DM When last we left our heroes, they sent the lovely Courana and boorish Geradil packing, headed back to their homes. Hopefully the pair can avoid the orcs roaming the countryside and reach their house. Meanwhile, the giant Kryss wakes early and heads into the dungeon by himself.
Kryss “This is a really good idea. I will be able to defeat the Orcs before Julian wakes. That way he wont get hurt.” Kryss says to his familiar as they stroll into the entryway
Xi “Why do you care if a human gets hurt?”
Kryss “What? I dont! Im a dragon. Stop twisting my words.” Kryss replies.
Xi “I don’t care if you get hurt, and you’re supposedly a dragon.”
Kryss “Im still a dragon where it counts. I will be restored soon enough.”
Xi “In fact, after sending me into a hail of arrows, I actually am quite looking forward to you getting hurt. Seems to be a pattern with small draconic individuals around you, isn’t it? Sending them into arrowfire?”
Kryss “You sent yourself into a hail of arrows. Perhaps you could spend more time teaching me about my destiny and less complaining about your treatment.”
Kryss “And Meepo wasn’t my fault. Ive been shot before a few times myself you know.”
DM “Your destiny is to become orc shit if you don’t quiet down and start using some stealth through here. Stop advertising your entry.”
Kryss Kryss pauses and looks at the huge door to the complex.
Kryss He reaches down to one of the nearby corpses and soaks some of the rapidly congealing blood into a rag. He uses the soaked rag to write “Azario was here” on the door before venturing further.
Kryss “Do you suppose Grendar’s crew will be profitable?” he asks the tiny dragon.
Xi “Shh. Move quietly. And listen.”
Kryss “Ah, right… of course.” he hushes and moves as stealthily as a mountain.
DM Following the dragon spirit’s advice, Kryss moves through the complex carefully. Beyond the bridge, he senses four orcs, grumbling as they drag bodies.
Kryss Kryss steps lightly and cautiously across the bridge into the darkness. When he reaches the other side he ducks for cover behing a pillar before he is seen. He sets his eye on the closest orc and charges.
DM It is pitch black, so his eyes are unable to be set on anything. However, his draconic senses have given him a rough idea of where the orc stands.
Kryss “Get me some light in here!” Kryss orders as his attack lands.
DM The orc howls in pain, having not been aware of any hostile creatures in the vicinity.
DM Kryss won’t strike as easily next time.
Kryss Xi flies off with a torch from Kryss’ pack to light on the brazier.
DM Before he can however, the orc retaliates with a savage blow from his axe. In the darkness, Kryss finds it hard to dodge.
DM Blood splatters the floor.
Kryss Kryss attempts to swing wide and low to better his chance of catching his unseen enemy.
DM The lights suddenly come on, the orc blinks, and his head rolls away.
DM His bretheren laugh as they charge in.
Kryss Kryss dances back to avoid any missile attacks
DM The orcs rush him, putting his back against the wall. They hack away, slashing furiously with their massive axes.
Kryss Kryss works his axe and shield equally furiously.
DM Maybe not quite equally.
DM His axe bites hard, throwing blood from the orc on the wall.
Kryss He moves even more furiously.
DM One orc drops, causing the others to laugh even harder, and his attacks bite into the middle orc, nearly disemboweling the savage. The laughter echoes.
Kryss He tucks back behind his shield, looking for another opening.
DM The orcs batter at the shield ineffectually.
Kryss Kryss responds with vicious precision.
Kryss His axe and shield work the orcs weapons lower and lower untiil he swings across high and catches them off guard.
DM The penultimate orc falls, and the remaining warrior appears to waver between fleeing and pressing Kryss further.
DM He howls in Kryss’s face and runs, screaming for help.
Kryss “Coward,” Kryss grunts, and he takes a few running steps after before throwing a hand ax.
DM It sticks in the orc’s back, and he falls to the ground.
Kryss Kryss removes his ax, wipes it off, and searches his victims. He makes sure to collect all the ears this time.
DM The orcs were hauling the previous day’s victims away, there are twelve corpses in addition to the four new ones with ears for him.
