The World of Orsus

Crossing the Silver Bridge - Session 17
Smuggling illicit goods and people into Runicstone

Thorsun sends a letter to his childhood nurse, Alexa, updating her on the everything thats happened so far.

Everyone starts putting their plan into action.

Nuada introduces Mahkdoh to the thieves guild and pays to have both him and Trinjal escorted safely through the tunnels under the river. It’ll take two days to get them through and costs 350 gold. Mahkdoh has Thorsuns’ axe, signant ring, royal outfit, and diary. Important note – Mahkdoh keeps the ring in his ass.

Nuada, Severath and Mahkdoh get to work on springing Trinjal from prison.
Nuada did some information gathering and decided that the easiest guard to bribe is a blond dwarf named Alex.

Raspina set it up so that he’s now being held in lighter security. Mahkdoh scouts out the prison ahead of time to “pray” for the prisoners. He makes contact with Trinjal and lets him know that there are folks looking out for him. He takes measure of the guards and slips Alex a coin, asking him where a good place to get a drink would be. Alex tells him the Hairless Dwarft after midday.

Alex later meets Mahkdoh at the bar, and sure enough, the guy is a jerk. He ends up milking Mahkdoh for more money than originally planned. He agrees to turn a blind eye as the party springs out Trinjal (who Alex thinks is just some lowlife wannabe bandit).

That night, Thorsun is spending a late evening with Raspina. Her assistant Liha doesn’t seem to trust him, but for some reason Raspina does. She confesses her frustrations with the current situation, and the two end up spending the night together.

The next mornning, its announced that the bridge will be lowering at noon.

The crowd is deeply packed and very restless. Whole families are there with what little they own, all hoping to cross the bridge and walk into a better life. Fights are quick to break out, and anyone who looks like they might cause trouble is turned away. Among those turned away include anyone lame, sick, non-dwarvish, and most of all – those unable to pay.

Pe-ling, Kuma, Throsun are all travelling with Raspina across the bridge. As befits royalty, their delegation is first in line when the gates are opened and the drawbridge is in place. Also with them is Dagvo Soulforger, one of the Clerestories of Hierophant Linjal. The party crosses without issue. Dagvo and his party are briefly searched, then allowed to pass. Everyone else gets searched much more thoroughly, including Raspina’s wagon and crew.

Meanwhile, the plan to break out Trinjal goes off without a hitch. He’s brought into an interrogation room with Nuada and Severath, but his shackles were left unlocked. Mahkdoh guards their exit in the hallway outside. As he’s standing there, a whistling guard comes up to him munching on pistachio nuts. He smiles at him briefly and asks “how is it going?” Mahkdoh says everything is fine. The pistachio-eating dwarf (now nicknamed “nutjob” by the party) looks at the door briefly, back to Mahkdoh, then says “Good!” and goes back to whistling as he turns around and walks back the other way.

The only one at the exit to the prison is Alex, who waves the group a dismissive farewell. The four of them hurry through the tunnels to the thieves guild jewellery shop, where “nutjob” is waiting, their packs ready. With a final farewell to Nuada and Severath, they descend into the tunnels, making the two-day journey into Runicstone lands.

Now Nuada and Severath have the arduous task of making it through the city, the crowd, and across the bridge. Two elves entering a xenophobic land will certainly have trouble. And they do.
During the commotion, folks almost forgot about Faenya. Luckily, shes in the form of an owl, and lands on Nuada’s shoulder as they’re standing in the crowd.

Finally the two make it to the gate, and are promptly denied entry. Bribes and threats fall on deaf ears, and for a moment they’re not sure what to do. Finally, after reassuring the guard that they are indeed employed by Raspina Redspear, the guard (named Tom Steeltoe) calls the captain over to check their papers. After a few disbelieving glances, he has no choice but to let the two through. Severath takes note of his name in his grudge book.

Raspina’s wagon moves slowly, and its not long after dark before the two elves catch up to them. A few days later, the delegation stops at a surface-based farming village. After a few days underground, Mahkdoh and Trinjal surface at an abandoned barn. Their escort points them in the right direction for the main road, and they head out. Mahkdoh uses a few spells to boost their speed, and they meet up with the wagon in the village by nightfall.

Trinjal is introduced to Raspina, and she lays into him about his irresponsibility. Ultimately, she thanks him for making the right choice.

Back together, and now with Trinjal, the party is ready to travel to Morndinsamman. The bone token is pulling them steadily, and its great to be back on the road again.

“If Raspina’s interested in it I’ll take a fuck”
- Paul

Silver Bridge Part 3 - Session 16
Politics on the bridge

Several days pass as everyone waits for the bridge to drop. During that time, the party meets up with the followers of the Dead God who live in Silver Bridge. Later they discuss how involved they want to be (and remain) in local politics.

Mahkdoh visits the doomsayer on the bridge again. This time his actions seem to have a pattern. He repeats numbers 4, 8, and 12. He cries out for gold, platinum, and copper. Mahkdoh give him a gold, but he just sits down on the stone floor and empties his pockets.

He starts to fiddle with a single platinum coin and seven gold. He also has a collection of random debris in his pockets – among them is a shard of fractured mirror, an off-white piece of bandage wrapping, a tindertwig, chunk of charcoal, a blue button, and a green knotted piece of yarn.

This time he says “Copperwire. Copperwire! 4, 8, 12…”
Mahkdoh asks around about what that could mean, and it seems that there is a bar called the Copperwire. He heads there to see what more he can find.

The bar has a very steampunk look to it – it’s run by a Gnome who calls himself Spigot, along with his daughter Piper. Its on the second floor next to the western side of the 2nd pillar. Beatin green patinaed copper runs along its roof and sides, making a beautiful pattern with the bright orange-stained wooden walls. Inside the bar is lovely, framed with shiny, well-cleaned copper panelling and strange pipes that form crazy patterns on the ceiling and behind the bar. It almost looks like a pipe organ would be running behind the bar, but all you see are faucets craning upward from the pipes behind.

After talking to Spigot, Mahkdoh finds out that a strange group of misfits comes by every so often to have a drink. They tend to arrive on specific days of the bridge being up or down, in mulitples of 4. Mahkdoh plans on coming back when the bridge has been up for 8 days to see if they show.

On the 8th day, the whole party decides to come by the bar and meet these folks.

There is definitely an odd group of people sitting with their heads close together. Four strange looking dwarfs and a gnome. Spigot the bartender eyes everyone at the table warily. His daughter Piper sits on a tall seat astride the bar, playing with two straw dolls.

Kalja Haythrower – Dwarf female. Chestnut wavy hair woven down the sides of her face and into her short beard. Self-described as “The normal one” and general spokesperson for the group. Dresses in bright clothing and is usually happy. Shes from a farming village in Moradath

Durmar Braidshaper – Dwarf male with a pale blonde beard and hair. Shaper Psion – Metacreativity (3). Has a hunched back and twisted body that lurches as he walks. Keeps a cane on him for balance, and embedded in the cane is his psicrystal – a pale blue rectangular gem. His mother tried ending her unwanted pregnancy by throwing herself against the rocks of the broken ocean. He was born anyway. She left him at an orphanage run by the Braidmother. He still wears her green-painted braid symbol proudly on a wooden carving around his neck. Created his own surname

Thoda – Dwarf female. Wears a full cloak with hood drawn to hide her face. She has a wicked burn scar over most of her face, but her hair remains unblemished. Coppery curls spill down her face, hanging heavy on the side most damaged by fire.

