path and us… In front of us we will place the caltrops.. those should easily be hidden by the ground illusion.
I will hide in the fog cloud with Big Willi and maintain the illusion… Any orcs that decide to take the fog will meet him in there… also he can be held in surprise reserve.
I’m hoping that the orcs will first take the path of least apparent resistance… straight ahead. That will bring them into The field of caltrops… noticing the caltrops they will try to move around them, once again the path of least resistance… Off the cliff… the remaining orcs…will then either march through the caltrops, go through the fog and meet Willi or turn around… if they turn back Willi can be alerted to block their path and knock, toss or clobber them in whatever way he sees fit.
Farouk will create some mushrooms along the path denoting the cliff edge so the party will not be confused on where it is.
Farouk gets started if there are no objections.
Francis is impressed with Fauouk’s vision of the illusion. “Great work man. My concern about this whole plan is that unless we quickly dispatch the first group closer to us, the second group will be all over us, and even if we do quickly get rid of the first group, that second group is much larger, and I’m worried we get over run either way. So we need to either get them all together, and get them into the illusion, and risk a massive opposition force, or keep them apart, and beat them one at a time, and even then we’re still looking at a serious fight, with a reduced force loosing 5 party members. But this is what we have to work with.”
Francis’s vision is following Farouk’s plan, but making an L shape with the group. Wileeag being the front main force, with Farouk and Klembsy back him up, and then Francis and Trist on the side of the Orc group flanking them. So we get the Orc into the trap, and when its sprung, Wileeag initiates the attack, Francis and Trist wait one melee round so that the Orcs focus on “Big-Dub”, and then when they’re not anticipating a second force, we jump out and flank them.
Farouk smiles at Francis, “Well the good thing about the illusion is that even if that second group shows up they will have to muddle through the fog to find us. Ill create more cloud cover and sound effects for distraction. Hopefully I can confuse them long enough for you to finish off this group and we can reset trap for the 2nd group of lucky orcs.”
“These orcs are already rattled’ coming into a supernatural mist after warnings by a shaman then watching their spirit get bashed by the hill giant is sure to spook em. Bad omens and all. Even though that second group is bigger… I don’t think they have much fight in em, at least not the orcs.”
“agreed, and I say we focus on that Hill Giant in the second group, he falls and there is a good chance the Orcs scatter. Especially in the face if the supernatural mist and bad omens. Hit him with everything we got, maybe even bring back an illusion once he’s close to be finished off, and make it look like the illusion gets its revenge.”Maltron offers the bracers from the dead Mage to the first group, “They haven’t been identified but if you are feeling lucky…”Farouk takes a look at the bracers. “They dont call me big whale for nothing!” Farouk slips on the bracers and hoping for the best.
At Francis’ mention of traps, Kistol spreads 20 caltrops in the main part of the path where the orcs will approach. “Won’t do much but piss ’em off, but it might slow ’em down a bit and every little bit counts, right? Luck, mate.” He pats Francis on the shoulder as he passes and joins up with Mal and the others.
Kistol takes Finna’s suggestion and takes the lead down the hill with short bow ready, then switches with Max as they near the bottom.
Trist hands over her ring as Maltron casts invisibility on Ein who strips off his gear and clothes, stuffs it into his haversack and tosses it to Francis. “Hold on to this for me eh?”
It’s surprisingly light as the navigator dons the small pack.
Wileeag barks, “If yeara gonnna doo somthan better’n dooit nao.” The giant pulls out a skittle-sized stone (grapefruit sized) from his satchel and heaves it. It connects with a sickening crunch in the face of an orc coming over the hill.
Farouk dons Enthar’s bracers and begins casting his improved phantasmal force. As he does so, Maltron casts fog cloud. Kistol, reaching into a pouch, pulls out a handful of caltrops and scatters them with a wide toss.
“Alright big man, let’s do this.” Says Ein from nowhere.
Wil moves over and grips nothing in particular. Looking much like a mime, the giant lifts and begins to swing around in a circle as if he were about to toss an invisible dwarf. After a few 360’s, and with a final grunt, Wil let’s go of nothing into the air over the cliff.
Maltron, Max, Finna, and Kistol sprint off rounding the top of the quarry towards the steps down.
Invisible Trist, Francis, Klembsy ready themselves as they begin to spot more orcs coming up over the slope towards them.
Farouk concentrating on his illusion moves into the fog cloud with Wileeag who draws his large club.
Max, Maltron, Finna, and with Kistol in the lead round the top of the quarry. On the other side Kistol easily spots the lightly concealed stairs down and the group begin their descent. Only wide enough for single file, about halfway down they notice the human with the chief (Kargan) is leading a group of orcs in their direction with weapons drawn. From their pace they’ll reach the stairs most likely when the four reach the valley floor.
Trist, Klembsy, and Francis are spotted by an orc ahead roaring and pointing towards them.
In a full on charge it bolts towards the trio, axe in hand. The green skinned warrior is quickly followed by the ogre and 6 more orcs all charging at them, bellowing in anger and blood.
Farouk and Wil hear the enemies warcries but have no visibility from the fog bank.
It also appears the orc’s roar upon seeing the trio has alerted the hill giant and his group of orcs who begin to make their way across the hillside towards the party.
Francis stands ready, and tells the other two to do the same. “Stand fierce, and dodge them as they come in and charge.”Max says to Kistol, “Might be best you let me squeeze past you. That lot looks like they might beat us to the bottom of these stairs.”“Ok, Farouk. You have set your scene and you have staged your scenario. And you have done that with excellence. Now we have to act the play!”, thinks Klembsy not wanting to shout his congratulations at Farouk at this sensitive moment. Looking carefully at the illusionary mushroom cliff limit (thanks Farouk) gets ready for the impact. Following Francis description, he steps steady on the ground and prepares to dodge the orcs as they come in charging. He doesn’t draw his scimitar yet and tries to look surprised to enhance Farouk’s illusion.
Maltron will stay towards the back, up a few steps and throw Darts +1 at the first orc or Kargan within range, but not if the party is engaged with them in melee.
“Dispatch these fools and head towards the cave entrance.”
“Um, good idea,” Kistol nods and deftly maneuvers behind, climbing up the wall a bit or over Max if necessary. If it looks like a fight on the stairs, Kistol will fire over Max at Kargan until he hits then move on to orcs with intent to kill (all arrows are KO). At the bottom he’ll follow the same actions staying at a distance.
Francis, cutlasses drawn, stands ready against the charge of the first horde with Klembsy and an invisible Trist, bow ready, in the wings.
The lead orc comes barreling towards the duo, Francis specifically. The navigator deftly parries the down-strike, turning and using the momentum of the orc to guide it into Farouk’s illusionary cliff. It tumbles forward and seemingly disappears into the ground. Various thuds, bone cracks, and cries of pain can be heard accompanied by the sound of some falling rock, fading down the hillside.
The Ogre and the rest of its squad halt their charge momentarily as they watch their brave, yet foolish companion disappear into the what was once believed to be solid earth.
The huge monster snarls and roars, resuming its drive and spurring on its companions. The ogre continues as does three others but four of the orcs appear to hit Kistol’s caltrops in their sprint. They bark, hop, and stumble in pain pulling the sharp foot traps from their boots. Again abruply halting the charge, the ogre looks back to the rest of the befouled squad. Turning back to face Francis and Klembsy, the rage of the greenskins feels almost palpable as they now begin to advance slowly and cautiously, axes and longswords at ready, on the conspicuously isolated pair.
Max leads the way down the steps to the valley with Kistol and Finna in tow with Maltron bringing up the rear.
Kargan leads a jogging group of shield and longsword bearing orcs into them.
A big man perhaps a bit slightly shorter than Max, Kargan appears to wear a mesh of rusty chain, studded leather and hide armor. As he approaches he simultaneously draws a blackened longsword in one hand and coiled bullwhip in the other.
Slowing as he advances he shouts to the group in a heavy voice and gritty common, “You want me, here I am slag!!”
Because the sun is setting, most likely 1-2 bells until darkness falls, and because the quarry is set into the mountainside, the setting sun is casting a large shadow of the quarry ridge over the quarry itself.
As he runs towards the party, Kargan folds his arms crossing his weapons in front of his chest, and falls forward into the ground shadow as if it were water, disappearing from view into the inky blackness. His orc compatriots fan out encircling the four against the quarry cliff wall.
Snarling, they advance in slowly but appear to be hesitating.
Max is disturbed at the thought of Kargan’s shadow swimming around in the shade, but there’s nothing he can do about that just yet. Maltron will figure it out, seems like there must be some magical way to light up the dark areas, shed light on the shade as it were.
Now orcs, on the other hand, Max understands. Normally Max would stay close to his pals and let the orcs advance, but since they are hesitating and Kargan’s shadow is lurking around up to who knows what, Max decides it’s time to even out the headcount. With a shout, he charges O1, hoping to draw most of the orcs to him so Finna and Kistol can pick off the stragglers and keep the heat of Maltron.
Hearing the yowls of pain Farouk cant help but to smile little. Farouk does wish though that there was a bit more silence indicating orcs falling off the cliff, that thought makes Farouk a bit nervous. This is not going completely as expected.
“More demon tricks,” Maltron thinks. “Let’s rip them apart,” he says in common.
Maltron will toss his stone with Continual Light cast on it, near where Kargan disappeared.
“You are pawns of a demon,” he says in orcish.
If time permits, he casts Sleep centered on Orc 7.
A great deal of focus goes into not tripping when one goes down stairs at this pace. It would be certain that the three of us would be hurt and Maltron would barely have a good laugh before the fight started. Good to know that I can still keep up, praise Freya for keeping me in good health. It would have been nicer to have a small breath before they showed up.
Finna fiercely stares ahead, heavy breathing causing the scene to swing up and down. Foot touching the quarry floor, she pivots and moves to Max’s right flank, shield up and spear ready. The foul stench of the enemy washes by her, bringing the first hint of nausea to her mouth. Swallowing it down, she moves another few steps.
The vision of the human leader falling into the ground startles Finna. By Tyr’s hand! Black sorcery like Hel herself! “Your dark magic will not prevail over us! This battle is for Freya!” Clasping her holy symbol, Finna says a prayer of protection (cast Protection From Evil) then will throw her spear at Orc8 and draw her sword.
Trist fires at O3 Sling her bow and begins to cast a spell. She says, "*Freya* may our actions be worthy of your glory this day. May the light of Freya burn bright in your eyes O1 (Cast Light at O1’s Eyes). She draws her sword and dagger and moves to flank OG unless the remaining orcs need to be engaged (O2,4,5,6) which she will do as necessary.
Finna readies herself and casts protection from evil.
Maltron pulls from a pouch a glowing stone and hurls it. It lands in very close proximity to the spot where Kargan vanished, radiating bright light.
O1 dives in on Max, it’s blade punches through his armor in the ribs, and Max feels the sickening clunk as it digs into bone. The orc reels back withdrawing the steel trailing a ribbon of blood. (-7 HP)
Finna hurls her spear at O8, her spear easily punching through the orcs armor, sinking deep into its stomach. It screams, falling back drooling blood.
O5 swings on Max. The gladiator leans back and down, ducking underneath the wild attack.
O3 tries to bluff an awkward attack as a feint but Max isn’t buying it and coolly deflects.
O7 hits Finna, it’s axe landing with a solid THUD on her armor, pain radiates through her chest. (-5 HP)
O10 slashes on Max, the metal of his armor rings with the strike but does no damage.
Kistol fires on O2, the arrow thunks home in its wooden shield. Firing on O4, the arrow sings past the orc as it lunges on one knee dodging the shot.
Max, the adrenaline of battle rushing through his mind thrusts on O1 who sidesteps and parries his blade. Countering, the big man side-swings on the nearby O3, carving a swath of spraying crimson across the orcs chest. It slumps to the ground in a heap, dead.
O8, yanking the spear from it’s belly, clutches the wound and scrambles back up into the fray.
Kargan emerges from the shadow on the quarry wall behind the party. Lashing out with an echoing CRACK, his bullwhip coils around Maltron’s right forearm. The mage, interrupted in mid-cast, turns in shock to see the slaver’s face widen with smug yellow smile. The bullwhip suddenly lights aflame as if covered with oil, trailing from the grip, down the length, eventually encircling and igniting the robes of the mages ensared arm. (-1 HP & -3 HP Fire damage)
O4 moves on Kistol who succumbs to a low feint, allowing the orc to connect solidly with a low hit on the thigh. (-6 HP)
O9 lunges on Finna who knocks the strike away wide with the edge of her shield
O2 attempt to move in on Kistol but the elf proves to be far quicker than the green skinned brute anticipated. Kistol spins then sidesteps back from the criss-crossed swipes.
O6, with a mighty grunt, thrusts at the nimble Kistol, overextending it’s reach, the orc trips and shambles sideways careening into the ground.
Farouk continues to focus on his illusionary cliff from the fog wall.
O2, and O4, howling and with sharp grunts, yank out several of Kistol’s footraps and begin to limp into the battle.
Trist draws back her bow, becomes visible and fires on O3. The arrow whizzes between Francis and the orge and impales halfway through the orc’s forearm.
The orc, in mid-swing on Klembsy, under the impact of the arrow drops it’s blade and stumbles to the side gripping it’s skewered arm.
O6, freeing the caltrops from it’s boots raises it’s blade and hobbles as quickly as it can muster towards the newly visible Trist.
Klembsy draws his scimitar, ready to engage O1.
The ogre swings its large stone axe on Francis. The navigator attempts to parry but underestimates the brute’s strength and the axe slams into his shoulder (-7 HP) knocking him to the side.
Francis quickly recovers with a forward lunge, stabbing deep into the side of the belly of the creature. He then spins and with a downward strike opens a heavy slash just above the knee. The ogre bellows in pain.
O5 also pulls the last of the sharp barbs from it’s feet and moves, also limping to join it’s companion in attacking Trist.
