Dark Shards

The Forge of Fury 2

Khundrukar, Reaping Week 1.2, BCY 14500

Session 10

DM Well, the frigid mountains appear to hold a great deal of cold, savages, and bitter cutting wind. At the foot of the Stone Tooth, a carefully constructed path winds up the hillside to some unseen height above. Durgeddin’s clan cut the path carefully to conceal its presence as much as possible, but years of wind and rain have eroded away its cover, leaving it exposed and visible from the valley floor below.

Julian “Looks like our path.” Julian looks around for any signs of life before starting up it.

Kryss The adventurers travel carefully along the path, tied together around the waist like mountain climbers.

Kryss Kryss takes the lead, watching for signs of ambush.

Kryss “Are you certain this is the way?” Kryss asks Julian, who has the map.

Julian “Yes, definitely. In fact we should get to the doors, or gates, or whatever it is, any minute now.”

DM The path climbs up one last steep switchback toward a bare shoulder of rock. The hillside climbs steeply on your right and drops away precipitously on your left. Debris and rubbish lie scattered over the last hundred yards or so of the path – discarded waterskins, bits of charred bone, and splintered casks or kegs discarded carelessly from the path. Up ahead, the path opens up onto a wide ledge and then doubles back sharply into the mountainside. Two bestial humanoids in scale armor stand watch on the ledge. They appear to be inattentive and bored with their duty.

Kryss “Seems we arent the first to hear the legends.”

Julian “Definitely not. Are those orcs?”

Julian “Anyway, if we approach quietly, I don’t think they’re paying much attention.” Julian leads the way…

Kryss “I dont know. Do you suppose we’ve stumbled onto their home base?”

Julian “Well, an abandoned underground fortress… since they know it’s here, I don’t see why they WOULDN’T use it. It’s a perfect hideout.” Julian quickens his pace.

Kryss “You mean to parlay?”

Julian “I’m an expert at orc diplomacy.” Julian draws Lightbringer.

DM Chatty Cathy is a step behind the paladin as the orcs slowly realize the noise is conversation.

Kryss “Oh!” Kryss pulls his axe as he realizes Julians intent.

Julian Before they have time to think too hard about it, Julian is running at them. He aims a heavy overhead chop at the foremost.

DM He trips as he moves in, disasterously missing the scout.

Kryss Kryss follows more cautiously, a step or two behind.

Julian The paladin tries to recover his balance on the backswing.

DM The blade bites deep, and the orc roars in fury.

DM “Wark crush! Wark smash! Like little infant skull!”

DM Axes flash, and Julian finds himself flanked and overwhelmed as his blood spills.

Kryss Kryss moves in to support Julian. He lashes out with his axe before drawing back behind the protection of his shield.

DM His axe hits Wark’s spinal cord and the orc drops.

Julian Julian shakes away blood and turns his attention to the other orc.

DM The orc blocks his blow with the haft of his axe. He looks at the two outnumbering him and begins to laugh. The snarls of a warchant are on his lips as he lays into Julian.

Julian He works his way around the orc’s flank as they parry each others’ blows.

Kryss Kryss see his chance and brings up axe in a vicious uppercut.

DM The blood geysers out of Thark’s back as Kryss hits him unawares. He screams, and it is unclear if it is in rage, admiration or holy worship of pain.

Kryss “Put him down!” Kryss says.

Julian As the orc drops his guard, Lightbringer sweeps around into the foe’s neck.

DM His body drops, the head a few moments later.

Kryss Kryss wipes his weapon off on the dead orcs clothing and searches the bodies.

Julian “Tough bastards.” Julian allows. Trying to walk it off, he approaches the mountainside, listening for any approaching commotion in case the noise has drawn attention.

DM Besides their rusty scale armor, greataxes and javelins, the orcs are carrying little of value. Kryss finds the fingerbones of a human, though too small to be an adult, laced around Warg’s neck.

Kryss Kryss takes the fingerbones for future inspection and tests the heft on one of the greataxes.