Albert – Half dwarf/human male (cleric 2) (mother was a dwarf, father was a barbarian human). Pretty quiet. Brown hair and elongated features. Wears the symbol of the dead god.

Minxi the Minstrel (Min-zee)- Gnome (bard 4)- Somewhat androgynous looking with a beautiful face and glossy black hair, yet full gnome goatee and masculine dress. Describes theirself as “mostly female.” During the conversation, Minxi mentions that they trained at a smaller bard school in Newspring for a while as a woman, but confesses to getting lazy one day with shaving their beard and someone eventually noticed. They didn’t last much longer after that before being kicked out as a deviant.

Crazy dwarf – they call him “Undergang Hoytaller” (doom speaker in dwarvish) lingers near the market at the entrance to the bridge and shouts warnings to anyone who will listen. He shows up shortly after the party arrives, and sits down at the end of the table, staring straight ahead.
They say he shows up for every meeting, even when they held it at different locations in the past. Sits there and grumbles to himself unintelligibly. Once the meeting is over, he wanders off back to the market.

Mostly they get together every so often to have a drink and share what whispers they’ve heard. Lately its all been axes and hammers. Thoda had an experience out in the market earlier that week – the whispers grew loud, saying “Bones” over and over. She swears someone passed by her and heard them too. They stopped and cocked their head like they were trying to listen. Almost as if they had heard it through me.

Nuada gives Minxi the fine Gnomish violin they found as a gift.
Mahkdoh shocks everyone by giving them his holy symbol.

Overall, the meeting was pleasant, although the party didn’t learn anything new about their quest.

The tone of the city has changed since the attack. Rumors have started that drow are now returning – mostly due to Severath’s web spell and Nuada’s necklace. There haven’t been elves in this region for years, and the presence of so many is cause for rumor and confusion.

Thorsun cozies up closer to the Princess. She trusts him with some information about the attack, and confesses that it was an unusual move. It doesn’t make any sense to attack in broad daylight in the middle of the market. The hand brands found on the attackers were fresh, so they must have been recent members of the Hand of Moradin – if they were at all.

During a lounging evening with the whole party, Thorusn tells Raspina that he knows Trinjal is safe, and that he’s here in the city. She immidiately gets up and walks out of the room. The party starts berating Thorsun for betraying Trinja’s confidence, but Thorsun believes he’s doing the right thing.

Later Raspina calls Thorsun in and says she wasn’t able to reach out to him. It turns out he’s been arrested for attempting to attack and steal from a barge that had come down the river. There is only so much influence she has in Silvercoin lands, but she’ll see what she can do. Strangely, he’s being held in a higher security area. She can at least have him moved to a lower security section for interrogation.

Thorsun later meets up with the rest of the party and delivers the news. After a lot of debate, the party comes to an agreement.

They’ll break Trinjal out of prison on the day the bridge is being lowered.
Faenya promptly turns into an alligator.

“I’m gonna wait until you’re asleep and sneak some owl pellets into your pipeweed”

Silver Bridge Part 2 - Session 15
Conflict on the bridge

Today everyone spends more time in the market while Nuada tracks down the local Thieves Guild. Kuma guards the wagon.

Severath goes to check in on Wanda. She tells him that she likes this place, and promises to train hard for him. Nick and Thorsun both paid for Wanda’s school.

Faenya and Severath head through the market together to find a trainer for their owlbears, and hopefully someone to sell them to as well. They pass by a bird seller who seems a little touched. He calls out to Faenya, saying “You don’t belong here, cursed child of the forest!” She snips back “Well you fight right in!” and they keep walking. Next to him they find an exotic animal trainer/seller named Baern. With a green-dyed beard and oak branches woven into his hair to look like antlers, he is clearly a Coill (Koy-il) – a Redspear clan Druid. A brown bear stands behind him, not for sale – seemingly his companion.

Baern has the following animals up for sale:

  • A pair of mated wolves (400gp for pair)
  • Three hunting falcons (200gp each)
  • Dire badger trained to dig (800gp)
  • A tank of 9 turtles (10gp each)
  • He also has a yellow labrador-like mut dog, which turns out to be a Blink Dog. He’s selling it for 5000gp, and a magical collar to keep it from blinking when not needed (dimensional shackles p 255DMG) worth 28,000go

He offers 3,000 gp for one owlbear, and they end up trading that one in so he’ll train the other two for them.

Mahkdoh spends some time enjoying the comfy inn, then heads to the market. He gets a book and fancy quills with ink for 20gp

Nuada heads into the bridge to find a silversmith near the temple of Hades. He was told to ask about a silver piercing designed to fend off werewolves. That will let the merchant know what you’re really looking for.

Later on that evening, everyone except Nuada ends up walking around the market together. At one point they notice a pair of heavily armed guards who stand out. They appear to be bearing the colors and crest of the Redspear clan. As the party is watching, suddenly the four guards crumple to the ground. A woman in the crowd screams.

Out from the crowd, several dwarves dressed in steel gray robes rush in towards the woman wielding spiked chains. Commoners scream and start to flee, knocking over crates and tent poles in an effort to get away from the attackers. Their target appears to be a well-dressed dwarven woman standing near the crumpled guards.

The battle is chaos. The party has to weave through fleeing commoners and fallen debris in order to get closer to the attackers.

Mahkdoh gets close enough and casts sanctuary on her, but one of them breaks through and grabs her. Everyone else starts slashing their way through the enemy, but their spiked chains keep grabbing onto legs and tripping everyone. Mahkdoh gets pulled down and Faenya runs forward to attack but gets tripped as well. Thorsun runs over and manages to fight a good amount of them off.

With half the party on the ground, Pe Ling starts to rage.

Cutting through dwarves like butter, they finally break formation and attempt to flee via grapplinghooks over the edge of the bridge. Severath casts web on the two attempting to flee, and they bundle together in a large webbed knot. With a great roar, Pe-Ling leaps over and grabs the rope on the way down, then starts beating into the mass of dwarf and web into his rage subdues.

The party discovers that their target was Raspina Redspear, second daughter in the Redspear family. Shes on her way to the Runicstone clan in a diplomatic mission to ease the tension between their houses. The Runicstone clan still believe that the Redspear kidnaped the Heirophant’s nephew, and shes visiting them in person as a show of good faith that they do not have him.

The attackers are identified as members of Moradin’s Hand

Raspina invites everyone to come stay with her at the castle until the bridge opens, and fires the guards who failed her. She decides that you will be her new guards, and will accompany her to Mordinsamman. You will be well paid, of course, at 5 gold a day while travelling.

The party is now honored guests of Jarl Silvercoin and the Redspear delegation. You may also get to meet Dagvo Soulforger, one of the Clerestories of Hierophant Linjal, who is also here with his delegation.