O1 feints on Klembsy. The druid moves to deflect but the orc pivots and brings it’s longsword down on the druid’s extended sword arm, severing the limb at the elbow. (CRIT)
Klembsy cries out in shock, as his blade and arm fall to the ground, wound spurting blood. (-8 HP, -3HP every round until loss of blood is stopped.)
Wil, hearing the druid’s wail of pain, rushes from the fog wall. Without breaking stride, as he passes O5 he cracks the orc on top of the head with his heavy club. Skull crushed open, it falls to the ground, lifeless eyes frozen in surprise.
!! Klembys’ scream chills Farouk, the not knowing, gnawing at the back of his mind. Farouk crawls to the edge of the fog, popping his green head out ever so slightly to get a good look a the mayhem.
Everyone is on the wrong side of the illusionary ledge Farouk thinks! this is not good, and the next group will be here very soon…
Farouk is torn between maintaining the illusion or playing what few cards he has in reserve.
Maltron finds himself in a precarious situation again. Rather than wait to be pulled around, he charges into Kargan intent on delivering a shock from his Ring of Shocking and to share the flames in his arm. Perhaps they will both be burned.
“Ein, now would be a good time to help.”
Max ignores the orcs for the moment. He charges Kargan, intending to impale him with Giant Slayer and rend him with his cestus.
Seeing Kargan fall into shadow, Kistol says, “Well that’s a neat trick. I could use a talent like that. Wonder how he does it.”
If he can get a clear shot, Kistol reaches behind his back and pulls his Continual Light dagger throwing it at Kargan. Otherwise he’ll focus on getting out of this fan of orcs. He’ll tumble his way out so he’s not backed up against the wall. He’ll start firing on the most wounded orcs.
Realizing Klembsy is in trouble Trist moves over to defend her friend. Her emotions becoming more enraged as she fights the foul beasts. She defends herself as she moves over to assist Klembsy.Francis will stay engaged with the foul beast, and will not attempt any parrying, he’ll attempt to dodge as he can instead. It appears the game is on, and Francis will attempt to mock the large foe, and insult him to get it unhinged and make it more opportune to mistakes. Seeing his friends arm fall, makes his stomach sink, but the best thing he can do now is dispatch this monster.Farouk, maintains his concentration on the illusion for now… dropping the illusion would show that the good guys are actually at a disadvantage, backs to the edge of a cliff!
A long forgotten sensation of curling in a warm blanket and drinking good mead spills over Finna as the spell washes over her. Feeling the power of Freya so close to her, she starts to close her eyes to enjoy every second of it. Growls snap her eyes back open and she focuses on the enemy. She stares at one orc, pulls her arm back, then switches her focus to an orc on the right and launches her spear. Satisfaction swells within as the spear easily punches through the orc’s armor, sinking deep into its stomach, elliciting a scream as it falls back drooling blood.
The satisfaction is short lived as the middle orc takes advantage of the shift in movement and attacks, the axe landing square on the thick part of her chest armor. Curse their luck! That blow hurt, even with the protection from Freya! We need to get rid of these skitstövels quickly. She easily deflects a side blow from the third orc and catches a weird movement from the right side of her vision. She takes a quick look to see the human behind her and using his whip to attack Maltron.
Beginning to make an adjustment to move towards the new threat, Finna stops as she senses something large move behind her. Turning back towards the orcs, it becomes evident that Max has moved away from his foes to save Maltron “You’re exposing yourself and me, you dumbom!” Finna pulls her sword (if she had not already) and steps over and slices at Orc7. She tries to keep enough space between her and where Max would be so he can easily maneuver and attack.
O6 charges Kistol, feints to the left and low then reversing, it’s blade catches the elf across the arm. (CRIT -4HP)
O2 moves to take opportunity of the hit but Kistol ducks and recoils, forcing the orc to overstep and swing wide.
Kistol tumbles back onto the stairs. With no clear shot on Kargan and already in the midst of melee, the elf opts instead to pepper the orcs with arrows and maintain a distance.
Loosing at short range, he easily tags O6 in the collar with an arrow but misses O2 as the orc leaps down away from the shot.
O9 attacks Finna as she draws her sword. Metal clashes against metal as the two lock blades.
Max moves to charge Kargan but O8 rushes to intercept. Swinging on the bigman, Max barely parries.
O1 swings on Max, opening a slash on his back (-8 HP)
O5 dives at Max as well, blade biting into the bigman’s shoulder (-2 HP).
O10 lunges at the gladiator and, off-balance, goes wide
O7 brings it’s blade down on Finna’s upraised shield with a loud clang.
Max, countering, stabs on 08 but misses as the orc sidesteps. Using the momentum of the failed attack, Max pivots on 010 cutting down the orc with a heavy swath across the chest. Wheeling again, the bigman turns, fully plunging his gladius into the solar-plexus of O5.
Maltron, in a bold move charges the slaver. But the big man yanks his flaming bullwhip to the side pulling Maltron off balance into the rock wall then thudding to the ground.
Kargan, with smug grin steps toward the young mage raising, in his other hand, the blackened longsword.
A sudden roar from behind causes him to spin around.
A large bear beast emerges from thin air roaring and rushing in, grabbing the slaver by the neck in its massive paws.
Kargan drops his weapons as he is lifted off the ground, hands fighting against the massive paws, struggling to break the creature’s grip.
The bullwhip extinguishes almost instantly as it drops and the blackened longsword clatters next to Maltron on the rocks.
O4 charges Kistol but the elf nimbly backs up the steps avoiding the clumsy attack
Finna, shoving off O9, slashes at O7, cleaving flesh and spraying red mist.
Maltron quickly pats out the fire on his sleeve only to look up and see Kargan, obviously in distress, draw a dagger and plant it deeply in the Ein-bear’s massive neck.
It howls deep in pain, dropping the gasping slaver in a heap and stumbling back clawing at the wound.
Maltron and Kargan’s eyes lock then both look to the slaver’s blackened blade that lay between them.
Both scramble for the longsword.
Kargan reaches the grip first then Maltron’s hand clamps down on the slaver’s, looking up into the mage’s smile, Maltron activates his ring of shocking grasp.
O6, with a wild swing misses Trist as the ranger recoils.
Francis leaps up at the ogre, missing a mid swing as the brute leans anticipating the attack. But as the navigator follows up with quick downward slash, blood sprays and the ogre emits a high pitched roar. Francis spins and lunges, burying his cutlass deep in the ogre’s torso. It’s neck snaps back and blood gurgles from its mouth. It falls forward, stumbling over and disappearing into the illusionary cliff.
O3 moves to engage Wil, screaming in orcish ‘The Hillman!’, it misses a clumsy swipe.
O2 attacks with more focus, opening up a low gash on Wil’s torso.
O4 leaps at Trist, cutting a shallow line across her thigh. (-4 HP).
O1 raises it’s blade above its head, ready to finish off Klembsy. The druid on his knees clutching his severed elbow, still appears to be in shock.
Suddenly an arrow appears in the orc’s neck, then another dead center in its chest. It looks down in the arrow in utter disbelief before slumping to the ground and falling back dead.
Francis, Trist, and the two orc’s (O4 and O6) belay momentarily and look to the source of the arrow.
Across the quarry, there appears to be a hooded figure in the brush.
Wren fires another arrow. It whistles across the expanse, between Francis and Trist breaking the brief pause of battle and drops O4 striking the it in the face.
Trist takes advantage of the sniper’s attacks and, drawing her sword in a slashing arc, opens the belly of O6
Wil swings his large club on O2 and hits the orc with a heavy blow and loud crunch on the collarbone. The orc drops to all fours under the impact of the strike. The giant follows through with an upswing, shattering it’s jaw and most of the side of its face, flinging the limp body into the air
As the broken orc body thuds back down into the ground Klembsy looks to come around. Closing his eyes and focusing, the druid prays and casts cure light wounds on his arm, effectively staunching the flow of blood.
Farouk shaking free of his grumbling stomach rejoices at turn of events and shouts “Kill that orc and everyone back into the cloud! That next group aint far behind!”
Feeling as though he just cheated death again, though still locked in a struggle for his life, Maltron is giddy with adrenalin. He holds onto the arm of Kargan for all he is worth and will continue to deliver shocks until he is dead or otherwise occupied with one of his allies.
If the weapons are dropped, he will scramble for them.
If Kargan is eliminated, he will cast Sleep on the orcs harassing Kistol.
Wren seeing only one foul creature in direct combat with the others and believing the giant to be capable of handling the clumsy beast near him she moves foward enough to locate the creature who apprears to be giving direction to the others. As with any beast that travels in packs if you remove the alpha of the pride the rest would scatter and regroup later to select a new alpha. So that would be her next target, the alpha.Kistol scatters a handful of marbles on the stairs in front of him (30) then continues to fire on the orcs starting with 08, then moving on to 04, 06 and 02. He’s feeling a bit beat up and will avoid direct melee, using his jump ring to jump back out of harms way if he needs to. “We got ’em, Mal! Mate, you got some balls!”Francis will run toward the remaining Orc, and slash at him with the intent to make contact and then continue into the cloud. Francis thinks to himself, lets not make any loud shouts, the others could be close. He’s concerned about the arrows coming across the gourge, but that will have to be delt with later.Trist hopes she has time and wonders if her plan will work. She doesn’t concerning herself with this new highly skilled archer. Trist runs over to Klembsy grabs the severed limb and cleans it the best she can along with the severed arm of Klembsy. She aligns them as best as she can and tells Klembsy,“This is going to hurt a bit”. She hold them together and prays to Freya allow me to to heal my friend goddess. (Cast cure light wounds). She wraps the arm not knowing if it worked but says another prayer. Thank you Freya for all your blessings my beautiful goddess. Trist will ready herself as needed by Francis tactical needs.Seeing that Maltron has back-up in the form of Ein-Bear, Max focuses on bringing down the orcs in his immediate vicinity (O1 and O8). “Longer term”, he’ll intercept O2/O4/O6 if they move to attack Maltron. If those three pursue Kistol up the stairs, Max will instead attack Kargan if he is still standing. Otherwise, he’ll help Kistol.Klembsy, overwhelmed by his fast-changing feelings as the mixture of pain, shock, despair, love, hope, doubt surrounds him, looks Trist with outmost gratitude. Realising that only one orc is standing, he waits for Trist’s spell to complete then uses his healthy left hand to grab his scimitar from the ground and retreat into the cloud. “No talking for now”, he thinks. “We need good cover”.
Klembsy will test his wounded arm function and will be ready to cast another CLW if needed.
Francis engaged in battle was focused, and set on survival, but after the fall of the Ogre, and his motion to move to the mist, something pops in his mind. The Others… “Trist, Klem.” he says to himself… He quickly looks to Trist seemingly trying to attach a severed limb back on his friends body. Saying forcefully, but not loud, “Trist, get yourself and Klemb to the mist. Wil follow me.” Francis heads into the mist.
Francis thinks about the Illusory cliff. Might have been better if the cliff wasn’t behind us. Better if the Ocrs had to walk across the cliff to get to us, not walk past us.
Trist hearing Franics helps Klembsy secure the arm as they move inside the fog once her friend is bandaged up a it she draws her bow and sets a flight arrow in place ready to be drawn. She prays to Freya silently that her friends and the newcomer fare well as things progress.
The excitement of battle begins to fill her mind, Finna begins to focus on her opponents. She presses her advantage against Orc7 until it is dispatched and then turns to Orc9 since it is wanting to hit her shield so often.
Kistol, reaching into a pouch, scatters a handful of marbles on the stone steps.
O4 charges up, slipping on the bearings underfoot.
As the orc topples to the side off of the steps, Kistol quickly draws another arrow and fires.
Striking O2 in the leg, the arrow barely fazes the orc as it rushes up the steps after the elf, shield now raised.
O8 swipes at Max, catching the gladiator across the bicep. (-3 HP)
Max knocks away O8’s blade and slices open its chest, dropping the green-skinned shrieking foe. Turning on O2 the big man sidesteps a thrust and, seeing an opening buries his blade fully in the rib cage of the orc. It falls, joining its companion, dead.
Maltron shocks Kargan again. The slaver’s teeth rattle, body convulses, and eyes roll back as the mage continues to electrify the big man.
O6 attempts to follow its companion but it seems to have difficultly staying upright. Wavering, it slumps against the cliff wall.
The Ein-bear pulls the dagger from its neck in a gout of blood, flinging it far aside into the quarry . One paw covering the streaming wound, it charges at O7. Batting away the orcs shield, the beast opens the orcs neck with heavy swipe of his claws. Gurgling and spewing blood the orc falls to the ground dead.
Finna, squared off against O9, with a low feint the cleric come up and under the guard of the brute. (CRIT) She drives her blade home hilt deep in its sternum. The orc coughs blood and stares at Finna before it falls back, defeated eyes rolling up.
Francis rushes on the remaining orc, it wheels to meet him. Blades clash, ringing out. The navigator shoves his opponent back and swings a light stroke across its forearm. Guard down, he quickly follows up, sticking the orc in the neck.
Withdrawing his cutlass, not waiting to watch the orc fall, Francis turns to Trist and Klembsy shouting instructions.
The druid, ranger, giant, and navigator all rush into the fog rejoining Farouk.
Wren, watching the above scenes from the brush across the way takes note of the battle on the hillside, 9 orcs and a hill giant are coming in and will soon be onto the scene. They look to be trailed also by at least 6 or more orcs as well.