Kryss He takes the time for a short break before moving on.
Kryss Kryss cautiously follows the left wall towards teh north as he proceeds.
DM Haphazard stacks of crates, barrels, sacks, and bundles litter this long, narrow cavern. The orcs appeared to have had some success in their raids of the small settlements and mountain roads in the area, it is littered with coin and plunder. To the north, two finished stone passageways lead east and west; to the south, an old well is full of murky water.
Kryss He searches through the crates for anything especially interesting
DM Other than the coin, most of the plunder is high bulk, low value materials taken from farmsteads, like foodstuffs, ale, blankets,
DM tools, timber, pitch, nails, wool, and similar goods.
Kryss Kryss keeps the coin and moves on.
DM “Damn it, stay quiet, and start listening. If that ogre and his sons catch you, you’ll not get off with just a few scrapes like that orc pack gave you.”
Kryss “Dragons do not fear ogres,” Kryss replies at a whisper. He does take the advice though.
DM “They ought to when they are trapped inside puny little human bodies…” Xi mutters.
DM “Stop.” Xi orders, in a hushed voice. Kryss detects a note of panic.
Kryss Kryss lets the comment go and listens for opponents.
Kryss Kryss freezes.
Kryss He slowly turns, panning the room for threats.
DM “There are about five orcs to the west of us…but I hear at least two worgs breathing to the east….and the scent of ogre.”
Kryss “Then we go west.” Kryss decides.
Xi “You’ll be outnumbered and won’t take them by surprise this time. Keep them from surrounding you.”
Kryss “Ill do my best,” he whispers.
DM At the end of this passageway stands the statue of a fierce-looking dwarf in heavy mail armor. The stone warrior holds a sword in one hand and a smith’s hammer in the other. The statue stands on a large stone pedestal; the whole structure is about 7 feet tall and must weigh many hundreds of pounds.
Kryss “A smith…” Kryss mumbles as he inspects the statue.
DM Kryss spots a pressure plate just before he steps on it. No rogue, he cannot tell what it does, precisely, but it probably isn’t good.
Kryss “Oh…” he carefully steps around the plate to get a better look at the statue.
Kryss “One day…” he mumbles again before moving off the the west.
DM It is a well forged stone statue, honoring Durgeddin the Black.
DM Kryss’s inspections locate reservoirs in the mouth that unleash gas, no doubt the pressure plate’s trap.
Kryss Kryss thinks that it would look good standing in front of Fapa’s shop but he doesnt disturb it right now.
Xi “Beyond this door are the orcs,” Xi whispers. “And they’ve heard you.”
Kryss “I have a plan.” Kryss replies. He kicks hard at the door.
DM It flies off the hinges, smashing the nearest orc in the mouth.
DM This large chamber is filled with rough-hewn bunks, tables, and chairs, and the floor is strewn with filthy pelts. At a glance it appears that perhaps a dozen or so humanoids might live here. Five orcs are currently here, ready to attack. The hulking specimen in the front is dripping blood from the door that smashed him in the face.
Kryss “Ack!” Kryss shouts, surprised, and he turns and runs.
DM “Get him!” roars their leader, an elderly looking orc.
DM They rush after him, and Xi leaps onto the pressure plate as they pass. The statue’s bearded face slides open, rather like an oversized nutcracker, and greenish gas billows forth! The orcs curse and choke, but continue rushing after Kryss.
DM One of them appears seriously nauseated by the gas, the others shrug it off like it was nothing.
Kryss Kryss backs into a defensible corner.
DM The orcs pile in after him as best they can.
DM The choking one pops off a shot, but it misses. The lead orc draws blood.
Kryss Kryss responds with a blast of fire breath. Then again. He also bashes the lead orc twice in the face with his shield but fails to do any significant damage.
DM The orcs collapse into charred skeletons. The old orc catches the blast on his face, scorching it horribly. It melts halfway off.
Kryss Kryss settles back into his stance, waiting for him to charge.
DM He screams in pain, but does not stick around to fight a losing battle. He rushes down the hall towards where Xi claimed the ogre laired. “GREAT ULFE HELP ME!”