Silver Bridge Part 1 - Session 14
Arriving at the Silver Bridge

Everyone went to mass at the temple of Moradin and joined in the ceremony. The first portion of the ceremony was a sermon from The Book of Steel. Once the sermon was over, everyone in the temple got up and waited in line at the altar to be blessed by a priest and make a sacrifice. If the sacrifice was in coin, it was placed on a brass dish on one side of the altar. If the sacrifice was an item of sentiment, it would be tossed into the brazer on the other side of the altar. Once the sacrifice was made, the participant would lift the small blacksmith’s hammer (more like a ceremonial gavel) and strike the centre of the altar. Afterwards, the priest would bless you by taking ashes from yesterday’s forge and making the symbol of the hammer on your forehead.

The party were the last ones in line at the altar and lingered a bit longer to chat with the priests. The party was warned that the followers of the dead god they had met on the bridge were slightly touched in their faith, but in kindness, said that it did not make their faith any less legitimate.

The party set sail again the next day.

A few more quiet days pass on the river. Thorsun chats it up more with “Ogan” and nothing eventful happens. Everyone stops at a large waypoint called the “Barge Inn,” known as a way-point in Redspear territory marking the start of the SIlvercoin lands. On the Runicstone side of the river was another small town with a tall watchtower in the centre. This one is named “Llantwit” after some Runicstone Dwarf’s surname. There are a few Runicstone barges on this side of the river, and tension in the inn is high. Eventually a fight breaks out, and the party mostly agrees to sleep on the barge that night.

Its two more days to the Silver Bridge. Once you’re a few hours from the city, you start to see small circular towers jutting up on the east side of the river – mile markers. The barge passes each one in silence, as if weary something will pop out and attack. The west end of the river has been steadily sloping upward for several miles, and now the slope has become a 10-20 foot cliff.

In the distance you now see the silver bridge, also called the silver city. The bridge itself is disappointingly not silver, but the same dull gray granite you’ve seen everywhere so far. The base of the bridge looks sturdy despite being covered in freshwater molluscs, but along the length of the bridge is a myriad of structures all packed together in chaos. Buildings made of wood, stucco, and different types of stone can be seen. No roads appear to be leading to it from the east side of the river, and the western cliff makes it impossible to see the landscape beyond the river’s edge.

You’ve joined several other boats along the river’s length. Most are Silvercoin fishing ships, but quite a few are trading ships from nearly every nation. Ships full of crates, barrels, canvas sacks and passengers can be seen everywhere in the harbor. Even the occasional Redspear military vessel is seen – peace flags hanging from their masts.

There are over 80 feet between the bridge and the water, but the bridge arches are so close together it makes it nearly impossible for a large ship or barge to pass through. To the western end of the bridge is an area clear of any buildings. A humongous wooden drawbridge is raised on both sides of the bridge – Both the Redspear and Runicstone sides. Further on the Runicstone side, all of the buildings between the main support towers are solid stone and evenly built, contrasting the chaos on the eastern end.

Elgan and Roki guide the ship elegantly through the harbor. The southern port appears to hold dozens of similar ships to the one you’re on – small to medium barges all stuffed with cargo. You’re forced to wait about 20 minutes before the harbormaster to guide you to an available dock. Once there, Elgan asks the group if they need anything. Everyone decides to meet up again at the Keystone Inn – an average-priced inn near the drawbridge.

As you head up the bridge, you see white-painted sign jutting out of the ground with the number “4” painted brightly in orange. The painted words above and below is in black and says “The bridge has been up for 4 days”

The party discovers that lowering and raising the bridge is a huge deal, and requires cooperation on both sides. Its only raised or lowered every few weeks. There is a northern dock for most foreign trade, but all boats are forced to stop here. If someone wants to trade further down the river, you need to pass through the bridge.

Most folks settle into the Keystone Inn, including the barge crew, but Severath and Mahkdoh have their sights set on the Silverbrick Inn, which is slightly more expensive. Mokdow ends up contracting a dwarven woman named Gilna for the evening, but more for conversation and information than anything carnal.

Severath takes Wanda for a tour around the city to find a magic school. Initially she’s a bit whiney and fussy, disappointed that the bridge wasn’t actually made of silver. She pouts a bit but goes along. The first school looked a little shady, and the woman who answered the door looked fat and ill-kempt. The second school was set up in the 3rd pillar, and looked a bit more promising. Run by Durmar Lightningsmith, the dwarf who greeted them a the door was polite, if not somewhat distracted. Shyly, Wanda heads inside, with Severath promising to come back and check on her later.

Nuada went off to find a branch of the Merchants guild. He found a small seedy bar called the “Trolls Toll” under the bridge and asked around, saying the “Dwarvish carpentry” phrase. The bartender nodded and said they can’t tell you where to go for that specifically, but maybe check out a Silversmith near the temple to Hades inside the bridge for more info. He also ends up buying some Targum – a gross tar-like smoking weed (4cp is 12 servings).

Meanwhile the owlbears have hatched, and Faenya is a full-time mom on that end. Kuma named his Owlbear “Kurow” and Faenya helps teach him a few basics of care.

Mokdow went looking for the followers of the dead god. Sadly, perhaps, he ended up finding one. This follower was indeed “touched” as the priests of Moradin had said. A ragged old dwarf with a cane and unkempt beard was standing at the edge of the market, yelling at passer-bys about the end of the world. He prattled on about how the doom was coming, and everyone should forsake the old gods. When Mokdow questions him, he only repeats the same words over and over. “Silver, gold, red.”

Thorsun spends some time talking to Ogan/Trinjal, trying to convince him to help out with the current political situation. Mostly he tried convincing him to give Thorson a writ of introduction to the Hierophant, or even ask if the Hierophant would be open to negotiation. If Trinjal couldn’t do any of that, maybe Thorson could convince him to formally leave his family. Trinjal was having none of it, just wanting to be done with politics and the constraints of his family.

Silver River, Red Spear - Session 13
Adventures up the Silver River

The party sets sail on a barge headed up the Silver River. Dwarves tend not to name their ships or work animals, and thus don’t develop an attachment to them. This barge is owned by Roki Fireshadow, and its captained by her husband Elgan.

Everyone settles into the hold, and the rain continues to pour. That evening the rain finally stops long enough for folks to enjoy supper on deck and get to know the crew.

The crew isn’t much compared to a sea-vessel. In fact, its nothing but rowers and the captain, who also takes his turn at rowing so he can cut down the costs of hiring another staff. The rowers are Ogan Woodhauler, Irak Marblehewer, Tola Coppershadow, and Hilde Metalsmith. Irak doesn’t seem to like the party much, and sits apart from them whenever possible. Ogan is extremely likable, and people take to him almost immediately.

That evening, just as the party is settling down to sleep, one of the barrels of fish begins to move. Subtle at first, it rocks harder, prompting Severath to wake the party and summon the captain. Grumpy at being disturbed, he grabs a crowbar and heads down. Tapping on the barrels, he notes that it sounds different on the moving one. Immediately after he pries the lid off, a soaking we dwarf child leaps out for air, finally able to get a full breath. He starts to swear, pulling the child out of the barrel and chastising it. It appears to be a young girl, and Elgan had seen her skulking about the docks the day before, trying to convince him to let her aboard. He knew she’d be up to no good, but thought for sure they had left without her. He takes her to the top of the barge and will decide what to do in the morning.

It turns out her name is Wanda Birchheart, and she’s an orphan looking for adventure. She wants to see the bridge made of silver. From stories shes heard, anyone can make a living in the Silver City. She wants to earn enough money to open her own shop – or any place, really, that she can settle down and make a life.