With a sneer, Finna plants her left foot on the orc and pulls the blade free. A quick snap of the wrist flicks the clinging blood to the side. She pivots to her left and sees three more orcs, all harassing one elf. “Max, go right!” Without waiting for a response, Finna rushes towards Orc4 to cleave it in twain.Max glances around. He hears Finna’s shout and sees her making for O4. Max makes a quick call. O6 teetering against the cliff wall is no serious threat especially if Finna finishes off the slipped up O4. He’s sure Kistol will be fine 1:1 with O2 on the narrow staircase. The big variable here is Kargan. Maltron appears to have the upper hand for the moment, but mages don’t last long toe-to-toe and who knows what will happen if Kargan makes another shadow dive. Max pauses just long enough for Finna to rush past him and then closes on Kargan, seeking to finish off the devious slaver.Wren continuing to keep to the bushes looking to find an angle that will give her the best range. She will attempt to thin the herd. Viewing the giant as an easy target, “I mean he is big enough right”?, she thinks to herself. Feeling the strings of the bow caress her fingers as she carefully releases 3 arrows (hearing the bionic sounds made in the show million dollar man) their aim true, towards the towering giant whose fall will bring a shattering of confidence to the rest of the pack.
While in the cloud Farouk experiences an epiphany… Waving his hand in front of his face a few times… Farouk notices that cloud is quite dense. Barely able to see beyond his outstretched arm.
If we fight the giant maybe it would be best to do it in here. In melee… We would be able to see the giant if we are close… striking at its legs… But that Giant…Well he wouldn’t be able to see us at all! That giant won’t be be able to tell us from the orcs His head would be in the clouds! Farouk quietly chuckles at his own little joke and passes it along to the rest.
Kistol blows his Horn of Fog to block the stairwell just in front of the orc. As the orc enters the cloud, Kistol will judge it’s position and flip over him, landing (hopefully) silently and then turning to back stab with the (KO)Sea dagger. With a successful hit, Kistol will back out of the cloud and head back down the stairs keeping an eye out for 04 and 06 and position himself in a position to watch his back as well as for 02 coming back down. He’ll fire armor piercing arrows(KO 3/4 vs armor)on 02 as he heads down then retreat before 02 gets too close. If 06 is a more immediate target Kistol will fire on him(or her) first.
Trist is ready and signals quietly to Francis.
She wants to act as a cohesive unit and is concerned for Klemsby and recommends he remain in the fog and out of the way should they decide to fight inside it.
She will fire one arrow to trigger the giant to enter the fog or switch to sword and dagger if time isn’t available or a different tactic requires her too. "Her free ranged attack shouldn’t be wasted though she tells Francis so only he can hear. We should find a way to force them over the cliff. Maybe throw money over it as a fiscal windfall for them to chase.
Malton continues to shock Kargan until he is dead or unconscious, whichever comes first.
Klembsy understands Farouk’s logic and will act accordingly as to not hinder the movements of the others. Concerned about his right arm, he takes 3-4 small steps behind Farouk and towards the edge of the cliff, always keeping himself inside the fog. If he feels his arm operative again, he readies his scimitar for melee battle. Otherwise he casts CLW on himself again.
Maltron, with Kargan still in his grip, continues to pour electricity into the slaver.
O4, seeing Finna approach wheels in on her with its axe. The cleric pivots and easily parries.
Max watches as O6 collapses to the ground, seemingly unconscious. With Finna and Kistol on the remaining threats, the big man turns his attention to Kargan and Maltron.
As he moves in to assist, arrows rain down on the party.
Looking to the source. The Chief appears to have ordered his surrounding archers and the 2 bugbear escorts to fire on the group and any involved.
2 arrows narrowily miss Maltron.
2 miss Max, whizzing past.
1 misses Ein, 1 thunks home in the Bear’s back.
1 hits Kistol, skewering his thigh. (-7HP) The elf slumps to his knees, grasping the wound and barking in pain.
He passes out. Kistol is currently at 0 HP. He will bleed out 1 HP per round until -10 HP is reached or the blood loss is stopped. He will remain unconscious until he is brought back to 1 HP
1 misses Kargan, striking into the ground between his legs.
2 hit O2, 1 misses. The orc topples, remaining motionless on the steps as his weapon falls from it’s lifeless fingers, clattering on the stone.
Finna, diving in from the parry, opens a larges slash across O4s ribs. The orc shrieks in pain but is still standing.
Ein roars and charges the archers.
A horn sounds from the Orc chief and his squad.
In the fog Trist casts cure light wounds on Klembsy in an attempt to re-attach his arm, it does not work +5 HP.
Klembsy then casts clw on himself. +4 HP.
The fog cloud appears to be moving and thinning. Farouk determines they most likely have 2 more rounds before the fog dissipates and will no longer serve any use as cover.
As the group quickly strategizes, they hear a sharp, short yell, soon after followed by what could only be the pained roar of the hill giant.
Shortly then after, a horn sounds out, echoing in the valley.
Wren watches as the Hill giant and orcs make their way on to the cliff battle site. The orcs spread out and all appear to be scanning and searching for the party. A few loot and check the bodies for life, others stab at brush hoping to flush out any individuals who may be hiding, a few others cautiously inspect the fog from a distance. The ranger readies her first arrow, leveling aim on the giant. As she does so, she notices at least 10 more orcs are coming up the hillside to join their companions.
Suddenly, an orc scanning near the cliff edge, drops, falling into ‘the cliff’. It’s panicked yell (which soon after abruptly stops) causing the rest of the horde on the hill to wheel about in alarm.
Wren fires 3 arrows. The first two strike home in the Giant’s upper chest, the 3rd goes wide (1).
The huge brute roars and the orcs scramble to find cover.
A horn rings out in the valley.
Farouk quietly informs the party, “This fog ain’t holding much longer and I smell ALOT of orcs on the other side of that wall not to mention a giant. By the sounds of it, that archer has them distracted. We should probably move towards the hidden staircase while we still have a chance and form up with the rest of the group.”Trist whispers to Francis if she thinks they won’t here her, “I’ll fire then we fight”. If she thinks it’s too risky she nudges Francis with her bow. Trist will fire her, free, arrow at the Giant and continue to fire Masterwork flight arrows until she needs to switch to blades. For the glory of Freya she says when she draws her blades and rushes the closest orc. Hatred radiating from her body as it wells up inside her.Trist holds before firing hearing Farouks recommendation. She waits for Francis pending his instructions holds her fire and actions.
Maltron’s rush of excitement is dampered slightly by the presence of arrows thunking into the ground right next to him. “Never let a viper free once you have hold of it,” he thinks and continues to shock Kargan, getting a cheap satisfaction at seeing the buldging eyes and clenched teeth.
“Those orcs will need to be dealt with soon enough. Damn, a horn blast, how many more shall we fight?”
Max rolls an INT check (passed) and suspects he might also get a nasty shock if he tries to stick Kargan. Max figures Maltron’s got the situation under control for the moment, so he takes up position shielding Maltron with his body as best he can from the orc archers. If any orcs get in range, Max will hurl war hammers and hand axes at them. If any approach within melee, Max will hack at them with Giant Slayer and cestus.
The rasping of metal on metal sounds out from the parry. Quickly moving in, Finna swings and opens a nasty wound across the orc’s chest. The shriek of pain issuing forth does not prevent her from hearing Kistol cry out and drop down, mostly out of her field of view. Just behind her opponent, another orc sprouts two arrows and stops moving. Pokker! Where did those come from?
The sounds of the bear creature roaring and the horn from the far side of the valley helps her piece things together. I guess life is cheap to the orcs, especially if they will sacrifice their own, trying to win a battle. Now, I need to take care of another’s life. “Die, you worthless excuse for flesh!” Finna yells as she presses her advantage and cuts down her opponent. Once she has finished it off, she will climb the steps to check upon Kistol.
Francis hearing the input form the groups decides that we retreat and make for the rest of the party. Not sure of their current situation, his sense is that the horde just outside the fog is formidable, and does not want to engage them at half strength, especially with Klembsy sands an arm. Francis quietly indicates movement to the stairs in the most careful way as long as the fog holds. If the fogs lifts or we see the rest of the party, we can reevaluate our options there.
Francis quietly says, “Back men, back to the stairs, he illusion and the archer across the way, should provide cover, I don’t like the look of this skirmish, as it’s presented.”
Klembsy, hearing Farouk’s warning about the fog illusion whispers to everyone “Run towards the other group and I’ll cover you. It seems Mielikki has not granted me with powers to glue body members yet so I’ll sacrifice myself for her. Those things happen to druids living their lives as warriors. Farewell, my friends!!”.
Trying to give an affectionate glance to Trist inside the fog, Klembsy tosses his severed hand part towards Orc10, takes his scimitar to his left hand and exits the fog charging towards Orc3. He will try to toss Orc3 down the cliff with his charging force and then take place between Orc2 and the illusionary cliff. Before this final stand he doesn’t respond to any possible attacks he receives. He will stay in this position, fighting in melee till the end to ensure the safety of the others.
Here’s a quick brainstorm. Obviously it will take some game time to get any of the options done, but Max will happily go questing with Klembsy and lend a hand!Carve a piece of wood into the shape of a forearm and strap it on. Put something useful on the end of it like a hook, a cestus, or a dagger. Convince a 14th level priest to cast the 7th level spell Regenerate. Convince the Frontier Rangers to create a golem arm prosthetic to graft on, prosthetic arm has detachable hand, other tools can be swapped in like automatic dart gun, grappling hook launcher, or auger. Convince a Treant to give Klembsy a branch to graft on. Find a snake and train it to coil around Klembsy’s upper arm and use its mouth like a hand.
If Klembsy tries to exit the fog, if Francis can grab him before he exits the fog he will sheath his weapons and pick up Klembsy, and make way to the stairs and the rest of the group.Farouk looks at Klembsy and then back at Francis “You don’t have to ask me twice!” Farouk beats feet out of the cloud toward the stairs…As Wren watches the scene unfold she can tell those who were in the gorge are trying to reach the strange fog. With the steadily decreasing light offering her a continued advantage she will remain in her current position ((elvan specialization option to remain unmoved allowing for 3/1 rof)) release another round of arrows aimed at the wounded giant. Keeping these creatures scattered and afraid she hopes will buy the others enough time to do whatever they have in mind. Wren does not know their numbers hiding within that cloud but she does know that this situation does not appear to be improving. May Frey be with them.
Trist realizing everyone is in agreement to move to the stairs prepares herself to do the same. Hearing Klembsy comments she senses he’s about to do something rash. Trist tries to grab Klembsy before he exits to pull him towards the stairs. Trist frantically tells him, “The Guardians can fix your arm”.
Klembsy will not resist at Francis’ and Trist’s efforts to take him with them back at the stairs. His mind is a bit confused from the shock and the pain but eventually clears up and thinks he will better serve Mielikki alive (even with a hook-hand) than dead.
Francis, Farouk, Wil, and with Trist aiding Klembsy, exit the fog and sprint around the quarry edge heading towards the steps down.
Finna bats aside O4’s feebly raised blade and opens a slash across it’s chest. As it falls, the cleric moves to the steps, charging to aid Kistol. Noticing the elves marbles scattered on the stones, she slows her initial rush and is able to make it to the downed thief without slipping on any of loose bearings.
Maltron’s ring goes inert ceasing the shocking energy flow, Kargan lay unmoving face down and sprawled out, his body lightly smoking.
Ein barrels into the archers, charging in battering two aside and scattering the rest.
The bugbears look to be scrambling to reload their crossbows.
Ein swipes at the chief and misses. The orc in return, slashes open the bear’s side with his large broadsword, Ein roars out in pain recoiling to the side under the blow.
On the hillside, it looks as if most of the orcs have found cover but a few, still unaware as to where exactly the sniper is firing from, are still in open positions to receive arrows. The giant however, due to its large size is unable to find any suitable cover to prevent Wren from thunking 2 more arrows into it’s hide. With a howl of pain, it notices then scrambles to recover the ogre’s large shield.
Maltron’s thrill of shocking Kargan seemingly to death is short lived as the danger is imminently upon him. Remembering the orc’s earlier ruse of playing dead and not logistically able to take prisoners, he pulls out Jes the dagger.
“Time to earn your keep Jes,” he says as he attempts to stab the dagger deep into the back of Kargan.
If successful, he will blow his whistle once (to indicate location to the second group).
“Let’s meet up with the second group on the stairs and then head to the cave entrance. Hopefully Ein will retreat to us. It will be nice to have a narrow passage to defend, rather than this open area.”
If no resistance is met from Kargan, he will remove any paperwork or jewelry from Kargan. “Max, grab that dreadful whip and sword so our enemies cannot wield them against us. My arm is still throbbing from the burn!”
Trist will follow Klembsy down the steps ensuring the druids balance does not waiver. Thank you Freya for sending us a skilled archer she thinks. Near the base she draws her bow and preps a barbed arrow. She will support the second groups withdrawl to the cave entrance. Trist says to everyone nearby, “If you have any oil to spare, you can dowse the stairs we just came down and light it if we are followed”.
Max grabs the weapons. If Kargan has any kind of backpack, sack, scroll case, or similar, Max picks those up as well, taking a moment to stuff things in his own backpack as needed. He covers the retreat, keeping himself between Maltron and the archers.
Maltron unsheathes Jes and plunges the dagger into the upper back of Kargan. With a heavy grunt, the slaver arches back, spitting blood. His red bloodied eyes and body strain, the veins in his neck bulge, until with a final heave he slumps and blood pools from his open mouth.
Finna casts CLW on Kistol who regains consciousness. (+6 HP)
Looking up the pair notice Farouk (still in orc garb), followed by Trist leading Klembsy, Francis, and the giant man Wil have made it to the steps above and are making their way down.
Using Mal’s wand, Max and Maltron search the body finding only the following items of significance.
Blackened longsword (magic)
13 gems (10gp each)
brass knuckles (Non-magic).
Ein, tangling with the chief, 3 orcs armed with longswords and shields, 7 orc archers and 2 bug bears, appears to be wounded but holding his own. The archers, keeping out of melee range, are peppering him with arrows but he seems unaffected. He does appear to be having difficulty landing a strike on the chief, the other 3 orc swordsmen are not so lucky. One looks to be downed and another wounded.