Kryss Kryss throws a hand ax after him. The hand ax clatters off the wall and Kryss makes a dash for the room the orcs vacated. He stops as he thinks about what hes done and turns back
Shael Shael approaches from the south, catching up with Kryss, and notices the fleeing orc. Thinking quickly, he incants a spell and whispers loudly, “Quick, hide over here!” waving for the Orc to follow him.
DM The orc blinks, coming to a halt, shaking his head and trying to clear it. Seeing Shael, he changes course and heads for the mage.
DM “There’s a…fire?” he tries to explain to Shael. His face’s left side is burnt to a crisp.
Kryss Kryss cautiously approaches from the orc’s blind side.
Shael Shael holds his finger to his lips to motion for quiet and leads the orc back towards the entrance. “I can heal you once we are safe.” he reassures the orc, “My name is Shael.”
Yarrick “I’m Yarrick…I used to be this band’s leader.”
Shael “Used to be?” Shael seems surprised, “What happened?” he wonders quietly as they sneak away from the dragon.
Kryss Kryss follows the pair as they move towards teh entrance to the comples together. He wisely doesnt speak for fear of interrupting Shael’s enchantment.
Yarrick “Ulfe…Great Ulfe,” Yarrick corrects himself, as he explains.
Kryss Once they get settled to speak, Kryss attempts to take a short rest.
Shael “Ah.” Shael says as if he understands, but his expression clearly shows he does not. “You should still lead, I think…” he frowns ponderously, “…unless you don’t want to?”
Yarrick “They call me ‘Old’ Yarrick now. My wife left me for Great Ulfe.”
Shael “Listen, Yarrick. I’m gonna play you true, now — we, that is the dragon and I, don’t have any quarrel with you. I can tell you’re a fighter, the sort we’d not want to tangle with if we could avoid it… but, Old Ulfe in there…” Shael makes a sour face, “…he doesn’t sound the sort we like; taking your wife is a foul deed. Maybe we can help you out?”
Yarrick “She went willingly!” he moans. “She wanted big ogre balls slapping against her chin! What kind of wife is that?”
Kryss Kryss raises an eyebrow.
Shael “What she wants is one thing, what Old Ulfe allowed is another, eh? But, if you don’t have no grudge against him, maybe I’m wrong?”
Yarrick “No, I hate him! I’d kill him, but even his damned sons are too strong for me..”
Shael “Are they with him, now?”
Yarrick “No, they are out raiding. Damned giants.”
Kryss “Giants?” Kryss asks.
Yarrick “The filthy things that crawled out of my wife’s womb after he banged around in there.”
Shael “Damned they will be… with your help, Yarrick.” Shael smiles slightly and offers his hand to Yarrick.
Yarrick “They’re like orcs, but huge.” Yarrick sighs. “Why am I even siding with humans? I’m pretty sure you’ve killed everyone who wasn’t out with Alfe and Olfe besides me and Burdug. And those human women Ulfe has been impregnating.” He doesn’t appear to realize how chatty he’s being.
Kryss “Dont look at it as siding with humans. We are more than we appear.”
Shael “Neither of us is truly a part of the human world… we are, in some ways, closer to you than them.” Shael agrees.
Kryss “Is there anything around that might give you an advantage when we kill Ulfe and reclaim your bride?” Kryss asks.
Shael With a few words of spellcraft, Shael’s hand glows with healing light and he holds it again towards Yarrick.
Yarrick Yarrick scratches his head. “Can’t find any fault in your words, but I should…strange. What do you mean, the advantage? He’s a massive ogre, he’s got the worgs on his side, when his sons get home, he’ll have those too.” He shakes Shael’s hand absently.
Kryss “How soon do you expect his sons to return?”
Yarrick “Alfe should be home in a few days, Olfe in a week.”
Kryss “Ah, that will give us plenty of time to deal with the situation here and set an ambush for his sons.”
Shael “Certainly. What about the treasure?”
Yarrick “The stuff we took off those weaklings?” Yarrick asks.
Shael “Nah, the ancient dwarven treasure… is that real?”