Reluctantly, Elgan allows her to stay on board. The women in the crew, including Roki, all take a liking to the girl and are glad to have her around. Elgan makes sure she earns her keep by cleaning the barge and scraping at the freshwater barnacles. Shes a bit whiny, but does it all the same.

It turns out she has some magical skill as well, and for that, Severath takes a liking to her. He spends a good chunk of the day instructing her on magical principles. Her talent seems to lie in a sorcerers ability, rather than wizard, so he can only train her so far. Still, she pays attention, and learns quickly.

The next few days pass smoothly. Wanda develops a cold from having been in a fish barrel for a day, and has to stay in bed for a time.

Occasionally you pass another barge heading the opposite direction. All have Redspear flags with the occasional subclan flag tacked on under it. Both barges ring their ship bells and stand outside to wave at the passing ship.

On the party’s fourth night on the river, Nuada notices another boat quietly attaching themselves to the barge. Running to the captains chamber, he wakes the crew then rings the signal bell. A group of Tyrantsbane bandits jump aboard and the party wakes to battle.

Everyone rushes upstairs as fast as possible. The crew never trained for battle, but do their best. Ogan seems to have battle experience, but he’s long put combat behind him. Hes tired of fighting. Luckily for everyone, the attackers weren’t expecting the party to be there. What would have been an easy catch quickly became a very heated battle. Severath cast Feeblemind on what appears to be a priest, rendering him useless.

Several members of the crew were badly injured, including the captain. Sadly, Tola was injured beyond healing and died in the heat of battle. Ogan ended up getting attacked, and the party notices he’s very well trained. His fighter instincts kick in and he moves well.

Three of the seven attackers tried to flee after seeing their priest become ineffective. Thanks to a well-placed acid flask, they didn’t make it too far. The priest and remaining fighters were all captured, with only three being killed.

Once the spell wears off, the crew questions all members involved. The priest, named Ygdrimm, has a brand on his chest – a hand with a hammer inside. Its the symbol of the Hand of Moradin, a strongly dogmatic religious cult. It turns out that the Tyrantsbane members didn’t know they were following a cult member, and were just carrying out orders. This was supposed to be a simple raid – takeover, leave the crew on the edge of the shore, and take the barge full of goods back to base. From there, Ygdrimm would pay them and fence the goods however he does. Ygdrimm wont say a word beyond his blind conviction of faith, but the others are glad enough to talk if it means they’ll live.

A small funeral is held for Tola before the party moves on.

For the next two days the prisoners are tied up below deck with the party. Once everyone reaches Aibhnichean oir (“Rivers Edge”), most of the party joins the captain in alerting the guards of your prisoners. Elgan heads in to tell the full story of events. Ogan seeks out Thorsun, and both let on that they’re more than they seem.

Meanwhile, Pe-ling notices several fliers along the dock wall. Most of them are wanted posters or missing persons – one in particular (posted several times) is the missing nephew to the Runicstone Hierophant. Pe-ling points out that the nephew, named Trinjal Runicstone, looks very much like Ogan. Nuada grabs the flier off the wall (upsetting one of the nearby guards, which becomes pacified by a copper) and quickly runs back to the barge. Interestingly enough, Pe-ling also finds a notice about his hero Magnus. In this flier, hes sketched out to be a large barbarian human male nicknamed “Magnus giant-slayer.” It appears that he slew a dozen giants in single combat, and the town would like to reward him for his heroism. Pe-ling takes this flier as well, once again upsetting the guards and pacifying him with a copper.

Back on the barge, Nuada interrupts Ogan and Thorsuns conversation to point out what Pe-ling said about the flier. Throsun can’t see the resemblance. Smiling and flattered, Ogan denies that its him. Nuada takes another look at the flier and is forced to admit that it really only somewhat resembles Ogan. He apologies then heads back to the rest of the group.

In that moment, Ogan does reveal to Thorsun that he’s Trinjal Runicstone. Throsun likewise reveals that he’s a Dragonaxe clan member. Thorsun tells Trinjal about the axe he found, as well as the hammer, and shows him the ancient scroll of peace between their clans. Thorsun tells him that he would like his help in finding out more about the Runicstone and whether or not they know anything about it. Trinjal refuses, saying he’s put that life behind him. He was being honest before, in that he’s done with fighting. Hes done with the war, and he just wants a peaceful life.

Pe-ling returns to the boat with his Magnus poster. In a strange twist of irony, Pe-ling kinda looks like the sketch of Magnus. Hes pictured standing dramatically on a pile of giant bodies, his face mostly obscured by a dark line under his furrowed brow, as if the sun was right behind him. In that moment, Pe-ling somewhat lets slip that Thorsun is in disguise. Being diplomatic, Ogan/Trinjal helps cover for the slip, and the matter is quickly forgotten.

After the party turns in the Tyrantsbane and the priest, they explore the market a while. This city is known for its mass production of bronze and brass items, and much of that can be seen through the market – from pots and pans to decorative items and armor. They spend some time selling a few things and exchanging their silver for gold. The items they can’t sell, they’ll save for the Silver City.

While selling some of their treasure, Severath meets up with a friendly priest of Moradin. Unlike the fanatic from earlier, this one is warm and genuine; only promoting the loving word of their creator. Severath mentions that he worships the Dead God, and the priest tells him that he encountered another group of worshipers at the Silver Bridge. Severath then promises to return for the evening mass.

Game pauses for the night.

Addressed to Thorsun:
“His hair looks different, just like you!” – Pe-ling
“Yes. I’m just like you” – Trinjal Runicstone

Pine Forest and Fish City - Session 12
An elven forest encounter and a dwarven city

After traveling a few days in the Giuthais forest, the party has an interesting encounter. While Nuada and Severath were keeping watch, an elf shows up at their camp and “pssts” at Nuada to get his attention. She waves him over while Severath, suspicious, wakes up the party.

Her name is Urizana. It turns out there is a camp of elves nearby, and she snuck off on her own to investigate your camp fire. She was excited to find more elves out here in Dwarven lands, even if it is in the woods. She takes Nuada to see her camp, and invites you to come visit them in the morning.

In the morning, the whole group heads over to see the elves mostly packed and ready to leave. One in the center is slowly stowing cooking pans in a pack, as if he’s unsure about whether or not they’ll still be needed.

It turns out that they’re anthropologists sent on a five-year mission to study Dwarvish culture. They’re all wearing earth-toned clothing for better camouflage, but some of them have bright white robes.

Introductions are made:

Bezaen Mylysa – Leader of the group. A male grey elf with a falcon companion named Eyebright. Hes a bit stern and impatient, with all of the usual snobbishness of a grey elf despite his love for nature.
Stadis Farweaver – The only high elf in the group. He seems truly fascinated by dwarves and everything they do. Somewhat nerdy but is mostly passionate about his studies.
Sharieth Sethil – Grey elf female with striking jet-black hair. Wears spellcaster robes and is most likely a sorcerer. Doesn’t socialize much during the encounter.
Lacmae Jafillaeth – Most likely also an arcane spellcaster, and seems to be in a relationship with Sharieth. He’s spent some time on Tolgar studying various human cultures as well.
Urizana A’thae – Shes the one everyone first met, and is very taken with Severath. Despite being a grey elf, shes very sweet and whimsical, and loves the forest life. She manages to convince her troupe to linger another day and “get to know” the party a bit better.
Ineeon Yameaenya – Ineeon is pretty tall and skinny, even for an elf. He sees Kuma as a curiosity, but his bluntness about sharing a tent was a bit off-putting. Still, Kuma happily joins him, being curious himself.
Queval Uyfaethil – Mostly quiet, Queval is somewhat of the newbie in the group. Made to pack everyone’s goods and cook their food, its mostly in good fun since the acceptance for it is “they’ve all been there.” He wears the symbol of Corellon Larethian. When chatting, he comes across as genuinely warm and inviting.