DM Broad, shallow steps lead up a steep fissure to the south and turn east into the mountainside. Here, a broad entrance has been carved out of the stone. Marble steps cracked with age and veined with green moss lead up to a strong double-door of carved stone, 8 feet wide and almost 10 feet tall. Two arrow slits high on the north and south walls command this area.

DM Julian hears growls and bustling from beyond the slits.

DM Clearly someone heard Thark’s yell.

Julian Julian mutters a healing charm. Clearly more battle awaits.

Kryss “Are they approaching?” Kryss asks.

Julian “Come on, Kryss, they’ve heard us. Let’s not give them time to prepare.” Julian follows the stairs up towards the door. If there are arrow slits waiting for them, best to cross the gap before archers can reach their position.

Kryss Kryss charges alongside Julian to close the gap.

Kryss He shifts the angle of his shield to deflect inbound missles.

DM Arrows fly out of the slits as they sprint down the stairs. The doors are cracked open, it seems the orcs did not want to constantly shift them open and close. Possibly a fatal mistake.

DM Arrows glance off armor, shields and helms, all failing to strike home.

Julian Julian doesn’t waste time taking advantage of the open door. He bulls forward, into Durgeddin’s Hall.

Kryss Kryss growls as he follows at his heels.

DM The great door opens into a large hall. You are standing on a narrow ledge overlooking a deep, dark crevasse that cuts the room in two, completely obstructing passage to the opposite side. A dangerous looking rope bridge, frayed and thin, spans the gap. Water gurgles and rushes somewhere far below. Two copper braziers burn brightly on either side of the door, illuminating this half of the room. Beyond is darkness.

Julian “Left first.” Archers on either side, clearly. Better to clear them now than to be outflanked. Julian breaks left.

Kryss Kryss follows

DM Confusingly, there is no path or tunnel leading to the archers. Perhaps a door is hidden somewhere here?

DM As they search for such a door, two arrows fly out of the darkness. They might not be able to see beyond, but the copper braziers clearly mark their own position.

DM However, orcs clearly are not as good of shots as they are axemen.

Kryss “We have to cross before they cut the bridge.” Kryss suggests.

DM Kryss is looking for the door when all of a sudden his senses swim. He can barely recall his draconic life these days, but this sensation hearkens back to then, when he could sense the very tremors upon the earth.

DM A door lies to the north and south in this room. A secret door right…here.

Julian “They won’t cut the bridge till they’re desperate.” Julian is saying just as Kryss transcends. “It’s their bridge too. We can’t let them cut off our retreat if we need it.”

Kryss Kryss crashes through the secret door.

DM In the darkness, he senses an orc rushing towards him.

Kryss “There!” says a voice in Kryss ear. He swings his axe as directed.

DM The blade cuts the orc down in a single blow.

Kryss He follows with a shove from his shield, attempting to push the orc out of the way.

Kryss Kryss smashes it with his shield as he continues moving into the room.

DM What a goddamn sicko, but he smashes the corpse’s skull into the wall.

DM It cracks open like a pumpkin, leaking all over the ancient dwarven stonework.

Julian Julian produces the party’s magic candle and tosses it into the room, then follows, ducking around the dead orc to engage his living mate. The paladin keeps the wall nearby to guard his flank.

DM Lightbringer stabs into the orc’s stomach, and it begins to laugh.

DM It’s a nasty hit too, the entrails are slipping out around the blade…still the orc just laughs as he swings a flail.

DM It glances off Julian’s armor.

DM The second orc laughs as well, bringing his blade down on Julian’s skull.

DM The third orc tries to attack Kryss, but ends up gutted by Shatterspike. This causes the other two to howl even louder in laughter.

Kryss Kryss tucks back after his counter, reseating his footing, and lashing out again.

DM The blow nearly brings the orc to the ground, inducing more laughter from his companion, but grunts of pain from the victim.

DM The shield glances off his wounded body like an insult.

DM An insult delivered by a master bard, that is.