Wren watches as the hill giant recovers the ogre’s large shield and, ducking behind a nearby rock, uses the both to provide cover against Wren’s arrows. Searching for targets, she spots and fires, hobbling two and taking down another with an arrow to the head. From this distance she can see several situations occurring. The group formerly doing battle on the cliff edge has made it’s way around the ridge of the quarry and now appear to be descending below into it. And, the orcs and hill giant she has pinned down are communicating with each other about something. Arms wave and point signalling each other from behind rocks and brush, orcish and giantish barking is being exchanged, indiscernible at this distance.
Farouk, Wil, Trist, Klembsy, and Francis make their way down the steps without incident and rejoin the rest of the party.
Farouk looking at the battle afar “Whoaaa that bears giving as good as he gets! Not sure how much longer hes gonna hold out though…”With the arrival of the rest of the party, Max takes off to help Ein. He charges the archers, hoping to unnerve them enough to fire on Max and give Ein some respite. If they don’t retreat, Max will kill them. If they do retreat, Max will run up next to Ein to break the ring of humanoids tormenting him. He’ll focus on the orc swordsmen and bugbears, hoping to whittle them down and leave the chief isolated.
Kistol moans and rises using Finna for support, “Thanks, Fin. Did we get ’em?” He sees Ein in trouble and tenses up, “Hm, guess not. Let’s go help, Ein.”
Seeing the rest of the group join them, Kistol says, “Hey, guys! Looks like everyone made it in one-, HOLY SHIT! Klem, where the hell is your arm?! Uh . . . sorry. Um, don’t worry, mate. The Guardians will fix you up when we get back to town. Let’s take care of this and get out of here.”
Kistol moves down the steps carefully and out to the right, staying out of melee range and will focus (KO)arrow fire on the chief. He will keep firing until enemy archers turn on him or other enemies try to engage in melee.
Pleased that she has given this horde cause for pause and that she was able to offer aid to those in need but concerned this odd communication across the way might have something to do with her, Wren will quietly move away from her position, using the brush and available trees as cover. If while moving she sees the out numbered dwarf, she will fire on the most available targets.
Maltron greets the second group quickly.
“Let’s dispatch those orcs and retreat to their lair before that bunch up top on the hill comes down.”
He will get close enough to the orc archers to cast Sleep on the central one. Afterwards he will place himself halfway between the orcs and the cave entrance, checking to see if anything is moving inside the cave.
Klembsy manages to slowly recover from his shock and fear and begins to judge the situation. He has his scimitar sheathed again with Trist’s help and looks at Max charging towards the orc archers. He gives a thankful glance to the ranger and sends her to battle “Trist, don’t worry about me. I’ll manage. My feet are ok now. I’m recovering. Help Kistol eliminate those orcs. Clear the area and then call me to cure Ein if need be. I’ll move towards the cave entrance”.
Klembsy moves straight from the base of the stairs towards the cave entrance but does not enter. He stands about 2-3 feet north of the entrance and tries to hear any sounds from within. He also keeps an eye to Maltron who moves towards the centre of the quarry.
Francis is a bit confused as it seems that some were saying a move into the cave was the plan, and then others are moving to engage the Orc chief battle party. He thinks, we’ll get surrounded by the Hill Giant and his party, but what’s done is done.
“Don’t worry about Klembsy, tis but a scratch, he’s had worse, just a flesh wound.” Francis says.
He draws dual cutlass and follows Max in to fight beside the big man.
Farouk not wanting to be left behind, joins in the charge…Although hes not sure what hes going to do when he gets there… Farouk charges… slowlyTrist will join Max and Francis firing shot along the way probably at 1/2 move. She then draws her longsword and dagger to fight beside the two warriors. “Freya see us through”. “I’m with you Max and Francis. It’s dying time for some orcs. We should secure that cave entrance soon”.
As the party picks up and begins to charge to assist Ein, multiple roars emit from the cave entrance momentarily halting their rush. Looking to the source, the group sees 2 large trolls bellowing and shambling out from the darkness. They are prodded into a stampede towards the party by 4 orcs with spears behind them.
Wil turns to the party. “Them nastees er’ all yours. Imma offta halp out the lil’ teddee bear’n. Me’n da cheef haz ah hestory en ah aim ta put sahm clooshare onnit.”
With that, the giant charges towards the Ein-chief melee, club whirling overhead and war-cry reverberating inside the walls of the quarry.
Maltron sees the trolls coming his way. Never having seen one in person, he remembers a bit from his studies about them, enough to not want to encounter them face to face, but that doesn’t seem like his choice at the moment.
He halts his advance toward the orc chief, figuring Ein,Max and Wil can handle that lot.
“Prepare for these trolls! The big guys have the Chief. These trolls fear fire! Francis fire up your sword. Klembsy can you still create fire with your good arm? If we can scare them worse than those orcs, they may be our temporary allies.”
With that being said, he casts Sleep on the orcs prodding the trolls along.
Seeing the others charging towards the conflict and recognising the roar as it echos through the area, Wren adjust her course so she can target the new threat. The last thing this group needs (she thinks) is to be cut off from their escape route out of this gorge. So with the precision and calm her father taught her she will lay her aim at one large and boney knee on each troll hoping their charge will be halted by them hitting the ground. This should keep the way clear for the dwarf and his comrades to get out.With the appearance of the Trolls, Farouk knows what he must do…. RUN FASTER!
Trist will help try and kill the trolls. She will act as a barrier between her friends and the trolls.
Seeing the trolls emerge from the cave, Francis stops in mid stride and momentarily slumps his shoulders. He screams, “You have got to be fucking kidding me!”
Hearing Maltron bark orders snaps his frustration and he looks at the frail looking mage. “This is getting ridiculous, Mal I feel like the Gods have it out for us on this day.” Francis nods to his instructive suggestions.
Francis will continue to move in the direction of the Ein/Chief battle, but ready himself and face the Trolls, letting them make up the distance, with the idea to keep the party as close as possible. Holding his dual cutlass’s at the ready, he’ll do his best to stand tall and fearless in the face of the Trolls. Once they’re in melee, when he seems the whites of their eyes, right before any skirmish ensues he’ll light his cutlass a flame in most most grandiose way possible and do his best to fiercely attack the nearest troll quickly with wide swings to emphasize the sudden flames.
In his mind, the Navigator curses and grabs hold of the fact that the rum is gone, and right now, seems a foul time for there to be no rum.
Kistol’s shoulders slump at the sight of the trolls, “Ohh, crap.”
He looks at the walls above the trolls looking something miraculous like a boulder precariously balance above them that can be shaken loose with an arrow shot.
Barring that and hoping to at least take control away from the orcs, Kistol switches targets, moves quickly to the east side of the stairs and aims for the orcs controlling the trolls. He moves to a new target with each successful hit. If anyone gets in melee range he will tumble away until out of range.
If Kistol is under too much fire/attack, he will see if he can make his way to the cave entrance and scout the cave.
The orc falls sideways, the path to the steps now clear. The slumped form of Kistol becomes visible and Finna begins to charge up the steps. Looking down to make sure of her footing, the sight of the marbles forces her to lessen the pace. Upon reaching the thief, she sets her sword aside and quickly notes the wounds, the arrow in his thigh that still bleeds. A quick yank removes the arrow, blood gushing even quicker. Grasping Freya’s symbol, she quickly prays for healing. The flow of blood abates as the wound heals over.
Kistol moans and opens his eyes. Grasping Finna’s hand for support, he rises. “Thanks, Fin. Did we get ’em?” Annoyance flares up and she begins to speak but Kistol continues to ramble on. Good thing he is recovering from that wound or I’d knock his head in. She sheathes her sword and begins moving down the steps and to the right, allowing the descending party to the quarry floor. Making sure Kistol can stand unsupported, Finna moves over to gather her spear from underneath a dead orc.
Finna keeps toward the back of the group as they move forward towards the Ein-bear-creature that is battling the orc chief. Her eyes looking up towards the rim of the quarry and steps, making sure nothing else is going to pop up and start firing arrows at the party with no warning. The eruption of roars from the cave entrance freezes her movements, her gaze snaps towards the figures emerging. The sight of two more large figures close to nine feet high fills her eyes. Merciful Freya, what are those things? If this is my last battle, please let me take one of those creatures down with me.
“Prepare for these trolls! The big guys have the Chief. These trolls fear fire! Francis fire up your sword. Klembsy can you still create fire with your good arm? If we can scare them worse than those orcs, they may be our temporary allies.” Maltron’s speech pulls her out of the initial shock. Those are Trolls? The stories make them sound only as tall as a man. But I bet these are as evil as the ones from those stories. Fire? They don’t like fire? She calls out to the group in front of her “Would some oil do? I still have three flasks in my pack. If someone with good aim can get them, we may be able to get out of this.” She will stop and kneel down to allow someone to reach into her pack and pull out the flasks then join in the fight using her spear.
“Screw it!” Farouk tell him self, “All this running isn’t helping!”
Farouk Turns to see Francis lighting up his sword. “Kid cant do this by himsef…”
Farouk scoops up a handful of rocks, and and flanks the pirate and trolls at rock throwing distance.
Rocks, although obviously ineffective in actually hurting the trolls, serve only to annoy and distract the trolls. With the hurling of rocks, comes the hurling of vile insults and rude gestures that sting far more than little stones. (Farouk really is down to harsh language)
Farouks intention is to bait one of the trolls and get it to break off from Francis and chase him instead. If Farouk is successful Farouk runs! Laughing and taunting as he goes. Farouks does not want to be in range for any of the troll attacks. Run run run!
Klembsy jumps up at the appearance of the large creatures and Maltron’s yellings. He hears Finna talking about oil and Maltron about fire but cannot do this alone. He yells to Farouk to throw Finna’s oil instead of rocks at the trolls and he begins to cast Produce Flame
Wren, having moved out of her previous sniper position in the brush continues around the quarry edge when she observes the oncoming trolls stampeding towards the regrouped party. Drawing a bead she levels her aim on the knees of both.
Maltron casts sleep on the 4 orcs armed with spears who loosed the trolls, 3 drop.
The remaining orc, looks to panic and runs back towards the cave entrance.
Unfortunately it doesn’t get far as Kistol, not seeing any opportunities to dislodge rock from the quarry walls, drops it with two arrows in the back.
Francis draws both cutlasses and moves forward awaiting the Troll’s charge.
Trist fires on one of them, hitting it mid-chest it does little to slow the creature. The ranger then shoulders her bow and rushes up to join Francis, also drawing her blade.
Wren fires. The awkward shambling gait of the creatures combined with the distance and the specific target proves to be a difficult shot for the elf. Her first two arrows miss. Drawing a slow breath, she focuses in, isolating the outside world and looses a third. It strikes home in the lead trolls knee which gives out, the creature tumbles forward. It’s counterpart, following close behind, follows suit tripping over the downed monster.
Finna, Farouk, and Klembsy spotting the opportunity, move quickly to take advantage.
Finna kneels and dips into her rucksack, withdrawing a clay flask of oil she tosses it to Farouk who lobs it underhand shattering on the back of the first troll, splattering both in oil.
Klembsy completes his spell and opens his palm revealing a flame. Drawing back he hurls it at the creatures, hitting and exploding on the rear troll instantly igniting it.
The fire quickly spreads to the other and the two beasts scramble up, terrible screaming reverberates in the quarry. The lead trolls upper body is almost entirely in flames while the rear trolls is only partially lit on the thighs, back, and arm.
Finna withdraws another flask and heaves it overhand, striking the rear troll as it stands square in the chest. The clay bottle explodes showering both in a wave of flame.
Wil rushing in makes quick work of two archers, bellowing, “OAKGUUUUUK!!”
Oakgukk, the orc chief withdraws his blade from what appears to have been a deep wound on Ein, the dwarf-bear stumbles back and slumps face-first to the ground, multiple arrows scattered and stuck in his hide.
Spotting the giant the chief roars, “Hillman! I will feast on your flesh for days.” He charges to engage.
Max joins Wil against the chief and his band. Cutting down an archer in his charge he wheels on a bugbear. Raising it’s crossbow in a hasty defense, Max’s blade shatters it in a powerful down-stroke. The big man’s follow through opens up the bugbear’s throat. It flings itself to the ground, gurgling and clutching the spurting wound. Back in the presence of Wil, ‘Giantkiller’ has started ‘buzzing’ in the back of his mind again
Maltron says, “That went well. We have a sniper helping us. Nice! Let’s run to help Ein and the others. Those trolls might burn to death chasin us. And those orcs won’t be waking soon.”
Seeing Ein down, “We need to heal that bear. That’s Ein for anyone that doesn’t know.”
Farouk emboldend by by the shrieking torches is a amused and thinks.. Trolls disguised as torches… hehe funny.
Farouk looks at his handful of rocks….
“Someone toss me some oil I want in on this bonfire!”
Max concentrates on killing the second bugbear and will prioritize finishing off the archers. Wil presents too easy a target for them, towering above the other orcs.Wren smiles, thinking as she sees the fires errupt “Just what I had in mind!” Glancing up the hill to where the giant is since she does not want to lose sight of their presence, if she does not see any cause for concern she will turn her attention to the archers to provide cover fire for those trying to get to the fallen dwarf. She hopes they are not too late.Klembsy murmurs a quick prayer to Mielikki as she still grants him her powers even with one arm. Trying to concentrate from the trolls’ cries of pain, he hears Maltron yelling about saving Ein. Driven by his healing instict, he begins charging towards the fallen werebear. He yells to Farouk to finish the sleeping orcs. Flame still in hand he runs towards Ein, passing behind the orcs and trying to ignite them one by one, first Orc6 and then Orc7. He doesn’t throw the flame but uses touching instead. If someone kills his first 2 targets before he arrives, he continues with Orc1 and Orc2 by throwing his last 2 flames. After that, he tries to stabilize Ein and stop the flow of blood.
Seeing the BBQ begin, standing with swords raised and ready Francis’s head and shoulders slump again. Then he swings around to look at Maltron and says in a sarcastic tone. “Great, BBQ Trolls, and now I’m standing here with my swords in my hands.” Shaking his head, he will move to the sleeping Orcs and dispatch them, staying clear of the burning Trolls, and looking toward the cave opening seeing if anything new emerges. Francis will let them burn and leave them if they pose no immediate risk. If they make any moves to him, he’ll ignite his sword and attack them instead.