Everyone enjoys a lovely day getting to know their new friends. Thorsun is still a bit suspicious that their intentions may not all be for study, and wonders why they don’t announce themselves to the dwarven people. Their argument, is that their presence would cause the Dwarves behavior to change, and like a scientist studying a microbe, they don’t want to interfere. People behave more naturally when they don’t know they’re being studied.

The next morning, everyone goes their own ways – Urizana more reluctantly than the rest.

The party eventually makes their way to Iasga’bhaile (Ee-ahs-gah, Bay-eel), which translates to “Fish city.” Unsurprisingly, this city is known for their large hauls of fish – mostly bass – along the Silver River. Its an imposing structure – every tower on the outer wall is at least a hundred foot high. Made of strong grey granite, the city is a squared flat-colored blemish on the sparkling azure river. Its a very dull and yet intimidating settlement. Several large angular towers stretch above even the walls, most of them densely packed against each other on the southern side of the city. Every tower is rectangular or square in shape, with no soft curves or rounded edges to be seen.

The outside guards are wary and suspicious of such an eclectic group, but they’re not mean. They inspect the contents of your wagon, and are a bit taken aback by the amount of treasure you have. One of them states: “We are an honest and proud clan, and honorable beyond all else. However, we cannot be responsible for any stolen goods left out in the open like this. Walking around with a cart full of wealth is asking for trouble. And we do not tolerate trouble.” After a 2cp/person gate tax, they allow you in.

Inside, the entire city is covered in shadow. You can’t see any buildings shorter than three stories tall, and most are far taller. Everything is built of the same solid gray granite, and even the roads are stone – albeit a loosely packed darker gray cobblestone, worn smooth due to years of traffic. However, despite all the grey, splashes of color can be seen everywhere – from balconies hanging clothes to dry, banners and signposts above tower entrances, potted shade-loving flowers and green vines climbing up walls, children running around with yellow and blue clothing. The streets are packed with wooden wagons, barrels, fountains, and market stalls. Not to mention – dwarves. Many of them awkwardly staring at you.

It was recommended that you visit the Tower inn. Its the entire 6-story tower, along with three basement levels, and sounds like the fanciest inn in town. The nicer rooms are single bed, but you decide to sleep two to a room and save your gold.

Its nice being in civilization again after months of being on the road. A hot bath, a bed, and a good meal were sorely missed. People use their time to relax a while and run a few errands.

Thorsun searches for a post office to write home. He writes letters to Alexa – his father’s royal adviser, Helena, his older sister, and Torson, his twin brother. He tells them about the axe he found, and asks if they’re familiar with such powers. Kuma, having just learned to write, eagerly joins him to send his own letter home, but quickly discovers that it would be cheaper, and most likely faster, just to deliver it himself.

Nuada visits the docks and secures the party passage upriver. He takes a break in a somewhat seedy tavern to make local acquaintances and search for a “merchant guild” branch. He has no luck, but does overhear some gossip -

News from Newspring is that orcs managed to breach the walls of the gnomish city, but were pushed back. Supposedly an army of gnomes swarmed in through a portal, flanking the orcs and trapping them inside the city walls where they were crushed.
Some claim that the elves are even helping the gnomes, and have sent several ships of their best hunters to engage in guerrilla warfare against the orcish horde.
Fishing has been great lately, and the town is prospering despite increased attacks from the Runicstone clan.

Severath ends up in a curiosities shop owned by a very dark and curly-haired dwarf named Balbii Strongarm. He makes a trade of exotic perfumes for dwarven hair clips. He gets a bit friendly with the shopkeeper, and asks him to dinner. After clearing up a little confusion, Severath takes Balbii and his wife Alyssa out for a platonic meal in order to get to know them better.

It turns out that there is a whole section called the Inner city, where travelers are not allowed to go. Thorsun heads to the gate between both sections and convinces one of the guards that he has important information to report to a guard captain or other official member of the city’s militia. Kuma heads to the market in the meantime.

Once escorted to the Inner city, Thorsun is taken to an underground office and left in the dark – literally. There are no windows or source of light. After waiting several minutes, the captain of the guard, Barafur Firmsteel, shows up. He takes Thorsuns statement about the elves in the woods, and thanks him for his time. Thorsun makes sure to act like his “commoner” character the whole time, even acting surprised at Barafur’s brief use of magic to light a lantern. On his way out, Thorsun spots a fancy wagon with the Redspear crest on it. Wagons like this are commonly used for higher nobles in the family.

The rest of the party explores the market a bit, restocking on food and enjoying the difference in culture.

The barge everyone is taking upriver is leaving a few hours before dawn. Its captained by Elgan Fireshadow and his wife Roki. They’re taking barrels of fish and piles of timber upriver to Airgid Drochaid – Silver Bridge.

Severath: “Permit me to take you to dinner?”
Balbii Strongarm: “Oh.. um… I’ve got a wife…”
Severath: “Well then please invite her too!”

The Women Who Slaughter - Session 11
Finishing the keep, everyone heads to Uka's village

With the male Orcs gone, the players were given free reign of the rest of the keep.

After clearing out a few rooms, the party stumbled upon a cultivated underground garden near the river. Spotting an assassin vine, they feed a kobold to it, and watch with a mixture of horror and fascination as its wrapped in the vines and pushed into the ground to be used as fertilizer.

While watching, Nuada is mysteriously attacked from behind. Combat begins with an invisible creature lurking somewhere nearby. After a few practice swings and jabs in the direction of where they creature should be, the manage to come into contact with something solid. Finally its hit with a crossbow bolt, marking out is presence. Eventually its defeated, but even in death it takes several minutes for its corpse to appear. It turns out to be a Phantom Fungus.

Everyone proceeds into a makeshift alchemy, complete with several tools for making glass vials, as well as alchemical tools. A Carrion Crawler sits emaciated in a cage too small for its large body. The players stab it to death out of mercy. Severath manages to harvest some of its venom, but not before getting paralyzed for a moment.

Another room nearby has a grotesque-looking skeleton laying down on a table. Most of its bones appear to be Orcish, but the skull has been replaced with that of a boar. It looks like its back legs have boar bones mixed in as well, some dire and some normal.

Further down the next hallway, five books are found written in Orcish. One book is detailing experiments with making stronger Orc skeletons by attempting to combine boar bones. So far all experiments have failed but the author remains hopeful. Another book is all about Carrion Crawler care and poison. Another book is about cultivating underground plants for poisons and tinctures. A fourth book is a guide to breaking female orcs as wives or slaves. The final book is called “The Strength of Magic” and appears to be a spellbook.