Kryss Kryss rips the axe from the orcs chest, doing further damage.

DM The shield imbeds itself in the orc’s skull.

DM It makes a wet schwicking sound.

DM The orc falls dead.

Julian Julian is too busy inspiring Kryss to pay much attention to his own attacks.

DM The orc deflects the blade. Then burries his in Julian.

DM Buries, perhaps.

DM It’s hard to tell without spellcheck.

Kryss Kryss charges at the last orc with his weight behind his shield, attempting to mash the orc through the arrow slit behind him.

DM He’s a real fucking psycho.

Julian “Ngggh… those axes are pretty serious…”

DM The orc’s body squirts out the arrow slit as the dragon crashes into him.

Kryss If the gore bothers him, Kryss doesnt mention it.

Julian “Right. That’s six.” Julian calls on healing magic.

Julian “Kryss, they’ll be behind us. Get ready to chop down anything that comes into this room, would you?”

DM They hear a final orc rushing them.

Kryss Kryss steps next to the door and prepares to greet their visitor. With his axe.

DM It’s a hell of a greeting.

DM The orc’s head bounces down the hall.

Kryss Kryss takes a few moments to search the bodies as well as collecting the loose head of the last orc to make a mistake.

Julian “All right. Now we can go shoot down those two across the bridge.” Julian picks up the magic light.

DM The orcs have dingy scale armor, greataxes (one of them had a flail), and longbows, as well as a hundred arrows.

DM One of them has a dried human breast.

Kryss “I hate arrows.” Kryss complains. He does take a bow and a handful of arrows however.

Kryss And the breast.

Julian “Wow. Uh, don’t touch that.”

Kryss “You mean the rations?”

Julian “…yeah.”

Julian No time to get into it right now.

Kryss “Perhaps it belonged to a wealthy woman whose family will pay to see her restored?”

Julian “We can find out later. For now…” Julian makes his way back down the hallway, pausing to allow Kryss to take the lead.

Kryss Kryss steps forward into the entryway. He stretches out a hand and allows a wisp of smoke to escape from his sleeve.

Kryss “Fool!” the tiny dragon exclaims. “Ill not do everything for you!” The pseudodragons complaining likely gives away its position but it flies off as instructed.

DM Two arrows fly out.

DM One lodges directly in his skull.

Kryss He disappears in a cloud of smoke. “Youll pay for this Fool!”

DM Kryss gets the impression of a middle finger, two orcs with bows and pain right before the contact cuts off.

Kryss “He’s not going to be happy about that…” Kryss mumbles.

Julian “Time for the old fashioned way, then.” Julian takes advantage of the orc’s distraction, ducks out of cover, and throws the magic candle across the chasm.

DM Their shots already spent on Kryss’s friend, they fail to nock arrows in time to hit the paladin.

DM The candle lights them up, but the heroes will have to act fast before one of the orcs throws it in the chasm.

Kryss Kryss nocks an arrow and fires at an orc

DM It glances off the stone pillars the orcs are using for cover.

Kryss The arrow bounces off the stone randomly before somehow finding a target.

Julian “The grace of Tal!” Julian pronounces.

DM The orc howls in anger. Melee attacks seem to be funnier than arrows that ricochet into their arse.

Julian He considers his actions. Something quieter than a thunderclap seems in order…

DM One of the orcs rushes for the candle, while the other shoots arrows at Julian.

DM At Julian being fairly relative.

DM They’re more at Julian than Kyrss, for instance.

DM The other orc grabs the candle.

DM Down the hatch it goes.

Julian Julian’s eyes begin to glow.

Julian The offending orc begins to feel hot. Then uncomfortably hot.

Julian Within moments he is burning from within.

DM “Argh!” The orc bends over, trying to hurk up the candle that is clearly immolating him.

Julian Julian takes cover to concentrate on his spell.

Kryss Kryss lauches another arrow at the other orc

Kryss It disappears into the darkness.

DM The arrow penetrates the pillar he was using for cover, pinning him to it for eternity.