Francis thinks to himself, I like that trick, note to self, buy some oil at the next opportunity.
With a grunt, Finna heaves the oil flask towards the trolls. It strikes the rear troll in the chest and shatters, oil showering across both and igniting into a wave of flame. Hearing Maltron suggest moving towards the other party is all she needs to start moving. Ein is that bear? He was touched by a god and blessed with another form? I need to ask him about that at some time in the future when we get out of this.
Finna will run towards the orc chief battle and go to engage orc4/5 (whichever is first available) with her spear. She tries to keep the shield up in front of her to block any missiles coming in her direction. If all opponents are down, she will immediately tend to Ein-bear, removing any arrows and bolts then casting CLW on him.
Kistol takes stock of the situation, Ok, fight with the chief seems to be doing ok. Kargen’s dead. Help from unknown sniper, unsettling, but is going our way for now. Didn’t somebody mention something about orcs coming down from up top? The cave needs scouting. And what else? Oh, yeah, big, scary fucking trolls on fire!
Kistol quickly searches the nearest fallen orcs, as long as he can stay clear of the trolls, looking for oil to throw on the burning trolls. He tumbles away at the first hint of movement his way. He stays alert for troll movement and any enemies coming down the stairs. If there’s no oil, Kistol will continue his mission of scouting the cave, not wanting to fire into the melee with the the chief.
Kistol shouts in Elven to Maltron, “Hey, Mal! I’m going in the cave to check it out!”
“Dont you guys waste your time on those sleeping orcs… Ill take care of em.”
Farouk begins ice-picking the sleeping orcs with his stilletto, freeing up the warriors to do what they do best.
Maltron will head toward Ein.
Finna charges in to aid Max and Wil. Running up on O4, the orc turns in surprise and draws back it’s bow. Finna however is faster and able to plunge her spear into its ribs, it screeches and looses the arrow wild up and off.
Farouk watches the flaming trolls. The first appears to be having great difficulty getting onto its feet, the other seems determined to press on. It spots Francis taunting from a distance and that appears to be all the motivation it needs. It lurches to it’s feet and resumes its charge towards the navigator, howling in pain and rage.
Seeing the trolls focus on Francis, Farouk takes the opportunity to, giving the monster a very wide berth, move past to dispatch the 3 sleeping orc spearmen.
The mage is soon after joined by Kistol. The pair search the bodies and find only a total of 7 GP, 26 CP, 17 SP, 5 daggers, 2 short swords, and three spears. Kistol informs Farouk and then shouts back to Maltron his intent to enter the cave and then proceeds towards the entrance.
Maltron, after acknowledging Kistol, follows Finna into the brawl.
O2 moves in on Wil with a leaping slash but the giant is able to bat the strike away with his club.
Oakgukk spots an opening and slices a deep cut on the giants thigh. Wil roars in pain and backswings his club at the orc chief who ducks under the attack.
O6 fires on Max and tags the big man in the hip.(-4 HP)
07, no clear shot on the gladiator, spots Finna and fires, missing the cleric.
Wren scans the battle for targets, unfortunately from her vantage point most of the non-orcs (party) are in her line of fire on the orcs.
Looking back to the cliff battle, checking on the status of the orc squad and hill giant, for some reason the cliff seems smaller and the fog wall has completely dissipated. One by one, the orcs seems to be running back in the direction they came from, sprinting while crouched from cover to cover and disappearing from view behind and down the hill. The hill giant remains positioned behind the rock and shield.
The flaming Troll charges Francis and swipes a clawed hand down on the pirate, raking his chest (-5 HP). It dives in for a bite but Francis leans back and away. The creature lunges forward and swipes up with its other clawed hand, catching the navigator across under the jaw and up the side of his face. (-5 HP)
The still standing Bugbear fires point blank on Max as he charges, the bolt ricochets off of his buckler. The big man spins and slashes a ribbon across the creature’s forearm. It lurches down and the gladiator follows through burying his blade hilt deep in the monsters ribs. It goes down taking his gladius with it, stuck deep in bone.
Klembsy rushes into the mix and hurls a flame on O6, the archer ducks and the flame splashes in fiery burst behind it.
O1 thrusts on Wil but the giant again parries the attack.
04, clutching its spear wound, backs away discarding it’s bow and drawing a longsword
05 fires on Finna point blank, fully piercing her shoulder. (-5 HP)
Francis dives in slashing in a fury on the huge impending flaming monstrosity. 1st slash the troll pivots, opening itself up to the next two slashes which hit home. The navigator spins and lunges but the creature bats his blade away this time opening up its chest for Francis’ final strike sinking home.
With a great inhale, the troll moans and topples backward, slamming to the ground in a large flaming heap.
Maltron is concerned about Ein’s injuries, but those damn orcs are in the way.
He flings three +1 daggers at the orc (o5) squaring off with Finna. If it’s too dangerous and potentially hitting Finna, he will charge o5 with Jes the dagger. Dangerous, but he is desperate as he sees Ein’s lifeblood spill away.
Francis tries to speak to Farouk but the pain of the trolls wound to his jaw and face stop him right as he begins. Francis thinks, those trolls weren’t so tough, with that a cough comes up from his chest to clear the smoke and charred troll flesh from his lungs. He winces, that blow to the chest didn’t do him an favors either. Francis stays close to Kistol and Farouk. as he looks over to the battle with the chief he grins as if good work is being done, but then the thought of the Hill Giant and Orcs they left on the hill comes back to him. His shoulders slump once again.
He’s moving to the cave, and will keep tabs on the thief and illusionist for now. And take a few breaths if fortune allows.
Kistol takes the lead of the three, staying out about 40 feet ahead, hiding in shadows and listening for movement and enemy activity. He’ll use basic ‘stop’ and ‘move’ hand signals for the other two as they progress. Kistol’s glad to have support going in. With Francis’ fighting skill and Farouk’s magic and quick tongue, he things they make quite a nice little trio. He stays alert for voices in the cave. Perhaps grunts waiting to be deployed or the so-called demon giving orders.Farouk stays close to Kistol and Francis, moving toward the cave.
Trist rushes in to assist her compatriots in the brawl.
Charging O5 with two blades drawn, the orc archer makes a sad attempt to block her strike with it’s bow but it and the orc’s chest are split open.
Seeing Finna engaged with O5, Trist wheels on O2, slashing the orc across the back.
It roars and turns to face the ranger. Blocking her next strike with its shield, Trist sees an opening and lunges in, burying her blade in the orc’s chest.
Wren spots outside of quarry that it appears the orcs from the hillside have made their way down, spotted the brawl and are now moving in to engage. 4 so far and clear line of fire (firing over the party) for the elf. side note, Wren can fire on enemies in the brawl but because of the close proximity of the party to most in the melee, a miss carries the potential for friendly fire.
“Silly Orcs” Wren thinks, “Not so fast” as she sights her longbow on the orcs. “Did you think you had been forgotten?” and with a smile she looses her onslaught of arrows on the strays. ((I appreciated the thorough update because she would not wish to fire into melee combat and risk doing injury to those she is trying to help unless she felt a life was in danger and then she would use something that does not miss :)))Max draws his spare drusus and goes after O6 and O7.
Maltron sees an opening. He will run towards Ein, zigzagging, giving a wide berth to Orc 4 and the chief. Once he reaches Ein, he will pass him and turn around to face the orcs. He will take out a healing potion and pour it down the bears mouth or over his wounds, whatever seems appropriate.
“Wake up Ein, it’s me, Maltron. You have been beaten to a pulp again. Don’t run off alone you crazy dwarf.”
With the addition of Trist in the scene, Klembsy decides to leave the fighting to the others. To empty his hand, he passes behind Orcs6 & 7 and throws his third and final flame to Orc1. If his target has been killed earlier, he tosses the flame to the Chief. Empty palmed, he arrives at Ein and tries to estimate his situation and stabilize him. For actions needing more hands, he directs Maltron what to do. Klembsy will not pay attention to arrows shot at him and will not engage in melee.
Wren draws back and drops 3 of the oncoming orcs.
O6 rushes to engage Max while O7 turns to fire on Klembsy
Ducking the shot, the druid lobs fire again, this time connecting. The orc drops his bow and clutches his face, screaming and falling to its knees while engulfed in flame.
Wil, with a quick leap to the side, swings on O1 with a deep crunch, the orc hits the ground in a broken heap unmoving.
Maltron rushes to the aid of the downed bear-dwarf. Eyes on the battle he withdraws a potion and, tilting the massive maw of the creature up, pours a quaff into it’s gullet.
The arrows pop from his body, bloodless, clattering on the ground. The sword wounds seep closed as the large furry mass shrinks into a the form of a naked Ein. The dwarf groggily comes around, eyes flutter in confusion as he hacks up blood and spittle.
“Wha, wha, what, what the pokk?”
Trist dives at the orc chief, whirling, swinging and missing as the chief dodges and paces back. Strangely it seems as if he’s not ‘where he should be’. Like trying to bowfish in water, he looks to be just ‘off’ of where she strikes.
Oakgukk realizing the turn of tide begins to back up moreso. With a quick glance behind him he spots his reinforcements and wild grin splits his face.
The orcs have moved from the hillside and down the slope to the valley floor. They are quickly followed by the hill giant who sprints to the hill edge and slides down to rejoin his squad and has the ogre shield raised defensively.
Finna spins and, as the orc raises its blade to downswing, comes in and up with her spear catching under the bottom of the brute’s jaw, popping out of the back of its head.
Max ducking under the wild swing of O6 draws another blade and in one fluid motion, splits the orc from armpit to neck, nearly severing the arm and decapitating the brute.
As the party regroups moving slowly on the orc chief Wil hefts his club and shouts. “Givet ahp Oakgook, eets ovar.”
Francis, Farouk, and with Kistol in the lead, enter the cave. The smell is stale, smokey, and with just a lovely dash of horse, sweat, and putrid. The entrance is roughly 15’ high and 10’ wide. About 20’ ahead, around a bend in the tunnel, flicker of torchlight can be seen. Pausing in the entryway to listen and for vision to adjust, it seems eerily silent and empty.
Farouk whispers to Francis in Kistol, “Careful fellas, keep your eyes open, I would not be surprised it they got mantraps setup around the entrance”
Farouk glances nervously here and there, looking for anything out place… or stabby looking…
Maltron responding to Ein, “Get your naked Dwarven ass to the cave over there. Francis has your gear in there. Run!”
“Tactical retreat to the cave! Max if that giant gets close, he is yours. We don’t want to be out in the open like this.”
With that, he begins to run toward the caves, blowing his whistle once.
Kistol proceeds carefully to the bend and peeks around, staying alert for traps along the way.Francis nods to Farouk, and the best he can says, “We should just see if there is any immediate danger in here. If it’s clear, lets get back to the others. As long as any hordes are pouring out of the cave, we should help fend off the Hill Giant and his Orc followers.”Farouk nods in agreement…Looks on the ground and picks up a rock…
Trist tells everyone, "There’s something protecting that Chief. I swore I struck true but it was a shimmer or mirage of somekind. There but not there. Take heed. Trist guards Ein’s and any that go with him, retreat to the cave. Trist says loudly, “I say we kill the lot of em”.“Why are they heading into that cave?” Wren wonders as she sees many of the group heading that way. “They need to get out of this gorge” she thinks. Wren watches the giant scuttle down the slope “I hope they can handle him for the moment, no point in wasting arrows on a shield”. She then turns her attention back to the orcs coming around the back and drops a few more hoping that they will again scatter this time once and for all this time.Klembsy is unsure about returning to the cave and not fighting here, now that they have the morale in their favour but instictively follows Maltron’s orders so that he doesn’t create doubts or dispute. “Anywhere we fight, we fight together”, he thinks. “I just hope the other three have already looked inside the cave”. Praying to Mielikki as he runs, he gets himself ready spiritually and emotionally for yet another battle. “We are almost successful into wiping out this slavery menace!”, he exclaims.
Wow, this spear is amazing! It pierces these orcs like they are wax. I need to remember to carefully clean and sharpen it, Freya may have blessed it and I do not want to give her any disrespect. Finna gives a firm yank and the spear frees itself from the confines of the orc’s head, red and grey flecks falling from its point. Shaking off the excess, she moves over to Ein as Maltron tends to him. Seeing him move, she takes a few steps up to position herself as a shield to the duo from any attacks by the orc chief.
Hearing Maltron call for a retreat, Finna keeps an eye upon the enemy before her. She answers in a loud voice “If you’re certain about that, be it so. Maybe we should allow the orcs to surrender. They have lost many of their brethern tonight. Their trolls have fallen and are burning, the humans helping them are dead, the ogre is nowhere to be seen. I see several nervous orcs looking around for something and a giant hiding behind a shield. But my spear is still ready and able to stain the ground red if they don’t.” Finna holds position to allow Maltron and Ein the chance to move towards the cave (if they do so) then moves in step with Max, Trist and Wil towards the cave as they retreat.
Maltron states, “If you stay and fight, it looks like that giant could kill anyone of us in one blow. I’m suggesting regrouping in the caves, reuniting the party and healing without a rain of arrows on our heads. They will want to follow us in there to protect their homes and we will destroy them.”
As Kistol, Farouk and Francis move into the cave, it appears to be abandoned.
Multiple torches set all around into the cave walls, flicker and illuminate the complex.
The caves’ contents appear to be disheveled, in the kitchen (Cave 8) a cauldron bubbles and boils over on the fire, in the feast hall (cave 11) half eaten bowls and plates of food are scattered around the large table.
Sleeping palettes are tossed and misc. orcish personal items are scattered about haphazardly.
There are 9 horses quietly grazing on a dried pile of hay and grass in cave 10. They’re still saddled and bridled (in orc fashion) and ready to ride. The wooden gate leading into the stable is barred but not locked.