Yarrick Yarrick looks troubled. “We…don’t go below. There’s stuff down there that we don’t want to mess with.”
Kryss “The statue over there is of Dumaguadin.”
Yarrick “The Black Hammer,” Yarrick spits.
Shael “Ah… well, after we help you sort your lot then we’ll be heading that way. We won’t bother you anymore, eh?”
Kryss “What can you tell us about he Black hammer?”
Yarrick “He killed a lot of orcs a long time ago.”
Kryss “This was his lair then?”
Yarrick “Whole damn fort, until the orcs took it from him. Killed every last damn dwarf.”
Kryss “Dwarves are the worst. Many of my kind have been driven from their homes by dwarves.”
Yarrick “Dwarves are…not the worst. Almost worst. Worst are faeries.”
Kryss “Why faeries?” Kryss asks, curious.
Yarrick Yarrick shudders, but does not answer.
Shael While Kryss rests for the battle ahead, Shael continues to question Yarrick trying to gain any other useful information he has including the layout of the room they’ll be fighting in.
Shael And any other details Yarrick can share about the lair.
Kryss Kryss shrugs and stretches his neck. “Well, I think Im feeling up to meeting your boss.” he says.
Kryss “Would you like me to introduce us?” he offers?
Yarrick “It’s about so long by so wide,” Yarrick explains, pacing off about thirty by twenty five feet. “Vak and Thrag are the brains of the operation, and they guard Ulfe at all times. Even when he’s fucking my wife.”
Kryss “Tell us of Vak and Thrag?”
Yarrick “Worgs. About the size of a horse.”
Kryss “Why are they loyal to Ulfe?”
Yarrick “For the same reason I am, because Ulfe is ungodly strong and happy to cut people in half who don’t listen to him with his axe.”
Kryss “The same has been said of others Is it customary to knock?” Kryss asks.
Yarrick “No. Ulfe summons you or you leave him alone.”
Shael Shael hands an alchemist’s fire to each of his companions then pulls out a wand and backs away from the door.
Kryss Kryss tries the doorknob
Shael He signals “1, 2, 3” and waves his hand for Kryss to open and throw.
DM Kryss throws his shoulder to the door, but it does not budge. A snarl comes from beyond the door. “Go away, the master is busy.” Kryss can smell the scent of orc sex from beyond the massive stone door. Both men hear grumbling as the ogre is disturbed.
Kryss He sneezes and looks back at Shael.
Shael Shael points towards the door and nods.
Kryss Kryss hacks at the door with Shatterspike.
DM The door shudders as the axe’s magic activates. It takes less than half a minute for Kryss to dismantle the fine dwarven stonework. A short flight of stairs leads up to a large, ironbound door. A bloodstained human skull is fixed to the center of the door by an iron spike. Beyond the door lies a small chamber covered in poorly cured animal hides and illuminated by smoking torches in bronze sconces. The smell is indescribable. A monstrous creature of about 10 feet in height with warty, brown skin and greasy dark hair steps forward, a massive axe in one hand. Two huge wolves snarl before him. Behind him, three female orcs stand at the ready, bare breasted and covered in disgusting fluids.
Ulfe ‘’You think to challenge the Great Ulfe?’’ the creature booms as it rushes at you. ‘’Vak! Thrag! At them!’’ The wolves spring forward, and the being charges with a roar of rage!
Shael Shael brandishes his wand, which glows with power, and vines lash out from the stone walls to grasp and restrain those within their sway.
Yarrick Yarrick rushes in. “Burdug!” he screams, heedless of the others in the room. He flings a hand axe at his unfaithful wife. It flies over her head.
Burdug “I call upon the powers of Luthic, Orc Mother!” Dark lightning crackles from the priestess. It extends out around her to about fifteen feet away.
DM The two worgs tear into Yarrick.
DM A massive javelin, cast by Great Ulfe, impales the orc through the chest.
Kryss Kryss sticks to the plan. The bottle of alchemist fire sails toward the back of the room.
DM Yarrick coughs up blood.
DM The bottle splashes across the free worg, and the creature howls.
