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.”