Cave 12 appears to be a large pit, filled with refuse and horrid smells. A thick rope, tied off to a rock nearby, has been dropped in and lay unattended. The two iron gates leading up to it are unlocked.
The empty cells are barred with iron gates set into the stone as well as another iron gate in the hallway leading up to them. All are unlocked.
Cave 13 appears to be the former quarters of a very large individual based on the sleeping palette and nearby club.
Cave 7 appears to be storage. Quivers of arrows, some spears, swords and bows, rope, bolts of wool and leather, misc goods are stacked and piled about.
An unlocked iron gate leads to Cave 15 which appears to be a barracks. A tunnel leading off is barred by a locked iron gate. Peering through the bars, just around the bend another iron gate can be seen. Both appear to have had a key broken off in the locks.
Cave 5 appears to be an empty guard post protecting Cave 7. The iron barred gate for Cave 7 is unlocked. Inside reveals what was once a food storage but recently has been ransacked. Broken barrels of wine and ale leak and pool on the floor, soaking sacks of grain and sundries.
Cave 15, 6, 2, 16, 14, and 4 all appear to be quarters or barracks of different levels of cleanliness.
Cave 4 has multiple animal bones scattered about the pallet as well as various charcoal and chalk drawings and markings over the walls.
Cave 2 and 16 appear to be much cleaner and better kept than the others and are very minimal in nature.
In the rear of Cave 6 is a well with multiple buckets and rope surrounding.
Cave 1 appears to be the Chief’s quarters. It has also been ransacked.
An iron unlocked gate is wide open into the small adjoining Cave 3.
Some copper coins lay strewn about and a large chest is overturned.
The complex is deserted.
Kistol pulls tugs on the rope from the pit. Is the end visible?
Kistol says, “At least there’s no more of them. What if we position archers at points within the cave leading back and then pick them off as the come in. The big guy, will probably have a hard time maneuvering in here if he makes it past Max and Wil. That’ll at least weaken them for when we close for melee. We can save that fighting for the barracks where there’s a little more room. We could also lure some into the cells and lock them in. (Are there locks on the doors?) Once the rest are in I can lay down some more caltrops to slow orcs’ entry. Love these little things. Wish I’d laced these with KO poison. Remind me to do that later.”
Kistol will run out and give Mal and the group the “all clear” and wave them inside.
DM EDIT: the end is visible. The pit is about 20-30ish’ deep. From the smell and look of it it appears to have been the clan’s ‘trash disposal’ (big enough for a couple of crap-eating trolls). There are locks on the doors, all of them are key locks.
Francis will set up a good spot down the hallway (straight to the left of the cave entrance. When the party comes in he’ll yell at them to move in and go to the right, (that opening that trails right from the cave), and tell Wil and Max to set a line. He’ll yell to Trist to come down the hall with him. With the moments he has, he takes some deep breaths and checks himself for wounds. Then Bow ready and will shoot until badguys get within melee.
Maltron, Ein, Klembsy book a hasty sprint to the cave where they are met by Kistol, Francis, and Farouk who inform them of their findings in the cave complex. Ein thanks Francis for holding his pack. Retrieving it he pulls out and redons his gear and weapons while the others prep their temporary defenses and take positions. Pulling out two flasks and taking a quaff from each, Ein offers both to the group. “I’ve got 2 more pulls on this healing potion and half a skin of some smooth but warm mead, who wants some?”
Watching their companions make for safety within the cave, Wil, Max, Trist, and Finna regroup and square off against Oakgukk, the hill giant, and what looks to be about 14 orcs.
Francis reaches out for 1 pull of the healing potion and 2 from the mead skin. Referring to the mead, Francis mumbles, “desperate times..” and then looks at Ein with some crazy eyes and laughs a maniacal laugh.
Trist looks at the others and realizes they need to figure something out soon. She tells Wil but loud enough for max and Finna to hear,"Wil we can back up to the cave entrance partner. Unless you got a better plan? Max, Finna stay sharp.
Kistol takes the second swig of healing potion if no one else objects. “Can you at least try to keep your clothes on for awhile, dwarf? I mean, it’s impressive and all, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.” He won’t lay out caltrops unless the rest of the party is inside.
Maltron will take a swig off his own healing potion, while people figure out what they are doing.
Max eases backwards and mutters to Finna, Trist, and Wil, “We’re backing up into the cave, right? I’m not interested in any posthumous medals.”
If Max is able to without getting stranded by himself, he’ll retrieve Giant Slayer.
Upon seeing the situation outside, Kistol calls to Francis and Ein, “Hey, we need to provide cover while they get inside.” Once the enemy is in range, Kistol starts firing on orcs from the cave entrance.
Seeing the orc squad regroup and fan out, Max, Finna, Wil, and Trist turn and bolt for the cave entrance. Max is able to yank Giant Slayer from the orc’s ribs in the run.
Francis, Kistol, and Ein all step out of the cave with bows at ready to cover the retreat of their companions.
The party reunites in the cave and, looking back from the shadows of the entrance, they watch Oakgukk and his remaining warriors fall back. Moving out of sight from the quarry, Wren is able to drop two more before they are completely out of view from her position.
Moving along the ridge closer to her first sniping position, she watches from above as the orcs retreat.
It appears the chief and two others commandeer 3 nearby horses and take off west. One of the riders looks to also have a body slung over the back of the mount.
The others and the hill giant scatter up, north into the hills.
a few turns pass without any visual contact of the remaining orcs. The burning bodies of the trolls continue to fill the dark quarry with light (and stink) as and night falls.
Still awaiting the pending attack, Ein turns to the group. “Where’s Kargan? What happened to him?”
Maltron brings the dwarf up to speed. Once completed, Ein spits. “Pokk! You left him out there!?! That dung-beard, orc nurse maid is the pokking reason we’re out here in the first place!”
Ein stows his bow and pulls his axe. “I’m going after the head, let’s hope it’s still there.”
With that, the ranger ducks his head out of the entrance for a quick look then sprints out of the cave.
Thunder booms overhead and the night sky fills with flashes of lightning. Shortly after it begins to rain.
Farouk takes this moment of pause to begin memorizing spells…Ein returns, rain-soaked and with the head of Kargan. Stuffing it into a sack then into his haversack he pipes up. “No sign of the chief or his buddies. Looks like they turned tail and scuttled out.”“By the way, who was that sniper out there, He sure was good. Guy like that could be real handy way out here. Since none of us got shot, I think its safe to he didn’t think we were the badguys…Maybe someone should go out say hello, and thank you. At least that’s what they do where im from.”
Seeing the enemy retreating allows Finna to breath deeply. Immediately, she is reminded of the arrow in her right shoulder. Well, this needs some attention. Better get some assistance and see to the others. “Sister, I require your help for a moment with this.” Once Trist comes over, she leads the two of them around the corner towards Cave 13. Out of the main view of the men, she has Trist help her with removing the arrow and binding the wound.
Once redressed, Finna goes to each person to ascertain their injuries, waiting upon Ein as needed. She casts her last healing spell upon the worst injury she sees then tends to the rest of the wounds (Healing Proficiency).
“If we are staying here, let’s set up the watch now. If possible, I would like to pray for a bit before I take any watch.”
Kistol is relieved the rest of the orcs ran off and can’t believe the almost left the very thing they came after in the first place, “Good thinking, Ein. Mal, did we search Kargan’s body? That shadow trick could come in handy. I wonder how he did it. He have a ring or something? Oh, the sniper, right. We should go check.” If it hasn’t been searched Kistol will go search Kargan’s body, looking for rings, necklaces and other items that could be related to the shadow walking. He’ll also check for the sniper hoping he’s not the next target. He’ll scan the tops of the quarry walls as long as the light from the trolls doesn’t foul his night vision.
Later, Kistol will spend some time walking the lair feeling for secret passages. He’ll also investigate the locked gates with the keys broken off, “Hey, Max, any hammers in the orcs stash? Think you could break off these locks?”
“We should definitely set up a watch for now, but, Mal, do you think it’s wise to stay the night here? I mean, if the orcs are regrouping, it’s best if they don’t know where we are.”
Farouk offers Kistol some help with the locks with the keys broken off…
Using Cantrip, Farouk first cleans the locks of rust, dust, corrosion etc… then follows up trying to turn (With Cantrip) the key into the open position. If the key still does not turn, Farouk trys extracting it.
Seeing the orcs retreat Wren smiles “Got tired of being a target did ya” She wonders if she should go make some new aquiantances or disappear back into the brush. From a distance she thought one of them looked druidic but its difficult to tell from afar. Well hell, she thinks to herself, I just helped save their hides so regardless of what their moral bent may be they should at least appreciate an introduction. She will quietly and cautiously make her way down into the gorge and towards the cave retrieving arrows along the way and skirting the still burning trolls. She will stop close enough to be heard but far enough away that if the situation feels unsafe she could make a safe get away.
Maltron gives a sigh of relief. “Ha, they are gone. I need to rest badly. Kistol, I looted both the mage and Kargan during the melee. Risky, but I wanted the goods in case we got overrun.” He lays out all of the magical items and valuables. ooc- I forgot what they were and busy irl atm.
He checks the mage’s spellbook for magic. Either way, he will ask Kistol to examine it for traps.
“You guys want to rest up here? Maybe big Wil knows of a safe place. We have horses here.”
ooc- Maltron drank part of a heal potion of his own.
“Good work everyone, I count you all among the living. From what I could tell, if we were not all here performing at our best, none of us would be here alive at this moment. Those were terrible odds and here we have loot and the head of Kargan. To the Guardians!”
Klembsy cannot share Maltron’s enthusiasm, at least not entirely. The cost for him has been high, perhaps too high. Of course, he hasn’t lost his life and it seems Mielikki has granted him her favor to cast one-armed. But his future looks grim unless there is a powerful priest among the Guardians who can help him get his arm and his life back.
Obviously thoughtful but trying to look at least pleased and grinning, he returns to the party and adresses Kistol and the others. “I think it may not be wise to expand ourselves in all the complex. Perhaps the orcs have a back door or something and will try to infiltrate at night. Let’s gather in a safe room near the cave entrance that can offer a good stronghold for the night and an easy access to the cave opening if need be. I would like to request some moments of peace in order to pray to Mielikki to replenish the powers she has granted me”.
After hearing other’s opinions and they conclude, he will ask Trist and Finna to tend his severed arm and change the protective clothing. “Please, sisters, help me check if the bleeding has stopped and see if the wound is clear from any harmful microorganisms”.Max has his own warhammers. He gives the locks a few whacks to see if they break.Francis pipes up to everyone, “Agreed Mal, we’re alive and that I am happy about.” He goes to Klem and puts his hands on his shoulder and says, “I’ll do whatever I can to get that arm put back, and I don’t think I am alone on that. We will do our best to find a way, my friend.” With a genuine and heartfelt grin he turns to everyone and continues, “I don’t think we should stay the night here. I don’t trust this place.” (And I don’t trust the GM) I say we search it for any evidence that could help us, and the Guardians, and of course any loot doesn’t hurt. So my vote goes to rest a bit, patch up any wounds we have, take a little time to get the mages back up to capacity, and then make a thorough ransack of the caves. Then I say we retreat to another place before resting for the night." Turning to the Giant, “Wil, do you have any safer suggestions than here?” extending his arms in the direction of no one in particular he follows up, “How long would it take to get back to the cave we rested in before?” Putting his hands together and rubbing them he concludes, “Mal, lets see what Jes can find about this place, Kiss and T search for doors and passages. And Far, yea, that sniper didn’t seem to pose and risk to us, I counted a few Orcs drop to his/her arrows, how’s about you go out there and see if you can secure an introduction, How does that sound?”
Wil replies to Maltron. “No much aye kin think of, cept thare oothar cave wherein the mounted types use’d hole ahp. Ahm figuring ta reast ah bit than goo ahfter Oakgook. Aye oh that ghreen bahsthard en ahm a’goonna catch ‘im while ees onna tha roon. Gimme a few bhells ta snooze n’ then ah’ll be bidding yer croo fahrwells.”
With that the big man moves off to rest in cave 13.
Maltron detects magic on Enthar’s spellbook.
Kistol detects no traps on the scroll tube belt pouch
dagger (magic), what appears to be a spell book tightly wrapped and leather strapped into a roll tucked into a large scroll tube belt pouch. Also, a pair of bracers (magic, currently worn by Farouk), a pouch with 4 gems and 50 gp, and two rings (1 magic). One appears to be a signet of some significance.(non-magic)
Francis takes the boots as well as they are very good quality. (magic)
KARGAN FONKENPEAK LOOT
Blackened longsword (magic)
13 gems (10gp each)
brass knuckles (Non-magic).
Kistol finds a heavy utility sledge in the storage cave and, handing it off to Max, the big man is able to pound on both iron gates with it. The hard hits ring loudly throughout the complex but after about 10 mins on each gate both locks are smashed and the gates are opened.
The tunnel leading off extends at a decline, down and deep into the earth. Completely dark and no sounds can be detected. Besides this tunnel and the cave entrance, no other outside passages or secret doors can be found.
Using the horses to head back to the small valley cave would take about 5 bells (hours) but the horses would have to be hitched outside of the cave as there would not be enough space for all (only about 2)
Wren, after waiting for a few more turns scanning the dark, realizes the cold rain is rendering her infravision very dull. Fairly confident in the orcs retreat, she moves down into the valley and recovers what arrows she can from the bodies in the quarry. The trolls continue to burn but the rain looks to be dampening the fires. Moving towards the cave entrance, bow in hand, she suddenly hears from inside very loud clanging of metal on metal. It lasts for about 2 turns and then ceases.
Kistol eyes the loot from Kargan, “So . . . which one of these does that shadow magic?” That’s basically all Kistol is interested in from the pile o’ treasure, unless the boots prove interesting and no one wants the brass knuckles.