Shael Shael takes Kryss’s place on the defensive line and several darts of force manifest and streak towards the priestess as he readies his spear while shouting arcane words of power.
Burdug Burdug howls as the darts strike her, in laughter. “Fool! My goddess will smite you. If my belly filler doesn’t get you first.”
Shael “That is not something I forsee.” Shael disagrees, “You should commune more earnestly with her; she would warn you to be wary of me.”
DM A spear manifests before Shael and pierces the air next to him.
Burdug She curses.
DM The free wolf lunges at him, while Great Ulfe flings another javelin the size of a pike.
DM It flies wide.
DM The orcs, unable to get a good position to hack Shael from, fire at him with their bows.
DM The arrows fly wide.
Shael Shael dodges almost ahead of each blow, as if he knows where each will land, and when once he seems about to be hit a piece of masonry from the shattered door falls and blocks the arrow. He smiles wickedly at the priestess and her entourage.
Kryss Kryss cautiosly steps forward and throws a hand ax at the burning worg.
Shael Shael sets himself in a defensive stance, light on his fight with his shield raised and his spear ready, and provokes playfully, “Well, come along, then?”
DM It strikes the burning creature, angering it further.
DM The worg lunges at Shael again, who dodges. As it leaps away, he blasts it with a magic missile, nearly killing it.
DM It is the burning flames that put it down.
Shael Shael shouts with triumph, “RAARRRGGHHHAHAHAHAHA! What says your Goddess now?!”
DM Not much, as the worg’s mate leaps at Shael’s throat.
DM Missing, she pulls away as well. Ulfe moves in.
DM “Stupid! Stupid! How I miss?”
Shael Shael cracks his neck, “Takes more than just muscle to put me down, big guy.”
DM The two orcs leap in, but neither can manage to hit the dodging mage.
Kryss Kryss sees an opening and darts in.
Shael Shael launches another magical attack at the priestess, magical missiles firing through the crowd.
DM The orc female attacking Shael staggers as Shatterspike cleaves into her hip.
Burdug Burdug howls, and her lightning collapses.
DM She snarls again as her mystic spear fails to strike Shael.
DM The orcs lash out, but fail to harm the heroes. They move away, suffering cold and blade as they flee, and the remaining worg leaps at Kryss. Grabbing the giant by his heel, the worg tugs him off his feet, savaging his crotch as he falls. She then leaps away, allowing Ulfe to stride in.
Ulfe Ulfe scowls as his axe misses. “Stupid humans!”
Julian From a darkened corridor to the south, a paladin appears! “Your reign of terror is over!” Julian proclaims, and his words crackle with thunder.
Kryss Kryss looks up from the floor. “Well timed.” he says.
Julian Small objects shatter and the floor itself cracks as the thunderclap rolls out from the paladin towards his foes,.
DM His holy words cause their sins to pour forth from their noses and ears as they sink to the ground, senseless. A trickle of blood oozes from Ulfe.
Kryss Kryss comes to his feet, hauling his massive axe up with him in a vicious uppercut at Ulfe’s midsection. At the peak of his swing he spins, bringing the side of shield around at the ogres knee.
DM The blows sink into thick, leathery flesh, and the ogre screams in rage. No orcish laughter here, the leader of this band does not appreciate being hurt at all.
Shael Shael feints with his spear as he incants a cantrip of flame which materializes on his shield arm side and strikes at the ogre.
DM Nor does he seem to think the flames engulfing his face are terribly funny.
Burdug “Do not worry, my womb stretcher, Mother Luthic cares for you as well.” Burdug channels healing energies into the ogre from the rear while her spear attempts to stab Shael again.
DM Finally it does!
Ulfe Ulfe on the other hand, fails to harm the warrior before him. He staggers back, allowing the orc her turn.
DM She fails as he failed.
Shael “Wouldn’t want you to see your goddess as a complete failure.” Shael tells Burdug, whiping the blood from his face with his sleeve.
Julian Julian’s eyes begin glowing bright as the sun, and he fixes them upon Ulfe. Ulfe finds that his face is not the only thing burning, as his armor begins to glow red hot.