Aside from this room, nothing else of value or interest is found in the keep. Between the residential rooms and cold forge, everything of further value was taken by the male orcs when they fled.

Except the baby dire boars… one of which is now being taken care of by Faenya.

Now its time to decide where the party wants to go next.

Uka offers to have everyone come with her and the women to her village, Gru ak Kapus – The Women who Slaughter. On the way there, Thorsun decides to take the mysterious axe home, and hopefully stop for a bone on the way. The bone token does appear to be pointing northward, almost in the same direction as Thorsun’s homeland. Maybe it wont be too far out of the way?

Uka’s village seems to be a peaceful one, despite their foreboding name. Uka herself is greeted by a small child, whom she boops on the nose and tells her “I told you I would come back.” She then picks up the child and walks away, leaving the party to wonder what to do next. A crowd of orc women have now gathered to help comfort the newcommers and stare at the party. Most of them have never seen a non-orc before, so everyone poses quite an interesting contrast. The crowd guides them to the front of a large central grass-woven hut. A middle-aged orc who appears to be their leader steps out and greets everyone.

She introduces herself as Sharog, and greets the party with enthusiasm. She thanks them for saving these women, and invites them inside the main hut. The party is seated close to the door and is served food out of baskets before everyone else. It seems that they are given a place of great honor. She shares stories of the tribe with everyone as they eat, and she hears some of yours. She’s eager and curious about the party, and cautiously curious about this strange god who could bring you all together.

After a time, she offers to give everyone a tour of the village. From the fishing huts to the blacksmiths hut, everything seems peaceful and almost normal. Until you realize there are very few boys here, and no men. When asked about the men, Sharog states that boys are given a chance to grow up in the peaceful company of women. Those who don’t like this, are exiled. When asked about how new children are produced, she shows you the mating hut, where two (poor?) males are trapped in stocks, and only ever released for mating. Seeing that sets a bad tone, and makes everyone question whether or not they did a good thing by escorting more women here.

The next morning everyone says their goodbyes and heads north for Dwarf country. Before leaving, Sharog is given two official statements proclaiming this tribe to be peaceful and protected – one by Thorsun Dragonaxe, and one from Nuada of the Temple of Whispers.

A few more days pass and the party enters the Giuthais Forest, whose edges mark the southern border of the Redspear Clan, or Deargsleagh. Only two days into this pine forest, the party is set on by a raging Owlbear. Luckily, the party roles well and its quickly defeated with minimal damage all around. Kuma is a bit bothered by this turn of events, as the Bear is a sacred animal to him. The party takes some time to properly bury the animal for Kuma’s sake, and Kuma gives a confession to Pe-Ling in order to pay a penance for his perceived misdeed.

Faenya points out that there must be a nest nearby. Severath goes off alone to try and find it, but can’t seem to locate the right trail. With Faenyas help, they discover it about 20 minutes away. Three eggs appear to be perfectly in tact. They rejoin the rest of the group, and decide what to do with the eggs. Faenya knows exactly how to take care of them until they hatch. The party figures they could sell them to an animal trainer, or maybe keep one as a pet or guard animal. A little nest is made for them in the treasure, and Severath comically places his owl familiar on one.

The party decides to bed down for the night with their new eggs.

DM: “What is your alignment?”
“True-annoyed” – Nuada

The Palace of Bones - Session 10
An encounter with the Prince of Bones

The party wakes, and it seems that no one found their hiding spot while they were asleep. Everyone gathers their belongings and continues exploring.

There were two doors flanking the hallway leading up to the temple – and everyone decides to head back and search them. One door opens up to a foul stench. Two more rooms branch off from the door – one of them with rotting corpses and bones. The other has ceramic jars of some sort of clear liquid. After experimenting a bit, they realize the liquid is acidic in nature, and leave it be.

From the other doorway, a soft tribal singing can be heard. It stops as soon as the party begins fiddling with the door. The door appears trapped from the other side, so it was easy enough to disable. Once open, they realize they’re looking at a torture chamber – complete with a rack, hanging cage, and a stand with torturing tools. One side of the room has been sealed off with iron bars. Inside a nude female orc sits, looking at you all wearily. A rotting corpse sits in the hanging cage.

She is defiant, but curious about the party. Her name is Uka, and she agrees to help you if you free her. She’s given food and water, along with a falchion and set of leather armor. She is weak from her imprisonment and torture, but she is furious and eager for battle.

Leaving the temple, everyone heads down the rest of the main hallway to a large set of stone double doors. Neither locked nor trapped, their mechanism allows them to be pushed into the side walls. The party opens them and steps inside.

Its pitch black inside this whole room, and Nuada actives a glowstick in order to look around. This section of the keep smells like rotting meat kept in a moist den for weeks. However, its not the smell that bothers at first – not right away. Every inch of this place appears to be covered in bones, mortared with clay. Pillars support once-beautiful archways holding up the curved ceiling, and every surface looks as if it was packed in wet clay them embedded with a patterned arrangement of bones. All shapes and sizes forming intricate shapes to display an eerie form of art. It could be seen as beautiful in its own way, but not all of the bones look to have been properly cleaned before being placed, if they were cleaned at all. Many of the bones look very humanoid, though they are most likely orcish. However, some of them look dwarvish.

At the far end of the cavern, out of the darkness, a voice speaks out.

“Who dares come into my home and challenge the rule of Oraklong Khagan, son of Kalang Khagan, Prince of bones and ruler of the Palace of Bones while my father is fighting for the glory of the our empire?”

Thorsun replies “I do, Thorsun Dragonaxe, son of Orson Dragonaxe the 2nd. Ruler of the Dragonaxe clan and rightful air to the throne.”

Oraklong : "Thorsun Dragonaxe, prepare to be slaughtered”

You see an orc step forward with a full metal breastplate and orc double axe. Three other orcs stand off to the side. One is wearing full red robes of grummsh, one is in roughspun brown robes held closed by a belt, and the third one is in full studded leather. He pulls back a fine bow and aims well.

Fucking Severath casts Web again, and I still can’t keep track of how that damn spell functions. Just slows down enemies AND gameplay if you ask me.

Anyway it becomes impossible to see the ranger and arcane caster. The Cleric was too far out of the way, and Oraklong himself manages to break through the web, only slightly slowed down.

Pe-ling and Faenya step up to attack, but their weapons clang off Oraklong’s armor. Severath damages him a bit with a flame spell, but Nuada pokes at him to no avail.

Then Oraklong turns to Nuada and slices through him with two swings of his doubleaxe. Nuada was dropped down to -1 after two hits.

Uka runs in screaming in rage, slashing at Oraklong and dealing a good amount of damage with her new falchion.

Then Thorsun steps up with his new mystery axe and lands a good hit. Slicing downward into his chest, the axe seems to melt through Oraklong’s armor like butter. From the open wound, lava seems to burst forth. His eyes go wide and he drops his weapon as he staggers backwards. Opening his mouth to scream, only lava bursts forth. He shutters and collapses into a pile of molten flaming rock, melting further and oozing over the ground. Strangely, the magma that bursts from him seems to disappear the moment it leaves his body, and doesn’t splash around or leave burning embers. Quickly the magma cools, leaving behind a somewhat humanoid-shaped rock formation with bits of melted breastplate sticking out.