DM The orc forces his fingers into his mouth, gagging himself and coughing up the candle.

Julian Incredibly he does not stop burning.

Julian He is however now nicely lit.

DM A confused look is cooked onto his face as his skin continues to flare. He falls to the ground, smoking.

Kryss Kryss stands at the bridge, trying to figure out a way to smash a shield into the corpses without crossing.

DM Because he’s a fucking psycho.

Shael “There are more orcs coming from the east!” Shael announces.

Julian “Okay Kryss, now, you’re going to hold the rope that’s tied around my waist while I… oh jeeze.”

Julian “Forgot you were there.”

Julian “Hey, do you know how to conjure light?”

Kryss “My Protector is always at my side.”

Kryss Kryss throws the orc’s head at the incoming orc.

Julian “Want to light up the far corner of that bridge? Then we won’t have to worry about the candle.”

DM The head goes soaring over the approaching orc.

DM The orc draws his axe and howls a laughing battlecry.

Shael A ray of ice splits through the air targeting the orc, Shael’s magic targeting him.

DM “Targeting” him.

DM The ice frosts over some dwarven script in the stone.

Julian Julian stays behind cover for now, waiting for the orc to approach.

Kryss Kryss fires another arrow in disgust at the practice.

DM It punches through the orc’s armor and chest, though the maniac continues to charge.

Kryss “I hate this thing.” he complains.

DM The orc rushes right down the bridge, trips, falls over the ropes, and plunges to what is almost certainly his death. The party hears guffaws echoing down the pit.

Julian Julian steps out of cover to meet the charging orc with a javelin right between the tusks.

Julian It ends up following him down the chasm.

Julian “So.”

Julian “I’m not crossing that bridge.”

Shael “No?” Shael wonders, looking down into the depths curiously.

Julian “Neither of you should cross that bridge.”

Kryss “I weight more than 25 stone.” Kryss agrees.

Julian “Nobody should cross that bridge.”

Julian Julian considers the bridge, contemplating alternatives.

Kryss Kryss sizes Julian up, looking from him to the other size. “How much do you weigh?” he asks.

Shael “Huh…” Shael tests the bridge curiously, pulling on the ropes and checking its sturdyness.

Kryss Kryss takes a step towards Julian. “It looks a little more narrow right here.”

Shael Shael wanders over the bridge.

Julian “Look, let’s see what else is on this side.”

Shael “Oh…” Shael says, looking back from the other side of the bridge.

Julian Julian resolutely turns his back on the bridge and goes to see what else is on this side.

Julian They didn’t really have time to search the other room before.

Shael Shale wanders back across the bridge to join his companions.

Kryss Kryss follows Julian, looking at Shael sideways.

Julian “Look, you’re a sorcerer, you probably don’t have any weight. That’s how sorcerers fly.” Julian is unmoved.

Shael “Hmm?” Shael wonders of Kryss, “Is everything allright?”

Shael “Me? No, I’m nothing like that.” he says back to Julian. “And, I certainly cannot fly.”

Kryss “Not right now apparently.”

Julian “Hmph.” Julian’s response comes from the next room where he is searching the slain orcs, and the room, for piles of platinum.

Shael “We’ll surely make it across, of course. I have no doubt of that…”

DM The secret door slides aside to reveal a narrow passage descending a flight of stairs to open up into a small chamber below. Light from outside slants into the room through a series of narrow embrasures, posts for archers watching the entrance to the dwarf-halls.

DM It appears that the bridge is the only way deeper into the Glitterhame.

DM In one sense, literally.

Julian An intense sense of foreboding warns Julian away from the hallway leading out of this room.

Kryss “Lets move on.” Kryss suggests

Julian “The bridge… only way.”

Julian The paladin’s voice is thick.

Shael “Yeah, we’ll be fine.” Shael crosses the bridge again and looks back to wait for his companions.

Julian Julian wanders across the bridge in a daze.

Kryss Kryss follows carefully, recalling days when a short glide like this was nothing to him.