Julian “Tal is with us.” Julian moves to stand shoulder to shoulder with his friends.
Kryss Kryss twirls Shatterspike to reseat his grip before bringing it across in a vicious strike at the orc’s neck.
DM Ulfe’s orcish concubine, that is. And it kills her. She dies. Her head falls off, and wipes some of the fluids on Kryss’s chest as it goes.
Shael As her body hits the ground, Shael takes off with a start charging into Ulfe with his spear leading the way.
DM He takes the spear in the gut with a grunt.
Shael “See how you like it, eh?” Shael winks.
DM Burdug’s spear takes him again as she continues to pour healing energies into the ogre.
Shael Shael chuckles, “Can’t say as I mind, even from such.. uh… ‘low hanging fruit’?”
Julian Ulfe’s armor continues to burn.
Kryss Kryss dashes into the room, dropping and sliding past Ulfe to bring his axe to bear on Burdug.
Julian A javelin follows, seeking the priestess, but clatters off the ogre in between.
DM Burdug splatters all over the wall in a pattern eerily similar to the one that Ulfe has splattered all over her.
Shael “Splat.” Shael describes, “Overripe…” he complains as he manuevers around to the other side of the ogre loosing his final volley of magical missiles in between jabs and parries.
DM Great Ulfe staggers, bleeding from his chest, his hip, his knee, and the damnable flaming armor still searing its way into his skin…he screams like a giant toddler throwing a temper tantrum.
Julian The heat of the sun reaches a new pitch as Julian draws Lightbringer and moves in to strike the ogre’s head from his shoulders.
DM His axe smashes the ground next to Shael. Julian’s blow takes a corpse’s head from its body…the metal had already burnt out the ogre’s meager brain.
Shael Ulfe’s swing at Shael would have split the mage in two… if the mage had not slipped on a huge sploog of jism. His head would have still been split on the floor if it had not been cushioned by the bloody mess of a discarded afterbirth. It is uncertain what fate the mage would have preferred.
Shael He quickly rolls out of the way of the falling ogre.
Julian Julian lowers his sword, breathing hard. “Ha!”
Julian “….what… am I standing in?”
Kryss “This was the ogres mating room.” Kryss explains.
Shael “Don’t ask… I’m burning everything.” the wizard shudders. He wretches as he crawls to his feet, sticky and moist.
DM Yarrick pulls himself forward with his bleeding hands, clawing toward Burdug. When he reaches what’s left of her corpse, he scoops it into his mouth, chewing it up, laughing weakly as his life bleeds out onto the ground.
Kryss Kryss searches the shattered and broked corpses. Kryss also searches Yarricks body. His ear collection continues to grow.
Julian “That sounds like a good idea. You know, I’m just going to keep the spell going for a while.” Ulfe’s armor continues to glow red-hot as Julian backs away.
DM The heroes find the following within the ogre’s lair, and its surrounding environs. 440 gp, 1,600 sp, a potion of spider climb, a masterwork rapier, two sacks of silver containing 320 sp, two healing potions, another sack of silver with 250 sp, a strongbox with 180 gp, a supply of dwarven holy water (enough for x20 flasks), 210 gp, two 50 gp onyxs and a topax worth 200 gp. Plus, to the south, they find eight heavily pregnant women chained in the priestess’ quarters.
Kryss “Was he breeding an army?” Kryss speculates
Julian “Not on purpose. He was being an ogre.” Julian scowls. “Kryss, let me borrow that axe again.” He strikes off the chains.
Kryss Kryss frees the women. “We are here at the request of the one known as Azario. We free you all in his name. May he be… extremely famous.”
Shael “I would guess so…” Shael says under his breath. He moves among the women sharing water and food and tending their wounds as he is able.
Julian Once Shael has tended to them and gotten them walking, Julian leads them out into the daylight, leaving Kryss to finish searching the rooms.
Julian He seems less bothered by them anyway.
DM And so our heroes have bested Great Ulfe’s orcish warband and saved the prisoners! What lies in store for them now? Blasingdell? Deeper delves into the Glitterhame? Only the future knows for sure!