The party pauses for a moment, shocked at the deadly affect. The cleric in the corner had approached to join the battle, but now falls to his knees before his dead prince, cursing the party for being demons. Pe-ling runs him through with his spear, and Thorsun steps up to finish the job, removing his head. Once again, his body dissolves into molten rock, then quickly re-forms.

Severath sets fire to the web, badly burning the arcane caster who was trapped inside. The ranger is no where to be found. The caster is tied up for later questioning.

Faenya uses the bone token, and it points to the throne. Several spots on the throne, in fact. It definitely exudes magic. The party wastes no time destroying it while Uka searches around the room for anything useful.

It takes a few hours of work to completely destroy and sort through all pieces of the throne. During that time, a kobold interrupts in order to bring the prince dinner. He flees Nuada’s terrifying gaze. Not long after that, the party hears a large group of people heading toward the throne room. Moving to shut the door, the party is caught by surprise when a huge group of female orcs all dressed in rough-spun tunics make their way up the hall. They state that most of the men have fled, and offer to pledge themselves to the party, since they now see you as leaders. However, Uka suggests they go with her and join her tribe of women. They take some time to discuss it among themselves.

Finally, the thrones is demolished and 10 foot bones (Metatarsals) are dug out of the clay and wood. Nuada then discovered a secret door to the east where the ranger must have escaped, and the party continues onward.

Stepping through the secret door, a long hallway stretches before you. Two more doors stand on either side about 25 feet in. Both rooms appear to have been special living quarters containing rucksacks with clothing and a little stale food.

The door at the end of the hallway leads to a very large living area, that must have belonged to the King or Prince of Bones. A fairly decent large bed sits in one corner, with fine pillows scattered about and soft fresh hay. Eleven female orcs sit huddled together among the cushions, most in various stages of half-dress with rough-spun clothing. They seem more afraid and weary than anything. The party tries calming them down, but a few burst into tears, despairing that they wont know how to take care of themselves now. Uka steps in and offers them a place with her tribe, same as the rest of the women here.

Two more doors seem to lead to smaller rooms within this large one. The room to the north was locked but not trapped. Inside is a female orc sitting on a small bed by herself, staring toward the door. Shes wearing much finer cloth than the others – most likely made by a more sophisticated race and adjusted for her frame. She blinks slowly, staring at Nuada. She speaks very haltingly, with delayed replies and simple words. She may be a little… off.

The southern door is the jackpot. It looks like it had already been trapped and locked, then recently disabled. Once open, its clear that this room is filled with coins. Mostly silver and copper pieces, but a fair amount of gold and platinum as well. However, the top of the coins appear to be scorched, and the body of the orc ranger has fallen over a pile. It looks like he set off an arcane glyph trap set into the floor.

Along the western wall of the room are three chests, all locked and trapped. To the east is a crude desk, with cheap ink and sharpened sticks for pens as well as crude brown parchment and thin skins for writing on. A few documents seem to be an attempt at tracking the value of the coins.

One by one Nuada opens the chests, only triggering one of the traps. The contents are as follows:

  • A masterwork fiddle and bow, complete with a fine wooden case of gnomish craftsmanship. A bit worn, but still valuable with a bit of tuneup
  • A neck piece made to look like a beaded spider web (howlite stones) it appears to be of some elvish craftsmanship. Very strange in this part of the world.
  • set of four rose gold goblets each embedded with 2 small rubies and etched with dwarven runes. Each goblet says “drink alone and be poor” and “drink with friends and be rich” around the rim

On top of the treasure in the room, some of the orcs had magic items on them as well. Magic items include two belts (one of Dwarvish make, and one with Aphrodite symbols on it), an orc-double, and a handful of healing potions of unknown strength.

Mundane items include a +4 strength bow, A Dwarven Urgosh, and a gnomish magnifying glass.

Once the harem room had been cleared, we decided to pause for the night.

“I could go on for hours about the tenets of the snail because you have to tell them slowly.”
– Pe-ling

Orcish Keeps Dwarvish Secrets - Session 9
Exploring inside the Orcish Keep


Thorsun was blasted in the face by a burning hands trap. He did a stop, rock and roll to put it out, then decided to let the rogue inspect the door.

They went inside and found this first room to be strangely shaped around the outside boar pit, and roughly carved out of the stone with few supports. In one corner is a nest of sorts, with three “baby” dire boars. Faenya’s tame boar walks in and starts nuzzling them.

A somewhat sturdy wooden door sits to the north. This time Nuada inspects it first, but misses the needle trap and takes some dexterity damage. Once the door is open, the party peaks around a 10’ wide hallway and is faced with a group of orcs waiting for them. Their leader calls out for them to stop hiding, and to come out and fight.

Shit gets cray, yo.

Thorsun begins yelling obscenities, which Nuada has to translate into Orcish. Surprisingly, this goads the Orcs into attacking. A brief battle ensues in the corridor.
Nuada drops his caltrops, making it difficult for the orcs to get into the dire boar pen. The leader rages and charges in, but roles a 1 and it has no effect. Eventually an orc is run-through by pe-ling and his body falls over the caltrops, so folks are making balance checks to stand on his body or risk caltrop damage.

Of course, Faenya ends up failing this and ends up taking caltrop damage.

A few orcs are killed before the rest retreat up the hallway and to the right. The party regroups and follows.

The hallway to the right opens up into what was once a large open square for a market. This whole keep was clearly built by dwarves at one point. The pillars supporting the roof of the market are covered with dwarven faces, all worn smooth by time and mist. Water can be heard splashing in the distance, along with the faint echo of dogs barking. Most of the stonework is covered in moss.

Most of the rooms surrounding this hall have been re-purposed for various things. One side is taken up by female orcs for tanning leather and weaving cloth. Another side has young orc boys grouped together, for reasons unknown. Yet another corner looks like a dining area with kobold slaves cooking food. Nuada makes one of the kobolds pee itself in fright. The party explores the region for a while, finding nothing of interest before moving on.

Christian – Can I assist for move silently? I want to cloak them in my rogue-ness

A bridge to the north crosses over the river responsible for both the sounds of rushing water and the moss everywhere. The party is excessively cautious while crossing the bridge, and everything ends up fine.

Continuing north up the 10’ wide hallway away from the market hall, the party comes across two doors, one east, one west. Choosing the west door, the move into a smaller hallway with light coming through an open door a the end. Passing a couple more doors, the party peaks into the lighted doorway.

Inside was once a temple to Moradin, now, it has been converted to a temple of Grummsh. The room itself is made to look like the head of a warhammer, reinforced with strong, steel-grey granite. Four brazers are lit around the perimeter of the temple, all hissing forth a musky incense. Three priests in red robes stand around a blood-stained altar. One of them stands in the center with his arms reaching upward, chanting prayers to Grummsh. The other two move to protect him.

The party attacks.
The priest in the center continues chanting throughout the battle as the other two defend him. After a short standoff, the priests are defeated. At one point the chanting priest is hit, but he grunts through it and continues his religious task. Finally, the last priest is cut down, and with his dying breath he says:

“Let my sacrifice ensure our victory”

Everyone feels a chill through the silence in the room. A few members of the party even hear the word “War” echo in a whisper that seems to travel throughout the room.

Everyone gathers their loot and explores the rest of the room. A secret door is found behind the altar, looking well-sealed and undisturbed. Once opened, a stale breeze blows out, bringing with it layers of dust and cobwebs. It looks like the Orcs were unaware of this room too.