Kryss After a couple close calls, the giant makes it across.

Shael Shael watches his friend closely while he crosses the bridge. Once he’s across, the wizard claps him on the shoulder and then moves along with the others more deeply into the ruins.

Julian When he reaches the other side, his wounds have faded to mere small red marks. Julian blinks.

Kryss “Everything ok?” Kryss asks.

Julian “Yeah… fine.”

DM And that’s when the orcs jumped out at them.

ShaelAAH!” Shael jumps in surprise.

Kryss Kryss stares deadpan at him.

DM And they murdered Julian because Kryss never moves his token forward.

DM Blood sprayed from the paladin’s neck and forehead as the axes rained down on him like a summer storm.

DM When it cleared, it appears that it wasn’t as bad as it appeared.

Kryss Kryss is lagging behind but seeing his comrade in trouble springs him to action. He tears into the trio with a fury a mortal man could never match.

DM One of the orcs falls like wheat before the thresher.

DM Two. Two orcs. Like wheat. Before the thresher.

DM Except Kryss never moved.

Kryss Kryss takes a deep breath

DM So we’ll never know.

DM Which orcs might have died.

Kryss He steps over his prey to assist with the final orc

DM The sickly looking one.

DM The slow one.

DM The one who failed to even get near Julian with his sad axe bow.

DM blow

DM Not an axe bow, because that’s dumb.

Kryss The near-giant looms over the sickly orc and growls deep in his chest.

Shael Shael moves forward and absently fires a series of magical darts at the final orc as he looks around the corner to see what else lays before them.

DM The orc explodes into a bloody mess all over Kryss.

Julian “I’m getting a bit tired of those axes.” Julian mutters.

Kryss He dusts his shoulder off and turns to the south.

DM This chamber is a natural cave with carefully smoothed walls and floor. Wet stone gleams, and you can discern at least four exits leading off into darkness. Red coals glow in the darkness of the far righthand passageway, and a crude wooden cage bars the closer right-hand passageway. The room is littered with orcish sleeping furs, loot, and rubbish.

Julian “Tired enough to rest, even.” He looks around.

Kryss “Are you going to be ok?” Kryss asks.

Kryss “Maybe you should sit down and drink some water.”

Julian “Yeah, I think I’ll be all right…” Julian rubs his head, hand coming away all bloody.

Shael Shael shakes the bars curiously.

DM A row of rough-hewn sapling trunks forms a crude but serviceable cage across the mouth of this small cave. A door locked with an iron padlock secures the room. Inside, you see two filthy prisoners dressed in tattered rags, crowding close to the door. “Thank Tal!” the first one cries out. “We’re rescued!”

Julian Julian squints. “Hey, why are there two of each of you?”

Julian “Look out, Shael, they’re doppelgangers!”

Shael Shael moves in position motioning towards his companions that more orcs are on the way.

Julian “Wait, you have one too!”

DM The prisoners look concerned at the knight they thought was here to rescue them.

DM He’s clearly not well.

DM Suddenly glad there are bars between them and him, they back away.

Shael Shael turns back and shushes his companions waiting for the approaching orcs to get closer.

Shael BEFORE HE ATTACKS!

Julian Julian sways and raises his two swords, turning towards the sound of the approaching orcs.

Julian His vision clears slightly as the axe blow to his head starts throbbing a little less, and he moves to take up an ambush position in a side tunnel.

DM Two orcs come wandering around the corner.

DM They blink as a javelin slams into the wall next to them.

Shael “Haha!” Shael shouts out, clearly surprising them.

Julian Julian grins at the four orcs. “I got one!”

Julian He darts back into cover.

Kryss Kryss tosses a hand ax at one.

DM It catches him in the throat, and nearly takes his head off. The orcs find this hysterical, and start laughing.

DM The wounded one leaps at Kryss.

Kryss Kryss settles in his stance as the orc dancing with his companions.

DM Eyes on the prize, it is skewered by Julian and Shael.