As for the tunnel Kistol offers, “I betting the orcs had this locked up for a reason. Might be fun to look at later, but for now we should probably leave it alone. Actually we should probably lock it back up.” If no one objects or has an argument otherwise, Kistol will take the locks from the cells and re-lock the gates to the tunnel. He’ll keep the keys.
DM EDIT: Does Kistol still want to go out and search for the sniper? I thought he would probably put priority on securing the complex before doing so. Max bashed the locks off. They are broken and cannot be used to secure the doors. Kistol is able to take the locks from the cells and relock the tunnel gates. He carries the only key (found on a large ring, hanging from a hook nearby the cells)
Im Assuming Farouks attempt at turning the key or extracting it with cantrip did not work?
In that case… Farouk Memorises Wizard Lock and secures the gates.
DM EDIT: Apologies, upon further examination of the lock, Farouk was able to determine a cantrip would not be sufficient enough to open it.
ooc- Maltron will ask anyone going outside to grab his stone with continual light cast on it.
ooc- Please describe the spell book, because I can’t figure out if there is a spell book, plus a large leather scroll or if the spellbook is rolled up like a scroll in a large tube.
ooc- what time of day is it?
DM EDIT: It’s about 8-9ish. It’s a spellbook rolled up inside a leather carrying case/belt pouch in the shape of a tube.
Max approaches Finna. “Hey! I um, got beat up a bit. Do you think you could pray to Freya on my behalf and patch me up?” Finna notices Max is wearing holy symbols of both Tyr and Tempus. Max explains, “I meant to get one for Freya too, but I couldn’t find one for sale in town. I hope she’s not mad at me!”Francis checks the Blackened long-sword for it’s feel. “Now that’s a great looking sword, I would love to see that in use. I like the looks of these boots too.”
Now, the only person I’ve missed seeing is… Klembsy. There, talking with Malton and the large man… Wil was it? I’ll wait a moment then… Finna looks around to find Trist walking over to her. She smiles and steps over to her and begins to speak when Klembsy stops speaking and moves towards them. Her smile fades as she realizes that something is not quite right.
“Please, sisters, help me check if the bleeding has stopped and see if the wound is clear from any harmful microorganisms”. Her eyes travel to his right arm and her mind finally registers the fact it is not whole. “Klembsy! What happened?!!?? Let me see this!” She will inspect the two arm parts to see if she needs to do anything. “You’ve obviously done some healing on yourself, I don’t know about the other part of your arm. I shall pray for guidance.”
She turns to find Max standing behind her. He shuffles a bit then starts speaking. “Hey! I um, got beat up a bit. Do you think you could pray to Freya on my behalf and patch me up?” Finna notices Max is wearing holy symbols of both Tyr and Tempus. Max explains, “I meant to get one for Freya too, but I couldn’t find one for sale in town. I hope she’s not mad at me!” Finna grins and pats his arm. “I think she is okay with that. She does have dealings with them and they are companions of her husband. If you like, once I am able to return to one of her temples, you shall accompany me and I will see that you have one. Yes, I think you are the most injured of us all so far, that rascal elf Kistol and the swarthy Francis are not too much behind thee. Allow me to tend to your wounds.”
Finna will cast her last CLW on Max, repeat her rounds to dress out any wounds (Healing Proficiency) starting with Max, determine which watch she takes and will go pray to regain Freya’s blessings and see if she can be granted a vision relating to Klembsy and his arm.
As the group searches about, rests, tends to wounds, studies, and prays, Ein who has been watching the entrance, hisses to the group. “Quiet! Mal, your light coin by any chance can’t get up and walk can it? Cuz it just came flying in through the front.”
He points it out to the others, peering around the entrance bend, the coin sits in the middle of the opening tunnel illuminating the area.
The ranger continues in a low whisper, hefting his axe. “Heard it bank offa the wall, somebody’s musta tossed it in.”
Trist helps Finna with the wounded and prays to Freya. Trist is interested in the black long sword as well not having a magical magical weapon yet. Trist helps search out the cave for secret doors until summoned or unless she senses she’s needed with the others.
Klembsy explains what happened to Finna and accepts her sympathy. He also thanks her for praying to Freya. Klembsy retires to a place near the others (not necessarily a separate room) to pray. He prays first for CLWs and then for any other spells he has casted.Standing at the entrance to the cave is a short (little more than 5ft)comely elvan woman, her long brown hair and deep green cloak gently swaying in the breeze of the rain. You can see the tip of the long bow peaking out. “Well met friend. I trust I was able to provide sufficient aid”? her voice calm with a lilt to her elvan accent not common to the area. “It would seem your enemy grew tired of the frey”.
Francis stands, his eyes searching the cave entrance as Ein speaks of coins and light. Upon seeing the small framed and attractive Elven lady enter the cave he smiles. Too tired to be fearful of such a creature, and figuring that in this place, at this time, anything that isn’t an Ogre, Hill Giant, Orc or any other green skinned foul beast must be a welcome sight. Without pause or hesitation he straightens his clothing as best he can, closes some distance to her, and bows as a noble gentlemen would at a ball. He grins a second thinking back to when he was a boy, and his mother would make him dress up in ridiculous looking fine clothing, and greet young maidens in such a manner. In his mind the cave seems to get brighter, the stone and dirt retreats and the sounds of music being played touches the back of his mind.
Francis eyes fixed on the lady, speaks, “My name is Francis, and I am very pleased to meet you, my lady.” Standing up straight, and gesturing to the group he makes formal introductions, as best he can. He pauses a few times half way through as he realizes that he doesn’t even know the full names of most the members of this group. “I would offer you a drink, but the gods have befallen this terrible tragedy on us, and other than my good friend loosing his arm, it’s the worst thing that’s happened today.” His head tweeking sideways as a thought just came to his mind, “we should search the cave for rum, brandy or anything worth drinking. Gentlemen!” Francis’s tone changes from kindness and formality to a sense of immediate purpose all of a sudden. “I will search this cave for something worthy of the occasion!” He bows hastily again to the lady, and tries to find something to drink.
DM Edit: In the pantry/storage Francis is able to find a few barrels of strong but very bitter dark ale and 2 barrels of strong, red, and sour wine. In the chief’s cave a pony keg of some fairly decent dwarven ale is found. And in what appears to be the clan shaman’s cave, a skin of what can only be described as ‘medicinal’ brandy is uncovered amongst the trinkets and clay pots.
Player Edit: We’re gonna need a bigger Donkey.
Farouk steps up and chuckles a bit a Francis awkwardness, “Please, come inside, by the looks of it you’re the one who gave us that cover support. A warm fire is the least we can do.”
As Farouk speaks, Wrenn feels a not unpleasant tingle and notices her clothing rapidly drying…
Farouk flashes his killer smile, and nods politely “Please do come in!”
Flashes of Melisana’s dead body hitting the ground flood up at the sight of the newcomer. Keestake’s betrayal was not that long ago and though he had not known her very long, and he aided in avenging her death, Kistol still regrets not being able to save her. Better to not get too attached to this one, though it seems she can take care of herself.
Kistol nods to Wren at his introduction, “Nice shooting out there. Thanks for your help.” Kistol keeps his distance for the moment and continues searching and securing the cave.
Kistol will also take the time to dose 30 caltrops with KO poison (already marked on CS).
Feeling the genuine warmth of Frances’ introduction and the complimentary enchantment used to dry her wet clothing, Wren feels comfortable fully entering the cave and introducing herself. “I am Wren GoldOak of the lands of Alderbrier in the Nation of Kappka which is far across the sea from your fair lands.” Wren returns the bow at Frances in like kind (as a noble woman) “I have only been here for a short while enjoying the beauty and splendor of your lands. I had not yet traveled this way before today and while deep in meditation I heard the clashing of steel. After seeing your situation I felt compelled to offer aid.” she smiles warmly. “I will gladly accept your offer of a warm fire sir” she smiles and nods at Farouk. She looks around at the area the group is occupying, “So if I might inquire?” her light golden brown eyes twinkle with a hint of mischievious intrigue, "What adventure brings such heroes this far out to quarrel with orcs and giants?
Maltron bows, “Greetings Wren and thank you for your assistance. Please join us in our humble abode for the night. It is late and we are tired and fortune makes this our resting spot. If someone would scout out this hell hole and find a peaceful place to rest, I would be most appreciative, but for now, I must meditate.”
He retrieves his continual light stone and first meditates for Alarm and one Identify.
After that, he will cast Alarm upon the cave entrance and let everyone know about it. He will cast Identify on the black sword as some are showing interest in it.
If time permits, he will meditate to fill up all his spell slots.
Sleep x2, Color spray x1, unseen servant x1, web x1, invisibility x2. Note- already has web x1 and sleep x1.
Assuming Mal casts alarm on the entrance and all players are good to spend the night in the complex, all casters can re-study (minus any put in place prior to rest) for full spells. Also, healers can pray to heal all players back up to full HP then re-pray for full spells before rest as well. If the party is ok with that plan, then we can continue accordingly.
When Francis comes back with the booze…Farouk uses cantrip to make it taste better….
DM EDIT: Whichever booze Francis comes back with will taste f-ing awesome for 3 hours then go back to being crappy flavored.
“Hey Francis you gonna gonna hog that all to yourself? Anyone up for a game of cards?”
ENTHAR Magical Loot identified
Boots of speed
Bracers of defense AC 6
Ring of prot +2
Spellbook (not opened)
KARGAN Magical Loot identified
Blackened longsword +1, Engraved on the blade in Common is the name ‘Ripper’ (shadow monster 1x per day 8th level, shadow door 1 per week)
Ring of warmth.
Ring of fire resistance
Boots of the north.
Bullwhip +2 Flame tongue.
Money on Enthar
In a pouch, 4 gems worth 500, 100 x2, and 50 GP.
Zhentarium signet ring, value = unknown.
Money on Kargan
13 gems 10gp each, 121 sp.
Max replies to Farouk, “Cards? Yeah, I’ll play, I’m good at cards!” At least Max thinks he’s good at cards. That’s why everyone always wants to play with him, right?
Farouk smiles at Max, I bet you ARE my friend!" Farouk takes a swig of from his now filled flask and make sure that Max’s mug is full! “To great adventures!”
Farouk makes sure to let Max wins as much as he loses and compliments him on his skills.
“You have played this game before haven’t you!”
Farouk takes a look at Enthar’s ring and tries to appraise it… at least for its value as metal and art.
DM Edit: Farouk is able to determine it’s an odd metal. Ein takes a look and identifies it to be rare Adamantine. “Odd indeed to use such a heavy metal for such a small thing. This ring is truly a masterwork.” Couple that with the fact it’s a Zhentarim signet, Farouk guesses the ring is worth at least 100-1000 GP to a collector, but to a Zhent, it is a priceless symbol of rank and status.
“Thank you Ein, I’ve heard of this Adamantine stuff, but I’ve never seen it up close… Very interesting indeed. When we get back to Rivertree, I’d very much like to make some discreet inquiries bout this signet here…”
“Farouk continues to closely examine the ring including the inside, looking for inscriptions. It surprises me that this ring, so very important to a mage wouldn’t have some sort of a enchantment… I’ll check it again tomorrow… Usually those kind of warding spells that can cloak an aura wear off in day or so…”
DM EDIT: There are no inscriptions besides the signet face on the ring but something about the ring itches Farouk’s ‘ghost’. Maybe Mal’s wand of detect magic is too blunt in it’s sensitivity.
Maltron asks Finna and Klembsy if they are able to cast Find Traps on the spell book/scroll tube.
He shares the information about the magical items with the group.
“The spoils of our victory. Do any of these items appeal to anyone?”
“I believe the spellbook is trapped. I believe the Adamantine signet ring might hold the key to opening it safely. If not, I have another plan, but I am afraid the second plan may destroy the book. This may have to wait until we return to the Guardians.”
When/if Find Traps is cast on the spellbook, he will ask that they continue to watch the scroll tube while he grasps it while wearing the signet ring to see if the detected trap fades away.
Maltron also will detect magic on the medicinal brandy.
“So, in the morning, I was thinking about going down to check out the locked cavern. Everyone with me?”
d we find the orc that we used as a prisoner exchange dead?
DM EDIT: Graol? Nope, Graol’s body is not in the cave. Nor was he present in the brawl in the quarry.
Maltron pulls out Jes the dagger, “How did it feel to get some action finally? I think you landed the killing blow on Kargan.”
He will ask Jes to locate object, gold, instructing her to ignore the party’s gold if that is possible.
DM EDIT: Jes is obviously impressed with herself. “I’ve seen real action apprentice and that’s more than I can say for you. So you offed a dirty lice-ark, try facing down hellspawn denizens from the lower rings of of the shadow plane and then we can sit together and giggle like high court ladies over sweet tea. I think I’m deserving of a proper thank you. Perhaps a nice scabbard, velvet lined, darkwood, i’m thinking at least 5 sapphires? You know, to match mine. I’m not sensing any gold besides the pocket change amongst the rabble. Might be a good idea to go scratch somewhere else for your ale coin. I’m exhausted, draw me when you have something worth my time frumples…..Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.”
Francis brings a barrel of the strong bitter dark ale and the pony keg of dwarven ale along with enough mugs for everyone. He will take the skin of medicinal brandy, and keep it on his person and not mention it to the others. He’ll fill his rum skin with the Dark bitter Ale, his ‘pops’ brandy skin with the Dwarven Ale, and refill his water skin. (I’ll rename them on the CS)
Smiling and drinking Francis says, “Drink up friends, I think we have earned it. I’ll play a hand of cards, but not for money.”
Seeing the elf, Finna closes her eyes and prays to Freya. Thank you, merciful goddess. You have blessed us with someone who can replace Bel. Thank you for sending her in a time of need. I praise you for watching over your humble servant.