A short hallway leads to a square room. On the floor of the room is a Dwarven Seal with the words “peace, protection and prosperity” around the edges, all matching up with corresponding doors. The seal itself is an iron alloy patterned circle and is flush with the stone floor. It has strong abjuration magic tied to it.

Peace – the first door has the tattered remains of a long carpet leading up a rectangular room. At the end of the room are mostly disintegrated bookshelves and a collapsed desk. Inside the collapsed desk is a scroll tube. Its metallic, but light, and has strong abjuration magic tied to it. Inside is a scroll (well duh). The seal on the scroll is the hammer of Moradin with a dragon wrapped around it – the sigil of house Runicstone and Dragonaxe combined.

The paper itself appears to be a peace treaty from centuries past. It proclaims that their clans shall always remain united, and that this outpost will forever be a symbol of that union. It is signed by Lonax Runicstone and Oran Dragonaxe.

Protection – this rectangular room is a bit larger than the last. The doorway opens into the middle of the room, and on either end sits a pedestal. The left pedestal has a Dwarvish war axe laying on it. The right pedestal has a war hammer. In front of both of them is a line of bright blue etched into the floor.

Thorson steps over the blue line on the left, and picks up the war axe. Its forged of smooth adamantine and etched with mithril runes. The handle is of heavy ebony wood wrapped in soft leather for a comfortable grip. The metal alone is worth over 25K in gold.

However, when Thorson attempts to go after the war hammer, he’s met with a barrier at the blue line. It tingles and shocks him as he touches it. No one else in the party is able to get through the barrier either. They move onto the next room.

Prosperity. The final door. This room mirrors the Peace room in shape, but inside is a bit different. This room is completely bare save for two items – a tattered rug like the peace room, and a locked heavy wooden chest at the end of it.

Nuada goes to inspect the lock, but is blasted 10 feet backwards to slam into the wall behind. However, when Thorson touched the lock, it simply clocked open. Pocketing the lock, he looks inside the chest to find a single gold coin. On one side is the stamp for house Dragonaxe, and the other is house Runicstone.

Seeing as how this whole area was very hidden from the Orcs, the party decides to bed down here and recover for the night, contemplating their new treasure and this ancient union. Severath attempts to cast an Identify on the axe, but the pearl disintegrates and nothing seems to happen. It looks like they’ll have to unlock the secrets of the axe another way.

“I don’t go to your work and smack the dick outta your mouth, don’t tell me what to do.”

Orc and Bacon Bits - Session 8
An attempt to enter the Orc keep

Seriously, what even happened in this game? Like, what?

After a month-long break due to illness and schedule conflicts, we stumbled drunkenly back in through the door. Actually that’s a bad metaphor, because we didn’t even get in the door.

Everyone started off near the entrance to the Orc keep, where the bone token had been pointing. There aren’t any guards near the door itself, but there are several archers on top of the cliff.

The party makes their way up the hill and sneaks up behind the orcs. Unfortunately, folks were a bit too loud and shiny, so one of the orcs senses something and turns around. As its peeking in their direction, it calls to the nearest orc to ask if it sees anything. Thats when Severath let loose with his crossbow and kills the second one instantly.

The third orc doesn’t notice right away so Pe-ling flings a rock at him, crushing his armor pretty badly and making him cry out in alarm. The other two remaining orcs are alerted now.
Mahkdoh and Orc 1 run together in a brutal clash. Orc 1 drew his falchion and slashed Mahkdoh pretty badly up the middle.
Orc 3 moves a horn to his lips in order to sound an alarm, but Pe-Ling crushes it with a rock again and it crumples to the ground.

Orc 4 sees all this and blows his horn.

From there, all remaining orcs on to of the cliff were killed, with one of them falling into the animal pen at the bottom. Upon further inspection, the pen is filled with two dire boards, who proceed to tear the orc body apart.

The portcullis over the entryway starts to open.

Suddenly, one of these asshats gets the idea to hold up the dead orc bodies and pretend that everything is fine, and that they blew the horn when their comrade fell into the pit. So everyone grabs an available orc corpse and holds it up, then gets their orcish accent ready. My thinking: “This is never going to work.”

A patrol of 10 orcs comes out of the entrance and asks where the enemy is.

Que a natural fucking 20 bluff check from Thorsun. Rather than hold an orc corpse, the dwarf grabs two flasks of alchemists fire and gets them ready to drop. He shouts down at the orcs below, telling them that they blew the horn when their comrade fell into the pit. Meanwhile, one of the floppy corpses is being made to gesture like its the one talking.

Can’t fucking believe this.

The orc captain peers into the pen, seeing the blood and gore everywhere. He sighs, frustrated, and puts his weapon away. The others follow suit. Thats when Thorsun dropped the alchemists fire.

Of course, the original plan was to distract the orcs long enough so that the party could gain access to the door and get inside. But meh.

Two orcs burn to death, and Thorsun drops another alchemists flask. The orcs call for retreat back into the cave, and the portcullis starts closing.

This is where Nuada decides to swing into the doorway from the top of the 60 foot cliff.

He plunges one end of a grappling hook into the cliff, giving Thorsun the rope to hold, the runs and jumps off the edge, hoping to swing into the opening.
He crashes into the portcullis.
Somewhat stunned and injured, he drops to the ground and rolls under the closing gate just before it slams shut.

Pe-Ling, Faenya, and Kuma all shimmy down on ropes. Severath, Mahkdoh and Thorsun take one look at the distance, then start making their way for 20 minutes down the sloping hill.

Meanwhile, Nuada stands in darkness, with only a few beams of light angling through the portcullis to reveal the area he’s in. It looks like there is a strong wooden door preventing him from adventuring further, and no handle of any kind. Worse yet, the portcullis mechanism doesn’t appear to be in this area either. Nuada is stuck in a small “airlock” for lack of a better word.

Pe-Ling, Faenya, and Kuma all take turns working on the door to get him out. Faenya gets bored and befriends one of the dire boars. The other two also get bored and toss an orc corpse into the pen, the the boars are full now and not interested. Luckily, one of the corpses has a set of keys on it. Its just hard to tell where they go.

Eventually, the other party members rejoin, and working together they all lift the door high enough for Nuada to get out. While they were distracted with that, the Boar Trainer steps into the pen, opens the door, and sicks the boars on the party.

Luckily, one of the boars is considered “friendly” toward Faenya, and once freed it runs up to her, nuzzling her.

The other one ferociously attacks the party, but ends up rolling severely poor and pretty much harms no one. Severath cast web to contain it, but it breaks free. Kuma caught his orc double axe in the web at one point, but Mahkdoh helps him wrench it free. Pe-Ling acrobats over the wall to get at the trainer, but leaps and rolls a 1, spraining his ankle pretty bad. The boar trianer flees back into a side door, locking it behind him.

Finally the boar is defeated. Faenya’s “friendly” boar rolls high for morale, and is not affected at all by its companion’s death, although it got a little edgy during combat. For now its content to follow Faenya around and nuzzle her.

Now the party has a set of keys. So what does Thorson do? Grabs the set, heads to the door at the back of the boar pen, and sticks one of them in the lock.

Then rolls a nat 1 reflex save.


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