DM “Heh..heh..hurgh.”

Kryss Another hand ax spins at the other orc.

DM It sticks in the orc’s skull. Brains are leaking out…well, presumably. The orc can’t stop laughing.

DM It charges the first thing it sees with its failing eyesight and swings for the moon. It misses.

DM Doesn’t even get close.

Shael Dodging aside, Shael lashes out with an electrified kick at the orc.

DM It stops a foot away from the bestial humanoid.

Julian Julian blinks hard and shoulders his way around the melee.

Julian His solution is simpler. More elegant.

Julian Sharper.

DM The orc falls in two halves.

DM The third orc rushes in.

DM Julian’s blood sprays.

Kryss Kryss races to rescue Julian.

Julian Julian shakes his head hard. At least his double vision is gone.

Julian Hard to see much but blood now.

Kryss He grabs the little mans shoulder so hard it hurts but he pulls him out of immediate danger.

DM The orc moves in, swinging on Shael, laughing.

Shael Shael attempts to acrobatically move past the Orc and flank him for his companions before attacking.

Kryss Kryss shifts his grip on his ax and spins, putting more poweer into his swing. He almost resembles a mighty drake striking with a mighty tail whip.

DM The spear plunges into his back, drawing more roars of laughter from the orc.

DM Kryss’s axe bounces off.

Kryss The axe misses but he follows it with a huge shield.

DM Except of course, it’s not Kryss’s turn.

DM Meanwhile, Julian is…

Julian Julian is catching his breath, providing a golden opportunity to not retcon anything.

DM The shield knocks the orc’s tusk to the side, and tears actually form in his eyes from the rib splitting chortles.

Julian He wipes away the blood, seizes a javelin, and aims between the eyes.

DM The orc takes the javelin directly in the head. He touches it curiously, yanks it out and lunges at Julian before slumping over. He manages a grin before he passes on.

Kryss “Orcs are stupid,” Kryss says.

Kryss “You two should see to the prisoners, Ill keep an eye out for more.”

Julian “Yeah… hit like a cart of bricks, though.”

DM It seems quiet for now.

Julian “Hey, Shael, I figured it out. No doppelgangers. Just seeing double. Heh, those two to the head barely hurt at all.”

Kryss “You need to rest.” Kryss says. “Let me make you some food.”

DM “So ah…praise Tal?” comes the tentative call from the prisoners.

DM “Rescued?” the woman asks.

Julian “Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Cut your finger and it hurts like hell, break your skull and you can barely feel a thing…” Julian trails off.

Shael “Hm, okay.” he smiles and heads back to the cell. Looking through the bars he tilts his head to the side, “Who are you?”

Julian “Oh. Yes! Praie Tal!”

DM “I’m Geradil,” the man proclaims. “And this lovely woman is Courana.”

DM Geradil is a rough, ugly looking man. Courana is quite pretty herself, if she were perhaps cleaned up…right now she looks disgusting, in a ratty garment, in a prison that clearly doesn’t have a chamber pot.

Julian “Let’s get you out of there. Can you bear arms?” Julian squints.

Shael “Ah.” he examines the lock, “What are you doing here?” he inquires, prodding at it expirimentally.

DM “Orcs captured us. And yes, of course I can bear arms,” the man proclaims.

DM Kryss can tell he is lying.

DM Not by the tone of his voice, but the manner in which he conducts himself.

DM Julian has his doubts too, but the blood loss might have something to do with that.

Kryss Kryss glares at the man.

DM “We’re just farmers,” Courana explains. “Not fighters.”

Julian “Great. Here, Shael, Shatterspike steel will make quick work of it.” Julian borrows the axe and splits the lock with a blow.

Kryss “And liars.”

Julian “Oh. Well, then, better get you to safety and not bring you into peril.”

DM Geradil looks humiliated.

Shael Shael stands up and says, “Well, now we can’t use it if we need it later…” complaining just a bit as he replaces his thieves tools.

Kryss Kryss gives Julian a dirty look as he inspects the edge on his axe.

