The World of Orsus

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.”



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