Opening her eyes, Finna moves towards the newcomer. “Welcome and many thanks to thee, Wren. I hear your bow is to be thanked for our fortuitous battle. I am Finna, priestess of Freya, who is sister to Frey, god of Elves. We are blessed with your prescence and I welcome you. I would like to hear more about you and tell you of myself but this has been a long, tiring day and I need to spend time communing with the goddess. If you are injured by some chance, please allow me the honor to heal you.” With that, she moves away to pray.
After more healing of the party, Finna listens to Maltron’s request. “It has been a while but I remember seeing a priestess pray for and cast a spell like that. I shall ask Freya for the power to do that. As for any items, I will consider it.” After praying, Finna returns in an agitated state. “For some reason, I cannot even form the words to pray for that spell. It feels like I am not allowed to even mention them to the goddess. It is like her hand is upon my lips, causing me to be mute. I cannot help ye. I feel I must return to a temple of Freya before I can resolve this.” Finna will go off to rest by herself, away from anyone.
“Greeting Priestess” Wren says with a bow of her head, “I now understand why Frey would compel me to offer aid. He has been with me since I was very young and he cares much for his sister,(her cloak clasp is a symbol for Frey). Thus I am honored to have been able to be of useful service to thee and your companions. Thank you for your kindness in your offer to heal but I am un injured.” to the group as a whole, “I am certain you are all tired from your melee, I will volunteer to take first watch so that you may rest if you will allow”Playing cards with the boys and enjoying the really good ale, (unusual orcs would have such incredible ale! He’ll have to seek out more orc brew once he gets back to Frontier) Max relaxes a bit for the first time in days and notices the buzz in the back of his head isn’t from the drink. He’s had it since Wil reunited with the group, the delicious orc ale seems to be amplifying the effect if only slightly. A side glance at giant killer at his side catches a dull twinkle of light, almost a wink. The small rune on the pommel looks to be pulsing a slow dull glow in tune to the buzz beating in the gladiator’s head.Klembsy has managed to regain his powers by praying. He makes a final prayer to Mielikki to thank her for keeping him alive and makes sure everybody is fully healed. He urges people to gather around to get a proper meal and casts Purify Food and Drink on everything edible he or anyone else gathers from the orc kitchen. He also uses one spell slot (temporarily) to pray for Find Traps. If Mielikki grants him this power, he casts it and co-operates with Maltron in finding any traps he wants (spell lasts 3 turns).
Klembsy is interested in one pair of boots (of the North or speed) and in one of the rings (protection+2, warmth, fire resistance).
After eating, Klembsy settles down to watch the game of cards, trying to learn if he can. Looking at Max’s items he turns to the warrior: “Your sword is very interesting, my friend. It seems that it emits a dull twinkle of light, almost a wink. The small rune on the pommel looks to be pulsing a slow dull glow. How did you say was the sword name again?”.
If Francis overhears Jess’s rant to Mal he leans over and inserts himself into the conversation. “The dagger makes a great point. I must get a fine scabbard for my flaming cutlass. We could go together my friend, and get something worthy of our fine weapons. Hellspawn huh? No thank you, no need to tempt devils and demons. You live longer that way. Cheers my brother.” With that Francis holds his mug out to Malton and gives him a hearty smash of the mug.
Kistol will join in the fun with the group, but will not drink any alcohol tonight. He’ll play some cards and joke with the rest. Kistol also suggests that since Klembsy lost the most, he should get first pick of the loot. He says with a wink, “That ring of protection might be a good idea.”
To Maltron in regards to the tunnel, “Mal, shouldn’t we be getting back to the Guardians? We’ve got what we came for. We need to get back so we get the information we need to put those slavers in the ground. Let’s not forget why we’re here in the first place. I mean to put a stop to it. It’s personal for me, for all of us.”
Kistol has no particular interest in any of the items at this point besides their monetary value. The sword is the magic behind the shadow and that’s better used by one of the fighter types. He prefers his elven boots to boots of speed or North. He has plenty of daggers. He’ll take the ring of warmth or ring of protection if no one else does.
Maltron quickly sheaths Jes to shut him up.
He toasts with Francis and takes a small gulp, not wanting to get drunk.
“Valid points Kistol. I’m not opposed to Klembsy getting first pick. But as to the tunnel, I suggest the group decide. We have only eliminated Kargan, we haven’t gained much information. That Mage is probably being resurrected as we speak and the Orc chief got away. They took most of their valuables with them an then there is the demon. The guardians may ask us to come right back here to eliminate him. I bet that tunnel leads to the horse cave that they caved in. They may have hit a dead end. We can crush the survivors. Ein may be the best judge as to if we’ve got enough information to aid the Guardians. What do you think Ein?”
Ooc- was the mages robe magical?
DM EDIT: The cloak was not magical
“Let us dice to for who gets to pick after Klembsy, It was fate that brought us together, fate that brought us victory, let fate help us to choose quickly and wisely of these gifts!”
Farouk pulls out a pair of oversized metal dice.
“What do you say?
“As far as the caves below, These were slavers, maybe thats where they keep them.”
Jes is female. That was a typo earlier.
Trist, finally able to settle in to their new home takes a moment to meet this new addition to the team. Trist walks over to Wren and say, “That was some of the best archery skills I’ve seen in a while. Thanks for helping us out. Praise be to Freya for your timely arrival. What out for Francis, he can be a charmer if you know what I mean giving Wren a soft elbow nudge and a smile”.
If there are drinks avaialable she will drink with the new arrival and share tales of adventure.
After a few moments alone, Finna sits up. Something is nagging at her mind, keeping her from sleep. She stands up and walks to where the group is gathered together drinking, standing just outside the room. She observes them for a few minutes as they socialize and discuss the treasure and how to distribute it. As the Black Longsword is looked on by the group, the warning in the back of her mind comes forward.
She steps into the room, “Wait a moment. Allow me the opportunity to check those items to make sure none of them are evil or cursed, especially the sword.” She will cast Detect Evil and look over all the collected items.
Kistol nods to Maltron, “Makes sense. I think you’re right about the tunnel connecting to the horse cave. Better to fully investigate now, than have to come back later. I’m in. But like you say, we should rest first.”
Max replies to Klembsy, “Yeah, I dunno. It’s magical! That’s why it’s glowing. It’s called Giant Slayer, but that’s a pretty odd name, don’t you think? Why would you call such a small sword Giant Slayer? Seems if you want to slay a giant, then you would use a giant sword, like my other one.” Max gestures to six feet of lethal steel leaning against the cave wall.
“See, I use the small sword against small fighters like orcs, if I have to go up against an ogre or something larger, then I’ll use my giant sword! I mean hy-po-the-ti-cal-ly.” Max has to slow down for the big word. “It’s not that I’m out looking for a giant to slay.” Max doesn’t want to provoke Wil who seems nice enough.
Until now Wren had been quietly sitting working on the arrows she had retrieved from the field and waiting to hear if she would be given the honor of first watch but the mention of the word “demon” causes her to stand, a look of alarm on her face, “If there is a demon here, we cannot leave here” the alarm in voice matchin the alarm on her face. “If you believe there is only one surely a group of this size would have sufficient enchantments to defeat but one of their kind and I am certain Freya will give you the strenght you need to defeat such pure evil, however if left alive it will eventually summons more and all you know and love will be destroyed! If the orcs are in league with this abomination I can track them back to whereever they have crawled and the Priestess can force them by Freyas might to tell her where this monster is and then we must send it back to the pit from whence it came!” the conviction in her voice is evident.Trist grabs Finna’s arm and says, “Here let me cast Detect evil under your guidance. With Finna’s help they pray to Freya and Trist says. By Freya show me if there is evil here. Cast Detect Evil for the items”.Klembsy chuckles with Max’s description but not too much, not letting him think he makes fun of him. Gathering his laughter and getting more serious, he explains to the fighter: "Have you thought about investigating more of this small sword? Perhaps it has a bonus against giants. Perhaps it can hit directly to their vital organs and give you a kill with one hit against these creatures. It must have a special ability, otherwise they wouldn’t call it Giant Slayer.
Returning to his seat, he whispers at Farouk’s ear: “Do you think we can tell from the winking of the sword, how many giants are around? I don’t like having a hidden giant in my back rooms that springs out in the middle of the night!”.
Trist ask Ein, “How’d you like that ring or Feather falling? Did it work the way you planned? You can hang on to it if you need it some more or when you done just let me know. You had us worried when they dragged you off behind that horse”. Trist gives the dwarf a kiss on the cheek and hugs him.
As soon as Trist can she will recover as many arrows as she can to replenish her stock.
None of the items radiate evil. Something about the ring though has a faint ‘stain’ of evil. Not exactly evil itself but perhaps has been used by something of a great evil or in a evil event.
Ein thanks Trist and gives her back the ring. “I owe you an ale when we get back kid, nice item, definitely came in handy. Thanks again.”
He blushes a bit at the kiss. “Easy there ranger.” He says with a grin.
“I’mma set up watch by the door, even tho’ Mal’s set it up with alarm action.”
He hesitates a bit and pipes up with low solemn tone. “Were there any signals found?”
Klembsy, casting Find traps detects on the 2nd page of the spell book is a Sepia snake sigil.
A sigh of relief comes from Farouk at Klembsy find “Nothing deadly or destructive! Truly worth celebrating! Still we need to be cautious, lets skip that page for now.”
Farouk suggests checking out the untrapped pages!
Maltron agrees. He will cast shield on himself and peruse the book, avoiding page 2 and the sigil as best he can.
The spells in this book may be very beneficial.
Spells in book.
Tensers floating disc
Improved phantasmal force
Sepia Snake Sigil
Prot. from normal missles
Gust of wind
WOW looks thats wasnt a spellbook it was the winning lottery tick!
Maltron will put on his ring of read magic and attempt to learn rope trick and suggest Farouk do the same. He will cast rope trick on a length of rope and enter the extra-dimensional space to sleep. Beckoning the others to join him. Farouk can make a second one to hold the entire party.
“We can rest safely here all night.”
He will pull the rope inside, once everyone is inside.
DM EDIT: Maltron and Farouk successfully learn rope trick.
Max thinks a moment about Klembsy’s suggestion. He’s about to say the affable druid is being silly, but then recalls how helpful Klembsy’s advice about storing his money in multiple places was. That nasty debt collecting dwarf Trakas would have made off with all of Max’s gold if Max hadn’t split his gold into three pouches. Max intends to pay off all his debts, but it seems only fair to do it over time. He needs to live a little in the meantime.
“Hmm, ok Klembsy, the next time I have to fight something giant, hy-po-the-ti-cal-ly, I’ll give little Giant Slayer a try.”
Trist realizing the black longsword was not evil decided she would try it out. She takes the sword and replaces her regular on on her belt and puts her non-magical sword in her backpack. She checks the balance of the sword and feel of it. Before midnight and prior to joining Maltron or Farouk in the room she will test out the new sword.
Inside the cave near her friends she says to them, “I am going to see what this sword can do”. Not wanting to endager her friends in case things go wrong she thinks of two 1 HD cats and says ,while holding the sword out, “Ripper, give me two shadow cats 1 HD each”. If they appear she says, “Stay near me”. She walks around a bit to see if they obey her. She will time how long they stay with her as well.
DM EDIT: Trist focuses on the blade in hand as she wills it to her command. From the nearby shadows the forms of two cats emerge from the darkness. Walking into the light they appear to be normal, average cats. The two approach Trist, purring and rubbing against her legs, they circle the ranger a bit before sitting next to her. One begins bathing itself while the other sits, tail flicking, staring at the other nearby party members. Looking closer at the two creatures, the cats forms actually looks to be a semi-translucent image super-imposed over a vague shadowy form. The cats continue to obey Trist’s commands for 1 day before walking back into shadow and disappearing or until ‘dispelled’.
Trist tells Ein, “46 signal I believe were counted. I can secure them if you like?”
DM EDIT: Ein responds grimly. “I’ll take them.”
With that, the dwarf hefts his wineskin and takes a deep pull of his meadskin. Turning, he goes to take a watch position by the entrance.
While pondering the one-armed druid’s suggestion, Max idly manipulates the weapon, unsheathing it, taking it out of its sheathe, looking at it closely, pushing any gems or other prominent features.
DM EDIT: During the discussion with Klemb, Max withdraws the blade and examines it. When he runs his hand over the glowing rune, the sword expands. Within moments it enlarges. The blade and hilt widen and extend into a large but surprisingly light great-sword while the grip lengthens into a two handed grip. (1d12+2/3d8+2) Running his hand over the glowing rune while in great-sword form does nothing. The sword shrinks to it’s original form as it is returned to the sheath.
Kistol address Wren’s concerns with what little information he has, “We never saw a demon. An orc we capture told us about one the warband was working with, but it very well may have been the mage we killed. Do have a way to search for demons besides the usual means?”
Farouk, somewhat mollified after learning a new and useful spell, "Aye M’boy your right. lets take a closer look at that book! Interesting stash of spells he kept on his person… Did you notice that non-detection spell? I say we completely strip that rat of mage and take another look at his items tomorrow, including that fancy ring of his… By tomorrow a non-detect would have worn off. There is a possibility he was hiding something…
Farouk suggests tomorrow a thorough scout of the caves proper is done, detect magic and a closer look at the the items in the mages room and Kargans… they may have hidden some things that were missed in our earlier cursory sweep.
The lower levels have been sealed with a wizard lock, Farouk finds it strange that there were two gates there… Was it to keep something out? or In? Or was it as suggested earlier an escape route. This last encounter did reveal many fewer horses than we saw earlier… where are they all now? This was the most well equipped orc band, as far as horses go that Farouk has ever seen. Quite unusual.
Lots of questions, perhaps in the morning there will be answers.
Into the evening, after a few bells of study, searching, cards, drinking, and healing. Wil returns from his rest and bids farewell to the group. “Imma sure’n well see eech other ahgains. Goodloch!” With that he approaches Ein and dropping down to one knee, the two have a short discussion in low tones. Ein nods and the two clasp forearms (as best as a giant and dwarf can) in farewell. Wil then turns to the party, and with a final nod of salute, the giant is off into the darkness.