Shael “Why are farmers so far from… anywhere, really?” he wonders of Geradil.

DM “We’re only a few days from the city!” the man exclaims.

Shael Shael glances at his companions, “Are we? I guess I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Shael “Will you be able to make it back on your own, then?” he inquires.

Kryss “What do you know of the denizens of this place?” Kryss asks.

DM “Great Ulfe!” Courana squeaks.

Shael “Bless you.” Shael says, accidentilly wasting a spell.

Kryss “What?” Kryss presses her.

DM “He’s a huge disgusting ogre,” she shudders. “And his sons are even worse.”

Shael “Ah, is this where they are lairing? Convenient, I’d rather wanted to dispatch them – heard they’ve been causing quite a bit of trouble locally?”

Kryss “Do they guard the way to the rest of the complex?”

DM “We’ve never been past here…Ulfe was going to take her tonight…” Geradil mutters.

Julian “What can you tell us about them?” Julian sits down heavily, removing his helmet. A small bloody stream is liberated and trickles down his breastplate.

Shael Shael glances at the others, “We could probably gain an advantage by waiting for him here…”

DM “His sons are Elfe and Olfe. They…they look smaller than him, like orcs. But bigger than orcs.”

Kryss Kryss opens his rations and offers to share, first with Julian and then with the prisoners.

DM “And there are black wolves as big as horses that Ulfe walks around with all the time.”

Julian Julian nods. “Are there many of the orcs?” He chews and swallows. “We’ve slain… eight, nine, ten… eleven.”

Julian “Twelve, thirteen, fourteen.” he finishes.

DM “They raid in gangs of four to eight, but I don’t know how many are here total.”

Shael “What’s with the laughing?”

DM “Laughing?”

Kryss “I know! Theres something wrong with fighting enemies that enjoy dying.”

Julian “You must have heard.”

Shael “You didn’t hear them?” Shael says, jabbing his thumb towards those they just slew.

DM “I thought those were terrifying roars.”

DM The heroes can tell these pathetic peasants aren’t cut from the same mettle as themselves.

Julian “Ah, well.” Julian racks his brains for more insightful questions. Pain makes it a bit difficult.

Julian “Do the orcs come through here often?”

Julian “Or only when there’s raiders leaving or returning?”

DM “I’m not sure how many days it has been, but it seems like they go out about ever four or five sleeps.”

Kryss “Lets get these two back to the entrance and send them on their way. We can camp and get a fresh start later.”

DM “Usually a second band leaves before the first one returns.”

Julian Julian nods and starts back towards the entrance, offering Courana a helping hand. “Are there two bands out now?”

DM She nods. They are struck by how much more observant than Geradil she is.

Shael “Better if we keep them here, then, rather than having them run into the other bands. Eh?”

DM “Yes, take us back to the entrance and send us on our way,” Geradil proclaims. “I am a ranger, I will lead her home safely.”

Julian Julian eyes Shael, having the same thought. If orcs had happened upon their very own camp a few nights ago, what about this defenseless woman?

Julian And Geradil too, of course.

Julian “We’ll discuss what to do once we’re out in the fresh air. Come on.”

DM The peasants follow the heroes.

Kryss They take great pains to ensure everyone crosses the bridge safely. Kryss leads them into the northern room and suggests they use the arrow slits to provide security.

Kryss He himself takes up a position beside the secret door. A dragon makes an excellent guard.

DM He might be surprised as the peasants keep heading towards the promised fresh air.

Kryss “No, the other band could be back any time. We need somewhere defensible.”

Kryss Kryss shoulders them aside as he places his hands on the huge door and pushes it closed.

DM It takes a long time and lot of effort to close the door.

Julian Julian interrupts the long time and the lot of effort. “Maybe we should leave an escape route.”

Julian “You know, in case we need to use Plan A again.”

DM But that’s a tale for another time, True Believers! Will Great Ulfe get his prisoners back? Will our heroes best this scourge of the region? Find out next week!

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